MUSIC NOTES: Thoughts From Angie Stevens on Retiring from Music
Angie posted this on Facebook on 8/07/18: “I THOUGHT YOU RETIRED!?!?” I did. I retired from giving my life to the music industry.
I retired from keeping myself up every night worrying about whether everyone in my band (past and present) is/was happy with the money, the tours, the schedule, the songs, the music, the “morale.” My biggest worry for them – was whether I was facilitating enough opportunities that they all deserved to “make it.”
I retired from spending 24 hours a day planning my shows so that every. single. one of you felt what I was feeling at the exact moment I wrote my songs and then, feeling devastated if even one of you didn’t.
I retired from the patriarch of trusted advisors that tried to cross lines (and failed- fortunately for me, sometimes less fortunate for my career) only to be left with broken promises spattered on floor and hushed whispers of what people thought I was doing in the background.
I retired from being a “brand”, being “marketable” and feeling completely abashed by getting curvier, growing older, being more introverted yet truly happy, and having many different styles of songs that were hard to squeeze into a tiny marketable little box .
I retired from being so invested in venues and “draw” that I would over-plan (lanyard anyone?!? WE NEED TO BE PROFESSIONAL), lose sleep, get physically ill, spend hours perfecting my show to the point of exhaustion while begging friends to come out even in blizzard conditions – only to be forgotten like yesterday’s news when draw had dropped or I got tired and needed a break.
I guess I really retired from the ever incessant worry of letting you ALL down.
And I know without a doubt that I created this. All of it. It was no ones fault but my own. I cared faaaar too much about a whole lot out of my control. And I am only sharing this because as my friend Ryan Chrys said- it’s all apart of the journey… even the ugly.
So.. . I’m gonna play when I want to play, with who I want to play with, where I want to play and go back to my truth. The tribe of musicians I get to surround myself with are happy to play, don’t give a rip about the money and just want what I want – the connection.
I also have THE best fans in the world – who have not only grown up with me but have held many of my tears in their hands.
I finally remember the reason I love playing.
It’s for the music and most importantly – the connection to the song. It’s for the life changing experiences at the Children’s Hospital with incredible souls like Emma Hutchinson, Bobby, my songwriting classes with the Eating Disorder Unit. For Team 25, Carrie Kilbourne, all of my students (I love you all with all that I am) both musical and life coaching. I do it because when I say it’s “amazing” with a shit-eating grin on my face, I actually believe it – like a brand spanking new child to this life. I AM that loving. I AM that much light and I DO want to spread so much joy the world becomes a better place.
My older, messier, quirkier, happier self is bound for her own glory.
And to the ones who have passed on with my brother in the sky, I finally see the signs you’ve been sending me all along.
I am here to tell my story.
To ALL of you who have supported me along the way-
Thank you for never giving up on me.