I was having a preliminary session with a possible client. Someone I could really help, but who — and I completely respect this — may not have the money to pay me.
This is someone who, like me, has what's called a portfolio career. He does many things. He's a performing musician and a composer, and he also does something that's not music, in another kind of art. He's had notable success in all three areas, but would like more.
The preliminary session, for which I don't charge, is a chance for a possible client and me to get to know each other, and see if working together would make sense.
Something impoertant at the start
One of the first questions I asked this lovely man was whether he'd want to promote each prong of his career — performing, composing, and his non-musical art — separately. Or if he'd like to promote them all together.
His choice was to promote them all together, which is the choice I'd favor. One benefit — he's likely to seem more interesting to anyone who might want to work with him. And he might get gigs doing two of his things together, or even all three.
Another benefit goes deeper. He puts himself in the world as a complete person. Which maybe then makes him more deeply satisfied with his work, makes him feel more complete.
At the end of our session, he said, with what sounded like happiness: "I've been told a lot about how to promote each of my activities. But no one ever talked to me before about putting myself out there as a whole person."
That warmed my soul. Whether or not this man and I ever work together.
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You might ask what the story I told has to do with my main owrk, which is about the future of classical music.
In fact it's deeply located there. In the past, artists have been told to choose one thing they do. That happened just recently to a friend of mine, a performing musician and a composer, who has major management as a performer. He has a big composing premiere coming up, and I asked if his manager worked with his composing as well as his playing. "Oh, no," was the answer. "He tells me I have to choose one or the other."
So old, so lame, so sad simply on a human level. I remember a wonderful thing Jade Simmons once wrote:
I once had a manager ask me, "Well, what do we tell presenters when they ask us if you're a pianist, or a spokesperson, a fashion plate, or a writer or a webhost?" He was worried my extras" would cast doubt on my "main". I say, tell them they're getting a freakin' amazing package deal!
Words written on my heart.
Original Content: A wonderful consulting moment