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Amber
GOLD Member since Mar 2001

Amber

newbie
Location: Cairns, Australia

Total posts: 48
Posted:hiwell i have a show soon. my first paid performance.i have no clue how much i should chargeand how long my show should run forit'll only be me performing.do you talk to the audience? i dont know what i would say. also ideas on a stage name! i was thinking something tribal, i want to get a tribal costume together, and i want to get some sort of business card to hand out but dont really know how to word it. any ideas people? i'm so excited to be performing
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Pele'sWhippingBoy


member
Location: Rochester, NY, USA

Total posts: 442
Posted:First off, why do you have these questions if you already have a paying gig? We had many of these details ahead of time so that our show would go over well immediately.Also, you didn't mention it, but since you asked questions that sound like someone who's never performed professionally, I wonder, do you have insurance? (I've learned from Pele well.)Not sure about some of these, but I worked as a safety at Pele's last show. Here's a few things for you as a performer to watch out for:- The audience may not clap. Have your safety/assistant watch the crowd. It turns out the audience may be too mezmerized or awe-struck to move. That happened and Pele didn't know she was doing well. They just couldn't move. The safety can tell the performer about their reactions.- The audience may not know how far back to be. We found that you'll need 15'x15' if you don't move much. Then another 5' on each side for safety. However, we found that adults and parents with kids stayed at least that far away. The kids (~10 yo) were less cautious and I had to move them back during a few key points.The length of the show depends on what you're doing. If it's only poi, 10 minutes may be enough. To the audience it's just "fire in circles" so even if you do all 100 moves on the site (how many are there?) to them they won't know and could get bored.What kind of music do you spin to? We used a modern mix of songs from the 80s on up. People had heard them and were interested from the moment of the start. If you're going tribal you may have the urge to go with Drum and Bass. As an audience member I suggest not doing so. It's fine in the begining (warmup or 1st minute) but get's old real quick.On talking to the audience: We weren't sure either. We settled for the personal intro at the end along with a few "don't do this at home" sort of things. Be wary of young people pestering on "what you use" as they may not leave you alone. We also did a Q&A session afterwords. It gives a chance to hand out contact info to potential future clients.Contact info: Your name, phone number, email address, and website if you have one.Stage name: If you can't think of one, go with Ember. It's got a fire sound to it and it's similar to your name here.Oh, you asked about payments. Dunno. Depending on the venue, they may have a set price to pay the performers. Since it's your first one ensure that you have their reference info more than a payment. If you do well this will help more by getting future jobs than the little pay will. You might try contacting local performers (clowns, jugglers, etc) and seeing what they charge. Low ball it since it's your first and go from there.Oh, relax and Good Luck.------------------"Except for that Mrs. Lincoln, How did you like the play?"[This message has been edited by Pele'sWhippingBoy (edited 08 July 2001).][This message has been edited by Pele'sWhippingBoy (edited 08 July 2001).]

FYI: I am not Pele. If you wish to reply to me and use a short version of my name, use: PWB.

English? Who needs that? I'm never going to England. - Homer Jay Simpson

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Posted:Gee, Whipping Boy, aren't you being kinda tough on Amber? I mean there aren't a few people who offer gigs like "wanna play?" and it's up to the performer to put it together. I remember a lot of these question myself. And when I had these questions I came to the people I thought knew. There's no shame in her not knowing already. She's just starting. Anyway, if you can, find out what the entertainment budget is for the event. Knowing the budget and who else is on the bill may give you an idea of what to ask. There are dangers in low-balling. Asking a far lower price may diminish your perceived value in the eyes of the promoter/producer. They may be less inclined to treat you well than other higher-paid, presumable more established and professional acts. Also, if your fellow performers find you're low-balling them, they may not take too kindly to that. I know some experienced players who rely on performance as their income who really disrespect performers who low-ball as one's who compromise their ability to make their living by driving their rates down. In the end, I'd recommend deciding what it is you personally need. How long you should run for depends on your material and the desires of the promoter. You can sometimes get an indication by how large the event is, how long it's set to run for, and how many others are set to perform. I've done small parties where I go up and do one act. I've done larger parties where we're there 5 hours doing five different sets at different spots in the venue. In the end, try to keep it from being overwhelming your first time out. One to two acts should be fine, with each act five to ten minutes. Talking to the audience. No need to get all stage-frighty. If you don't want to talk don't. It might do you good though. Keep it short and sweet and decide what you want to say ahead of time. At least tell the audience who you are and thank them for the opportunity. And the rest... Sounds like a lot to get together from scratch when you've got a gig coming. Stage names are necessary. I worked for a long time without a stage name and then I got one from some circus folx' neighbor kid who misheard my name. Let it come naturally, I'd say. Costuming, no harm in basic black, so long as it's all natural fibers. Business cards you can keep simple as a photocopied flyer. Don't sweet on having all the promo together on your first gig. Here's what I'd recommending sweating on... Safety. Read all you can on fire safety. Make sure you've got your regime together. Make sure you practice with your safety person. This is your first responsibility. Before putting on a good show, you need to make sure noone gets hurt. Let us know how it goes! DianaPS: Don't forget to breathe.
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Pele'sWhippingBoy


member
Location: Rochester, NY, USA

Total posts: 442
Posted:Sorry about that Amber, but I had been reading over some fire group websites and had some issues on my mind. I also know what we've gone through to get things up and settled before-hand with Pele's performing.I see your point on the payment thing and that makes sense. I was failing to make a point that the chance for this to lead into something might be more important that the money itself. Sort of a resume builder or a chance for contacts to be made.Thank you for mentioning the safety thing. As the safety I should have mentioned it but I was on a Answer Questions kick instead.------------------"Except for that Mrs. Lincoln, How did you like the play?"

