A Night as A perfessional

I play in my brother’s band. There are times that we get tips and occasionally we get paid for gigs. In the strictest sense that makes me a professional, albeit a poorly paid one. This week we had a paid gig at the Marriott at Cool Springs near Franklin (highest per capita income in the state).
So, time approaches and, since it was raining, I hop in the RoadWarrior and head out for the 40 minute drive. I politely parked RW near the back of the parking lot. It’s a ’93 Aerostar with 180K miles on the clock and has a “rode hard and put up wet” look. I decided that the fancier cars should be up front.
In the lobby this old country boy, cleaned up, but not formal, and wearing a ball cap didn’t quite fit in with the crowd of more formal, fancier and generally younger group of people. Didn’t bother me, but I could not find my brother in this crowd so time to ringydingy on the cell phone.
Musicians in the back. Well, it is a big place and it actually more practical to move the equipment in at a spot nearer the stage. We didn’t quite go through the kitchen, but pretty close. We went through the “working” behind the scenes part of the building and quickly got to the stage and quickly set up. I need to point out here that the group that we were playing for was a group of professionals and parents meeting for the benefit of hearing, sight, and speech impaired children. Fine folks doing wonderful work.
Well, it wasn’t going to be a large crowd anyway, but something of a miscommunication and emergency situation meant that we played to a very small crowd. Doesn’t matter to us; we give the full measure of what we signed up for and had a good time. The crowd enjoyed it.
As usual, we don’t tarry at a venue, so when the show finished, we set about breaking down the equipment and loading it up. Back through the service prep area and past the working guys; several of them told us they really enjoyed our music. That was worth more than audience approval and even the paycheck.

Andy Derryberry
July 2012