The Worst Dish Is One That Never Comes
By Quinton J Sheer, Esq.
There’s a lot of overlap between the Indie Music world and the Foodie world. No matter the industry, there are things anyone, with enough time and dedication can learn. Skill, talent, and business savvy fall into this category. And then there are those intangible things that just can’t be taught. Celebrity Chef Anthony Bourdain wrote, “Find me another Mexican dishwasher anytime. I can teach him to cook. I can’t teach character.”
Food and Music enhance each other. They range for the bland and mundane to the adventurous. Each can be sexy on its own, and each is better when shared with others. Both industries have very creative and artistic elements that, at some point have to fit in with sound business plans. To get in, you gotta pay your dues. Play every road house from here to there; wash dishes before you chop lettuce. No one starts as chef du cuisine. They work their way up to grill bitch. Success starts, not when the big paychecks come in. Success begins with in actually taking that 1st step.
Raw talent, although an integral part of success, is really a very small part. Woody Allen was certainly right. 80% of success is simply about showing the fuck up. Opportunity does not knock on your door, leave, then return with a bouquet of flowers to say ‘sorry I missed you.’
Canceling a gig, an interview, or for the music fans reading, calling out sick to work is a bad thing. Because you have an excuse, even one that’s true, does not make the act of canceling excusable. You disappoint fans, disrupt relations with those counting on you, and its disrespectful to those who gave you the time of day to begin with. It’s not just the loss of money, reputation, and future opportunities that are at stake. One cancellation, call sick, or flake out can help kiss all of those things goodbye.
Orlando Bands founder, Ben Gardner says, “I wouldn’t work with them again, no way. Maybe if someone close to them dies, but even then, find a replacement. There’s no quicker way [than canceling a gig] to end a career, that’s for sure.”
When you cancel on a gig or interview you rob yourself of the opportunity to get better. Greatness does not come overnight with a record deal. The Beatles played over 1,200 times in Germany from 1960-1964. Each experience developed their greatness. Not many saw the work before they returned to England but its there. It’s always there. Staying home to sleep it off or canceling because, ‘they had things to do’ could have stunted or stalled their development as artists and their careers.
T.G.I. Fridays kitchen manager (Lake Buena Vista), Jarrett Eldred also sees the connection between food and music, “It’s all entertainment. Running a kitchen is in a sense controlled chaos. It’s being ok with the fact that you don’t know what the fuck happened.” That sounds could describe many local and even professional shows.
Jarrett Eldred goes on to say, “I have some really great chefs working for me. Some of them are great, if by nothing else, than by accident. Those are the guys who knew nothing but showed up every day and didn’t call in sick.”
Every day is an opportunity to get better. Each opportunity is a chance to learn and practice. “The chefs that come in and think they’re rock stars, they don’t last long.” Being great comes more from experience than raw talent. Not showing up diminishes the chance of greatness and shrinks opportunities. And that is a dish no one wants to choke down.