"It's called show business.... so show up and take care of your business."
We often think of "show business" as some unruly, willy-nilly, free-for-all. We think of entertainers as these untouchable and elevated people who have nothing to think of except their performances and they live in some kind of fantasy world where, if you "make it" then you're excused from overall responsibility.
Today, more than any other time, "show business", the word "business" is just as important, if not more, than the word "show".
Why? Because if the business doesn't get handled, then the show ain't happening. Period.
So what is business? It's everything, even the playing: returning correspondence via email, phone, texts. Being on time. Being absolutely prepared. Dressing correctly. Supporting and serving the music. Doing your job. Doing what you say you are going to do. And further... maintaining a vibrant social media presence, keeping up with the trends, etc....
I am reminded of all of this as I observe musicians in various states of preparedness for performances. I am amazed at some of them, how astute and ready they are. Others, it's the total opposite, they behave as if some magical force is going to tie up all the loose ends they haven't bothered to take care of.
When I'm a bandleader, I am acutely aware of the musicians I hire and their business standard. If I hire a player, and I've sent them music in advance, it's natural to expect them the have it prepared. And if they haven't prepared, I will never call them again. If they are prepared, then their number is on my list when it comes time to make calls.
It's so simple, yet so easy to slack off. Most of the things that a musician can do to make their playing experience better, to give themselves and the band a better chance of making some actual music, are not difficult but just require caring enough to do them. In my mind and in my experience, this is what separates great musicians from so-so musicians. The ones who know that if they want to sound good, then they have to know the music well in order to have a chance at making some good music, and also to show the leader some respect.
Do yourself a big favor. Handle your business, leave no stone unturned and you'll see a big difference in your life.