Monday, March 07, 2011

Monday... Monday
When I moved away for the summer to work for Six Flags over Georgia I bought a music player that used tiny cartridges, much smaller than the 8 track tapes that were in most everyone's car. These mini-cartridges were about the size of a small floppy disk as I remember and each cartridge was only an album long.  After buying the player I didn't have enough money for very many album/cartridges.  I think I bought two with me to Georgia.  By the time I got back from Georgia the entire thing was obsolete.  They no longer sold the small cartridges and the 8 tracks were also on the way out. 
One of the only albums I owned was the Mamas and the Papas, which had Monday, Monday and California Dreamin' on it. At the time I did not know that I would someday be a resident of California and California Dreamin' would take on a whole new meaning in my life.  Back then, Monday.. Monday was my anthem.  Not just because it was one of the few songs I could listen to on my little machine, I liked what it said.  Rarely can I think of this day of the week without some part of that song repeating itself in my mind.  
I write this because I am contemplating my Blog this Monday. I took some heat from agents, promoters and producers for some of the things I wrote about the venues on the first leg of the Truck tour.  What got back to me was a couple of promoter/buyers saying, "We hear Jay likes to talk about the venues on his blog." That is true, I do like to share my experiences.  Anyone who has checked into this blog over the years knows that most of my recollections are Valentines to the audience and theatre, or things that struck me funny about being on the road.  I have never had a venue say thanks for saying nice things, but one of the few times I talk about a sound guy with an attitude, suddenly people are upset that I am "talking about venues." 
I am caught between the desire to be as honest as Spaulding Gray but not wanting to hurt any one's feelings. (With the exception of the sound guy....still can't believe him.) 
Here is my new deal.  I will not write from the venue.  The entry that got the negative comments and notice was sent from my dressing room during a very long tech day.  I needed to get back to the hotel, after the show, and evaluate the entire event and not just that moment of madness caused by some bucolic boom-boxer.  To all you venue promoters who are reading this wondering what I might have to say about an up an coming evening at your facility; Just be ready for our show.  The show is not a comic with a stool and a spot light, we don't do sound checks, we do sound rehearsals, the show has major lighting cues and we need the minimal stuff as spelled out in our rider.  It is a long day to set the show if everything that needs to be done before hand is completed.  Otherwise it is a nightmare.
One of the spaces last run called up two days before we were to show up saying they didn't have some of our requirements.  It was obvious that they had just read the rider. 
If everything is ready when we arrive then the only things that I will have to write about is the funny, wonderful, exciting moments of the event. Personally I would like to get back to that kind of observation.  
As you were,


Roomie said...


the other one said...

well.... you know what I would say...

Aaron said...

I wonder what these places do when the local newspaper sends their theatre critic to a show and complains about the lighting, sound, etc. What is the difference, other than YOU (the artist) have a right to make sure YOUR show is PERFECT (or as close as one can get)! I know I am paying attention for when that time comes for my venue.

Dave Robison said...

Okay, so maybe writing in the heat of the moment is not a good idea...remember the Howard Stern/Leno incident? But, I would hope that even back at the hotel, you will still be honest about the venue, good or bad.

The venues, bookers and promoters should know that performers/comedians always talk about their recent performances. And they should take it as it comes. And hey, the Supreme Court recently ruled that we have a right to complain about our jobs, with no repercussions.

Keep speaking the truth, Jay--on stage and off.


P. Grecian said...

Hey, Jay, except for posting when angry (and who can blame you for THAT under the circumstances), you did nothing wrong.
Some local techie with his own private fiefdom tried to pick on the wrong guy. The folks who run the venue should be grateful for the heads up.
An angry post is probably good therapy (I know it is for me). So, go ahead and write 'em when they're fresh in your mind...but don't post 'em till you've had a chance to get back to the hotel and give 'em a quick once over and edit.
Then, if you wanna post 'em as they stand, go for it.
Life's too short.

Roomie said...

I don't think I remember that player and the tiny tapes....surely we couldn't play them in the VW on the Smyrna back roads to the park....why didn't I have one? My memory just doesn't serve me so well.......
Carry on,
And once as you have always done...TELL IT LIKE IT IS....sometimes the TRUTH hurts and most of the time, bears good results!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bob Conrad said...

It seems to me if they did their job right the first time you would have been pleased and said something nice about them. If you do a lousy job, sooner or latter somebody is going to say something about it. You didn't
do anything wrong, simply pointed out that they were incompetent. If you want a first class revue you have to run a first class theater.