Re: [Harp-L] Wedding gig

They prepaid me half.  I feel like it will be ok.

On Sun, Apr 15, 2012 at 11:25 PM, David Payne
<dave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Mike:
> if you ever want to do weddings, Canon in D will come up time and again.  Mrs. Elk River walked down the aisle to it. It was a fair price.
> I played a wedding once. I played wedding songs on the mandolin. They had an envelope with money already in it.What concerns me is you didnt get paid there. That really concerns me.
> Remember: Don't take the law into your own hands. You take them to court. The People's Court.
> David
> Sent from my iPhone
> On Apr 15, 2012, at 23:30, "hazcon" <hazcon@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> You wuz robbed!
>> But seriously you were working for absolute minimum wage.
>> Music sheet and what 20$ petrol each way?
>> = 50 ish dollars
>> leaves 200$
>> divided by 14 (hrs)
>> = about $13.50 per hour.
>> Of course you are going to pay tax on the net profit ;-)
>> So gawd knows what you will actually clear out of it all.
>> And this is after literally years of hard work to be even be competent enough to do what they wanted.
>> I bet the wait staff at the reception probably got more than you in the hand
>> Still i suppose we don't play Harmonica to get rich,but i don't think we should undersell ourselves.
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "michael rubin" <michaelrubinharmonica@xxxxxxxxx>
>> To: "harp-l" <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>
>> Sent: Monday, April 16, 2012 14:45
>> Subject: [Harp-L] Wedding gig
>>> So about two months ago a student showed me a craigslist ad asking for
>>> a harmonica player to play Pachelbel's Canon in D at a wedding. The
>>> experience was interesting enough to share with you.
>>> I emailed the bride. I asked her what I needed to know to quote a
>>> price. It was an hour away from my house,each way. I would need to
>>> provide amplification, I would need to buy the sheet music and learn
>>> the piece. I would need to have another song for the wedding party
>>> march and another for the walkout music plus 15 minutes of waiting for
>>> the wedding to start music. I would need to wear a nice button down
>>> shirt and slacks. I quoted $250.
>>> "We didn't expect to spend that much on a harmonica!"
>>> I asked what they'd be willing to spend. I said I wanted to help them,
>>> but please remember it took years to learn the craft, plus how to read
>>> music. It would be 3 hours away from home, where a wife and baby and
>>> mortgage waited. The sheet music would cost money. It would take an
>>> hour to buy the music. It would take at least 10 hours of rehearsing
>>> to get ready. Amplification costs money.
>>> I didn't hear back so I assumed it was lost. I told my top students
>>> about the gig, maybe they could get it.
>>> Two weeks ago, I got an email saying they were willing to spend my
>>> price. Besides taking care of a baby, chores, 4 bands and around 30
>>> students a week and a group lesson every Saturday, I also have taken
>>> on 2 unusual music projects that perhaps I will share with you when
>>> their stories are done. Plus I hadn't finished my taxes, which when
>>> self employed doing by yourself is tough! Basically I was beyond
>>> swamped and this would possibly sink me. Still, $250 is $250. I said
>>> yes.
>>> I rarely get nervous about performing. Now, I had 3 performance
>>> situations that I was nervous about. I could feel stomachaches!
>>> I bought the music. I listened to a video of a diatonic harp player
>>> the bride sent me that she liked. The diatonic player was improvising
>>> on the theme, it was nothing like my version of the music. The bride
>>> said it was the speed she wanted.
>>> Although Pachelbel's Canon in D is leagues easier than other classical
>>> pieces I have learned, there is still a very complicated eighth note
>>> passage in the middle that at her speed, I could only hit around 50%
>>> of the time. One night, I played it for my wife who said that it
>>> sounded uncomfortably fast. I agreed with her and slowed down that
>>> section. We both agreed it sounded much better. I then decided to
>>> screw the bride's tempo, I would play the entire piece with a goal of
>>> comfort and beauty. That really was the turning point. I came up with
>>> a nice version, in my opinion.
>>> I chose 10 romantic songs out of the real book and read through each a
>>> couple of times. I made sure I really had the walk songs down.
>>> Today I arrived on time and the wedding coordinator acted
>>> professionally with me. Although a beautiful space, it was very small
>>> so my amp stayed in the car. After playing almost all my romance
>>> tunes, they said it was time to start. After playing two verses, no
>>> one had walked down the aisle. I stopped. Someone let me know they
>>> needed 5 more minutes. I finished my chosen songs. Luckily I had
>>> brought a real book with me. They whisper it will probably be another
>>> 15 minutes.
>>> A half an hour later I had read every romantic song I could find and
>>> even a few where I was like "I cannot remember the lyrics. Is this
>>> romantic or sad? Screw it, I'm playing it." When the wedding party
>>> started coming out, I played the walk song until they stopped coming.
>>> Then a minute later, they cued me that there was still lots more of
>>> the wedding party to come out! I restarted the song again. Finally
>>> they let me know it was time for the bride.
>>> Remember it was a small place? I basically had gotten through the
>>> first line Baa daaa daaa daa da da daa daaaa and the bride had made it
>>> down the aisle. All that practice for nothing! Perhaps I will record
>>> it for youtube this week.
>>> Unlike normal gigs where you get to hang around the audience to get
>>> kudos, only the preacher and the coordinator were left to talk to me.
>>> The preacher took my card and asked if he could put me on his website
>>> for recommended wedding players. The coordinator did not have my
>>> money! Rather than run around the wedding trying to figure out who the
>>> bride's father is and interrupt his picture taking, I went home and
>>> sent the bride an invoice and said wait until after the honeymoon.
>>> Hopefully this story has two happy endings and not a sequel!
>>> Michael Rubin

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