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Re: [BucksMusic] A Blog About Payed Showcases

From: Valerie
Sent on: Thursday, June 13, 2013 6:04 PM
Here, here, Hal! I agree!

Sent from my iPhone

On Jun 13, 2013, at 5:43 PM, Hal <[address removed]> wrote:

Dear BCAM Members,

Hal Aaron Cohen here. I'd like to put the issue of money for showcasing out on the table.  I have discussed this in private with Serge in the past several times, but now I'd like to share my thoughts with the group, so you understand where I'm coming from when I bring up the subject of money for showcases.

Before I begin, let me just say that I don't see the situation at Katie O's to be the same at all. Not even close. To Katie O's, we were just a short-lived experiment that didn't work. They already have their big night on Wednesday with the karaoke - that's just what their crowd is into. That and rowdy live Irish music nights.

Brady's Pub is another story. We have been bringing a lot of people into the hotel bar there for several years and we have provided some pretty darned good entertainment for the guests of the Crowne Plaza hotel. Guests, by the way, who pay a lot of money to stay there, and come down to the pub to eat and drink there.  Our open mic serves to be a great source of entertainment for Brady's Pub and the Crowne Plaza as well as a wonderful outlet for our group, including me - We all enjoy performing and trying out new songs and what have you - and we gladly perform for free because we genuinely love to sing and play and willingly bare our souls to a supportive group of musicians of all levels.

But when Brady's Pub had an opportunity to step up and offer some of the pros in the group a chance to play for pay on a Friday or Saturday night, they opted to an outside booking agent to bring in entertainers from outside the group. Most of these entertainers have never spent a dime at Brady's Pub, because they live 2 plus hours away. 

Remember when our open mic was at Joseph's Grill? For all their shortcomings, Joseph's hired members of BCAM to play on Friday night happy hours and other events. They did so because they recognized that we, and our families and friends were patronizing the restaurants on nights other than Thursday.  So when we moved to Brady's, I think many of us ( at least I did), thought that they would book talent from within our group in a similar fashion. But apparently, Brady's doesn't recognize our contribution to their profits. Even when our group inadvertently attracted the Bucks Singles Meetup Group, resulting in some wildly busy nights thanks to Rich, and Serge & the rest of us, who show up almost religiously, week after week, Brady's has never offered us any other night where some of us could possibly earn a payed showcase for our efforts.

So, when the offer to come in extra early and be rewarded by getting a 30 minute showcase is presented, I asked if there would be any pay.  Remember,  I have made a pretty good living playing music at times for many years of my life, and I still continue to get some pretty amazing gigs…  and for that, I count my blessings. But I also think there is no shame in asking to be payed for something just because it's something we love to do.  There's nothing wrong with making a living doing what you love.  Unfortunately, too many owners and mangers of a lot of venues know this, and are perfectly content taking whatever we'll give them.  And after all these years attending the open mic at Brady's,  they've been exploiting us since day one.   Sure, I'm still going to show up and participate in the open mic, same as always. But, unless I'm in one of those crazy moods where I can't stop going - my set is over after the tree song limit. And I still enjoy the people who show up every week along with the bartenders, servers, and all the food & drinks.  

In closing I'd like to give a nod to Skip for playing all of those extended sets without ever asking for anything in return.  I love your energy, man!  ANNNNDDD let me just end by wishing Christine best wishes and great luck in taking over the reins on Thursdays. I will continue to come in and support you.  Yeah, I'll probably wander in late Thursday nights as usual and help you break down the gear. 

Yours in song and thanks for letting me vent!


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