Riding on the coat tails of yesterday's post about grumpy know-it-alls, let's talk about people who think there is only one path and that will be good enough to get them through life FOREVER.
I got into a... let's call it a discussion... on one of the FB magic groups about what's best to run your sound with and how. Some of you might recall my guide on running your own music for your shows. Well it seems some people would rather not have music at all if they don't have a sound man. This baffled me and I had to jump into the fray to understand where they were coming from.
There is a camp of people who (claim) to always work with a soundman and will pay for them to travel with them and run their music and say that is the ONLY way to go. These people have clearly not tried to make a living in the last decade or so as that is not always an option. What you pay out for a sound person could be almost the entire fee for a gig in some circumstances.
Obviously it's great if you work a venue that has someone else run your music for you. (Someone who is competent that is. You'd be surprised how many people don't understand the concept of "play" and "pause".) Sometimes it's just not feasible to have someone travel with you be it for lack of space or money.
What I told these "experts", who turned their nose up at the mere thought of running their own music from their pocket, was that they should learn to do it BOTH ways. If your sound guy/girl dies, gets sick, or just gets tired of your bullshit and quits, you are then left high and dry. If you have a solo system you have learned as a back-up you will never be in that position. It's similar to those who prefer to work only with a headset mic and get lost when forced to use a hand held. When you don't learn at least a little bit about the options you have to help run a smooth show, you will suffer and so will your audience.
So heed my advice people! Learn to run your own music but have a cue sheet in your bags for that lovely rare time you can bring along a sound person or the venue happens to have one that doesn't seem like they are from a work release mental patient program.
Like Scar said, "Be prepared!"