nclean: (Ichthyo-Stega-Jawrus)
[personal profile] nclean

Carol gig today was spectacularly awkward. At 8 mins to gig start time, I messaged all 3 other singers, asking them where the fuck they were. One texted back “Oh shit, it's at 5. Oh god, I'm still at home, sorry!”, and that he was 30-60 mins away. One other walked in the door a few minutes later, the last, when I called her, didn't think she was rostered on today. She was.

So, we are contractually obliged to provide 4 singers, and had 2 – one bass and one alto.

With the aforementioned contractual obligation in mind, we started singing, and found that because we're both decent singers, it actually worked pretty well. A few songs sounded pretty hollow, but anything harmonised with flourishing lines worked very nicely, and having only 2 decent singers, we could just lock in, use rapid tempi... all good. Also, I adjusted all the pitches down for the alto to sing melodies, which made everything easier on our voices.

So when the 3rd guy turned up, more than an hour late, it was mostly a bit of a shit, because he's crap. Not only could I not improvise harmonisations, but even when I'd support his line, he'd still wreck the tuning.

Nonetheless, from a breach-of-contract standpoint, I think it's better to provide ¾ singers than 2/4 .

Oh well, so I put up with it for the remaining near-hour. Then when walking back to centre management, he explained why he couldn't attend one of the other gigs – going to the WikiLeaks rally. I commented that a friend had attended a Wikileaks rally and found mixed messages – rather than “we support Wikileaks”, there were posters for every cause and its dog. He didn't seem to understand the complaint. I used the example that at some rallies, you get people hi-jacking the rally for their pet cause, and this dilutes and damages the message of the rallies – for instance, promoting the socialists at, say, gay marriage rallies. He said that the socialists had been the major drive behind the equal love rallies. WARNING! WARNING! BELIGERENT TOOL ALERT! So, I provided the hypothetical example of someone having a “Israel out of Palestine” banner at a pro-gay marriage rally. He didn't see the problem - “they're all connected” and “there isn't always time to create new banners for every rally”.

*HEADDESK**HEADDESK**HEADDESK*  Foolish me, for arguing with a dipshit socialist.

Date: 2010-12-15 02:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] originaluddite.livejournal.com
You present two completely different kinds of frustration topic in this post. I cannot decide which one provokes my wish to support your venting more. I will simply say well done on your evident resilience and assumed composure in the face of these.

Date: 2010-12-15 06:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] foxe.livejournal.com
Argh. I hate gigs like that, and that feeling of 'oh shit, what do we do, nobody else is here, where ARE they all', and having to be apologetic to centre management all the while going 'damn you, unreliable choristers!' in your head... People need to realise that even though they're not being paid to do gigs, *U/OCs is, and that makes it a professional commitment. I mean, would you turn up to your rostered work shift an hour late? Attitudes like that don't help the constant struggle to get musicians and the work they do recognised as valid forms of employment.

Anyway, I'm glad you managed to salvage something and enjoy the singing for at least part of the gig. Carol gigs used to be one of my favourite activities because they were a then-rare chance to do small-group a cappella singing with, mostly, a reasonable bunch of singers.

And GAH for dipshit socialism. I almost laughed at your penultimate paragraph, until I remembered this was a real person/incident under discussion and not just a humorous story and went 'ohgodthestupid' instead...

Date: 2010-12-16 01:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nclean.livejournal.com
Except that the individual choristers WERE being paid to do this gig. $29 ea for two hours.

Date: 2010-12-19 09:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] foxe.livejournal.com
Wow. In that case, it's REALLY shit. I've learned (sometimes the hard way!) who the reliable and unreliable ones are amongst my musical associates; only the reliable ones get offered paid gigs.

Date: 2010-12-15 08:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gabyvarius.livejournal.com
What group were you carolling with?
That's really poor form!

Date: 2010-12-15 09:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tigerdenbodu.livejournal.com
:-(
Yes, that's why my SO doesn't like rallies.
And warned you about said bass.

Date: 2010-12-15 10:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] traeemery.livejournal.com
Hey, sounds really frustrating.

Tip if that happens again. Rather than forging on, you were probably best to front up to centre management or who ever booked the gig and say, "Sorry, two of our singers called in sick at the last minute. What do you want us to do? Carry on with less numbers and pay us a half fee or cancel the gig?"

By taking the decision on entirely yourself without negotiating with them, they now have the right to not pay at all. Also, charging them full price for services not fully realised, it may spoil the relationship for future gigs.

Date: 2010-12-16 01:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nclean.livejournal.com
I would have negotiated with centre management, if I could have contacted any of the relevant people - they were running around doing more important things.

I was aware of the risk of continuing on, we will simply have to ask them in retrospect what to do about the situation (reduced payment?)
From: (Anonymous)
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Date: 2011-01-16 10:32 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Nice work Brian you obviously put a lot of work into it. Lets hope 2010 is as fruitful for you.
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