Happy Musician Strategy
Be A Happy Holiday Musician
The Holiday season is here and the holiday performance craze has begun. Some performances we will love, some not so much. Here are four gig/performance rules I follow.
Know Your Holiday Fee Do your homework and don't undercharge. Factor in your holiday travel, holiday prep, taxes, holiday lodging, food, and holiday music cost. Many musicians double their rate to offset the cost. (Read: 5 Mistakes Musicians Make) Yes, it is the Holiday and the spirit of giving is all around us. This is not the time to feel guilty or allow anyone to make you feel guilty for your fees. Guilt doesn't pay the bills. Your professional service has great value, remember that as you book gigs/performances for the holidays. The more you value yourself, the more you are valued.
Get paid before you play My contract request balance ten days before the event. But what happens when you get the last-minute call? If Cash is a problem make sure your setup to accept online and mobile payments, Square, Paypal, and Venmo are the most popular. Remember, If there's a discrepancy, you have little to no leverage to fix it once your services have been rendered. So arrive early complete your transaction (before you unload) and play away. (Read Saying No)
Use Google Earth Being a harpist has taught me to check entrances first unload last. The Holiday season means less parking and more loading restrictions. If you're new to a venue, use google earth to pinpoint the best place for parking and loading. Arrive early and make sure the entrance you're directed to will work for you. I have had many people direct me to difficult even dangerous loading locations. Depending on what instrument you play and the gear you need, this is extremely important, you need to reserve your physical and mental energy for your performance. I live by "It's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission
“Too many people, holidays are not voyages of discovery, but a ritual of reassurance.”
– Philip Andrew Adams
Send a note of Thanks If I have really enjoyed myself; I send a card right after the holidays are over. The card is short and sweet and includes my business card. I let people know it was a pleasure working with them and please feel free to contact me again next year. Bonus: If you have a group picture include it in the card. (Even if you already posted it on Facebook and tagged everyone.) People will have a visual reference the next time a musician is needed.
What are your rules to live by during the holiday performance season?
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