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Getting The Books Back

March 23, 2011

Getting the books back is more about what you do when you hand out the books than what you do when you want them back.

Most schools and community theatres I work with make people either give a check as a deposit or sign something agreeing to pay the cost of the books if they don’t return them. When dealing with kids, this is especially important.

I feel weird advocating this, since in most cases, it violates the agreement with your rights provider, but sometimes the best thing with pit musicians is to copy the books and give them the copies, especially considering the huge cost of replacing them. I have a couple of pro pit playing friends who pull the books out of their spiral binding, scan them as pdfs, rebind the original, and print their own copies. This is shady legally, but it works well for them, especially if they ever wind up doing the show again, because the music is easily accessible to them at all times.

I always bring a bag full of erasers to closing night and leave one on each music stand in the pit, with a request that people don’t erase during the show itself. (It’s a little distracting to see a pit feverishly erasing, then sweeping the eraser dust off their books, stands and stand lights shaking and rattling)

A Summer camp I worked at had a work day after closing night, where one of the many jobs you could have was erasing books. That was sort of awesome.

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