I am writing this post from my living room. This is unusual because I usually write from my bedroom/office/harp room.
Yes, I have been banished from my usual hide-away by two men who are re-tiling my shower. I see it all as karma really. The other day I was cleaning my bathroom and lamenting on the state of the tiles, then, the following day, three tiles came tumbling down while I was washing my hair… I was lucky not to break several toes! The upshot of this is that it all has to be redone, and I am in exile for the day. But, on the upside, I will have lovely new tiles to replace the frankly grotty old ones.
So, the Central Manchester gig I referred to in the previous post was in fact the Idina Menzel concert that took place in Manchester’s Palace Theatre. It was so exciting to be in that gorgeous building playing for her. Idina seemed really lovely and the concert had an amazing atmosphere. The stage-crew were very reluctant to help get my harp out of the building – they thought it would be appropriate/possible for me to go out the front way and barge my way through about five hundred screaming fans in the rain… errr no thank you!
Being in this line of work is definitely teaching me to stand up for what I need and to make a fuss if I don’t get it. It makes a huge difference to stress levels on the day if staff are actually helpful in showing you where you need to be. I heard once that harpists have a reputation for being divas who insist on having things done their way. The more experience I get, the more I sympathise. I doesn’t matter how much you plan on the day of the gig with regards to parking, accessible entrances etc but something will usually happen that you hadn’t thought of before.
For example, a couple of days ago I had an engagement to play background music for an Army Cadet dinner. However, the contract was written in the dim and distant past and since then, the venue had changed and nobody thought to tell little old me. They were very sweet about it though and even made me some food! So I munched quietly on cheddar cheese sandwiches while the cadets tucked into roast beef and Yorkshire puddings followed by what looked and smelled like chocolate fudge cake. Torture.
But that’s the great thing about this line of work. Every day is different. Every gig is different. It’s a rare gig where everything runs to perfection but that’s all part of the experience. And, if I’m lucky, I’ll get an interesting anecdote out of it – as well as enough money to put food on the table… cheese sandwich, anyone?.