I spent a lot of yesterday practicing piano, which is something I don’t do nearly enough and probably should. I warmed up with this piece – one of my most favorite, simple and short pieces by Chopin.
Here’s a song from my upcoming record! I was also featured singing a clip of this on Me in my Place back when my shoot was up. Enjoy!
(Lyrics posted below the video)
By: Katelyn Benton Copyright 2011
Somebody else’s love
Somebody else’s dreams
Somebody else’s life is
Right here in front of me
How long until I break
How long until they see
Something I cannot fake
Somebody’s dream has me
This can’t be right there’s been a mixup of some kind
The longer I stay in somebody else’s life
Somebody else has mine
Maybe I’ll hold my breath
Maybe I’ll pinch my skin
Will that wake me from this sleep
I have been living in?
This can’t be right my dreams have been here all this time
The longer I wait for somebody else’s life
The longer I’m stuck with mine
Most of you are here from the Me in My Place plug. Thanks for visitng! Here’s a few things to share:
Cool music video I did a couple years ago:
Thanks for everyone who tuned in today to KBPI for my on-air interview with Uncle Nasty! Here’s more info on the stuff we talked about!
First of all – you can buy my music here.
TOMORROW NIGHT I’m playing at Denver’s Swallow Hill. Click here for the show info. Let me know that you heard me on the Uncle Nasty show and get my CD for only $5 at the show!
Want to check out my videos? I have a ton of videos posted here on the site under the video tab. You can see everything from my award-winning music video to my adventures in running 100 miles. They’re also all in one place on my youtube channel.
And last, here’s all the ways YOU can connect with ME
LIKE me on facebook for news, shows, music, videos, pics, etc.
And check this BLOG daily for updates!
I’m going to be straight forward here. This has not been my week. A combination of being tired from travel and tired from crewing, my defenses have been down lately which have left me vulnerable to getting stuck in a pretty negative place. I’ve learned this week that Scott and I are going to need to do some serious fund raising if there’s any hope of this record getting done. Fund raising to the tune of $10,000+, which is overwhelming enough to keep me hiding in bed with the covers pulled over my head. Logically I know that I will find a way to see this record through and I’ll find people who really want to help me, but because of my state of mind going into this week, I really took the entire event as a personal blow from the universe to me.
How vain of me to even think that, really. That the universe specifically wants me to have love and passion for something but then at the same time seems to throw hurdle after hurdle at me. I know that the music business is tough, but it’s hardly a choice I have rather than the one thing that I feel like I’m on the planet to do. It chose me. Many days I wish I could be satisfied being something more attainable, because it seems I break my own heart just as often as I feel fulfilled. But really, there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing because…. well, I don’t actually have a choice.
I spent most of yesterday brainstorming (in between my fits of anger aimed at whatever higher power was obviously out to get me I have a lot of good ideas of ways to go about raising money over the next 6 weeks. I know the next steps I will be taking. I know I am a hard worker, I won’t let this completely flatten my momentum even though that’s how I feel right now. I do have things I can do. This is an “action” moment – a moment where the ball is in my court and I can make a difference when it comes to what comes next. The thing is, is that I’m just too tired. I feel like I generally attempt to see the positive light in most things. I try to be a compassionate person, I try and stay optimistic because I really do believe that it comes back to you, but right now I just feel like a well that has been completely tapped of it’s resources.
In the ultra-running world, I would say that it feels like I just finished climbing a mountain. I spent all day climbing this mountain and I’m at the top only to find another mountain (thanks for the reference, Toby). It feels like the low points of a hundred miler. It feels like I’m at mile 90, I know the things I have to do to finish and I know I CAN do those things, I’m just feeling the fatigue of the miles I’ve already covered and every step forward takes 100% of my concentration and energy.
This morning I managed to get my pouting self out of bed and out to the weekly Coyote trail run. I walked up the Westridge fire road with Jimmy, Adam and Malcolm. Malcolm is Adam’s English Setter, and is what we consider the closest thing we have to a hazing ritual in the Coyotes. Malcolm is by far, the fastest Coyote. We have what we call the “Malcolm Challenge” where one brave soul runs Malcolm all the way up Westridge fire road, and even more challenging, all the way down on the single track. Once, we even strapped cameras to the runner and the dog to document the journey.
The four of us hiked along as I shared some personal details of my current disposition on my life and career. When we had hiked and talked our way up the fire road a ways before we crossed over onto the single track where Jimmy handed me Malcolm and told me it was time to run.
Not exactly what I wanted to hear. I still felt like questioning the universe and it was much easier to hike and vent than it was to run Malcolm down the mountain, even if it was only halfway down. I struggled to keep up with him, even though he was still practically walking some of the bits. Nervous about my recently sprained ankle, I had to focus all my energy on not landing funny on my left foot as I was jerked awkwardly down the mountain.
