I started this month with some work on the books. A one-off awards show. It was a wonderful feeling to be back at it, while at the same time trying to remind myself that I haven’t forgotten how to re-string a guitar. However, it was short-lived. The crew was cut back due to Covid restrictions and I was back in my sweat pants before I could say load in.
It got me to thinking about how we attach ourselves to our jobs. I started walking taller knowing I was working again, I had a purpose once more. Seeing other people’s posts about feeling a loss of purpose during this lockdown, I’ve been thinking how potentially unhealthy it is that we have such an attachment to our jobs. We are not wholly our jobs. Yes, we may have dedicated years to trying to get the job in the first place, but it does not define us. Just because we have pivoted to driving a delivery van or working in a coffee shop, it doesn’t make us a different person, or at least it shouldn’t. We should focus on our qualities and what we bring to the world that way. Can you deliver a package in the same way you would tend to an artist? Do you take pride in being on time every single day for your shift just like you would need to for a bus call?
You can still be super passionate about your career, but it doesn’t need to be all-consuming. Do you take breaks between tours? Are you able to maintain relationships off the road? As much as we want to believe that people are looking out for us, our artist cares about us, at the end of the day it’s a business. They will no doubt do whatever is best for their business, so you should also think of yourself as a business. Nurture yourself, put yourself first.
What is your identity outside of work? I have been taking this forced time off to start learning to surf. I have always wanted to learn, I have put myself in the best location (Southern California baby!) and now there are no excuses for not having the time. In fact, I am becoming quite knowledgeable on how the waves are during all the seasons (or should I say the one season we have here!).
The one commodity you can never replace is time. Enjoy being handed some time off, or at least having time to do something different.
Claire Murphy has worked for bands such as Vance Joy, Tegan & Sara, Elle King, Lord Huron, Babes in Toyland, The Raveonettes, ABC, Go West, Tony Hadley, Therapy? and many many others, playing in venues from bars to arenas, and 80,000 capacity stadiums. She has toured in splitter vans around Europe, flown in for shows in Russia, South America, Australia and Japan, and toured in buses around the USA and Canada. She has Tour Managed in the UK, Europe and the USA and is currently guitar teching her way around the world.
She has worked with bands at festivals such as Coachella, Lollapalooza, ACL, SXSW and Glastonbury, and played iconic venues such as the Sydney Opera House, Red Rocks and Wembley Stadium. She has owned a successful van rental company in the UK and continues to provide storage for the music industry. She mentors women trying to break into the live music industry and when not on tour, she can be found at the beach or drinking coffee in Southern California.