HELP! Midgets in band. Wife says I'm exploiting them.

Hi guys,

I've got myself in quite a pickle and I need your advice. Up until around December last year I had been performing solo at local clubs and bars, but with little to no success. Honestly, i think no one just wanted to see me, and that's fair enough, it takes time, I can handle it.

At my wifes works xmas party however I met a fellow guitarist and his wife who is a very good singer. So we got talkin, played a bit and earlier this month the 3 of us did a gig together. There was a huge crowd and we even got a review in the local rag, a very good one. It was great.

Well thats just wonderful your probably saying... well wait, this couple are midgets. But let me stress that doesn't bother me at all! I couldn't care less how tall or in this case small they are. BUT The problem I have exists because of my wife. She says the only reason people are showing up is because of the midgets. Not to see me. She has accused me of exploiting them. I don't believe I am!

She said the fact I called the band "Santa's Rejects" is extremely offensive. However, this was a band choice and we all felt it fitted with our heavy image. Even still, she says I need to grow up.

Am I really being a jerk? What do you guys think? Ditch the band?

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Do you get the 2 'Stars' to dress up in little green outfits and get them to wear long pointy ears?
now that's rock'n'roll

Lee

Not yet but i'll run it by them.

i used to have a mate who is a midget... just on 4 feet... he used to carry his own foot stool around so he could play pool with us.

he used to get gigs at midget throwing comps in nightclubs, and santa's little helper at shopping malls... he didn't call it exploitation... he called it earning a living.

do you call it exploitation of tall people when they become super stars playing basketball?

Look at the £8 you saved on a beer holder for your mikestand though....! :D

whats the difference between a midget and a dwarf? is it something to do with the arm length ??, big heads short arms?? and then of course there is your troll , now your talking.
and as for the footstool your little mate carried around? surely he would have been better off with one of those little step ladders?
Lee

lee_UK wrote:
and as for the footstool your little mate carried around? surely he would have been better off with one of those little step ladders?
Lee

actually it was a home-made device he built himself that doubled as a brief case, so it was much more practicle.

i really can't decide on the exploitation issue though.... this thread hasn't helped a lot... i would like to see a post from someone who has this condition to hear their side of the story

Farino, no special expertise here, just a married bloke in a band. Here's a great way to solve the exploitation non-issue and really lose your Mrs.

Tell her to stop giving you earache. Instead, she should sit down with your bandmates and explain her concerns that Joe Public must be patronizing them. etc, etc, I wiped the rest of it because I don't want to put words in the mouth of well-meaning Mrs Farino.

If you're cool, then you aren't being a jerk, full stop. If the audience is crass, maybe your bandmates will spot it before you do. Again, not meaning to be funny with Mrs F, but maybe she's assuming the worst and considers it 'her duty' to put a stop to it. It isn't. If the band's happy, then that's it. When/if they're not, then that's it too. After a while, Mrs F will settle into normal "married to a player" mode and just be P.O'd that you go missing on Tuesday nights - irrespective of the height of the other guys.

Thanks guys

1bassleft, I'm probably going to have a talk with my wife about it sometime over the weekend. Thanks for the advice.

Well, I don't want to be a bore, but one last opinion on the subject. Alsorts of people want to perform on stage, and some people (not saying this is Mrs F) would rather they didn't because it makes them feel uncomfortable.

Whenever an actor with some disability got an award (eg Christopher Reeve), this British TV presenter always squirmed about how he "didn't like that sort of thing." This told me more about the presenter than the actor or indeed the people who decided to give the award. On another note, there are a pair of conjoined twins in the US (can't remember their names) and one likes to be a country singer. In all honesty, I don't think she's any good and maybe some people only go to gawp. I bet any money, though, that the singer doesn't give perphooey about my opinion and has her own way of dealing with the gawpers. What she would dislike most (IMHO) is the suggestion that she should stay at home and not subject herself to exploitation.

My own disability is not-very-good-bass-playing but I still get out there for fun (and maybe joke about myself with the audience before someone in there beats me to it). Same opportunities for others, I'd suggest.

If everyone participating in the act agrees where you are going and how you're getting there then exploitation isn't even an issue. If you're wife's not playing in the band...or supporting it, tell her to develop an interest outside your music and promise not to offer her advice in pursuing her own interests.

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