Sunday, March 15, 2015

Key West (03.13.15)

Getting my show on the road at Key West in Second Life. Photo by Aurelie Cheneaux.

A Friday night show at Key West is always a welcome sight on my schedule. It occurred to me that many of you may not have any idea how Second Life musical artists arrange for the shows they play. The answer is that there is no answer, at least not one answer. Everyone has their own way of approaching this. For my first 4+ years in SL as a musician, I booked my own shows. Basically, I would go around and attend shows of my fellow artists whose music I enjoyed, and while I was there, if I liked the vibe of the venue, I'd ask the people hosting or managing the place who did the bookings. Then, I'd simply ask them if they had any slots open for new performers. Early on, like most people, I started by performing at "open mic" events, and eventually built up enough of a following that I felt okay about asking for a fee to perform. Note: I've always kept my fee at a fairly reasonable level... it's never been my intention to be a financial burden on the places where I perform.

That's how I did it from 2006 until 2011, when I met my manager Maali Beck. When Maali first approached me to ask if I needed a manager, my immediate answer was no. After all, I'd been pretty successful doing it on my own, and didn't see right away how it could improve with a manager's help. Boy, was I wrong. Maali not only got me booked into venues that I couldn't get into previously, but the biggest thing she brought to the party was taking over all of the negotiation and coordination that goes into the booking process. For the past four years, I simply look at my schedule, see what Maali has booked for me, and show up to play music (which is really all I want to do in any case). Perhaps I lucked out by having Maali... knowing that I have a busy life with lots of responsibilities, she is always aware of my preferred days/times to perform, never over-books me, and never seems concerned with her own revenue based on my rather meager amount of shows. I appreciate what she does, and after all, she also has three other great performers in her stable (Sassy Nitely, Lyndon Heart, and Taunter Goodnight) who probably more than make up for the small number of shows I play in any case.

A typical night at Key West, with a cool crowd in a lovely SL build. Photo by Aurelie Cheneaux.

Wrapping up my show, with my pal Taunter Goodnight getting ready to belt out some tunes. Photo by Aurelie Cheneaux.

So that's my experience with working with a manager in SL; others may do it differently. I'm perfectly fine with my system, so all is well in that regard. In any case, I saw that Maali had once again booked me at Key West, and I was happy to be there. It's a great SL venue; very well run, always gets a good crowd, and people seem to enjoy my tunes there. A Friday evening show at Key West is a great way to kick off a weekend for both the audience and the performers there.

Key West set list...
Radio Free Europe (R.E.M.)
Blew The Dust Away (They Stole My Crayon)
This Afternoon (Zak Claxton)
Shock The Monkey (Peter Gabriel)
Avalon (Roxy Music)
Never Run Away (Kurt Vile)
*Rocky Mountain High (John Denver)
Carey (Joni Mitchell)
Say Goodbye (Beck)
Things Behind the Sun (Nick Drake)
Falling Down (Zak Claxton)
1979 (Smashing Pumpkins)

*Indicates the first time I've performed this song in SL.

Big thanks to all who supported my show Friday night at Key West. You all rule.
Blythe Bailey, Taunter Goodnight, dls Falconer, Morgan Suppenkraut, Syd Baddingham, OrtonPortion Resident, Ryder30 Resident, Richy Nervous, Aurelie Chenaux, TheaDee Resident, my manager Maali Beck, Key West's great hostesses, and owner Liz Harley!

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