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Forums > Social Chat > Underbidding the professionals...

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NYC
NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA
Member Since: 26th Aug 2001
Total posts: 9232
Posted:I've got a bit of a scruples question (remember that game?!) We've been dancing around this topic quite a bit so I'm just going to throw it out there...I'm never going to be a professional fire performer. It's not a career path I'm interested in. But I certainly do enjoy spinning fire for an audience. I have a few friends that are promoters. I have quite a few friends that are fire performers.I like to spin fire for free. I feel that if I'm donating fire performing to a promoter that I like I get all of the little perks (free drinks, etc.) and none of the hastle (contracts, commitment, etc.)The vets on the board see my pickle. For the newbies, I'll spell it out...If I spin for free, I'm infringing upon other spinners who devote more time, energy, and legwork to their craft. I am bringing down the level of fire performers. I am underselling the professionals.But I REALLY want to spin. And I REALLY don't want to put in the blood, sweat and tears that it takes to be a pro...
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This isn't a problem in teaching for me. If I want to tutor a student from another school for free rather than charging the $70 an hour that I usually do, it only directly takes money out of my own pocket. Also, teaching has a strong UNION which keeps me from going over the line. If I work on an assigned project or job I MUST get paid...Any ideas? Comments? Rageing insults and accusations?
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Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:I definately think it is a good read arashi my sweet, but I don't like getting my arse reemed out over something that is a few months shy of 2 years old...not that my opinions have changed much, but my approach has, if that makes sense?

I did re-read over it all earlier, and still stand by it.
Very thought provoking.


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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bender
still can't believe it's not butter
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Member Since: 14th Nov 2001
Total posts: 6979
Posted:King of Bongo, I'm interested, what clamps on the industry do you envisage. my guess is that the fwirlage industry will likely follow what happens in performance arts industries in general, especially that of circus based art forms.
very valid points, mate!

I don't see this problem fixing itself - and certainly without the collaboration of promoters in general.

If there ever is a fwirler's union, pray that it not be run by those who would clamp on all this beauty..


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soldari
soldari

busy-tofu!
Location: montreal: bagel capital
Member Since: 16th Jul 2003
Total posts: 133
Posted:Just to add to the tread, I'd like to state that if you want to be a street-performer (in Quebec or in Montreal, I don't know about other places) you have to pay a fee and register, even if you don't want to make any money off your act. If you want to have a large group of performers you have to register with the artist guild and charge a minimum for your performances (unless performing for a non-profit event or organization).

Of course you can let your own ethics guide you (ex: you might perform for free at a friend's wedding or party as a present) but remeber that local artist guilds may be watching *insert creepy music here*...

/soldari


there is no better way to say I love you than with the gift of a spatula!

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:That is a really good point soldari.

In Buffalo, NY they have auditions for 15 spaces for "buskers". You pay an application fee and submit your info. If you are then accepted you are put on a schedule with certain corners and times allotted, and that is where you perform all summer. It is run by the Buffalo Arts Council or some such thing. And if you are caught busking in that area and are not on the list....ewwwww...I hate to think of the consequences.*shudders*


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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telic
I don't want a title.

Member Since: 26th Jun 2003
Total posts: 940
Posted:I'm just curious about the etymology of the word "fwirler". It's a good one. ^^

E pluribus unum, baby.

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bender
still can't believe it's not butter
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Member Since: 14th Nov 2001
Total posts: 6979
Posted:hehheh i just got tired of normal names one day, so i made one up. I dunno if someone's used it before, as i am too slack to look.

so... tell me about the origins of the word... emtymology


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Rick aka Loki
Rick aka Loki

member
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Member Since: 18th Dec 2000
Total posts: 134
Posted:yo.

1) Would everyone please stop looking at rates in terms of $/hour. We are performers. We put on a show. We are paid for that show. What goes into that show is included in the fee we charge. I can't even calculate how many hours a week I work on this stuff, but it's definitely more than 50 hours a week when we're NOT at a festival. Promoting ourselves is one big part of that. I'm not paid by the hour. The troupe is paid for a show.

