A Gig Question That Most People Forget To Ask

     So, you've been doing a great job of meeting other musicians.  Your reputation as a musician is spreading and your musical "brand" is growing.  Finally, some calls are starting to roll in.  Band Leader X, who has seen your regularly working rock act perform many times, calls you on a Tuesday.  In a real casual voice asks,  "Hey, you free for a duo gig on Saturday night?"  You are free and could definitely use the $225 bucks because rent is due in 4 days.  You reply, "Yeah, I'm free.  Tell me where and when to be and I'm there."  Band Leader X says casually in response,  "Dude, the gig is from 8pm-10pm at a new restaurant called Rowell's in (fill in your city here).  Check will be written to you at the end of the night.  We're doing all laid back stuff and blues tunes.  It will be fun time." 
     Now, most musician would end the conversation there but an essential question was not asked.  Even though, as stated the gig will probably be a "casual" and a "fun time" you still have to ask this:  What's the dress for the gig??   Let's fast forward to hear the rest of the story:
      You show up to the gig at Rowell's and you're horrified to find that it's a fancy restaurant.  There's a valet, the Maitre d is wearing a tux, and the place is exploding with white linen table clothes and dark oak furnishings.  You are wearing your best rock outfit "jeans and a cool retro T" but it's just won't cut it here.  You feel out of place, you stick out like a sore thumb.  You played your ass off on the gig throwing in all your killer licks but it really doesn't matter.  From a image standpoint you just don't cut it.  You never get the gig call again.
       This whole situation could have been avoided.  Playing at Rowell's may not be your dream gig but if you have no work at all then sometimes taking a gig to keep food on the table and to sustain you is important.  That way you continue to have the energy and the financial resources to stay in the game. So, you can continue to pursue your more desirable gig for the future.
      Never assume from a band leader's casual approach to a phone call that the gig apparel will be casual as well.  Always ask no matter what the situation is, "What's the dress for the gig?"
        I like to wear jeans as much as anybody else does but it's really important for a performer to distinguish themselves.  At a minimum be as well dressed as your audience (if not even better).
      If you're serious about building and sustaining a career as a musician you'll need to wear all kinds of different clothing choices on the gig.  I like to wear jeans at home but sometimes the gig calls for a suit, a tux, a leather jacket, or a variety of other clothing choices.  You've practiced your instrument for years.  Don't let silly mistakes like this derail your music career.

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