Right after high school I had the good fortune of working two seasons at Opryland in Nashville and then later at Goldrush (now Dollywood) in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The experience put me in a professional performing environment without having to go on the road and being able to remain in college.
Opryland was a big deal at the time and had young hot musicians from all over the country. The shows were very scripted by the music director, and the arrangements were tight - very tight. There were pretty strict rules about everything - from what to wear to what to say. As I recall, we played four 45 minute shows a day.
Goldrush was a much smaller venue (Dolly had not bought it yet) and was a lot more laid back. The music was much more casual, and the groups were left to basically do their own thing in a small mountain village atmosphere. As opposed to the tight bluegrass at Opryland, this job exposed me more to old-time mountain music. It was the most enjoyable job I ever had. Get up in the morning, drive up to the mountains, and play music off and on all day.
If there are theme parks in your area that offer employment for young musicians, I highly recommend you go for it. You will never regret it. One of these days I may just go back and try it again.
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'2008 Deering Deluxe' 5 hrs