by aLfie vera mella
Many of the concert producers and show organizers in Winnipeg have been so far helpful and appreciative of the local talents the Filipino community has to offer in our city by giving them exposures and by getting them as front acts, openers, and performers at various events and fundraisers and by treating them well during the shows, providing them food and their own dressing rooms or personal spaces. Most of these performers have also been grateful by giving their best during performances and by also volunteering other services that they could offer to the whole production.
However, it is time to improve the whole setup for the benefit and enjoyment of everyone involved. For the part of the performers, they should continue being professional in their acts and help the producers in however they can in the production and in promoting the shows to their own respective circles.
They should also make sure that they give a well-presented rendition of their music and art. On the part of the producers and organizers, they should start leveling up their support for these local talents. They should start including in their budget allocation the deserved honoraria and talent fees for such performers.
After all, a show’s having superb openers entices the audience to stay excited in time for the main acts and to develop a sense of anticipation for the next shows and a realization that we also have our own talents locally. It also gives our community a good impression, that we also have our pool of equally talented and passionate artists and performers who may be revered in par with the outside talents whom we are inviting to perform in our city.
It’s just a matter of coming up with a mutually beneficial monetary compensation for the participating artists and performers in recognition of their performances. Everyone has to know that the time, energy, effort, talent, and money that musicians put into their performances are of worthy value.
For the performers who write their own music and songs, it takes talent and time to be able to achieve this. Practising their sets is also another phase in the process. To master performing one single song may take hours and hours of time alone and time together as a group on the part of the bands and artists. Spending money for their musical instruments is also another thing. Spending time and focus on listening to the songs that they want to cover also counts. The energy and effort that they spend in carrying their instruments around is another part of the whole endeavor. Dressing up and making sure that they appear attractive to the audience also requires money, creativity, and time.
Exposure is good, but it should be a two-way deal. Both producers and artists should also be honest in their dealings; they should be open to any suggestions and positive criticisms. They should be confident in asking questions to clear up misconceptions to avoid misunderstanding. An open two-way relationship will benefit everyone in the end, and this will create a harmonious community devoid of frustrations, resentments, and backbiting. If there are some concerns, then both producers and artists should be willing to discuss it and talk about it in a professional and objective manner.
Many musicians and artists may be willing to play for free, but they will certainly reach the stage when they will feel tired and underappreciated because of this. Producers, in fairness, will be happy to have performers volunteering their talents for free, but they will feel a stronger sense of satisfaction when they start to compensate their talents; because that way, they know that they are appreciating all the hard work that these artists put into their performances.
The entertainment sector of the Filipino community in Winnipeg is relatively young, in comparison with the music and entertainment industry in the Philippines, which also continues to be bugged by the same misunderstanding between producers and performers and the difficulties both of them experience. And this is the reason, we should all work with one another in a very positive way and a harmonious manner so that together we can move forward into building a better cultural and entertainment scene.
Let’s start anew. Let the past shows serve as a learning experience for everyone. Let us all now look into the future with a more professional and truly mutually beneficial perspective. It doesn’t even require costly and unfair talent fees. It is just something respectable to show our performers and so-called cultural activists that their talent, art, and music are really being recognized.
Both producers and artists are important. They need each other. One will surely find difficulty in operating without the other. All they need now is a truly good, honest, and mutually respectful and respectable and professional woprking relationship, in which each party is getting the recognition, compensation, and goods that they deserve.