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Pink...?
BRONZE Member since Apr 2002

Pink...?

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Posted:Some background first:
As some of you are aware I work in a Circus School. We are part of the Conservatoire of Dance and Drama (CDD), which a group of small specialist universities in the UK (specialist as the teachers are also profesional performers therefore providing them with links to some of the top people in their area). The schools in the CDD include the famous acting school LAMDA, Central School of Ballet, Rambert, RADA etc...

So every day I get emails or telephone calls saying, "I'm a from charity/big event and we're holding a party/event/fundraiser, can we have some of your students here to perform, it would be an excellent opportunity for them..." or something similar always offering no money, no expenses. Today I even had one saying she was holding a party for her friend!!

Now our students a) can't work during the day as they are training, b) don't need 'the experiance' of working their arse off for no money. They get paid gigs, in the last holidays we had students performing in China, Portugal and Spain!

Now wondering if the other schools we are affiliated with get the same questions we phoned them up, and none did. But we're also part of the European Circus School network FEDEC, we asked some of them, and they had the same thing.

So people aren't willing to ask LAMDA 'can we have a student to come and act for free, it'd be an excellent opportunity for them', but are quite willing to ask Circus students?

Which leads me onto the Public's opinion of the Circus? Do they think we're some cheap hobby? Why do they feel they can get away without paying people in Circus? I mean the charities I can understand but we get music video producers who obviously have money, and people's private parties! Would they go up to Rambert and ask for a ballet dancer for free? No, they don't. So why Circus arts? What is making them feel like it's ok to do that to Circus?


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Pyrolific
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

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Posted:potentially unpopular opinion follows...

the really hard problem to solve in my opinion, is that there are a lot (I'd say the majority) of people out there that call themselves pros, set themselves up with an ok-ish web site, and then expect to be paid like pros (ie a living wage). AFAIK, if you want a living wage you have to contribute something *worth* being paid for. mucking about for a few hours a day for 6 months with some poi and juggling balls does not qualify you as a professional IMHO.

there are so few real pro fire performers out there that I think its quite hard to even educate newbies...unless you yourself are one. I guess in circus, if you are performing at a level that indicates at least 3 hard years of training and several years of hobby training before that, then perhaps you should be able to justify a living wage, but otherwise...why should a client pay you as much as you might ask?


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ElectricBlue
GOLD Member since Feb 2002

ElectricBlue

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Location: Canberra, Australia

Total posts: 810
Posted: Written by


That's become standard dialogue for community/charity groups and, of course, there is an element of truth in it.

But, I feel, there's also often an element of b*llshit in it as well.

In a way, I think it would be better if they said 'can you do this free, or for very little, as a genuine act of charity to benefit those less fortunate', rather than making out that it's such a great 'networking opportunity/opportunity to get yourself known' that it's them doing you a favour, rather than the other way round.




Nail on the head with that one dave. If sombody called me up and asked me to donate some time for a worthy cause i would probably do it with out much hesitation. Beacuse i'm all for vollenter work. But when people try and spin it as an "oppertunity" that just really anoys me.

Also on thing alot of the time if you are performing for free the organisers don't put as much effort in to where your going to be performing to make the most of what you do often they just wave you in to a corner and say there you go perform over there. Where as if you are being paid they want to make the most of you so they think more about how to do this.

Haveing to perform in less than ideal areas or times can really make you look bad/un profesional so if you are doing an un paid gig make sure you set down some gide lines and they know to make the most of you.


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ElectricBlue
GOLD Member since Feb 2002

ElectricBlue

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Location: Canberra, Australia

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Posted: Written by

I am still thinking that there are too many assumptions being made about whether or not people appropriately value the circus/performers. ... What is it exactly that makes you feel under valued? Just because someone asks you to perform for free?







BansheeCat: I think the problem a lot of people have with being asked to work for free is that people will call you up and rather than asking you if you would like to donate some time to help them they will just assume you will do it. Where as if they were calling a shop looking for say prizes for a raffle they are not going to assume a shop would jump at a chance to give away there things. This is what often makes it feel like you are being under valued



Although often some good opportunities will come from free gigs and I really don't doubt this I have had just as many people come and ask me about performing for the after paid gigs as I have un-paid, so I think it is a little un fair for people to think that exposure is payment. I would much rather be asked to donate time then to have somebody think that exposure is enough payment for a professional performer.

