This is the time of year that as an events music professional, I dread. After the hustle and bustle of the Holiday season brides are curled up at home, either with their new grooms or if they are still brides-to-be, with their fiances and bridal magazines. Corporate retreats and incentive trips are few and far between and I am left to do my business housekeeping. A lot of people think that we musicians lead a glamorous life (I hear it all the time!): we hang out at the beach all day every day and then when an opportunity to perform comes up we glide up in our limos, play, collect an exorbitant fee and glide away, surrounded by magic and mystery every step of the way. Not so in real life (you’re thinking about the rock stars you see on T.V.).
In real life, I spend the first 3 months of the year in my office 8-9 hours per day working on things like income taxes for my business and the people who work for me, filing music and administrative paperwork, developing new marketing ideas and cleaning up in general. There is a lot of “behind the scenes” work that must be done in order to make music into a viable business and all of this work is done without pay. Right now I am finishing up gathering my tax information for my CPA (yes, I pay an accountant to do my taxes because as an incorporated business, the forms are too complicated and time consuming for me to accomplish on my own) and hoping to have a chance to start mixing work on our new demo recording.
This time of year is also a busy time for meeting prospective clients. I do love that part! Lots of couples get engaged over the holidays so I field a lot of inquiries this time of year and love that sense of “fresh starts” that meeting new people brings. It also gives me the impetus I need to keep drudging through the boring stuff: “If I finish all of this, I get to play for my clients!”.
Even though there’s this aura surrounding music as a career, it’s pretty much like any other business as far as day-to-day tasks are concerned. And, at the end of the day I also have to put several hours’ time in practicing my instruments so that once I do get to the performance I sound polished and terrific!
Even during the busy season, the office work goes on. I suppose I should be happy that I have this time to catch up or even get a little bit ahead because once the “season” starts, it goes full-tilt until next January!