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#438014 - 09/27/17 02:56 PM It does give one pause.
guitpic1 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/16/14
Posts: 1237
Loc: MN
My wife and I are on our way to our last gig for a number of months.

My Ford Ranger pickup is full...keyboard, stand, speaker, cables, etc. sometimes I'm amazed at how much gear we haul for a one hour gig.

Then unloading, set up, tear down, reload the pickup...unload the pickup again when we get home.

Ooofta.



Edited by guitpic1 (09/27/17 02:56 PM)
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#438015 - 09/27/17 03:04 PM Re: It does give one pause. [Re: guitpic1]
tony mads usa Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/16/02
Posts: 11327
Loc: East Greenwich RI USA
Originally Posted By guitpic1
Ooofta.


In Italian that would be "OOOFAH !!!"

But you are right ... I've pretty much always said "I get paid for setting up and breaking down, the music I do for nothing" ...
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#438016 - 09/27/17 03:15 PM Re: It does give one pause. [Re: guitpic1]
cgiles Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/29/05
Posts: 4569
Loc: Roswell,GA/USA
You can make more money being a home player.....no travel expenses, no special clothes to purchase, no equipment wear and tear, no medical expenses ie. muscle strain from hoisting a G70 onto a stand or a 15" speaker onto a pole, or a heart attack from seeing a drunk spill a drink on your spanking new GENOS. The savings will far outweigh the $100.00 you make on the gig. I can say that personally, I have MUCH more discretionary income since I stopped gigging smile smile smile.

chas
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#438017 - 09/27/17 03:41 PM Re: It does give one pause. [Re: guitpic1]
DonM Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/25/99
Posts: 13929
Loc: Benton, LA, USA
I'm blessed. I leave everything set up. I walk in, pull the tablecloth off my keyboard, plug in my power strip, turn on the kb and start playing. If I get thirsty I signal the bartender or waiter. When I finish I get a gourmet meal. People drink enough to think I'm good and they seldom BOO.
And on top of all that they PAY me pretty well to be there! Yes it's four hours, but no set-up time, no lifting and plugging and all that stuff. I don't make as much as pilots, but it ain't bad either, and I don't have to worry about the plane crashing. smile
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#438019 - 09/27/17 03:45 PM Re: It does give one pause. [Re: guitpic1]
travlin'easy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 12689
Loc: Forest Hill, MD USA
Sorry, Chas, to disagree. I made a pretty darned good living doing those one hour jobs, but as you can see in that video I posted on another thread, my rig was very streamlined, lightweight, and until my health went to Hell, which was at age 75, I was able to do two to three jobs a day, loved every minute of it, and was able to buy a lot of neat stuff and travel to some far away places (such as Benton, LA), and back. Since my unfortunate retirement, the checking account has slowly, but surely fallen a bit, while during the time I was performing, it managed to climb every month. Now, if I'm able to sell the boat, a big chunk will go back into the checking account, and if I stop drinking Jim Beam Honey it would likely stabilize, but so far those plans haven't seemed to work out like I was hoping. wink

Guitpic, from most of your recent posts, it appears that you are growing weary of being a performer/entertainer. I have always looked at this as a business, a fun business, but nonetheless a business. In many ways, I guess I'm an old Ham, loved being on stage in front of a crowd of adoring fans, loved the applause and never really looked at the clock. Consequently, some of those 1-hour jobs lasted a bit longer than an hour, for which the ADs and audiences were quite appreciative. My point is, if you are not having fun and enjoying every minute, then maybe it's time for you to hang it up and take up golf, fishing, basket weaving, race car driving, or sailing - something entirely different. To me, if a job wasn't fun and interesting, I would have exited, stage left.

Something to think about,

Gary cool
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#438027 - 09/27/17 07:05 PM Re: It does give one pause. [Re: travlin'easy]
Mark79100 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/23/06
Posts: 1072
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By travlin'easy
.....if you are not having fun and enjoying every minute, then maybe it's time for you to hang it up a
Gary cool


Gary.......then again you've got to remember the worst of this job is still head and tails better than the "best" of most other jobs. Thinking that always kept me in check on the "poor me" days.

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#438028 - 09/27/17 07:32 PM Re: It does give one pause. [Re: guitpic1]
hammer Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2050
Loc: Texas
Well, for me it is a God-Send to be a paid performing musician. I have played professionally since 1955 and have been very fortunate to have played with some of the best know big bands in America. I took about 30 years off and never played note during that time. When I started playing arranger keyboards - about 12 years ago I started playing for retirement homes and now I am lucky enough to select the ones I will book and still will play about 250+ gigs this year.

Chas, like Gary, I am sorry to disagree with your idea about extra money.
I keep very good records of miles driven, equipment costs, on the road food stops, marketing costs and anything else that is deductible and it is not very difficult to nearly break even. The money I earn pays for a lot of fun things for my wife and I and we never have to touch our normal income sources for these fun things. Thanks to a very wise accountant I have been able to buy whatever equipment I wanted to try out and nearly break even on it when applied to our overall tax situation.

Anyway, that is how it has worked for me and even at age 77 I am still going strong and have no intention of giving it up in the very near future.

