I just got fired. Do performers get fired? Yep, we get fired. No other word for it.
There’s a winery I had been trying to get into for a couple years. When I made it into their rotation, I counted it as progress in my career.
After playing there 6 times, they have decided I’m not a good fit for them after all and have given my last date to someone else – this after i had the whole place singing “American Pie” with me. Based on the many happy responses I received, I have no doubt at all that I was an asset to the winery that day.*
I am baffled and hurt. I’ m indignant that they took my last date away so late in the season, not even a month out, so it will be hard to find another gig for that day. Having me play one more time (i’m pretty damn good, after all) can’t be a big deal to them, but it’s $200 to me.
There are no guarantees from most of the places my colleagues and I play. The venue can give us the hook any time. As performers, we can bail on them, too, but then our reputations could take a hit. Our professional reputations are too valuable and hard-earned to throw away on a petty act of revenge.
I’m not complaining here (much), just laying out the facts of this work. I do feel privileged to be able to play music for a living, and there’s a thrill of joy every time I take my guitar out of its case at a gig. Still, I’m trying to come up with some kind of moral or lesson from this tale.
Everyone knows one oughtn’t take this kind of thing personally. I need to put up some kind mental wall to separate my performance from the running of the establishment. I do my job , connecting with the guests and enhancing their experience if I can. All decisions on running the place I leave to others. It’s really none of my business.
*I must point out that I do take one 20 minute break to get coffee at the nearest place. Maybe this break is too long. Would they point this out to me, or just give me the full-on hook?