Monday, September 11, 2017

Where Do I Sing?

One of the biggest challenges of being in a cappella group (in my opinion) is finding and landing a gig. A cappella has the distinct advantage of being portable and adjustable- the group can basically go anywhere and fit in almost any space (assuming they aren't using microphones).

However, a cappella has the distinct disadvantage of being insanely dorky, shunned by the traditional choral community, and in need of amplification, whether that be from the acoustical environment or with sound equipment.

These disadvantages may seem overwhelming but fear not. A cappella groups can sing in more places than you realize...

Allow me to list 100 places where an a cappella group can find a gig:

1) Be an opening act for another group
2) Local television appearances
3) Radio appearances
4) Sporting events
5) College a cappella shows
6) Public school concerts
7) Workshop demonstrations
8) A cappella festivals
9) Local theatres
10) Nightclubs
11) Corporate gigs
12) Private parties
13) Amusement parks
14) Specialty fairs
15) In the studio
16) Weddings
17) Funerals
18) Private shows for one or two people
19) Restaurants
21) Charity events
22) Religious houses of worship
23) Marathons
24) Caroling door-to-door
25) Caroling door-to-door on a day that isn’t Christmas
26) Music festivals that are for voices
29) Family gatherings
30) ACDA festivals
31) NAfME festivals
32) Your local music organization’s festival
33) Post on Youtube
34) Post on Dailymotion
35) Post on Vimeo
36) Career fairs
37) Libraries
38) Public parks
39) 4th of July festivals
40) Pet adoption places
41) Music stores
42) Open Mic Night
43) Comic conventions
44) Other conventions
45) Planetariums
46) Museums
47) Malls
48) Famous landmarks
49) Cruise ships
50) Movie theatres before the movie starts
51) Country clubs
52) Local sports games
53) Zoos
54) Comedy clubs
55) Casinos
56) Outlet malls
57) Bowling alleys
58) Private classes
59) Cocktail hours
60) Wineries
61) Tastings
62) Camps
63) Flea markets
64) Farmer’s markets
65) Ski resorts
66) Beaches
67) Boardwalks
68) Playgrounds
69) Fashion shows
71) Mini golf courses
72) Botanical gardens
73) Penitentiaries (Don’t laugh…it’s been done)
74) Boy scout meetings
75) Girl scout meetings
76) Fraternity houses
77) Sorority houses
78) Showcases
79) Tournaments
80) Another country
81) Another island
82) Magic shows
83) Aquariums
84) Monuments
85) Gift shops
86) Auctions
87) Veterans Hospitals
88) Any hospital
89) Nursing homes
90) Assisted living centers
91) Banks
92) Rooftops
93) Public pools
94) Rec centers
95) Gymnasiums
96) Game rooms
97) Arcades
98) Proposals
99) Hallways

100) Make your own damn concert

There. Now you have no excuse.

But wait! There's more!

I would argue that finding and booking a gig is as important, if not MORE important than rehearsing whatever score you're working on right now. You NEED to spend time hunting for gigs. 

I firmly believe that if the group does not have an upcoming gig, there is no reason to practice.

That's not saying there's no reason to meet/hang out/sing together and improvise. But as far as practicing and perfecting scores, a live performance is the main motivator. 

How do you find gigs? Here are some ideas:

1) Gig Committee

Assign 2-3 people from your group to be part of the gig committee. The SOLE PURPOSE of the committee is to do the legwork on finding and booking gigs. And requires work. Gigs don't fall out of the sky like cupcakes in my recurring dreams.

2) Gig-finding Party

Assign part or all of one rehearsal for researching, finding, and booking gigs. It's a lot of hard, annoying work, so anything you can do to make it more fun should be encouraged.

3) Hire a Manager

My group has discussed this option in the past. The advantage of a manager is that he/she takes care of all that annoying work so you can focus on singing. The disadvantage is, of course, money. Plus, professional managers probably aren't sure where to book an a cappella group. 

Is there someone you know personally, whom you can hire (pay a small fee) to be your unofficial manager? I know if someone gave me money, I'd work much harder for them.

4) Gig Websites

Websites like Reverbnation, Gig Salad, and others charge a monthly fee for membership. In return, the company frequently contacts you about possible gigs. Yes, you have to do the follow-up leg work (calling, texting, begging, crying) but the difficulty of finding the gig is made much easier.

Find a gig. Do it. Now.

Marc Silverberg

Follow The Quest:

1 comment: