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#157563 - 11/07/07 06:57 AM Audience Profiling
btweengigs Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/09/02
Posts: 1910
Loc: Stuart, Florida, USA
Borrowing from another thread, Mark79100 made a point that, I think, deserves it's own thread. He said:
"Regards my remark about 'music not being fun anymore,' I meant for working musicians out there in the "battlefield" (the venues). Now there is mountains of paperwork involving each job, traffic to get through, tons of equipment to carry, inattentive/unappreciative/rude/musically illiterate audiences, contemporary music that sounds like a washing machine on steroids and impossible to play without 1/2 dozen sequencer programs running simultaneously, etc.

I'm not a pessimist, I'm a realist for those wondering where I'm coming from! The only real enjoyment I get nowadays from music is sitting at the piano and playing my heart out for myself. I wouldn't give that up for the world!

WOW!!! He may not be the only one here who feels that way. Sometimes I get some of the same vibes, especially the part about "inattententive/unappreciative/rude/musically illiterate" people.

I work in a highly seasonal type of environment where, mostly retired folks in the 50+ age group, come down for the winter in kind of a "vacation" frame of mind and expect to be personally catered to. Most belong to country clubs and social organizations of like minded people.

Those from certain parts of country and ethnic heritage tend to cluster together. None are horrible people, but I find their behavior and response to entertainment is very different from one another.

Without going into the specifics of profiling, I will say I find those from the midwest to be the friendliest, most attentive and appreciative people I play for. As a result I solicit at places and organizations that attract people that fit that kind of profile.

It is said that the most popular entertainers have the ability to "read their audiences" and get on their page. Most of us are adaptable and can usually do that. However, when I feel I can't even share the same book as them, I will no longer solicit or accept jobs from them.

I no longer feel bad or regret turning down offers from clients that make my evening less than enjoyable. Entertaining is a very synergistic business. When entertainers and audiences are in total sync, there is nothing better.

Eddie
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#157564 - 11/07/07 07:03 AM Re: Audience Profiling
Dnj Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 33859
Loc: Jersey Shore, NJ USA
Eddie in today's day & age of musical performance for the OMB this is where the Professionally Experienced JUGGLING of the the BIG 3 come into full view for success for any audience situation.

STYLES/SMF/MP3's
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#157565 - 11/07/07 07:15 AM Re: Audience Profiling
captain Russ Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 6231
Loc: Lexington, Ky, USA
Eddie, I understand. There are places I simply won't work and people I won't play for. There are types of music I simply won't play.

I'm not in the business of playing just anything for anybody. It's harder to be so selective, but the work is out there. And, when you specialize and become the recognized "expert" in your market, the pay is sometimes much better.

Everyone has to manage their efforts in a way that is satisfying to them. I couldn't use MP-3's, sequences and the like. Others do and it works for them.

Perhaps the difference is how entertainers approach the market vs. how musicians do it.

Nothing inherently wrong with either approach. We need just to decide where our passion is and work hard to make the success happen.

Believe me, I understand.

Best of luck!

Russ

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#157566 - 11/07/07 07:43 AM Re: Audience Profiling
Dnj Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 33859
Loc: Jersey Shore, NJ USA
Also Eddie.....If your just a weekend worrior your would approach it differently then some one who makes a good living for themselves & family...but we all know this stuff already dont we
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#157567 - 11/07/07 09:48 AM Re: Audience Profiling
mikeathome1 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 1208
Loc: Syracuse NY
I think the times are changing and live entertainment is getting less and less important to the masses.
We're all musicians here so we are interested in music and other musicians. Some of the older folks still appreciate live music but the younger ones are used to music videos, big screen, video games, Karaoke, ipods. They have their music on demand like we never did in the days of records. You wanted to go see a live group because you couldn't download it on your phone.
Unless you live in a resort area I see less and less live local music happening, we used to have a "club on every corner and a band in every club."
I can't even think of a restaurant that has live entertainment any more. As a matter of fact it's getting harder and harder to find a local restaurant, the chains have all moved in, Applebees, Olive garden. Pre packaged frozen entrees.
UGH! the times are changing.
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#157568 - 11/07/07 10:03 AM Re: Audience Profiling
Dnj Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 33859
Loc: Jersey Shore, NJ USA
Mike dont be fooled by the all the camouflage you mentioned.....its still there for the taking .....look between the cracks, make the necessary changes, be very flexible, forget what you like & play for the audiences pleasure first, look at the whole picture, give yourself the edge & make sure Your Act is Better then your competition.
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#157569 - 11/07/07 12:42 PM Re: Audience Profiling
captain Russ Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 6231
Loc: Lexington, Ky, USA
Mike, the secret is to not play for the masses.

