The way I learned it was: Early is on-time. On-time is late. Late is fired.
When we first hear this, it’s usually because we need to hear it. But, did we understand the importance of the lesson?
When you’re running late, your mind is likely imagining what kind of reaction you’ll get from your peers when you arrive….you’re going through a list of excuses or rationalizations about why you were late…you’re moving at a quickened pace. All of these things generate anxiety which can’t be turned off once you arrive. And, then you’re supposed to play music?….music that makes other people feel good while you’re feeling bad?
When you’re running late, someone else is waiting on YOU. Your tardiness is producing anxiety for them, too. Will you make the downbeat? Will the venue’s management be upset if we start late? CAN WE START LATE?
Why not leave EXTRA time and have it to spend warming up or reading or relaxing before the gig? It’s the gift you give yourself and others. In fact, the people that hire you will probably appreciate it and continue to hire you. You’ll probably do a better job because you’ll be thinking about music instead of fashioning excuses. And, the likelihood of an accident goes way down when you’re relaxed and in control.
Commit to it and help everyone out. Be an adult. Choose. Or don’t and deal with the consequences. You know why James Moody was James Moody? He was a PROFESSIONAL in EVERY way.