Chris Kemp White

It's Never the Right Time

Wait, wait for the right time

You’ve been waiting all your life

The right time never comes

 

These opening words to a song I wrote earlier this year, “It’s Never the Right Time,” illustrate a theme in a lot of lives, including my own. What are we waiting for; the right job, the right relationship, the right opportunity? There is truthfully nothing stopping us from grabbing hold of our lives . . . except fear.

 

Fear can be an obstacle and a motivator. After years of playing with bands and collaborating with fellow artists, I realized that I was frightened to stand on stage and just be Chris. I hid behind the band, feeling the safety in numbers. While I learned a lot from being a supporting musician, or even sharing equal roles, I quietly criticized the choices of my band mates, thinking, “I would do it differently.”   Honestly, I was scared. Scared to put myself out there, to be ridiculed, or worse: deemed mediocre.

 

So how has fear motivated me? Last year, I faced, for the first time since I was 13, an extended period without a band to play with, and I was starved to create. I resolved to make the leap, take the risk, of putting myself out there and briskly recorded and released Chris Kemp White, a 4-song E.P.  There. I did it. It’s done.  Now I wait.

 

Not done at all, actually–now I am confronting a greater fear . . . fear of self-promotion.  Ben Gibbard sings in Death Cab for Cutie’s “Ghosts of Beverly Drive,” “I want to sell but not me bought,” voicing the age-old artist’s fear of selling out. Is there any art that shames the artist more than music? The days of record company executives signing hot new acts are over. Today’s musicians must promote, i.e., sell not just their music, but also themselves and their stories. So that’s what I’m doing.

I got tired of waiting, so I stopped waiting. Now I’m doing.  Ask yourself, “What am I waiting for?” “What is stopping me from doing it right now?” Is it fear? If so, ask yourself, “What do I have to lose?”

 

Comments

Thank you for reminding us how important it is to live life to the fullest!
I am very, very proud of you, Dear. Thank you for sharing. And the new album is great.
Said so well. Creating is the easy part. Promoting is an endless battle with that terrible voice in our head.
 

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