The entire time, I heard the message loud and clear, when I hit a bump in the road, I amazingly DO have what I need to move forward. Ultra marathons are a series of highs and lows. The key is figuring out how to quickly rebound from the lows (paraphrase – Jimmy this morning). This is why I run. I’m not an impressive athlete by any means. I just happen to be able to run for a long time, and I’m attracted to that because I feel understood by trail running in a way that I feel understood by music. I’m definitely at a low point, but that means that this is the part before it gets better.
I just got back from a trip to Baton Rouge, where I performed as part of a new concert series that features singer/songwriters in a more intimate and engaging environment. This is an amazing and new thing. I am not new to being a musician, nor am I new to Baton Rouge. I was born in Baton Rouge and have been playing live gigs there since I was in high school. At the time, I had to get creative about finding places to play. I played small restaurants, the occasional coffee shop, and even a sorority function. Unlike the other cities I’ve played, Baton Rouge has never really embraced singer/songwriters as a form of entertainment worth spreading.
2 years ago I booked a show at Chelsea’s, which is primarily a rock venue in Baton Rouge. I love Chelsea’s. I’ve been there to rock out to some great music, enjoy the rowdy atmosphere of a primarily college crowd, visit and mingle while music filled the air and broke the ice, and everyone dances and drinks well into the night. I was incredibly intimidated by that image when I booked my show there 2 years ago, because I was not going to be playing with a band. With a band, I can pretty easily be filed into the “Pop/Rock” category, but alone, I am a singer/songwriter. I am a singer/songwriter that leans more towards Ben Folds than I do Norah Jones, but the bottom line was that I wasn’t going to have bass, drums, and guitars filling the air around my voice and creating an environment that Chelsea’s is accustomed to.
I invited my friends Peter Simon and Luke Ash to play with me that night. They are both singer/songwriters as well. I thought it would be fun to introduce Baton Rouge to a songwriter style of show. We were going to commit to our folkiness and try and get everyone else on board too. I remember both Peter and Luke seeming a little apprehensive, probably for the same reasons I was. We didn’t want to be up on stage struggling to keep the attention of our audience. However, something amazing happened that night. When we gave that crowd something to listen to, they stopped and they listened.
Before the end of the first song, we had a crowd of people sitting indian style on the floor of a rock club! The three of us took turns sharing songs and stories with our audience. We even played on each others songs, impromptu harmonies and instrument parts naturally weaving entrances into unrehearsed material. Local musical talent Ben Herrington even joined us (unplanned) on stage, with his trombone and accordion. What was so natural for us, the language of music, seemed like a magic trick for our audience. No one talked during the show. People just watched, listened, enjoyed. It was one of my favorite shows I have ever done.
225 Magazine writer Jeff Roedel called me a couple of months ago and asked if I’d like to perform at a new venue in Baton Rouge that features songwriters. The venue was The Haven Gallery/Listening Room and the concert series was named American Thrift. I jumped at the opportunity, and was excited to hear that there was an effort being put into venues featuring Baton Rouge songwriters! So this past week, I flew to Baton Rouge for the show. I asked Peter Simon to play a set, and also asked Ben Herrington to play on some of my songs. We put on a great show. We filled the room, and finally, it was a room made just for us. It was just for stories and songs with an audience whose expectations were to feel something.
Peter and I were visiting during the preparation of our show, and he mentioned how our Chelsea’s show was somewhat of the birth of the singer/songwriter circle starting in Baton Rouge. I don’t know if you can point to a single event as the beginning of anything, but it is a wonderful feeling to think that I might have played a role in expanding the art scene in the city of my birth.
I’m so happy, Baton Rouge. Thanks for giving me a place to play, and filling it with new fans. I had a wonderful time playing the American Thrif show at the Haven Gallery/Listening Room and I honestly can’t wait to make my return.
My sister and her husband own and operate Sharp End Publishing, a small publishing company out of Boulder, CO that primarily focuses on outdoor guide books. They publish rock climbing guide books that are very beautifully put together, lovely pictures, accurate discriptions of trail heads, parking situations, the difficulty of climbs, if it’s beginner friendly, among many other details their readers want to know. They also produce the Women of Climbing Calendar, which is a kick-ass compilation of incredible women climbers, beautiful and exotic locations, and excellent photography. Their products are amazing and absolutely worth your time if you’re an outdoor enthusiast. They are a small business and every sale matters. My sister does a lot of the calling around to local and some national shops, pitching their books and calendar and recently she and I chatted about a strategy I could incorporate into my booking technique.
