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Tour Diary: The End Of The Line

(30 August 2012) NEW YORK CITY — It appears I have reached the end of my rope.

Tomorrow I fly to Detroit for the 2012 Detroit Jazz Festival. The festival is sending me there and putting me up in a hotel, just like they did last year. They’re lovely folks.

I check out of the hotel on September 4 … and that’s when the truth of my situation will hit home. I’m not writing this to play on your sympathies. I just want you to all to know what’s going on with me and why the tour, which I’ve been promoting so heavily, can’t continue right now.

I asked for a one-way plane ticket because I had planned to spend another 2-3 months traveling on part two of my “Jazz Or Bust” Tour. But I’m out of money. I can’t afford the bus pass, and I probably couldn’t afford to be on the road even if I had the money for the pass.

So I have to put the tour on hold. Which still leaves the question of what I’ll do. I’ve got a few irons in the fire:

  • I applied for residency at two Zen centers — one in Santa Fe and one in San Francisco. The one in San Francisco is full. I haven’t heard back yet from the one in Santa Fe. I’m in the process of applying for residency at two others. (UPDATE: I’ve heard back from three centers — all are full.)
  • I’ve applied for dozens and dozens and dozens of jobs in the past two years, and I’ve got quite a few applications out right now. In all that time I’ve had two hits — both were on the West Coast, and at the time I didn’t want to move there because my kids are on the East Coast. But I can’t afford to make that choice now. I’ll go anywhere.
  • I signed up for Workaway, a site that pairs volunteers with places that offer volunteer opportunities in exchange for room and board. I’ve got a couple applications for opportunities in the US. There are many opportunities in other countries but I can’t afford to get to another country.

Maybe something will come through while I’m in Detroit. If nothing does, I think my only option will be to come back to NYC and stay in a shelter while I look for a low-wage job. I make $600 a month from The Jazz Session, which just isn’t enough. I had unemployment benefits but those ended. And I don’t have any family who can take me in.

If I come back to New York, I’ll least be able to keep the show going. And who knows, maybe I’ll find a gig.

Again, I’m not writing this to play on your sympathies. But the rest of my life is quite public, so it seemed like this should be too. I do hope to get back to the tour at some point. I’m just not sure when.

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Published in Jazz Or Bust Tour


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