America, we have to stick together.

It was Mamie Till, Emett Till’s mother years ago who made this profound statement:”Two months ago I had a nice apartment 
in Chicago. I had a good job. I had a son. When something happened to the Negroes in the South I said, ‘That’s their business, not mine.’ Now I know how wrong I was. The murder of my son has shown me that what happens to any of us, anywhere in the world, had better be the business of us all!!!”


Just Say No – to Playing for Free

Musicians! Something must be in the air.  We said it last week twice: I love to eat  & I love to eat but do I deserve my food and just saw that pianist & entrepreneur Jade Simmons said the same thing. Soooo glad to not be alone in this matter!


On March 15, Jade listed on her Emerge Already Blog some of the not-so-great reasons (but reasons musicians are often presented with) to play for free including

  • The Free Meal
  • Awesome Connections
  • Exposure

full article

She elaborates on each matter!  As professionals, these reasons really need to be reassessed.

Jade then lists what to think about, should you consider playing for free.

  • Designate (time or # of free work you’ll do per year)
  • Ask Yourself Questions: Could this event really afford you? You know what she’s saying: it’s held at the Waldorf Astoria, catered by the top caterer and planned by the best planner in town, etc.
  • Require a “Special and confidential” clause in your contract.

full article

That third point there? That’s important.  Your contract needs to state everything a paying gig would, including the price it would cost.  When a client sees what the artist is worth, it helps them to further value the product (you).

“The point is don’t be mindless about your charitable performances. Make smart decisions that continue to establish your worth as an artist.” – Jade Simmons

If you don’t know about Jade, check her out! Follow her on twitter @jadesimmons and musicians? Spend $8 on her Emerge Already ebook! 


Thank us later.

i love to eat, but do i deserve my food?

To look at “I love to eat” from the other side, are artists presenting themselves as a business, so that they are treated as such?

Are we branded well? Have a professional presentation both online & in person? Is the product we’re offering clear?  In other words, are we valuing ourselves enough to invest in ourselves on the presentation side of things? Yes, we paid for the lessons, paid for the schooling, the summer programs, the groups/ensembles…but now that that’s over, are we WORKING for our work?  Or, are we just expecting work to be given to us because of all the hours of work & sweat that were put in?  What’s that word again? Entitlement? lol

What does your presentation say about you when people google you? What does your presentation say about you when people see you, meet you & have a conversation with you?  How is your delivery?

Just some questions worth answering before WE – the artists – continue to rant about how we feel undervalued.