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A New Year, New Possibilities

Okay, okay. I haven't been nearly as good about providing updates as I'd promised I would be. That'll change, starting now. First off, happy New Year to all of you! We're ready to put 2020 in our rearview mirrors, and while we're certainly going to be faced with numerous challenges for the first half of '21, I do believe we'll start seeing some positive changes soon. I think I can speak for all of us gigging musicians when I say that we're essentially on life support. It was expected, of course, as we headed into fall and now winter, when we saw Covid cases rising exponentially and the turn in weather shutting down patios at our venues. Some places are simply too small to safely host any kind of events indoors, and the rest are going to have to compromise their seating arrangements for several more months. There are still some places hosting entertainment, but not nearly as many as before.

I'm feeling very fortunate that Stadz Pizzeria is alive and kicking. We're hosting MIC Night every Monday, and they're doing Friday and Saturday evening shows. People are getting out to these events each and every week. It's a needed break to the monotony that many of us have been facing in our daily lives, and I'm happy to be a part of it. Of course, it didn't help that I managed to get Covid in early November, imposing a four-week break. But, I'm all better, very likely immune (for a while, though the medical experts keep changing their minds on exactly how long the immunity lasts), and ready to get out as much as possible.

But, there's just not all that much to get out to. I was used to working every weekend, some weekdays, averaging 16-20 events per month. Now, outside of MIC Night, I'm playing perhaps two, maybe three shows a month. It's crazy.

The voice overs are still happening, random jobs every now and then. I actually got hired to record a tagline for the new Netflix film, "The Midnight Sky", starring George Clooney and Felicity Jones. I provided a few takes on what was simply the few lines you hear at the end of a trailer...."The Midnight Sky. Starring George Clooney and Felicity Jones.....only on NetFlix". And a few variations of that.

I was thrilled. Excited. Talk about a game-changer for my career, to be able to put that on my resume. Alas, after I was paid, after daily scouring of NetFlix, Youtube, and other sources, my tagline never made it out there. The official trailers had already been produced, but I figured they would be replaced by newer versions with my voice. Big ***SIGH***....apparently, not to be. I never actually communicated with the folks who hired me. It was through a pay-to-play site, so outside of general feedback, there's not a whole lot of chatter. So, I have no idea why it wasn't used. It was a bummer because, obviously, having my voice on something that big would have been great. That aside, I may be stepping into brand new territory, as a public speaker. I've been approached by a couple different author groups who are hosting events and seminars, and I'm hammering out details with each of them. I would be one of, if not the only narrator providing a workshop on the audio book production process, kind of a soup-to-nuts presentation for authors who are interested in getting their work out in a new format, to a whole new audience.

This is pretty exciting, and I'm busy putting everything together. It will be virtual for now, of course, but eventually, if I decide it's something I'm truly interested in, I'll be able to travel around the country a bit.

Ever since I first started playing open MICs over eight years ago, I've been dedicated to trying new things. Sometimes, an idea or project will come out of nowhere, and while it might be easy to dismiss something that's unproven, experience has taught me that there's really very little downside to giving it a shot. This has led to some pretty amazing opportunities musically and now, with voice work.

So, even though things are slower in some areas, they're certainly ramping up in others. This is going to be an exciting year. Thanks for sharing the experiences with me,

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Rick Barr
Rick Barr
Jan 08, 2021

Thanks, Michele!


Michele Dalton
Michele Dalton
Jan 07, 2021

Congratulations on all the exciting new developments! Way to go, Mr. Barr!

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