Dancing with the Gatekeepers

The Philadelphia Folk Festival folks turned me down for this year.  They also told me that they like what I do, and that I am worthy of being included in their line-up, but they just don't have a place for me this time around. 

At the same time, someone else offered me a different exciting opportunity.  I will be a guest on an Internet TV show about singer/songwriters!  My episode will air in September, and I will give you the date as soon as I have it.

I have been dancing with the gatekeepers a lot lately. Last night, I attended a networking event with a variety of other musicians and local music industry people. It was fun, I learned new things, and I believe that some good seeds were planted. 
 
I am learning to be resilient in the midst of both rejection and validation. This business is filled with folks who have varying musical tastes, needs and priorities, and I am learning that either way, it is usually not personal. 
 
The most important part of all of this is the songs.  My intention is to continue to become a better songwriter, to sing the truth, and to touch you with it. I have been busy mining for new songs.  I will be doing a lot of that this summer. 
 
What are you mining for?
 
(Thank you to the seventy people who came to the Tin Angel to support me and cheer me on during my festival showcase set.  Being turned down does not diminish the magic of that night!  You are so appreciated.)
 

11 comments

  • alisa

    alisa

    I think you captured the essence of what it means to be a creative artist in the midst of trying to get your work out to people via the capricious commercial publicity marketing machines.... All you can do, and all you MUST do, is stay true to yourself and your art and to KEEP WORKING. I admire you beyond words for your brave efforts as a self-promoting artist, but sometimes in my own experience that just feels so much like an impossible oxymoron. I mean, to really market yourself successfully you have to be a master schmoozer, and it seems rare that people who have that ability/temperament are also capable of the kind of sensitive introspection that enables them to touch people deeply and honestly with their art. One thing requires calculated surface manipulation and the other is built on purest, personal sincerity. I don't mean to generalize or stereotype, because of course there are talented artists who are also gifted charismatic workers of the crowd, but, you know... Well, I guess all I'm trying to say is that I've been following along with your adventures these past couple years vicariously, as an emotional fellow artist who is also not a born promoter, and in total awe of what you have accomplished, but I just felt such a surprising rush of relief when I read your words saying you were going to focus on songwriting for awhile. Because that's where it's AT!! That's what you do best! I think you should absolutely give yourself permission to take a break sometimes from banging on the door of promotion and get back to your real thing. That's all. Sorry to ramble. :) What do YOU think?

    I think you captured the essence of what it means to be a creative artist in the midst of trying to get your work out to people via the capricious commercial publicity marketing machines.... All you can do, and all you MUST do, is stay true to yourself and your art and to KEEP WORKING.

    I admire you beyond words for your brave efforts as a self-promoting artist, but sometimes in my own experience that just feels so much like an impossible oxymoron. I mean, to really market yourself successfully you have to be a master schmoozer, and it seems rare that people who have that ability/temperament are also capable of the kind of sensitive introspection that enables them to touch people deeply and honestly with their art. One thing requires calculated surface manipulation and the other is built on purest, personal sincerity. I don't mean to generalize or stereotype, because of course there are talented artists who are also gifted charismatic workers of the crowd, but, you know...

    Well, I guess all I'm trying to say is that I've been following along with your adventures these past couple years vicariously, as an emotional fellow artist who is also not a born promoter, and in total awe of what you have accomplished, but I just felt such a surprising rush of relief when I read your words saying you were going to focus on songwriting for awhile. Because that's where it's AT!! That's what you do best! I think you should absolutely give yourself permission to take a break sometimes from banging on the door of promotion and get back to your real thing. That's all. Sorry to ramble. smile What do YOU think?

  • alisa

    alisa

    Upon further thought.... to promote one's work and oneself successfully requires a strong ego, but to create great work to begin with (if it's art that touches the soul of others) requires a subduction of ego. In my opinion, anyway. I think that may be one reason why it's so hard to reconcile those activities/abilities in one person. Okay, the end!

    Upon further thought.... to promote one's work and oneself successfully requires a strong ego, but to create great work to begin with (if it's art that touches the soul of others) requires a subduction of ego. In my opinion, anyway. I think that may be one reason why it's so hard to reconcile those activities/abilities in one person. Okay, the end!

  • Bryan Abes

    Bryan Abes Kennett square, PA

    Awe:( I feel so bad for you about the Philly folk festival situation. That put a hairline fracture in my heart cuz I know how long and how bad you've been hoping for this. Anyway, congratulations on the internet tv show opportunity. That is awesome! As for what I'm mining for, it would be good if I came up with more melodies to jewish prayers or even wrote a non jewish song from complete scratch. I think that's what I'll mine for this summer. I always wish u the best for the future of your career. -Bryan

    Awefrown I feel so bad for you about the Philly folk festival situation. That put a hairline fracture in my heart cuz I know how long and how bad you've been hoping for this. Anyway, congratulations on the internet tv show opportunity. That is awesome! As for what I'm mining for, it would be good if I came up with more melodies to jewish prayers or even wrote a non jewish song from complete scratch. I think that's what I'll mine for this summer. I always wish u the best for the future of your career.
    -Bryan

  • Denise Moser

    Denise Moser

    Bryan, thank you for caring, but don't feel bad for me. It is all good. I loved my showcase for the festival folk and good has come of it already. It just wasn't meant to be this year. I look forward to hearing the songs you write. That will be a treat. Thanks!

