If you need a tip suggestion....
I haven't lost my job... I just don't get paid to do it anymore...
Any tip is better than no tip theses days! I've had $2-$10 tips to get one song played and other people who are tipping $25 - $60 every time they watch because they want ten requests played or they know it would have cost them that much or more to see me in a Live Venue. Still others have given single time huge tips! All of it is deeply appreciated.
I've been playing live at least one or two times per week since the summer of 1975 (OMG! Is that 47 years?!!) and have always been paid to play by the venue or the private party host. Very rarely has there ever been a cover charge for one of my shows. The COVID-19 shutdown has changed all that. I am trying to survive on tips, but I honestly will most likely have to start with Cover Charges at my Live Shows and on my LiveStreams to survive as a performer in the future. I truly would rather play to a small, appreciative crowd that understands than to a large audience that doesn't.
I LiveStream for a bunch of reasons.
First, because I desperately miss the crowds. I can't tell you what it's like to be surrounded by a bunch of generous, supportive people who cheer and carry on even when you're having a bad night. It is truly humbling and amazing to be part of the focus of all that positive energy.
Second, I want to stay on your mind. I don't think I could survive being forgotten after all these years. I know how that sounds, but as much as you try not to be defined by what you do, it is tough to avoid that trap!
Third, because, in it's own way (especially when there's a few friendly faces in The PatCave!!), it's still a ton of fun to be able to play and have people out there who want to take time out of their lives and watch and listen and interact. It's a very cool thing to experience!
Fourth, because I love to sing, even when no one is listening but me! Singing takes me to a happy place, even though my life is pretty darn happy to begin with. Singing does something for me I can't put into words and I love to talk!
Lastly, because I need to practice. With over 500 songs jammed into my head, if "I don't use 'em, I'll lose 'em"!! I need the constant practice to stay sharp. It's very easy to perform badly. Very difficult to consistently perform "tightly". Witness what happens after one (or two, or three...) too many " SOCIABLE!! " 's !
I hope you can understand and appreciate what it is to be a musician right now.
I haven't lost my job... No one can take that from me! I just don't often get paid to do it anymore...