PROGRESS, PAUSES, and PLANS

PROGRESS, PAUSES, and PLANS

Here we are… it’s been almost exactly 6 months since we started recording Foster and the Flight’s EP, Rings on Trees:

and, most importantly, we’re still having a TON of fun.  In fact, it gets better every rehearsal, every show, every day.

Here’s a look back at some of the mental obstacles I encountered in the past 6 months: my doubts and my discoveries:

  • ASKING OTHER MUSICIANS TO PLAY MY MUSIC… “what if they hate it? what if they hate me? what if they don’t have time? ”  On the contrary, most musicians I’ve spent time with LOVE collaborating.  At the very least it expands your experience, at the most you grow as a player, you make connections, you make more money, and you have a ton of fun.
  • Building a band… “they’re already committed to another band! Can I be a solo artist AND have a band? Will they have fun? Will they have time?” Certainlyany musician I would want in my band would be a busy, overcommitted, excited human being.  Everyone in the Flight is pursuing other bands, other passions all the time, and scheduling can be difficult.  However, playing with these incredible musicians has not only been super fun, and sounded awesome, it has changed and improved my music (including the way I play it alone).  As the Flight rehearses and performs more it gets more fun, they offer more ideas, and we gel better musically.  Worth every minute, even for a solo artist.
  • Asking for help… I am absolutely incapable of doing all this stuff alone.  Being self-employed in any industry means you wear a lot of hats, and my skills do not extend from music, to publicity, to managing, to directing, to media.  I can certainly dabble, and take on the brunt work, but ALL of the success I have had I owe to the talented and generous friends who donated their skills and time.  Here are some of the contributors!
    • Larry Hart Larry Hart Larry, owner of Riff's Acoustic Music, became the first 'official' person to give me a testimonial: "Lauren Foster is a wonderful singer/songwriter who I love to play at our venue. Her songs and stage presence showcase her natural charm and soulful energy. Lauren is an accomplished acoustic player and can go from fast rhythm progressions, to catchy riffs, to emotional fingerstyle with ease, and has the vocals to match. She can cover many songs, but she shines the brightest voicing her own lyrics. Her approach to performing can be playful or serious and will always be highly professional."
    • David Stearns David Stearns David hosts my website and taught me how to build my own material into the site
    • Oscar Ortiz and Tim Braun Oscar Ortiz and Tim Braun Oscar and Tim volunteered their time, cameras, and skills to make a really nice, two angle video during a performance in Park City, Utah.
    • Claire Jencks Claire Jencks Claire combined her artistic talent with her skills in graphic design to make a poster for Foster &the Flight.
    • Annabelle Merg Annabelle Merg Anna volunteered her phenomenal photography skills at our first show to get some great shots of Foster and the Flight's first show!

  • Setting up shows… “what if they think I’m dumb for even asking? what if they need a certain number of people to come and not enough show up? is it worth it to pay for a space? is it worth it if no one i know can come?”  If they don’t want you to play, that’s ok!  Asking never hurt, and the good connections I made were worth a million ignored emails.  It’s someone’s job to sort through booking requests and find what’s best for the venue.  There is everything to gain, and nothing to lose, from reaching out to other musicians and venues!
  • That show went badly… “yikes, not enough people showed up, I sounded terrible, my drummer and I were off, I told people we would start at 730 and we didn’t until 830, they’ll never come back!  Was it worth it?  Yes, it is ALWAYS worth it!  Even the worst shows make the best rehearsals… 100% focused on the moment.  At first I was so worried a show might not go perfectly.  And playing often this stress would build up and make the next show even scarier.  Then one day I drove for over an hour to do a show in a place where none of my friends would be able to come.  The band couldn’t make it, I was bummed.  I got there and 3… only 3 people were there to watch.  By the end 15 people were watching but that is a tiny number.  Long story short, it was a blast.  Some part of me let go of all that stress and only focused on the fact that I love playing, talking to people, and performing. It turned into one of the best shows I’ve ever played.

So that’s just a few of the obstacles I feel like I’ve moved past. There are, of course, new obstacles every day, but step-by-step I’m learning how to do this music thing as a career and finding that I still totally LOVE it!

This summer I am putting all the progress on ‘pause’ briefly while I return to a soul-enriching, Rocky Mountain summer camp I’ve worked at for years in the past.  Like my friends and band members, I have other passions and maybe someday I’ll learn to balance them all, for now, I’m headed to the woods.  My goal is to perform 3 shows this summer anyway, one is already scheduled in August.  I will also get to rise to a new musical challenge as I help direct choir on Sundays for hundreds of people and lead songs each night at our campfire!
In the fall I’m heading to the big city… no, not New York, the big Colorado city.  Denver is a wonderful place to pursue a music career, and there are more opportunities.  If I’m going all in, it better be in the best possible place to pursue a ‘Colorado Folk’ lifestyle!  Can’t wait to get to know the city that’s been on my doorstep since childhood, but still remains a mystery to me!