In this episode, Jared Judge shares a recap of his recent gig at a corporate event held in downtown Denver. He reflects on the challenges and stresses he faced during the setup process, from parking and unloading gear to navigating a new venue. Jared discusses the importance of giving himself enough time to prepare and highlights the impact of external factors on his performance. Despite the initial difficulties, Jared eventually finds his groove and delivers a successful performance that receives positive feedback. He also explores the concept of stage presence and how it influenced his approach during the gig.
Hey, what's up gigging pros! It's Jared Judge welcome back to another episode of The Gigging Musician Podcast. I'm on my way home from a gig. It was a corporate event for a conference held at the Sheraton in downtown Denver. It's a pretty nice ritzy ish hotel, and amazing gig paid very well. And I just wanted to do a little recap, mainly for my benefit to kind of assess how could I improve this for next time. So I've been having like, really good luck with gigs. Until tonight, nothing went bad, like not no train wrecks or anything like that. But it was not my best work. And I'm trying to figure out why. So essentially, I knew that this gig is in downtown Denver, which is typically a stressful environment. As far as like there's a lot of cars going around parking is kind of a pain in the rear. And also, it was a new venue. For me, it was actually in the lobby area, they had like a bar, and it was behind the bar in kind of this cocktail area that was elevated, it was up a couple of steps. And I was playing my stage was like, at the top of a staircase that had like three stairs. And I had my speakers on either side of me. And I gave myself an hour upon arriving to set up my gear and get set, which is usually more than enough time. Like, I don't know, for some reason, it wasn't enough this time. Like it, I played right at the downbeat, but I just didn't have enough extra time to like calm down. So I felt very stressed a bit. I'm not wanting to get stressed easily. But like I felt that there was traffic on the way. So I guess I was a little stressed about that. And then the parking and unloading situation was very chaotic. I had to like Park in the taxi loading area, put my flashers on, and then unload my gear in two trips, take it up there to that the stage area and then move the car before I can actually set up my my gear. So I had to move my car from that taxi loading zone to an underground garage, which I had to ask for directions for where it was. I think that's another one of my issues is like I didn't have my parking plan ahead of time. And then down like going down into that parking garages and underground parking garage, which was kind of a labyrinth. And it was hot. And it's been raining here. So it's been very humid. And so like by the time I was, you know already parked the car, I was already sweating before I've been set set up any of my gear. So that was another thing that added a layer of stress. And then I didn't know exactly what floor, the gig was on. Like I thought lobby was like the first floor. But apparently it wasn't. And so I accidentally got off at the wrong floor and had to take stairs up a floor. So I was again sweating a little bit more, and then start to unload my gear. Now the unloading and like setting up my gear, that all went fine. However, I think there is an element of gear setup here that that made it even more stressful, which was I didn't want my cables. Like I didn't want anyone to trip on my cables if they were going up and down that staircase, because people were going up and down that staircase like they were chairs and seats and things that people could still sit in while I was playing. And so I had to like make sure that people didn't trip. Luckily, I've got like four rolls of gaffers tape in my like, I've got a box of cords and gear. So I have four rolls of gaffers tape, so I just taped my my cords down. But that is stressful. I haven't had to do that in a while. Probably not since I DJ Well, weddings like five, six years ago. And taping down chords is not fun for me. I don't know just like being on my knees and making sure that you have the right length of cable. I don't know it's just kind of stressful. So that made me sweat even more. So I was already sweating before. And then I got everything set up. I got my cables organized. I don't like messy cables. And that took some time to was organizing the cables after I taped them down. And then I set up the rest of my gear. And as you all know, I've been using in ear monitors, which is awesome and I totally needed them this gig. But when I turned it on, you know that in ear monitors have a transmitter and a receiver. You plug the transmitter either into your mixer or to the output of one of your speakers. And then The receiver clips onto your your belt or your your pants, and then you plug in your headphones into that. And so when I turned on the transmitter, it was working. When I turned on the receiver, it was dead. I was like, Ah, crap, I need these. And especially in that situation like, this lobby was very live like there was so much sound, everybody's voices were like echoing off the ceiling, and the floor was a marble floor. And so I could barely hear my speakers. And I didn't want to turn them up anymore. Because when I played my music, to the audience, and I went out and listened, it was plenty loud, I didn't want to turn them up just so I could hear him because that would have made, you know, a less than ideal situation for for the listeners. So if I, if my in ear monitors weren't working, I would have had a very hard time hearing my backing tracks and hearing myself. So I was all set up with about 20 minutes to spare, which I know I said I didn't give myself enough time. But I needed that 20 minutes to go ahead and charge my ear monitors. Luckily, I brought the charges for it. And then I finished, just getting everything else set up, like putting my speaker just in are not my speaker, my music stand in the right area, getting my chords organized. So just like not not knowing if I'm going to be able to use in your monitors added another layer