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Why did I quit music?

Dernière mise à jour : 28 juin

I’ve wanted to post this story for a long time. I actually did over the years - but I then deleted the reel, the post or the blog immediately - I’ve attempted this several times. I didn’t want people to think of me as weak or milking the zeitgeist for attention. I have a deep sense of shame about it and I don't know why.

I’ve often been asked why I left the music industry when I was young. Sure - I had every reason… in the early 2000s female musicians were judged by their thigh gaps and abs… so I was already combating that with my fairly standard physicality. Having grown up in a very misogynistic environment, I punished myself daily for not reflecting Christina or Britney.

But I did find a little relief in the Celtic, Folk and Blues scene… and I started to make a little name for myself. I won a national prize, and then went on to play small festivals and big festivals from Queensland to Tasmania. Life was good.

I managed to get a great festival near my home town, and one of the biggest in the country. I might have been at the bottom of the bill, but it was an enormous achievement for me. The day arrived; my gig was absolutely packed - I mean, to the rafters. Afterwards, it took me an hour until I’d finished at the merch desk. They lined up out the door.

A few weeks later the director of this festival called me - dinner, his place. I thought there might have been other people - but no, just him and me. It seemed friendly

- we talked music - though we had little else in common. Nice gesture.

I was invited back the next year.

Closer to the second festival he invited me to dinner. He was staying in my city. We met - he wanted a ride home. To my place. He was drunk. I hesitated. A lot. But what could I do?

He came home with me - he got into my bed - luckily he was drunk. so he'd nod off early. I pretended I had a big gig the next day. I had to practice. I can still hear him: “Come to bed - stop your fucking music - there’s a man waiting for you in bed”…..

I awaited his snores and snuck in - hoping not to wake the drunk threat beside me.

I had already been booked for the next festival….. and despite my obvious success the year before, I was given a small, outdoor stage - it was as good as busking. It was hot, and uncovered (a deadly combination for the harp)….. and I wasn’t even on the bill that year. I was obviously being punished for not following protocol.

I feel like I made a choice that day - and that choice was to leave the industry and to maintain my integrity. I left years of hard work and changed the course of my career to become a Voice Coach in the theatre.

If that situation had been now, today… I’m not sure I would have had any more recourse than I do now. Regardless of social media, Me Too and all the other amazing movements and tools we have at our fingertips, I still think young, female musicians are highly at risk.


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