...serenity in motion
Why do shows have a waitlist? Because artists back out at the last-minute leaving promoters and organizations with empty spaces. I did a show in southern Idaho and there were all these empty spaces around me. Did I do something? No, several artists had committed to being at the show and then backed out at the last minute. I have been to shows where there weren’t any issues. The place was easy to access, set up a dream, and booth fee was minimal, and artists have jumped ship. Why? They didn’t realize what they were running away from and what it would do to their reputation.
Let’s think about that for a moment. I was contacted by a promoter about a show that was difficult to get into and she had lost 3 vendors. Could I do the show? It was an amazing venue but I said no, because I had another commitment. I gave her several names of other artists to call and asked what the jury process was for the show. Her response, “If you want in next year, You let me know.” Apparently, the fact that I was keeping my word and the quality of my work had just put me on a list of those worth getting on their roster.
Promoters value loyalty, it doesn’t matter if they themselves are artists or not. They have a show to put on and they need to be able to count on you. They will take into consideration family emergencies and health (COVID especially) but for those of you out there who double book trying for the best show; you will run into problems down the road. Yes there are artists who do that and maybe not now or next year, but sooner or later there will be a bridge you burned leading to a goal on the other side.
You might be great right now, your name might be a draw but; there is always someone out there who can take your place and will eagerly do so. If a show has 7 big draws and a good mailing list, they probably won’t miss you. The people who come to see you tonight, will probably go to the other show tomorrow. I live in a city and while it is a city with many opportunities, eventually an artist with a reputation of abandoning promoters will find themselves in parking lot farmer’s markets and nothing else.
So, what happens if you end up invited to 2 different venues at the same time? What did you do to get there, and who did you talk to first? One show will not ruin your career, a bad reputation might. I missed that amazing show this year, but I might be there in 2024. The artists who left that promoter in a bind, probably won’t ever be allowed back. Organizations have a long memory that might go back to when they were founded. Be forewarned, I have been in the business since I was 6 years old and I have seen how long a reputation can last.
In closing consider the advice, “Make good choices.” I hope to see you down the road.