A dura vida que é viver de música

JD Samson, 1/3 do Le Tigre, frustra-se com seus ideais num artigo para o Huffington Post:

I am so lucky that I have been able to create art and music and fulfill my passions through my job for the past 11 years. But I’m stupid enough to have put all my eggs in one basket. It is now the only thing I can do to make money. I’m 33 years old and I can’t make coffee. I don’t know how to use Excel, or bartend, or wait tables, and I’m officially too old to join the police force. I’ve lost the confidence to go back to school and feel stressed out about impending debt when I think about further education for even one second.

I have several jobs within the music industry as of now: bands, DJing, remixing and even writing music for other artists. I’m a workaholic and have my hands in a bunch of different places. But, all these jobs have unstable incomes. I don’t get a salary; I don’t know how much money I will make next month, next year or five years from now. I don’t have health insurance. And I live with the stress of not knowing, not planning and not understanding whether or not I will ever be able to reach my goals of having a family and feeling safe financially. When I say “safe,” I mean safe. I mean basics. I mean health insurance that is good enough for me to take care of myself, not just if I need a $10,000-dollar, life-threatening procedure. I mean dental care. I mean saving money in a retirement fund so that I can take care of myself when I’m 80 years old. Clearly, there is a difference between survival and luxury.

Like so many teenagers, I believed in the “American Dream,” that I could move to New York from the Midwest and become an artist. I would achieve both fame and success, and I would never have to think about money. The first half was true. I made art and lived activism, and I achieved amazing amounts of success that I feel incredibly proud of. The second half, not so much. I have been able to live well, eat well, invest in my arts and make my own schedule, but I forgot to save money and think about my future.

This summer I tried to rent an apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The process sent me into an emotional crisis and awakened me into a whole new realization of our economy, the music industry at large and, more specifically, what it means to be a queer artist in 2011.

I spent days trolling around Williamsburg, looking at shitty apartments with cockroaches lining the doorways, fighting neighbors, rats in the ceiling, bedbugs infesting the linoleum floors, fifth-floor walk-ups and cat-pee-soaked carpets. The rent was exorbitant, availability was scarce, and I was turned down by two different landlords for being “freelance.” To be honest, I don’t blame them. Not only am I freelance, but I’m lesbian freelance. Double whammy. What was the reason they turned me down? Because it was easier to rent to a rich, trust-fund, straight-guy banker who wants to live in the coolest borough in the world? Because when he met me he saw a tattooed gender outlaw who makes “queer electronic punk music” and isn’t sure when the next check is going to come in? Yeah, I don’t blame him. He doesn’t give a shit about how kids email me all the time thanking me for keeping them from committing suicide. It’s not part of his capitalist business practice.

I surround myself with amazing and talented people, people who have made it in every sense of those words. They buy apartments, invest in their futures successfully, have children, save money. How do they do it? How can I keep up with them?

So I have to ask myself: where did I go wrong? And I can only guess that the answer lies in a combinations of three things: 1) my family is not rich, 2) I am a queer woman, and 3) I am trying so desperately to keep up with my peers that I am living beyond my means.

Continua lá no HuffPo. Se alguém se dispor a traduzir, eu publico aqui.

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  1. Rafael Cormack disse:

    Realmente, é muito difícil viver de música.

    Manda ele vir aqui pro Brasil, mas especificamente pro RJ, e tentar viver fazendo Rock. Aí ele vai ver o que é dureza.

  2. Rafael Cormack disse:

    “To be honest, I don’t blame them. Not only am I freelance, but I’m lesbian freelance”

    Só quando cheguei aqui pecebi que se tratava de uma mulher… Gzuis.

  3. Rodrigo disse:

    Esse mi-mi-mi todo me lembrou de uma pessoa apenas: Vinícius de Moraes. Não sei se o cara morreu rico – e até acredito que não – mas tinha lá o seu “dayjob” e ainda fez arte a vida inteira.

    A grande sacada, a meu ver: equacionar arte, finanças e ainda obter prazer com tudo isso.

  4. ê. disse:

    chora, não é fácil pra ninguém


  1. 13/10/2011

    […] Lia Tripp traduziu o texto da JD Samson (atenção, ela é uma garota) que eu linkei aqui no começo da semana: Tenho tanta sorte de ser capaz de criar arte e música e preencher minhas paixões através do meu […]