unwoman (unwoman) wrote,
unwoman
unwoman

Trip recap & 2010 earnings pie chart

I had a fabulous time in Seattle this weekend. The trip was a perfect chaotic ending to a glorious year. Every band I play with has a different chemistry and is fantastically fun. Abney Park is absolutely no exception, and they pull in a crowd that's really receptive to what I do, too, so it was huge that I got to open the show with a solo set (which Laela the Violist joined on as well).

Here's a video of "Letters" which I'd played with them before. I also played on 3 other songs with them (4 if you include Auld Lang Syne), which was pretty thrilling for me. Despite the unfamiliar rental cello I was really proud how my playing turned out (it's hard to hear on the videos.)



My outfit was pretty amazing if I do say so myself, and once a few more photos are posted I hope to talk a little about it. I had had way too much booze at Thursday's rehearsal and had a refreshingly sober NYE experience.

Saturday daytime went with Nathan, Alyssa, Mark, Beth and Dana and Jay (and Libby met us later) to Mishu the capitol hill boutique, then the Underground Seattle Tour which was informative, cold and darkly hilarious and kinda long. Then was another show, put on by Classical Revolution, at the Rendezvous/Jewelbox. It was low-key but lovely. Overall, a terrific trip.


--

I'm kind of a nerd, and since I felt like sitting on the couch for a while after my flight back to SF yesterday, I decided to finish up my earnings spreadsheets for 2010. (After each gig I record in a google doc spreadsheet how much I made in fees, tips, or music sales, and periodically also collect my bandcamp earnings.)

I wanted to see if I hit my projection from the beginning of the year -- that I'd make 2x as much on music as I had in 2009. There's no way I could have predicted this, and the individual sectors would have been different if I'd lined it up (I assumed I would make more money touring with other bands -- that never happened, and I couldn't have anticipated the AFP bump or just how important Bandcamp and Kickstarter would be) but I totally nailed it -- I made 108% more on music in 2010 than 2009.

The pie:
2010EarningsPieChart

For some weird reason I feel like including the real number is TMI, but it works out to much less than I made with my dayjob. However, although it's not enough to afford rent in San Francisco, and my expenses were higher this year too, I'm really pleased that it grew as much as I'd hoped. A significant financial difference this year than I'd expected, too, was that I was way better at living cheaply than I'd predicted and my savings did not run out as soon as I'd feared.

I am fortunate among independent musicians in a few ways. 1) My skills are versatile, and I have a lot to offer other musicians while also 2) writing and producing my own music which means a small, steady stream of passive income as my older releases continue to sell while I'm off traveling and such. And 3) I can move back in with my parents who live in the East Bay and live comfortably and still come into SF a few times a week for rehearsals and social visits. Also 4) I am scrappy and resourceful and LOVE playing music for people under almost any circumstances.

I am doing just that (#3), moving out of SF in less than 3 weeks. If I had been much more successful (by a factor of 2 at least) I wouldn't have to; if I'd been much less successful I'd be heading back to corporate work with my tail sadly between my legs. Or heading off a cliff. I am not unhappy about this move, in fact I'm really looking forward to the pressure being off so I don't have to consider selling myself in ways I don't really want to.

Assuming I make near the same amount this year (I am not projecting an increase in income, but I suspect my music expenses will be less) I won't have to dip into my savings any further and I may be able to save up enough for a new laptop which I need badly if I want to make my live shows even better-sounding (though of course, with an even higher chance of electronics failure, probably.)
Tags: money, show recaps, video
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  • Final UK tour recap

    The second half was much better than the first. I would say I'm glad I went, but I still believe it was a huge mistake. If that makes sense. It was,…

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