Beyond Talent: Creating a Successful Career in Music

By Angela Myles Beeching | Go to book overview

10
The Freelance Lifestyle—Managing Your Gigs, Time, and Money

Most musicians spend at least a portion of their careers as self-employed professionals. Freelancers perform as substitute players or guest artists with various ensembles; they also may perform at weddings, corporate parties, restaurants, and hotels, or for more extended commitments, such as recording projects, musicals, and festivals.

Freelancing can make for an interesting and varied work life. But the freelance lifestyle also means not having a steady paycheck, or an employer to provide benefits, paid vacation time, or a regular schedule. So for freelancers to be successful, they need to manage their gigs, finances, and time effectively. Most musicians learn the ins and outs of freelancing the hard way, by making mistakes. But many mishaps can be avoided. The freelance lifestyle can be made easier with the right information, planning, and networking.


The Tale of Joan, Bootstrapping
in the Freelance World (Part 1)

Joan B., a bassoonist, started freelancing while a graduate student. It started with
her teacher and friends recommending her for a few orchestral gigs. Joan also played
woodwind quintets with friends. They did several gigs together—four weddings
and a funeral, in fact—plus a party for a local political bigwig. But, after graduat-
ing, Joan found this sporadic work was not enough to pay the bills. So she audi-
tioned for the sub lists with several regional orchestras. She also asked her former
teachers for the names of local contractors—the people who contract freelance

-234-

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Beyond Talent: Creating a Successful Career in Music
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Contents xiii
  • Prelude: Confessions of a Career Counselor 3
  • 1: Mapping Success in Music 9
  • 2: Making Connections 19
  • 3: Building Your Image 36
  • 4: Expanding Your Impact 68
  • 5: Online Promotion 111
  • Interlude: Fundamental Questions 132
  • 6: Booking Performances like a Pro 141
  • 7: Building Your Reputation, Growing Your Audience 166
  • 8: Connecting with Audiences 187
  • 9: Performing at Your Best 207
  • 10: The Freelance Lifestyle—managing Your Gigs, Time, and Money 234
  • 11: Raising Money for Music Projects 271
  • 12: Getting It Together 291
  • Appendix - More Resources, Please! 315
  • Index 329
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