If you're thinking of beginning professional performances, please put together a great show, even if it's a set of freestyle routines, and charge a fee based on the show (taking hours into account). Please do us all a favour and don't contribute to ignorance about what people are being paid for and how much our effort is worth by charging an hourly rate.

2) people keep making analogies to other professions, on both sides of the discussion, and comparing it to performance. It's different. As far as public exposure, the way new gigs are landed (Often by doing a gig in front of someone who's impressed), the points in #1 where the rate structure is beyond the consideration of most of the audience members and many of the employers, and other points of context make it different. If we're going to get philosophical, let's get philosophical about performance art and the details surrounding it without diverging too much.

3) hi, everybody. glad we're all getting along during these nifty discussions.

4) Four is a nice number of points, yeah?

(intermission) When our troupe started doing gigs for charities etc. while we still had dayjobs, we weren't competing with anyone because we were it as far as fire performance in Halifax. We did it for travel and tickets so we could get exposure. Now that we're pro full time, we don't do free gigs very often, except for charities or for unique exposure.

4.1) If you don't pay a safety crew or buy insurance etc. because you can't afford it and you do a dozen shows for beer for people who can't afford to pay pros and you're not undercutting then lovely. But then if you have an accident in your thirteenth club show that you can't cover because you're not a pro with insurance, you **** things up for the rest of us. (I'm now using the universal "you", yeah?)

4.1.1) I think that's the first time I've sworn on this board. Crabby old schooler.

F) Pros should be promoting themselves to the point where WE'RE giving gigs to semi-pros and amateurs. This is what Ash Circle does when we have more gig offers than we can fulfill. BUT if you're getting gigs from friends who are promoters, it would be nice of you to let them know about anyone you know of who's pro. That's just courtesy.


So yeah, it's up to pros to have pro exposure. It's up to amateurs to try not to screw things up by misrepresenting themselves to promoters and the audience, especially where it becomes dangerous.

There was more, but I lost it under my eyelids.

Just got back from Sydney (NS) Buskerfest yesterday, tomorrow is Halifax International Buskerfest. Working like a one-legged man in an arse-kicking contest.

peace.


-Rick aka Loki
oh, man, a signature?... uuh... this is like coming across wet cement... uuh, shoot, I had something clever I was saving... I hope I don't run out of sp

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bender
still can't believe it's not butter
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Member Since: 14th Nov 2001
Total posts: 6979
Posted:yes, four is a nice number of points! hey nice to see yas on the boards ya funny bugger! and remember, no swearing unless it involve AC Milan, ok?

Laugh Often, Smile Much, Post lolcats Always

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Rick aka Loki
Rick aka Loki

member
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Member Since: 18th Dec 2000
Total posts: 134
Posted:yeah, cheers Bender.

Been doing a Canadian tour. Wicked time.

Had a show today at 2pm, actually, another at 10pm. Luckily it's our hometown festival, so we can come home and nap in between.

*ping*


-Rick aka Loki
oh, man, a signature?... uuh... this is like coming across wet cement... uuh, shoot, I had something clever I was saving... I hope I don't run out of sp

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Charles
Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland
Member Since: 27th Jun 2001
Total posts: 3989
Posted:Hi Rick. Great to see another 00 member posting on the boards again (00 is my term for anyone under a hundred).

I agree with some of what you said as well, except the hourly rate thing.

Perhaps you JUST do shows, but a lot of entertainers like myself do ground shows, stage shows, art displays walkabaout, tutition and MCing.

Myself, I charge hourly rates for walkabout, tuition, the odd ground show, art displays and tuition.

These situations are often asked for by the client in hours. And hourly rates are easier for people to work out.

In fact, I use my hourly rates to my advantage, by charging a lot more than most for the first hour and then a lower amount for following hours. For price orientated people, who just want the cheapest deal and tend to be a pain to deal with, they don't hire me unless they want at least 3 hours or more, where it become a bit more economical for them and the invoice size makes it worth the effort.

For those who aren't so keen on price, I get a bit more to pay for baby's nappies, and a reputation of being 'upmarket' (as long as I deliver the goods of course).

I'm a little confused about your opinion on this, could you explain it in more depth please?


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