Things People Think/Say/Do To Me Because I’m a Professional Musician – PART 2

If you’re wondering what happened to PART 1, wondering why this post starts with Dialog #6, wondering what this whole thing is all about, or wondering where in the world that smell is coming from, please read PART 1 here first, then come on back over here for PART 2. If you’re already caught up, or prefer to start things in the middle, please continue reading and enjoy:

Dialog #6:

Stranger: “Hey man, is it cool if I come up and sing one with you? All my family is here and they are just dying to hear me play and sing.”

My Inner Dialog: “You know, I’ve always wanted to play football. Is it cool if I bring my entire family out to one of your games soon and just run a couple of plays at your position while you watch from the bench? Also, I will give you $100,000 if you don’t totally suck at singing and playing the guitar. Also, go sit down. NOW! If you want to sing for your family and friends, GET YOUR OWN @#%!$& GIG!”

What I Actually Say: “No, I’m so sorry, they actually won’t let me bring anyone up at all. Not even friends of mine that I typically play with. They’re actually very strict about it and said they’d fire me on the spot if I ever let anyone else come up and sing. Sorry about that man.”

Stranger: “But…you literally JUST had someone come up and sing with you…”

My Inner Dialog: “Yeah, that’s because I knew that person didn’t suck, but I already bet you $100,000 you do, so…”

What I Actually Say: “Yeah, and that’s exactly when they told me they’d fire me if I let anyone else up?”

Dialog #7:

Stranger: “Do you all do like, private parties and such?”

Me: “We absolutely do. We do those all the time in fact. Weddings, too. Here, take a card.”

Stranger: “What sort of rates would you charge to come out for a couple of hours and just jam out with us?”

Me: “Well, it really depends on the details of the event, but typically, our going rate as a duo for private events would start at around $800 for 3 hours.”

Stranger: “No, I just mean, what would you charge for just what you’re doing here tonight, but to come to our house for a couple of hours during one of our barbecues? We’d feed you and hook you up with some beer, you know?”

Me: “Yeah, we’d love that. That sounds fanstastic. Definitely just shoot me an email, and I’ll let you know if it would end up being any more than $800, you know, once I find out more details from you, location, length of performance, etc.”

Stranger: “So, you wouldn’t just want to come to one of our barbecues and hang out with us and maybe bring all your instruments and just play?”

My Inner Dialog: “What did you say you did again? Accountant? So, you wouldn’t wanna just maybe come over to my house on video game night, and just bring your laptop, and I’ll just give you a stack of paper receipts, and you can just go through all of them for me and maximize my deductions for me while you’re doing my taxes? We’ll let you eat some of our canned chips and salsa. If you finish early, you can play one game of Madden with us. But you have to be the Cleveland Browns. Cool?”

What I Actually Say: “Yeah, the barbecue sounds like a super fun time. We’d love to play for you and all of your friends. Definitely send me an email, and we’ll discuss details, including pay rate, etc.”

What Actually Happens Next: I never receive an email. I assume this means I am also no longer invited to the stranger’s barbecue.

Dialog #8:

Friend: “Hey, I’m getting married soon, and I was wondering if we could borrow your PA for the reception?”

My Inner Dialog: “Sure, come pick it up the morning of, and have it back to me by no later than the same time the next morning because I have a gig that night. Oh wait, what? That’s right. You don’t know how to setup a PA, so you’ll need me to do that for you. Oh, what? That’s right. You don’t own any songs or have any clue what people would want to listen to at a wedding because you’ve never had a wedding before and you’ve only been to 3 other people’s in your entire life, so you’ll need me to do that, too.”

What I Actually Say: “Of course, friend. What’s your entertainment budget for this event?”

Friend: “…”

Me: “Hello…”

Friend: “I’ll take that as a no then?”

Me: “Can’t I just come to your wedding? I’d really rather not have to make business impact our relationship. Also, if I’m working, I won’t really get to see much of you or share in your special day.”

Friend: “I only asked if we could borrow your PA.”

Me: “I know. How about $1500.”

Friend: “Whatever man.”

