My first payed gig!!!!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by scream machine, Apr 28, 2006.

  1. trpt2345

    trpt2345 Mezzo Forte User

    May 21, 2006
    Morelia, Mexico
    My first paid gig was at a church social with a Herb Alpert cover band. We each made $5 which we proceeded to blow at a local A&W drive in on 66th Street in Minneapolis. Good times. Up to that point in my 13 year old life nothing had been quite as sweet.

    Michael McLaughlin

    "Try a thing you haven't done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time to figure out whether you like it or not."
    Virgil Thomson
  2. Eclipsehornplayer

    Eclipsehornplayer Forte User

    Sep 14, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    I'm really behind the eight ball here...

    I'm 37 and have yet to get a paid gig! :shock:

    I hope it's not a direct reflection of my playing! :-?

    Way to go!
  3. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Congrats on getting paid - it is indeed rewarding. :-)

    As for whether or not you are technically "pro"...

    I'm not trying to take the wind out of your sails, but I personally believe that you have to earn enough so that it's actually included as part of your taxable income. THEN you can be considered semi-pro.

    So now just do what I used to do with my freelance stuff - the money used to be MINE and I used it for buying horn related accessories and other stuff. All of my older mutes plus a nice Reunion Blues all-leather triple horn bag were bought with freelance gig money from doing Easter weekend and Christmas services.

    Of course once I got to the point where I was making a sizable dent - my Latin band days and my current party band gigging - that money gets dumped back into the family budget and it allows us to foster my daughter's competitive dance expenses as well as my son's guitar lessons and related expenses.

    (As a side note, do you think anyone would be interested in buying my Reunion Blues leather gig bag? I haven't used it in years and I'm thinking of selling it and putting the cash toward a decent tube amp for my son.)
  4. blasticore

    blasticore New Friend

    Nov 15, 2003
    Orlando, FL
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2007
  5. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    To date (knock on wood) I have never been stiffed payment for a gig. As for freebies, I'd have to have a clear definition of a "gig" before I could really try to put my finger on what would constitute a free gig. Probably playing for a church service, or maybe a Memorial day "Taps" at age 16. Everything prior to that was a school event.

    Here's an interesting little project - how about an estimated tally of all money earned playing - for me, I wouldn't include my Army Band salary for 10 years, just the freelance stuff I did in HS and on the side of Army Band.

    This might be pretty small potatoes to some on here, but I have a rough conservative estimate of about $45,000 made on the side over the last 18-19 years I have made money on the side playing my horn.
  6. Derek Reaban

    Derek Reaban Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 16, 2005
    Tempe, Arizona
    One summer when I was in college, I got a call from my instructor who told me about a job that he thought I would be perfect for. It was for Music Man and was a big presentation at a local church. I was told it would pay $200! I was playing the 1st book and there were two players from the church that were just terrible. There were 4 or 5 rehearsals and 2 performances. Both performances were sold out and there were at least 1000 people in attendance each night.

    When I arrived for the “closing night†show I thought it was odd that the Concert Master was no where to be seen (he had always been there before I showed up for the rehearsals and the first performance). I had recruited a trombone player who “volunteered†his time to cover the trombone book (they hadn’t been able to find a player and I had a friend who was excited to participate in this show – (How can you do Music Man without a trombone player!!!).

    Anyway, when I got to my chair there were a pastry and a thank you note waiting for me (No Check!). I couldn’t believe it! I asked if they would be sending me a check and they said, “Oh no. We just assumed that you were volunteering out of the goodness of your heart!â€. These were people that I didn’t know and with the rehearsals and performances I’ll bet that I had spent 20+ hours working with them.

    If I would have walked out the show literally would have fallen apart (the concertmaster and I were the two “hired†players). Since I had brought my friend along and he had spent a considerable amount of time working up the book, I couldn’t just walk out. I also thought that since my instructor had recommended me for the job that it would get back to him that I had abandoned them on closing night (that didn’t sound like a good thing to do).

    In retrospect, I should have taken a stronger stand. I still get a bad taste in my mouth every time I hear the Music Man.

  7. Dave Mickley

    Dave Mickley Forte User

    Nov 11, 2005
    Trickg - I would have to estimate close to $30,000 between 1985 and 1998.
    I have slowed way down since I remarried, and there is a much larger pool of very talented players around here now. With my skills I should be paying just to allow me to play with a band. Dave
  8. bandman

    bandman Forte User

    Oct 16, 2004
    Lafayette, LA, USA
    I wonder how many guys here are trumpet players and also agents for the IRS? :-o As for me, I've never made a pennie that I didn't report! :whistle: That's my story and I'm sticking to it! ;-)
  9. Eclipsehornplayer

    Eclipsehornplayer Forte User

    Sep 14, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    It better be...

    Unless you want to join Jim Baker or the former mayor of Atlanta in the gray bar hotel.... :D

    The IRS does not play! :shock:
  10. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    I've always reported my yearly earnings as a musician to the IRS - it's a side business, but more to the point, everyone I have ever worked for regularly has provided me with a 1099, so I HAVE to report it! :shock:

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