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Don’t Burn Your Bridges

Aug 20, 2020 | Musician Lifestyle

Georges Elchakieh

Georges Elchakieh

Founder and CEO of el-live Productions

Good morning beautiful people, this is G from serene Bali, Indonesia for 2 rare days of rest and relaxation.

Here’s what’s on my mind today:

At some point, in any workforce, we’re all bound to get upset, frustrated, it’s normal. When this happens, we think that our reasoning is perfectly validated and may very well be. However, it’s helpful to breathe, calm our emotions down, objectively look at the issues at hand, and hopefully don’t end up saying or doing things that we may regret. I sure have had my share of those.

In my experience, where musicians are concerned, when they “bail” (walk off the gig), it is rarely because of fundamental reasons. Sad but true. They get so innovative to make it sound like the end of the world is upon us. We could write a list a mile long on the creative reasoning they use to leave.

Does that mean that every single time the musician is making up excuses to bail? Of course not. Family emergencies and other legitimate reasons are very serious. Such situations have also happened to me. In those cases, we assist our guys in any way we can. However, it’s important to not use “family emergencies” too loosely. If the reason is fabricated, you stand to lose credibility and to build a reputation of being a flake. Being labelled a flake is a musician’s career “kiss of death”.

Next time you feel like walking out on any gig, be it a Saturday night at your local bar, or a four-month contract halfway across the world, I invite you to consider the consequences of such actions. I know musicians that have never walked out on a gig in over thirty-five years and I’m one of them. Never have, never will, no matter how green the grass may be on the other side. It’s always best to finish the job! Honour the contract, honour the commitment and your word, try to leave with class and dignity. It’s not so much what we do, but how we do it.

Say you’re mid-contract, you may relieve yourself from responsibilities but, you burden your band with the extreme stress of finding and training a replacement that will hopefully fit in and you’ve created disruption at every level of the operation, and that is if the band doesn’t get fired altogether. You don’t leave your band high and dry. On rare occasions, we’ve lost  long term contracts and none of our musicians could play that same venue again.

As musicians, all we have is our reputation. You never know what the future holds should you ever wish to come back and work with those musicians again, so you want to keep your options open.

In our experience at el-live Productions, at some point, many musicians contacted us to ask to come back, and even though they were good people, it is practically impossible for us to bring them back. The damage caused was so enormous and extensive that it badly damaged their reputation and no one wants to work with them anymore, other musicians or employers.

Your exit is as important as your entrance, don’t burn your bridges.

I sincerely hope that this information will be of service to you.

Now, it’s G-time for a beer and cigar by the beach!

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