At el-live Productions we have the unique luxury of reviewing applicants from all over the world, whether you’re a female singer or bassist that happens to be looking for a job and have a dream of traveling while doing what you love best and that is to be a full time working musician.
Close to a thousand musicians contact us every month through our website www.el-live.com although we cannot employ everyone (wish we could), many talented musicians that we would have loved to hire end up not getting the job because of the smallest negligence.
Making sure you have the basics covered is the starting point of becoming a professional musician abroad.
So here are 5 things that could help you get a gig whether it’s with el-live or not.
1. Get a passport:
It is amazing how many artists write that traveling is a huge dream but don’t have a passport. You would think that this would be the first thing on their agenda. Show some initiative and get your passport. Many times we are ready to fly a musician out within 4 weeks which would mean submitting all the documents to get them their visa and work permit right away but we have to go with a less talented musician because the artist we really wanted does not have a passport. Also, many musicians say if you give me the job I’ll get a passport otherwise why should I pay $100 for that. Getting a passport is a small and very necessary investment.
2. Be willing to audition:
We do not hire anyone that is not willing to audition. It doesn’t matter if you’re a friend of one of our artists or happen to be a friend of mine for that matter, or if you’ve played with Prince. No Audition, No Gig. Some artists think that they are so talented that they are above the audition process. If you think you’re above the audition, you’ll probably think that you’re above the gig as well. Either way you’re not doing yourself a favor in order to get a gig. And who knows? The audition may be a very positive experience and you could end up learning something even if you have experience.
3. Have a basic repertoire:
when I was starting out in the business, we had to know the basic tunes at the time. Robert Palmer, “I Feel Good” by James Brown, “Smooth Operator” by Sade etc. Write a list of all the tunes you are familiar with, categorise them, Rock, R&B etc. If you’re a singer ask someone to help you find out what key you sing them in. Whether it’s a local gig or international gig, if you have a good 40 song repertoire under your belt, your chances of getting work improve greatly.
4. Have a basic wardrobe:
You should own a few outfits suitable for performance. “Hey man we got a wedding gig on Saturday. Can you fill in? You need to wear a suit and tie.” Oops, you don’t have a suit. Oops, you just lost the gig! If you’re a girl have a few items for an elegant gig and a couple for a more funky and hip club gig. Go for black or white or both black and white. You can’t go wrong as a starter.
5. Be equipped:
This is a huge pet peeve for many musicians especially when it comes to singers. A drummer, keyboardist or any musician will have thousands of dollars worth of equipment. Meanwhile a singer will rarely invest a few hundred dollars on a microphone. It’s worth it. You will have consistent sound and it’s more hygienic. If you’re a musician, buy versatile equipment that allows you to play many different styles of music.
I hope this is somewhat helpful. There are definitely more than 5 things you can do but just start with these and it’s a step in the right direction.
Thank you for reading. It’s good to be el-live.