The never-ending showcase

If you are a performing artist, you have to constantly prove your very existence — especially during a pandemic. Here’s how I am changing my approach to sharing creative content online.

Dana Whittle
7 min readMar 17, 2022


Poster frame from episode of video series “Sur le bout du banc”. Photo © Dana Whittle.

I’m still here

I am a musician and visual artist who produces a weekly music video about traditional music. Sur le bout du banc (on the end of the bench) is a series featuring veteran Québec fiddler Claude Méthé and guests who share the bench with him for a tune or three.

As artists living in a world where it is increasingly difficult to make a reasonable living, we need to conserve our time and energy for creative activities that will bear fruit and satisfy our artistic drive. Sur le bout du banc was born when — after spending thousands of dollars to promote ourselves and to perform (for no pay) at a major international music industry event — a year’s worth of contracts was abruptly postponed and then cancelled. Meanwhile, local gigs and our weekly traditional jams were off-limits and for the better part of two years, even playing with friends became impossible due to provincial health restrictions.

To add insult to injury, the new, virtual world of gigging has meant that not only do we perform “one-way” for audiences, but we must prepare and practice the entire technical setup in our home prior to going live, and one of us (guess who) has to deal with the mics, keyboard, mouse, and Zoom settings while delivering a show (and pray the power/wifi doesn’t crap out mid-concert — yeah, it has).

We are paying to play

We create, we practice, we perform, we record, and (some of) you want to listen to our music. You used to buy CDs, and if we didn’t have a label taking a cut, we’d make a small profit after paying the production cost. Now, you pay somebody else for a subscription that lets you listen to us any time you like, and when you do we make a fraction of a fraction of a percentage for each play — $0.01 cents per stream (Apple), $0.00331–0.00437 (Spotify). This won’t even pay our gas to get home from the gig. We sell digital downloads on our own website (or on a big platform, like Bandcamp or CDBaby) but it’s easier for you to…



Dana Whittle

Artist, musician, writer, producer, coder and beta-testing sucker deluxe, également en français. More on ainsi que

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