His solution - to record shows on his iPhone and stream them
live instead - has helped the 38-year-old from Arlington,
Virginia, to recover his income stream and bring joy to an
audience he is no longer able to see.
"As a musician, 100% of my income comes from not only being a
musician and playing guitar, but playing guitar live in front of
people," Trawick said from his apartment.
Now, the lead singer of "Justin Trawick and The Common Good"
performs a mix of bluegrass melodies and sentimental ballads
live on Facebook, and collects tips via Venmo and Paypal.
In two sessions, he said he has raked in enough money to cover
the losses from five canceled shows on stage. And what started
as an economic necessity has morphed into a source of comfort
for audience and artist alike.
His concert on Sunday has notched nearly 4,000 views, with one
admirer writing on his Facebook page: "Thank you. We needed
[to top of second column]
Many bigger name acts, from Stephen Colbert to the Metropolitan
Opera, are also livestreaming, as venues are closed to contain the
pandemic and audiences stay at home.
"I think that we're bringing something to people that is creating a
little bit of levity in their lives where they might all be a little
stressed otherwise," said Trawick.
Although Trawick is pleased with his online following, he admits
that not having an audience in the same room has taken some getting
"You have to perform in a different way and you have to assume that
people... are enjoying themselves," said Trawick. "The comments
scrolling down the screen is like the new applause."
(Reporting by Kevin Fogarty; Writing by Bernadette Baum; Editing by
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