(2-3 min. read)
I'll never forget one of my very first recording sessions.
I sat next to the concertmaster of the session (who's now a colleague and friend) realizing that I left my pencil case at home. I didn't have a pencil with me! I panicked. I knew that first impressions mattered, and I was off to a bad start.
Embarrassingly, I asked the concertmaster, "I'm sorry to ask, but do you have a spare pencil? I left mine at home."
She says, jokingly, "Dear, why did you forget your career at home?"
I was startled! It was the first time someone said that to me.
But the reality was, she's right.
There's a lot of truth to the statement. Beyond playing your instrument, there's a certain nuance you need to understand in order to succeed in the industry. If you show up to rehearsal without a pencil, not prepared to write down what the conductor or composer has to say, it looks like you don't care. It shows that you'd much rather spend your time somewhere else. This is true when you're sitting principal in an orchestra, if you're a member of a quartet, or even if you're still in school sitting in class.
To some, that's all it takes when you make a first impression. It'll lead to more performance opportunities because you'll show up looking like a professional. Don't make an effort, and you won't get a call at all.
If you show up like professional,
act like a professional,
and play like a professional,
musicians with the same mindset will hire you; leading to better paid performance opportunities.
It's that simple. The devil is in the details, folks. If you plant the seed early on and develop good business habits, then your odds of succeeding increase.
Don't forget to bring your career to work!