Tag Archives: Creating Income

Who or What Pays Your Rent?

Unless you’ve been living in outer space, many galaxies away, it should not be news that live entertainment and events as we knew it, have come to a complete halt in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic! 

What does that really mean and who’s being impacted?

People might argue that the pandemic has had an impact on everyone, in almost every area. But while other areas, such as retail shops, restaurants, and bars have been able to reopen; albeit to smaller capacities, live concerts have been left out of that opportunity.

Maybe to the fans, live concerts is just about entertainment. But live entertainment is an industry; it’s a business. And when a business is forced to close and not be able to take in any revenue for over five months, (and counting)…then everyone affiliated with that business will not only lose their jobs, but that loss creates a devastating ripple effect on the community and economy around it.

It might be easy for some to think only about the big headlining artists they’re familiar with; those who tour in arenas and stadiums, who have made millions of dollars over the years. It would be easy to think they’re fine through all of this, and move on.  The truth of the matter is that there are far more young, up and coming, and still establishing artists in the industry than there are “A-listers.” Also, live entertainment employs hundreds of thousands of people who never take the stage to sing or play for the audience. They are the people who work backstage, side stage, and behind the scene to make that show happen. When an artist can’t perform; can’t tour, then that ripple starts with the artist’s payroll — no commissions to be made by their agent, personal manager, or business manager (which then creates a financial shortfall within each of those offices; resulting in the need to let some employees go) — and then it goes much deeper. If the artist isn’t on the road, then neither are their road crews – the band and background singers, the tour manager and production people, and everyone else whose livelihood relies on artists being on the road; such as tour bus companies, trucking companies that transport the artist’ production, pre-tour production people who create the stages and design the sets the artist takes out on the road, and many others.

When live shows aren’t happening, the promoters, who make their money from selling tickets to those shows, aren’t making any revenue. And just like with the artist’s team, the promoter must now make hard decisions of letting people from their own companies go, in addition to money not being spent with vendors who supply sound and lights; or with live event marketing companies who help to promote the show. There’s no money feeding into the local media markets.

Then there’s the direct impact on the concert venues themselves. Small, medium and large clubs, theaters, and arenas have mostly been closed to concerts, resulting in massive layoffs, and buildings sitting empty. Local production people, venue staff, ticket takers, ushers, and concession vendors and workers — are all without the ability to earn their pay check.

The list of the enormous impact of the domino effect from there being no live shows, with no end in sight, is much bigger than can be stated here. But one thing for sure…thousands of artists, musicians, management companies, booking agencies, venue staff, promoters, and road crew people are out of work. And unemployment checks alone, for those who even qualify, isn’t enough.

One such person, whose band was directly impacted by the stop play of 2020 is Katy Bishop DuBois, a former music business student of mine (one of many of my former students who are now having to adjust to their life to their new normal). Her band Maybe April was just taking off, with a new album and tour, when live music stopped. Suddenly, they had shows cancelled, which meant no income.

So when music provides your paycheck, then what pays your rent when the music is gone? And what do you do in the meantime?

Let me let Katy tell you her story and share what she’s been up to since the spring.

 

For information on how YOU can help the live entertainment industry, check out these websites:

https://www.saveourstages.com. https://www.paysmyrent.com  https://www.grammy.com/musicares/get-help/musicares-coronavirus-relief https://www.maybeapril.com

#SaveOurStages  #SaveOurStagesAct  #NationalIndependentVenueAssociation. #RestartAct #MaskNowPartyLater #MusicPaysMyRent #NewNormal #CatchingRaindropsinWaterBuckets

NOTE:  This video interview was done in May 2020, before the US started experiencing a dramatic increase in Coronavirus cases and deaths; further extending the delay of the return to the reopening of live venues. All major music festivals and tours that had been rescheduled for Fall 2020 have been moved to 2021.

What is Catching Raindrops in Water Buckets?

As we approach the sixth year anniversary of the start of Catching Raindrops in Water Buckets, I want to revisit its beginning. It’s interesting how things seem to work in a cycle. Once again, we’re watching the stock market, as it plunges one day and then regains points one or two days later. While the unemployment numbers look good, people are still underemployed, working jobs for less money today than they were 10 years ago. The rising cost of housing and the new mortgage laws have kept some people from attaining that American Dream, while struggling to find reasonable cost of rent in many markets.  And while the interest rates are rising, and the cost of living is higher, most people haven’t seen a significant increase in their paycheck since before the economic crash a decade ago.

I started Catching Raindrops in Water Buckets first as a writing assignment for myself. I used journaling as a way to process the massive changes that were happening in my life, particularly the time period following my change in jobs. Change, itself, was new to me. I had many other jobs before, having started working part-time as a young teenager, and full-time right out of college. But all of my positions were “upwardly mobile.” They weren’t all financially mobile, but each one prepared and positioned me for something that built upon the next level – until reaching that level where the financial rewards started paying off.

I was brought up to always live within whatever means I was in at any particular time in my life. Whether I was saving money for high school band trips; or to pay my own college tuition; or buying my first car after only a year at my first job, I learned how to practice discipline, patience, and planning in order to take care of the things I needed to take care of. And while I wasn’t perfect at it, I worked hard to be smart with my finances. I opted to live at home during college. I had three roommates when I finally got into my first rental house after Graduate school. And my first car was safe, boring, and inexpensive!

But in December, 2008, things changed. And those changes didn’t line up with my plans. They were a shift away from my otherwise, upwardly mobile status in life. And it was playing out in a non-temporary way.

There I was, along with hundreds of thousands of other people around the country, trying to deal with the impact of a Recession that few people saw coming, and most people had no idea how much it would personally impact them. I woke up one morning, and realized that the “normal” life I’d built for myself had been uprooted. So the only sanity I could hold on to was through writing. It was my means of processing the entire episode. Through that, I realized I was going to have to change some things; not just for this moment, but forever.

book with coffee cupAs I was going through my own world of “adjustments,” I watched others trying to make it through theirs. Not every life adjustment had to do with a job loss – but all of them impacted financial stability in some way. Friends going through divorces; neighbors impacted by a spouse’s inability to work; loss of income after the loss of a spouse; people dealing with unexpected medical diagnosis amidst inadequate medical insurance; unexpected legal issues that were emptying bank accounts; and a host of other issues, including people working fewer hours, or dealing with a cut in pay to prevent layoffs.

There were people around me who were trying to just “deal” with the things happening to them. Not all of them seem to understand that part of dealing would need to include an adjusted mindset. It was what I learned through journaling. I realized I couldn’t continue to focus on what was “normal” in my life prior to the major changes that had just happened. That normal didn’t exist anymore. I couldn’t keep doing the same things; at least not in the same way. I had to adjust to the new situation I found myself in. And I wanted to help other people; namely women, to do the same.

That’s why I took Catching Raindrops in Water Buckets off the pages of my personal journal and onto the Internet with this blog site and Facebook group page to share information and to encourage peer-to-peer participation. Women helping women work through issues and situations that they may not be ready for, or could use an extra perspective in dealing with.

Catching Raindrops in Water Buckets focuses on teaching, sharing, and learning how to use what you have today to help plan for what may not be there tomorrow. I hope there are some of you willing to share your story too!

Adjusting Your Life to Your New Normal.