A car breakdown is never a fun experience, but for a touring band it can spell real problems. You might be a couple of hours from home or several days. You could be stranded in the middle of nowhere or be stuck on a city street or parking lot. Either way, if you have gigs scheduled it’s hard to figure out how you’re going to make everything work to get you to the next spot.
Hello lovely blog folks! Long time no see, and I heartily apologize for that. I’m trying to return to a space where I can churn out blog posts and document my mental and physical state more regularly. I have a bad tendency to get really down on myself if I miss a deadline I’ve set for myself which makes it way harder to get things started up again. So here I am practicing self-forgiveness for neglecting the Miss Minstrel blog and I’ll try to keep up with the writing.
Staying with friends (or friends of friends, or friends of friends of…well you get it) always seems better than asking a complete stranger. But in reality, often the people I’ve stayed with from sites like Couchsurfer.com and AirBNB have been really cool people who specifically like helping out artists. Sometimes if I’m trying to book a show and someone doesn’t have the full budget to hire me I ask if they can help me find someone to stay with. This means I can give them a lower rate and it always has worked out beautifully. In fact, those locations end up feeling the most special because I’m suddenly part of the local music community.
So if you’re just diving into the world of couch surfing, here are three tips for how to be a great guest.
I began performing on street corners in the fall of 2013 so I feel like at this point I have a good handle on how to work a crowd. But oh boy did Vegas change that opinion fast. When we decided to spend December and January in Las Vegas I knew I didn’t want to spend a ton of time on the Strip. As fun as the Strip can be for tourists it’s not a great place to perform. You get to share the area with a ton of other people soliciting in a giant mass of humanity, and there are legal issues and strict regulations against performances and other kinds of ‘solicitation’. Not a great recipe for violin busking. Fremont Street however, had all the makings of a great busking space.