I am one of the 12.5 million or so unemployed persons living in the United States. I will quickly add that my unemployment situation has little-to-nothing to do with the recession. I am unemployed because I chose to move to a new town with my partner of nearly 3 years; he is finishing his last two years of school at UC Santa Cruz, and I’m along for the ride.
I am also a musician - a category of human being who frequently finds it difficult to both remain employed and continue doing the thing that he/she prefers to do - perform and record music.
It may be true that the current economic situation is making my job search more difficult - but probably the thing that keeps me from maintaining a job for any reasonable duration of time is this sickness I suffer from - being in a band.
The other, actual sickness I suffer from, is clinically called agoraphobia - which is to say that I have a fear of travelling. In my case, this is specifically a fear of travelling on airplanes. You can, perhaps, imagine that the combination of these two ailments (disease #1 - being a musician, disease #2 - fear of flying) is a bit, well, debilitating, professionally speaking.
And you’d be right! My fear of flying has, at least, truncated my career as a touring musician on two separate occasions, forcing me to say ‘thanks but no thanks’ to some great touring opportunities.
So I’m left with a difficult choice; either give up the ghost and get a ‘real’ job, or continue to make music - on my own terms.
Lately I’m inclined to chose the latter of these. My new band, Churches is without a doubt the most promising project I’ve started on my own - and the record we are working on is the closest I’ve ever come to realizing my teen dreams of creating fuzzed-out, blissfully poppy and weird rock music.
All of this may be well and good, you might say, but why, exactly, do you need a million dollars?
The truth is - I don’t need a million dollars. But it sure would be nice.
Here’s how I would spend my $1,000,000:
$4500 - My share of the rest of this years’ rent.
$11,205 - Tuition and fees to finish my BA in Social Sciences.
$15,000 (approx) - The outstanding balance on my car.
$100,000 (approx) - A 4 to 6 bedroom house in a decent part of Springfield, MA, or similarly priced Northeastern location
$10,000 - To finish recording the first Churches album.
$15,000 - Used VW Eurovan (for touring with the band, roadtripping, and camping).
$800 - Fender Deluxe Amp (Hopefully they’ll throw in a road case).
$5000 - Estimated cost of a year of weekly therapy sessions to assist me in mastering my fear of flying.
$3,000 - A really nice vacation with my boyfriend - after flying fear is tackled.
$100,000 - For my Mom.
$100,000 - To be split among other family members (this will be tricky).
$50,000 - Donation to NPR.
$50,000 - Donation to PBS.
$10,000 - Donation to Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.
$10,000 - Donation to Human Rights Campaign (John and I would like the option of being legally married in California someday).
$10,000 - Donation to the World Land Trust-US.
$10,000 - Donation to the Nature Conservancy.
$10,000 - Donation to the Ocean Conservancy.
$10,000 - Donation to the American Civil Liberties Union.
$10,000 - Donation to Doctors Without Borders.
$5,000 - Donation to the Community Agroecology Network.
$5,000 - Donation to Creative Capital.
$5,000 - Donation to Little Kids Rock.
$5,000 - Donation to 826 National.
$20,000 - Startup cash for this idea I have for a site (I can’t give away the name - its too good) that helps consumers in the 21st century choose the products they buy from the least evil corporation. It will be very helpful.
$100,000 - Investments, which will be in American green-energy technologies.
After all of that I’ll still have $330,495 left. I’ll probably just save that for a rainy day, but I’m open to ideas.
This little excersize in thinking about what I would actually do with a million dollars was really awesome. A few things occurred to me while I was making my list, chiefly that a million dollars is a lot of money, and secondly, that there are a lot of non-profits in the world doing awesome things.
I would be interested to hear what you would do with a million dollars - how much would you keep? How much would you give away? Who would you give it to?
When I was a kid, I remember thinking to myself that if everyone in America would just mail me a penny I’d be pretty rich.
Now I am an adult (kind of) and I still think that this is a good idea.
That’s why I made this tumblr page: to see what would happen if I ask everyone I know to ask everyone they know to give me a dollar.
My sincere hope is that a lot of people will give me a dollar.
If you’d like to participate, just click the above paypal link to donate $1.00 USD - no more, no less. Most credit or debit cards accepted.
Questions can be directed to:
Thanking you in advance for your contribution of $1.oo,