So You Want To Be A Star

A five-part series about music and business and the music
business. All persons and events are fictitious even if they are not.
Names and events have been modified significantly to make them funnier.
Even if they are not.

Part 1: Big Ideas

The lights. Standing on stage looking at the sea of faces. Heart pounding. Terrified. Elated. Worried that I'll forget all the lyrics, even though I wrote them. That I'll trip over a cable. That my voice
will crack. Having the best fucking time in the whole world. That's the high.

I did feel the high once. The high is the feeling that you are exactly in the right place at the right time doing exactly what you were born to do. When you get the high,
it shows. You glow with your inner light. You smile, and everyone
watching you can see you are having an incredible time playing for them.
The high is infectious. It leaks off of the stage and onto the audience.

At least that's what I think it'll be like. I've never played to a large
crowd. Well, maybe once, if you count Louis Wu's Birthday party (yeah,
that was me in the "Tokyo with Mirrorshades" room, dressed as the
cyberpunk Geisha) at Boskone 3. That crowd was about 300 people or so.

I felt the high in a bar in Bound Brook, New Jersey. The place
was a dive, but they had a stage, and we had a band, and we sounded
pretty good, and we had a future. Or so I thought. I thought the four of
us were friends. I thought we were a good writing team. I thought that
two women fronting the band, one on guitar and one on keys was unique at
the time; it was our hook, our in, our… wait a minute…

I guess I was too enthusiastic. Too happy. Too good. Roze Budd, the
blonde guitarist, started dating the drummer. All of a sudden, they
decided that the brunette with the cleavage (me) was excess baggage, and
what had I done for the band this week, anyway? A secret booking and a
phone call later, and I was on my own.

That's the lot of the female musician. Probably lots of male musicians,
too, but I'm a fem, so I can only speak for myself. If you're a chick
looking for a band or people to jam with, this is what you can expect
when you answer ads in the local Rock tabloid:

"We're not looking for a girlfriend."

"Can you bring a nightgown to the audition?"

"Our girlfriends would never let us have a girl in the band because we'd all end up sleeping with you."

"Are you willing to dance topless?"

It didn't matter that I could play. It didn't matter that I could sing. I felt frustrated and humiliated and somehow inadequate. You keep telling yourself that it's "them" - "they" have the problem, not you.
You have to keep on looking. And of course, I did. And from this, I

Music Biz Rule Number 1: NEVER GIVE UP.

I kept dreaming my dreams of the high. I kept writing songs. I collaborated with fine musicians and excellent guitarists. I dated bass players (that was a big mistake). I jammed every chance I got.

At the same time, I was exploring my spirituality. And I got my BIG IDEA. I had been told many times that I would be successful when I was working for things greater than myself; that if I was selfish I
would fail. And I had many selfish failures. I was told that the more
you want something, the more elusive it becomes; that when you stopped wanting it would just come to you. This is one of the hardest things to practice.

Think about it. You are alone, you crave companionship, you desire a
lover. It eats at you like a heroin jones. It consumes your thoughts,
your actions. You are desperate. The desperation is visible for all to
see. And anyone who would be your companion is scared off, or turned
off, and they stay away. The only ones you meet are the sharks that feed
on your desperation, taking your love, your time, your money, anything
they can get their hands on.

Of course, this had happed to me, and eventually, I got burnt out and disgusted with the whole thing, and I didn't want a relationship. And guess what happened. I met someone. And because I wasn't desperate, because I wasn't in need, it actually worked out. Amazing.

So back to my BIG IDEA. I was going to put a project together whose goal was not to get a record deal, was not to be the Next Big Thing. I put an ad in the music paper:

SACRED MUSIC FOR THE GODDESS. Wicca/Pagan band forming. Looking for guitar, bass, drums, strings, woodwinds, brass. Electric/eclectic, all styles, genders welcome, etc., etc., blah blah

The idea was the Music. The idea was to Create, to Provoke, to Glorify the Sacred. Money didn't enter into it. The goal was to Make some Music. That was my BIG IDEA. I didn't care if we were popular. I
didn't care if we became famous. I didn't care if we made a profit.

And I didn't have a name for the band. Sacred Music for the Goddess was
what we were going to be doing. And then a drummer called about the ad,
and thought that Music for the Goddess was the band's name. And a
guitarist did the same. And I thought "Why not? Music for the Goddess, so be it."

I saw my path stretching out before me. A glorious adventure awaited me. I adjusted the burdens that I always carry onto my back, and I started forth.

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Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries had its humble beginnings as an idea of a few artisans and craftsmen who enjoy performing with live steel fighting. As well as a patchwork quilt tent canvas. Most had prior military experience hence the name.


Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries.


Vendertainers that brought many things to a show and are know for helping out where ever they can.

As well as being a place where the older hand made items could be found made by them and enjoyed by all.

We expanded over the years to become well known at what we do. Now we represent over 100 artisans and craftsman that are well known in their venues and some just starting out. Some of their works have been premiered in TV, stage and movies on a regular basis.

Specializing in Medieval, Goth , Stage Film, BDFSM and Practitioner.

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries a Dept of, Ask For IT was started by artists and former military veterans, and sword fighters, representing over 100 artisans, one who made his living traveling from fair to festival vending medieval wares. The majority of his customers are re-enactors, SCAdians and the like, looking to build their kit with period clothing, feast gear, adornments, etc.

Likewise, it is typical for these history-lovers to peruse the tent (aka mobile store front) and, upon finding something that pleases the eye, ask "Is this period?"

A deceitful query!! This is not a yes or no question. One must have a damn good understanding of European history (at least) from the fall of Rome to the mid-1600's to properly answer. Taking into account, also, the culture in which the querent is dressed is vitally important. You see, though it may be well within medieval period, it would be strange to see a Viking wearing a Caftan...or is it?

After a festival's time of answering weighty questions such as these, I'd sleep like a log! Only a mad man could possibly remember the place and time for each piece of kitchen ware, weaponry, cloth, and chain within a span of 1,000 years!! Surely there must be an easier way, a place where he could post all this knowledge...

Traveling Within The World is meant to be such a place. A place for all of these artists to keep in touch and directly interact with their fellow geeks and re-enactment hobbyists, their clientele.

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