TRIPLE ANNIVERSARY 30/20/15: PLAYING GUITAR/MAKING MY OWN MUSIC, TEACHING/STARTING THE COLLEEN PROJECT, SWITCHING TO MUSIC FULL-TIME.
September 13, 2021 § Leave a comment
This unpublished 2003 press photo for my first album Everyone Alive Wants Answers was too blurry to use, and that’s a shame: looking at it 18 years later, I think it totally encapsulates the person I was back then, in a very subtle way. 7 albums later, I find myself wondering why lately everything in my life seems to come together in a bizarre, destiny-like way, such as this triple anniversary.
In early September 1991, just as I started “lycée” (French high school), following the “Beatles in Copenhagen” episode (see previous post), my parents bought me a classical guitar, from one of the two shops that sold instruments in my hometown. I still have this guitar, and the moment I laid hands on it, I started to make music of my own, and 30 years on my modus operandi remains the same.
Fast forward to September 2001: I am freshly out of my agrégation d’anglais and starting to work as an English teacher in a high school in the suburbs of Paris. I did not really want to be a teacher, it was just something I felt “ok with” to make a living, and which would allow me to pursue music on the side. 2001 was the year I really went for it in my tiny studio flat, borrowing and sampling hundreds of CDs from the Paris music libraries, paving the ground for what would become the first Colleen album. For the next 5 years, my day job allowed me to buy instruments and put money on the side in preparation for the leap I could see looming ahead.
September 2006: I am granted a 1-year sabbatical. In 2004 I had to switch to part-time teaching to play live and promote my albums, but juggling the two activities became insane. The sabbatical was at first refused, then granted at the last minute. In June 2007 a second sabbatical was denied, so I resigned, without hesitation. The biggest decision I made in my entire life – also one of the best. I will never know if I would have had the guts to resign had I been denied the first sabbatical, but I would like to think that the answer is yes.
Thanks for listening. Quit the day job if you can.