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post #14 of Old 01-24-2012
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Originally Posted by BubbleheadMd View Post
You're in an interesting situation, with interesting challenges Gary.

Do you think the local entertainment scene will get upset with you for intruding on their territory?
In this particular industry, the entertainment biz, the lifespan of a job varies considerably. I know of a couple entertainers who work Baltimore's Little Italy and have been there for two decades. They worked 5-nights a week, but never worked Sunday or Monday nights. The club's owner decided that would be a good day to rotate some new performers through the restaurant/bar area, and I was one of them. After a single, Sunday night performance the owner asked if I would consider working every Sunday, which I did for the next two years.

In the Florida Keys entertainers are frequently seasonal, which translates to lower pay and a fair amount of competition. Therefore, I drove down to the keys last winter, checked out the nightly entertainment, then looked at the demographics. Key West, while always a jumpin' town, was geared primarily for the younger set, adolescent adults ranging in age from 21 to 45--not my kind of crowd (I'm an old guy.)

Marathon, Big Pine Key, Key Largo and several others seemed to cater to the older, more laid-back kind of crowds, which is where I fit in nicely. As our population ages there's an increasing demand for the entertainment I provide. An old friend and keys resident told me in no uncertain terms that if I decided to perform in the middle and lower keys I would have more jobs than I could handle.

In contrast, the head-banging rockers playing at ear-bleed volumes have a tendency to drive the older folks away--something restaurant and bar owners do NOT wish to do. Older folks have money, and they are willing to spend it in a place where they're having fun and dance.

Ironically, most performers in seasonal, resort areas tend to be transient, a bit younger, and not a bit concerned about an old guy coming to town. Some even look at me as a kind of father figure, often coming up to me on breaks and asking advice about various types of equipment.

I only want to work a couple nights a week, just enough to meet expenses and allow me to sail to places I've never been in a small boat. If the music jobs fall apart, I guess I'll have to survive on my Social Security and eat the fish that I catch while sailing to some really neat places.


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