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This is a question My job: Expectation vs Reality

When I worked as a window cleaner, everybody - and I mean everybody - I knew asked me the "how's yer father" question. The truth was that I was always knackered and freezing, and the only nudity I saw was some fat bloke's arse. Tell us how your work differs from the expectation.

Thanks to Rotating Wobbly Hat for the idea

(, Thu 8 May 2014, 22:21)
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I work in insurance. I expect it to be dull. It is dull.
When I'm not regretting my career choices, I sing in a covers band. I'm classing it as a job because people book us, and pay us to entertain. We're not bad, and we get quite a bit of work locally. I've been asked more than once why I don't do it full time, why I don't make a living from singing, why I have to 'waste my life' by working my day job. Other people genuinely are shocked that I can get up in front of people and do what I do, considering the fact that I am grossly overweight and not quite what people are expecting.

The reality?

I'm never going to be a professional singer. I'm 36, fat and female. Never going to happen, not even if I woke up tomorrow a size 10. I'm too old, and the music industry likes their newbies young. Unless you're Susan Boyle, and I am not Susan Boyle.

Everyone assumes that it's easy money. They see the wad of cash being paid at the end of the night, and it does look as though we're making a fair few quid for four hours work. It looks easy. It looks fun. It IS fun. It's the best fun you can have with your clothes on - but unless you are a signed band, who can tour constantly with original music, you will starve. Even if you are in a signed band who tour constantly with original music, you will starve for a LONG while (my mate is a drummer, his band have played at the O2 arena, and he still needs a day job to pay his bills). The wad of cash I get at the end of night gets split between five of us. It pays for petrol, a couple of beers, and a lot of it gets ploughed back into equipment. We earned 3000 in our first year, and 2500 of that went straight to pay for most of our gear. I dread any of our gear breaking because it means we essentially gig for free in order to pay for replacements. It is not easy. I spend three or fours a week working on the set with the band, and the same amount of time working on my own to make sure I can do a song justice. We constantly change the set list to keep things fresh, and we will tailor a set to an event if we can. It can get boring. It really really can. I sometimes resent the rehearsal side of things, but it has to be done. If you factor this in, I get less than minimum wage.

As for the last thing...well. I've played in some ROUGH pubs and clubs. I've played to 15 drunk punters on a Saturday afternoon, and I've played to packed venues with 150 drunk punters on a Saturday night. . I've played to lairy, drunken, leather clad moshers. I've played to chavs, alcoholics, upperclass hoorays, drunken mums, hen parties, stag parties, teenagers, old people (seriously, everyone should have the pleasure of watching a woman in her 70s jump up and down to Killing In The Name), schoolkids, and on one memorable occasion, two small babies who were lulled to sleep by Led Zeppelin.

Not once have I ever had anyone be abusive, throw anything, insult me, or make me feel anything other than fucking amazing. I was shocked by this, as I thought I was a pretty easy target, but people have never failed to be anything but appreciative and awesome. They buy us drinks, they shout for more, and they never let us go without an encore or two. Getting recognised in the street is sometimes weird (I never expected that to happen, but it does), but it makes me grin like a lunatic :D
(, Sun 11 May 2014, 1:01, closed)
Best non-otter post so far.

(, Sun 11 May 2014, 1:26, closed)
hello, darling

(, Sun 11 May 2014, 3:06, closed)
Hello sweetie.

(, Sun 11 May 2014, 8:57, closed)
is this Star Wars?

(, Sun 11 May 2014, 8:41, closed)
I can't wait for AB to turn up and moan that this is a non-story.
I'd be GUTTED if he didn't.
(, Sun 11 May 2014, 14:37, closed)
Pfft

(, Sun 11 May 2014, 14:42, closed)
So, your story is 'my mate plays the guitar'?

(, Sun 11 May 2014, 17:44, closed)
Well, there we go.
Faith restored.
(, Sun 11 May 2014, 18:59, closed)
You've written this beautifully and you're doing covers
With someone who can muck about with chord progressions - and if you can translate prose into verse - you could be original.

I love live music and I keep seeing bands with talent staying on the Radio 2 safe side, with the ability to progress. You might not want to, but even a couple of your own compositions in a set is a start.
(, Sun 11 May 2014, 18:44, closed)

en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Sofie_von_Otter
(, Sun 11 May 2014, 19:09, closed)
You're too hard on yourself
The Gossip did all right and their singer was a really horrible fat minger
(, Mon 12 May 2014, 9:33, closed)
I'm waaaaaaay older than her.

(, Mon 12 May 2014, 10:14, closed)
According to the internets, she's 33
So you're only three years older, almost certainly about the same weight and only marginally more horrific to look at - I say follow your dreams
(, Mon 12 May 2014, 14:22, closed)
Bless your heart.

(, Mon 12 May 2014, 22:44, closed)
No worries
I'm always available if you need a confidence boosting talk :)
(, Tue 13 May 2014, 14:20, closed)
It's people like you that give me hope for the future, emvee.

(, Tue 13 May 2014, 17:04, closed)
Awww, you scared George! away again The LOVELY Wicca'd.
How am I going to learn how to subjugate poon now he's gone again?
:(
(, Mon 12 May 2014, 10:33, closed)
he seems to have gone back to his emvee account

(, Mon 12 May 2014, 14:32, closed)
Awww, man I don't want to have to use Lego as a sex-toy.
I don't wannabe a poon subjugator no more.
:(
(, Tue 13 May 2014, 1:10, closed)

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