To all the musicians out there who love music, love their life of music, and love to make a living through music, listen up! I need your help creating a database of venues around the world who appreciate and therefore pay decent guaranteed fees to musicians performing mostly original music. Every musician that participates (which means giving the name and some details about a venue you KNOW pays and treats musicians decently) will gain access to the “Gigs That Guarantee” database.
A producer friend of mine says that in the music industry, overnight success takes 7 years. I figure I’m okay since I’ve been at it for 4. But I do have my moments of “seriously? I went to Cornell and now I am doing WHAT???!! making HOW MUCH a year?!!? “ I get freaked out […]
I used to think that NYC musicians are doomed to playing in clubs that pay $1 per person after the first $50 is collected if you brought more than 40 people. WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN????? Luckily, I have learned that there are gigs out there that pay you decently in exchange for your performance. Simple as that. Some of these gigs are in unexpected places: house parties in peoples’ private homes, ski resorts’ après ski, summer camps, high schools, colleges, restaurants, museums, to name a few. It takes a lot of legwork and a good phone plan but the money is out there, right next to the eager listeners.
Keeping my life organized in the areas where I do have control is, I have found, the KEY to being self-employed. I have become very friendly with Excel spreadsheets. For $10 I found an incredibly thorough budget template online. I track CD sales in a separate worksheet. I have radio and other media contacts and phone numbers in a different file. And the important thing about all of these: I keep them up-to-date. They are not snapshots; they are fluid and act like ocean waves- I need to see where the last one was in order to predict where the next one is coming from.
As a touring musician, there’s only one thing better than connecting with an audience of thousands of people…. doing it again. And what I’ve come to realize is that it’s not the number of people that matters, but that connection. With all that said, I have come to find a nice little niche of music venues where the audience is primed for connectivity . . . living rooms and backyards.