How do you cope with not getting or losing a gig?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Rickter, Jun 16, 2016.

  1. Rickter


    Nov 30, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    Undoubtedly part of any musicians life is the auditioning for new gigs. Obviously we won't land every gig we audition for and in some cases those calling the shots for the gig will find/want someone else for whatever reason and we can lose the gig.

    Obviously we need to handle this professionally the "hiring" party. However, there is the personal, inner turmoil, possible self-doubt, etc. that comes with losing a gig or being passed over for the job. Ideally,the most positive way to take this is to figure out what your shortcomings might have been and woodshed to improve in that area. However my real question is how do you deal with the mental and emotional aspect of not getting or losing a gig.

    I have been passed over or lost some gigs lately, and while I'm not being hit too hard by it I wanted to seek out some advice from the more "seasoned" cats among the community on what you do to keep your outlook positive when facing times like this.
  2. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    I find not getting a gig pretty easy to deal with; I've never not gotten a gig and not been able to immediately see what it was that prevented me from getting that gig. Usually it's personalities, chemistry...once in a rare while it's connections (e.g., I may have been just as qualified as the other guy but he used to date the drummer's sister, or his wife is the lead singer's accountant, basic networking connections). I've never not gotten a gig because I wasn't qualified -- I'm a pretty good judge of my strengths & weaknesses on the instrument and rarely put myself in a position where I won't be able to Get The Job Done -- but I did once not get a gig because, in hindsight I wasn't sincere enough in my desire to be involved in that situation. iow, I would have been slumming if I took the gig, and I think the bandleader could sense that. Fair enough.

    Losing a gig that you've held seems like it would be a lot harder to deal with. Fortunately I've only ever had that happen to me once, and it was a mutually beneficial decision - I really didn't want to keep doing that gig, but it's still a blow to your ego when you get told "We're not renewing your contract". If I had wanted to keep it I'd probably have done a lot of soul-searching to figure out where I dropped the ball, what I could have done to strengthen the relationship and make them want to keep me. If it turned out I wasn't holding my own from a musical standpoint I guess I would've shed harder. If it turned out our personalities didn't gel I suppose I might have looked at ways to be more of a "team player" or less of a dick, whatever it might have been. If I discovered the replacement bassist was the Music Director's nephew, I maybe would've debated whether my networking circle (or skills) needed to expand.

    But in any case, I guess it comes down to asking yourself: Have I acted 100% professional, and been completely honest with myself and with the band? And if the answer to both of those questions is "yes" and you still didn't get the gig or still lost the gig, you can't beat yourself up about it. Just do the best you can and move on.
    Rickter likes this.
  3. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    I've not gotten gigs I've auditioned for and I've lost them when the focus or direction of the gig changed and I wasn't willing or able to change with it. In the end I realized it wasn't the right gig for me.

    Trials of life, Beavis......
  4. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown

    Feb 16, 2011
    Two kinds of people in life, those who handle their problems and those whose problems handle them.

    Any time something goes sideways, a through and honest assessment is healthy in that it gives you the tools to avoid the same problems in the future, or at the very least gives you additional insight into what you may (or may not) have done that led up to being let go.

    As far as not being selected after an audition, just accept it for what it is (a rejection) and double down on your practice in preperation for the next opportunity. If you lost out for any reason other than ability, you then must decide if you want to adjust your outlook, appearance, or core values to perhaps be a better fit with your next opportunity.
  5. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Springtown, Texas
    Get really drunk and break some stuff.
    Actually, it is part of life. I know it isn't fun. I recall one I thought I had in the bag a couple of years ago that I got turned down for. Now the guy that turned me down and I are good friends. I've subbed for his band and he is going to sub for mine in a couple of weeks. When you are auditioning for a band or interviewing for a job (same thing, really) you are selling. Any time you are selling, you are going to get more noes than yeses. Stay positive. The right gig will come along.
  6. Rickter


    Nov 30, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    Indeed gents. Tis just the way it works. ;) I appreciate the comments.
    Now on to find the next audition! :bassist: