Friday, July 8, 2011

Disappointment and Failure

I had something happen today that made me remember that feeling that I get every time I feel like I've failed. You know, that awful feeling in your gut when you know you just blew the audition...or the interview...or that first doesn't have to be confined to music and drumming.

That worthless feeling.

Nothin' worse in my book. Not only did you not get the gig, or promotion, or you get to deal with the overwhelming feeling that you're not worth the dirt you walk on everyday. That's tough to deal with...tough to deal with, but a valid emotion. I think to often we skip over it..."Just get over it", "You'll live to fight another day"...or cue any other cliche piece of crap that people will tell you just to get you out of the dumps. Fact of the your own eyes, you're a failure. And that sucks.

So what do you do? Well, I recommend relishing in the misery for at least a few minutes. Seriously. Let yourself fully embrace that feeling. Remembering what it feels like is what will push you to better places in the future.

I'm a big believer in you like to refer to it as. I really do believe there is a "bigger" picture that we can't see. As hard as it is to swallow at the time...that position, or gig, or job...wasn't meant for you. If you would have been given the opportunity, you would have screwed it up...or at least not let the project live to its fullest. I've seen this play out time and time again in my life. So now I just accept it.

That doesn't make dealing with the disappointment of rejection any easier. That whole process sucks.

I will tell you that you'll wake up tomorrow and it'll look a little better. I'll also tell you that you're not near as horrible as you're making yourself out to be at that moment. And you should try again...and again...and again. Because that's the only thing that will separate you from the rest of the losers in the world. You only lose when you quit completely. Up until that point...that place where you's game on. I've never seen a team officially lose a game that's still being played.


Matt said...

It's funny that you would write this after your last blog about my experience playing in front 120k people.

I say this because about four months before I tried out for Chris's band (which was about 2-3 months before his AI audition), I auditioned for a band that I really liked and thought I'd be an excellent addition to their line up. The auditioned went FANTASTIC and we all got along really well. They told me, however, they really liked me personally and enjoyed my playing, but a drummer they knew for many years had just become available and it just made more sense (to them) to pick him up. I was devastated. I did everything I was supposed to do and still "failed." Or that's how I felt anyway. But my search for another project continued, which I'm 100% wouldn't have if I joined w them.

A few months later I ended up joining TWO original projects; one of which gave me an opportunity to not only play some of the best music venues in Chicago, but sent me to Florida and NYC for some amazing gigs (not to mention experiences). The second, well, you know what happened.

Stephen said...

It's funny how you look back at what happened and see how it all makes sense for EVERYONE involved. Maybe the music wouldn't have been the same it you'd have been involved, maybe it would have ruined your family life, who knows...would Aerosmith have ever been the epic musical giant they are if Steven Tyler had insisted on playing the drums for the band (as he had done in all of his previous bands) instead of fronting it? H - E - double hockey sticks no!!! Joey Kramer helped shape the sound of Aerosmith...they would be a different band with someone else in that position.

I for one am glad you got up, dusted off your jeans, and kept looking for another project. That's what I'm talkin' about!

-Stephen T.

Tiki Horea said...

Stephen , you're an amazing guy.
You're both inspiring and...there's something else about you. Something I can't quite put my finger on...:-? but it's something positive :)

Tiki Horea said...

Regarding 'failure'...
I dreamt about studying at Berklee for 4 or 5 years before I actually got to audition. And I was rejected. No real reason(not in my mind, anyway), as I (illegally) recorded the audition(and it was me at my best at that point) AND I really impressed the interviewer.
A few days after getting back home, I started having weird dreams of what would happen if I went to Berklee...
A few days following this series of dreams, I got the rejection e-mail. I wasn't really surprised because of the dreams I had and the decision I made: it was either my life and getting to study at Berklee for a short period of time OR studying someplace else and...well, developing the way I should. I picked the latter.

I'm a christian and I deeply believe that asking God to do what He thinks is best for me paid off.

On another note, I was deeply hurt when I had to leave my first 'serious' band. I left right after recording the last drumtrack for the debut album. It was almost like when I broke up with my first love. Looking back, if I hadn't left the band, my playing would've hit a plateau. I wouldn't have had the opportunity to play with some amazing musicians and better myself as a person, musician and drummer.

Why, this is one of THE longest comments I've ever written.

Tiki Horea said...

Uuu, uu, uu!

A year ago I had an audition with one of the most amazing guitar players in the country.
During the week leading up to that, I started a band for a contest in a local pub(the prize consisted in being the house band). We rehearsed daily for 6-7 hours. On Thursday, I had a philosophy exam at school, rehearsals with this band AND a 6 hours rehearsal with another one...needless to say, I was exhausted when the contest day came(it was on a Saturday). I actually blacked out TWICE that day. Ouch.
Anyway, we lost the contest to a pretty boys cover band. That was an interesting feeling...musicality and musicianship losing to looks and hormones.

Back to my audition...I got 2-3 days worth of rest before the audition, but my body was still really really tired. When the guitarist started playing, I instantly got into fan boy mode and that pretty much ruined it for me :))
He tested my playing in jazz, funk, hip-hop, rock, metal and pop. I got a 6 out of 9, but he needed at least 9 out of 9 :>. I'm grateful to have auditioned for this guy...I knew what to improve on based on what HIS needs were and well...he was right. I became a more rounded player.

Hmmm....should I contact him again for a second audition? I know he still hasn't found a drummer...

Stephen said...

@Tiki... Thanks so much...I'll take that as a compliment, lol!

I was actually going to go to Berklee myself...but I just couldn't see spending that much for an education when I could learn from other killer teachers and drummers for a fraction of the cost. I also had the opportunity to have a shot a grad assistanceship at North Texas...but at that point I was done with school and ready to move on. Here's the bottom can get just as good an education anywhere in the world as long as you're committed to working hard, using your imagination, and pushing yourself.

As far as if you should re-contact the guy...ABSO-FRICKIN-LUTELY!!! I always take that as a sign that the drum chair is mine and I just need to show them one more time what I can do (lol, I also always think the glass is half full)...go for it. The worst he can say is "no thanks"...or he could say "You know, I think so...let's try it again." I've had players that I've given second chances before and they turned out to be FANTASTIC on the gig...their nerves had just gotten the best of them. Go for it man...and let me know how it turns out!

-Stephen T.

Tiki Horea said...

Thanks for replying in such a timely manner.
I'll call him sometimes next week...woohoo, I'm nervous. More nervous than I was about the Berklee audition, for some reason :))

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