Founder and CEO of el-live Productions
Being a Band Leader is one of the hardest jobs that I’ve ever done. It’s tiring, emotionally draining, and oftentimes, a thankless job. Many musicians take their Band Leader for granted because they don’t know all that goes on behind the scenes. It demands self-preparation; mind, body, and soul in order to execute the job properly. Basically, your Band Leader is the parent of the band. He or she has to be “on” at all times, ready to handle any given situation, day or night, meaning issues that affect band members, the show and everything in between such as dealing with Bar Managers, Bar Operators, clients’ reactions to the show and/or to musicians. The list of responsibilities can seem endless.
I remember because I started leading my first band at 23 and I’ve been leading bands for close to 32 years! Now from our el-live offices, we continue to manage all of our bands weekly but via Band Leaders who manage their respective bands daily. During our daily meetings, they inform us of their issues and concerns, and together, we work things out and they go back to implement the necessary adjustments and we improve, improve, improve.
I always say: “make somebody happy” and that includes our Band Leaders too. Nothing beats recognition, appreciation and a sincere “Thank You”. Gratitude goes a long way. It’s important to take a moment to thank your Leaders for all that they do daily, to make your life as a performer easier and a great experience. It takes a special kind of individual with a good heart, tough skin, and organizational skills to take on this challenging position. Choosing the proper songs, positioning them in a way to create the best playlist every night, calling out songs when the show isn’t effective and you’re losing your audience. Your Leader has to ensure that the show is as flawless as possible starting with your emotional well being and motivation, rehearsal scheduling, making sure that choreographies are ready, harmonies, wardrobe, and yes, payroll.
We all have their breaking point. So if everyone keeps in check at every level, supporting one another in a positive way for the good of the band which is your family on the road, it makes it a lot smoother for your Leader to do a great job. Who knows… Someday you may become Band Leader and you’ll be relieved when your musicians share your vision and are grateful for all that you do.
Has that thought or desire ever crossed your mind? How would you run your own Band and gain respect and recognition in return?
This is G signing off from Guangzhou. Make somebody happy.