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SOME PEOPLE!!!!

  • David
    David Ice

    Okay, here's one for you....has anybody else dealt with people like this?  Never in 32 years of playing.....

    I was playing this weekend at a wedding show, the largest one in the country.  A beautiful blonde young woman came up to me--very Paris Hilton-ish, with a clipped British accent.

    "Can I play?"

    Excuse me?

    "Can I play?"

    I asked her, "are you harpist?"

    "Yes."

    So I got up and invited her to play.   As soon as she sat down, it was very apparent she had never touched a harp before in her life.  Her friend snapped a quick picture on her IPhone.

    She asked me, "How much are these things?"

    I was starting to get very annoyed--I mean, I'm more than willing to let people pose with my harp, or even stage a photo with them appearing to play....but she obviously LIED to my face about being a harpist.

    I told her, "this harp would be about $30,000 now."

    She quickly put the harp back, jumped up, and quickly walked off, without even saying thank you.

    My assistant was as dumbfounded as I was.  He told me (and I'm sorry if this sounds sexist or stereotyping) "many beautiful young women just assume they can do anything they want, and have anything they want.  They feel the world owes it to them, and everybody else be damned."

    All I can say is that it's a good thing, sweetie, that I didn't catch your name.....because if I had, I would have let each and every vendor at that show (and there were over 1000) about you.  Because if you'd lie to my face about something as "minor" as being a harpist, then you'd lie about anything--and everything.  I pity the poor people who will be working with this budding sociopath.

    Then again, she may not really be getting married...except in her own imagination!  Pity the groom!

     

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    replies to "SOME PEOPLE!!!!"
    • Kay
      Kay Lister

      LOL!!!!!  I'm sorry David and yes, that would really tick me off too . . . but I am picturing the whole thing and I can't stop laughing . . . especially the look on your face!

      ;-) Kay

       

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    • CT
      CT Tendinae

      Wow, that's awful! I'm always willing to let people try my harp, but usually, I stand very near or help hold the harp for them. If you assume someone's a harpist and assume they know how to handle it - and they drop it...

      I don't understand why anyone would lie about it, they get discovered in no time and what's bad about admitting they just want a picture of themselves with the harp? Alright, it might be scary to ask, but I think lying about it is scarier...
      Indeed, some people... :(

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    • Misty
      Misty Harrison

      the thing is not that she's a young woman who thinks she can have anything she wants

      it's that she clearly thought you were just some worker with a tool

      there was no recognition of your skill or investment

      that's what gets me about a lot of rude things people do when I'm playing and many of them are not young women

      there are people out there who think you're just like the person packing produce in the grocery store with a little trolley  small investment with tools that might or not belong to you 

      it's insulting 

      too bad you couldn't have slapped her face though of course that would not be okay but it must be tempting 

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    • Misty
      Misty Harrison

      next time say you're not allowed to let people play while you're working but next time you have a break they are welcome to

      someone like that woman won't wait around

      or you could say you need a $1,000 deposit for any damage they might do but if she was a harpist that could get around quickly

      then again what harpist in their right mind would come up and act like that even if they were to ask to play your instrument surely they would speak more politely and introduce themselves or give some background 

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    • David
      David Ice

      I must say that this all happened so fast--and I always seem to get the crazies--that I literally didn't have any time to react.  The whole transaction (once she sat down) was over in 10 seconds.

      I try to be as helpful and accomodating as I can...and I think we've all been approached by folks who ask, "can I touch it?" or who ask if they can pluck a string (and it always seems to be a wire string!) but this just came out of the blue and broadsided me!

      And it was a wedding show and it was VERY noisy, with about 10,000 people milling about the convention center.  I never would had done this on a paying gig!  And I have had other harpists come up and chat--"Oh, I studied years ago with Mrs. XYZ" or something.  But never this.  Oh well, it keeps life interesting.....

      Like the wedding I did on Saturday.  Another one for the record books.  I got the cue...and played the 6 bridesmaids down the aisle, and then the bride.  And suddenly the bride and I realized at the same time that there was no groom!  For some reason he and the officiant had missed their cues, and were still chatting in a side room.  So that bride walked down the aisle and there was nobody waiting for her at the end!

      Fortunately they were a happy middle-aged couple and just laughed it off....

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    • Sylvia
      Sylvia Clark

      FINGERNAILS.  I let  a guy "try" my harp once, and he promptly ran his fingernails into the board.  I removed him post-haste.  When I once let a harpist try my harp, she promptly put down the E and B sharps, which I never use ...because on a 15, the tension is so great on the rods...(after I broke a B rod once I never used them again).  I gasped and informed her the E and B were not acceptable...then I watched her like a hawk till she was done doing glissandos.  She didn't seem to know any music to play.  I don't allow trials anymore.

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    • Sarah
      Sarah Mullen

      I'm sorry.  I don't even want to start talking about all the idiotic things I've had people do while I'm performing.  Just thinking about it I can feel my blood pressure rising.  I'm just curious about one thing:  I've only been playing full time professionally for eight years, but it seems to be that in that short amount of time I've seen more and more people act like they can do whatever they want, whenever they want.  I've even had people (adults, not children) complain to the venue when they tried to grab the harp, and I've pushed their hand away.  As if it was their right to just walk up and grab me or my gear, and how dare I ever say no to them.  So my question is, is it getting worse out there, or is it just getting to me more and more, and therefore feels worse?

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    • Evelyn
      Evelyn Tournquist

      I've grown so weary of people standing around in groups literally shoving their i-phones and cameras in my face, filming and taking photos and following me around without even having the courtesy to ask if I mind.



