The handy man can because he can

A guitarist who can build and fix things. A pianist who can manage property and rentals. A home in the USA while they are on sabbatical from the Netherlands? Sponsors wanted.


I chatted with my friend in Denver on MSN messenger recently. I wrote, “We’re trying to get concerts where our friends are so that they can see us perform… and we can see them. But the USA is SO big! There are so many places to be.”

She replied, “The biggest turnout will be wherever you end up staying. We will come to see you.”

Why hadn’t it occurred to me before? It’s hard to follow a rolling stone.

Another friend wrote that the one thing stopping him from coming to our concerts is DISTANCE. He lives in Virginia. We are near Amsterdam. If we base ourselves in the USA, surely it would be a lot easier.

Here we are, trying to get our house fixed up so that we can rent it out, have a peace of mind, and go travel. Perhaps there are other homeowners also thinking the same. If only we could clone ourselves.

Garden house designed by Robert Bekkers in Utrecht, Netherlands
Garden house designed by Robert Bekkers in Utrecht, Netherlands

But wait!

Maybe we can get a place to stay, a place with access to a piano, a quiet place where we can study, rehearse, and prepare for our next CD recordings — a place given to us in exchange for our ability to fix things — i.e. manage property. Does such a place exist?

Here is why:

Author: BLOGmaiden

As one of the earliest bloggers (since 1999), I enjoy meeting people who embrace "out-of-the-box" thinking and fear not the unknown. I believe in collaboration for sustainability because it increases stakeholder value.

3 thoughts on “The handy man can because he can”

  1. I wish you the best of luck in finding a place to stay in the US – I saw the journal and it indeed it seems the Dutch guitarist is handy! : ) I imagine there would be a guest house somewhere to suit your needs. The thing is that the US is indeed vast, so distance is often an issue, even with a home base here. I would survey key areas for interest. Does your friend in Virginia live in northern Virginia, in which case a Washington DC concert would be great…or is he further south, in which case you could hit Richmond, VA or the Research Triangle (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill in North Carolina) and draw a wide audience from neighboring areas. Using his interest as an example, ask if he is willing to help promote an area program. But the main thing is to choose some key locations – perhaps where you have a contact – and then see what the interest would be. If there is sufficient interest, you can contact series organizers accordingly as often such series exist for classical music…otherwise a house concert. Maybe you have thought of these things already. All the best!

  2. Thanks, Manisha. Indeed, we need to think of the USA as Europe — not as one country the size of the Netherlands. We need a criteria — do we go to places where we already know people (perhaps friends we haven’t seen in a long time or experts we want to meet), music festivals we’d like to participate, places on the way to somewhere we’d like to be, etc. Do we do the dim sum & tapas approach — a taste of many — or do we plan it like a starter, main course, etc. The only constraint is time — a deadline…. and with it — a price – as my next blog post shows. Price is a function of time.

  3. Hey there, not much time today but many things to say on the topic. The dim sum & tapas approach takes considerable time in my opinion, though it is valid if you have the time to invest upfront or can get someone to do the bookings for you. For every locale you add to your list in advance, there is an additional factor involved in researching those areas, booking, and then promoting (or paying someone a percentage or fee to assist in doing so, depending on what kind of income you expect to generate per concert). So I would opt for starting small and building from there, especially if you have already garnered interest from some music festivals already. If you book 3 festivals & 3 concerts in some series (like those hosted by a library or municipality) within a certain time frame, then you can see what the route might be and then let people know you will be coming through those places and survey the interest. I think you hit the nail on the head when you talked about establishing some criteria for yourself. That will help you figure out what is most important for you…the thing with planning is that it helps to get some framework into place, but it is important to allow for some flexibility in case interesting opportunities come up for your consideration. Limiting yourself initially can be helpful to get moving and as a musician friend of mine said to me some years back “it is not how many gigs, but which gigs” – so that is something to just consider and I’m sure there are variations on that theme. As you are clearly very savvy and experienced, I’m sure you will have great success once you determine the criteria which are important for your tour in the US. : ) I saw your other post and will comment there directly.

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