Re: [Harp-L] Wedding gig

If the brides don't want a former HARMONICAT at their wedding, then we're all in trouble! Lol.

I didn't realize you hired a band for your wedding, George. 
Besides the paid musicians, Didn't Jerry Murad also play at your wedding? 

Sent from my iPhone

On Apr 16, 2012, at 9:14, George Miklas <harmonicat@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Michael and Dave,
> Here are my wedding stories....
> First....In the Fall of 2009, I was contacted to play a Wedding in July 2010.  The groom is a harmonica player, and they also wanted Pachalbel's Canon in D along with Ashokan Farewell amongst other songs.  Then I had scheduled my surgery for June 6th.  I told the wedding party not to be afraid, that I would in fact recover to be able to play the date, plus I was already preparing my understudy (my daughter that can read any music on any instrument).  Well famous last words, right?  ...they cancelled me due to the surgery.   This story has a happy ending.... this past February a man came to my house for me to service his SUZUKI F-64 Fabulous and SUZUKI SC-64 Slider.... As I was working on his harmonicas, he and his wife disclose that they were the bride and groom that had wanted me to play their wedding.
> Second...I attended a Bridal Expo in February to advertise my harmonica services for weddings.  I prepared a beautiful presentation / display board, and printed brochures and business cards.  So far, only 4 brides have contacted me.  The common story is that they want the harmonica player for next to nothing.  And you can explain and justify all you want....they just don't want to pay.  Perhaps, it is the economic decline of my geographical region.  But I have negotiated, and even came up with a 20% discount ...just because they attended the Bridal expo ...just to get the gig ....and yet, no gig yet.  Ah but in time, I suppose it will happen.
> George
> P.S.:  For my wedding in 1995, I paid $500.00 for a brass quintet, $200 for a pianist, $75x2 for vocalists.... a total of $850.00 for music.  Michael, our prices are reasonable, and is really a cheaper alternative.  Marketing...its all about marketing!  (of course, that page is still under construction)
> -- 
> George Miklas, Harmonica Performing Artist and Entertainer
> Harmonica Repair Done Right by George
> Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica
> On Mon, Apr 16, 2012 at 7:33 AM, michael rubin <michaelrubinharmonica@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> David,
> They prepaid me half.  I feel like it will be ok.
> Michael
> On Sun, Apr 15, 2012 at 11:25 PM, David Payne
> <dave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > Mike:
> > if you ever want to do weddings, Canon in D will come up time and again.  Mrs. Elk River walked down the aisle to it. It was a fair price.
> > I played a wedding once. I played wedding songs on the mandolin. They had an envelope with money already in it.What concerns me is you didnt get paid there. That really concerns me.
> > Remember: Don't take the law into your own hands. You take them to court. The People's Court.
> >
> > David
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Sent from my iPhone
> >
> > On Apr 15, 2012, at 23:30, "hazcon" <hazcon@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> >
> >> You wuz robbed!
> >> But seriously you were working for absolute minimum wage.
> >> Music sheet and what 20$ 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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