0417 My First Paid Gig while Parkbenching (Fra 042â€”revisit)
Puteaux Travel Blog› entry 42 of 201 › view all entries
Puteaux at first looks like another of those â€śLittle Strip along the
I mean, this is almost too muchâ€¦ Iâ€™ve gotten used pompous, fancy mairies in tiny little town townsâ€¦ but the Mairie of Puteaux is more glorious than many national capitols! And this is just one little suburb with a couple thousand people!
As I try to set up my camera to take my video clip in front of the Mairie, a serious looking waiter comes and says,
â€śDo you want to play music at our cafĂ©?â€ť
I look at him a bit confused-- not sure if heâ€™s talking seriously or notâ€¦ Finally I tell him Iâ€™ll be over in just a minuteâ€¦
So I take my video clip and head on over to the main open air cafĂ© of the plaza in front of the Mairie.
Of course Iâ€™m not going to turn down this opportunityâ€¦ Iâ€™m still not sure if they are going to pay me or if I am expected to collect tips from the customers directlyâ€¦ what kind of music they want me to playâ€¦ The tables where pretty spread out-- and there isnâ€™t any sort of platform, sound system or anythingâ€¦
What the hellâ€¦ Iâ€™ll just figure it out as I go alongâ€¦ So I go to the middle of the plaza and start playingâ€¦.
And so for the next 5 hours or so, my Global Parkbenching Project is put on the backburner, and I become a professional musician, travelling the world, paying for my expenses by playing my own original songâ€¦ itâ€™s another fantasy life that Iâ€™ve dreamed about off and on for decadesâ€¦
It isnâ€™t particularly easyâ€¦ Iâ€™m pretty exhausted after 8 days hiking and campingâ€¦ I have to compete with a nearby fountainâ€¦ and even though folks applaud and seem to like my songs, I canâ€™t really say that Iâ€™m â€śpulling inâ€ť a lot more customers with my musicâ€¦
But I know that if they ask me to come back and if they pay me enough for hotel room, I wonâ€™t be able to say noâ€¦ itâ€™s always been my dream to earn money playing music, and I canâ€™t pass up this opportunity, imperfect as it may beâ€¦
A couple of times, when Iâ€™m basically singing to empty tables, I feel like quitting and calling it a dayâ€¦ I just take a couple breaks to grab a drink or an order of chocolate crepes and keep singing until closing timeâ€¦
And then I go to collectâ€¦ and I am handed 20 Eurosâ€¦ itâ€™s a bittersweet momentâ€¦ Sweet that Iâ€™ve been paid to play music in
â€śAre you going to come back tomorrow?â€ť One of the fellows asksâ€¦ but the other waiter, who had first called me over, shakes his head.
â€¦Otherwise, I might be spending the rest of my summer strumming in the plaza right here in