Big announcement! I've been retained for a four-hour Meet & Greet in Ohio in mid-September! It's my first official out of state gig! It's from the same outfit that hired me for my other two big local Meet & Greets last year and the year before. They are paying for my airfare, ground transportation, one or two nights at a hotel, and my food expenses. FANCY!
The entertainment company that books my singing telegrams are the ones who set it up. They offered me a certain amount and I asked for a couple hundred dollars more. I got nervous that the client would just find another Marilyn but they got back to them a day later settling at one hundred more than the original offer! I considered asking the entertainment company to cough up a little more, but I ended up just going with the counteroffer. They probably would have given me a little more, and I want to be a savvy businesswoman, but not an asshole. They are a mom and pop operation and I am grateful for what they do for me in setting up most of the other gigs I get.
Two fun recent gigs to tell you about. The first was for a very nice old man's 70th birthday. I was told it was at a restaurant but when I walked in, it was super loud with hard rock music and a ton of badass men and women in biker gang fashion. Not what I was expecting! I made my way through the crowd (turning a few heads in the process) toward the back where I was to meet my contact by the dartboards. I could barely hear anything she said! I waiting for 15 minutes for the band to finish their set, and the birthday dude got on stage and started talking. He had obviously had a few drinks and was very appreciative of all his friends who showed up for his birthday. It was very touching! I had three audience members ask for photos with me. That is exciting! One told me that his daughter is a huge Marilyn fan and that she would love seeing her Dad with Marilyn. One was my contact and since I had her number, I texted her after the gig asking if she would share the photos with me, and she did!
So I go on stage to sing to the guy. Like I said he's a bit drunk so he kind of talked during my song. I sang "I Wanna Be Loved By You" okay, but it was super hard to hear my backing music over the crowd, even though they had killed the music that was playing in the background. But when I sang "Diamonds," I couldn't hear it hardly at all and after the first verse there's a pause and the guy started talking! And I couldn't hear when to jump back into my song! So I ended it there a bit awkwardly and kissed him on the cheek and posed for photos. He loved it, and it was a fun gig, even if it was waaaaay bigger than I expected. I told the entertainment company that in the future I think gigs that require a microphone should be considered more than a singing telegram and paid accordingly.
The gig the next day was a regular singing telegram but not for a birthday. A hotshot restaurant executive sold a big business and some old family friends of his booked me to wish him congratulations. This dude was very Type A and acted like he didn't have time to watch me perform! He kind of reluctantly watched after telling everyone they would be fired. I had to insist on singing the last bit which was "Congratulations, Mr President" to the tune of Happy Birthday. It was only 30 seconds! He did let me kiss him on the cheek and posed for a photo with me, so he must have not completely hated it. But sheesh... He just wanted to get back to work. Oh well! I still got paid to do what I love, and a lady from the office even gave me an extra $20 on my way out and said thank you for being such a good sport. You could tell she was a fan because she was singing along a little. She accompanied me to the elevator afterward and told me she grew up watching Marilyn's movies. So that was sweet.
Oh! The song I've been practicing... turns out it's the ONE song that I had decided wasn't good enough as a backing track and apparently forgot about. So now I've got to pick a different song and learn it in a hurry. Only 20 days left until I leave for the convention!