[Dixielandjazz] The Phat Band - School Gigs & Young Fans

TCASHWIGG at aol.com TCASHWIGG at aol.com
Fri Mar 11 11:13:20 PST 2005

In a message dated 3/11/05 9:37:45 AM Pacific Standard Time, Custode at aol.com 

> Here is my question to Mr. Barbone: who pays for your band(s) to perform in 
> such venues.  In my neck of the woods (Western NY) we have no  funding 
> (besides "Young Audiences" that I am aware of) that would enable a group  of 
> professional musicians to perform in the schools.  How do you go  about 
> securing 
> payment for these concerts?  I am most  interested...please advise.    
> Lewis D.  Custode, Jr., CLU, ChFC
> _LDC  Advisory Services_ (http://www.myfinancialpro.net/custode) 
> _______________________________________________

Dear Lewis and all:

All Beauracracies like School boards Districts, etc., continually cry poor 
and say they have no money and need more and more money from the taxpayers year 
after year, and threaten to lay off teachers, and close schools if they don't 
get it.  But in fact most of them are lying and have more money than they 
actually need to operate the schools efficiently.

They are only competent at one thing, Begging for more and more money to 
waste and pay the administration employees more and more every year driving the 
costs of the school systems through the roof.    

They all have secret pots of money set aside to do with as they wish, you and 
others have to be smart enough to go out and work a bit and find where they 
are hiding it.  Get involved with every Parent Teacher Association you can find 
at every school in your area.  Find out who the MUSIC parents are, organize 
your own army to attack these folks and find the money.  Trust me it is there.  
Go out of your way to befriend the MUSIC teachers and make them help you.   

Most schools are begging for groups like us to come there and perform, but 
once again,
"THEY HAVE NO IDEA WHO OR WHERE WE ARE" it is up to us to get off our lazy 
butts and go find them and be persistent to make things happen, start new 
programs etc.

Organize a fundraising event with the Music Parents and the PTA Don't get 
greedy right off the bat, let them make a little money by splitting the take 50% 
with them.

Most schools have assembly programs for elementary schools, you can arrange 
to go there and do a volunteer program to start if you have to. ( Most schools 
can find $100.00 to $250.00 laying around to pay your "expenses" for 
volunteering the program for 45 minutes.)  Make the most out of it, and take along 
professional printed flyers about the music and your Group with a GOOD photo and 
booking information on the flyer, if you have a date booked in the area in the 
near future, let them know about it on your flyer and insist that every kid 
takes one home to his parents in his FRIDAY FOLDER.

Negotiate with the school to use the auditorium or gymnasium for a concert 
for and with the music department, in the spring and summer you can do them 
outdoors. Parents & grandparents and friends of theirs pay to get in and kids with 
parents come free.

Works better than cookie and candy sales for any school to raise money for 

Now once you get the kids turned on at the assembly they will go home and 
sell the idea to their parents, about this great band that came to their school 
and played and they are having a big concert Mom and dad and it's FREE can we 
go huh Mom huh can we go pleeeeeze Mom, and can grama come too.

Now at the concerts you can solicit further donations to support your program 
by offering to "GIVE them a CD or a  Band T-Shirt for say a $10.00 donation, 
and you use the money to build up a treasury to pay your band for all those 
assembly programs to promote your band and music.  Another ploy that works well 
is to also give everyone who buys a ticket a free CD, or better yet get the 
PTA to buy 100 to 200 of them and offer them free to the first 100 or 200 people 
who buy a ticket,  what do you care you got an audience and $1000. to $2000. 
if you sold them the CDs for $10.00 each.  beats moving them around the garage 
for ten years.  And you still have a promotional and advertising write off 
for doing the gig.

Now say your normal gig price is $600.00 or even more, you should keep a 
record of all the assembly programs you play and at what amount of income you 
received for doing them from the schools PTA or where ever you derive funds.  Now 
the difference between your normal appearance price and what you did that 
little program for is a legitimate advertising and promotion expense that can be 
kept track of and deducted from your income tax under advertising and promotion 
on your Schedule C.

Another tip for you for an advertising deduction folks, if you play for free 
at Churches, keep track of all such performances and deduct those free 
performances as promotion and advertising costs as well at your normal performance 
fee rates.  Sometimes Playing for Free is not a bad thing if you know how to 
turn it into promotion to book other paying gigs from it.  But you can't be lazy 
and sit around and wait for somebody to come find and hire you.

Play a local Wine and Art Festival for Free if they have no money, but get a 
receipt from the chamber of commerce in the form of a contract that says you 
donated XX amount of Dollars in services as an advertising and promotion costs 
for your band.

I know you say what about my sidemen?  They all insist on getting paid, so 
pay them and deduct that as an expense as well, treat you band like a business, 
and if the others players refuse to participate then just pay them what they 
are willing to work for and keep all the rest for doing the work and being 
smarter and less lazy than they are.

When you go out to play a Wine and Arts/ Farmers Market event, etc., Sell CDs 
and T-shirts and if your sidemen want to get paid then pay them by the hour 
just like a regular union scale gig.  If you are any good and you can turn on 
an audience you will sell enough CDs, etc., to make more money than the event 
would have ever paid you to be there anyway and you can write off the 
performance as promotion and advertising and book paid gigs from being there and being 
seen and heard by others who might never otherwise have heard of you.

What Jazz Societies in this Country need to do is stop preserving the music 
and hire guys like Steve Barbone and Me to come to their Festivals and do 
workshops on how to book and market the music to build wider real audiences.   (But 
no, that would defeat their reason to exist to keep preserving the music for 
free or less than liveable wages for the players they purport to be helping.)  
Teaching ten million more kids how to play an instrument that most will never 
get a job paying them to do is wasted without teaching them something about 
how to actually make a living doing it.  Why is this not done? Because most of 
the Music teachers are so caught up in teaching music and most have NEVER 
actually gone out and made a living playing it so they have no idea how to teach 
the kids anything other than theory?  Well, folks you can't pay your bills and 
eat on Theory.

Ford did not sell all those cars just because he built them He had to go out 
and promote them and advertise them to get people interested in buying them.

That is Called BUSINESS, and MUSIC IS A BIG BUSINESS, if any of you can't be 
part of it then do the rest of us a favor and get out of it so we can make a 
living and teach the next generations how to do so.    

I have done almost nothing but Music for a living for 45 years and it has 
served me very well because I treat it like a business and market it for my own 
group as well as many others over the past 45 years.


Rev. Tom Bob Sermon of the week again.

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