Face the Music & find your place

A couple of months ago I submitted an application seeking a rural scholarship to attend the Face the Music Summit in Melbourne. And as luck should have it - I won it! With only two weeks to make it all happen, it was a mad scramble to get shit sorted in time. As a mother of two young ones, and during 4th school term, it’s not possible to just duck-away for a couple days during the week.

inspiration while I wait
inspiration while I wait

So I called in favours from my girls, sorted drop-offs, pickups and meals and got myself a ‘train ticket’ (the train doesn’t come all the way to Horsham any more - can’t really get my head around that, but whatever) so I could kick back on my trip to and from my latest city adventure.

As luck should have it (this happens a bit in my stories…) my cousin and her family live just down from the 2017 summit venue and she was more than accommodating in letting me rest my rump for the duration. It was just like old times, she on the top bunk, me in my plaits, plenty of talk and oodles of mischief. Good times, hey Al :)

So I was up in the wee hours without kids to fuss over and got myself to the event with time to spare. I made my way to the first and most important event on my list, on time only to find that it wasn’t the correct location. Not even close. Turned out there were two venues with very similar names and I had to run my ass back to where I started in the stinking heat of the morning and still couldn’t find the blasted place. Some young man approached me, both of us wearing our branded lanyards, and asked if I was a presenter… Oh great start… ‘Yes I’m older but I’m still an ‘emerging’ artists just like you…’ so together we eventually found the place and the summit began.

check out bands, have a chat & a drink
check out bands, have a chat & a drink

I flitted around from venue to venue, hearing all about new ways of doing things. I’m still ‘old school’, the kind that buys albums on CD. Downloads and streaming are becoming more frequent to me but admittedly I didn’t grasp it all in one go. I was loving the information all the same and was so desperate and grateful to learn!

I caught up with an artist I’d seen perform a few years prior and we continued to run into each other a bit during the summit. It was so lovely to run into someone I knew, have the chance to converse and share and meet her friends. An unexpected blessing.

After the first long day was done I reflected on all that had gone on and I thought ‘what the hell am I doing here? I don’t belong on this path - these are all kids 10-20yrs my junior’. It was an overwhelming disappointment. But I got up and did it again the next day, getting the chance to have some one-on-one speed meetings and it all became a bit more relevant.

grounding myself between meetings
grounding myself between meetings

Nearing the end of the day and of the summit, I couldn’t find one of the talks I intended on going to and landed in a screening of a freshly completed doco #hersoundherstory (hersoundherstory.com). It was on the equality of women in the music industry, which repelled me to begin with. I don’t support the burning of bras - I love men and don’t spend my time focussing on things I don’t enjoy. So I expected this to be an angry film of women having a bitch about things not being fair. And there was a bit of that.

But the film delved deeper and was actually a really touching story of sister-ship and supporting each other - which I’m all about. There were several sniffles in the audience and I was impressed with the number of (young) men in attendance. But most importantly for me it was the first time in the whole summit that I also felt represented. There were older women there, mothers that were also successful artists, and I felt completely empowered. Although I didn’t have it figured out yet, I felt like I DID have a right, and a place in this industry and that those that have gone before me could be examples of support and success. I didn’t feel so isolated.

Finally the things I had felt were my weaknesses, could possibly even be what sets me apart…

So the summit was a huge success for me. I’m so very grateful to the Push Inc, Face the Music and Creative Victoria for the opportunity to get myself amongst it and I look forward to going again to refresh my memory of what it is I need to do next ;)