EDITED_BY: Blueberry (1211508697)


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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

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Location: WNY, USA

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Posted:BansheeCat, what you offer is a tangible item which has a different value to performance.

A person who wins it in a charity auction can show your piece and send along references.
A performer who performs only gets (hopefully) a reference and maybe a couple people interested later. That's it. No continual stream of visual reference, as with jewelry.

It's like comparing apples to oranges.

No one has a problem with the asking, it's the attitude that comes when we put a price tag on it.

You also have to understand that your Thailand experience, while wonderful, is by far *not* the norm. Those opportunities really are rare, so count yourself lucky.
Even with television and media exposure, the "opportunity" line is still primarily a line.

OWD, I think that you bring up so many, many good points and have given lots of food for thought.
Here's one for you... blank your mind and think circus.
Clowns in cars and Ringling Bros. images yes?
Now, blank your mind and think cirque.
Different image yes?
It's a start I think.

I also know places like Toronto School of Circus Arts turned it's focus. Many moons ago it's focus was clowning, slack wire, juggling, etc. It has grown and progressed and has a *huge* focus on aerials and things very traditionally circus, but not necessarily the foremost thought association when the general public thinks circus.

I also so completely agree with you on the "costume" element, not only for teaching but also arts like stilting, where there are so many other more lovely options.

Thank you for the food for thought.


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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newgabe
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

newgabe

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Posted:I don;t think it's only undervaluing that people want 'circus' acts for their charity shows. I think its because it's entertaining! And because these acts are usually fairly self-contained. What would an actor do? A solo recitation even of a wonderful poem would not entertain most audiences these days. Music is done to death. Ballet and dance often need too much space and have to be VERY good to be worth watching whereas many of our arts are fun to watch even at an average level. Being welcomed by stilts or ribbon twirlers, having contact juggling or balloon modelling around tables... juggling or hoop with a bit of sass takes little space and most people can;t do it... fire in a garden etc... it works.

I agree to be clear that you are giving something of value though if you choose to do it. State what you usual rate is. Get at least travel costs and get FED. I can;t believe how rude people are to not feed performers/guest artists when other people are being fed.


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FireTom


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Posted: Written by : Rouge

I don't think it's wrong for charities to ask for free gigs...except that they don't ask for them from other schools of performance. Although I do think that they should pay for expenses.



I'm with Rouge and BansheeCat on this one: Nothing wrong with asking... but nothing wrong with getting upset about it after the 99th phonecall of this kind/day either. ubblol

Its not about ripoff or lack of respect - its simply "giving it a shot". I had this kind of requests from bands who make money with their show and wanted me/ us simply as a garnish. I had agents calling me, making ridiculously low offers and saying: "But it's an opportunity..." shrug

 Written by : Rozi

Explain that you may choose to waive some or all of that fee, dependent on the opportunity. Ask them to quantify exactly what publicity/exposure/experience you will be getting from it (eg. a logo on the program, or a chance to meet the crown heads of europe).



In many cases, when I was asking whether we'd be on any flyer or there'd be any kind of real "opportunity" - they were usually telling me that it's too close to the event to put this up... so I said "try again next year".

There are spinners happily spinning for the five minutes of fame only - why not the same for circus artists?

Maybe you just need to find a way to say "No" ... kindly wink


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natasqi


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Posted: Written by :Pele


 Written by :natasqi


Sword swallowing acts are often with fire. As is juggling.





I admit, completely off topic but this really has me interested.
Since I'm associated with the Sword Swallower's Association International and know many of it's members personally, I know most do nothing with fire. This has me confused and I would love to understand this statement more. Thanks.




Haha.. this is because of my very limited experience with sword swallowers. The two that I have seen/met... One had the handle of his sword on fire while he was swallowing, and the other I think did some juggling with fire and fire eating as well.

So in my mind, fire and sword swallowing go together. therefore people who think of fire, think of buskers and sword swallowing... And therefore get this 'it's an opportunity for you' rather than realising that it is an art and needs lots of training etc.

Pele - "However, if no stipend is offered, what would be your criteria?"
Well, I'd do shows for the charities that I have involvement with in Perth.. so that's Oxfam, Oaktree, Red Cross and all the ones within the med student community. But this would be more helping my friends out because I know how hard it is to get performers, and venues and food etc etc when you have no budget.

