Over 300 Musicians Learn To Think Outside The Box & “Get Gigs That Pay Real Money”Monday, July 20th, 2015
Over 300 gigging musicians came out on a hot, sunny afternoon on Saturday, July 19, at the University of Toronto for the “How to Get Gigs that Pay Real Money” seminar, which was presented by Canadian Musician (CM) and sponsored by GigSalad. The three-hour panel discussion and Q&A saw CM publisher Jim Norris moderate a panel that included GigSalad founder Mark Steiner, corporate event planner Roni Feldman (Roni Feldman & Associates), and Mia and Benjamin Hackett of the duo Azalea.
The focus of the discussion was about performing musicians thinking beyond the typical, low-paying pub gig and thinking outside the box about unique opportunities that often pay better but get ignored by musicians. One example came from Mia and Benjamin of Azalea, who gave an anecdote about a gentleman who found them through GigSalad and paid them very good money to play one song in a private setting while he proposed to his girlfriend. The duo of Azalea also talked about the importance of visual presentation, even when busking, saying that when they began busking, just in jeans and t-shirts, they didn’t attract very much attention or money, but when they began presenting a distinct, coordinated look with their attire that meshed with their music, they began attracting crowds and making much more money than they thought possible by busking.
Roni Feldman provided loads of great advice about the different mindset involved in doing corporate gigs versus pub shows and traditional concerts. She says if you’re able to leave your ego at the door and embrace the gig for what it is, such as providing ambiance and instrumental music at a corporate event where the band is not the focus of attention, the well-paying opportunities can be plentiful and lucrative. She also stressed the importance of professional behaviour and discussed what questions musicians should be asking before playing a corporate gig.
One of the major takeaways from the panelists was that musicians must think of themselves as both a product and artist. You won’t succeed if you’re not passionate about your art, but if you get too precious about the idea of being an “artist,” you can lose sight of what the client (or potential client) needs from you. As Roni Feldman emphasized, you have to know who your audience and client is and what their needs are and cater to that. You’re being hired to fulfill their need, not yours.
You can keep an eye out for a feature article in a future issue of Canadian Musician where we will discuss with the panelists their experiences and lessons for musicians about getting outside-the-norm and finding unique gigs that pay well and how to market yourself to these clients.
Many of the attendees went home with incredible door prizes, including a Schecter Demo Solo Guitar, Yamaha PRO400 headphones, Yamaha THR5 amplifier, Led Zeppelin deluxe box set, AKG K121 headphones, GigSalad memberships, Blue Encore 100 microphone, Audio-Technica ATH M40X microphone, Radial Stage Direct DI box, and much more.