Things look very different from the stage, part 5.

Y’all seem to enjoy the updates, but this one isn’t very exciting – though it may be informative. Once again, I’m not sure what benefit these have and I pretty much only keep them up because people seem interested.

See, there’s a lot that non-musicians don’t actually get to experience. I try to write about those things and this looks as though it’s some sort of series and will probably continue.

Make of it what you will, but this one is probably not that interesting.

Sometimes, we get time off for good behavior!

We had a show scheduled for this coming Saturday and it’s been canceled. I’m actually pretty grateful for this, ’cause we’re still getting paid – and we’re getting paid the full amount.

If you’ve been following the series about things performing musicians should know, you’d know that I’m a stickler for a few things. Two of them is a contract and a lawyer.

If you cancel more than seven days in advance, you pay a lower fee. If you cancel within seven days of the scheduled event, you pay the full fee. This cancellation came in late last night, within seven days of the scheduled event.

It worked out pretty well and I can just go get paid today. Sweet! I will explain what happened, however.

I got a message from the venue manager last night saying that they had to cancel the event. This morning, I contacted them and they eventually called me back. It turns out, it was a major plumbing issue and their insurance is absolutely going to cover my fees so he doesn’t much care.

So, we’re getting paid the full amount (less anything we’d have made from the door), and we’re getting a paid weekend off. This is exactly why I have contracts and exactly why I ensure we all know what the contracts say in plain language.

Our client had absolutely zero complaints with paying us and there’s no need to get lawyers involved. I can drive to the venue right now and get paid. In fact, I’m going to cheat and send the drummer. (That’s why he makes the big bucks!)

We have an open invitation to play a venue (again – we’ve already played there) that’s a couple hours away – IF they have no other scheduled act. I could call them and get the extra exposure, but there’s no time to do much promotion and we’d be playing for our minimal fee plus 50% of the door. The last time we were there, it was pretty lucrative. Still, a weekend off is a nice thing.

Besides, I can’t change it now! I already sent out the text messages saying that the event was canceled and to come on over and get paid for this weekend and skip rehearsals this week, unless they just want to jam for a bit.

We don’t have anything official the following week – though the band will still get paid, ’cause we’re doing a semi-private event that’s hosted here at my home. I’ll still pay the band, though they’ll be eating, drinking, and sleeping here. I figure they still should get paid. I’ll even pay the two people I’ve decided to call roadies.

Yes, the roadies will even get paid for this canceled event. I told ’em to be there and that they’d get paid. They may have scheduled that and put off other things, thus they deserve to be paid their full amount.

There’s a few things to take from this…

  1. Those contracts are important.
  2. It’s important to maintain an air of professionalism.
  3. Treating the people you work with like humans, and with respect, goes a long ways.
  4. Shit happens, and sometimes it’s advantageous.

And that’s pretty much it. They had a major flood, they are insured, they’ll get paid, and we’re getting paid.

If I hadn’t had a contract, we’d not be getting paid. If I hadn’t stipulated a time-frame in which they’d have to pay the full amount, we’d be getting paid less. Granted, I knew this stuff ahead of time – but I still had it authored by a lawyer. I still maintained my air of professionalism.

I didn’t get angry. I didn’t call them up and demand they do anything – I asked them what was wrong and what I could do to help. After all, it’s in my best interest for my customers to have a good time and, if applicable, make money. I want them to call me back with a new gig. I want them to tell their friends that we’re professionals. I want them to tell their friends that we’re willing to go above and beyond. I want them to say we’re better than good.

So, no matter what you do for work, there might be something in there that you can take away from this. What could have been their drama spilling over into my drama actually worked out to be less drama for everyone involved. They need only show their insurance company the contract. Hell, the insurance company is already involved.

This is an example of why I tell you these rules. Had I not followed these rules, I’d have still been obligated, by contract and morality, to pay my band. Had I not followed these rules, I’d not have a lawyer to advise me. Had I not had a contract, I might have had to involve a lawyer.

None of that happened and things are going exactly according to plan. Shit happens. It happens surprisingly frequently in this industry. The lessons I write aren’t for no reason, they’re things I’ve learned over decades of experience.

Take from it what you will. I’m not sure how it applies to your job, but those are things that applied to mine. (Seems so strange to say I have a job.) I don’t know if I’ll bother to do a 5.5 this week, ’cause we’re not actually doing a show! Until next time…

Shut up and play us a song!

Slight update: I’m already getting text replies asking if they can still come jam on Saturday. I love my band, I really do. I might do something we’re we invite the venue owner, their family, and their staff here. I mean, after all, they’re are paying us to do nothing. We shall see. If so, I’ll let ya know if it’s interesting.

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