What do you do when you’re playing outside and somebody decides to smoke near you?
Maybe you could politely say to them,” Actually sir, the smoking area is over there” pointing to someplace down wind of you. If he or she says that it’s not marked, just say that the venue doesn’t like to put up signs and leaves it to the staff to “help” people.
Thanks, these are great ideas. That’s really funny, Carl. I’ll try it. This guy came up the other night and started smoking with his back basically against my back and with the breeze from the lake it all blew over my head and hung there. I will definitely be taking all of your advice on the next gig.
Umm, if you’re there on a gig, you’re the hired help. You keep playing and try not to breathe hard. That’s all there is to it. There are disadvantages to every kind of work and this is one of the downsides to being a working musician, and you put up with it.
Another thing you could do is point to someone near the smoker, preferably an elderly person, and tell the smoker that that person has emphysema but is too embarrassed to ask him to stop smoking, so could he/she please move away from the crowd to smoke? That way you come across as the good guy.
I have to agree with Barbara on this one. If you are hired to play, you pretty much have to put up with aggravations like these. Especially if someone is smoking outside- that’s pretty much a generally accepted “smoking area”. You could nicely ask them to move downwind, but that’s about it. Or perhaps tell the offending smoker that you are allergic to smoke…
Another aggravation that many performers have to put up with is picture taking. I’ve had people literally come up to within a couple feet of my face and take a picture (flash on, of course) when I’m in the middle of a piece. Talk about disconcerting! But again, this is something you just have to put up with. Not as harmful as smoking, mind you, but still…
Hi Misty, my memories and stories are more terrefic than yours, me in a small closed place ,surrounded with smokers with all kind of smoking, Hubble Bubble , big Cigars , Cigarettes, the worst thing are cigars and cigarettes with perfum, oh God, i smell it now, i cant stop them , i have tow choices accept it or leave it. i can write a dissertation about smokers and smoking stories with me.
Ugh, how horrid. New Jersey has a uniform smoking law, no smoking anywhere except cigar bars, and it really is great.
I LOVE the smell of tobacco, but I’m totally allergic to it, so ten minutes in a smoky room and my eyes swell shut. I had some terrible experiences before the law was inacted- I’ve had smoke blown directly into my face, and when I began to choke and gag, the SMOKERS would be offended!
One of the stipulations in my contract is All performance venues must be entirely non-smoking. If they have hired me, they have signed on to this. While I have seen people smoking at my outdoor jobs, it was never close to me. If they came close to me I would enforce this immediately as my lungs shut down from smoke. Typically explaining to someone that you are allergic to smoke gets them to put the cigarette out or move away as most people aren’t monsters but just thoughtless.
Well Barbara and Karen, I appreciate your comments but unless the gig is going to pay me workers comp when I develop lung cancer, I am not willing to accept breathing in smoke as part of my job particularly when the place I live recognizes the right of people to not breathe second-hand smoke.
I appreciate the advice of people who are actually interested in helping find solutions instead of dealing with an unhealthy situation.
- The forum ‘Professional Harpists’ is closed to new topics and replies.