My Story Part 2: When Hitting Rock Bottom Feels Good

"When you've hit rock bottom the only way to go is up."

In May of 2013 I earned a Master's Degree in Jazz Studies and my performing career was just beginning. Stints with Aretha Franklin, Korn, Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons and an ever expanding discography as a sideman highlighted a promising start to my career in music . I was happy with my progress and learned a lot about the music industry from those experiences at the national, regional, and local level. Soon after graduating I was proud of achieving my lifelong dream of "making a living performing."

Then came "The Summer of 2015." I embarked on a two week tour of the west coast with a Brazilian band (Mente Clara) and it was a blast. Practically the day after returning my family traveled to Italy for three weeks to celebrate my grandmothers birthday. This was my first time traveling abroad. Both of these events were amazing experiences and I wouldn't have changed anything if asked to do it again, but keep in mind my income depended on playing the saxophone.

The tour paid a fair amount, but that experience was for fun more than income. I ended up spending that money on travel expenses and the Italy trip. I essentially went five weeks without income all the while spending what I had saved months prior. I returned from Italy in August of 2015 with $67 to my name. This was my massive wake up call.

I had never experienced a personal financial crisis before. My childhood and work ethic always kept me afloat until this point. I thought all of my hard work was for nothing after seeing my depleted bank account. My career up to this point led me to believe I was doing everything correctly. I was sorely mistaken.

Baffled by my situation I thought "no musician should ever have to worry like this." I knew there was a way to avoid extreme circumstances regardless of my profession. So I asked myself "what should I do?" 

Then my mother empowered me with something that would change everything.

To be continued...


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