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#3114690 05/07/21 10:24 AM
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I have a funny tale to tell.

When I was 19, I got a gig. I was so excited because I mainly played recitals at the time... and not paid gigs.

It was for a bed and breakfast place in Berkeley Springs, WV. So here was the agreement: I would play Schubert 894 and 960 along with a few encores... an evening of Schubert. And the payment was 200 dollars.

So I brought it my gear, got set up, chatted a bit with the crowd, then played a concert... I felt I played really well. Afterward I chatted a bit, then tore down and loaded my gear back into my car. I went back in on cloud 9, excited that I played well and was about to receive payment. I went to the owner of the establishment, and he said to me "We cannot pay you. But Berkeley Springs is renowned or its healing and holy water that comes from it's natural springs. Instead of money, we would like to pay you with some healing water. Is that okay?"

There was nothing I could do. I didn't necessarily storm out, but I said "No, I dont need any healing water", and left. The ride home wasn't quite as ecstatic as I imagined it would be.

haha

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Is this for real? A contract is a contract. I appreciate you laughing it out now, but I am curious to know what the owner was thinking when he proposed the 'alternate form of payment'...


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Yeah totally. The favorite Schubert sonata thread reminded me of it. I was 19 at the time, and I would have handled it completely differently now! It was pretty stupid, and it took me a good long while to laugh about it... now I find it one of my best gig stories.

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And now that I think about it, I dont believe there was a contract involved. Just a verbal agreement

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Originally Posted by MinscAndBoo
And now that I think about it, I dont believe there was a contract involved. Just a verbal agreement
These days, you'd be informed in writing, e.g. by email. Usually.

I never charge for my 'gigs' (which I do monthly) because I just want to spread the Word (the word about classical music, that is) but I once did an impromptu Christmas gig in the same venue, when I was contacted frantically less than 8 hours before the concert, and asked to accompany the singing of the choir (which was the audience), because their regular accompanist had fallen ill.

Of course I agreed, even though I was told I'd be playing what the audience wanted to sing, which assuredly wasn't Weihnachts-Oratorium or Messiah, not even Cantique de Noël. No, it was going to be mainly pop songs linked to Christmas, plus a few carols. It turned out that most of those songs only had very tenuous connection to the festive ('religious') season and pretty much all of them were unknown to me. My sight-reading and improvising skills were sorely tested, and some of my latter (based on lead sheets or guitar chords in the songbooks I was given on arrival) raised more than a few eyebrows. (Actually, they were probably downright hilarious to pop aficionados who knew the songs). Well, OK, they sounded more like Chopin than Cher (is that the right spelling?), but hey, I'm a classical pianist, so what could they expect? grin

They didn't offer any 'reward' for my trouble in the email, not even a glass of holy water, but after the concert (during which everyone had a great time, partly because they heard stuff from the accompanist they'd never heard before and probably never will again), the grateful organizers took me into another room and told me to eat as much as I liked from the offerings on the tables: lots of homemade Christmas cakes, mince pies, cookies, chocolate etc. My kind of payment thumb (I have a very sweet tooth, but I still have all my teeth). And before I left, completely stuffed, they pressed into my arms two huge bottles of vintage champagne as well as a big bagful of various Christmas treats to keep my sugar levels up until the New Year. It was a profitable evening for me.

But no mention of whether the champagne had been blessed........ cry (luckily, I'm a teetotaller.)


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I’ve never been to the US and I’m just an amateur and I know it’s a rich country but still, isn’t $200 a bit too much to pay for some classical music in a B&B?


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There was a talk recently at a club that I belong to given by a performer. I asked him about how he handled the business aspect (because I promote that at the university where I work), and he said that the defining moment was when he realized that you were asked to perform because they want you to perform, and that you should not look at it as an opportunity to advance your career. Now he has a good lawyer to make sure that everything is on the up and up.


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$200 a bit too much to pay for some classical music in a B&B?

If that was the deal then that was the deal and the performer should have been paid the amount agreed to. Whether it was "a bit too much" or not is not particularly relevant.

Several years ago I got paid $5000 for not quite two days of not-very-hard work setting up a computer network. I didn't want to do the job at all. I didn't find it particularly interesting and I had some other things that I would rather be doing, so when the guy who wanted it done asked me how much I would charge to do it for him I said, "$5000." To my surprise, he said, "Can you do it next week?"

Well... ok. Since I had made the offer I did the job for him and he gave me a cheque for $5000. I came out $5000 ahead and he was satisifed with the work done so we both ended up happy. And yes, $5000 was indeed "a bit much" for two days of work but that was the price that we agreed on and the amount that he paid.


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Originally Posted by MinscAndBoo
And now that I think about it, I dont believe there was a contract involved. Just a verbal agreement

In many US states, a verbal contract is a legal contract. It just may be more difficult to enforce if one of the parties says ‘we didn’t agree to that,’


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