Me: “Whatever man your face! I can’t support your decision to not hire professional entertainment for your wedding. It is a direct contradiction of everything I fight so hard for in my career. I don’t ask you to bake me vegan cupcakes for my entire extended family whenever I have a family reunion because of course neither of those things are real. What? Vegan cupcakes are real? Why?”

What Actually Happens Next: I eat a GIANT rack of ribs at my friend’s wedding while an iPod plays through a boombox!

Dialog #9:

Restaurant/Bar Owner via Facebook: “Oh, hey, Troy, I wanted to let you know we booked someone else for tonight, so we won’t be needing you to show up. But we’ll see you on the 25th when you’re back here. Thanks.”

My Inner Dialog: “…” [Never saw it. Sent at 5PM on a Friday while I was in the car on the way to the venue.]

What Actually Happens Next: I get to my gig, and some Schmoe is already setup.

Me: “Hey man, who are you?”

Schmoe: “I’m the entertainment for tonight.”

Me: “Well, I don’t find you very entertaining.”

Schmoe: “What do you mean, I haven’t started yet. I’m still setting up.”

Me: “Well, I am not amused.”

Schmoe: “I’m sorry. Do I know you?”

Me: “I should hope not. I’d hate to think you knew they were hiring you on a night they already had entertainment booked and that they’d forget to even tell me not to come.”

Schmoe: “Oh, this was supposed to be your gig? Sorry man. Yeah, I just walked in here about 45 minutes ago asking if I could play. They said they’d give me $75 and free dinner, but I told them that wasn’t necessary. I just want to play, you know? Hey man, if you want to, you could maybe come up for a song or two during my break?”

My Inner Dialog: “Where is something for me to kill?”

Restaurant/Bar Owner: “Troy? What are you doing here? Did you not get my Facebook message?”

Me: “If I did, do you think I’d be standing here? Also, FYI, Facebook is not an acceptable means of communicating a last minute cancellation of a job, so in the future, it’d be nice if you could pick up a telephone and call me so that all of this can be avoided. Also, since you cancelled on me with less than two weeks notice, I won’t be able to book a gig elsewhere tonight. Therefore, I’m gonna need at LEAST half of my rate or I’ll burn this place to the ground. Fair?”

Restaurant/Bar Owner: “Hahahaha! Oh Troy, you are so silly. I’m sorry for the mix up. Can I buy you dinner?”

My Inner Dialog: “Is dinner $250?”

What I Actually Say: “No thanks. I’d never eat here anyway.”

Restaurant/Bar Owner: “Hahahaha! Oh Troy, you are so silly. We’ll see you on the 25th then?”

Me: “Unless I just walk out into oncoming traffic before then.”

Restaurant/Bar Owner: “Hahahaha! Oh Troy, you are so silly. Okay my friend. See you then.”

What Actually Happens Next: He sees me on the 25th.

Dialog #10:

My Drummer: “Hey man. I just got offered a gig on the same night that I’m already booked with you, but they’re offering more money. Is it cool if I take it?”

Me: “Is it cool if I find another drummer? Permanently?”

My Drummer: “C’mon man. You’d totally take the money!”

Me: “Yes, but I can also sing and play the guitar at the same time. You sit on a box. Literally anyone with nubs or better for arms could do what you do. Do you think I actually pay you to sit next to me because you are amazing at beating on a box? No. It’s because I DESPERATELY need someone to hang out with during my breaks. So now you’re telling me if I want you to hang out with me at this upcoming gig, it’s gonna cost me an extra $50? You’re a prostitute, you know that right?”

My Drummer: “LOL. So I’ll see you at the one after next?”

Me: “No. You’re fired.”

What Actually Happens Next: I literally hire a guy with nubs for arms to replace him. Sympathy tips increase tenfold.

That’s it. I hope this gives everyone a better understanding of just what kind of an @$$hole I actually am some of the things that even the best of intentions can’t overcome the annoyingness thereof. Once again, please leave me a comment about any of these you may have been guilty of in the past when talking to musicians, or if you’re a musician, tell me how you would have handled the situation(s) differently. And thank you as always for reading.

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