I think everyone has a least favorite job. Mine would be going to our warehouse.
This is where we keep all of the set pieces, Christmas trees, lighting, sound gear, tree decorations, crosses, Twelve Days of Christmas costumes for the kids, my traveling piano case (it's huge), all of the previously worn band and orchestra costumes and my gowns.
And my music.
When we tour, we always load and unload from the warehouse. It's my least favorite job because we share the space with other tenants and it's dusty, dark and cold inside, and unorganized because it's not just our space. There's nothing pretty about it. Concrete floors. And it always involves heavy lifting, moving, stacking and finding a spot to put things. I do not go to the warehouse unless I absolutely have to.
In March when we got home from our 22-city "Sunshine Tour," we made our regular pit stop to off-load everything from the truck back into this space. (I was so excited. NOT!). But at least we were pulling up during normal day hours. (Typically after the last Christmas show in LaCrosse, we end up off-loading until 2:00 in the morning.)
This time I saw things differently. And simply felt overwhelmed.
All I could see were boxes and boxes (and boxes) of my music. It was a reality that just hit me hard that day. I have sooo much music. I could tour until I was 100 years old, and never be able to sell all of this. It's a shame. All this music is paid for (and has been for years). All my hard work is just sitting here in boxes. What should I do?
I told Tim "we should just give it all away." And then, it came to me. OK, I will practically give it away. Discount it so that people can't resist. Make it affordable so that anyone who wants to play Lorie Line music has the opportunity to do so.
Tim suggested that I run sales and change it up quickly, so that no one would get bored. BAM! Three days and it's a new promotion. Get the fans excited. Make them wonder what's next.
Seeing all of this music in the warehouse, I wanted to take it home. Tim thought there'd be no way to find room to store it, but I convinced him that we should try. It was just so much that we had to really think about reorganizing our own small warehouse space underneath our garage. But both Tim and I were inspired. A new project. And we had no plans until Mother's Day (The Living Room Series). So we had some time. And then this happened.
Three days later the virus hit. Everyone was in lockdown mode all across the country.
And a new theme just popped into my head.
STAY HOME AND PLAY THE PIANO.
And so it began. We sorted and threw out overstocked CD artwork (tens of thousands of inserts . . . I wanted to cry), and made room for all the good stuff to sell. I've never seen Tim so addicted to such a task, but he got up every day and made a trip down the road to get more boxes of music. All of which he brought home to our newly organized personal space.
I made a list of all of the promotions I would put out to my fans. And took a breath when I first saw me write down $15 for a music book. $5 for a CD. We were doing it.
We were going to make lemonade out of lemons.
Twice a week I hopped out of bed at 6:30AM and went down to my computer to e-blast all my fans (all of you) the next latest greatest Lorie Line sale of the century. Many days I filled over 100 individual orders. It did me good to see all of my music going back out that door, back into my trunk and off to the post office to a new home . . . someone who loved playing and listening to Lorie Line. Honestly, it's been a long time since I've had so much fun.
I want to thank all of you for supporting me over the past few months. Thank you, thank you. I know that many of you have been thinking of me and praying for me during these trying times. I want you all to know that we are doing well.
When the great recession came about in 2008, and then the music business crashed in 2012, I promised God I would be a better steward of all that He gave me.
We are now planning the upcoming Christmas tour. Many of the venues that we travel to have different (and complex) restrictions, so I have decided to go out on my own (with a special featured vocalist) for my first solo piano Christmas tour. I've been feeling it's time to reinvent myself again so I am really excited about this. Another chance to make lemonade.
The photo above - Tim made dozens of trips to get all the music home. (I still think I need a little black truck, don't you think?)
Three photos below - I couldn't get all of the music in this shot, but this will give you an idea of where we started (one wall - there were three).
I'm sharing a picture of the newly organized space underneath our garage. And a picture of the entrance into that space.
I now go to my own music warehouse every day, first thing in the morning. It's warm, it's clean, it's organized. And it even has its own chandelier. Gotta love it.