My trio Robonzo's Bolero at performing at Cinnabar Winery in Saratoga, CaliforniaI’ve jokingly said to my wife that my next edition of The Unstarving Musician’s Guide to Getting Paid Gigs may include a chapter on how to NOT render yourself without transportation necessary to show up for a gig.  In case you’re reading my blog for the first time, we moved from San Jose, California to a rural town in Panama, Central America.  Upon arrival we purchased a vehicle which turned out to the lemon of all lemons, so you can appreciate my humor about this new chapter for my book.

Moving on, I’ve realized that I need not let the lack of transportation keep me down.  I remembered that they have these places that rent cars.  If I was a bass player or singer, I’d just hop my happy ass on a bus.  As a singing drummer, I’m thinking a rental vehicle is the way to go.  So I’m ready to start networking with musicians in the neighboring town of Coronado, about 40 minutes from sleepy El Valle, where we currently live.  Coronado has more of a music scene to speak of.  Taking a page or two from my book, here’s my plan to get some paid gigs.

First, I’m going to reconnect with some local musicians that I met on Facebook back in August.  While there’s not a ton of musicians and bands in Coronado that are also on Facebook, I imaging I’ll be able to find more by looking at the live music schedules for the venues that host live music.  Then I’m going to get out and see some bands (duh).  The plan is to get out and see some live music this coming Saturday.  This is all for the sake of seeing what’s out there and making some new friends.  I’m not planning to introduce myself to the first band I meet and ask for a gig, but I will let it be known that I’m interested in sitting in with some bands.  Again, I still don’t have a car, but renting one on occasion is the obvious option.

I’ll have to rinse-and-repeat, plus stay in touch with people, but then what?  As I write this post, I’m actually asking myself this question.  Then what?  Exploring the scene in Panama City, which is a good two hours from El Valle, I imagine I’ll find bands that occasionally book gigs in Coronado.  I’ll include these bands in my networking list (people I wanna meet).  I might as well research opportunities to perform in Panama City as well.  It’s not totally beyond my reach to play there, just not something I see myself doing on a weekly or even monthly basis, given the distance from El Valle.  I’ve also made some friends in Panama City, most of whom are not musicians, but all people who will be a good source of information for finding out where I can see and meet local bands.  That’s more networking opportunities with bands and venues.  Lots of new friendship opportunities.  If it’s not obvious to you, I’ll be able to leverage these new relationships simply by advertising, so to speak, that I’m interested in picking up some paying gigs.

I might as well tell them about my book while I’m at it.  Should give me a little extra street cred, right?  Not that I really need that.  I have a body of work on this website, YouTube and Facebook that shows I’m legit.  With some persistence and a little hard work, I should be able to report back within a month or two to say, “I got a paying gig in Panama!” In this case, I’ll follow-up with something like, “If I can do it, so can you!”