Empty Stage

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

It was great!  After many years of struggle and hard work, they were finally an “overnight success”, the unknown band tearing up the charts.  All they had to do was a tour to support their debut album, and all was gold.

“Did you read the news?”

“It’s getting worse.”

“Boston just cancelled.”

“Don’t worry, it’s not a big college town…”

“Ha ha, Mr. Spinal Tap…”

“What are we going to do?”

“We’re no longer on the Billboard top 100.”

“Sorry guys, we’ll have to cancel the tour.”

“And we thought 2020 would be our year to hit the big time?”

***

Word count = 100

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  This week’s prompt is here and uses a photo © Dale Rogerson. Read more or join in by following the InLinkz “linky“.

**

OK, cliche for the day, but I did want to get that Spinal Tap reference in a FF story for so long, so… ;)

Also, I may not be able to visit in the next few days. Sorry. I’ll try, but ultra-busy at work

72 thoughts on “Empty Stage

    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I know, it is tough for a lot of people. There are some sports that you get one chance to make the Olympics, and if there are no Olympics that year, its over. And with training facilities shut. Ouch. On the plus side, I do think people recognize the importance of sport, performing arts, live entertainment, etc. more than ever and there will be a huge amount of support once this is all over.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks, Gray. It’s been tough on all performing artists, but it is the up and comings that are hit the hardest – Paul McCartney is doing fine! I would hate to be in that position to have to start over after all of this. New artists will come in and fill the void for live entertainment, but will those on the verge of success at the beginning of 2020 be among that group?

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  1. bearmkwa

    Can’t say I know what/who Spinal Tap is, but I assume it’s a band of some sort. I’ll google it later. Great story. Work hard, then play harder!

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Yep, I’m sure as soon as they can get back on the road they will crank it to 11. Thanks. I’m hoping my work has slowed down so I’ll have a minute to go back and read yours and the other stories I missed.

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  2. Na'ama Yehuda

    This year was brutal for the music industry and the arts and the theater and and and. Many have managed to pivot to YouTube and other virtual venues, but for many more others this has been devastating. Hopefully this coming year will be easier!

    Liked by 2 people

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      A lot of industries have been decimated, and the live entertainment one is near the top of that list. I have enjoyed watching videos of some of my favorite artists, but a band just starting out stands little chance on Youtube (VEMO). I know it won’t get better right away, but hopefully the future will be brighter. I know that I, for one, will seek out more live entertainment. It’s been years since i last saw a play…

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  3. Rowena

    I’m not sure whether we want a genuine crystal ball to predict 2021. Of course, it would be great if it showed us all going back to our pre-covid world. However, what if it showed us a more dire picture of what it will be like? Not knowing, enables us to hope. It enables us to get through present struggles because a turnaround is just around the corner.
    A close friend and her son have been hit hard who work in the entertainment industry. She is also single so she was by herself in lock down and not being able to work either. She’s not alone either. It’s been really tough…and just so weird. That’s my word for 2020.
    Hope you’re keeping well, Trent, and I hope you’re getting a chance to relax.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      None of us has a clear crystal ball, but I do predict it will get worse for a while, then it will get better. m2021 may not end up being great, but it will be a shift in momentum so the years ahead will be much better. We will, however, never return to pre-2020 – the new normal will be different, and hopefully better in many ways. That’s what my crystal ball says, at least ;)
      It is very hard for those in the live entertainment industry. I know a few, though not super well. Not easy.
      I am on a normal work schedule today, but have a ton of catch up! I have a long weekend, though, so hopefully will be able to relax.
      Have a great weekend!

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      1. Rowena

        Speaking of crystal balls, wonder what lies in store for international travel, which is an important issue for Australians given our geographical isolation. Thank goodness we have the Internet these days! However, our isolation is helping keep covid out.
        Geoff works at Macquarie Uni and they’ve had extensive staff cuts, enhanced by the loss of international students. That’s going on at universities around Australia and no doubt the world.
        Our son is helping to set up the sound for the youth Church camp and for the honour of helping out, Mum and Dad end up with driving 2hrs each way, but we’ve probably been spoilt on this front, because we haven’t needed to do a lot of driving like the over the years, especially for him. Geoff and I are trying to think of it as a road trip and we’ll go out somewhere after we drop him off.
        Our kids have become strangely time consuming lately.
        Hope you’ve had a chance to relax.
        Best wishes,
        Rowena

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        1. trentpmcd Post author

          I think International travel will begin to pick back up in the summer (winter for you), though it won’t be back to 2019 levels until at least the end of the year. At that time, I’m not sure – either there will be more, as people feel the need to get out after being stranded in their own countries, sometimes their own town, for so long. It is also possible it will be slow for a long time, as people realize that they didn’t miss it as much… Travel for school will be put off at least until fall (spring for you), though it may be a year before we see any place the level of foreign students in places like Australia and here. Anyway, that is my crystal ball ;)
          Yeah, kids travel more as the age. I’m not sure about there, but here it helps when they drive themselves.

