Part 2: Get affiliated!
In my previous blog post, I mentioned yard sales as a way to get local knowledge and shopping tips. You’re unlikely to get such advice at department stores or public shopping places. Similarly, at house concerts, you can more easily acquire information by asking than at a large public concert venue where it’s harder to make conversation (to strangers).
If you don’t know anybody before you arrive, how will you get assistance? Check into a hotel with a knowledgeable and reliable concierge? Stay at a bed and breakfast and ask the owner? Stay at a youth hostel and ask other guests?
There are other ways to do this.
Get a job. Any job. Temporary or not. Part time or full time. As fast as possible.
Enroll on a course.
Join a choir.
In other words, get involved. Get affiliated!
This is one reason musicians sometimes get gigs that pay below their normal rates because they also get side benefits such as personal contacts and useful information. My instrumentalist classmates from conservatory have played in orchestras not just for the experience but also to get on the grapevine. Gossip about conductors, new ensembles, projects in the pipeline, … in short, work opportunities, often flow, unprinted and unpublished, by word of mouth.
The Chinese saying “Ride a horse to find a horse” translates to “Get a job to find a job.”
My dear musicians, we can’t expect to be invited to perform or get discovered if we stay at home practising all day!