THE DIRECTOR'S PAGE

From time to time, this page will feature an article from Jimi on various topics, usually about the Network, but sometimes we may just let him ramble a bit! Take the time to read this, enjoy, comment, etc. - Thomas, webmaster

Volunteer for success!

Finding volunteers is always an issue, because ya gotta give 'em SOMETHING

& it's gotta be something of value, not just an "opportunity" or "free admission/membership"

Tchokes are cool, like mugs & t-shirts. But that's rare because that's an expense.

Ya know, SongNet gives away passes to the TAXI Road Rally to anyone that comes to our October meeting.

THAT'S a 350.00 value. Free. Ya don't even have to volunteer.

But, we'll "maaybe" get a dozen takers.

Everyone wants to be "discovered" be a "rock star". without doing the work.

"Everybody wants to go to heaven, nobody wants to die"....

As a result, volunteerism will always be in short supply.

Now, if we said "volunteer & we'll guarantee you'll be a rockstar"

Or better still "all volunteers will get a record deal", we'd have plenty of help.

But the fact is, volunteering is a resume builder. & you can get more than just warm fuzzies from doing it.

Most artists (If they're not delusional) play coffeehouses & open mics before they try their hand at a big concert.

This helps 'em build their chops, get used to being on stage & knowing what to do once you get there. Most of us know you don't just standup & play. You have sound systems to deal with. Unruly crowds. Unruly artists sharing the stage. Bad gear. Tuning problems. Stage fright. Playing for free gives you experience & connections with other people doing the same thing, & usually everyone helps each other in one way or another. & quite often, if one of your open mic buddies gets a good paying gig, guess who their first call to share that gig with will be?

SongNet has a presence at many events. Most of the industry knows who we are because they have come to our lil' gatherings, heard our work & met our members. They do this because they know that our members are serious about their music, & most of the time, they find at least one person that they can work with to make income occur.

When we have our display at an event, they come & meet our members too. If one of our volunteers runs to buy 'em coffee, guess who gets remembered?

David Wimble published the Indie Bible. He lives in Canada . Once, there were several events a few weeks apart here in the LA area, & the shipping expense for the books back & forth would not be cost effective. I VOLUNTEERED to hold the left over books for him & deliver 'em to the events since SongNet would be at the same places anyway. & he remembered that. As a result, the fall 2007 edition has a familiar face on the cover.

Being at the right place at the right time is always a good thing. Volunteering at an event helps the odds a LOT in your favor. Volunteering at an event a couple of years ago, I met another volunteer working the merch table. I bought her a beer, & now I have a standing invitation to play at the showcase she hosts any time I like.

A friend volunteered at an event recently, & met one of the speakers, who is now his publisher.

Several members have gained free admission to events they could not afford by volunteering, & gotten the chance to meet celebrities and their management, & can now pitch songs directly to these major label artists.

Too often, volunteering smells like an altruistic thing for people with big hearts & little else to do with their lives.

& that's a good thing, because it really can be a hidden secret passageway directly to the people who can make a difference in your career, & ultimately, your life.

If you look at volunteering as a "what's in it for me" thing, well, there you are.

You still have to go up to the person & make that connection, but when you volunteer, you're in the same place sharing a common moment in time, & that handshake & a smile are the most important tools you can have for that situation.

So. The next time you hear a success story with "right place, right time", smile, 'cuz now you know where that place & time is, & all you gotta do is volunteer to be successful.

- Jimi