What is it that drive folk like me? We spend years of our lives huddled over a something or another, silently lipping the incantations of existence beyond us that we can, somehow, tap in to. Spend thousands of dollars conjuring new mediums to ring out our newly honed sounds. All of this, we disassemble, lug into our car/truck/suv, drive across town, unload, reassemble then perform on for hours. Grab a little bit of cash. Then disassemble, lug BACK into our car, drive BACK across town, then lug back OUT of our vehicle, then reassemble one last time. The gig is complete.
The only way to truly enjoy that lifestyle is to accept what it is. What it's not. This is NOT Hollywood. This is local legend stuff. If you're good and don't burn any bridges... and if you put on a show worth remembering... and if you and the owner of whatever venue you just played hit it off, you'll be back, and with a good rep.
Being a local legend can be fun. So is getting paid.
Everyone that hit it big was, at one point in time, a local legend. They persisted and broke the barrier. I love that I can book a gig without an audition, the ol' rep does enough for me that it makes the bookings a little softer. However, while the returns on the local legend route are more consistent, they are lesser. The road to Hollywood has much more hardship. Venues that don't pay well, if at all, ticket sales and bad days. There is a big tradeoff. The sets are usually shorter (1hr compared to playing for 4hrs) and the audience more diverse. Folks might be more inclined to listen to original music and like it, versus those who only want the hits.
You have to be crazy to enjoy the life of a gigging musician.
That's why I love it.