Deane

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#438036 - 09/27/17 10:25 PM Re: It does give one pause. [Re: Mark79100]
Mark79100 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/23/06
Posts: 1072
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By Mark79100
Originally Posted By travlin'easy
.....if you are not having fun and enjoying every minute, then maybe it's time for you to hang it up a
Gary cool


Gary.......then again you've got to remember the worst of this job is still head and tails better than the "best" of most other jobs. Thinking that always kept me in check on the "poor me" days.


I often thought of it this way....each event is a different experience, never the same old 9-5 daily, I'm traveling to gigs and seeing different parts of the land all the time, eating the best of meals, meeting new people, experiencing the prestige of being viewed, respected and treated as a professional, the enjoyment of making people happy, and.....picking up a paycheck on top of it all. Plus.....I'm my own boss!

I don't ever remember (up to when I burned out four years ago) not enjoying what I was doing (and even feeling guilty for getting paid for it).

I'm sure I said once before....but I'll say it again. Someone asked me "would you rather be driving a taxi on the night shift somewhere in the Bronx?" Thinking about that always kept me in line when I needed to be "kept in line!"

Unfortunately, though......it ain't like that anymore!" Hence, my "burnout!"

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#438037 - 09/27/17 10:27 PM Re: It does give one pause. [Re: cgiles]
Mark79100 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/23/06
Posts: 1072
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By cgiles
I have MUCH more discretionary income since I stopped gigging smile smile smile.

chas


And that's the other side of the coin. Pick your poison!

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#438045 - 09/28/17 02:57 AM Re: It does give one pause. [Re: Mark79100]
bruno123 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 3289
Loc: West Palm Beach, FL 33417
After playing jobs for many years. In 1968 I decided to become a stock broker (an agent) Took the test, passed it –I my first two weeks’ pay check was $3,150. Trips to vacation resorts and parties; the latest in clothes and cars.

I quit in at the end of 1969. Why I was not having any fun. It was all business; even the trips and parties was business.

My saddest day has come; I have to leave the playing and performing business.

My point; The joy of playing and the joy of getting a new instrument has nothing to do with dollars. How many dollars you make playing is a different talent.
My friend Gary has done both. Amen!

John C.

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#438048 - 09/28/17 05:29 AM Re: It does give one pause. [Re: cgiles]
cgiles Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/29/05
Posts: 4569
Loc: Roswell,GA/USA
Originally Posted By cgiles
You can make more money being a home player.....no travel expenses, no special clothes to purchase, no equipment wear and tear, no medical expenses ie. muscle strain from hoisting a G70 onto a stand or a 15" speaker onto a pole, or a heart attack from seeing a drunk spill a drink on your spanking new GENOS. The savings will far outweigh the $100.00 you make on the gig. I can say that personally, I have MUCH more discretionary income since I stopped gigging smile smile smile.

chas


I thought it was quite evident that this post was mostly tongue-in-cheek. To see some people immediately get defensive about it tells me that there's probably a grain of truth in it. First of all, I wasn't talking about the full-time pro. I meant the TRUE 'week-end warrior' who derives most of his income from his 'other' job (aka 'day job').

As far as 'breaking even', does your accountant take into account the time spent preparing for and performing the 'gig'? Being able to afford the new 'toys' (again, for the weekend warrior) is mostly a function of where you are financially at this point in your life. Many here go into retirement mortgage-free and with stable incomes of 150-200k/yr. For these people, weekend gigs are more recreational than income producing and more about feeding an ego than feeding a family.

Let's face it, unless you're a full-timer with a stable gig schedule (if such a thing exists in the lower levels of the music world), you do this for love of the music and for the gratification of being a performing musician. I believe that more than half (again, weekend wariors) would do it for free.
JMO.

chas
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#438061 - 09/28/17 07:30 AM Re: It does give one pause. [Re: guitpic1]
hammer Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2050
Loc: Texas
Chas,
I was not being defensive - just didn't get the pun of it I guess. You are really right about several things though. First, I guess I fall into that group of people who play for pay as a great hobby and am able to use the extra income to enjoy life a bit more. I would not like trying to make a living doing what I do and would not do it very long if that was the case.

Deane

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#438064 - 09/28/17 07:56 AM Re: It does give one pause. [Re: guitpic1]
musicforyourday Offline
Member

Registered: 09/30/10
Posts: 697
Loc: So California, USA
at Age 54 i am young man to most of you guys so it great to hear of all your expearances

one thing to me is the excitement of new gear and the possabilty of what I can do with it keeps me going

I play a very busy calandar and work calendar as well

and I l olok forward to new products the keyboard I have now is awasome but something new just keeps it Fresh and renews interest.

burn out I have felt it surly when that happens I look to clear my mind rest a bit and then get back out there

we bring Joy to people and I am blessed to be able to do that .
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#438069 - 09/28/17 08:09 AM Re: It does give one pause. [Re: cgiles]
tony mads usa Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/16/02
Posts: 11327
Loc: East Greenwich RI USA
Originally Posted By cgiles

As far as 'breaking even', does your accountant take into account the time spent preparing for and performing the 'gig'?
chas


If ever someone questions the price I quote as being "a lot of money for a short amount of time", I just reply that they aren't paying me just for the performance time, but they are also paying a VERY small amount for the years of practice I put in to get myself to be the performer they want to hire ...

