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In response to Chris Chovit's post regarding past venue success,
 and in particular his inquiry as to what gigs seemed to work best
 for me: Well... I don't know how one would gauge the relative
 "success" of one gig over another. Money earned(fee paid, tapes
 sold) , audience response, personal level of comfort( no gear
 malfunction or theft) ,perceived quality of music created(recorded
 or not), return booking offered, some or all of  these factors
 come into play in the evaluation process. I would guess that for me
 the most rewarding work has been installation or multi-media in
 nature. I've done music for 3 short computer animation pieces
(2 in 1986 for the Cranston- Csuri lab at Ohio State: "The Blue Chair"
and "Images"), and these works have received far more exposure
 than any other solo work I've done(paid better too). Gallery gigs are
 nice in that you're not  the sole focus of attention, which I believe
allows people an opportunity to suspend their disbelief about anything
 to do with your "playing" or technique, and get on with enjoying the
 installation as a whole. The standard coffeehouse crowd has been
kind of a mixed bag, it varies greatly due to factors you can't always
 readily discern (the ambient noise factor from food and drink prepar-
ation will have a direct effect on your choice of dynamics). I would
 also add that Paul Mimlitsch's recent suggestion to allow audience
 members to join you on stage and "in loop" , as to improve your
 relationship with the crowd, is in my experience a very bad tact to
 take, and will only serve to lessen any  respect as a performer you
 may have managed to establish (assuming it's your gig and not
 "open stage-loop jam night"). As a rule people's perceptions of
 modern music is jaded at best, and your sitting there amidst your
boxes and cables seems to antagonize the "shut up and play yur
 guitar" mentality that is bound to be present to some degreee
( no disrespect meant to Frank Z.).
All these observations are subjective ,and currently nerve racking
 in that I am actively contemplating a series of live performances.
 However the sage advice on this matter is that of Robert Fripp,
who would probably suggest that you  book a gig in the toughest
 place in town, so as to get on with your development as a musician,
 no excuses. If you're intuitive enough to figure out what the audience
 actually wants and how they hear your music, then you would be
better off fiscally to channel that level of insight towards picking a
 few winning lottery numbers. I'm not discouraged, just realistic about
 the only species on the planet with the money to buy the tickets
 (or recordings).

                                                Bryan Helm
                                                Loop, Looper, Loopist