Many years ago, I was the one onstage, performing songs I'd written with my friends in our band, and hoping that audiences would care about what we were doing. We traveled around the country, and played with all sorts of other groups – some of whom eventually became underground icons, and even household names. We had fans, and even had the honor of inspiring others at times; it was rewarding, for sure. But now I spend most of my time producing bands, songwriters, and mixing albums. I'm not the one onstage putting my art in front of others anymore.
But I do go see performances by many of the artists I work with. Living vicariously through their shows, I feel proud when I hear a song that I helped form in the studio performed for a crowd. I blush and say, "Aww, shucks," when I get a shout out from the stage for work well done, but inside I am always elated by the recognition. I love being part of the team, helping people take their art further in the studio, and presenting it to the world in the best ways I know how. And it's still the most rewarding work in my life.