Mudcat Café message #2287088 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #109300   Message #2287088
Posted By: reggie miles
13-Mar-08 - 12:05 AM
Thread Name: Gigs (that pay better than coffee houses)
Subject: RE: Gigs (that pay better than coffee houses)
I tried a few of the nursing homes and retirement places but found that they were not my cup of tea. I think these places could be a great alternative musical/entertainment outlet but they lack one thing, an interest in really providing adequate support for the entertainment event. At the few venues I attended I was mostly relegated to being mere sonic wallpaper, human muzak.

They seemed to offer no advanced notice to their clients that I was even going to be there. Hence, the experience was met with a lackluster response by the residents. The performances should be advertised well in advance so that residents can plan to attend the event.

If these venues got their collective act together these kinds of presentations could really become a wonderful highlight in the daily lives of those reside in such places. The places I played offered only a small amount of recompense. I wouldn't have minded that so much if I weren't treated at times like I was just in the way of the resident's dining experience.

With only a minimal amount of effort these establisments could organize an adequate space within the facilities to host such activities where the focus could be more directly placed on the event. Every little thing you do to highlight an event like this will make a huge difference in the kind of experience it will ultimately become and the kind of response that it will exact from those attending. If you treat the events as though they're nothing special, that's how folks will respond to them. If you treat the events as a very special activity, folks will respond accordingly.

I simply could not provide what was needed with the environment as it was. It became more work than I wanted to commit to doing for the financial reward. Now, that's not to say that I didn't reap a great and rewarding feeling from having met some of those folks via my time spent there. There were a few that were absolute treasures.

The hurdles in the way of really making an a noticable impact seemed almost insurmountable. I know that this whole idea of asking the facilities to do more is like asking the sun to shine on a cloudy day but it seems to me to be the best place to start.

Alert! Thread Drift: There are wonderful parallels to this whole dilemma in the bar/coffeehouse scene. Some bars, pubs, cafes and coffeehouse really know how to accommodate the addition of live entertainment to their offerings. A small stage, a simple PA, some minimal stage lighting, and dimming the room lights is all that most venues need to add in order to see dramatic results. These places are then able to cultivate a quality listening and performance environment to offer both patrons and entertainers alike.

Unfortunately, there are those who try to offer every conceivable form of distraction to their patrons and never get why their live music scene just doesn't seem to hold the attention of their audience. They just don't get that the more distractions you place between a performer and his audience the more distracted that audience will become.

There's no need for for tvs to be on when you're paying to host live entertainment. There's no need to have pool tables open with balls clacking through the best efforts of those who you've paid to be on stage for those two or three hours that evening. There's no point to having darts games happen when you've elected to have folks playing music. The dart boards and pool tables, gambling machines and televisions, juke boxes and all the rest can be offered as a means to entertain cutomers during all of those other hours of the day when the establishment is open for business and live music isn't happening.

Okay, I'm drifting off.