Mudcat Café message #1837991 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #94811   Message #1837991
Posted By: GUEST,Mike Miller
19-Sep-06 - 12:53 AM
Thread Name: Professional Folksinger, and Proud of It
Subject: Professional Folksinger, and Proud of It
I just read what must have been a gag thread asking about good occupations for folksingers and I had to laugh. I have been making my living as a folksinger for 47 years and I am still an active teacher and performer. It is not difficult to do once one learns how and where to ply the trade. I don't even have to travel any more. There is so much work available in my area, enough to support dozens of purveyers of traditional music. It is just a matter of defining the market.
Clubs, pubs, festivals and concerts seem to be the venues of choice for Mudcatters but those represent only a fraction of the options and they areoverloaded with applicants and, unless the performer is a well known draw, they pay bubkes. (I can make more in a low paying Senior Center than I can at a folk club and there are a hell of a lot more senior centers to work at). Better paying venues include camps, schools, civic events, holiday celebrations, company picnics and retirement communities. Children's shows are popular, frequent and lucrative. Ethnic speciality is an asset. I do Irish, Italian, Klezmer and, in a pinch, I have bruised my pinkies strumming a balalaika at a Russian themed wedding. Oh, I do a few festivals each year but that is more for seeing old friends.
So, come on, Mudcatters. I can't be the only one earing his keep as a folksinger. Let me hear from others. I'll be glad to offer contacts and suggestions and, perhaps, we can help other talented folkies to join our ranks.