Who ever said that for an artiste to make it he/she has to do free shows for exposure was lying. Music is a business in business we are concerned about sales and profits. Not all business people are in offices in the CBD and not all toothpastes are as popular as Colgate but still they strive on sales.
What l’m simply implying is that it doesn’t matter who knows who and how much known you are. Hammer this to your mind: Your talent is your product and your art is your job so sell it.
Bills need to be paid every month end now can all those in the same boat as me kindly and surely get off their high seats and start humbly at the bottom. Can we at least start off by filling up the cafe, I feel you my guys and l am not in any way emasculating you. The system misled us, it brainwashed us.
Now the majority of us have names bigger than our pockets. Where did we go wrong? Where are we going wrong? So we ask ourselves. ‘Exposure’ is sinking our boats #Exposuremustfall
Exposure makes us lazy; we get the false belief that we have an audience when we are at zero. When we appear on posters, radio and television we get the false belief that we are making it.
When we get likes and followers on social media we assume that the whole world is with us, and little do we know that we are hallucinating. People out there, our stolen audiences tend to believe that we have made it, and then they begin to have expectations.
They start saying so and so has been singing for this long and she doesn’t have a car, so and so has been acting for this long yet he doesn’t even have a smart phone. He is always unreachable. That’s the biggest result of exposure; a big name and an empty pocket.
On the other hand, there are two things involved. It’s either event organizer came up with an idea of giving artistes tickets to sell as a form of payment but i guess the idea wasn’t well presented to the artistes or we artistes are just hot headed, always focusing on the negative. Let me sell the idea to artistes anew.
My way, in my own understanding take tickets as a measure of growth. The number of tickets one sells equals the number of his or her supporters.
Selling tickets is actually learning how to fish in this big sea called the art industry where as being given cash in hand is being spoon-fed. That is why most of the artistes who used to perform at Radio Dialogue roadshows failed to do their own shows afterwards.
The issue was failure to stand on they own hence when radio dialogue and its donors pulled out it was the last time we heard from them. Most of them were unable even to do their own events to generate them revenue ‘Who will l sell the tickets to? I guess many asked themselves the question.
Shoot the messenger in this case which am me but we all know the disastrous effect of performing to a random audience. All those who had felt they had been exposed enough and decided to book a venue, plaster posters and received the feedback of a resounding echo in an empty hall can testify to that #Exposuremustfall!
Fellow artistes, have you ever seen how bale sellers at tower block or at flea markets work? All day screaming $$$$ is not easy, coercing customers to buy from one out of more than thousands of other people in the same row is no kids play.
Yet they bear no shame and stick to their mission: selling the clothes and going back to Mozambique for another load of bales at a targeted time. As artistes, some of us were born to speak and some of us were born to sing. How then can we be beaten by bale sellers when it is in our veins to captivate crowds?
How then can one fail to sell as little as ten tickets? To me the answer is Pride! No matter how scarce people are they coerce, maneuver and even deviate from their routes and almost go house to house in search of customers
Have you seen how commuter omnibus crews work all night and day at different city bus ranks and all the illegal pick up points? Have you ever noticed how early they all get up, have you seen how osphatheleni do the cross rate business despite the fact that banks are doing that and the ever looming police officers.
Have you seen how our mothers and grandmothers do it with vegetable stalls in the hood? Why are we failing to do the same with our craft work up early and sell tickets then go for rehearsals later in the day for a start I think it’s a workable idea. What do you think?
Fellow artistes, in 2017 let us make profitable noise like bale sellers and hustle like a Hwindi. Let us liken our venues to an empty commuter omnibus and go out of our way to make sure we do not perform for our fellow artistes or an empty audience.
Therefore, gladiator, go ye forward! Fight the war and die not a pauper. You have value; just put a price tag to your work and name. It does not hurt to try. Restructure, regroup and start somewhere small.
Hustle for the audience like a Hwindi and make profitable noise like a bale seller. On top of it all, mind your own business.