I get asked this. The doctor who asked me, then said, “Well, what do you really do?” when I said I was an oboist. He just knew I couldn’t possibly by making an income from playing. Tee hee … we get to play … ha ha … he doesn’t. (Or maybe he loves his job so much it’s like playing?)

Anyway, what DO I do? And do I make a living? I’m married, and my husband makes the higher salary these days. But I think I could make it on my own between ALL my jobs: performing, teaching at two universities (only private lessons … I’m not professor or Dr. or anything), and private studio. But I wouldn’t have any health benefits. That’s would be a drag. So maybe I wouldn’t be making a living after all. Maybe I’d have to quit and get a “real job”.

I just read this:

Many decades ago, I heard Conti say, “You are what you do. If you drive a cab five days a week, and play music on the week-end, you are not a musician, you are a cab driver who plays music”.

What you read above is from Loose Poodle in this blog entry. It does make me think. And I can’t say I entirely disagree with Conti. (Aside: He came to San Jose Symphony (RIP) quite some time ago, by the way. I barely remember him, though. He didn’t leave any impression for yours truly. Maybe someday I should write about the folks that DID make a good impression. I won’t write about those who left a bad taste in my mouth. I’m careful that way.)

Anyway, I have to admit I kind of laugh (only in my head, not in their faces) at people who say, “I’m a [fill in a profession]” but don’t practice that profession in any significant way, other than in the privacy of their own home (or privacy of their own brain). Maybe that makes me sound like a snob. Sigh.

But … what the heck am I? I don’t make a full time income as an oboist. I don’t make a full time income as a teacher. So I just don’t know what I am now.


Am I anything? Aside from goofy? And lazy.

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. 🙂


  1. Uhhoh. Time to call the reality police and report someone again who equates making money and amount of time utilized (on a stopwatch) to what you are.

    1) Why do you feel you have to define who you are? Doesn’t that take away from actually enjoying the moments in what you are experiencing and doing?

    2) Aren’t you helping others in what you are doing and experiencing? How many peoples lives have you touched in teaching and performing? Doesn’t that count for anything?

    3) How many valley people would actually like to be in your position instead of their pointless chapter 10 jobs, but can’t break out of their golden handcuffs?

    Look a little deeper here…

    We put too much pressure on people to be measured on their money or position in corporate america, or how much time they spend in what they do.

    It’s quality of life in doing thats important here…

    Gotta go…a few more listens to this piece I’m writing, and then off to the day job this morning.

  2. I didn’t mean for anyone to think they need to cheer me up, but thanks. I love what I do. I’m happy with where I am. I will continue to say I am a musician. (After all, I truly do make my living this way, so it’s actually true.) I wouldn’t give this life up easily. Even with the reed issues. 🙂

    (I do hope you noted my little smile at the end of that post. Sometimes I put those there so people will take me with about a pound of salt.)