(3 min read)
I remember when I was in my youth and got offered to play a run of Thoroughly Modern Millie. It was one of the first times I got asked to do a paid opportunity, let alone a musical.
Even thought it was my first paid opportunity, I was making excuses; "The cues aren't clear", or "the part is so marked up from the previous player and I can't read it"
Back then, I didn't realize the importance of getting called the week prior to a piece you never played before. Sometimes, you don't have the luxury of learning your part weeks in advance. In the freelance circuit, you're given the music the day of the gig and you have to sightread it well.
It happened to me this past weekend, actually.
I got a call from a contractor to play a cycle of Elgar's Enigma Variations and Amy Beach's 2nd Piano Concerto.
These aren't pieces I played before and I was up for the challenge on such short notice. When you get a call last minute, and the dates of a performance work for you, you're now in a position where you get to cram music in and force yourself to perform at a high level.
Sometimes the best experiences come to you as a surprise. You need to be ready, always.
If you show up to a gig prepared on short notice, the contractor will notice and you'll get called again. If you don't, then everyone around you sees your lack of preparation and will not want to work with you.