With two weeks left on my journey, this past week was make or break for holding a show in Sweden. All that effort trying to contact venues over the course of several weeks amounted to two solid leads. The first was a cozy restaurant in Lund named Spisen, run by a Danish businessman, that holds the occasional Saturday night jazz jam. Twice I visited the owner, from whom I felt friendly vibes, but each time he regretfully informed me that he had not yet listened to my CD. Undeterred, I stepped inside the joint on Thursday crossing my fingers for good news.
Sauntering up to the bar with my most charming persona, I smiled at the waiter and asked to see the boss. “So, did he like the CD?” “One moment.” I stood waiting as he walked into the back room, only to return moments later. “The boss says he is very sorry but he is busy right now. Can you come back tomorrow?” No, I thought. You can’t get rid of me that easily. “But did he listen to the CD yet? Please ask him,” I insisted. Once again waiting, I started to get the feeling that this was not headed in the right direction. Returning slowly, the waiter came over to me with unfortunate news: he still had not listened to the CD! Now, in my opinion, three follow-up reminders are sufficient impetus to compel a given action. In other words, it became clear that he had little intention of entertaining the possibility of me giving a performance.
“Will you please ask him to talk for a minute? I leave in ten days!” If this fellow planned to blow me off, he was going to have to do the deed himself. He came forward, wearing a puzzlingly calm look, as if he had no understanding of the gravity of the subject at hand. Greeting me warmly, he apologized for not listening to the CD. He had been busy, yada yada yada. I tried to convey urgency but it was lost on his indifferent demeanor. “Ten days? Oh, I can’t do anything that soon. It would have to be next month.” I froze in disappointment. The painful irony of this statement – I first came to him three weeks ago, when “next month” would have been *now.*
“Are you coming back next month?” he asks. I shake my head. I’m here now. Perhaps I need to be less polite about such matters in the future, because clearly I did not convey to him the urgency of my project. After this exchange I’m not sure what to feel. I was not rejected, I was just never accepted. I was wait-listed. The only difference being that a wait list eventually delivers a solid answer, and here I am holding a big question mark. Out of all the emails I sent and places I visited about having a show, I never received a single no. I was simply ignored. Well, I just have to brush it off. There’s one more possible venue. Perhaps I’ll have more luck there.