I met with Kevin to discuss the future of RockRoots and try to figure out the lack of gigs this year. Things have declined throughout the last few years.
I know that the market for school shows has shrunk due to cut-backs in funding and because of ‘teaching to the testing’ attitudes that put the testing in front of artistic and educational shows like RockRoots.
We discussed working on more contemporary methods of marketing, so we’ll work on putting together a short video as well as doing some new video work, as well.
Kevin said the show’s slipping somewhat in production and attitude, and that it could be affecting how schools grade our professionality. I agreed, and have had some ideas ‘theatrically’ how we could improve.
Then Kevin hit me with his concern about my attitude that he considered an air of ‘entitlement’. Certain cockiness, comments that are inappropriate for modern schools, and a general hard ass attitude. Hmmm. Part of that is my upbringing in bar bands and other adult situations where that is part of my ‘charm.’
I responded that I can see his point, though not aware of general crankiness. I took him at his word, and said its been a terrible three years, and, perhaps, that is showing through. I also thought that I recognized the situations that it happens in, basically when middle school audiences don’t react at all, and I get sarcastic. ‘Shut up and do the show’ should be my new meme.
I have a quick wit and a facile tongue, and I have been told that it is easy to ‘weaponize’ that wit into some pretty barbs. Its true, even in family situations.
Part of what makes me a good performer is my ability to assess the situation and adapt to the circumstances. Most of the time I do it well. Apparently, sometimes I don’t. All in all, its good to know and I can be aware of this tendency. It did cause a fairly depressing evening of contemplation, though.
We went on to talk about regaining respect and control of the band. Again, Kevin suggested paying everyone a flat $200 fee. That way, the band members know and value their job, and will be professional when I ask for things like wearing band t-shirts with no comments on the logo, tweaking the show and applying other methods to increase their ‘in-the-moment’ attention to the theater aspects of the show.
The trouble is, can I afford to pay the band that fee and still make enough to make what I need to support my self, my son’s tuition and board, and my monthly expenses? This RR gig has literally been the life boat for supporting my family for 20 years. It would be hard to knock down my pay as player, booker and creator to a band member pay check, just to keep the band going.
I came away from the two hour session in fairly good spirits but conflicted about my state of affairs on the band. It was a sobering evening that caught me by surprise. That’s why I write about it here.
Tomorrow, I put myself to the test with a RR in Bala Cynwyd in the afternoon. Smile…..