The Gig Economy and My Lie!

I lied to you last week. Well, not so much lied, but I left out some pertinent information, which, if I were lecturing my boys, would be called a lie. What was the lie? It was the following sentence:

Since I am out of the country this week…

Okay, it wasn’t a huge lie, but a lie none the less. I WAS out of the country, but I left out some important information. I was on a cruise with my friends and family. Yep, that’s right, I was (poignant pause) ON VACATION!

If I were to come completely clean, I should also tell you that I have been playing loosey goosey with the truth for years.

Every time I write “unavailable” or “private workshop” on my calendar it's a lie. It is almost always a personal or family commitment. Don’t believe me? Just look at my calendar. It says that July 24th is a private workshop. In reality, it’s my sons' first day of school.

Why would I lie? Why didn’t I just write family commitment or today I will spend time with my kids instead of yours?

After reading last week’s e-zine on the ship, my wife looked at me and asked, “Do you think that implying you're working is more prestigious than saying that you're going on vacation?” My answer to her was an unequivocal YES!

How sad is that? What is wrong with me?

The “Gig Economy” is a recent economic term used to describe a labor market with an abundance of short term contracts and secondary work. Think Uber or FIVRR. To the rest of America, this is a new found phenomenon, but to musician educators, the term is as old as our profession. Why do you think they used the term “gig” in the phrase? Most of us have been doing extra gigs for most of our profession lives. You gig as a lesson teacher, adjudicator, drill writer, clinician, MEA officer, etc. Heck, sometimes it feels like we gig more than we work; however, if we, and this profession, are to survive, it needs to stop! I need to stop. My lies help perpetuate other lies. 

I need to be and will be more truthful.

So in service to honestly, let me say this: I didn’t work at all last week. And just so you know, I didn’t miss it one bit. As long as we are being honest, I also plan to be more “unavailable” in the future, starting with this weekend when I have my next gig coaching my son's football team. And as my final act of honesty, I will tell you that coaching is my favorite gig of all.

What’s your favorite gig? 

Have a great week!