Jessica Latshaw

musician. writer. dancer.

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snake oil.

Posted By on May 17, 2013 in I Lift My Eyes Up, Performance, Thoughts and Feelings | 2 comments

I really really don’t enjoy promoting myself. That’s the toughest part about being an artist, I think. I didn’t get into this business because I loved to make a good sales pitch; I got into it because there were times I couldn’t breathe well until I wrote a song. Because the world felt out of control until I found just the right words to string together, and then, suddenly, the insurmountable-ness of it all became more doable.

Became possible.

Because I couldn’t stop smiling when an audience assembled before me; I was the candle and they were the match. Because it hurt too badly to think that life was nothing more than a series of accidents and random occurrences–me being one of them–and the depth and connection and story and transcendence of LIFE is, for me, felt acutely when I create and perform.

So pardon me for doing it as much as I humanly can.

But all this to say, it feels tiring to peddle yourself on facebook and twitter and all the other online haunts that we frequent in an attempt to ignore the dishes that have piled up ONCE AGAIN.

But then, there’s another angle, too. One that I try to remember. I am not selling snake oil. I am not promising that anyone will immediately become richer or thinner or healthier or happier or suddenly meet THE ONE by reading something I’ve written or buying my music or coming to a show (side note: maybe I should try that!). I am simply letting them know that these things are available. And people have told me that they like these things. That they find them helpful or beneficial in some way. Which is always so encouraging and incredible to hear, by the way.

But, my point is this: I have no hook with which I will eventually say, “GOTCHA!” I am an artist. I make stuff. People might like the stuff I make, but they certainly won’t know about it unless I tell them. And thank goodness for youtube and that viral video and facebook and other people who spread the word–THAT is amazing when it happens.

But still, in the meantime, or even during all that, I need to share. Nobody judges a doctor for “shamelessly promoting” himself because he hangs a sign on his door that says who he is and what he does . Rather, we’re thankful that he’s clear about what he offers; thankful that we know where to go when we get hurt.

Artists need to realize that we provide another kind of place for people to go–both when they get hurt and otherwise.  And it’s a good thing to let others know. It makes for a less confusing world when we have clear definitions.

Now excuse me while I go remind twitter of what it is I do.


  1. Michele Poplo May 17, 2013

    When you are done promoting yourself, and you get around to the dishes, I have a sinkful for you! 🙂

  2. jessica May 21, 2013

    I would actually love to be able to do your dishes for you, Michele! 🙂

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