The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #139357   Message #3196170
Posted By: Crowhugger
26-Jul-11 - 06:25 PM
Thread Name: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
Subject: If there's a guitar available to borrow...
BBS, if there's a guitar you can borrow, it won't hurt to let everyone you meet know that you do special occasions like baptisms, anniversaries, family barbecues, engagement parties, business luncheons, Rotary or Lions club dinners. Give them a choice of professional performance, campfire style sing-along, or background music (hey a gig is a gig at this point).

My a cappella quartet finds itself well received at retirement residences where we do performances with a sing-along segment. Even some government-run places (read: near-zero entertainment budget) are willing to scrape together our full fee from other budget lines because the residents love us.

My point of course is not mainly to share my pride in this (although it's nice to do that) but to bring your attention to this pleasant non-bar gig market: We've been tld by RR staff that there are a lot of bad karaoke singers passing themselves off as entertainment for these retirement homes, so (if you can borrow a guitar) why not try what we did: Make a 1-minute demo mp3 (we used 5 to 10 second excerpts from several well-known songs, cross-faded, put our best ones last, recorded just on handheld mp3 voice recorder). We send this out with our inquiry e-mails; you of course will limit your enquiries to locations you CAN afford to drive to. If they know up front that you sound better than what theyve had before, they'll book you in a second. At least they do here in the Toronto area, knock on wood it continues.

We just started giving out business cards (large print for RRs) during our meet & greet time with the audience after our performances. We tell them we love to do both family and business occasions; so far one booking from such chat but it's a start at diversifying. Rather than pay for cards you might prefer to use 1/3 or 1/4 of letter page as a mini-flyer, so you can produce as few or many as you need only as you need them.