My name is Vanessa Peters and I'm a singer/songwriter from Texas. I played a show in St Louis yesterday; today's an off-day and I'm visiting family before heading to Chicago for a show tomorrow.
I never planned to be a musician. I studied creative writing and literature, and expected to become a teacher or a writer. Yet somehow in the last 13 years, I've released 10 albums and have played 1200+ shows in the US and abroad without the help of management or a record label (but backed by amazing fans).
In part, the decision to play music professionally was born not only out of my love for writing and performing songs, but also out of my love for travel and my desire to see new places and meet new people (oddly, or maybe not, it was all started via a study abroad program 16 years ago - thank you Santa Chiara). It's been an incredible way to make friends and do things I never expected I'd do. To finance tours, studio time, and record production, I've worked a *very* random assortment of jobs over the years (not to mention played hundreds of shows and driven hundreds of thousands of miles). I've learned to be patient and flexible. Thanks to my supportive fans, I'm grateful to say that I've been able to finance each album through pre-orders (long before such a thing as Kickstarter existed) and I've never been in debt in order to keep it going. My profit has been life experience, and the opportunity to continue making albums.
If you'd like a free digital download of my latest record, or just want to chat about music or books, send me an email.
I always thought that my Listserve email would be about all the amazing and difficult changes in the music industry over the last decade. I have *loads* to say on that topic. But shortly after I received the "you've won!" email, something else happened that gave me pause and reminded me of how grateful I am to just be alive and here with people I love.
As I mentioned above, I'm in St Louis visiting family. On the first afternoon we were here, I was taking a nap when I heard sirens just outside. The siren stopped, and I started to fall back asleep. But then another one came, and another. I heard footsteps from the living room as everyone headed outside, so I finally got up to see what was going on.
The next door neighbor had suffered a massive heart attack. He called the paramedics himself, but they weren't able to save him. He was a respected actor in local theater, and his name was Barry. He was only 50 years old. An hour before, he was just mowing his lawn like millions of other guys on a sunny Saturday on Memorial Day weekend. He had just begun to clean out his basement when he had chest pains.
My sister lives in a small, quiet cul de sac, where most of the neighbors know each other at least by sight, and yet many of them only met each other in person for the first time that afternoon, standing on the street outside Barry's house while the paramedics worked inside. It was a sobering reminder of how brief all of this is, and how easy it is to forget to reach out to those around us. The obituary in the local paper closed with a friend of his saying, “But he was so loved. I hope he knew that. I just wish I had one more chance to tell him.”
Tell your dear ones that they are loved. Don't wait.
Dallas, TX or the road