Professional performers (especially musicians) often have to get on the road when working. Each night is a different gig and can present some different challenges. However, some of the challenges that we see on the road happen often, if you are not prepared. Here are 10 tips to help you when gigging and traveling…
Make a checklist of important items. The worst thing that you can do when getting on the road is forget something that you really need. Whether personal or job related, we suggest making a checklist. A week before you are set to leave, start a note in your phone of what you should be taking with you. As things pop into your head, add it to your list.
Confirm all reservations and itineraries. Things have a tendency to change. Double checking flights and hotels with your contacts will ensure that you are aware of any changes. It also ensures that you receive any information that was accidentally omitted in the first place.
Double check your equipment. Drums get old, heads pop, and sticks chip. Check your equipment before you leave so that you can make necessary changes and adjustments before you arrive at the gig site. Top notch equipment is essential for a working performer.
Always keep money and a phone. Sometimes unexpected situations arise. Extra bag fees, the contact forgot to book local transportation, etc. People are human and mistakes happen, but you don’t want to get caught unprepared. Having a phone and extra cash on hand will temporarily alleviate these sorts of headaches.
Keep personal belongings close or locked up. Traveling into unknown areas can sometimes land you in shadier than usual places. Keep all valuable and personal items close (in your pocket or a bag that will not be left alone) until you get to a place where they can be locked up (a hotel room or a safe). Leave nothing to chance when working around people that you hardly know.
Be on time. Punctuality is key to professionalism. Professionalism is what gets you invited back for more gigs.
Do your job, no matter what. Hanging out and partaking in drinks with friends after a gig is fine (if you’re of age), but be sure that you are able to wake up and perform again in the morning. Not performing to your known potential is a quick road to not being invited back. If hanging out will impede your ability to perform, don’t go. They hired you to do a job, that should be most important.
Stay in touch. Keep up with what is going on at home. Whether it’s family, school, or work; you don’t want to be behind when you return. Call people from home when possible to discuss current situations and events taking place. Stay in the know and let your family/friends know that you still care.
Be social. People cannot stand working with someone that they don’t like being around. Build personal relationships. Show your contact and fellow gig-ees that you know how to have a good time and laugh when the time calls for it. Be yourself and show them why you have a unique personality. They will love you for it, and this ultimately increases your chances of being asked to return.
Say thank you. Showing gratitude goes a long way. Thanking those that hired you or provided for you on the road will show your humbleness and help to build those relationships even more. It’s difficult to have negative feelings toward someone that is giving you a genuine ‘thank you.’