Forgive my absence. I have been busy and lazy and up and down for an entire year. I can really say that it grew me up. The hardships and lessons were fuel to my fire for 2019 for sure. Let me dial it back a bit to give you some details. In the beginning of 2018 i was planning my exploratory trip to the UK. To stay with my would be "London" manager that i met the year before while busking in Central Park in NY. She and i had so many plans ahead but before I left I had a chance to be in an amazing show called 'Queens of Soul" show that was filled with some killer women singing some of the greatest hits known to man. Then in April i was off to see my God daughter's new little family. I am now officially a "Fairy God Mother"! What else can I call myself? My little girl had a beautiful cherub of a baby boy! After being with them for 3 weeks, with anxiety I packed for London.
I wont use her name but the "manager" and I had already made arrangements and agreements for my arrival which thankfully I have in my inbox forever. She gave me great news of studio work she had lined up for me and venues waiting to book me. She said they were waiting on my arrival before they sent the contracts. I thought that was fair. The manager and U agreed that after I flew myself over to London she would pick me up and that she had permission from her new job to take the time to do so. I would stay in her bedroom and she had single handedly turned her shed into a livable room that she adored. The thought of her sleeping out there worried me but assured me it was fine and she loved it. So, I spent the money from my last show on the ticket back to London! WOOOHOOO! I was so excited and nervous! Can I make it as a singer in the UK? I had lots of doubts but also a lot of support and assurance that I could do it. Some of my friends were not happy with my living arrangement and lack of contracts but I assured them it would work out. The manager and I had agreed that (mostly under her insistence) that she would work for free as my manager by taking no cuts until my 3rd gig, giving me a chance to put money aside to create a UK bank account. It felt good to have her so positive and ready to work. As soon as I landed I contacted her and called her many times, soon in a panick because she wouldn't answer. By the time she did I had a bad feeling. She messaged me and said her friend said he might could get me but she could not leave work to get me. Of course I am upset a bit because she assured me she was free and clear. I even had her on the phone helping me pick the flight so I would not be an inconvenience. So much for that. She told me get a cab to her place. Then i got mad! I told her I was penny pinching till my first gig. Plus her home was an hour away! She told me she left me 30p (pounds) on the kitchen counter. The cab cost 85p. She also said she had spoken to the cab company and they told her it was 30p. They guy at the desk said there was no way anyone would have said that since it was an hour away. So I had no choice but to take a cab. Now I know the most judgmental of you will say "what kind of adult leaves a country with almost no money and depending on a stranger". I know you're thinking it because my friend said the same thing. I will say the same to you as them, "A woman with a dream and nothing much to lose or live for but her dream". After I got to her house I had calmed down. I didn't have time or the convince to hold a grudge so I unpacked and waited for her or her son to come home. I was alone at her house a lot. She lived in a pretty rural area. She let me drive her car but it was risky because the gas meter was broken. She told me "if it breaks down just leave it on the side of the road. I don't want it anyway." I kept close to the house with that warning. I had no intention of walking those roads as a stranger and the only person of color I had seen. She told me about the kids that used to harass a family that moved there and I certainly didn't need that kind of drama so far from home. As the weeks went by the only thing I had done was an appearance at her friends Jam Night and did a paid feature of 35 quid in Clacton. I did meet some great musicians there and that's where the idea of creating my Aretha Franklin tribute band was given to me by a great bass player. On that night we ended up recruiting band members. It was also suggested that we check out a nice venue that would love to have me. I don't remember the name of it because I never got to go to it. In the weeks that followed I now had a purpose because she didn't have any of the work for me she promised while I was back in the states. I would practice all day! Eventually she asked me not to practice when her son came home because he wanted peace when he came home. That was fair. I stayed in that room for most of the day when I wasn't out with dogs or cleaning up after them. I noticed that the lights would cut off every week and when she told me of the pay per use system they had I gladly chipped in on the lights and even the food when we shopped. But the day the prince got married, everything changed