As of late, I’ve been involved with a couple of projects. As these projects proceeded, I was seriously reminded of something that’s easy for many of us to forget, or not give enough attention to, that being our perceived reputation, and how it stands in the eyes of others.
At this point in time, with the economy continuing to be shaky at best, this part of our make-up has never been more important in my eyes. To be clear, it’s “always” been a priority in my mind to take stock in sustaining a conscious effort to keep ones reputation in good standing with whoever we share some assemblance of a relationship with, be that a working relationship, or a personal one. Obviously, I’m not presenting anything new here by any means, but as these projects continued to evolve, I found it interesting watching the response from some of the members involved, and assessing my reaction to how I felt about that, which has everything to do with how I might present that person when asked…i.e., your rep.
Here’s my point, in musical ease:
To begin this, I’ll give you a story from a friend of mine that totally drives home this “point” I’m trying to make. He went to a job interview for a “part time” job, offering a “minimum” wage salary. The point of this story; a hundred people showed up for the interview, not 20 or 30, a hundred over two days. That’s right fans, this recession is real, and it absolutely spills right over to the artists’ potential workload during these times as well. Gigs that you might have been potentially considered for because everyone is busy in my opinion barely exist anymore. That being said, with this eventuality of having multiple players to choose from when work surfaces, your reputation being on the up and up has never been a more valuable commodity for you then it is right now.
So, what might constitute developing a “good rep”, and what am I alluding to as far as what I ascertained from these projects I’ve mentioned? The heart of the matter for me seems to revolve around two specific areas. First, do the homework…no exceptions. Coming in prepared for whatever you’ve been called for is seriously valued by those who graced you with the opportunity. Again, this seems like a no brainer, I’m not presenting anything new. But I marvel at how many people fall short in this category. Simply stated: “He/She always comes prepared when I call them”. There’s the heart of your rep being in good status. I feel pretty confident in stating that the “responsible” musician is one up on anyone that falls even slightly short of that goal. Is this a fairly clichéd remark…you bet. But, add in “the present conditions”, and not acknowledging the importance of this “cliché” could cost ya.
Secondly, and get this; Leave out “any” excuses or grips you may have as far as what you’ve been asked to do…period. Everyone, I mean EVERYONE is dealing with their own challenges, and the last thing they want to hear are your complaints about some part of the demands that have been set forth for you on the project. Once again, to be clear, if something in your eyes is radically out of place, you do more or less have a responsibility to speak up. Just be absolutely sure it’s being expressed as an “area of concern” rather than a grip…it’s all in how you present it. Said correctly, you’ve shown concern for the project, an absolute plus. Said incorrectly, you’re just bitching, and that’s the impression you’ve left someone with, and here comes your rep status once again. Is “this” a fairly clichéd remark…another, “you bet”. This must almost be an inherent human trait, because I still see it over and over again as time goes by.Your focus; ditch that inherent human trait. Keep your rep in a positive light. At this point in time, in my opinion, that’s essential. And the overall thrust I’ve been alluding to in this article is, if you don’t take care of being responsible and keeping any kind of attitude checking in at the door, there’s probably not just one, but three or four people right behind you that will.