15. Boss Fight
I will begin by saying: I know. I didn’t write on Wednesday. I think my expectations for myself to write M, W, F might be a bit much, given the things I have now to work on, which I’ll be talking about tonight. I hope you don’t think I’m a quitter. Comment below if you do, I can take it. Otherwise, I’ll shoot for two a week, one in the early half and one in the latter. And if I feel lonely, I can always come back to you on off nights.
C has made it to the final round of his interview process with the job he really, really wants. I want it too, for sure. He would be moving to Switzerland, and I would be staying behind (as I already mentioned). This is really wonderful news, but we’re still in it for another 3-5 weeks until they fly him over to meet in person. For now, we spent the evening making grilled cheese and tomato soup; and after I write to you I’ll bake a huge batch of brown butter chocolate chip cookies, and we might just watch the 3rd Rocky.
I can hear C listening to “Welcome to the Jungle” on full blast in the far corner of the apartment. Again, I’m not sure how I’ll deal with the separation; it’s coming very soon. Even if (heaven forbid) he doesn’t make it past this last hurdle with this company, he’ll still probably move to Europe at the beginning of June. He might come back for three months at a time while he continues to look for a job, but honestly I’m not sure how that will work.
From a young age, be it a test determining 40% of my grade or a huge songwriting competition, planning through scary things has helped me at least categorize the unknown into bite-sized pieces. Which brings me to my news:
I have a really, really great song that will be pitched to a big artist sometime late next week, if the demo that is being mixed will be ready on Saturday for us to move forward. This could potentially change my life, if about a million things go right. The artist WILL hear it, which is a huge boost considering how most great songs don’t see the light of day. I can’t tell you any more specifics; I will only promise to keep you posted.
If this song gets picked up, a whole lot of doors will instantly open for me. If not, my plan is to focus on nothing but my music from here on out. I will tune any piano that comes my way, of course, but from here on the business that I’m building will be my songwriting business. That means I spend the last two months that C is here with me (and able to pay our rent, let’s just be honest), writing, recording, mixing, and playing again around town.
Tonight I called a restaurant named Valentino’s, not far from where Tartufo used to be. Just before I got my steady gig five nights a week, I inquired about Valentino’s house artist position that would soon be vacant after over 30 years. Kevin, the manager, picked up tonight and said “Hello”.
“Hi Kevin, this is Allie Farris. I called you last year—“
“Allie! I was JUST talking about you with someone today!”
I hadn’t called or contacted him for almost 8 months. This caught me off guard.
“Yes! You were playing at Tartufo, weren’t you? Lots of people have been raving about you!”
Not even kidding, it made my day. They had already filled the position since I had last called and wanted to be loyal to their new artist, which I understood completely. Nevertheless, he invited me in next weekend to meet Terry, their musician, and give her a card. My next, less-promising visit will be made to The Big Bang, the dueling piano bar on downtown Broadway that is notorious for hiring males only, and having “their one girl play in the afternoons or something”, according to the manager I talked to once when I first applied there 6 years ago. Maybe Nashville’s changed…but I doubt it.
I ran a 5k this morning without feeling like I was going to die. My new piano student, Maggie, is an artist in town who plays in a funky band and has vowed to get me back out networking again (at my reluctant acquiescence). She said she’d be my security detail and only take me to the “chill” places starting out. I released three brand new songs this week to very positive reviews, with more to come very soon, perhaps next week with the demo I'm pitching. Life is changing, and fast. Some things are very different; me, namely. I’m older, more careful, more jaded. But I also know that I’m stronger: physically and mentally.
The odder phenomenon is what elements are returning; things I thought were behind me but are now coming back into view. Maybe it’s the righting of the ship, bringing me back to where I belong, which is writing and performing music full time. It reminds me of a video game, just before the final boss battle, that sends you back through the previous stages you fought through leading up to this last, epic moment. C will be returning to Switzerland. I’m once again calling old venues and getting contact numbers, even preparing to visit the dueling piano place I tried to get a job at when I first moved to Nashville. I might even be touring again soon, hopefully. Either way, for just right now, I'm ready to fight. Also, cookies are ready.