Are you a musician? Is your group having issues? Ask Fan Landers! Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist, and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her -- confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.
Since I was a kid, I've suffered from bipolar type I, and while aspects of the disorder function as a boon to my musical output, social anxiety is holding me back a ton. I love performing, and I feel completely comfortable onstage, but the idea of "meeting people" and "networking" is terrifying to me and it's something I'm going to need to overcome to move farther forward.
I'm a hip-hop artist in San Francisco and it's impossible to get shows around town because nobody knows who I am. Most people I know consider me to be 'successful' to a degree--I have a substantial following online, tons of local press, connections to other artists, and actual fans that tell me they like what I do. The problem is that I can only seem to accomplish this sort of thing in the 'digital' world--my 'real life' attempts at networking are generally awkward and awful.
I love live music and I go to lots of shows, but schmoozing is completely foreign and uncomfortable to me. I know that there's really no way around the whole "who you know" element of music-makin', but I feel like there must be a valid way for the less socially gifted among us to make the connections required to be 'valid' in your local scene.More »