John Man is a dazzling young professional musician with an inspirational career. He regularly performs lunch-time recitals in churches and retirement homes, and he is on a first name basis with many of the most important movers and shakers in the industry.
We spoke to Ethel, retired handmaiden and crochet artist, who runs the monthly recital series for the South West Neo-Liberal Post-Anglican Brick Church District. It’s one of the most popular recital series in the area, and she leaves as many as three voicemails a day. “In exchange for the young musician’s time and skills,” she said, “we give them exposure. Lots of exposure.”
John Man could hardly stop salivating when we discussed this with him. “Exposure! Where? My life is meaningful after all!”
We spoke to a more famous musician who was better able to understand the challenges facing young musicians today. “The main problem with a career in music is not getting enough exposure,” said Dorothy Schnump, world-famous jazz timpanist. “At one point during my studies, my exposure level was so low I couldn’t even pay the rent! Luckily I had a friend who conducted his own orchestra for free, so with just a couple dozen rehearsals and a few hundred minutes of daily travel, I was able to get some exposure just in time.”
Man says he is dissatisfied with the way his music education has been going, saying there is too much focus on subjects that have very little relevance to him as a musician. “Every week,” he said, “we have to attend these detailed classes on professional development and the best way to pay our taxes and how to calibrate our investment portfolios, but we never get any classes on exposure. Thank god for hospital concerts and thoroughfare recitals, or all would be lost.”
Ethel is happy to be contributing something to the musical community. “I love being surrounded by young musicians exposing themselves. That’s what I live for.”