Re: The tip jar
It depends on the venue down here in Texas. A lot of times bands have tips jars with the blinking light thing inside. A lot of times instead of announcing the tip jar, someone affiliated with the band - a good looking woman - will walk it around and ask for donations.
This happened a few months ago, a really great blues band played a venue near us, excellent harp player was fronting the band. The door cover was $10 but it was worth it. About half way through the evening, a really nice looking lady, who was obviously attached to someone in the band, walked around the tip jar. She coordinated her efforts during a particularly long harp solo, so it was done "in good taste." During breaks the band made sure someone from the band went around to all the tables and personally thanked the patrons for coming out. Classy move.
I don't aim to be the best, just the best looking.