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Mrs. Portulaca Purpilopilis
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BBC Website for Kids
1. Can you explain to young people just what a professional musician is?
A musician is someone who composes, conducts, or performs music and earns money from making or performing music.
2. What is the best part of your job?
Right now I’d say the traveling that I do to perform my music is a positive, being able to see different countries of the world. I also love being able to express myself through music and have the opportunity to connect with the people who come to see the show.
3. What would you say is the most difficult aspect of your career choice?
The traveling can also be a difficult aspect of being a musician. It’s difficult physically, getting little sleep and having to travel on planes, cars trains, buses to get to the next gig(show).
4. Do you have a memory you'd like to share with young people concerning your job?
I’d say that a memory I have was the first time I performed in Antwerp, Netherlands. There were thousands of blues fans in this old world city square and I was playing outside as the sun set and a full moon was rising. It was incredible.
5. What are the necessary skills/degrees needed to become a musician?
You need discipline to practice and learn your instrument. Even though you don’t need a degree in music, a good education is an advantage. You need to have computer skills, be able to work with people, a positive attitude, and perseverance(keep trying). You have to pay your dues. That means spending years practicing and going out to clubs to perform and playing for very little money.
6. Any suggestions for young people who might be interested in your career?
I would suggest to young people who would like to become a musician to learn as much as possible. Select an instrument or instruments that you enjoy. Go to music camps, take lessons and practice, practice, practice.
7. Where can you work as a musician?
Musicians can work in clubs, outdoor concerts, recording studios, work as a musician for background music for movies and television, perform on cruise ships,give private lessons, teach music at a school,college, etc.
8 . Describe a typical day at your job?
Usually I get up at 6 am. I take a cab to the airport, meeting up with the rest of the band. We fly to the city where we will be performing, rent a car and drive to the hotel and check in. Later I go to the club where we will be performing and I do a sound check for my instrument. I return to the hotel to get ready for the evening’s show. I perform for an hour and a half and then do an “encore” for the audience. After the show, I meet with some of the audience and after getting paid, go back to the hotel and SLEEP, getting up to do it again the next day!
9. What got you interested in becoming a musician? Did anything in or your childhood help spark this interest?
I have always had a love of music. Also, I was influenced by the fact my father was a professional musician so I grew up around music in the home.
10. Where do you currently work as a musician?
I play piano and organ for blues singer Shemekia Copeland traveling all over the United States, Canada, and Europe.