I’m sitting here this morning pondering the Palladium. Long story short, my first class of the new semester at Saint Petersburg College starts today with my Live Sound Reinforcement Tech. It’ll be at SPC’s Palladium location. Hopefully the title is self-explanatory, but if not, suffice it to say that it’s the study of doing live sound properly (something most artists can relate to).
I find myself filled with a bewildering combination of excitement and outright dread. lol. I don’t think that’s how you’re supposed to head into a new semester, but there it is. Including this new one, I’m within two semesters of finishing and getting my degree. That’s terrifying, because I keep worrying that I’m just another delusional old fart. When I graduate I’ll be 53 years old, looking to make a living in an industry which is tailored to the young, and that thought leaves me with a primal kind of dread. What if this was all for nothing?
I know. Not the best attitude to have going into new classes. But it’s a reality that one can’t just ignore. If I’ve learned anything while I’ve been at SPC, it’s that I’m not nearly as clever, talented, or interesting as I thought I was. That doesn’t leave a lot of room for promise, does it? While I’ve been friendly with my classmates, there’s a generational divide which I just don’t think we’ll ever cross. Most of the kids seem like they’re afraid “the old” will rub off on them, so it seems like they generally avoid talking to me. Some classes are better than others, of course. But mostly because some of my other classes have had at least a couple of older people in them that I could relate to. Also, some of my professors have approached me with sort of a sympathetic kindness which strikes me as “bless his heart”. If you’re Southern or know Southerners, you’ll know what that means.
All in all, I’m soldiering through. Hopefully by the time I’m done in late May of next year, I will have figured some things out. Hopefully something will present itself that will keep me from returning to work for the sheriff’s office (a resounding defeat). I suppose the biggest problem I have in regard to being hopeful is experience. I’m an odd musician with High Functioning Asperger’s who is not good at all at networking, ass-kissing, or even socializing. I’m old. I’m fat. I’m odd. I live in a time in which people don’t pay for music, much less odd music with threads of weird orchestration and instrumentation. And I’m supposed to figure out a way sell that? On the opposite side, there are jobs behind the scenes, running sound, engineering, etc. But who’s going to hire a 53-year-old intern? All those entry level jobs are geared toward the young.
We’ll see. I’m open to opportunities and suggestions. But I suspect I’m going to have to continue to forge my own path, as I’ve done for the last 35 years or so. While I’m enjoying my time at SPC in the MIRA program, I can’t lose sight of the fact that this is one way-point along the way, and it will not define me. As I’m gearing up to record definite versions of songs like “Asria’s Revenge” and “The Fall of Anduan”, I’m aware that those songs are older than most of the people I’m in classes with, and the important thing is to get the work done while I still can. I’ve wasted enough time already.
In the end it will all come down to time-management and how willing I am to put in a lot of very hard work. But the more I think of it, the less I can see myself working even a music related job for someone else. So… what does that leave us?