The age old conundrum: you’re not getting hired because you don’t have experience or a track record.
How do you get expereince?
Many of us current and former LA based musicians were dying to get in to the LA studio recording scene for TV, movies and commercials. It was a small and closed musical community that was hard to break in to: it’s an incredibly competetive, incestuous world that could get ugly at times. (Does this sound familiar?)
The Hollywood music contractors that that made most of the hiring decisions would frequently say. “I’d love to hire you, Kid, but you don’t have experience. I don’t know how you play, and I can’t take the chance. Studio time is extremely costly, and I need to hire musicians I know from experience who will get it right the first time.”
One exception — if you didn’t have experience, but you knew the composer for a certain movie or TV show, there was a good chance they would hire you. “That’s how I got in to the scene, albeit briefly. You too have friends in hight places. https://bit.ly/2MibPje
Like those Hollywood contractors, classical music agents and managers won’t sign artists, much less return emails and phone calls, if the artist doesn’t have a performance track record.
Here are some ways to get (more) experience and your track record.
1. Play more concerts: churches, synagogues, community centers, hospital waiting rooms and treatment centers, assisted living facilities, active senior residences, cafes, bars, bistros, Wholefoods…
Video tape these performances, and upload them to your website and social media account pages. Classical music artist managers, agents, bookers, publicists and other “influencers” have access to YouTube, FB and your website.
2. Start your own Chamber Music Series at a church, synagogue, community center or café. Video tape those performances and post them to your website.
3. Look for new venues where you can perform, especially the nontraditional setting: cellist Zuill Bailey and guitarist Tony Morris are two examples of artists of finding new places to play. (See Step No. 1)
4. Do you have a relationship with the local youth orchestra? You can help them as a role model, and they can help you as a soloist. If they’re musically up to it, you could play a concerto with them. Another potential video to post.
Now, you have “experience” and a track record. it’s now documented for managers, agents, bookers, publicists and other “influencers” to see, enjoy and to take you seriously.
There’s also a valuable personal, humanitarian and even a bonus component to getting experience that goes beyond getting experience and establishing a track record. In the case of the performances you offer to the ill, the less fortunate and those living in asphalt jungles, where beauty is rarely seen, you are offering your artistic gifts to people who need you. To quote Curtis Institute of Music composition major, Maya Johnson, “Show up where you are needed.” Maybe that’s the best and most fulling experience you can gain.
These steps are part of a previous not-a-blog: “22 Things to do while waiting for your big break.” https://bit.ly/2VjQAlj