"Thank you for having me play on your show. Of course it is my number one priority, despite my busy schedule, and should you decide to adjust the time of the show, which is next week, by making it an hour earlier, I will surely accommodate to make it work for you. I will gladly do the same when it then moves 6 hours later. And of course I will sub out any gigs I had previously, should they conflict with the rehearsals for your fine and well organized event. I hope we can work again soon."
The sarcasm should be reasonably obvious - the rest, the details if you will, well you just can't make that stuff up. Upon learning about this very well paying songwriter showcase, my only conflict was a gig (albeit a nice jazz trio set) during one of the rehearsals. I got a sub, the person who called me for the gig was very understanding, and all was well. The day of the show looked to be quite the marathon with an unrelated rehearsal from 2-5, the show from 5:30-9, and yet another unrelated rehearsal from 10-1 for an upcoming show in Philly. I live for the days when everything lines up so perfectly - they happen so rarely. In fact, they happen never.
The show was bumped up to 5 (with a 4:45 soundcheck). Very well, I made an attempt to move rehearsal #1 back an hour. It couldn't happen, but the leader in this case was again very accommodating and had no problem with me having to cut out early - despite me being the one in greatest need of the rehearsal. And all was well again. Phew. That is until the show got moved to start at 10pm instead of 5. I was teaching at the time, and got a barrage of emails assuming that I was fine with the newest new start time, as well as invites to 4 different Dropbox folders of the material from each of the songwriters. Oh, hold on a second while I remove myself from these folder invites.
Ok, thanks for waiting.
I explained that the show now conflicted with a rehearsal that I was absolutely committed to, and no amount of money was worth tarnishing my reputation by putting an entire band in such a tough spot, having to most likely find someone else to learn and rehearse all that material in a week. I was told that the head of this show would be informed and do everything to make it right. By definition, that would mean compensating me at least for the gig I had subbed out to make the first rehearsal. The person in charge informed me that the club actually never had the show booked and so they scrambled to find an alternate time, and apologized for the trouble I had to go through. In my curiosity, I checked the club's website. And there it was, Tuesday at 5:30pm as I was told originally. What I did notice was that each time the set was changed it got shorter and shorter. Hmmmm......
My rare week in the green turned to red in a hurry. But the musical director did do her best to make it right;
I'm so sorry to hear all of that. I didn't even know you were coming on board until later in the day today. Unfortunately there is nothing I can do about the change. The club did not have us booked - and we've been putting on shows at the (insert club name here) for 20 years now - they never screwed up like this - but we've been back and forth on the phone for 2 days now and there are no other slots.
I'm so sorry for the mess up - we're not happy about it either. Hoping to make it up to you in the future. Look forward to meeting you. I am happy to refer you to projects as they come up as well. Hopefully something amazing will come up!"
I, for one, cannot wait to find out what that is.