No, I don’t have the virus. At least not that I know of. But today I got the disappointing news that a house concert that was scheduled for October has been cancelled because of the new wave of Covid blasting through the country.
It was definitely the right call, and not unexpected. Really, the presenters and I have been in touch, and we waited to cancel until now because, well, one never knows. Things change seemingly overnight, and we wanted to see how things looked as we got closer.
It looks bad.
So it’s cancelled, and it’s ok. But it’s bringing back some of the feelings I had in March and April of 2020 when the gig calendar slowly and steadily emptied over the course of about two weeks.
At the time, the fear was real. Self-employed gig workers, an extremely large chunk of the US economy, we’re not able to file for unemployment, and there was no way to work in the arts. That changed, thankfully, although that change was recently rescinded.
(Funny that gig workers like myself, real entrepreneurs in the truest sense, can’t receive that kind of government help when it’s needed, but that’s another story.)
Very few musicians had really figured out how to stream online with any sort of quality. That also changed, and working for tips online became a main source of income for many artists - from musicians to comedians, from authors to dancers.
Emily and I started from zero, but ended up with a decent streaming studio by the end of that first summer. Em actually taught piano via Zoom, creating a bigger studio than she had before Covid. I played two shows weekly for tips, and started what has become a fairly solid Patreon account.
We made due, thanks to the kindness of friends and strangers who find value in what we do.
But seeing this show cancel, a full 20 months after the start of the pandemic, is a reminder that we have to keep fighting. I’ll be online streaming this winter, on Facebook for sure and Twitch maybe. Em will continue teaching, at least partially on line. I’ll keep posting every new song on Patreon, and work to increase the number of patrons.
We will do the best we can.
Next fall, with any luck, we can safely hold an indoor house concert. If not, then the fight will continue.
Stay healthy, everyone!