Location: Chicago, IL USA

Total posts: 19
Posted:So, I'm really frustrated today, so I needed to share. I'm so sick of the bullshit that booking agents pull. I've been working at this club for a few months now and in the past couple of weeks the Agent who hired me has shorted me twice. I know the club has been flat lately, but come on, I need the money. If they want to spend less money, only hire me for half the night. At least that way I can try to get another gig for the second half. Don't hire me for the whole night only to cut at 2:30 and give me half my money. I guess I'm going to have to quit, but that sucks. Contracts aren't really possible in this situation because all of the money is exchanged under the table. I kind of wish there were some kind of circus arts union here (Chicago) that could really enforce good policies, but those kinds of things are hard to get going and I'm not really in a position right now to try to start one. Anyhoo, I'm done, I feel better, and I'm going to find another friday gig.

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BRONZE Member since Jun 2001


Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Total posts: 3989
Posted:Arrgghhh! I hate when this osrt of thing happens... One thing I have never let them do is to do it to me twice in a row.Usually, it's a phone call a few days before the gig saying they have "blown the budget" and can i do it for free! or a lesser amount than agreed on.This is actually a tactic, and a blatant lie quite often.An under-the-table transaction is still based on a verbal contract between yourself and the client. If they choose to go back on his word, then let them know you won't put up with it.Everytime someone rips you off, and they et away with it, you are teaching them that they can do it again and again. Not only to you, but to other performers in the future as well.My suggestion (take it or leave it all IMHO) is to ask for the cash up front, politely explaining that the past few expereinces have made you very wary of working for them. They can't argue with that, because they know what's been done to you.This is an enormous problem in the performing culture worldwide, and the only way to change it is to not let them get away with it next time.If you are worried of losing business, is the business really worth it, if they have so little repsect for you as to pull this cr*p on you.(thanks for your time, this a very passionate subject for me, and one that is so rife in our industry that it is insulting)Cheers------------------Charles (INFERNO)newdolbel@hotmail.com

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Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:This happens far too often. Clubs overestimate cash in-take, it rains (preventing people from coming out)... Since I've never performed for money, it's never happened to me but dealing with DJs, performers, organizers, I'm actually surprised that people DO get paid.In this type of sketchy agreement I would always lie and say "dude, I've been screwed out of $X,000 on my past X jobs and really need to get an agreement in writing..."I'd also discuss when and how you're going to get paid.I've also had success having my lawyer freinds type up a legal sounding (but not actually legal) letter with professional stationary threateneing to sue. And I've had people sue and win. But I think a bit of preventative pressure and comittment could avoid the whole ordeal. Promoters are looking to make money, especially when a party goes sour. If you allow them to be flexible then you're really relying on their morals to get paid...I agree with Charles that performers need to make sure that they are getting paid for the success and integrity of the entire industry.

Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]


BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 515
Posted:Well promotors round here just put your name on the bill without asking and then dont pay you anyway .... *gripes*

- Industrial design knows of no article more useful than the milk crate -



Location: Calgary alberta Canada

Total posts: 235
Posted:the BIG prob is that everyone wants something for nothing.. ive been severly gipped on more that 2 occasions buy certain places/people and i havent ended up performing as planned..i dont think i 50$ bucks an hour is that out of the way for a large function..and i think alot of the poi-ers get tkane advantage of as most i have met have a very peaceful non offencive personality and therefor this counters with the "money"people... they try to walk on you...its hard to do what you do and not do it for free just the same (thats my feeling) id love to do it for free but unfortunatly the kero doesnt pay for itself.. its should damnit but it doesnt..

Teach tolerance, not competition.
Send food, not bombs.


BRONZE Member since Dec 2000


the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Amen!You guys make a great choir here!I want to also say that it is not your responsibility to care where the money comes from either. I have worked with a promotion company before who had the agreement that we go into a place and perform and get paid. They completely undertook us, and the promoter paid us the full amount from his pocket. If it is the club ripping you off, pressure the agent. If it is the agent ripping you off, pressure the agent! As for under the table, I agree it makes tax season easier. However, it doesn't give you a leg to stand on when fighting them. Like Charles said, you can argue the verbal contract thing but most people seem to develop sudden memory loss. Even unofficial writing is better than nothing.Best of luck.------------------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



Location: Bowdon, GA, USA

Total posts: 7
Posted:Does anyone (in the USA please) have any advise on getting these paying jobs of which you speak? Who do you contact at the clubs? Do you have to have insurance? Do you professionals out there have agents? I have been performing for friends and at gatherings for a couple of years now and I think I am ready to take the next step but I am not sure what to do next. Any help or advise would be much appreciated!PeaceT'sa


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