It has been a while since I have posted. And am almost sheepishly making this post after reading Basal’s heart wrenching post. How extremely fortunate we are to live in a country where just leaving our homes to just go to a job is something we all should cherish.
But this is something that has been eating way at me for quite sometime and have never seen it even touched upon in the forums because we are all about creating beautiful sounds on an instrument we all love, the Harp.
I have been on a national music site for sometime, with sound clips and my picture. In the first 5 years, I believe I must have gotten 8 jobs. Then 1 or 2 more harpists appeared on the same site and within months nearly all the new jobs were now being gotten by them, with there prices being slightly higher. So I adjusted my prices, freshen up my bio. Things got slightly better for me, but not where I believed I should have been.
Now after almost 8 years, something new has proven to be a real challenge with more harpists on the site. The “under cutting harpists”. I recently put in a bid for a private function in Lansing, Michigan for the governor. The event manager was gracious enough to call back and said she was impressed with my sound clips and bio, but was able to hirer someone closer to Lansing for the sum of $175. She went on to say they were really about price and would be happy to keep me in their records, if I would consider playing in the $175.
Now here is the rub, in light of my musical background and high level of professionalism, how does one continue when we are faced with subjective and objective slights. I went back through the site I was on and discovered that people of color were in general less like to the have the number of jobs that others did and those that believed that $175 was just fine were now seeming to get all the jobs.
Am now when I make offers, stressing my professional abilities, and just stating up front that $175 is way, way below where the market should be. About my face, I can do nothing about that.
I really do not expect to get any responses to what has been bothering me for sometimes because unless you are in this skin you do not see or feel it or perhaps have harpists friends who have not felt it or even shared it. I will always remember what a booking agent was kind enough to share with me. When a group from the British Isle wanted a harpist for one of their SAE reception, he was told they wanted a blond blue eyed harpist pretty one.