of stress. And I had actually charged my ear monitors, like, after the previous gig, which was on Sunday, I charged them. But in the in my case, I put them in my violin case, they must have jostled and flip the switch to turn it on to drain the battery. So I gotta be more careful with that. So that's something I'm gonna keep in mind for next time. So finally, that downbeat arrives at 630 to 836 30 rolls around, and I unplugged my senior monitors from the charger and just pray that it works. And then I'm fiddling around with the cord, because usually I Thread the cord underneath my shirt. Kind of like fiddling it around, right? Is the gig supposed to start? Luckily, there was like a cocktail hour situation. So nobody really noticed or cared. But I noticed and I cared. And I just feel like that didn't set me up for success for the rest of the gig. So first song went, Okay, wasn't my best performance. Second one also, okay, then finally, I got into a rhythm and a groove and really was able to play at the level that I know I am capable of. So I don't think anybody in the audience noticed. And they don't think the event planner noticed. In fact, after the gig, I had so many people coming up and saying how amazing it was. I even got applause during the gig, which at cocktail hours doesn't usually happen. But it was really nice to happen. Of course, with the in ear monitors, I couldn't hear the applause. So I like had to look up and I see people like trying to get my attention and clapping for as like, Oh, thank you. So I'm just still getting used to the hitting your monitors. And I think just all the other added elements of this gig stressed me out. But people love it. And to two things. This was my first gig playing. This was my first gig where I was hired by a destination management company, which I think I did a podcast episode about that. Let me know if I didn't. And I will do one, letting you know the beauty of destination management companies because they're like booking agents on steroids. And so they hired me for this gig. This was their first time hiring me. And I guess that was also another thing that made me feel stressed out was I felt like it was my audition. Like if I did a bad job on this, I wouldn't be asked back by them. But I think I did good. I got lots of great feedback from their staff, which they had a lot of staff there. And then the second thing was I got a video testimonial. So I've been forgetting to do this after my gigs. But I finally remembered to go up to one of the people who complimented me and asked her like, Hey, I'm pretty new here to town. People don't know about me. I'm trying to collect these selfie video testimonials of people who heard me play and what they thought, would you be willing to do it? And she said And then she gave me a great one. She just mentioned some of yes. the songs I played, she mentioned that it was a vibe. And that was definitely going to on the website. So look for that in the next couple of days here. In fact, by the time you listen to this, it's probably already going to be up. So that is the gig recap. One other thing. I noticed that two other things I know I said one more thing, but yeah, we're gonna go for more. The we had an excellent discussion in our Fulltime Music Academy office hours today on zoom with a bunch of the musicians and we're having a good discussion about stage presence. Because I mentioned that is something that I want to work on personally I feel like as a classical music Shouldn't you're never taught stage presence, right? Like, you know, if you're a popular musician, if you play cover songs, like that's just kind of ingrained in the entertainment part of what we do. But as classical musicians, you're focused so much on the technique and the sound that like when you get up there and you go to perform, like popular music, you can't just stand there rigid, like a, like a dead fish. So that's been something I've been personally working on, like moving my body dancing, interacting with the crowd. And we had a great discussion about that in today's Office Hours, that really I remembered in tonight's gig. Like I thought about it, it triggered me to move my body more when I was playing. And it actually I think, helped me perform better helped me get out of that like funk, where I was just worried about all the things that were stressing me out, got me into the music, I felt like I was enjoying each song more. And I was selling each song better. So that was awesome. And then what was the second thing I can't remember, I'm pretty tired, you guys I had it was a long gig and playing by yourself solo for two hours with no breaks, it takes a lot out of you, which I really enjoy. So I'm going to keep doing it. But I don't know, maybe I'll hire Rudy to take care of all the equipment setup, because I think that's the part that stresses me out the most. Alright, thanks so much for oh, I remember. So I use an iPad for sheet music. And I have I use piano vocal scores. So it's got like the lyrics plus the backing music in a reduction for piano. So there's a ton of page turns. But when they make these, these music, sheet music, they actually put in repeat signs. So I use a foot pedal to handle my page turns, and I don't want to have to remember to like, move my foot to the left pedal to turn the page back for these return these page turns. And they so usually, I organize the music so that I repeat some of the pages and put little red markings around the repeat signs. But I played September by Earth, Wind and Fire. And the pages are out of order. So luckily, that's a song that's so repetitive that like you can fake your way through it. But that's something I need to fix. And that was another thing that one of our members, Ken was talking about that he keeps a notepad at each gig that just takes notes about how each song went or what what could he improve upon for next time, which I thought was really inspirational. And something that I took with me for this game. All right. That is officially it. Thanks for listening to my rant about this. And yeah, destination management companies are awesome. You guys should totally network with them. Because remember, "Your music won't market itself!".