Breaking into the Music Business: How to succeed by failing

One of the major obstacles to starting a successful music career is having absolutely no musical talent. An inability to sing, play an instrument or wear ironic clothing sadly deters many people from breaking into the music business. Today I would like to share with you a loophole I have discovered that will allow many of you to make it in a world you have absolutely no right being a part of.

When I was seven years old I was convinced I would make a career of being a professional singer. Perhaps this was because in Grade One Ms. Chodos awarded me the yellow construction paper “Singer of the Day!” prize not only the obligatory once, but TWICE. Perhaps this was because my father insisted I sing “Up on the House Top” whenever we had Christmas guests. Perhaps this was because children are stupid. In any case, much like my later dreams to be the first woman in Major League Baseball or to be married by 30, I failed miserably. Yes, I did go on to star in a variety of high school musicals, but these mainly required me to sing songs about being overweight while using a crusty Winnie the Pooh voice.

In Grade 11, while lying on stage, stuck in the entrance to Rabbit’s house, I did my best Think-Think-Think-ing and realized that if I wanted to gain any musical respect I would have to be in a band. So that Christmas (after receiving an unprecedented number of Winnie the Pooh window decals and pens) I scraped together my Uncle-endorsed cheques, headed to Cash Converters and bought a used electric guitar that looked just like the one Gavin Rossdale played.

Somehow, however, I had been under the impression that if I committed a couple hours to placing band stickers neatly yet haphazardly over the surface of said guitar, I would instantly be able to play it. I tried strumming for a number of hours and realized my dainty hands were too feminine and delicate to maneuver the strings. My Fender amp became a display stand for my Spice Girls dolls and they have collectively been gathering dust ever since.

For the next couple of years my musical career was limited to singing along to my Dixie Chicks CD while in the lonesome comfort of my car. I knew Jewel was the only artist ever discovered while in her car, and that her album only had, like, three good songs on it, so my future was looking bleak.

But then something magical happened: I gave up completely.

Abandoning my desire to be a musician was the best career move I ever made. Instead of splurging for guitar lessons, I splurged for a lot of alcoholic beverages, which helped forge my friendship with Mandy Sellers, a woman whose musical dreams had also failed, despite her superior talent.

The two of us started a comedy duo and realized that, given the fact that comedy duos never get paid and can thus never be fired for being terrible, we could do whatever we wanted and force audiences to endure it. We wrote a comedy revue and penned a number of original songs, all of which were about death and failed dreams. With hits like “If You Die Before Your Time You Can’t Fuck Things Up” and “When You’re Dead, You’re Dead,” we could be described as “Steve Martin meets Dashboard Confessional” or “Thom Yorke after a couple of beers.”

After sending off a submission video that contained absolutely zero examples of our musical endeavors, Two Weird Ladies was accepted into NXNE, one of the hippest music festivals in North America. This has given us the future power to sell ourselves as a musical act, with potential taglines such as “Two Weird Ladies has played music festivals alongside acts such as Wintersleep, Millencolin and Ludacris.”

So there you have it, struggling bands. Give up on your dreams, try something completely different, and get into that awesome music festival you’ve always wanted to play by pretending you aren’t a musician. Then use your 15 minutes of stage time to debut your Emo version of “Rumbly in my Tumbly” and get booed off the stage and asked never to return.

Meantime, if anyone knows how being a sketch duo can get Two Weird Ladies onto the Toronto Blue Jays, please let us know. We feel this season being a huge joke so far is a promising start.

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