Handling Chat

What about those people who want to talk while you're playing?

The discussion below is taken from a thread launched by "btweengigs" on the Synth Zone Arranger forum. Click here to go to the original thread including any additional comments.
btweengigs
11-08-2003 04:38 AM

How do you handle a situation where someone comes up to talk to you while you are playing or singing? And, what about between songs? Do you keep dancers waiting while talking to one person. Seems I am getting a lot of "chatters" lately and I am not sure how to handle it. -- Eddie

nardoni2002
11-08-2003 05:04 AM

How about having a pen and pad handy and ask him, her to write it down and leave it nearby? Just a thought.

For anyone to interrupt you during a song is rude, so you MUST stay in control. Maybe before you start, announce that, if there are any requests, that a pen and pad are handy. Then, if anyone does try to approach you, just say, "USE THE PAD," and IGNORE him/her. -- Mike

Dnj
11-08-2003 05:39 AM

I just talk to them while I'm playing if the song I'm doing allows it. They think your a "DJ" so they come up to talk to you like they would a DJ.

Another reason, besides many, why I can't use a headset Mic when I perform. If I'm busy during a song, I just Ignore Them & they'll get the message and stand on the side and WAIT till I can get to them. If not, they will get the message and go back to their seat and come back later, or return with a note. Its all part of ENTERTAINING!

travlin'easy
11-08-2003 07:05 AM

I usually just nod and keep singing. Donny's right when he says they think you're a DJ. Some of these people are complete idiots, and as such, they're not aware that your hands are actually touching the keys and that you're singing your heart out. Just goes to prove my father's old adage "Common sense just ain't very common these days."
Cheers, -- Gary

Dnj
11-08-2003 07:13 AM

I hear ya, Gary....hahahaha... Even Tom Jones just keeps on singing in Vegas in the mist of ladies panties flying at him through out his show!! Now that's Concentration!

Uncle Dave
11-08-2003 07:48 AM

If it's a dance, the dancers have top priority. If it's a bar/social setting, then the ones who take the time to communicate with you are the top dog. Just keep playing. Glance back and forth between the audience and the individual (smiling at both) and see what's on their mind. Usually, they just want to ask for a request, or watch your hands. (high praise, or skepticism ... hmmm ?)

If people bug you, this ain't the business for you. I know, because I've been sort of "out of my game" the last year (due to multiple fractures to the heart) and I have less patience for the crowd then I used to. I know how I WANT to react, but sometimes, I stay withdrawn and out of sorts as a protection device.

Bottom line is:
the people is why we get paid.
Talk to 'em,
schmooze 'em,
dance 'em ... whatever they need.
And in between .... you can play music.

Fran Carango
11-08-2003 09:12 AM

Dave is absolutely right. We are there for them first and ourselves second. Schmoozing is part of the job. This is what makes the people want to come back. If you are not friendly and courteous, you won't last. We need patience when someone approaches us during a performance [even though it is hard for me to play and have a conversation.] Sometimes, we just have to.

Dnj
11-08-2003 09:31 AM

Oh, yeah, you want pro advice -- just read this thread! This is what I've been saying, you gotta play and sing effortlessly just like driving your car and talking to your wife. For practice, let someone talk to you while you play at home. Take away the music/lyrics sheets also while you do it. Or you can always tap your head with one hand while you rub circles around your belly at the same time with the other to improve doing two things at once. Playing is secondary to Entertaining!

keybplayer
11-08-2003 10:20 AM

I play on a stage so having somebody come up and "bug" you with trivial mish mash or whatever during a song would be a very rare occurrence, if at all. They may throw tomatoes, but for an actual person to meander on stage would be a definite NO NO. PS: (just kidding about the tomato thing).
Best regards, -- Mike

The Accordionist
11-08-2003 11:23 AM

This is a funny topic to me because I, for some unknown reason, ABSOLUTELY cannot talk and play my accordion at the same time. I've practiced doing it, etc., and never was able to do it. It throws off my rhythm. People would come up to me and tell me stories of accordion players from yesteryear or their relative that still plays for Christmas or whatever the story may be. I can listen just fine, but as soon as they ask a question, if I try to answer, I'll flub the song!

My XD3 has been a LIFESAVER in this aspect! Now when they come up to me I just let the rhythm and bass line play and play chords until they are through. They don't get offended, the audience doesn't get offended because they see me talking to the person, which they like, and the dancers don't get offended because the beat never changes and the bass line keeps playing.

Thank you XD3! -- Tommy