Sometimes You Just Have To Make The Best Of Things

It's October 1st tomorrow. Where has the summer gone? There were lots of gigs and lots of travel. And in between both of those there were new projects. Like upgrading my studio with almost all new gear, which is mostly still in boxes because the whole house is in disarray as we finally tackled some remodeling projects. I also bought a lot of new percussion gear, half of it still sitting in boxes, because, well, the studio has become a storage space until things around here are finished. But I figured it was time to get back to this blog.

You Can't Always Get What You Want

So what's a percussionist to do? You just keep working as best as you can. I am mixing a recording for my son, and had to rig up a mixing set up. So my new monitors are on 2 percussion trap tables, while I'm using the top of a short bookshelf for a desk to hold my MacBook and interface. It's not ideal, but it works.

Sometimes you just have to make the best of things.

Like with rented or house gear. Most times you have no idea what to expect in those situations. Yeah, it would be great to be able to always take your 12 cases of percussion with you, but shipping gear can cost a small fortune, and economics aren't always kind to the traveling musician. My motto is: if I'm driving to the gig, I can bring whatever I want. If I'm flying, then I can bring whatever the promoter pays for me to fly with, which is usually only what I can carry on in my luggage. So I better be able to work with whatever is provided, because the audience doesn't really care about my gear not being quite right. They only care about the music I will present to them. And it better be good!

I've arrived at gigs only to find gear that was not exactly what I had expected (or what was specified in the contract). Yeah, I got a bit upset for a minute, but I've learned not to take it out on anybody at the venue because:

A) It's not their fault.
B) It was my choice to do the gig.
C) Acting like a diva will get you nowhere, especially with the people at the venue.
D) Sometimes you just have to make the best of things.

Life In The Real World

I played a large music festival a few years back, where I could only bring a bag full of my favorite small instruments. I played multiple concerts and the gear provided wasn't always ideal, nor were the venues, nor was the weather. But I just went out and did my best because that's what I signed up for when I decided to be a professional musician. 

And I treated all the stage hands and festival people with respect, because without them, I couldn't do what I do. Afterwards, the promoter told me that the crew said I was the easiest artist to work with at the festival. That meant a lot to me, because I try to make things work out for everyone. 

I recently played a concert at a venue where I found the stage extremely small and weirdly shaped (sort of a trapezoid). I let myself be angry for a few minutes, then figured out how to make it work. Both the audience and the venue employees were extremely complimentary to me about my performance. Sometimes you just have to make the best of things.

I'm no big star. I'm just a guy trying to make a living at what I love doing. That makes me no different from the people working at the venue, or the people who come to hear me. We're all trying to work, relax, and keep moving forward in life.

Make the best of things, because you never know when it all could end.

~ MB

Deconstruct Yourself™


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