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9 min 23 sec. That's an endurance test. "Freebird" is about that long and over half of it is instrumental, giving either one of the Van Zandt brothers a break.

You have a good, steady voice, great tone. I could see you doing rock, balladic folk, even something along the lines of Michael Buble or Rob Thomas. That is, you have the basic skills, which is good. You have a unique sound, which is equally important. All that is left is you. How bad do you want it?

I am reminded of two things I learned from my exposure to the military and the words of a bud/S instructor. (bud/S is the actual name of the SEAL training program and this instructor was a master chief petty officer.)

There are two things that make a SEAL. First the physical ability to handle the stress. You have to perform under adverse conditions because that is what the job requires. Secondly, the guy that passes the bud/S program is not necessarily from a background of athletics or heavy exercise. It is the guy who wants it more than anything.

The same is said for a career in music, especially one that is hugely successful. Such people commit to it without a "safety net."

Others have their own level of success, which is what you must define for yourself. Friend and local Texas legend Ray Wylie Hubbard is happy playing around Texas, occasionally travelling elsewhere. But mostly, he plays at places he can drive to in one day and carries his own cd's with him to sell at his performances. Same with Bugs Henderson (a friend of mine was his neighbor when he lived in Irving, Texas.) He has defined his sound and knows his market. As does Jeff Strahan, another one we see often at local clubs, etc. They may not be as huge as Michael Jackson was but they are their own bosses and are beholden to no record companies.

These days, having a college degree does not guarantee a job. Even a degree in a hard science field, such as engineering. I know of a few people with master's degrees that have low paying labor jobs because that is all that can be had, right now.

I think you could do it. All you need to do is realize the same thing.

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That's just it. We can sometimes fear success. Or, approach success and determine if that is the success we want. At one time, I considered being a police officer. I passed the first few tests just fine. Personal History Statement. No wants, no warrants, no convictions. Physical agility test was a breeze. Then, I realized, I could actually do this but did I really want to? That's a job you really have to love. Same to be said of a number of occupations, especially the commitment required to be an entertainer.

Now, you can still work and pursue your dreams. The singer for the Georgia Satellites was mowing lawns by day and singing in clubs at night ("I got a little change in my pocket going jing-a-ling-a-ling ....")

David Byrne was an insurance underwriter when he formed the Talking Heads.

Actor Harrison Ford was a self-taught carpenter. He built a studio for Sergio Mendez. Then, he got on the crew building sets for "Star Wars." He got asked to read the part for Han Solo, which had not been cast, yet, and he was not the first pick. He was just reading the lines so that the auditions for Luke and Leia could roll on smoothly. Eventually, they realized, he was the guy for that role.

David Lee Roth was a scrub nurse and attending junior college (studying dance) part time when he met Eddie Van Halen. Eddie was teaching guitar lessons.

Paul Stanley of KISS was driving a cab as the band tried to get off the ground and played in local clubs.

So, just because you have a regular job or need one to pay bills doesn't have to stop you from achieving whatever success you can attain. So, I don't mean that you need to quit your job or live out of your car, like Jewel.

But do set a goal and work for it. You will find your way.

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