Oct 23 2016
I showed up at The Myriad for my Tuesday night gig, only to see a four piece band setting up. We’d been double booked. I guess I was supposed to text first, and forgot. After talking to the manager he said they may get rid of the piano anyhow, since passers-by fight over it during the day. Also, not all their vendors prefer it. He offered a drink for the mixup, and asked if I could play on Friday instead. It might be the last time if he goes through with moving the piano out. I said sure, passed on the drink, and made my way down the street.
Since I already had nice shoes and shirt on, I decided to drop in on Martuni’s, a real piano bar. I’d met the manager before and asked about playing, and needed to follow up. Seeing me, he asked if I’d like to play right then and there for 15-20 minutes. It wasn’t prime time for them, and the room was empty to start. He sat a few people down at the piano, who I later learned were long time patrons and/or insiders. He also sat one table in the back.
Playing in a room designed for piano led entertainment was great. I ran through a few songs with hardly a hitch. Then I got the idea to ask one of the patrons to take a few pics with my camera. That turned out to be a distraction and a bit of a snafu. I lost focus on piano, and the one table that was seated lost interest and left. Bummer.
I realized something important though. When playing for others it’s not just about playing piano. It’s about entertainment and showmanship. When one table is seated in a largely empty room, you say “Welcome!” Just like I might when hosting a party. It’s easy to do, I just got distracted by the photoshoot. I was thinking more about posts with pics getting more clicks than just text posts. Silly me, the former blogger and sideline marketer.
Friday’s show ended up happening as well. I played just over a half hour, as it was toward the end of their evening crowd. It felt much more comfortable than the first time. The manager said he thought I was a great fit for their venue, which is tough to do given the diverse opinions there. Looks like I may be welcome back again. If they keep the piano.
All told it was a solid week. I’m much less nervous before shows, and am continuing to improve my set. Which reminds of the main thing I need to complete- make final recordings of my songs. I have some recordings from here and there posted on my music page. But the main set is in draft mode. I plan on finding accompaniment singers and musicians to help. It feels like an uphill journey so far, but I’ll keep working at it. Stay tuned for updates.