          I hope you are enjoying your weekend and have a great week :)

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      It has. I only know a few people who make their living from their art, and it is tough. Hopefully we all appreciate it more so when we can go to concerts and plays and the movies and etc., etc. we will as a show of support.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      What can they do now except practice and practice some more? They’ll be great, well rehearsed and have a lot of new songs to be released… as soon as they themselves can be released from their lock-down prisons ;)

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      1. Charlotte Hoather

        Exactly. Put all the practice in that we don’t normally have time for, improve technique, learn new material, take a day job to pay the bills increasing those skills that cross over into musical life. I’m busier than ever I don’t feel I’ve any time to waste a year has been taken out of my career but the glass is half full and I can’t wait to top it back up to the top.

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        1. trentpmcd Post author

          Yeah, I know people at your level do need a lot of practice to stay in shape to perform and I guess giving you that practice time is one silver lining of the current situation. I talked to people who said that not practicing piano 8 hours a day and they notice, not getting 6 hours in and other performers notice and not 4 hours and the audience notices. Not sure if it is the same for you (I would think you’d be hoarse after 8 hours!), but you do need practice time. I love your energy, attitude and enthusiasm :) I’m sorry you are losing this year, but I’m sure you will be able to top off that glass in no time at all.

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          1. Charlotte Hoather

            Thanks Trent, Yes it is George puts in a similar amount of piano hours late into the evening with his earphones on which makes it slightly easier for him to practice. I put in at least two hours solid singing practice every day not including warm up time. Some days like today I can sing for about six hours with rest breaks, I’ve been working on my pianissimo singing so as not to upset the neighbours above 😊 luckily its a shop storeroom below. Rest breaks from singing include time for Pilates and yoga, (those are good for core strength, posture and muscular work), then time for eating, drinking etc. Then I spend lots of time reading music scores, translations, memorisation, listening to my own practice recordings to listen for technical improvements that are required, piano practice, then lessons with singing teachers and coaches and other foreign languages luckily most of them moved online but I’ve concentrated on German this year because I’ve been taking advanced level exams in German, I do some of those lessons at 8am before work and have online group practice sessions at 8pm that can be a bit exhausting. But I like to keep busy.

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        1. trentpmcd Post author

          Agreed, they are hit doubly hard. I have enjoyed watching “lockdown” videos that big stars are making to show their human side, which, of course, keeps them visible, but what can a band just starting off do? besides sit home, practice, practice, practice and write new songs?

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Mine too. It has been tough. Some have found ways to stay active, but most have lost a lot of income and many have left for greener pastures, like gas station attendants or grocery store clerks….

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  4. rochellewisoff

    Dear Trent,

    I laughed out loud at Mr. Spinal Tap. Christopher Guest and Michael McKean at their best. ;) I also loved that the band worked hard for years to be an overnight success. Well done. Take time to destress in your upcoming business.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks, Rochelle. It is funny that when you look at the history of most “overnight successes”, they all put in their dues and worked hard for years to get there. The first time I watched Spinal Tap, the line about Boston was my first big laugh of the movie. Of course I almost didn’t stop laughing after that ;)
      Another day of long hours then I’ll be back to normal, not including having to make up for the lost week!

      Liked by 1 person

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      So many dreams have been shattered, but hopefully we will round the corner soon, and there will be a new world waiting. Perhaps creative up and coming acts/bands will get more of a chance after the dust settles.

      Liked by 1 person

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Entertainment is one of the oldest industries – we told stories around fires since we could talk and beat on logs to make rhythms before then. It is very ingrained in us and we need it. But there things to help – as you said, screens and books and I’ll add recorded music and video.

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    2. Rowena

      We’d be able to move around much more freely if it weren’t for our books. I’ve dropped hundreds off at the op shop over the last couple of months, and still need to lose more. As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

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          1. trentpmcd Post author

            It is a huge amount of work. Although sometimes she will sell something for 100 times or even 1000 times what she bought it for, in the long run, I doubt if she has made a penny.

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