Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What I learned about the art business from going to a Monster Truck Jam

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I had the fun of taking my kids to a Monster Truck Jam this past weekend.  I'm not necessarily a fan, but my kids, who came pre-wired to like anything with wheels, are huge fans of the Monster Trucks (and NASCAR too for that matter).  Part of the joy of being a parent is taking your kids to do fun things they want to do.  It wasn't necessarily my choice for weekend entertainment, but I must say that I liked it better than I thought I would.

Here's what I found intriguing: the drivers of the trucks were genuinely thankful of their fans.  I admit, I'm jaded.  Whether it's fair or not, the few celebrity entertainers that have behaved badly (Lindsay, Charlie, M. Vick et al) have turned me off to the rest of them. Needless to say, I had to rethink that this weekend.

The Swift family talking with Pablo Huffaker, the driver of Gravedigger
Hubby and I took the peeps ahead of time to the "pit party", which is a meet and greet. Fans can get up close and personal with their favorite drivers and trucks.  My boys loved getting to see the trucks.  During the live event, the drivers would take a moment in between stunts and races to engage the crowd, either to give thanks, wave to fans, or do a few crowd pleasing acrobatic truck moves.  Finally, as we were leaving, the announcer let us know the drivers would once again be meeting with fans and signing autographs. 

When was the last time you went to a major sporting event or movie premiere and saw the "players" doing all that to keep the fans happy?

So why am I blogging about this?  Going to the Monster Truck rally taught me:

  1. You can never be too big or too important to thank your fans.  
  2. Taking time out to speak with fans of your work is always appreciated.
  3. Be sincere.  Fans of your work want to learn more and appreciate you taking the time to engage with them.
  4. Be gracious.  Fans are the reason you can continue to do what you want to do.

Wow, who knew seeing a bunch of trucks do slap wheelies and big air would make me a better artist.

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