24. July 2009 · Comments Off on Watching The Tour · Categories: Ramble

I’m watching the Tour de France, although not quite as crazily as I have done in past years. I think all the doping stuff got to me and I don’t get as thrilled any more. Or maybe I’m just not in the right “space” to get into things like the tour currently. Dunno.

(Side note: Hmmm. Shouldn’t I call it “le Tour de France” or else “the Tour of France”? But everyone here calls it “the Tour de France”, mixing languages. Go figure.)

But just now they talked about the unspoken rules of the tour. Things like “who’s in charge” and when you do not attack (like during the feeding time or “nature breaks”). It made me think about this business I’m in and whether we have unspoken rules.

I found out that the Il Divo concert last night used local musicians. I didn’t get hired. When this happens and the gig is 5 minutes from my home, I do wonder who did the contracting. I sort of want to know (and sort of don’t!) if I’ve been dumped from someone’s list. But once I find that out, I don’t jump in and do anything about it unless it’s a job that is required to ask me. (I’m first call in Opera San José, being the principal here, and second in SSV, being second oboe. If I had been overlooked by either of those groups you can bet I’d jump on it. But that’s never happened, and it didn’t happen with Il Divo.) The contractor was someone I don’t know at all (Whew! I’ve not been dumped!), the orchestra was extremely small (Someone actually wrote that the singers are singing to a tape and the 12 piece orchestra is there for looks.), and the oboist who was hired is someone I’ve heard of but never worked with. I’m sure she’s quite capable, and I can’t begrudge her the work. We are all looking for work, after all.

Years ago (something over 25 years ago, actually!) a New York musician told me about the cutthroat technique of some musicians; if a musician heard that a good job was coming in, he/she would call the contractor to get the gig, going so far as to lie and say, “I heard your [insert name here] isn’t available so I thought I’d let you know that I am.” I can’t imagine how this wouldn’t come back to haunt a person. If it really even happened. Some musicians still call contractors, and I think that works for certain players, but I can’t do that. I’m just not an aggressive person. If I get the gig, great. If not, I’ll survive.

Anyone out there have hiring horror stories? I’ll bet …!

& now back to the Tour. It’s my form of exercise these days.

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