In this business you get used to rejection. No, let me correct that: you don't get "used to" it, you learn to expect it. It's a lot of knocking on doors to no answer. It's a lot of reaching out to no reply. And by a lot, I mean a lot. Daily emails that go completely ignored. Daily requests for gigs that don't even receive a "no, not at this time" type of response. This is a job that requires thick skin and a tolerance for rejection; both in response and because of no response. For every successful booking there are dozens of ignored or rejected inquiries. There are leads that you know you're perfect for the gig but somewhere on the other end your efforts go unnoticed or simply don't find the target. So why keep banging my head against the wall? I honestly don't have a fitting answer for that. It's just part of the game and, honestly, it sucks. It's so very taxing to the spirit that one must be crazy to continue to pursue this rabbit down the hole. Once in a while, the reward comes through, the gig is booked, the connection is made and it's a beauty. A relationship with someone who now champions your work begins to take shape. Therein is the fuel for keeping the engine running down the track. Lately, I must admit, it's been a tough grind. Sometimes you're just lit up and it shines on to the other party. Sometimes it's difficult to strike a spark; like trying to light a match in the rain. With a bit of luck, you get fire. Most often, you get a wet match.
It's part of the job. It's where the mettle is tested. Tolerance to being ignored entirely is the most difficult part for me, personally. Having been at this for a long time, I suppose I am "used to it"; as much as one can ever be. We artists have learned to tell ourselves it's all part of the job. That said, there are days that run on and on with this process and, as a result, the shine wears very thin.
Sure, you learn things about the business, as it is in any business, by stumbling and failing. As an independent artist we are to become entrepreneurs, and not exactly by choice. Out of necessity we are tasked with a multitude of daily commitments that require us to dust ourselves off repeatedly. Progress is dirty work. Progress is not always "progress" as it would seem on the surface. Unfortunately, as with anything, it's very difficult to see when you are in the thick of the fight.
Today I am tired. I am tired of the rejection, the silence. I'd rather hear "no" than nothing at all. Odd, in a business that is filled edge to edge with the craft of making sound - a fine, detailed sound that works in no small part because of carefully placed bits of silence - it's the silence that is so disheartening.