      I have started telling these people that my image is copyrighted and that they must pay me a $5.00 royalty to take my photo, film me, or use my harp as a prop. You should see the looks on their faces! Most of them just leave, but I've actually had people fork over the $5.

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    • Misty
      Misty Harrison

      does seem like it's happening more but I'm sure people have stories about things like this from long ago too

      I am always disgusted by the way people think we're there for them to use however they like and as if we don't have any training or investment in what we do and what we do it with

      there are so many nice and friendly people who love the harp but it's the few oddballs that really frustrate things

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    • David
      David Ice

      Wow....I'll have to think on that...."take your photo with a harpist, $5."  I like it!

      What I have found very frustrating is that, as a professional filmmaker, I have some very good equipment. People with their Iphones and their little Flip video cameras, etc., can take all the video they want, anywhere, and nobody bats an eye.  But if I show up with a good, professional looking video camera or a digital SLR, security is called, even if I'm only shooting personal tourist stuff.  I've had to tell them that there is no law outlawing the purchase of a good camera, and I'm not shooting anything for commercial use.  But I've been aghast at the hostile attitudes.  I'm on a public sidewalk, but they try to intimidate me and demand my ID, etc, when all I'm doing is taking pictures of a public street!

      Back on topic,  I did have one father bring his little 2 year old up at a gig and say, "See, Susie, isn't it pretty?  It's a harp!  Doesn't it sound pretty?  Now grab a string and pull it..." and little Susie's dad grabs a wire string and put her hands on it.  WHILE I was playing.  Would he tell his little darling to "see the pretty grand piano?  Now, bang on the keys and hear the sounds it makes" while some pianist was playing? 

      Honestly, SOME PEOPLE......

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    • Carl
      Carl Swanson

      David- You should have stopped playing, looked at the little girl and said, "See Susie how rude your daddy is? If he was polite, he would have waited until I was finished playing and then asked permission to touch my harp. This is an important lesson for you sweetie."

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    • Margaret
      Margaret Vance

      If you touch my harp,

      My real expensive harp,

      I just don't think you understand.

      "Cause if you touch my harp,

      My real expensive harp,

      I might have to break your little hand!

      (with apoplgies to Billy Ray Cyrus)

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    • Christian
      Christian Frederick

      I would love to hear you tell this story in person, as you are a wonderful storyteller.


      I got a good chuckle reading this.

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    • Sylvia
      Sylvia Clark

      This thread is bringing up more memories.  When the youth symphony was just starting here, this lady called me, and the gist of it was...since I had two harps, could they have one to use for their symphony?  I practically dropped the phone.  I told her I had two because I use two.  Also, a girl came up when I was playing at a church and talked harp....  I told her in the conversation that I had two harps, and she said...since I had two, could she HAVE one?  I told her she could have a harp the same way I got mine...work and save her money.

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    • Sarah
      Sarah Mullen

      I have said that to parents.  Although much more common for me are the people who want their picture taken with the harp.  I'll get a big group and they'll all walk up and try to crowd around the harp, and sometimes put their arm around me, while I'm playing.  I tell them to wait until I'm done playing.  If they don't I make a horrible face for the camera.  As for the arm around me, while I'm playing, without my permission, I just shove.  NO TOUCHING THE HARPIST is a firm rule of mine.  I've actually had people truly taken aback to discover they can't treat me like a prop.  Again, these are adults, not children.  I'm nicer to children.  The young ones may not know any better.  Adults have no conceivable excuse. 

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    • Misty
      Misty Harrison

      people have done that to me too!

      i think they think when you're playing you're not always using the last few wires all the time and maybe that's a convenient place to try a string

      several times i had dad's with kids do that and i was surprised but when you're playing it's hard to say no

      i played for a long time at a fancy resort in the 4 corners area and guests had to be kept happy within reason

      they couldn't take extreme liberties but i would probably have lost my job for getting too upset with people who touched one wire string

      but it was upseting to be sure!

      i don't mind people touching the harp if they ask and i say it's okay and i don't mind having an experienced harpist play my instrument but i do expect them to ask and not to play it while i'm playing

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    • Kay
      Kay Lister

      It's kind of like when my boys were little and I took them to their "well baby "check at the dr.'s office. . . some little kid with a HORRIBLE cough and STUFF running from his nose, would ALWAYS come up to me and want to hang over one of my little guys - the parent TOTALLY  ignoring the whole thing.  Well, I soon stopped that and made sure my voice was loud enough that the parent could hear me say "Sweetheart, I wouldn't get too close to the baby, he's very sick".  Boy they pulled them in like fish on a line.  SO, in harp land you might want to let those flyby grabbers that if a strings lets go, it could make a very bloody slice.

      Kay ;-)

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    • Carl
      Carl Swanson

      I once saw a sign at a gift shop that said, UNATTENDED CHILDREN WILL BE SOLD INTO SLAVERY. Maybe we need a sign next to the harp that says, people, or children, who touch the harp without my permission will be sold into slavery.

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    • David
      David Ice

      I LOVE THAT POEM, Margaret!!!!

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    • Evelyn
      Evelyn Tournquist

      I have finally had to put my foot down about unwanted hands touching my harp. Because it was getting completely out of control I've grown eyes all around my head so I can usually head them off at the pass.


      For those who slip through the gate, I inform them kindly and professionally that they should never touch a musician's valuable instrument without their permission. Nine times out of ten, while spoken to the kids, it is directed at the adults. They generally get the hint and go away.

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