Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Waiting Game

One of the most important paradigms to understand when trying to "make '"it'" is what level of show/venue one should be pursuing and at what time in one's career. This appears to be something I have yet to understand in my nearly 3 years of playing out. You see, it is very hard to translate success on stage into success in draw. By this I mean, even if I play my ass off, get an incredible reaction from the crowd, sell CDs and have 25 people sign up for my "upcoming shows" mailing list, I am still unlikely to have anyone show up for my following gig. To put it simply, it is goddamn hard to draw a crowd of strangers.

I am starting to understand the aforementioned paradigm and difficulty much better after my layoff. The last full show I played was over 4 months ago and, despite a good crowd my draw was minimal, as most of the crowd was walk-ins that stayed for the show once they heard my awesome tunes.

The main reason I bring these things up is that I recently re-evaluated the way I draw a crowd and how it could be improved. There are 2 main ways to have a good draw and here they are:

1) The Cartman owning a theme-park approach- In this approach you play very few shows and constantly pimp out your unaffordability. This makes it appear as if you are in high-demand and people grow restless and need to see your show.

2) The "Music Exec pimping Taylor Swift approach- In this approach you shove the product down the collective throat of the masses until their eyes, ears, throats and skin capillaries bleed like they were injected with heavy doses of hemotoxin. This approach requires having no shame-which suits me well

Prior to and just after my layoff I started to engage in the "Cartman" approach. I thought absence would make the heart grow fonder but, instead, it made the brain forgetful. I have actually, recently, considered turning down gigs because of my perception that they are below where I should be in my career. However, this morning I realized that I should be shamelessly promoting my music through all venues and playing as much as possible in order to saturate the market. In other words, I can't turn down any show/opportunity because I'm not at that point in my career.

There's an adage that starts "How do you get to Carnegie Hall?" and, while I originally thought you take I95 north, hit the Lincoln tunnel get onto I/NY 495, take exit 9, travel to 40th take a left to 57th, and take another left to 7th ave; apparently the real answer is "practice" (although I don't see how practice can physically get you to Carnegie Hall... unless your practicing how to get to Carnegie Hall-which seems frivolous). Nevertheless, I am heeding the words and taking every avenue I can to promote, practice, and play, as I am nowhere near close to the point where I can turn down shows.

On an aside, I re-asserted my dominance in monopoly in a game with some close friends over the weekend. My lifetime monopoly record has to look something like the 70's and 80's red army hockey team's minus the miracle on the ice at this point.

Your awful lyrics come from Mr. Joshua Radin and his song "Sun drenched world" heregoes:

I can't get to bed
But I'm really tired
The things in my head
You used to admire in your
Sun drenched world
It couldn't be worse
Don't bother asking and
Here comes the nerves

Well.... that makes about as much sense as a funion coat.

Keep rockin' in the free world