It is commonplace in our society to tell our children they can be whatever they want to be when they grow up. “Follow your dreams” is a message that becomes more and more cliche as we grow older, especially as we realize that it’s much easier said than done. For me the “follow your dreams” mantra is just as ironic as it is hackneyed. When we encourage others to do what they love doing, what are we really expecting of them? There seems to be an unspoken tag line to the phrase, which reads something to the effect of: “…as long as you can make good money.” For musicians especially, the marriage between personal and financial success is a difficult one to make.
I’ve always enjoyed photographing my friends performing in their bands, yet I preferred the shots that showed the atmosphere of the club: the reactions of the crowd, the looks they would give each other while they were performing, even candid portraits of them off stage just before or after a set — these said more to me than pictures of them playing their instruments. Being very aware of the obstacles these artists face, I decided to make a documentary about what being a musician actually entails; if it’s just a bunch of people who refuse to let go of childish fantasies and get “real jobs” as many would say or if it’s something much more than that.
We live in a society where monetary gain is the primary qualifier for “success.” With that being said, I am interested in what these musicians’ ideas of success are in terms of their own lives and careers — whether it’s getting signed to a major record label or just being happy that they’re doing what they love. Many wonder what makes people want to pursue a life in music in our current economic state. The goal of this documentary is to answer that question.