Greetings all! Let me first begin this blog by saying, I do not know everything. I am like a lot of you reading this; a musician, building my career. However, I have been able to achieve some great things thus far. Because of this, I am constantly asked an assortment of questions from fellow musicians; ranging from how to obtain gigs to product and equipment preferences. This blog is designed to answer those questions and everything in between. I will also post interviews, product reviews and other things. So check back often.
Please understand that my answers are not finite. These answers are my opinions and are based on my personal experiences and how I have been able to reach my current level of success in this industry we all know and love.
The Four P's of the working Musician (APR 2016)
One of the most frequently asked questions is: How to position yourself to be a reputable musician? This is a question that has literally kept me up a night. I will say this: if you ask 100 musicians this question, you may get get 100 answers; and they all may very well be correct. Everyone always talks about what it takes to be successful on the stage; which is very important. But what you do off the stage is sometimes just as important. I will list what I consider to be the four most effective ways on how to achieve this objective.
1. Be Personable: This means having a pleasant personality and appearance. You want individuals to know that you are easy to work with. You are more likely to have your calendar filled if people are aware that you are unproblematic. Although being a musician is work, performers like to have fun while performing. It’s really hard to achieve that when dealing with a person with a cantankerous or arrogant attitude. Appearance is also important; someone can derive at an opinion of you before you say a word or play a note. So make sure you present yourself in a pleasant manner. Some individuals will hire you based on how you carry yourself. Your appearance is an extension of yourself.
2. Be Pliable: In a word this means adaptable. In this industry, you are not always going to have the “perfect situation”. Being flexible also lends itself to the “easy to work with” category. I cannot express how vital this is to the longevity of your career. Whether it is last minute set-list changes with an artist, negotiating fees with a record label or time changes with management, I have discovered your success rate will be greater when you are flexible. You definitely have to possess and maintain certain standards, but in order to flourish; you must learn the art of compromise.
3. Be Persistent: How bad do you want to achieve your goal? If you want to achieve your goal, you have to be relentless in your pursuit. You cannot allow anyone or anything to deter you from accomplishing your objective. Do not allow “no” to stop you. In my career I have heard this word before. We all have. However, you cannot allow that to stop your progress. No does not mean not ever. You have to work your plan. If you hit a wall; regroup, reassess and continue on. If you want to succeed, giving up should never be an option.
4. Be Positive: Everything that we accomplish begins with our mindset. Having a positive way of thinking is essential in attaining ANY goal. In this industry, you will encounter disappointment. Things will not always go the way you desire them to. It is not about what happens to you, it is how you respond. After moving to a new city, I had a series of unfortunate events to transpire. However, I always attempted to keep a positive outlook. It is definitely easier said than done, but it is crucial in succeeding. Sometimes your positive outlook is the only thing that allows you keep your sanity. You cannot anticipate success with a pessimistic outlook. You have to expect to be successful. Celebrate smaller victories, those smaller victories will transform into larger ones eventually. Just stay positive.