The Standing ‘O’ Project has shut down.
….The Standing ‘O’ Project has shut down..
I’ve spent the better part of the past month in an anxiety spiral, not knowing its fate and, now that I know, I am flooded with a mix of emotions — fear, sadness, disappointment, wistfulness, hopefulness, guilt, relief and gratitude. My life as I know it is crumbling around me, but I think it’ll be ok.
I know this might seem like a dramatic reaction to losing a job, but it wasn’t just a job for me. It was a cause. It was a community. It was something I rallied around and for. It was something that gave me a place, that held part of my soul. Standing ‘O’ has been a defining part of my identity for almost six years…longer than most identities I’ve had—longer than any romantic relationship, than college, than grad school, and longer than I’ve been a musician or a storyteller. It is outlasted only by my family, a few defining friendships, and my dog. Even though I wasn’t owner, it’s a small company and one that I had a substantial impact on and that had a substantial impact on me. It wasn’t just work, it was my world. A world that will now exist in fractured pieces: in the small festivals and conferences I’ll go to and late night conversations on life and love in a hotel hallway or motel parking lot, the familiar faces I’ll occasionally cross at a listening room or bar, the snippets of songs I’ll catch on passing radio waves….but it won’t ever be the whole living, breathing thing it once was.
I am so sad that it has to end this way, but I am so grateful for what this community that has brought to me. Not only did this community bring me music, make me into a musician and a true music lover, it brought me origins and deaths and hundreds of lives lived and loved and the blood, sweat, piss, and tears all into one place…..into these songs and the artists who sacrificed their defenses to release them wild into the world, into the people who loved them fiercely and made them even more through their love, their stories. And for it, I love them all, creator and fan, madly.
I don’t know what I’ll do now. I have an idea. A sapling. I don’t know if it’ll stand on its little hairy leg as a piece on stage, or let the words loll off of its fat leafy tongue and into the air as songs, or stretch it’s spindly vine fingers round over my computer keys to tap out a story. Maybe all of those and maybe more. Hopefully all and more. I know as a certainty that I hope I’ll be lucky enough to run into a few more of you down the road.
And, since I can’t quite answer the question yet of what I’ll be doing now, I’ll, alternatively, pose this question instead…..
What can you do now?
If you’re a fan, there are some artists that depended on those few dollars each month to make rent, pay their electric bill, buy gas to get to their next gig….and so on and so forth.
This New Year, I urge you to resolve to buy albums from your favorite artists, go to their concerts, tell them the impact they’ve had on you and show them that what they’re doing is meaningful by supporting them. If you stream, buy a T-shirt. If you can host a house concert, do that. If you can get your friends interested, do that. Artists are still struggling. Your favorite artists are still struggling.
If you’re an artist, keep going. It is worth it and it makes a difference for people. People like me.
For all of you, remember our little project. Remember what it stood for. Remember why we were created it. Keep on listening to Art of the Song, to their music and stories, and be sure to subscribe to their mailing list and support them on patreon if you have a couple dollars to spare each month.
If you’d like to keep in contact with me, I invite all of you to follow and subscribe to my personal blog and you can email me any time at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or come on out to one of my shows. Or invite me to one of your shows. Or tell me about a great show I should see. I’d love to be there.
To John and Viv, to the Art of the Song and Standing ‘O’ community, you’ve meant that whole big damn world to me and I’m so grateful. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
With a whole lot of love and admiration,