January 27, 2012 at 4:52 PMAs I was driving across Los Angeles during rush hour for a gig last week, I began to think about how much traveling I've done on behalf of various performances. Mind you, I'm no peripatetic soloist -- someone like Joshua Bell plays in a different city every day and a different country every month. I'm just a free-lance orchestra player, and over my years of doing this, I suppose I've logged a lot of miles.
For several periods of time and in several different states, I was contracted with orchestras at least 60 miles away from my home, requiring about six or seven trips a month for rehearsals and performances. This is very normal for classical musicians. For a while, I traveled to another state. A few times I got on a plane to do so!
These days I don't do quite as much of those kinds of gigs, though living in Los Angeles, an "in-town" gig can take as much traveling time as an "out-of-town" gig did when I lived in Nebraska, Colorado, Illinois or Indiana. Incidentally, such gigs are a wonderful way to get to know fellow colleagues, carpooling.
How far have you had to travel for a gig or performance?
A decent mileage reimbursement isn't as common as it used to be...
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