Forums > Social Chat > Another question about Professional fire-twirling

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Katinca
Katinca

See my vest.... see my vest...
Location: Adelaide - South Australia
Member Since: 9th May 2001
Total posts: 693
Posted:Hey,I <and Josh> have been looking into *maybe* starting to do fire-twirling professionally.A reliable source gave us a card for an agency that might be interested in us - maybe.I was wondering if anyone else out there, does fire-twirling through an agent or is there own agent.And I was wondering what the difference was between the two, and what people prefer to go through.Spidersondrugs@hotmail.comThanks------------------ ~*~ Katinca ~*~

Love and Light

~*~ Katinca ~*~

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Charles
Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland
Member Since: 27th Jun 2001
Total posts: 3989
Posted:Hmm, taking the plunge aye?I have two agents for my performing, both on more of a casual agreement than anything in writing.I also source about 50% of my gigs on my own, mostly from having cards on me whenver I perform but quite a bit from busking as well.It's pretty hard to explain to people what you do, so the best thing is to do it in public places where event organisers and others will see how well you can entertain the masses.But never stop selling yourself, I've had an average of 1 performance every fortnight for the entire year so far, which considering 3/4 of that was winter with pouring rain and 90% of our events here are held in summer, means I'm doing pretty well.Good luck, keep the fire burning...------------------Charles (INFERNO)newdolbel@hotmail.comhttp://juggling.co.nzPS As to what is preferred, that's up each individual or organisation, agents are more likely to get higher prices per gig, but sometimes can lose the gig on price too. It's all a roll of the dice, so I say roll as many dice as you can, instead of just sticking to one...[This message has been edited by Charles (edited 15 October 2001).]

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nomad
nomad

retired
Location: Paris, France
Member Since: 15th Jan 2001
Total posts: 356
Posted:CHarles, how much do you pay your agents? Fixed fee or % of gig price?Nomad

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Jaeden
member
Location: Edmonton
Member Since: 2nd Sep 2001
Total posts: 220
Posted:I'm no where near performing professionaly with poi but in my previous dealings with agents I can offer this advice.If you feel that you can get all the work you want without an agent then you shouldn't go that route as all the agent will do is suck some of your profits.However if you are unsure about signing your own deals and trust that this agency has connections and can get you set up then go with them. If you do choose to go with this, don't sign anything that would be binding for too long untill you feel that you can trust your agent. If this is not an option then you would probably be better off finding another agent or going on your own then being suppressed by a poor agent and long-term contract. That is only if they are horribly offical (buisness like) and not much friendly.The best of luck to you whatever you choose.------------------'There is a fist pressing against anyone who thinks something compelling'

The world is not out to get you but if you fight it you will be eaten alive

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Charles
Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland
Member Since: 27th Jun 2001
Total posts: 3989
Posted:Nomad/Katinca - Perhaps i shouldn't have used the confusing term "casual agreement". I don't have anything in writing with either of them so its all unofficial.Basically, if they have some work that I might be interested in, they call me and ask me to send in a short proposal. If their client accepts that, they send through an offer of monies, i'm guessing they get that figure after they have finished negotiating with the client.They've never said what their cut is, and I've never asked. I know it's in their interests to get as much as possible so I just trust that they pass on what they can.Certainly haven't been dissappointed so far. The best amount yet was over 300 bucks for only 45 minutes.But the agent gigs are only about half of my work, the rest is all referrals from my own networking, previous gigs, friends in the know and my secret underground network of talent spies (children that hang around wherever I happen to be practicing).Cheers------------------Charles (INFERNO)newdolbel@hotmail.comhttp://juggling.co.nz[This message has been edited by Charles (edited 16 October 2001).]

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:Herm.Free Agent versus Agent..the debate continues.First of all I have to say that to get an agent takes much research and even better is a referral from a friend. You want someone who is reputable for several reasons...money, your reputation, quality of the shows.... As much as an agent will interview you for a gig, you interview them as well and see what they can do for you and with you. You don't want someone who is telling you what you want to hear. Someone who is truthful, upfront and cut to the chase tends to get things done.So, that being said....once/if you decide to find a reputable agent the benefits are that seldom will a promoter or venue tangle with them. You can be assured of your pay, you can be assured that the gigs will be upstanding to your reputation, you can be assured that you don't have to get involved with all of the red tape with contracts. Also, some promoters see agents as a sign of professionalism.This type of stuff is a comfort to have done for you. You also don't have to worry about mass promotion, which can be a huge pain in the arse. On the down side, agents do tend to commit highway robbery when it comes to your paycheck. If they don't know about fire they can really screw up permits and things, which circles back on you having to do these things last minute. You don't have alot of control on how they promote you. What Charles has is rare. Most promoters have you in a profile/account and they pull you up for a job. If they wanted to they can tell possible clients you will dress in clown suits and perform to the Backstreet Boys. Of course you can turn this down but the more you turn away the more picky you seem and thusly your professional reputation can become bruised a bit. The other problem with agents is the contract you have with them. They can bind you in ways that aren't so fun. For example, a performer I know has a contract that states that even if he contracts for a gig on the side the agent gets a cut of it...a "finders fee" meaning that the agent found that artist. Some contracts have a no compete clause in them which says that you can't find work on your own and that you can't have another agent.On the other hand...Free Agenting is tough. I have contract and constitutional law classes under my belt to assure myself I won't get screwed....and I have used what I learned. As a free agent you can promote yourself, keep your money, work when and where you want. There is a freedom and independence that is nice. However, you will also have to deal with contract writing, self-promotion (which can be harrowing) and really working to get yourself out there and known. You have to build your reputation from ground zero yourself, which can be a struggle...but I think in the end free agenting is more satisfying simply due to the challenge.I have worked with an agent/promoter but in an arrangement similar to Charles. Mostly I promote myself though, with the help of friends. Word of mouth and reputation are an amazing help. My website has generated much interest, and even some jobs. So have being part of web rings. Anything to help, you know?So there are the pro's and con's of my experience, for what it is worth.Much luck to you and Josh.------------------Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir...http://www.pyromorph.com

Pele
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

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Charles
Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland
Member Since: 27th Jun 2001
Total posts: 3989
Posted:(walks onto the stage, knowing he's abot to be booed off...)I think agents are just like people, coz they are people. You'll get good ones and bad ones, and honest stupid ones and dishonest stupid ones, and evil ones and emotional ones and...ya get the idea.Personally, I have no problem with an agent taking a cut of my pay if it is work that i wouldn't have got otherwise.What matters to me is the cash in my hand afterwards, and whether or not there was enough communication beforehand.So, if they charge someone $1000 an hour for a 2 hour peformance, and only give me $500, then I'm happy. I don't work for any less than $100 p/h, but all of my highest paying gigs (upwards of $250) have been through the agents i have.I don't want to ask them what their cut is, coz I'm happy with the money, and the fact that the work just landed in my lap.Agents who get you work deserve to be paid for theirs just as much as we deserve to be paid for our work. They are salesmen on commission, yet instead of just working for themselves they are working for us as well.Don't let a few bad eggs put you off, just read the terms of the agreements and make sure you know what you're getting into. Just like with an insurance policy, or bank loan or anything else.I'm very grateful for the work that my agents do for me and think they are great people as well (doesn't mean all of them are, just people being people)...------------------Charles (INFERNO)newdolbel@hotmail.comhttp://juggling.co.nz

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