In 2015, Marcel and I were having lunch at a local pizza joint during his scheduled 45 minute mid-day break. Half-way through the meal, he blurted that he wanted to quit his full-time retail job to do music. I’ve never met someone who could convince me to take such massive leaps blindly in life, but I nodded my head and we started planning the beginnings of what would become Lessons with Marcel.
A few weeks later, we had an “exit strategy” in place and Marcel started a YouTube channel in order to establish legitimacy and networking.
LWM started as local, in person lessons at our home. And at the time I was helping with booking for live shows. That year, I had booked over 200 shows for the year. Sometimes, we’d have upwards of four performances in a given weekend. It was a mad race to stay covered while I worked a full-time job I hated and did freelance writing in my freetime (what little of it I had). Our goal was always to leave the Northwest, a place we felt we’d outgrown.
Fast-forward through 5 years of hard work and long hours. A move across the country with the infamous Sushi Cat and our hibernating turtle. I got a fresh start on my career, finally writing full-time. And because of people like you, Marcel now has nearly 20k subscribers on YouTube, a full schedule of students from all over the world (Shout out to Sandy and Dean in Australia. Thanks for the gifts and cookies!), and we’ve had the opportunity to continue expanding the Lessons with Marcel “empire”. And part of that growth includes some really wonderful new LWM team members like Mickey Abraham, Luke Black and Mike Riedman.
So, thank you to every single one of you who has purchased tabs, watched and liked the videos or posted a positive comment on social media. You’re the reason we’ve been able to grow and make a life doing what we love. (And Marcel is home every night, instead of driving all over the state playing shows).
Not only are we proud of the success that Lessons with Marcel brought us personally, but meeting all of you has brought such joy to us. I adore seeing the bluegrass community thrive and grow, especially with social media and younger folks. We want to see this community last. And, so many of you have recognized me at festivals and shook my hand while asking me how the cat is, which is both deeply unsettling and really kind. I look forward to going to festivals again and getting to bump into more of you again. (Don’t hesitate to say “hey”, I know I usually look pissed, but I’m not!).
Tl;dr Thank you for making Lessons with Marcel so successful. We may not have been able to take the risks we did without y’all.
Ooo, we’re also releasing Five Year Anniversary merch! I stood over Marcel nitpicking color schemes for forty minutes on a Saturday morning, so please go buy some if you like it. Don’t let my stern dictating go wasted. Thanks everyone, we appreciate you.