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Sunday, April 11

trying to enjoy the detours

You sort of plan out your season, this show on that weekend, with an eye towards a few detours for rejections. The danger comes when there are more detours than you'd like. When the route has become comfy and scenic and has the best rest areas and suddenly there is a blinking sign in the road that says "turn back". And you aren't prepared.

OK, I was sort of on cruise control there. And 2 of my best shows turned me back. One with a "no" and one with a "maybe". Some juries are still out and the inability to see the route clearly is causing me stress. So, I hit the web, commiserated with carnie friends, and I learned a lot.

I learned that a few people I assumed were immune from rejection had, in fact, been rejected by shows that should have been thrilled to have them apply. One was rejected from a show that had awarded him "Best of Show" the year before. Some artists apply to 50 shows in order to book 20. With jury fees averaging between 25 and 50 bucks, that is one big roll of the dice.

Some invest in professional photography for their slides and wind up getting rejected after having been lucky for years with their own photos. Some get rejected because their booth photo wasn't good enough, regardless of how good the art was. Hey, the show has to look good, right?

A lot of folks think that we just sort of sign up and show up, unaware of the hassle involved in securing that 10 foot hunk of curb real estate. Oh, no, folks, this is like American Idol. A bunch of aspiring participants, a panel of judges, a final group of contestants. Who will get to be on the stage?

I have a few good shows locked up and I'm hopeful for the others who are still pondering my worthiness. In the interim I have revisited smaller shows that I had put behind me. As one of my friends said, "Let's take this season for a spin!"

OK, but watch out for those detours.

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