With some busy season in full swing for South Florida, and some major nights coming I thought perhaps we all could use some sharing on what we all do to survive a busy night. Below are some tips I have, feel free to add your own in the comments!
- Map out your night, literally. Even if you have GPS on your phone map out all your venues and think through possible delays such as slow valets, slow clients etc. It isn't a bad idea to print this off too just in case your phone dies.
- Make a list. Do you like lists? I'm obsessed with them. List out everything, what things you need for each place, any costume changes, veil changes, what music format do you need etc. If you have many gigs with costume changes make small bags for changes in accessories and veils and other small items and put them with costume in back.
- Pack a lunch. The key to not running late is not staying after. Even for a glass of water. The longer you stand not dancing at a party the greater your chances are of getting caught in conversation with a well meaning, but possibly evening damaging fan. And while on a slow night I more then love to discuss my dance education from 2 years ol on with Aunt Beth, if the clock is ticking it is a luxury I can't afford. And God forbid it turns into a line for photos. Be polite but firm on your time constraints. So what does all of that have to do with packing a lunch. Simple you won't be thinking, "I need water/snack" because you will already have them in the car, thus one less reason to stay after.
- Create a Stash. I like a plastic cup in the drink holder. I know this sounds crazy but it holds your zills, iPod and checks or cash perfectly. And if we are to be completely honest, aren't those the 3 most important things you need to leave the gig with? You could leave everything else but if you have those 3 items you can make it through the night and have something to show for it.
-Backup music. CD, memory stick, iPod, iPhone. Do it. Period. No discussion. I also have a PA in the trunk just in case.
- Call and confirm details beforehand. Talk to the DJ, the host any planners, make sure everyone is clear on times, music formats, what the show needs etc.
-Don't trust Home Stereos. Besides a few incredibly bad DJs, whenever my music has made a mistake it is because the home stereo is old and can't play burned CDs well. Because I make my sets as long mp3s (to avoid bad DJs ruining my set and any iPod shuffle button mishaps) it means once it jams I have to start over. Not only is this time consuming, but embarrassing and a poor show. Invest in a portable sound system. They are expensive, and heavy, and annoying, but vital for overbooked nights.
-Be Honest. Sometimes, despite best intentions, the night runs late. Parties, traffic, acts of nature. If you are running behind, don't leave your client in the dark. Call you contact and explain you will be x minutes late. Very rarely is this a problem. What is a problem is when you go MIA and show up 45 minutes late to the show.
These are my tips, what about you?