I'm tired of paying to play! How do I get paid to perform?
This is a very common issue among Independent Artist. If you're stuck not being appreciated or valued for your work this is the blog for you. Now first before we go around demanding money to perform ask yourself a serious question "Have I put in the work to receive money to perform" So let's start here and work our way up. In this Blog I will be talking about what I did to direct my artist to paid opportunities.
Open Mics- First and foremost do not look past an open mic. An open mic is designed to showcase your talent and you never know who is in the audience watching. Maybe the venue owner would like to book you for a show. Open Mics can be found all over your city and no matter how big or small the crowd is you are showcasing your talent and building a name for yourself. The only catch is you may have to pay a small fee to get in or you may have to purchase a drink at minimum to support the venue but it is well worth it.
Showcases- Showcases are events that promoters put together to scout talent for events and opportunities. Not to be confused with Pay to Play. With a showcase you may pay a fee to get in the venue but there should be some type of prize or opportunity when it's said and done. You have to be getting something out of the deal. Some showcases have a top 3 monetary prize, some have a service package or some will put you on an even bigger show that you can possibly be paid for or given a huge opportunity.
On the downside there are some promoters out there that will scam you and are charging Artist to perform. Before signing up for a showcase get all of the details from that promoter. Ask them what is the benefit of the showcase. Sometimes it is great to just get out and network but always beware of who you are networking with.
Auditions- I believe auditions are the best money making opportunities. If you're chosen after you audition for an opportunity it is likely that you will be paid for that given opportunity. Either you will be paid up front or you will be given tickets and you will keep the ticket sales or you will do a ticket sale split with the promoter but in some case you will be given an opportunity to make money. The best part about auditions is the picking process. Everyone is not chosen to be apart of the show or event in the end unlike showcases where anyone can be apart of it. Auditions are also a great networking opportunity and always remember in this business Networking is Key.
Throw Your Own Shows- This is the #1 way to make money though if you're not ready you can take some losses. So before throwing your own event ask yourself "Am I Ready" If the answer is yes take some time and think out all of the details. Write it down. Why am I throwing my own concert? What am I promoting at this concert? Will I be the only Artist? Will I have multiple Acts? Write down your budget for the venue, the DJ, Promotional and Marketing Materials and set out to throw your event. The thing about throwing your event is if you're trying to make money just like selling tickets you have to sell yourself so people will show up and pay the door price. Your goal is to make back the money you put out on DJ and Venue cost and promo material and more. My advice is start out with a small venue and Promote like crazy. Maybe partner up with another artist and you both can share profits. A great way to promote your event is to return to the open mics with your flyers. Give the people a sample of what your concert is all about.
In this blog I'm sharing the basics of building your way up in the music scene and this will lead you to getting paid opportunities but it cannot work if you are not networking, showing support and most of all you need to stand out. Don't get caught up in this circle. Don't just attend one genre of events. Don't just push your music in one area. Branch out all over, look for different ways to showcase your music and talent. Work with different promoters and do the footwork to build an authentic fanbase. One thing I do recommend is Performing for free. If a friend asks you to perform at a family function, wedding, funeral do it. If you're asked to perform at a charity event or cause do it. These are also great networking opportunities to build up your fanbase. #CymphaniSpeaks