Some pictures of places I've played, plus one of me playing to prove I'm still working hard, despite a lack of blog updates.
Libby's is a great place to play. Hardwood floors and a 15' ceiling gives it great acoustics, and the baking and packed house gives it great atmosphere. My friend Mike took 70 pictures of me that day, and I used the first one. Look at me go, turning pages with my left hand!
When I tell people that I'm a cellist, invariably the first follow-up question that they ask is if I play with an orchestra. I always say 'no, I do freelance work... weddings, lessons, pits, stuff like that'. About 90% of the time I then watch their interest waft away and I change the subject. The truth is, I do some subbing here and there, but I neither have, nor want, a full-time seat in an orchestra. Don't get me wrong, the steady, reliable work would be nice, and I'd love to be able to answer that question with a big 'Yes, I do!' then ride the ego high I'd get from their impressed expressions, but that's about it. Those are the only two reasons I'd take an orchestral job. In the end, it's just not my thing, and I'm fine with that. I get to do something better.
The other 10% of the time, the asker of that question keys in on 'weddings' and says something about how spring must be my busy season. I laugh, and say it's actually fall. People tend to be surprised by this, but September and October are by far my busiest months for weddings. Why? Because fall is when the always beautiful Adirondack region is at its' absolute peak. Spring is great, because everything is that fresh bright green. But things are green in the fall, too. And orange. And red. And yellow, brown, blue and gray, crisp and crunchy, with a hint of wood smoke and (if you're really lucky) a light dusting of snow. Who wouldn't want to get married then?
When I leave my house to play a wedding, but particularly a fall wedding, it's really hard not to appreciate how lucky I am to be doing what I get to do. As I drive over mountains, through valleys and along lakes, I get to watch the scenery the whole way, and it's stunning. If I were an orchestra player, I'd go from my house to the hall and back, and not have time for much else. Instead, I get to do a wide variety of work in every corner of the Park at all times of the year. I get to see it all through the windows of my little car. I have the best seat in the house to the greatest show around.
I played a rainy wedding last weekend. I was under a tent, but everybody else got a little damp. I've had rained-out weddings before, where they switched to the backup location, but I think this is the first wedding I've ever had where it started dry, then got wet just as guests started to arrive so everybody stayed in their cars, then dried up again right before the ceremony started so they were able to stay with plan A.
The clothespins you see at the bottom are clipped to my stand. They're official tools of the trade for outdoor players, and are usually just as necessary as your instrument or bow. I keep 5 or 6 clipped to by gig bag at all times, just in case.
My case was sitting on the edge of the platform, and some rain blew under the tent. It got a little sprinkled, but fortunately once the ceremony started it didn't blow hard enough to get me wet in the middle.
Best of luck to the couple, Kyle and Lindsay! May the rest of your days together be sunny and dry!
Stories, pictures and maybe even sound clips from weddings and events I play.