FYI: I am not Pele. If you wish to reply to me and use a short version of my name, use: PWB.

English? Who needs that? I'm never going to England. - Homer Jay Simpson

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bec
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

bec

member
Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australi...

Total posts: 521
Posted:hello Amber...congrats on the gig and all the best with it - you might be interested in coming along to the "United Fire Tribe" meetings we have in Brisbane - just a group of interested professional/semi-professional fire performers who get together to network (yuk word), discuss things such as you've asked, choreograph together, and perform for bigger events that require lots of fire people...(Everyone's welcome - it's a lovely supportive group... email me for more details moon_fest@hotmail.com)but in the meantime, here are my thoughts on your questions ->>>i have no clue how much i should chargeIt's such a tricky one - if only there was an absolute answer!It depends on so many things - and unfortunately the first one is what their budget is like (we have done the same "quality" show for over $1000 as we have for free another time!)Other things to take into account arelength of time (which isn't just the show time but your total call time - in between performing as well),your experience, whether you have insurance (email me if you want details for good insurance in Australia), no. of performers etc etc...In actual dollar terms (and these are Aussie dollars and only relavent to local performances) we discussed this last time at the United Fire Tribe meeting, and we came up with absolute minimum of $100 a show (for one performer)- which others believed should be a minimum of $300/3hr call min (which is what the standard is for professional dancers I think)... and then it goes up depending on the client's requirements...>>>and how long my show should run forit'll only be me performing.I tend to believe that less is better - keep your audience wanting more... You can twirl for 10 minutes and completely blow them away with your best stuff, or you can do it for an hour and repeat yourself and do stuff that isn't so special and they get over it - just give them a (good) taste - enough to satisfy them (I'd say one burn on each tool you do is usually enough - or at least with strong differences of style each time) but without repeating yourself too much... We do a 15-20min show with 4 of us which usually works really well>>>do you talk to the audience? i dont know what i would say. We don't talk - unless we've got something significant to say... (after a busking round we usually do a little spiel) I find it breaks the "magic" of the performance - but then it all depends on your style, and obviously if you are telling a story or making it more theatrical in that sense, words can be perfect... >>>also ideas on a stage name! i was thinking something tribal, i want to get a tribal costume together, and i want to get some sort of business card to hand out but dont really know how to word it. We performed for years without stage names - unless you're going to tell people it doesn't matter... but then again if it's for fun, or if you are going to use it on a business card... I think the suggestion of "Ember" was good...as I said, these are just my ideas, and what works for our group... I'm sure the answers are different for every single individual... It would be good to get some kind of standard at least in regard to fees - we didn't realise that for a while (a few years ago) we were quoting way too low, which not only damages your potential to be able to work as a full time professional (which we do now) but also brings down the whole fire performance "industry" (!?) - because of unnecessary competition. If your standards are "professional" then it follows that your fees should be too... and all the suggestions about safety are just part (very important part) of this... So all the very best - I hope it goes wonderfully... and I look forward to meeting you sometime.
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Love Bec


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Posted:AS a real amateur (so disregard at will) I'd suggest that having a stage name will help you to build your stage personality - your characterisation. I'd suggest from performances I've seen, that at least attempting at character, is what will keep you in your audience's mind. If you have a strong stage character, ppl wont remember 'that fire twirler' they will remember *you* and if they want someone at their gig, they will know who to ask for.Just like branding a product when you are trying to sell through a supermarket, you have to sell yourself as something different (unique) if possible, so that ppl can recognise you, for repeat business. If you brand yourself as generic, ppl wont care if they get your for their gig or not, cuz they will be after generic brand fire twirler, not Ember.Anyhow - this kind of economics may only really matter in a bigger economy that the bris / *coast fire twirling industry...but its what I thought of, and my character requires me to speak every little boring detail in my head
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Josh


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Ade
SILVER Member since Mar 2001

Are we there yet?
Location: australia

Total posts: 1897
Posted:Ask some questions Amber (love Ember though as a stage name!).Ask the organisers:Does the (event name) have a theme? (you can pick music and costumes based on that).How long do you want me to perform?What's the target audience for the show, i.e., who's it for?I also have to agree with WhippingBoy, sort some of these questions out before hand in the anticipation you will eventually be asked to perform (if that's a direction you want to take your twirling)you might then find it easier to shape your performance to suit the audience then, and it hopefully helps with the nerves too. It makes for a well rounded 'package'. On the otherhand, if you aren't a control freak like me, then you could be somewhat more relaxed about it.
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Amber
GOLD Member since Mar 2001

Amber

newbie
Location: Cairns, Australia

Total posts: 48
Posted:thanks so much everyoneyour answers are a great help,when i figure some more stuff out i'll let you all know how things are going.peace, love and happiness

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