A Consumer Resource for Independent Artists

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Professionalism never goes out of style.

I was thinking today about what it is that gives an artist staying power, and while talent and ability rank right there near the top, I think that professionalism is the final deciding factor. What is it that makes an artist a "professional"? What makes them stand out as exceptional? Here's a list of what I believe every professional artist needs to consider in order to be taken seriously for the long run.

Punctual - show up on time (or be early).
Prepared - have what you need with you for a successful performance.  It helps to keep a packing/inventory list.
Courteous - I can't stress this one enough. Courtesy to the sound personnel and to the other folks who are there to help make your performance the best it can be, courtesy to the fans that are there to see you, courtesy to the other musicians involved--all these are so very important to be mindful of. Avoid developing a reputation for being difficult. This is not to say that you can't ask for what you need (more guitar in the monitor, bottled water), but be polite and for heaven's sake, say thank you, even if the other guy is rude.
Personable - an artist should avoid taking a superior attitude.  Before long, that big head will no longer fit through the door.  Be friendly...it will pay off in the long run.
Honest - personal integrity is golden.  Once spent, it is a currency that is very difficult to regain.
Organized - this is closely tied to being prepared.  Have your schedule close at hand.  Carry your business cards.  Make it easy for people to reach you.
Prompt - respond to emails, correspondence, and phone calls in a timely manner.  Be as thorough as you possibly can.
Consistent - develop a reputation for consistency in performance and behavior.
Presentable - dress for the stage.  Put some effort into your look by developing a stage wardrobe and by taking care to look put together.  Consider stage makeup if you are going to be under bright lights that may wash you out.  If your stagewear consists of t-shirts and ripped jeans, that's fine, but make it stand out from what you wear every day.
Sober - don't show up to a performance buzzed.  People have paid good money to watch you perform and you do them (and yourself) a terrible disservice if you are inebriated during a show.  Keep it under control at all times.

Are there any I missed? I welcome your feedback Please let me know what you think!

Image: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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