A paper written by Darian Hrdlicka for one of her college classes. I was very honored to be chosen as the subject!
As Jason Wells sat at his father’s funeral, he began to contemplate what he was doing with his life. After going in and out of jobs, Jason realized that he only has one life to live and it is too short to abandon his dreams. It was time for him to make his dream a reality, despite how hard it may be. He was ready to put his heart and mind into his music and make a career out of it. Jason’s life motto has always been, “If you’re truly passionate about it, you’ll find a way to make it work.”
Jason’s father, Victor, was his biggest inspiration to pursue music. His father would constantly play music that filled the house. Victor owned a record store that allowed Jason to expose himself to all different types of music. Once Jason learned how to put the record on the player, he would constantly listen to music whenever he could.
Victor knew how to play guitar and Jason would always be in awe as he watched his dad play. Jason knew from early on that he wanted to pursue music as a career. His father taught him a few chords on the guitar to help Jason get a start. Because the internet wasn’t there to help him, Jason taught himself how to play guitar. He would listen to records and try to play along. Whatever sounded good to him is what he would play. Since there wasn’t much to do in the small town of Frankfort, Jason and his friends would often get together and teach each other what they had discovered with their instruments. Music quickly became Jason’s favorite pastime.
As Jason got older, he believed that having a career in music just wasn’t practical, so he settled down and began to raise a family. When his passion to perform overrode the practical and he left his full-time employment, he was met with resistance. His family had trouble with him pursuing music because in Frankfort nontraditional careers scare people. The recent loss of his father and his sudden change to an unconventional career led Jason to lose some of his family support system. They thought he had flipped his mind. Jason was practically left to his own to make his dream a reality. Thankfully he had the support of family friends to cheer him along the way. Jason believed he could make a living with music and was going to do whatever he could to get there. Music is his way of thinking. With hard work, his guitar, and his passion, this was bound to be his destiny.
Jason got his start playing gigs at bars, which paid off more than he thought it would. He began to start booking more and more events locally. For three years he practically lived in a van as he traveled around the Midwest to share his music. The rush of performing never got old for him. “When you hit that sweet spot in the music, it inspires.” The inspiration from hearing other people’s stories and how his music affected them kept him going. Jason enjoys meeting people and loves hearing how his music has affected them which is super inspiring to him. “People tell me stories with tears in their eyes in the middle of chaos in a bar after a gig. You can’t buy that or fake that.” For Jason, this confirms that he’s doing the right thing by following his dreams.
His legacy is being carried on through his seventeen-year-old son, Gibson. Gibson and Jason love to play together and sometimes perform together. Through his father, Gibson was able to learn the guitar and how to start his music career, much like Jason and his dad. “I want to get to the point where I am working at least as hard as he does now, which I don’t even know if that’s possible.” Gibson remarked, admiring the work his dad has done.
There is no denying that Jason works hard for what he wants. Since he isn’t attached to a record company, it’s all the more impressive how he manages his own schedule, books concert venues, and designs his posters, t-shirts, and album covers. When he isn’t performing he helps with the kids’ homeschooling. Afterwards he goes into his studio to plan events, design something for his new album, or make new music.
Jason Wells now has five albums available on iTunes, performs across the Midwest, and has even given a seminar at Elmhurst College in Chicago for a music business class. Jason is the epitome of hard work and believing in yourself. With patience, hard work, and confidence Jason is proof that your dreams can become a reality. Jason’s success would not have been possible without the deep belief in his motto, “If you’re truly passionate about it, you’ll find a way to make it work.” Jason’s ability to overcome the loss of his father and pursue his dreams is a lesson to us all. Life is too short to convince ourselves that our aspirations cannot be reached.