In larger cities, you have many different performing groups, many different studios where people take classes, a variety of cultural centers, etc. Here, it seems like the same small group of people show up to the same events. It appears to be putting a lot of pressure on people to compete for the same small set of resources and gigs. I know that in other communities, people are just as competitive for gigs and students so I suppose it's part of human nature.
There have been maybe 5-6 African Drum and Dance groups that I've been in and I'm not saying it's true in all cases but in SOME, it frustrates me because it's almost like high school cliques. If you're in one group, then SOME people want to get mad and act like they can control and possess you.
A while ago, in one group, there was a big meeting and the conversation was basically, if you want to be in this group, you can no longer perform or play for any other African Drum and Dance group.
Furthermore, from what I can tell, all the groups are totally different in style and presentation and I just don't even see the point in being such a small community and fighting with each other especially when black people have so many problems to begin with just surviving in this world. Not to mention the fact that most of the groups are run by women who can't figure out how to get along. Yeah okay I said it.
Yes, I get into arguments and fights with people and sometimes my fellow drummers drive me crazy and piss me off, but all the same drummers seem to find away to get along enough to play in all these different groups EVEN WHEN WE DO HAVE FIGHTS AND DISAGREEMENTS. I could be mad as hell at one of my men but I still show up and play with them. I may not have too many words for them on a personal level but I still try to show up and play even while hot as fish grease on the inside..
In my day job, there are people I absolutely cannot stand. I show up, do my job and I don't hang out with them pretending like we are BFF's. It's hi and bye and whatever is needed to get the job done. PERIOD.
The aforementioned notwithstanding, I have probably pissed some people off and had to walk away from groups because the people were on some bullshit. So in that way I understand why we can't just all be in one big ass production all working together. Apparently Hakuna Matata only works at Disney.
As a side note. Sometimes everyone is not meant to be together and work together. A lot of people have different visions for what they are trying to do with their lives and so in that way, I understand why we can't always simply be together. I have had to leave groups and venture out not because I don't like someone but because my goals and visions for my life are not in alignment with the organization. I mean I think it's wonderful if you want to share culture with schools and play for dance classes but my dreams are way bigger...I want to make money and BUILD schools or at least fund organizations that do. So in that way, I understand that we don't have compatible mindsets and that I just can't get down with or stay around small thinking people. No hard feelings. I have big dreams and big plans. I'm on a mission from God and it doesn't include doing small time shit forever. I don't have a lot of patience because I have goals to accomplish. I'm not that stay in kindergarten in perpetuity type chick.
But, in this case, what I'm talking about is people who don't want to work together just because they don't like each other or because there's just too much ALPHA/jealousy and everyone wants to lead and be in charge rather than figure out how to be a team and make compromises. To me, that's different. One day last year, this girl I got into a huge blowout with a few years ago (and hadn't seen since), showed up to a workshop I was playing for. Just because she and I had a major disagreement and are not cool, didn't stop me from playing for her as she came across the dance floor. I mean COME ON I left high school a long time ago. I know how to be professional for a gig.
The more I am out in the community performing and building my brand and my fan base, the better it is for your business. BUT, I know you don't know a lot about business and don't see it that way. So we'll just have to agree to disagree because there's no way, I'm going to quit performing with other groups and put all my eggs in your basket (cuz your basket ain't big enough to command that). You are not a well run fully functional fully funded billion dollar operation such as Cirque Du Soleil where I would have some guarantees and can afford to take that kind of chance.
In fact, some of ya'll not only don't know anything about business, you have a complete deficit when it comes to social intelligence and knowing how to manage, inspire and lead people...puleeze. AINT NOBODY GOT TIME FOR YOU AND YOUR MEGALOMANIA!
And guess what? I'm not a guy. So none of your ho tactics work either. I myself can dance...maybe not like you, but I can dance. I appreciate you as a dancer but you ain't making me feel some kind of way because I'm playing for you. And, in fact, the beauty of being a drummer is I don't need a dancer to be able to play and make music. Maybe that's what the guys need to enjoy what they do but I don't need you to bring color to my world. Again, maybe the guys like playing for dancers because it makes them feel like gods, but I'm different. I'm not like them. Maybe they want to suck up to you and impress you. I don't. I'm impressed with myself already as a person and don't need you to gas up my head with your bullshit.
Yeah I may support you and love to watch you shine but I'm not a dude. You having an ass and being able to shake it does nothing for me. Flashing your body, flirting, spreading your buttcheeks, taking your clothes off and dancing sexually like the sluttiest prostitute...none of that works on me. Yeah...I see some of ya'll and how you try to play with the drummers' minds.
I'm not down for fuckery and childishness.
If you want exclusivity then you pay for it. PERIOD.