1.6.11

no one can top a sexual healing shaman, i tell you

recently, there was a small gathering with my banff flames in toronto- we got together and played some hot hot hot tango.  if i could dance like i play the tango, i think i would be a hot item. i love making comments like that only because i will never have to prove it! ha. however, i should explain that for some reason i have tried stay as far as i can from logistics (what a 'musician' thing to do, i know) and that should explain why i rarely do things on the out side of the box. my mad flutter was all the way in montreal. so what of the logistics? well, someone else decided to jump and be the all-one-can-be. hooray. let's just call her sexual-healing-shaman lady. im not making this up, this was the description of herself from last year. one does not argue or discuss such identity- well, i wont. and i never will. what if i get vexed with some hilarious sexual curse? fisting? no thanks!

anyways, at the ripe age of 31, i suppose i do have an idea of how things roll in this world and i did mark it down on my calendar as 'whacked out gig,' except it turned out to be one of the biggest fiasco i ever got involved with. its unique angle was daunting enough that i dared to ask my friends to attend, especially at 22 a head. so goes email no. 1:
...well for college kids/young professionals who are responsible for their own finances in the city (ie. no mom/dad), i think 22 is a bit stiff especially when it has been specified that tickets are non-transferable. 
for instance, most shows at lee's palace/dakota tavern/drake hotel/gladstone hotel/c'est what/sneaky dee's/rex hotel/el mocambo/horseshoe are either PWYC or under 20. or in case of emmet ray and many other spaces, lot of them are free. looking at the prices of these places, i cant justify asking them to pay 22 dollars for a show. 
though you are making this into more of a multidimensional event, i suppose. and you are the organizer, not i. 
i understand the cost of running things however i think that such event should have accessibility as a priority and though it is nice to hang around with apps and stuff, i think perhaps lower entrance fee with optional food tickets could have been appropriate.thanks for reply. good luck with prep,

let's just say she simply said: my friends wouldnt pay 22 to see you?

!

no! i hope not! if so, they need to pay me 22 dollars to whack them on the head! are you nuts!?
wait. you are? you are! aha! eureka!

we all got paid about 60 a person for the quartet (and that's when our lovely cellist got squat! we owe her huge) in an event that charged advance 22/door 30 bucks to attend.  well, the ticket sales added up to $1160 apparently, which was a quite a feat i think, though this venue apparently costs half a thousand for the day! was it amazing? well, what we had to do was amazing (look at the picture above).  i was quite amused that they never realized that there's a thing called music rack on a piano.  well, when shaman first wrote about the piano, she did say:
Also, Monkey needs a piano right? there is an upright at the loft but it might not be tuned to her standards.Monkey, you can call (loft owner), all the details are on the website too.
well. hahaha. gosh.  now, thats- eeer, new, i never had to request music rack as a tech requirement for a piano.  but yes, they are proud that it is a very professional music venue with... acoustic piano.  mind you, we did find a bench of a sort after... an hour.  anyways, i understand there are sketchy venues.  it's not a new thing. i suppose ive been lucky to dodge certain kinds of gigs. ha.

and then there was the math part: without a disclaimer that the bands were paid based on times they played for the audience, a loose figure was given initially. then based on good old nepotism principle, she kindly wrote:
For (tango band) and (friend's band), I did a mathematical breakdown relative to length of performance.
act 2 - performed 50minutes = $180 (27% of 660)
act 3 - performed 110 minutes = $400 (60% of 660)
I hope you find this fair and reasonable. I am so proud of all of you and thank you for sharing your amazing gifts and love with me and everyone there. You were fantastic.
and i started to laugh.  anyone who does math like that for payment clearly doesnt know anything about how to run an event. now all was clear. this was a gong show in a fancy house!  it's a funny thing, shaman thought she was trying to 'change the way people look at arts' but man, what she did for me was to 'change the way people get paid.'  for all timed gigs i have done, it's always pre-stated. if not, one is paid for the presence, meaning in multiple acts, the fees are given in somewhat of a fair-manner.  and hence it was never mentioned, it was quite a surprise. i mean- we would have put on 3 hours set if we knew playing more would mean more money! haha. we simply thought she would know what she was up to. oops. bad me. how silly of me to assume people to understand things they never thought of.

so after a bit of thoughts, i thought it was only fair to let her know how phantasmal the event was. certainly one of a kinds i say. so here it is. and i really think it'll make her a bit happy to know that she did organize a party based on our amazing gifts.  three highly trained classical musicians (royal college, london; new england conservatory; me with doctor thing) are amazing when they play together, especially when we have a good friend, wee young one with us! but man, the most amazing thing was the this phantasmal impresario shaman lady.  the world never cease to amaze me. so we may as well enjoy every bit of the unexpected!

dear phatasmal shaman impresario lady,
it was the most amusing event that i ever have taken part of, and koodos for arranging such a house party. 
it is a shame that it did cost half a grand to throw a house party, because only in non-pro venues would have fail to provide the basic requirements, as illustrated in lack of contract/ insufficient tech support (i was quite surprised that your venue person never have heard of piano rack on a piano) and the payment math. 
it is fine to carry on one's plans; however, do not make a grave mistake of taking yourself seriously as a professional organizer.  and if what you have wrote to me have anything to do with how one sees arts (about ticket prices), based on your capacity during this occasion, i see the arts-create joy event relation as not a failure but a complete non-match. 
i understand that you may not understand the finesse and dedication of serious musicians as you many not have seen: ex. banff centre, international festivals, universities, proper venues such as SXSW. 
it's all alright, there are time and place for every kinds of events. but please do regard that for you, it would be crucial to integrate the appropriate quality of performers for such events.
i was happy to donate my time to a block party, as i am quite happy to play with such musicians but i hope you arent making a mistake of seeing this event as a professional event, as it would be a gross miscast and it may come to a personal embarrassment at some unfortunate future instances. 
dr monkey

1 comment:

  1. I love "change the way people get paid".. I nearly choked on me coffee! that was very funny. I've done a few badly organised gigs in my time, but this one wins by a mile. spectacular. Your letter puts it very well, and so does wee..!

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