Originally Posted By cgiles
.
Let's face it, unless you're a full-timer with a stable gig schedule (if such a thing exists in the lower levels of the music world), you do this for love of the music and for the gratification of being a performing musician. I believe that more than half (again, weekend wariors) would do it for free.
JMO.
chas


Of course they would, as evidenced by 'open mic nights' or 'open jams', regardless of the genre of music ... I have a very good friend who is an excellent jazz alto player - he LOOKS for places where he might be able to sit in, just so he can PLAY ... I know of good sounding combos of all sizes that 'rehearse' one night a week, just to PLAY ...
When I first moved to RI in 1984 there was a club in downtown Providence called "Allerys" that featured a 16 piece band of local talent playing the best jazz charts for a $2 cover charge ... you KNOW they weren't doing it for the money ...
So yes, I also believe "more than half (again, weekend wariors) would do it for free."
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#438088 - 09/28/17 03:40 PM Re: It does give one pause. [Re: travlin'easy]
guitpic1 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/16/14
Posts: 1237
Loc: MN
Originally Posted By travlin'easy


My point is, if you are not having fun and enjoying every minute, then maybe it's time for you to hang it up and take up golf, fishing, basket weaving, race car driving, or sailing - something entirely different. To me, if a job wasn't fun and interesting, I would have exited, stage left.

Something to think about,

Gary cool


Tx all.

Gary, my wife has taken up basket weaving(for real!) and I've taken up fishing. 😊
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#438090 - 09/28/17 03:48 PM Re: It does give one pause. [Re: guitpic1]
guitpic1 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/16/14
Posts: 1237
Loc: MN
My wife and I may continue...part time. We have had several AD's ask us to keep our show going....we have been told we are among the most popular acts they get....don't know if they are just saying that.

For us, this is part time, done in the evenings after my wife, and often I, have worked all day. So, fatigue is an issue and entertaining takes a lot of work.

For sure my wife and I love performing. And it's good for us to do something together.

Love this forum. So many good insights.
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#438093 - 09/28/17 04:37 PM Re: It does give one pause. [Re: guitpic1]
travlin'easy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 12689
Loc: Forest Hill, MD USA
Fishing is good for ya. I should know - I've been fishing since I was 6 years old and never, ever got bored when I had a fishing rod in my hand. I was very fortunate in that while in the employ of the US Navy, I had the opportunity to fish some of the most incredible fishing destinations in the entire world, including the Great Barrier Reef.

Good luck in all your future endeavors,

Gary cool
_________________________
PSR-S950, Bose L1 Compact, TC Helicon Harmony-M, Digitech VR (2), Crown CM311A, Samson Q7, Sennheiser E855, Custom Console, Morgan 33 Out Island Sailboat, and lots of other silly stuff!

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#438159 - 09/30/17 06:25 AM Re: It does give one pause. [Re: hammer]
zuki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/20/02
Posts: 3587
Loc: Michigan USA
Originally Posted By hammer
Well, for me it is a God-Send to be a paid performing musician. I have played professionally since 1955 and have been very fortunate to have played with some of the best know big bands in America. I took about 30 years off and never played note during that time. When I started playing arranger keyboards - about 12 years ago I started playing for retirement homes and now I am lucky enough to select the ones I will book and still will play about 250+ gigs this year.

Chas, like Gary, I am sorry to disagree with your idea about extra money.
I keep very good records of miles driven, equipment costs, on the road food stops, marketing costs and anything else that is deductible and it is not very difficult to nearly break even. The money I earn pays for a lot of fun things for my wife and I and we never have to touch our normal income sources for these fun things. Thanks to a very wise accountant I have been able to buy whatever equipment I wanted to try out and nearly break even on it when applied to our overall tax situation.

Anyway, that is how it has worked for me and even at age 77 I am still going strong and have no intention of giving it up in the very near future.

Deane


Dean, at 77, you are my hero. Doing something you love and for the people. Congrats!!!
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#438160 - 09/30/17 06:36 AM Re: It does give one pause. [Re: guitpic1]
zuki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/20/02
Posts: 3587
Loc: Michigan USA
I tell my audiences "as long as my wife works, I can continue doing this".

These residents wait all month for an entertainer, someone, something and we cannot forget about them.

Sometimes, life isn't about money.
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LIVE: Korg PA3X (76) / Korg PA1000 (forthcoming) / QSCK10s / Yamaha MGO6X / Shure wireless / Strukture X stand / Zoom Q8
STUDIO: Korg PA3X (76) / Adam F5s / Yamaha MG10XU / Senn HD650 / EV ND96

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#438290 - 10/02/17 09:03 AM Re: It does give one pause. [Re: zuki]
captain Russ Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 6273
Loc: Lexington, Ky, USA
Chas, a nice, part "tongue in cheek" comment. Sad it was misunderstood by some.

Makes you wonder whether it's worth the time...

See you soon,

Russ

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