Opened Mind Pt. 2 (Meeting the Beautiful)
In hindsight, you could say that I was lucky to have that interesting fella walk up and disrupt the show because as I stepped off stage to ignore him, I ended up singing to a table full of lovely people who were celebrating a birthday. Unanticipated, I conversed with these beautiful people for two hours after the show to EVERYONE’S surprise. As a teenager, not yet a jazz musician, my brother Nate always told me to meet as many people as I could because I’d never know who I could help or, could help me.
The party celebrating Gayatri Shukla’s birthday (Navjit, Zahidah, Chittesh, Roshan, and Suharson), told me about all the music festivals that take place in southeast Asia, life in Malaysia, and all the things I should do just in case I got a chance to come back again. I hadn’t noticed that there were others waiting to speak with me until I was about to leave because I was engulfed in positive conversation. Pat Terbrack wasn’t ready to leave yet either because there was a guy in his ear trash talking me for not “stretching the melodies enough”…whatever that meant.
The club owner Evelyn Hill told me she thought I was a kind spirit for being so nice to her customers but, some others around me said there was no way they’d spend two hours AFTER the show talking to guests as they would be too tired which, I could understand that after having just given your all during a two hour show. The second night, new customers came and floored me with the things they’d heard and read about me making me want to talk to them even longer when everyone else I was with was trying to leave.
When I go back to KL in December not only will I be stoked to return, I’ll have a group of people to party with and make sure I see all the cool stuff they told me about because I took the time to chill out with them after the show. Seems like time well spent to me!
When you’re in the business of entertaining, I think the LEAST you can do is talk to the people who are keeping the bread on your plate, IF you’ve got the time. Here in Tokyo, if you carried yourself in a fashion that made customers feel as if you didn’t have enough time for them, you would make far less in every way because, you wouldn’t have those persons as customers. It still surprises me here in Tokyo how one 5 minute conversation turns into that ONE person bringing 30 extra people to your next show at 2,500 to 5,000 yen per person…no exaggeration. Taking the time out for a talk with an audience member is how my close colleagues and I build e-mail lists and meet new friends that sometimes intoduce us to even larger opportunities.
Like my brother said, you never know who might be able to help you later so, introduce yourself!
Here’s to meeting diamonds within the acres of people!