Sunday, October 14, 2007
Saw this cartoon* and said Yes! This is my life. Maybe it is yours too?
It is all a part of the glamorous life of a live performer.
It starts with the "simple gratis gig".You the kind of gig I mean? The presenter is a friend or a relative. Someone you like a lot. You are doubtful but hate to say "no". They have been so good to you. The venue is a stretch - they do not really do this kind of thing but wouldn't it be "fun" if you came and performed at their place? They would be doing you a favor and you would be helping them out. And oh yeah, since they don't actually hire and promote performances, they'll have to get back to you on the details. Emails are promised and you wait and hold a date. Each time you drop by you ask for clarification. Emails are promised but never appear so you send a few yourself.
Weeks go by and frankly you forget. There are way more pressing matters, like the full time job that keeps a roof over your head and the children and the other gigs and... and... Oh look! It is Thursday before the weekend event. Finally, you get an email. "Be there on Sunday at 4PM".
Low and behold this is a big deal. You check out the event website - who knew? Luckily a friend who is also performing has sent the URL to you. The whole town is having an open air art event and every business worth their salt is having some art performance. BUT you are not on the schedule on the website and you write back to your friend/ presenter...Huh? Come on Sunday? The big art event ends on SAT? And of course this web research takes place on Friday night.
Waiting for a reply seems foolish so you call first thing AM. Your friend, the presenter is not in town and his staff knows nothing. Sorry. Then you get an email from another friend. She says -"Hey I'll see you today at your performance". Whoa - what performance? Do I have a performance other than the one at the school, where I was supposed to be paid but someone was mistaken there are no funds to pay performers. The day already had some complications. But your friend says, "Oh yes, not that one. Its the one on Saturday PM at the arts festival." Seems I am listed on the website on another page of schedules I had missed. A flurry of emails and calls later and you tell the presenter, who is back in town now, you will not come on Sunday, you will be there as advertised on Saturday but a little late- as you are double booked for the starting time. I have a gig that starts exactly at the same time. Except these folks answered emails.
I hate it when I violate my own rules.
Two of my non negotiable performer standards are:
1. Always show up. Early or very early if possible.
2. Once there always perform - even if it is for just one person.
I couldn't swing rule No.1 [note to self: Must learn to bi-locate]
but I did fulfill No. 2. Hence the above cartoon.
So...I rushed to my second "gig" and it seemed, not surprisingly, that no one was there for my performance. The place was packed with 20-somethings and their laptops. 20-somethings with their heads up their modems are not my fan base. I know my "cult" when I see them. So I kicked back and had a chat with my friend over a cup of his excellent coffee and was just about to leave when a family that had trekked quite a way to see me, two lovely girls and their parents, walked in and asked if they had missed me? Switching gears, I told them a story. I had fun. They had fun. And I had a parking ticket on my car for 20 dollars.
The life of a performer.
Not what you hope for, not what you expect and often, not glamorous.
But often fun.
* Cartoon by Ziegler graffitti-ed by me.