What I've Learned in My First Year Producing Events Part 2: Burdens and Blessings as Both Producer and Host
My path to producing events was a serendipitous accident, one I'm both cherished and lamented
I often bemoan the more ambitious part of myself, questioning why I've taken the step to come out of obscurity in the attempt to become an influential force within the Denver music scene. Outside of the occasional musical improv outburst with friends, I haven't performed music on a live stage since elementary school piano recitals.
But my present social circle surrounds me with a plethora of musicians, artists who are extremely talented in their craft but frequently lack a stage to perform on. As someone who has always enjoyed putting together memorable parties complete with the occasional off-the-wall costume theme and live music to boot, I fell into the role of becoming an event producer to help promote my friend's bands.
It has been a rewarding, yet slightly burdensome journey
Picture a house show where seven musical acts play throughout the afternoon, over a hundred guests attend, and a neighbor's food truck pulls up to provide the necessary caloric balance for the day's booze consumption.
In May of this year, we pulled off this feat without a hitch. No neighbors called to complain. No unruly guests disturbed the day's events. No items were stolen or broken, including our well-used bathroom facilities. It was the perfect afternoon of music, good vibes, and a rewarding experience as someone coordinating the day's affair.
Besides producing house shows, I've dipped my toes into the realm of producing shows at a local venue with a solid reputation within the local music scene. Frankly, I'm fairly baffled that this opportunity exists, but it's one that I'm grateful for.
Grateful but apprehensive
In addition to producing music showcases, I also host them with a minor amount of MC stage time to add a touch of flair and a well-curated flow to the event. But I'm admittedly a nervous, self-loathing wreck in the days/weeks leading up to the show.
Silly, I know. I'm not performing standup comedy, which I have done a fair amount in the past. I'm not on stage for longer than a minute or two at a time, mostly as a host/hype man, a role I relish in the moment but admittedly detest prior to taking to the stage.
Frequently, I bemoan my role as a host and would prefer to fade into the background to let the music speak for itself. But there's a part of me that loves the challenge of defying my preconceived notions and becoming comfortable in the unknown. And based on my feedback, both the artists and the crowd seem to appreciate there's someone directing the flow of the event.
Growth is uncomfortable, but excessive amounts of comfort can lead to creative and inspirational atrophy. I need this process as much as I may despise the pre-show jitters.
Staring at blaring mental insecurities screaming about certain social failure and coming out satisfied and hungry for the next event is worth all of the uneasiness and uncertainty.
In the final part of the series, I'll get into the specific challenges related to putting together showcases, including unforeseen cancellations, venue difficulties, and more.
All uncredited pictures from pixabay.com or my personal account
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