If you ever wonder how an independent children's music performer books a tour... well... so do I. :o)
In my experience over the past few years doing this full-time, a lot of the more substantial trips have been built around whatever comes up first. For example, two years ago a school in Utah wanted me to come and perform there. They couldn't fly me in so it wasn't really practical to go all the way there just for that one school. But I took a chance and booked the assembly anyway, and then thankfully was able to hook up with another 20 gigs or so in the same general area (or on the way there and back) to correspond with that time frame. It was definitely worth the effort and most of those places have since asked me back, but it was quite a lot of work to coordinate all of that in the first place.
Well, thinking back on that, it feels like a piece of cake compared to what I'm looking at right now. Back in 2006, I was booked in advance for several libraries in the Baton Rouge area for June of 2008. I knew the day was coming when Roseann and I would have to plan for that trip and plot a course there and back. That day has come... The good news is that I've had a number of inquiries from schools and other events in places like L.A., San Diego, Kansas City, Phoenix and elsewhere, so we have a bit of a head start to include those places in the path for this trip. The bad news is, well, gosh, it's an enormous amount of area and population to cover. It will no doubt be an incredible amount of e-mailing, phone calling, postcard mailing, faxing and other means of contacting people in these areas.
So to answer the original question about how an independent children's musician books a tour (at least this independent children's musician, for this tour)... he asks for help.
I know there are a lot of people who read this blog who have kids in elementary school, and there might even be a few who know booking agents in some of these areas. If you live in or near the target areas (see below) and have any contacts at elementary schools, libraries, day cares, parks & recreation departments, churches, corporate events, festivals, fairs, etc., please let me know and let your contacts there know that I'll be coming through. Any contacts you can share with me or plugs you can pass on will be very much appreciated. There are printable PDF flyers at this page with some basic information about what I offer. They can be passed on to your school's principal or PTA/PTO members or to your local children's librarian or to your parks department's event coordinator, etc.
Here is the list of target dates and areas (subject to a little bit of adjustment):
Seattle: March 24-27
Portland: March 29 - April 1
Medford/Redding: April 4-5
Bay Area: April 9-15
L.A./San Diego: April 18-25
Las Vegas: April 29 - May 2
Phoenix/Tucson: May 6-10
El Paso: May 14-16
San Antonio/Austin: May 21-23
Houston: May 27-30
Baton Rouge: June 2-19 (already booked for several shows)
Dallas: June 21-25
Oklahoma City/Tulsa: June 27-28
Branson/Springfield: June 29 - July 6
Kansas City: July 8-11
Colorado Springs: July 15-18
Denver: July 19-23
Salt Lake City: July 26-31
Ogden/Logan: August 1-2
Boise: August 5-6
Tri-Cities, WA: August 7
Seattle, Portland, Spokane, Boise, Tri-Cities, etc.: The rest of August and September
If you have any inquiries or information to share, please contact me. I'll be glad to send out promo materials as needed.
It's also helpful to know if anyone can offer us a safe place to park our RV for the night in any of those areas. And if so, your kids might end up getting an impromptu Eric Herman concert in your living room.
Thanks so much,