Wednesday, January 21, 2015

So...What DO you do?

Years ago, I use to get very defensive when it comes to how people react after I tell them what I do for a living.

The conversation goes something like this...

P: So...What do you do for a living?
Me: I'm a Musician.
P: you in a band?
Me: Not THAT kind of musician.

Or this...

P: So...What do you do for a living?
Me: I'm an accompanist.
P: Oh...What's that?
Me: I play the piano and "accompany" anything from solos, ensembles, shows, and dance.
P: So...Are you a teacher?

Or this...

P: So...What do you do for a living?
Me: I'm a Pianist.
P: Oh! So you're a piano teacher!!
Me: Just because I'm ASIAN doesn't automatically mean I'm a piano teacher!

Or this...

P: So...What do you do for a living?
Me: I'm a Ballet Pianist.
P: So you're a dancer.
Me: I'm a pianist who WORKS with dancers.
P: does that work?
Me: I'm the music instead of the stereo.
P: ...But don't they have iPods for that?

And the GRAND finale follow-up questions to all of these conversations turns into: How do you make a living?

I'm doing it! 

I use to get so offended when people really don't "get" what I do. Along with my fellow colleagues, we have had to defend ourselves from the stereotypes of our occupations. Dancers turn into strippers. Artists are always starving. Costumers are "just" seamstresses but they are so much more! Being a musician, or an artist, or a dancer sound like "play-time" and people don't understand that you can still make a living doing these things. 

What is my point? I'm finally matured enough to know that it's okay when people don't understand what you do. Because in reality, I haven't a clue what my brother does. I just know that he's a talented artist who works for a company that rhymes with Biz-Knee. It pays his bills and he supports his family with it. So now...when people ask me that question, I respond with, "I get paid to play."

Remember: What you do does not define who you are as a person.  

1 comment:

  1. But then there is the other side of the coin.

    “What do you do?”

    “I’m a dancer”

    “Oh that’s nice” Thinking (or aloud if you are like a Swiss banker) – “So you prance around in underwear all day. Do really get paid for that?”

    I’m a ballet dancer. Thinking - Maybe that makes me sound like a straight guy.

    “Oh wow, that stuff is really difficult isn’t it?” Thinking – He is a gay blade that likes to show off his bulge.

    “Yeah, you’re right since you pretty much have to be an athlete but you get to be artistic” – Oh crap, why did I say artistic?

    “I’m sure and you guts make it look so easy” Thinking – Dude must be gay, I better not look down or he might think I'm checking out his junk and hit on me.

    “One of the reasons I got in to it was all of the pretty girls”

    Silence…. Thinking – dude must love musicals and sweaters.

    Thinking – For some reason I think that backfired on me.

    “Well you dancers have great bodies”. Thinking – Dude is too pretty to be straight.

    “Do you have any kids?”

    “Yeah, a daughter. I’ll show you a picture”.

    “Wow she is beautiful. She is really hot in that outfit.” Thinking – maybe I redeemed myself.

    “Thank you!” Thinking – My prayers may have been answered. If I can get my girl to go out with this boy she will be safe and she will be my little princess daddy’s girl forever. “Why don’t you come over some time? I’ll show you my great collection of musicals”. Thinking – “I guess my wife dragging me to those things and putting me through living torture may pay off.”

    Thinking - Ok, so I blew it again. …..maybe if I got some nice tattoos on my neck and knuckles…..