Professionals tend to be individuals who are specialized in their craft. As a musician, the expectations are 1)you show up on time (check your ego at the door) 2) you deliver on what you were hired to do 3) you thank people for the opportunity and then you're on your way. The years of practice, study, and putting yourself through high stress situations allows you to do this on a consistent basis. Wether you perform for 5, 500, 50,000, or millions watching world wide, you expect to do it well because the preparation allowed you to do it right.
Opera star Renee Fleming was recently asked to perform the National Anthem for the Super Bowl and I'm really looking forward to it. Yes the game itself is a big deal for sports fans but the fact that this is the first time that an opera singer sings at a Super Bowl is quite frankly a victory for musicians like me. The pop stars are usually the ones that get this opportunity and they usually "perform" with pre-recorded stuff.
This short article outlines how Renee Fleming feels about pre-recorded stuff and why she simply "Can't do it". Next time you ask a professional why they charge what they do, take into consideration how much work is put in to prepare for the few minutes that you actually get. I promise you will have a new respect for musicians when you hear us in live performance. Enjoy