Being that I am a professional opening act, I'd like to let you know that it'd be impossible for me to not dream of wanting more. Essentially as openers, we want to rock out to the fullest capability for 30-40 minutes so people get to know who we are, but in reality we must understand that not everyone is there for us. As I have had some pretty amazing opening act stories and disasters, I will share 6 things not to do, so as you may not do them as well. Maybe one day we will all laugh and we can re-write the things as we headline our own stadiums and sell out shows across the globe. I shamefully (and non-shamefully) have done everything below, so I feel like I should share my experience with you so that you do not make the same mistakes as I do.
1. Don't go over your time limit
If you are scheduled to do one song to 5 songs or 15 min or 30 minutes don't go over the time. When they say last song, it's you last song, even if you haven't played your hit song yet. If the crowd wants you to do more, it's not their decision. I have not worked with someone for about 6 years because of going over my song limit, since the headliner had to go shorter because of a time curfew, and the blame landed on me.
2. Do not over step your merchandise boundary
Man I remember I was on tour in the midwest and this dude wanted to fight me for literally overstepping the boundary of who i could sell merch to on tour. Mind you he was a little crazy but he said I'll make sure you never work again, and it made me think i if I didn't act so aggressive selling the merch, I would still be alive today, and probably be working with more people.
3. Do not go into the headliners green room
I have ruined relationships because of doing this. No matter how cool you are and how often you guys hang, it's just best for your to go in your green room. If they have more food, better things, it's not because they got the hook up. It's because they are the headliners. There are hotter girls in there, more important people and none of them came to see you. They might though, if you don't hang out in their room and become curious about you, especially if you are well mannered and stay on your side.
4. Do not represent yourself (all the time)
It's not the boss move to represent yourself , so don't be surprised why we also think the person who tells us their a hot shot is a complete idiot. You can even get your homie to represent you, and it just looks way better. You never here the president walk into a room and say "Hey I'm the president. Everyone listen to me!" There are other people who do that for him. I mean...go to the bathroom by yourself but you catch my drift.
5. Don't sleep with the headliners leftover groupies
If you think you can do it it's cool, but even though no one cares in the beginning, it's always best to get the ones that actually want you. Since you are not a therapist and the headliner is also human, you never know what is going through their head. Pretend like at any moment you can get kicked off tour, and this will be big pointer. I don't think it is the best move, because it is almost like bait. It tells a lot about your character, and remember that you are there to work. Work hard enough, and you might actually get your own groupies.
6. Don't get wasted
If everyone else is getting twisted and you feel like you deserve it, fine. If everyone else is sleeping with everyone and getting it in on the drinks and smokes, fine. But I must say I have seen people get 86'ed for being too belligerent and although it looks like fun from afar, I don't think you want to end up forgetting all the things you said, and getting called in to the Tour Manager's room with the words, "you need to chill." That's an easy way of them saying we'll never mess with you again.
These are six simple things to follow for the sake of your success. Granted you actually have to be good, but even if you are good, lets do our best to stay away from self sabotage.
Kosha Dillz is a rapper that has his own youtube vlog and also has an awesome album called Awkward in a Good Way produced by Jesse Shatkin, who made Sia's "Chandelier" song. You can get it on his bandcamp and also on itunes. You can follow him on twitter and facebook too and look at pictures to see how he has recently lost a lot of weight from healthy eating and working out. Contact him at rapperfriends(at)gmail.com to wish him a belated happy Rosh Hashanah.