Ben Bochner on Following the Soul

Getting by With Job Loss

By Karen Loew

Published May 21, 2013, issue of May 31, 2013.

Ben Bochner, 56
Austin, Texas

Ramona McCoy

Job: Singer-songwriter

Previously: Video production and songwriting on the side

This fall, Bochner left steady work as a videographer in his longtime home of Eugene, Ore., to pursue music in Austin.

Why Change?: “I fell in love with Texas nights. I felt I understood why cowboys wrote songs. There’s a community of songwriting, a legacy and a history. I wanted to be a part of it.”

Financial effects: “My costs are very low. I pay my rent and I have time to write and time to play, and I figure I can always get some kind of job. I can go videotape a wedding if I have to. The story of my life is I’ve always managed to get by, not putting money or job as my first priority.”

Maturity’s rewards: “I think it’s just looking at my body of work and feeling a responsibility toward it. People have told me that my songs mean a lot to them. If I can make people feel something through my music, that makes me feel really good.”

Spirituality: “I’m using my faculties and my talents to do what my soul wants, what I think I’m best at and what I have to offer to the world. It makes me able to see the world in a way that’s not colored by thoughts of security, a pension, Social Security or any of those things. It makes me feel more faith in the universe. I can feel the presence of God more.”



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