It has come upon me with a bit of a shock. Yes it arrives at the same time every year… but still. How did it arrive so quickly? I had so much I wanted to do.
It is of course the time of year to stop and take stock and for me the most important part of my life to reflect upon is my career.
Three years ago I was probably in the lowest professional slump I had ever been in. I had just finished performing with Giffords Circus, which was amazing, six months of hard and rewarding work, all over the Cotswolds, then back to London where the market is particularly saturated with singers. I found myself getting no work. I was doing auditions that amounted to nothing, even singing in front of people who saw me in the circus, for a similar job, didn’t get me any work. So I did what any performer does when faced with no jobs in the future, I sat in a corner and cried. And then I did what any performer should do in that situation - I created my own work.
I remember walking into a local church (and I think this isn’t uncommon, I remember this with a sort of numb haze - because I was so depressed at the time) and I asked them how much it would cost to hire the church for a Christmas concert I wanted to put on. What followed was my first ever Celtic Christmas concert. To say that doing this event saved me is probably a bit of an understatement. It confirmed the thing I had been told a hundred times but never realised was true until it happened to me - work generates work. After doing the concert, I managed to get various jobs throughout the following year and since then there has always been *something* in the diary. To be busy like that saves my mind, it really does.
Celtic Christmas saved me that year, so it is very special to me. Since then it has a different line up and this year (its third outing) I feel that it is moving ever closer to the musical experience I know it can be.
My question is this - what do I do now? I want to make Celtic Christmas bigger. This year I got us into three new venues, two of which were outside of London, also this year I brought in two fab folk musicians who are themselves making waves on the folk circuit. I would love to record it properly as an album, but how do I finance that? I know there are start up campaigns, but I want to see if there are other avenues first. I want help in creating a bigger and better tour. Celtic Christmas (I think) would do very well in other parts of the country (Cotswolds, Yorkshire, Scotland) but I don’t know those areas, so how can I get there? I feel I have hit the glass ceiling of small endeavours and I am tapping away hoping that it will break.
I suppose this short essay is me just putting it out there - with the things I want to do, can anyone help?