Well friend S, this sounds like music to me. I was told a few times, that I could play without a problem with "mainstream" bands. I didn't have time back then, and now, because of an accident, it is difficult, I HAVE to sit, and it is for a limited time. I was accepted for a job on a Cruise Ship, but again, my accident killed that dream. I have not enough experience to REMEMBER ALL THE SONGS, even playing pretty well. One skill I have left, and I am pretty good in it is HYPNOSIS. I am able to perform without a problem, but again: my condition is against it, because I have to stand up for this one. BELIEVERS & NON BELIEVERS, hypnosis is fantastic, except for once, I used it in my job.
I don't know how much a (professional) player can ask, solo? with others? and WHO DETERMINES THE PRICE for a gig? I am really happy for you, being able to earn (more than enough, probably) money for your passion. I also think that most of us only see the bright side.
PEOPLE WANT TO BELIEVE, WHAT THEY WANT TO SEE. If you're playing in a band, performing 7 days a week, WE see only the gig, but nobody sees the preparations, sound checking, rehearsals, and so much more, like not at home, always from this place to another, internal conflicts, also the "temptations". It is DEFINITELY not a 9 to 5 job, but more a 5 to 5 job, and with the danger of a collision of the "ego's" you'll find everywhere. But as long as it stays a hobby, a passion for you (and others too) keep on going. I told you, I play pretty well, I also have the skill to compose a song in a few minutes, even up to 5 a day, BUT BECAUSE OF NON HAVING A GOOD RECORDING AND BURNING device (on a rewritable CD, so you can change things) I forget a lot. I just add one STRANGE FACT, that playing with others, improves my play at least 50%.
Hope we keep on touch, I think you can see my email, because I really want to know you better, and I have the impression that you are more or less "related".