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Ben Bochner on Following the Soul

Ben Bochner, 56
Austin, Texas

Image by 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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