Before you say anything... Yes, I have, in fact, completely, one hundred percent, definitely, probably and with absolute certainty LOST MY DAMN MIND.
We should probably start at the beginning.
Hi, I'm Kat. I play the fiddle or the violin (depending on the occasion) for a living and I love it. It's literally my heart and soul. Eat, sleep, breath, wanna-do-it-every-day-for-the-rest-of-my-life kind of love. Good thing it's my career, right?
Yup, absolutely. Definitely. For sure.
I mean, as long as the whole WORLD isn't experiencing a deadly pandemic that effectively cripples the economy and causes the entire arts and music industry to shut down entirely in order to prevent the spread of the virus thereby causing a mass cancellation of concerts, venues, all manner of shows, tours and church services which effectively ends your career overnight....right? (Y'all, I know that was a mouthful. I am not pretending that I don't need about four days worth of sleep at this point. Building an empire in a pandemic ain't for the faint of heart! Hang in there with me!)
If you know me at all, then you know (or you're just getting to know me, here's the first tid-bit): I am a self-admitted workaholic. I know, technically, that's not anything to be proud of, but when you're a single girl who just bought her first home, with a dog and cat to support and expensive, regular instrument upkeep all on a musician's income...Well, you might just be one, too! This girl's got goals, after all!
So, you can imagine how the pandemic's appearance really didn't fit into my plans for supporting myself...
As I typed this, though, I stopped to count the days since my last performance. When exactly was the last time I was on stage? I had to consult my calendar to be reminded that it was near the end of March standing in for a friend with his band and, at the time, I didn't know it was going to be the last one for....well, this long.
As gigs canceled one after the other and the lost income began to reach astronomical levels during what is usually the most lucrative time for an Irish musician, I still held out hope that we would be back in business before too long. We'd socially distance, quarantine, follow CDC guidelines to flatten the curve and be back to work before summer started...right? Woof...
Truthfully, the uncertainty of it all, was, in its own way, been an unexpected gift. I suddenly had time to catch up on projects, clean out the closets and binge all the shows everyone is obsessed with that I never get to watch! I mean, if my FB feed is any indicator, I wasn't alone in my organizational endeavors!
As the time passed, though, it became really clear that the sense of normalcy that I was waiting to get back to wasn't going to be happening any time soon and I started to realize I was losing touch with any sense of self that I had previously maintained through my crazy performance schedule to the drone of endless (albeit necessary) monotony.
I certainly didn't think I would be sitting here counting the number of days since my last show through an ache in my chest that I can feel down to my toes. I don't think any of us could have prepared for or predicted how this pandemic would fundamentally challenge how we live our lives
108, by the way. One hundred and eight days.
That number feels massive and small while simultaneously being insignificant compared to the devastating number of lives lost worldwide.
Still, in my small corner of the world, I've struggled with the reality of so many days having gone by and so many days of uncertainty ahead. It seems entirely impossible that it has been that long and yet, to countries who were dealing with the virus long before it came to the US, it truly is a comparatively short period of time!
And, look, I am hyper aware of all the other craptastic things going on in the world. If you follow me on social media at all, you probably already know where I stand on any number of issues. From the murder of George Floyd and world wide protests against police brutality to actual Murder Hornets and the racist we have to call the president sharing white supremacy videos on Twitter while systematically trying to disenfranchise and dismantle protections for the LGBTQ+ community we are definitely living in, what feels like, a giant snowball hurtling down a never ending Mount Everest at 200 miles per hour.
And if that wasn't enough of an clue, I think it only fair and right to let you know exactly where I stand before we get much further: Black Lives Matter and I have and I will continue to stand up and fight against the systemic racism in this country that keeps disproportionately killing black men and women (especially trans women) and actively oppresses people of color. Will I always get it right? Probably not. But I am going to keep trying and learning because that is my moral responsibility as a citizen and ally.
I know, this entry is going to be pretty controversial as an inaugural post and it probably isn't why you came here. To be honest, I didn't have a clue how much of a statement I wanted to make, but I do know that I do not and will not tip-toe around these issues. Not every post is going to be political or serious, by any means, lots of them are going to be fun and definitely include stories about Rusty farting himself awake at 3am, but I think it only fair to speak plainly about the topics I am willing to broach right off the bat.
So, if that's not for you, I get it. We can still be friends! In fact, I hope you'll stick around just to see what happens when I go to the Jurassic Park Drive-Through next week. Yep. It's a thing. It's happening and I am PUMPED.
Regardless, the truth is important to me. Who I am and where I stand is integral to my success and to creating the community I hope to foster through this blog and the newsletter that also made its debut today.
So, where is this all leading? Well, folks. I am proud to say that after one hundred and eight days of weirdness, trying to find my footing, failing multiple attempts, and subsequently losing my damn mind in the process; I finally created all of THIS *gestures around wildly at the interwebs things* And, because I believe I am actually insane, I decided to launch it all at the same time in the same week!
Honestly, I am glad it is done, but I 10/10 do NOT recommend if you want to remember where you put the house keys that you're carrying around in your hand and freak out for thirty minutes trying to find them. Yeah, that happened.
The merch store is live at katandthefiddle.threadless.com with all kinds of pun-tastic stuff that I hope you will enjoy with more things planned and, with your help, some fun new ideas that I hope you'll vote on and let me know what you think!
The newsletter is launched as of today at 1:30pmCST and the new website is up and running beautifully--thank GOODNESS. Y'all, when I say I need four days of sleep, there is not an iota of insincerity in my body. I am currently typing this at 6:36am and have yet to be asleep since yesterday morning.
There will, of course, be updates as we go, but y'all, I am PUMPED for the future of it all and especially this blog and the topics we are going to explore together. I've got you covered on stage makeup for musicians, showmanship as a weapon against nerves, anxiety, new merch ideas, polls for tune names for the new tunebook coming this fall and fun games to win merch discount codes!
Truly, there is so much more, but I think I've droned on enough for today. You get the point! It's going to be a blast.
If you made it all the way to the end of this entry, you have my sincerest of thanks for hanging with me as I get this puppy up and running! I can't wait to see the places we will go!
Until the next one (and after those four days of sleep!)
Love and light, y'all.