For the last few months I have been streaming on a platform called Sessions Live. In fact, Sessions recruited me for their program. After doing a bit of research, it seemed like an awesome opportunity. Besides being paid to go live, there was a supportive tipping option, I'd have a personal coach, and the most thrilling aspect of the whole thing was that I would be connected with an international audience!
My first stream sported viewers from Egypt, Greece, the Philippines, as well as fellow Americans. I made a little money and had a lot of fun! However, over the course of a few months, Sessions made platform-development coachings less available, changed the price of the tipping currency to reward artists less, and changed their reward system for progress made. It was really disappointing. I had referred friends to Sessions and felt embarrassed to see it change. But the truth of the matter is that it could have been cool. It was cool. And then it wasn't.
I'm going to try switching platforms, admittedly, to the platform I was encouraged to settle on nearly a year ago. I'm just stubborn sometimes. This Saturday 3/6/21 from 5-7pm CST I'm going to go live on only Twitch. If you're already on Twitch, I'd love it if you gave me a follow or a subscribe there.
Some days I am totally streamed out. Between streaming, teaching, and attending Zoom meetings to socialize or discuss collaborative projects, I get a lot of screen time. I'm staring at a screen right now, and after that I'll probably work on my (second!) book before I go teach for 4 hours and play a few hours of virtual DnD. Someone recommend a good blue light filter!
At the beginning of the pandemic, I was so anxious to stream. I didn't like looking at myself in the camera (I did, and still do have a lot of weird nervous ticks). I didn't like being unable to hear audience feedback. It's counterintuitive to everything I've done behind a piano in the glorious 23 going on 24 years I've been playing. I am proud of myself for forging ahead nonetheless and using streaming as a way to stay connected with friends and family, many of whom haven't been able to see me play in years, if ever. I'll probably continue virtual shows even once I'm able to go back to bar work.
For those of you who've been watching my shows throughout the past year, I am so grateful for your time, and in many cases, your donations as well. This has been a difficult period for artists, and I know a lot of artists who've changed tremendously because of it, whether it's creatively, in personality, or even in terms of long-term goals and priorities. I feel like a whole new person. I'm more introverted. I get nervous about phone calls and Facetime meetings. I spend most of my free time writing (books and songs) and reading, and I've found I sort of like this lifestyle better. I'm living with myself one day at a time, letting her surprise me, being open to rerouting on this wild white water rafting journey of the mind and soul.
The same ol' Cassandra you tolerated thus far will still make an appearance for streaming: Songwriter Sunday at 2pm CST (Restream/All Major Platforms), on Wednesday with John from 7-:830pm CST, and now Saturdays from 5-7 CST on Twitch only! It's worth a try. I hope to see you all there.
Until tomorrow, stay safe, stay well, and stay kind.