Should I move to a new town, which one?
I went to music school in a great city for music, (don't want to give out to many specifics on this one.) I got a traveling gig right after I finished school, which has been great. I'm home for a few months at a time, but then go right back out for many more months at at time. I've done this general procedure twice now, and will still do it a few more times, maybe another year or year and a half.
I try to play as much as I can when I'm in town, because ultimately I had/am planning on coming back here, and I don't want to be forgotten. I can't get involved in long term commitments, of course though, so I can only do sub work here and there. It's difficult playing with a band or artist just one time, and then leaving for six months, and then coming back and trying to do it again, when they may well have forgotten about me in that amount of time. "Oh hey remember we played together one time a long time ago, and then once more a really long time after that?" It's awkward, and I'm getting a reputation for being gone a lot.
When I was out for a long time the first time, I was homesick a lot, imagining a joyful reunion with my college crowd when I get back, only to find when I actually got here that many of them have gone different directions, are working constantly, or have left town permanently. That's all fine, life goes on, but it gives me less motivation to try to be on the circuit here, since I'm now wavering about staying.
Long winded personal stories aside, do you think it would make more sense to start fresh in a new city when I'm done with the road, since I'm only "half there" where I am now, and feel like my reputation is that I'm gone all the time?
If I move, any suggestions for good "second tier" towns? I'm no jazzer, and would be mostly trying to do theater work, as well as corporate bands and the like. I have a great friend in Seattle, and am looking into the scene there. At this point I'm not prepared to move to a hub like L.A. or New York, but could MAYBE consider Chicago.
Thanks for reading this far, and for any advice you can offer!