Being an independent musician I sure do have some stories.
Being an independent musician I sure do have some stories. The general opinion is that independent musicians are broke. Some of us know how to market ourselves as a business and treat our craft as a source of money.
If I am not mistaken 7 billion other people agree with me when I say money IS important. Money exists. In fact money is a fantastic idea that allows people to be universal in our currencies. In other words… Best Buy probably isn’t interested in accepting 450 fresh eggs in exchange for an Xbox One.
Now that we’re chin-deep in this system we have two options. If it is possible to offer and exchange of SERVICES or GOODS then that’ll be pretty rad. I’ve traded my time for the time of an accountant. Ended up saving me 1000’s of dollars and everyone saved money. So if you want someone to do something for you it’d behoove you to sweeten the pot.
I have been offered the “opportunity” to perform for 3 hours in front of 100’s of millionaires. This “would be a great chance to get some great exposure.”
They knew I was an independent musician and must’ve thought my primary goal is fame. The opportunity to “earn fans” apparently seems like a valuable item for trade.
The company, [redacted], had every reason to include a live pianist in an [redacted] for a [redacted] for the sake of sales. If everything worked out they would have been paid well over $50,000. Now… if my professions were in [redacted] I would want to invest in having some solid presentations. Or if I were paying for elegance I would want to pay top dollar.
There are some free things you don’t want. Live Music is one of them.
On top of missing out on what realistically SHOULD have been a $2,000 gig, I had to convince the [redacted] that The Bank Of America doesn’t accept EXPOSURE BUCKS to pay the mortgage. If they did then I’d be more than happy to perform.
If you take yourself seriously as an independent musician don’t expect payment until you’re confident in performing. Alternatively, don’t REFUSE ALL unpaid gigs, you should really use your best judgement. Ask yourself a few questions first:
What are THEY getting out of this? What are YOU getting out of this?Will you lose money by doing this? Can you put out a TIP jar? What is the attendance guarantee? How long do you need to play?
Basically write out a list of questions you’d ask yourself. For the most part I decided NOT to play for [redacted] because they had EVERYTHING to gain and I was going to gain literally nothing and lose 3 hours of my time. It would have been “inappropriate” to put out a tip jar so…
They get ambiance and increased interest for the sales. I’d get literally nothing except compliments. (woooo.) Gas money would be lost, and valuable time. No Tip Jar (it wouldn’t have been the deciding factor.) Maybe 30 heads? I do that on my own EASY. 3 hours; Weddings pay $2,000 for my company’s duet performances.
If I went through with this “offer” I’d end up asking myself, “What am I doing this for again?” Oh yeah… EXPOSURE BUCKS! Try walking into an Apple Store and offering to tell all of your friends about Apple in exchange for some of their fancy computers.