During the holiday season, I thought it would be funny to list what not to say to a musician. I also added what to say to musicians. I'm sure most of you are hearing a lot these as you perform for the holidays and have your internal replies. The thing to remember is not to let these phrases put a damper on your musical spirit.
When people say these things, I believe most are not intending to be rude or insulting. I understand that they are not musicians and honestly don't know the impact of what their saying. I'm sure I have said similar things to people in other professions. So don't get mad, stay happy knowing you're doing what you love, no matter what anyone says.
Some people take offense like it's a limited time offer.
~ Tim Fargo
What not to say and what I want to say (but never have)
“Have you tried out for American Idol?” - I internally roll my eyes, American Idol is not the only measure of artistic success. - I wish I had more time to educate you about why you shouldn't say this to musicians.
“What's your real job?” - Being a professional musician is my real job, and I love it. - I also make a nice living being a professional musician. - Ok I have said the above
“It will be great exposure.” - It would be great to just invite me as a guest so I can smooze, take pictures, talk to people, become Facebook friends and exchange business cards with the prestigious people at your event, for free. Now, that's great exposure. - Wait a minute You found me already, I don't need exposure.
“You know what you should do…” - Actually, I do - You just met me; please get to know me before your offer me career advice.
“You charge too much; you need to lower price.” - I don't, but if I'm out of your budget it's OK - May I ask what you are basing this statement on? (I think I should start asking this)
“Can you play something we can dance to?” - Sorry I'm not a DJ
People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do,
- Isaac Asimov
What to say and what I have said.
'Your playing is beautiful" - Thank you, so much.
"Remember me when you're famous" - aww, you're too kind.
"You make it look so easy" - see above ⤴
"Your performance was inspirational" - thank you, that makes the handwork all worth it.
"Where can I hear you again?" - (gives them my website so they can check out my calendar)
"Thank you" - You're most welcome
"You must practice a lot" - I do practice as much as possible, thank you for the compliment.
"Your parents must be proud" - Thank you, they are, I wouldn't be here without their support.
Please feel free to share your own "what to say and what not say” phrases. Also, read my blog "4 Rules to be a Happy Holiday Musician.”