    Bryan, thank you for caring, but don't feel bad for me. It is all good. I loved my showcase for the festival folk and good has come of it already. It just wasn't meant to be this year. I look forward to hearing the songs you write. That will be a treat. Thanks!

  • Denise Moser

    Denise Moser

    Alisa! Thank you for thinking so deeply about this, and for always being in my corner. It is hard to wear all of the hats in this. I am learning more all the time how to navigate the business part, and it will be good to focus more, once again, on the creative side. I am ready for the next CD to be born. Although I will not use all of them, there are already nine songs on my "possibilities for the next album" list. You are right that the most important thing is to be true to myself and keep working. At the same time, I am making decisions about the next best shows to commit to. I love sharing my songs with people live. Thank you for taking this journey with me. It is deeply appreciated...

    Alisa! Thank you for thinking so deeply about this, and for always being in my corner. It is hard to wear all of the hats in this. I am learning more all the time how to navigate the business part, and it will be good to focus more, once again, on the creative side. I am ready for the next CD to be born. Although I will not use all of them, there are already nine songs on my "possibilities for the next album" list. You are right that the most important thing is to be true to myself and keep working. At the same time, I am making decisions about the next best shows to commit to. I love sharing my songs with people live. Thank you for taking this journey with me. It is deeply appreciated...

  • Debbie

    Debbie Wynnewood

    It is refreshing to know someone who sees the silver lining in the clouds. If the great minds of our world didn't feel the same way, think where we would be right now. It's the ability to pick oneself up and keep moving forward that is the true mark of success.

    It is refreshing to know someone who sees the silver lining in the clouds. If the great minds of our world didn't feel the same way, think where we would be right now. It's the ability to pick oneself up and keep moving forward that is the true mark of success.

  • Denise Moser

    Denise Moser

    Thank you Debbie. I believe that our mindset is our most powerful tool. I fall sometimes, but I do my best to be positive.

    Thank you Debbie. I believe that our mindset is our most powerful tool. I fall sometimes, but I do my best to be positive.

  • harry david

    harry david maine

    :( the folk fest will be one act short of great this year. i was so rooting for you and i do believe you have planted a seed with them. and congrats on the internet tv opportunity. once an event is on the interweb, it spreads like drippy chocolate icing. i will pray for a great performance to come forth on that occasion. and songwriting is like studying for a test, then getting an A. i mean the act of doing the work of writing can come quickly and easily or be a royal pain in th...... well, you know. it can be hard. But... the reward of a finished singable song is awesome, regardless of anything else. and you write so beautifully. ... i think your last text asked about a song, but the message was somewhat indiscernible. also, i too like summer least. i work inside mostly, in the A/C. although up here it's not as necessary. and nights are cool most of the time. i really enjoy fall winter and spring. But we have one nasty season; lasts about 3 weeks ... mud season with the coming of the black fly. OY! it's not fun. bye for now. thanks for inspiring growth and positivity in us all

    frown the folk fest will be one act short of great this year. i was so rooting for you and i do believe you have planted a seed with them. and congrats on the internet tv opportunity. once an event is on the interweb, it spreads like drippy chocolate icing. i will pray for a great performance to come forth on that occasion.
    and songwriting is like studying for a test, then getting an A. i mean the act of doing the work of writing can come quickly and easily or be a royal pain in th...... well, you know. it can be hard. But... the reward of a finished singable song is awesome, regardless of anything else. and you write so beautifully. ... i think your last text asked about a song, but the message was somewhat indiscernible. also, i too like summer least. i work inside mostly, in the A/C. although up here it's not as necessary. and nights are cool most of the time. i really enjoy fall winter and spring. But we have one nasty season; lasts about 3 weeks ... mud season with the coming of the black fly. OY! it's not fun. bye for now. thanks for inspiring growth and positivity in us all

  • Denise Moser

    Denise Moser

    Hey H David! Thanks for the drippy icing wish. Much appreciated... You are right about songwriting. Sometimes it is like digging tunnels, and sometimes it is about showing up and having my catcher's mitt on. I still want to co-write with you!

    Hey H David! Thanks for the drippy icing wish. Much appreciated... You are right about songwriting. Sometimes it is like digging tunnels, and sometimes it is about showing up and having my catcher's mitt on. I still want to co-write with you!

  • Alle

    Alle Houston

    Nice, Denise. Sometime a different door opens for a reason! Trust in your gift and the universe will provide!

    Nice, Denise. Sometime a different door opens for a reason! Trust in your gift and the universe will provide!

  • Denise Moser

    Denise Moser

    Thanks Alle. Other doors are opening for me. That just wasn't my door, at least not now. Thanks for being in my corner. Hugs to you... D

    Thanks Alle. Other doors are opening for me. That just wasn't my door, at least not now. Thanks for being in my corner. Hugs to you... D

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