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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.

Finally, My Story Of The Worst Gig Ever

Kathryn Sloat

Okay, I promised weeks ago that I would tell the story of my new definition of the worst gig ever.

I was called, very last minute, to play a wedding reception in New Jersey. I sent an email to the contractor afterwards explaining what happened, so I'm just reposting that. I think it sums it up pretty nicely. Keep in mind this was one of those extremely hot days in August - it was close to 100 degrees outside. 


Dear ____________________, 

I just wanted to explain to you what happened this afternoon, as you will undoubtedly get complaints about me from the bride. 

I didn't know where I was to be playing, so when I first got there, the staff had me set up in the lobby. When they came and asked me to play outside on the sidewalk, I told them I didn't want to bring my harp outside and expose it to the 100 degree weather. The pianist and I agreed that I would play in the lobby until 6:30, and since that was the agreed-upon end time, I thought it would be an okay compromise. I played in the lobby for awhile. After more of the guests had arrived I was told in no uncertain terms that I was to play outside or leave (that was when I called you). I saw that there would be no compromising, so I brought my harp outside and started playing there. After about 5-10 minutes it started to rain, so I immediately stopped playing and covered my harp in order to protect it. 

When I waited around to receive my check I spoke to the bride, who berated me in front of her guests, told me she had no interest in hearing any explanation from me and that she would not pay me anything. 

I am very sorry to cause all of this trouble, it was certainly not my intention. I was not aware that you had signed a contract stipulating that I was to be playing outside, as you didn't relay that information to me. I am also very sorry that the bride didn't get what she wanted, but I can't say I'm sorry for protecting my harp, as it is my only instrument and I can't afford to buy another one. 

Again, I apologize. Sincerely, 




Well. Ya know who I am. 


So what do you think? Was I too bitchy? As you may remember from previous posts a threat to the safety of my harp is one of the only things that can really set me off, and I realize I can be somewhat rude when it comes to protecting my instrument. I never got a response from the contractor, so I'm assuming I'll never be hired by her again.


Also... Damn, I have never seen a bride in such a foul mood on their wedding day. After she finished with me she began shouting at the band about something else. Perhaps this was not someone I could have pleased, regardless of the circumstances. 


Do you think I did the right thing? Does anyone else have a story like this?