She says that she works best when she gets a workout in first thing in the morning, and then even though she works from home, she takes the time to do her hair and makeup, and only then does she pick up the phone to start calling shops. She suggested that I do the same, call the venues I want to book and ask if I can send them a press kit or an e-mail with a link to an online press kit.
Easier. Said. Than. Done. I have the upmost respect for her and other people who have the ability to cold call. This was the hardest part about my job when I worked for PreSonus. I really hated calling people that weren’t expecting me. I have somewhat of an anxiety that causes me to expect that everyone I call is going to hate me until I give them a reason not to, and it’s terribly disabling. I know that my music and my ideas are worth selling. I put on a great show. I’m regularly well received by my audiences, but some booker out in Tempe doesn’t know that… yet.
When booking a new venue, I will reach out to 10 venues, hear back from 6, 4 will be interested, and 1 might have an available date for me during the time I want. Those are tough odds, but that’s just the way it is and I can be okay with that. The other 3 that were interested will be on my “play next time I’m in town” list and the other 6 will be on my “I’m probably not going to stop calling you when I’m coming through town unless you go out of business” list.
The hard part is not letting myself translate those odds (1 in 10) into my worth as a musical act, which is exactly where I am tonight. It’s the end of a booking week. 4 shows booked, many many more to go. But if I look at it this way – that if I keep up at this pace, in 2 more weeks I’ll have 12 shows lined up that I didn’t have before – it sort of makes the statistics look a little brighter
So, beautiful sister, if you’re reading this:
If your selling experience is anything like my booking experience, at the end of a long day of cold calling shops and things are not going well, statistically, the next day should go better <3
I got laid off from my job last Tuesday. A brief history of my job: I got offered this job right as I was coming out of Berklee. It was a music recording equipment manufacturing company that I have a very close relationship to and the director of marketing asked me to join his team. I’m not really into marketing, but I’m into every vein of music I can explore and figured that the job would be a great way to meet people in the business, learn more about the engineering side of recording, build my resume, and make some money. I was furiously unhappy, but I worked very hard and was very good at what I did.
I won’t go into detail about getting laid off except to say that it’s never fun to lose a job, money, health insurance, etc., with less than 2 weeks notice and it having nothing to do with how you performed your duties. Lame Sauce.
But man, I didn’t realize how unhappy I was and that my job was the source of this unhappiness. When my boss called me last week to “let me go” I was furious and upset and emotional, but even before our phone conversation ended, I was feeling this giant wave of relief come over me. Max took me to the beach immediately after I hung up, and I just felt free. I felt free to fuck up, and free to be broke, and free to explore other forums of music and money making. I had been working remotely and because of this, even though I cut down my hours to 30 a week to have more time to pursue music, I was spending every waking hour thinking about my job, wondering if I had forgotten to take care of anything, trying to predict which angle my boss was going to fall towards next so I could be ready. I haven’t had a moment to breath for a long time.
Back in March my good friend from Berklee, Lucas Carpenter, came to Baton Rouge and we did a show together. He is an incredibly talented songwriter who would make it on his business skills alone, but the fact that he’s disgustingly talented as well only increases the likelyhood that you too will know his name some day.
Lucas sang this song at our show called “Dreamers Working 9 to 5″ and it was as though someone put a coat hanger into my heart. It made me realize how far away I was from what I actually wanted to be doing.
So, now I”m jobless. I have very little money and a lot of expenses and things are about to get very tight. I’ve never felt better either. I’ve made more progress in planning and exploring new ways to make money doing music in the last week then I’ve had time to do in the last 2 months. For money’s sake, if I can just get 2 or 3 gigs playing piano around town or teaching a few lessons each week, I’ll be making more than I was and be much happier than doing marketing. Ugh. Barf.
Plans for the weekend- Katelyn Got Laid-Off party at the beach which will also include a nice long run down the water. More to come with marathon training. Ahem. I haven’t had a long run for a couple weeks, but I did join a gym and started taking group classes. I’m feeling stronger and more fit than ever.
Viva Las UNEMPLOYMENT!
ps- please send money or food stamps.
Welcome to my new blog.
I had multiple reasons for creating this blog. The most simple being I need to write and I’d like to keep the people I’m far away from tuned in on what is going on in my life.
However, I needed a new and creative way to keep myself motivated in my two most dominating life passions: music and running. This should serve as an interesting way to keep track of writing, training, racing, performing, injuries, accomplishments, goals, etc. I have a tendency to become obsessed with learning about the things that I love and this knowledge always translates to motivation. Having a place to journal about these things will not only keep a detailed scrapbook record, but the content should be valuable or at least relatable to other people with the same interests.