"Shoveling Shit," is "Paying Your Dues."
Advice for the Up and Coming
Editors note, this post is in
response to a young performers comments about his experiences
while on the road.....
what lots of young folks call "shoveling shit," troupers call
"paying dues." People seem to have this fantasy of joining a
show and immediately being the "star"-with honors, accolades,
and the admiration of all the old-timers there. They somehow
think they are going to "save the show" by just going up on the
stage and strutting their stuff, then sitting back with a tall
cool drink between shows, set out their umbrella chair to watch
the up and down, and maybe even get a driver to take them to the
next spot. Unless your name is Loretta Lynn or Clint Black or
something, it just doesn't work that way. Those people work the
grandstands, and travel in their million-dollar motor homes.
Even then, they did "shovel shit" back in their early days in
the music industry.
With plenty of training and hard work, you may eventually get
yourself into a circus, as a performer. Even that takes time to
work up to "star" status. In the circus, you don't have to set
up or strike, or shovel anything. It's all done for you. But be
prepared to dole out most of your earnings as "tips" to the
people who do the work and wait on you. The easier the life, the
more it's going to cost.
The carnival is a rough business, friend. ROUGH. We all pitch in
and do what has to be done. If the show is under a top, you may
get woke up at 3 am to come outside in your skivvies and help
tighten the guy ropes. You may find yourself out in a raging
rainstorm, pulling those ropes, while your expensive tux gets
soaked and ruined. I've been there. Most of us have. You may
think you have it rough, but wait till you own your own show, or
even manage one. Along around 2025 or 2035, you'll reminisce on
these days and tell the young folks, "Yessir, I paid my dues,
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Advise for the Up
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