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PelePeleBRONZE Member
the henna lady
6,193 posts
Location: WNY, USA

I had my show on Friday night. Here is what the gig was. The most "prestigous" country club (Read, all the members are multi-millionaires) in Buffalo has a themed event every year. This year, the theme was Camelot. They hired Pyromorph (my safety and I), two of my friends who are comedic jugglers, and 5 other actors to do a Renaissance thing. We go in our costumes, do interactions, Pyromorph and Dibble and Desmond were to do stage shows, we were to sing pub songs and have fun from 6 to 9pm. That's it. Fun for all right? Wrong. We went out to entertain at 6 only no one was there. My first set was supposed to be at 6. At 7 I was sick of waiting and did it anyway for the wait staff and cooks (who liked it by the way). Country Club members began to arrive at about 7:15/7:30, finally right? Wrong. If they had've ignored us, I could've handled that but they were rude and mean. My safety, Nyad, heard someone say they were only there for the shrimp and they didn't give a damn about us "stupid" rennies. People parted like the red sea when we were even near them. Literally people stuck their noses in the air and turned their backs on uswhen we were near. We tried so hard but ended up with what we call "masturbatory theater",the fine art of playing with ourselves. It would've been fun if it weren't such a vicious crowd. My one friend was told by a member to stay away from them, they need not get dirty from him (and he was dressed in Lord's clothes). I did my fireeating show which had a few people watching. I had one idiot yelling "What she using? Lighter Fluid or Gasolene?" My friends handled him. The only thing that really drew attention was the blowing, which could be seen over the "castle wall" and bushes, so it drew people in, but then I heard "Damn, it's a girl" and they left. Hello????
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Even the band that was on after us received no interest and they were good. There were 388 people, of which we got about 10 to watch and/or play. In the end we performed for less than two hours, got paid well, we ended up getting free (very good) food and drinks. The staff and cooks appreciated us, and told us so. That helped alot. I have *never* in ten years of performing walked out of a place feeling so empty and degraded. As a result my shows fell flat and I wasn't into it at all. My friends had to talk me out of crying right there on the spot. I am writing this more to vent and work it out than anything, because I need to shake it off.
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On the flip side I took the poi to Whipping Boy's family reunion yesterday and got a couple of his family member hooked!
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Anyway, I now have personal proff that the audience energy wheel, they give you energy that you put into your performance and give back to them, really isn't a myth and is needed for a spot on performance
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------------------Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir...

Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

1,015 posts
Location: Austin TX USA

You know, of course I feel badly for you, Pele, that you had this bad experience, but I also feel sorry for the bluebloods you were entertaining (or failing to entertain, as the case may be)--if they are so wrapped up in themselves that they can't just enjoy the wonder of watching a fire performance...well, that's no way to live.It's not just wealthy people who fall prey to this problem--the hipper-than-thou set can be working so hard at being cool that they can't acknowledge--even to themselves--that something is wonderful.Oh well. Non illegitimus carborundum.

Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

protozoaBRONZE Member
148 posts
Location: Baltimore, MD USA

Ugh Pele. I've worked country club gigs (as a stage hand, not as a performer) and sounds like you had a particularly rough time. Fortunately for me my job was to _not_ be seen, which is the only kind of entertainment/service country club types seem to be interested in -- background music, etc. If you're not "one of them" you're "the help", and "the help" should be kept out of the way. That really stinks. Oh well, you got their money, so the joke's on them! Suckers!
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(looking for the bright side here..)Good on you for being as graceful and brave as I know you were.
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CharlesCharlesBRONZE Member
Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
3,989 posts
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

"that which doesn't kill us only makes us stronger" Corny sometimes, but a great help in situations like this. Can you imagine the life these people must lead? not being impressed or enjoying a fire-performance? Just being there for the prawns? Afraid to speak their mind in case their 'peers' (ahem!!) start to exclude them or talk about them behind their backs? What a rotten, sh***y life they must lead. When I read your story, the first thing in my mind was that thank God I'm not like them. I think they are all people just like the rest of us, but who are trapped in a social role they are afraid to break out of. From the sounds of it, they won't take time to enjoy a sunset, or even their fabled prawns (they'll just have to stand around eating them and saying how much better the prawns on the gold coast were!). They sound even more trapped in their horrible little world than junkies, at least there are rehab programmes and way to deal with addiction. There is no help for these guys at all unless they try to break out on their own, no-one else will help them, and everyone not like them will hate them because of their attitudes. I feel sorry for them, but also their attitudes mean I will appreciate the less motivated, not so easy-to-impress crowds much more by using comparison. I would use this as a way to deal with less-offensive crowds, when I get heckled, I'll be able to say "at least they are watching". Well, enough pschobabble from me, my suggestion is to use the experience to make future experiences better, and also as scare-tactic for your own behaviour when you win the big lottery!------------------Charles[This message has been edited by Charles (edited 07 August 2001).]

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