Thursday, April 1, 2010

No Merci

Even more learning experiences!

As you know, my final tip jar (designed by ME!) has the "Styled By" button that gives the name and lm to the store of everyone that provides my on-stage look.  I am so damn picky that the designers managing to satisfy me deserve at least that pat on the back, and I'm happy to give it.

Almost all my friends are designers or performers - or performers that design.  Most have given me something that I want to wear onstage. 

Now, one of these friends has been with me since the beginning of my career and vice -versa - we have both helped each other every way possible.  This is just to be nice and because we're friends. 

I agreed to a weekly performance for her, for free, at a garden she created for this reason - even though  at this point I am actually cutting my tips-only gigs.  Once I decided to sing for her, I wanted to talk to her about boundaries and how she wanted me to present her, but she never had time.

Not to worry, I went on with my show, emphasizing her Look Book (that I distributed at all shows to be nice), and my Styled By card,  with no word from her one way or the other about my act as I continued.  Until last week.

Last week a friend (and designer) decided to drop by my show.  I said "Hello!"  mentioned that she also designed and happened to be on my style card, then proceeded with the usual promotion.

My "friend" chose that moment, in the middle of my show, to finally comment on my performance.  She flamed me via IMs.  She was irate that I promoted another designer in her store.  I, in turn, was thrilled to find I am now able to perform through anything!
Of course, if she felt this way perhaps she should have decided that I not use my style cards at all during her shows.  Or let me talk to her about my ideas regarding promoting her.  Or spoken to me with the respect that a good friend - a good friend that promoted her at all gigs as a favor - would deserve.

In any case, let this be a valuable lesson to you.  When performing for a store, make the owner sit down,  listen to the details of your set and approve it in writing.  Though I never crossed a line and truly promoted another person, I did venture into a gray area that could have been avoided with clear (or any) communication.  Don't fall into this trap - this is great advice in SL and RL as well.

Another piece of great advice for SL and RL:  when people complain about their friends always letting them down or something like that, there is usually a reason for this attitude - and it isn't their friends!  This particular person has praised me in dark times as one of the few people that never asks her for anything and is a true friend to her.  Danger!  Danger!

In this case I was outgrowing her tutelage and trying to find a way to free up my groups and time.  I just would not have chosen to end it this way or at all.

This has been your PSA for this week!  Go and play on!

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