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What's it like, being a nomadic freelance musician?

April 1, 2018

Well, I'll tell ya. It sure is interesting.

 

Church gigs can be a big part of a freelance musician's income and much of the time the music is far easier than traditional classical music so there's significantly less work involved for us outside of rehearsal and performance.

 

The Truth in The Tale:

 

March is (at least this year) an empty month in the semi full time symphony world. Very few concerts happening so I have been taking my time and devoting it elsewhere on other projects. When I found out some of my family was traveling from a much further north location to a reasonably close location over the Easter weekend, I decided to make the short trip out to meet them and spend some family time. Wouldn't you know it...after all the plans had been made, I got an email.

 

Ronda, can you play a gig (not on the way to where you were going or anywhere near it) Easter morning? Starts at 7:30 in the morning. Pays well, check in hand. Sigh. No nomadic freelance musician can turn down a gig after a month of not working so I rearranged my plans to have a typical 16-17 hour day on Saturday and an estimated 18-20 hour day minimum on Sunday. Yippee! The good news, er, monetarily speaking, is that because it's a church gig, I can look at it as if I'm getting paid to wake up at an ungodly (yes, I used that word on purpose) hour.

 

I wasn't really concerned, but was told the music would be emailed ten days prior to the gig. Hah! This is the fun/interesting and for me, quite enjoyable part of being a nomadic freelance musician. The music got here today. So if I had nothing else to do today, like laundry and packing for a long day of driving and meeting people and spending a few days with my family and then driving to another gig all before coming home; and so also making sure the house plants are taken care of and the food won't grow legs in the refrigerator, etc. etc. etc., I'd spend some time looking over the music for the gig. 

 

But where is the excitement and adventure in that? How else is a musician supposed to keep their on stage sight reading practice skills in shape, I ask? Perfect opportunity! So, I practiced, the Music Man way. I looked at it when I opened the email. The good news is I'm an excellent sight reader so this is more entertainment value in challenging myself than practice and I won't be causing any harm nor foul to the church production.

 

Now that I've enjoyed the ten minute break to sit down and write, it's on to the next To-Do List item!!

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