How do pro's deal with illness?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by someguy6, Apr 20, 2007.

  1. someguy6

    someguy6 New Friend

    Sep 8, 2006
    Cincinnati, OH
    I've been sick the last couple of days and can't really practice and it has got me wondering...

    How do people who make their living playing a wind instrument deal with respiratory illness? Are there insurance plans, disability coverage, etc.

    I had bronchitus at one point for about 6 months. I coughed almost continuously. What happens to a pro when they get sick like this?

  2. bilboinsa

    bilboinsa Piano User

    Jan 24, 2006
    San Antonio, TX
    It's probably like evryone else--you do what you can when you can. If you show up sick and can still play--great! Just don't cough on the trombones...
  3. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    If you can play, you play. If you absolutely can't , you don't.

    If you're very sick, you get the best medical help you can. The bigger budget the orchestra has, the better medical plan it will have and the more options you'll have. The key is to know yourself and your body and stay healthy. I don't get sick and I don't miss unless it's pre-arranged. I know that sounds unrealistic and simplistic but it's a mindset. That's what pros do, since that was your question.

    You become good at handling small crises and not allowing them to get out of hand. You become good at preventative measures. You get rest, you watch for warning signs of various ailments, and you eat in a healthy way to avoid zits, overweight, stress, and the stuff a bad diet can bring.

    You try to keep an even keel in your life to avoid stress. You figure out how much caffeine you can handle. You figure out how much smoke you can handle, how much alcohol.

    You get the picture.

  4. Veldkamp

    Veldkamp Piano User

    Mar 29, 2004
    the Netherlands
    If I would be really sick and I couldn't play it will cost me money if I have to cancel a gig. But it never happened in my life that I couldn't play a gig for health reasons (I'm a pro for 18 years now).

    Buddy Rich still kept playing when he had a broken arm, I think he said "if you're not dead, you can play...).

    As a freelancer you have to play if you want to earn money. That's the benefit of an orchestral player, he can afford to get sick.
  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    The only gig I've cancelled was due to bronchitis, and only because I couldn't take even a normal breath without coughing up greenish/grey stuff that even grossed me out! Other than that, if we can get to the gig, we do, and almost always can pull it off. I've become conductors' favorite player subbing for guys who cancelled because they were "sick.":cool:
  6. Stile442

    Stile442 Piano User

    Mar 26, 2007
    Deland Fl
    I'm not a pro yet but I'll echo what Vulgano Brother said. In the few years I have been playing an occasional gig when not studying I have gotten more call backs because I would always show up. Even when I'm not feelin my best. The conductor or club owner can see that you're not feelin well and showed up to honor your commitment anyway. That will always count for alot.
  7. trumpetlore

    trumpetlore Pianissimo User

    Apr 14, 2007
    Rochester, NY
    any thoughts on cold sores? when i get them, i usually get them inside the mouthpiece, or on the edge. Kahck percentage goes way up, and there's nothing i can do about it. you can't really play when part of your lip physically won't vibrate. do orchestra's doc pay in these situations?
  8. trpt2345

    trpt2345 Mezzo Forte User

    May 21, 2006
    Morelia, Mexico
    Back in grad school (Eastman) we did a concert once when I was sick as a dog and I didn't play very well. I got called up on the carpet, and my excuse was I was sick. Wrong! I was told in no uncertain terms if you go out there on stage at all there are no excuses. If you can't play, don't. But if you go out there you better deliver. Sort of "the show must go on." So I'd say if you're sick and can't do a gig, get a sub. But if you do the gig, you have to make it happen. When my wrist was busted and I was the "Amazing One-Arm Trumpet Player" (I played with my right hand only) I did the gigs. I missed a couple of weeks but when I got out there I managed to Do What Needed To Be Done.

    Michael McLaughlin

    Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.
    Benjamin Franklin
  9. Stile442

    Stile442 Piano User

    Mar 26, 2007
    Deland Fl
    I used to get them all the time. I was never sick but maybe too much stress?? Anyway after much exprimentation I have found that taking L-Lysine (check your local pharmacy) daily I have far fewer cold sores. When one of the few manages to pop up (about once or twice a year) the best I've found by far is Abreva. The sooner you catch it the faster it will go away too. Hope that helps.

    Any other ideas guys?
  10. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    So, apparently, I tempted the devil by claiming I don't get sick.

    I'm not sick but my stomach has felt less than stellar for about a week now and it's messing with my sleep and making me feel a bit achy. Y'all know the feeling... "under the weather" is how most folks describe the feeling. I've been drinking chamomile tea and only having one meal a day that you describe as normal. Otherwise, it's toast and other light fare.

    The reason I'm writing is that I've been rehearsing and playing. We had a show today and it went just fine. I'm playing 2 out of the 4 programmed pieces (Suite from Threepenny Opera and Symphonic Dances from West Side Story).

    I've been warming up a little lighter than usual but I think, given how much pllaying there is on those tunes, I would have done that anyway. While I'm playing, I'm into it and fine but when I'm done, I'm done. Not a whole lot of energy left for post-concert carousing with the boys. I have to drive about 90 miles for the next show which is in a town called St. Joseph. So, it's on to a nap and a drive later on.

    That was the question, right? How do pros handle sickness? Well, like that. You do what you can to keep functioning and do the gig. I can't, in good conscience, make Doug play this program unless I really can't move. Athough, I did enjoy watching his face when I told him I wasn't up to snuff! Let's just say the prospect of sitting in for me wasn't something he was looking forward to.

    Hey, Wilmer... watcha doin' tonight...?


Share This Page