Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Gotta Trust Myself (Fridays Joe's Crab Shack)

It started out quietly. When I walked in and read the room, I got a rainy day, quieter kind of mood day. The room was filled with families and older folks. Generally this means a quieter kind of music is called for. Music that won’t jangle parents nerves more than they already are from taking toddlers out to dinner. Music that the old folks can whisper to each other over while they chat and eat. Well, that was challenged by a bimbo at the bar who wanted to drink and party hearty. She put One Whole Dollar in my tip jar and asked me to do something more perky. Something more upbeat. Something happier. Now, mind you, I wasn’t doing depressive music, just quieter music. Then the bartender was shouting out to do some Bruce Springsteen, Some J Geils, some Buffet. I don’t do any of those artists because they don’t match MY style. MY voice.
Well, she preyed on my insecurities which were wide open because of having to face that I will have to move sooner rather than later. I was a little down, but my music was quiet, not sad.
Well, I did as she requested. I spiked the music and did more upbeat, rock songs. Sure enuf, the old ladies put their hands over their ears. No one wanted to be seated close to the state which is normally not a problem. The children became irate which made the parents irate. I felt even more down and like a failure.
So, I took a break and sat myself down and gave myself a good talking to. I reminded myself that I had been doing this for 30 years. That I was good at what I did and that I knew what I was doing. That I should gauge the WHOLE ROOM and not what some drunk bimbo wanted from the bar. There were only 2 people at the bar.
So, when I got back, I resumed my course. I played soft, mellow, happy love songs.
The tips started to appear in my jar. The children and parents started to smile. I did a coupla kids songs which made the parents happy. The old people smiled at the kid’s songs. I saw toes tapping and smiles and not hands over ears and irate folks.

So what did I learn? To trust my instincts. I am the one entrusted to providing music. There is a time to be boistrois and rowdy and there is a time to be quiet. I learned I know more about what has to be done in this job than some “desparately desiring coolness” and wanting tips bartender, or some bimbo out to party hearty on a Friday night drinking and not having dinner kind of person.

Trust myself.

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