Posted by dp on December 28, 2001 at 22:41:57:
In Reply to: Opportunities to play? posted by Jason on December 28, 2001 at 03:01:44:
I have two friends whose perspective I'll try to share (neither would object I am sure but I shall still allow them relative anonymity.) These guys as players are/were (by every definition) "pro-caliber" players. Interestingly, they both have or had a "number" in mind as they looked to a formal career playing. Whether or not they could (as Joe alluded to "eek out" a living, the fact is that a formal career in these guys'es minds was a gig with an orchestra as a full-time player. One got a good job with a good regional orchestra and went on to "eeking out" supplements to the regional income and is a fine successful player and businessman. The other quit playing altogether when he turned thirty-years-old (thats "the number.") It seems traditional wisdom that if you haven't done it by thirty it won't happen. I doubt that that is universally true, but in a forum like this one (just as in life) there are no universal truths. I know people (perhaps you're one, Jason) who have more raw talent in their cuticle than I could ever hope to compensate for by serious hard-core rigorous practice and study. And (sadly) most of these people I know bag it and go on to something else, why I don't know...but the fact remains that as a player you have to decide what is important for you as a player, but that decision is in a world context where so many of the determining variables (time, opportunity, luck, etc) are completely out of one's control---sort of like life. It's been said that there are more jobs in the U.S. Senate than there are for full-time tubists in the United States, and that the politics are easier! Whatever you decide, allow yourself enough flexibility to be comfortable with your decisions-including being open to changing your decision...and with hard work and luck (and mostly God's good favour) in life and your chosen profession you may become the next Arnold Jacobs...and with the proper attitude and ethic you WON'T become the next Huey Long of tubadom.