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When Sparks Fly

It’s Thursday evening and another week is winding down. You decide to meet with friends at a nearby watering hole, have some food, and share some war stories over a drink. Sometime around eight o’clock a band ambles onto the stage to begin their first set. As the musical group works through their first few numbers, a smattering of polite applause from around the room encourages them on. Little by little the musicians get a little more adventurous with their song selections. Individual solos become more pronounced, lyrics are more inviting for audience participation. Private conversations between patrons slowly become less prominent, and gradually more eyes focus on the artists before them on stage.

Then imperceptibly, there’s that moment. In one magical instant something inexplicable happens when audience and artist suddenly become one. No one can say when or how it occurs, but when it does happen on those rare occasions, an electricity fills the room that brings total strangers together in pure joy. Everyone in the room becomes a vital cog in a continuing stream of energy that drives artists and audiences alike into uncharted territory.

When the passion and talent of a performer causes them to freely give away every musical fiber of themselves, people will give notice of appreciation in a manner that only those who gave witness to the event can understand. This is the unique power of live performance, and the beauty lies in the fact that it encompasses all genres and demographics. You never know where it will occur, or who with. But, it’s not something you can consciously cause or go looking for. You just need to be available to the eventuality, and on those very fortunate days, you will revel in having experienced the phenomenon first hand. Any artist can tell you that when they have poured every ounce of themselves out to a waiting public, sparks will fly, and the energy it creates will feed the fire.

When was the last time you got anything like that from a TV show?

So, get out to those bars and venues and enjoy the moments for their own sake. Every night someone is putting it all out there for you to grasp and keep. This is what defines StageWages as a movement rather than any kind of service. Our intent is to promote the idea that live performance must not be allowed wither and die, whether from indifference or outside forces. If you believe that art defines who we are as a society, then we owe to ourselves to actively stoke the fires of creativity. If you are an artist, working or not, we invite you to join us at www.stagewages.com. We’ll happily promote your talent without fees of any kind. If you are a fan of music or an other performance art form, please follow us and like us on Facebook and Twitter. Together, let’s breath life back into the joy that is live performance.

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We’ve Seen This Movie Before

How many iconic local venues have to close down before we realize what we’re missing? Community bars and taverns that were once considered hot spots for discovering new stars in music and entertainment, have been feeling the financial crunch of our indifference. In a recent interview, one former owner of a Toronto club said that patrons’ reluctance to pay $5 or $10 cover charges to see bands was forcing them out of the business of local entertainment. “Customers who would come for dinner or drinks didn’t want to pay cover charges to see live music” he said. “But they don’t realize that those charges go directly to paying for the talent.”

Now, there are places where you can see live music while you eat or accept a drink minimum, but why should a small fee keep us from witnessing emerging talent in our own back yard? When we go to our local movie theatre we gladly fork over the $13 + per ticket for 90 minutes of film and about 30 minutes of ads. We’ll also pay exorbitant prices for snacks while we’re there. Don’t get me wrong; I love film as much as anyone. I even went to film school a long time ago, but I for one have grown tired of seeing the same narrative regurgitated in a new package by Hollywood studios.

When you think about it, paying 10 bucks to sit with friends and perhaps witnessing what could be the next big act in music, is an exciting, and often rewarding prospect. You never know when you’re going to catch lightning in a bottle some night, where a band just clicks on all cylinders and really connects with the audience. When was the last time that happened to you in a movie theatre?

So next time you’re thinking about another evening of ‘boy hits obstacle, boy meets girl, boy defeats obstacle, boy an girl ride off in the sunset’, why not think about ‘get off your chair, clap your hands, stomp your feet’, and really enjoy an artist that’s putting heart and soul into every performance? You might get hooked. Promoting the hard work and energy of artists is the very reason why our website exists. We need your help as a StageWages member to carry on the legacy of musical talent in Ontario. There’s always strength in numbers, and we want to count you as part of the force.

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GETTING LOCAL ENTERTAINMENT BACK IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Local artists are the fire that breaths life into the entertainment industry. Having an unquenchable thirst for entertainment in all it’s forms, but never possessing any real artistic talent of my own, I have committed myself to the pursuit of showcasing the world of undiscovered talent.

I have had the good fortune to travel parts of the world where performance art thrives as a cultural staple. With StageWages I hope to provide endless opportunities for artists to gather and be seen and heard, by each other and members of the public who starve for new creative talent as much as I do. 

Welcome to StageWages.com, where the artist is centre stage. I wish you all every success you so richly deserve.

Stuart Englander – Founder