This isn’t really about actually playing music, but rather how to be seen as professional and trustworthy.
And being seen this way will have a huge impact on how you are considered for future gigs or jobs.
Be on time.
Have you ever hosted a rehearsal, gig, or meeting? Have you spent any amount of time preparing and/or scheduling your own day to make certain you were ready to be somewhere at a given time?
And have you ever wondered why some people seem to be habitually late?
I have a couple of theories on why this happens:
1.) Low self respect, ie. why would it matter whether I was there or not?
I used to think that I wasn’t that important, and that it wouldn’t matter if I showed up for meetings, etc.
It wasn’t until I was making a plan with a friend of mine, that all that changed. She brought out her personal calendar, and narrowed our meeting time down to a narrow window of 15 minutes, and she made a point of making sure I realized how important it was to be there on time. Naive as I was – I just didn’t realize people actually scheduled things so well and that my presence was really that important.
Some people are simply unorganized. They say yes to things and don’t write their commitments down. They are constantly trying to “catch up” and do too many things at once. I used to be this way, too, but once I realized that people were depending on me to show up, I made a big effort to organize my time. I now use my iphone synced with my computer to keep track of my appointments, but a handheld calendar works too. You just have to use it.
3.) Lack of respect for others.
This seems harsh to say, but when you don’t show up on time, you are basically saying, “My time are more important than yours.” Not cool no matter who you are (or think you are).
Be the kind of person who shows up when you are supposed to. If the rehearsal starts at 6, then be ready to start rehearsing at that time. If you’ve ever organized anything, the you know how frustrating it can be to have someone habitually be late, when everyone else has made the effort to be on time.
Stop making excuses.
“I got stuck in traffic,” may work once, but if that happens all the time then it’s not the traffic’s fault – it’s yours.
“I forgot.” Yeah, we know. We were all waiting for you and you didn’t show up.
“Oh, I am busy…..” Yeah, we are, too, but we managed to get here on time anyway.
Think about whether you can realistically make your appointment before you commit to it. Are you trying to do too many things at once? Will you have time to get home from one appointment, get your stuff together, and make the next one?
As a producer and band leader, I can’t stress enough how the simple act of being on time influences my decisions as to who I work with, regardless of their musical talents.
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