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Typical Day

There’s a big difference between Stephen Frontman who wakes up with two blondes and a redhead in his bed the night after his band’s sold-out concert at Madison Square Garden, Bob Bassist, the studio musician, and “Lizard,” (he had his name legally changed, with accompanying tattoo of a hairy gecko on his chest), who calls himself a musician but spends most of his day washing dishes, putting out place settings, and filling salt shakers at a small downtown diner. You have to decide whether you’re in this purely for the music, or whether you’d also like to pay your bills someday.

Here’s an example of someone who actually wants to have a career in this business:

Michelle (pronounced “Mi-chell”) is a cellist with the Shmoop Symphony Orchestra. She counts herself as exceptionally fortunate, as she has a regular job that pays decently and doesn’t need to hustle for gigs like most of her other musician/singer friends. She wakes up at 11am and takes her time getting up, snuggles with her two cats for a few minutes, and reaches over and grabs the half-open box of cereal that is located beside her bed. Once she’s finally up, showered, and ready to start her day, she does five to ten minutes of hand exercises (has to keep those fingers limber). Then she heads out to run a few errands—deposit a check at the bank, buy stamps, go grocery shopping. (As you may have noticed, Michelle’s free time—unlike most in other professions—comes at the beginning of her day rather than at the end of it. A good proposition for night owls.) She stops by the musical instrument and supply shop by her house on the way back to pick up some new strings.

These should give you that hip new sound you were looking for.

She then fixes herself lunch at 3, followed by an hour of practice on her cello. At 4:30, she jumps in the shower (finally), gets dressed, and drives to the Music Hall, arriving at 6:15. That evening’s concert begins at 7 and ends at 9. After absolutely killing it (although no one else really knows, since there were dozens of other instruments being played simultaneously), she and some of her musician friends drive to a nearby diner for a late dinner. Michelle doesn’t roll back into bed until after 2am, making sure that her box of cereal is in position before she is.

Sheesh...how many Corn Flakes do you need, ladies?

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