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New York, New York


A New York harpist trying to figure things out - and the mishaps and adventures that inevitably ensue.

My Most Bizarre Gig Ever

Kathryn Sloat

A few weeks ago I received a last-minute email (through GigSalad) asking if I would come and play a corporate event. I had nothing going on that day, so of course I said yes. When I spoke with the event coordinator over the phone, my only clue as to how this gig was going to go was that she told me I could "dress crazy." Not knowing exactly what she meant by this, I opted for my usual black, and donned a thick gray sweater as I would be playing outside. 

The event, hosted by a high-end furniture company, was a party that they apparently throw every year for their clients. There was food, an archery competition, and lots of booze. My post, however, was not with the main party. Instead, I was instructed to drive a few minutes on a dirt path into the middle of a field, where I found this:

Yes, that is an actual stuffed bear.

Yes, that is an actual stuffed bear.

Turns out, I was to be a part of a photobooth backdrop. The guests were bussed out in groups (on a bus that was brightly painted with flowers and looked like it had time-traveled there from the 1960s - I wish I had gotten a picture of it) to find this setting, and me, playing my harp. Not only this, but there were actors around pretending to be members of some tripped-out cult that the guests were being indoctrinated into. I played music, but my purpose there was pretty much to be an oddity for the guests to take pictures with. The wind was really strong, and after having my stand blown over for the third time, the cameraman said "You know, you don't really have to play songs. Just make some sounds and it'll be great." So.... I sat in this strange scene and basically improvised for about six hours. It was a good thing that I stopped trying to play actual songs, because it was not warm out and my fingers became too numb to do much but gliss and do various other extended techniques that I thought might be fun to hear. 

It was seriously the weirdest thing I've ever done in my life.

Also... there were goats. 

Okay, I got a picture of the front of the bus. Crazy, right??

Okay, I got a picture of the front of the bus. Crazy, right??

Just a random pack of goats, running loose around the place. Strangely enough, the goats had zero interest in my harp. I was expecting to have to beat them back every few minutes, but they pretty much ignored it. I guess it looked too big to eat, and eating was all they seemed to be interested in doing. 


Did I mention that everyone was pretending to worship the goats? They were pretending to worship the goats. At least, I think they were pretending.