Concert

Concert: (n) a musical performance given in public

At a very early age I convinced myself I could sing. Growing up in a small village, there was not much competition–and since I was willing to intone and offer my voice as a possibility, folks around my community had no reason to doubt my prowess.

So when I graduated from high school, rather than heading off to college and finding out if anyone outside of Delaware County thought I funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
could sing, I put together a music group, started writing some of my own songs and planned concerts.

I immediately learned the difficulty in concert promotion.

  1. Just because you think you can sing does not mean anybody wants to hear you.
  2. And if you can convince them to come to your concert, it may require that you offer some other stimulus, like refreshments. Or prizes.
  3. If anything else comes up before the concert, or even on concert day, which is more alluring, chances are that promise to attend, even by your friends, is quickly forsaken.
  4. People’s patience in hearing you sing is based upon how well you can take them to a happier (or sad) place and make them glad they went there.
  5. Just because you can sing doesn’t mean anybody wants to buy a recording of you doing it, so they can play it in their free time.

These were tough lessons.

So ferocious was my training during this period that I often found it difficult to supply food for my family and was only able to lodge as long as I could dodge coming face-to-face with the landlord.

It was actually many years before anyone, of their own volition, walked up to me and said, “Hey! When’s your next concert?”

I froze the moment in my mind… and replay it frequently.

 

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Booth

Booth: (n) a small temporary tent or structure at a market or a fair

Gullible.Dictionary B

It’s a word we all probably hate. No one wants to be gullible. Yet to be a human being with any sense of blooming hope, you will occasionally find yourself cast into the role of the gullible goose.

I had just recorded an album. I was very proud of it. Our music group had worked a long time to get signed with a small company which took a chance on our musical efforts.

After the initial thrill of the recording and release of the product came a chilling stillness.

It may surprise you, but the world didn’t really care that we cut an album.

So when I was told there was going to be a huge musical festival at a nearby arena, and there were still a few booths available for purchase where I could set up my albums and promote them to the tens of thousands of people filing through, I quickly counted my nickels and pennies procured from my freshly assassinated piggy bank.

I was so excited–especially when one of the promoters told me that the money I invested in the opportunity would be trebled.

The day arrived.

I dressed up according to what I thought I should look like to draw some attention–as did the rest of our group. We sat in our booth waiting to be inundated by potential fans.

But all around us were hundreds of other booths, occupied by folks who were much better known, advertised and certainly provided superior signage.

In the seven hours we sat in that booth, eighteen people stopped by. When I answered for the seventeenth time, “What is this?” I realized I had made a severe mistake.

A booth is a great place to display your wares if it’s something people really want.

And a booth is a terrible place to be if you’re offering something that no one cares about.

 

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