Moody’s Musings: Fan Focus by Tara Lopes

moody's musings #6For most musicians I have the pleasure of working with music is a way of life. It’s the blood that runs through their veins.  For some, more so lately, it seems to be a means to whine and complain and share depression. So many concerns over turn out and who has more than another, who gets paid to play and who doesn’t. It’s so sad for me to be in the position I am in sometimes. As much as I am a manager, promoter and marketer of and for music, I am first and foremost a fan.

In my line of work I have seen so many musicians and bands destroyed by themselves; whether it be by drugs (life on the road), depression, high expectations, living in the spotlight, whatever else you can think of. Not often have I seen a musician or band destroyed by lack of talent, inability to honor commitments, lack of desire.

As a fan I am in awe of the musicians and bands and their incredible talent that I will never know. To create and share something from the depths of who you are, to put it to music, to get on stage and belt it out is a feeling I will never know. But you, musician, you have that and yet you are not happy with just having that. You somehow feel that if other musicians have A, B or C, then you too should have the same A, B, or C.  I hate to be the one to break it to you but you can’t have what they have. You each have your own unique style, sound, gratifications, desires, needs, wants, and expectations. Ah and that is the work to deal with.

Expectations . . . that is what disheartens you. Your expectation of others. People are all individuals. You cannot predict a reaction. If you cannot predict a reaction, how can you expect one? If you weren’t talented you would not have made it far enough to even question your sudden lack of turn out or your inability to get paid for gigs or anything else. So get over that already, we’re tired of reading about it, listening to you whine about it, and most of all hearing you bring it up at your gigs.

There is more to music than talent. Desire; you have to want to be on that stage performing whether to one person or one million, you should put on the best show you have ever put on. Sound; you have to work to make your sound the best it can possibly be, whether that means buying new equipment or tweaking the equipment you already have. Style; develop one. It’s not just about what you perform but about what you project. Make a fun, cheerful environment and keep it that way. Needs; get over them, as a fan we don’t want to know your needs. We want you to share your music with us. We want to hear your needs in the songs you sing, the instruments you play. Wants; whatever they are, keep them to yourself and work on achieving them. We don’t need to know what they are.

As a fan we are there at your show for one reason, to have a good time. Let’s face it, in SL there are hundreds of shows to choose from.  We chose yours, whether it’s one of us or 5 of us or 20 or more. We opted to come to hear you. So entertain us! Make us forget the crappy world for a while.  Give us a reason to seek you out again and again. Make it fun. Take the time for you yourself to forget about the world for a while.  Join us as we journey through your music. Tell us about the originals of your original creations. Share a fun moment in your day, ask us to share a fun moment of ours.

Make your mark. Find something that says THIS IS WHO I AM and work it, share it with us. We want to know you but not the depressing parts. Those should be reserved for your friends not your fans. Fans want to have fun. Yes we will be there for you but when you abuse it we walk away.

When you aren’t on stage, treat people how you want to be treated. If you own a venue in SL and are a musician, treat musicians who play for you how you want to be treated by venues.

Most important, be a community with your brothers and sisters in music. I have been doing a long time and it is so sad that musicians do not come together as a team. It’s like every man/woman for him or her self and it’s sad. Get together work on music together. There is so much technology out there that you don’t have to be in the same room to create together. Imagine if all the musicians in SL got together and wrote a song together! How cool would that be? It happened in Real Life, Farm Aid and Band Aid!

—Tara T. Lopes, President and CEO, MUSIC NOT POLITICS, Inc.

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