Before the story, a preface:
Cold calling is one of the most awkward things entrepreneurial artists (or entrepreneurs in general) have to do. You have to introduce yourself, be cordial, ask if it’s a convenient time to talk, explain why you’re calling and make a pitch all in twenty seconds! It’s a very humbling experience. Cold calling can shrink your ego to its smallest size, faster than anything.
Which is why this is a funny story:
Just when I thought my ego had been beaten enough from all my cold calling, I get an email. It’s a performance opportunity! This is exciting. It’s rare that performance opportunities come to me. I usually have to go to them!
He asks if I’m interested in putting on a performance with his orchestra. An orchestra?! Wow, yes, of course I’m interested! He contacted me through my website-form, and left his contact information.
After some bounced email messages, I call him and leave a message. He calls me back shortly after. The conversation goes something like this:
Him: Hello, it’s < > calling, you contacted me?
Me: Oh hi! Yes, it’s Chris Donnelly. I just left you a voice message. Thanks for calling me back!
Him: Hi Chris, how can I help you?
Me: I got your email message, but I was having problems with your email address. My messages kept on bouncing back! So I thought I should call….
Him: Oh…. but you contacted me first, so what can I do for you?
Me: Ummm, actually you contacted me first. It’s Chris Donnelly, pianist from Toronto. You sent me a message through my website?
Him: Oh…. Sorry…remind me who you are again?
There it is. My first ever ‘cold return.’ I never thought they could exist. But they do! A harsh reminder to artists that even when they’re thinking of you, they’re not! He remembered me eventually, after I re-introduced myself and explained why he first contacted me. We may even work together!