If there's one thing I've learned over my years as an event musician, it's that you can never have too many friends. Other violinists, violists, cellists, bassists, singers, harpists, pianists; it doesn't matter. The more the merrier!
I remember one instance in downtown #SaltLakeCity #Utah a couple years ago. I was just leaving a wedding ceremony and I needed to take the ornate elevator down to the parking garage. After getting turned around in the massive lobby a time or two, I finally found the elevator and pushed the button. When the doors opened, there was a man and his ginormous string #bass. I stepped aside so that he could maneuver his way out without squishing any toes. As I walked into the elevator, I remarked, "Time to switch!"
He looked at me with a confused look on his face (not that I blame the poor man).
I tapped my violin case to indicate that I, too, was an event musician.
I expected him to smile and nod, or maybe even chuckle in that "you're-really-strange-but-kinda-funny" sort of way.
Instead, his eyes lit up and he started fumbling about in his pockets. Apparently, I wouldn't be very good in a dangerous situation because for all I knew, he could've had a vendetta against #violinists and been looking for a weapon. Meanwhile, I just stood there in a small metal box with no way to escape.
Seconds before the door closed, he looked up forlornly and said, "I guess there's no time to exchange business cards?"
And before I could say anything more than "Oh!", the doors closed with an eerie sense of finality. Never mind the fact that I could have pushed the "open door" button. I don't think quickly on my feet, okay?!
As I made my way to the parking garage, I thought back over the brief exchange. "Why was he so eager to get my information? What are the odds that I'll ever need a bassist, being a solo violinist? Why would he care to get my information, as a bassist? Is he in high demand for violinists?"
Well, my friends, it's because YOU CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MANY CONNECTIONS.
I don't think I will ever find myself in a situation where I think, "Golly. I sure wish I knew fewer #musicians. There are just too many to call on in a time of need. And these well-meaning friends who reach out to me when they hear of an opportunity? Wow. So excessive."
Yeah, that's a 'no'.
I'm so thankful for my friends and acquaintances that have helped me in the past.
Just this past week, one of my friends tagged me in a post on Facebook. The original post was from a singer named Justin Utley. He was on the hunt for chamber musicians in the SLC/Ogden area for his newest music video, and my friend immediately thought of me.
Long story short, I ended up at Ogden High School last Wednesday. It was a blast, even though the traffic up to Ogden was absolutely horrible (can people not drive without crashing into each other?! Come on, now).
After the event and upon further communication with Justin, he mentioned that he will be doing live performances of this piece in the future, and he'd love to have me participate. While that's in a slightly different direction than "background musician for events", that's still something that's amazingly fun and a wonderful experience. Will anything come of it down the road? Maybe. Maybe not.
But knowing Justin and being able to have the potential to build on our professional relationship is something I'm looking forward to.
After all, can I ever have too many friends?
You guessed it.