There are markets out there...big money upscale markets where it's possible to charge $500.00 plus on a Tuesday night for quiet atmosphere creating music for a dinner for 25 people, for instance.

There are jazz lots of jazz only jobs here in the heart of the Bluegrass that pay top dollar. I suspect that the money people are intimidated into believing that they have to like jazz and hire jazz musicians to "fit".

The film soundscore market it also very lucrative. Of course, just supplying music is a harder sell than providing turnkey services,..scripting...camera, editing, sound track, media packaging/graphics, etc. Pay is not as linked to talent as it is to the size of the market. I net over $10,000.00 for each fully produced 15 minute film score for an automobile manufacturer, and do multiple projects a year for them, where I also net many times that for script production and all other elements.

The point is, I'm an average player who has an acceptable level of skills in multiple areas and access to "money" clients.

The downside is, the work is relatively boring, except for the satisfaction of working at that level and fulfilling the communications needs of the client.


It's not nearly as fulfilling as a throw together session on B-3 with great players, but it more than pays the bills.

A good living is absolutely possible. You just have to reach the "non-mass" markets and become the "go-to" source.


Russ

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#157570 - 11/07/07 01:46 PM Re: Audience Profiling
mikeathome1 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 1208
Loc: Syracuse NY
But Russ You play to the "masses" just not the same masses as others. Of course I mean your audience.
Quote:
Originally posted by captain Russ:


There are lots of jazz only jobs here in the heart of the Bluegrass that pay top dollar. I suspect that the money people are intimidated into believing that they have to like jazz and hire jazz musicians to "fit".


Russ


And that is the attitude I'm talking about how many of them would really care if there was no music or recorded music at the events.
And even more how many of the next generation would care.

I agree with Donny and Russ you have to change with the times.
I had written a long reply but basically in my area, Central New York, I see less live music venues, less opportunities for local musicians. When I was a teenager I was playing jobs on the weekends. I don't see that anymore.
And more and more if the budget gets tight entertainment is the first cutback. Even if the budget isn't tight lets get a dj and have shrimp cocktails instead of live music. And I've been on all sides of that discussion as a musician, a dj and booking the parties.
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#157571 - 11/07/07 01:49 PM Re: Audience Profiling
Songman55 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/24/05
Posts: 892
Loc: Baltimore, MD USA
I agree with Donny and Russ. It's out there, you just have to look for it. There was a time when I tried to be all things to all people, but I found for me, that's not the best approach. Since limiting myself to certain age groups, ect., and actually turning down some work, my phone is ringing off the hook. I think I'll also try Gary Diamond's approach and double my price and see if the demand doesn't go higher. We can all say things aren't what they used to be, but at age 57, I'm having the time of my life doing exactly what I love to do. What could be better than that?

Ciao,

Joe

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Songman55
Joe Ayala
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#157572 - 11/07/07 02:07 PM Re: Audience Profiling
Dnj Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 33859
Loc: Jersey Shore, NJ USA
Besides looking for it........
you have to CREATE YOUR NICHE...& it will take years to do it right.
supply & demand will substantiate the price charged.... but you had Better have
"THE GOODS" to back it up, if the client feels cheated by a sub par performance after the gig your done & as good as the word can spread....it can also rapidly backfire in reverse in your area & beyond, always give them 150%
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