Mudcat Café message #758968 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #15779   Message #758968
Posted By: harvey andrews
02-Aug-02 - 05:44 PM
Thread Name: When should you be paid for performing?
Subject: RE: When should you be paid for performing?
There's something about knowing that if you aren't at your best, if you don't entertain, (and one can "seriously" entertain), if you don't work at all aspects of your profession, if you aren't sober, punctual,sociable,relevant, up for it etc..then the bills don't get paid, that concentrates the mind and brings out the best in performers. Music as a hobby can be more fun and probably do you more good, but I think some people benefit from wanting to be the best they can be, and only audiences, time, and the size of the cheque show how best their best is. Which doesn't mean a good pro doesn't enjoy their job, it just means it's a job like any other. The thing about it is so many people would like to live the life, like sports fans would like to be players, but it takes that something extra to achieve it and only the listeners can decide if that something extra is worth paying for. When songwriting and singing/travelling became my life I lost something of the spontaneity and sheer pleasure I had enjoyed in the early days (although I was paid ten shillings the first time I sang in public in a folk club!) but I gained a whole way of life, friends and experiences I could never have had as an amateur.What I found was that a few other things became my hobbies and I use those for relaxation and pleasure in the same way many people who work nine to five use music. It's a trade off, and the fact that I've been lucky enough to do it for 39 years is just that..luck.There's no pension, no sick pay, no holidays, no security. One hand injury, one voice problem, one car crash and it's all gone.But as a job I'd take the risks and do it all over again..and again...and again...and I actively encourage anyone I think has the talent to go for it if they want to, but I always point out the pitfalls and emphasise the lack of glamour. It's hard work like anything else. I have known good performers who got carried away with the bullshit and believed they were somehow superior, not lucky or blessed and a few came to a sticky end just like in the movies..the bottle,the regrets, the drugs and the dead for days before anyone noticed. All the cliches apply but I sincerely welcome any success that comes to someone brave enough to try and good enough to succeed. They're even getting MBE's now!