Thursday, February 19, 2015

Will Play Harp For Food - Anything Helps!

I was recently approached by a promoter in Portland about performing at a harp show at a club there on an "off" day - by that I mean not a Friday or Saturday night.  After checking out the money offer, I sent the following response (names have been removed for obvious reasons):

"Hello ____,

Sorry, but I will have to decline to play this gig. As you know, a trip to Portland is a 350 mile round trip for me.  That's a tank of gasoline, which costs me about $35 these days.  The round trip also takes six hours to complete.

It looks like _____'s band is a five piece combo, so with the additional two harp players, I assume that there would be a seven-way split of the money.  If the club pays the maximum of $500 (which seems unlikely on a Sunday afternoon), the musicians would get a payout of $71 each.  $71 minus $35 equals a net payout of $36 for me.

Now, let's say that I play one hour, then add the six hours of travel time.  That equals seven hours of time expended on my part.  The $36 estimated net payout divided by seven hours equals $5+ per hour.  This is approximately how much money I used to make mowing lawns when I was a teenager in the '60s.

I love playing music, but I don't love playing it that much!  So I must respectfully decline your offer, but thanks for thinking of me!