Before leaving the apartment last Saturday, I stared at two items: an adjustable piano bench and a music stand. I debated the likelihood of using either [essential] items at my upcoming wedding gig, and ended up being partially lazy: I dragged the metal stand out to the car and left the bench. This partial foresight and the fact I was 30 minutes early was what saved me.
Upon arrival I was led to a keyboard and a keyboard stand [with a sustain pedal, as per my request]. There was NO visible music stand, though, and I was met with blank faces when I asked for one. Fortunately, the spare stand in my car made it so I didn't have to resort to reading-music-in-one's-lap or music-folder-held-by-stranger survival methods. The very low chair/bench created some challenges - and caused me to mentally curse my laziness* - but I made it work.
. . . on another day . . .
I played for a funeral. Unexpectedly, I was required to provide about 15 extra minutes of background music. Due to pure luck, I had included extra music in my folder. This meant I did not have to resort to poorly disguised Christmas carols or Disney tunes** in order to avoid repeated repertoire.
. . . then another time . . .
I had to play for three hour rehearsals, and with a [hard] wooden piano bench that was too low. Just in case, I had brought an adjustable, padded bench in my car - which saved my back AND my butt.
The moral: strive to have too much music and a car stuffed with extra stands and music benches -- plus at least one extra metronome (just because).
*On the other hand, parking was located two blocks away from the site. And it was hot. I was cranky enough discovering the lack of stand & trekking the subsequent round-the-block trip. A third lap would not have been the best idea.
**Am mostly kidding - I have other repertoire in my head and in my fingers. However, its amazing what tunes jump to mind when you are scrambling for an appropriate melody to fill the silence.