My first concert with Funkengroove was an Entertaining Rollercoaster. Despite that I was utterly proud to be part of a group that with only three two hour rehearsals covering a lot of materiel and seemingly everything that could go wrong, managed to convince the audience we knew what we were doing.
Some people say being a professional is about when you start getting paid consistently to do what you love. They’re not wrong. Some say it’s when you can start paying your bills with your hobby, or have released your first album (or put on your first art show, etc). Also not a bad definition.
Others say it’s when you’ve walked out on stage enough times, spent enough hours performing that you know the ins and outs of what can go wrong and you don’t let it get to you. Also true. And by that definition I was proud to be part of a group that kept the audience entertained despite being the wrong band for the event.
A number of us were sick (I’ve been mostly asleep the last several days, hence the lack of entries) but the audience never knew. We lost lead members who dropped the class and found out right before the concert, forcing us to take up parts we hadn’t learned or practiced. The audience had no idea. Any band drama (it’s a large band, of course there’s drama) stayed strictly offstage and the audience had no clue.
We improvised adding lyrics to what was going to be an instrumental piece (because the singers hadn’t had a chance to practice and didn’t have lyrics). On stage. Mid performance. The audience loved it and had no clue.
Our body language showed that we wanted to be there, that we were relaxed and having fun and we pulled the audience in with that to share in the fun.
To me, more than anything, that is the definition of being a professional. Of having the show go on so smoothly that the audience doesn’t notice or can be persuaded to ignore or forgive and technical mishaps and leave remembering they had a great time watching a good show.
Last night, despite being students all, I felt like I was working with a bunch of professionals and it was awesome. If that was a bad night, I’m really looking forward to one of the good ones!