Steven Archer Rants #6: You’ve Got To Reach Down and Pick the Crowd Up

A call to arms for artists…and everyone else

We are at war…

Hopefully not with each other yet but with a virus. Our medical professionals, remaining retail outlets, national guard, truckers are all on the front lines.

The rest of us.

We are their support structure.

What does that mean for us the artists?

We do our jobs.

We work in the entertainment industry. Show biz.
We are all in the USO now (or wherever you are, insert country as appropriate.)

After Katrina one of the first and most important things rebuilt was the Superdome. For which the city got a ton of flack. But during times like this, identity and moral matter.

Because we, artists, this thing we do?

While generally from a societal standpoint it’s important, but from a “surviving the apocalypse” (this isn’t but it’s a good dry rub) what we make are luxury items. In the wasteland, the main use for my art will be making walls for your shack.

We are at the bottom of the pyramid of need as far as real world horror goes from a practical stand point.

We are krill. We are ubiquitous.

But krill drive the entire food chain.

Not as individuals but as a group.

*Before someone gets needlessly pedantic this metaphors only works so far, unlike krill we hopefully won’t end up being eaten.

Many of us are setting up methods for streaming which is awesome.

But a GLUT of this will be coming down the pipe. You think there’s competition now with bands in the same genre? Just wait until everyone with a guitar or a laptop starts consuming bandwidth to try to make a buck.

But I digress.

The point I’m trying to make is this. We, krill, down here at the bottom keep doing what we have to do, because it’s what we are built to do. We have to send that energy (not in a woo woo spiritual sense, but it’s a convenient word) up.

To quote a magnificent bastard “you’ve got to reach down and pick the crowd up.”

Well… the crowd is now the entire world.

We need to do what we can to keep people stuck at home At home. So that they don’t go out, pick up the disease and bring it home to others. So that EMTS, nurses, doctors, truckers etc all have music to get lost in. Stories to read when they are home.

All of us will need escapism more than ever before.

And that’s our job.

All of us.

And as the Internet clogs with “competition,” try to remember that those people need money just as much as you do. And more to the point, we are all working towards the goal of keeping the wheels moving.

You need to say humble, artists.

You aren’t owed an audience.

You can’t sit back and put music out, expect someone else to promote it, and then go out on tour expecting an audience to be waiting for you.

Those days are on hold.

You’re going to have to work your ass off if you want to make money doing the thing. You’re going to have to sing for your supper.

I’m not saying sell out. Because there’s an audience for whatever brand of single note drone death metal folk trap you write. But you’re going to have to bust ass to find em, and once you do, you’re going to have to bust ass to keep em around.

Use this time. Because if you can create things that matter to others in the darkest times, they will remember what got them through. And when shit gets rolling again that audience will still be there.

It’s not a zero sum game. Look around, help your fellow artists out. Give what you can to the world in whatever way makes sense. Teach. Get online and bullshit and talk to people. Do whatever you can do.

Or don’t.

That’s cool too.

Because that makes just a bit more room for those of us who bleed for the things we create. For those of us who have spent our lives learning to do what we do.

And for you non artists, the “we’re all in this together,” thing applies to you also. Do what you can to help feed us krill.

And if you see someone giving an artist shit because the are “begging for money,” shut them down. Because without the krill the entire food chain withers.

Stay strong.

You guys got this.

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