If it was a charity I didn't know at all, well they'd be calling my boss, not me... but if somehow they got my details.
I guess it would depend on what it was. If they wanted me to come teach spinning hoop/poi to some children I would if I had the time.
If it was just a performance, in amongst a lot of other performances I don't think I would.
I guess I kind of feel that I have done a lot for charities and things and don't feel obligated anymore.
I would if I really really wanted to support the cause. Saving whales, animal cruelty or Parkinson's disease (close to home)
But if it was the cancer council or something... Sure cancer is a huge problem but the cancer council gets an amazing amount of funding a year, and while you always need more, if I have $100 to spend between 10 charities, they wouldn't get anything...

So in summary, my criteria for doing a COMPLETELY free show is....
a) whether I'd have fun (teach kids = fun, performing for snotty nose millionaires who've seen it before = not fun)
b) whether I really liked the cause (or the people running it)
c) whether I had the time and it didn't stop me from doing something else


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FireTom


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Posted:OWD - valid and good points to ponder.



Re. 2) How can anyone support themselves with 50 squid a week only (anywhere in the West)? And what is this guy doing with the other 69 hours? It's not all just practice, is it?



But you're raising a good point here, because these 20 minutes performance not only include years of practice (hopefully) and props, but our works starts at the time we leave our house and ends by the time we make it back.



These costs are listed on your plumbers or carpenters bill, btw.



People call a school because they want "students" not "experts", because they think they are more cheap and because they don't necessarily give a damn about the level of artistry - as long as it's funny and they don't burn down the premises.



I agree we should all work together and repair the strange image of "performers".... but certainly that of "clowns". Maybe even within the performing community some do have a strange perception of what skills "clownery" does require.



Ever been walking on stilts crossing concrete, rough tiles and grassy areas, when children are trying to chase you?



The guy in the colourful outfit has got the highest respect from me, tell you that much.



As in teaching noobs (for free) - maybe I have to finally reconsider what exactly I have been doing all these years...



Some say: Why should I pay for education (online) when I can learn it for free from the guy in the park, festival, party? Subsequently what they learn has no value...



Just my 2 ct wink



PS: Nat... you're a professional performer, are you? Does it mean that you are feeding yourself only by your gigs, or do you in fact have some other subsidies (that other 'pros' don't have? wink )

EDITED_BY: FireTom (1211527383)


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natasqi


natasqi

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Posted: Written by :FireTom


PS: Nat... you're a professional performer, are you? Does it mean that you are feeding yourself only by your gigs, or do you in fact have some other subsidies (that other 'pros' don't have? wink )



erm, I chose not to get involved in the previous 'professional' discussion so I think it's really up to what you consider professional.

I don't think I'd ever call myself a 'professional fire-performer' because that to me means I went somewhere, did a course and now earn money from it.

I'd love to only firedance and make a living from this. But Perth, being nicknamed 'Dullsville', I'd say that there's at most two performances a week on average. And thats shared between us and Fyredanz. And of course in winter, it slows down, and then in summer we could have 3 gigs on both Friday and Saturday.

So, I'm a student. I study full time. Last year I was still living with my parents.
This year Firedancing is my only income, though most expenses are covered by my uni because I'm studying in a country hospital this year.

So to me, I'm part of a professional troupe, but I'm not a professional fire performer. There's no one in Perth as such.

Does this answer your question? And what was the point of your question? Was it that, because I accept these gigs I am taking money away from the pros?... Because I'd say, we ARE the pros in Perth... poor little Perth... I STILL LOVE YOU! ubblove


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Durbs
BRONZE Member since Sep 2001

Durbs

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Posted:OWD glanced on a point I was going to make.

At all of the charity gigs I've done (way back when) - you'd arrive on-site, having paid for your own petrol, spent some time rehearsing the act, sorting out a costume etc, all "pro bono" as the charity "are on a really tight budget" - to arrive and find a full rig, with DJ, in an amazing venue, decor everywhere, more than enough food and drink - and you know what, everyone there is being paid full-rate.

After a couple of these, I started saying "no", even using the "would you work for free?" question when people ask for a 40-minute fire show for free - it's amazing how the "really tight budgets" suddenly free up a couple more grand once they realise they're not getting it for nothing...


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Durbs
BRONZE Member since Sep 2001

Durbs

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Posted:Heh - infact, example of the above.
We got asked to do a festival (who are worse than charities when it comes to blagging) - Wanted a 50 minute choreographed show, with approx 12 artists doing seperate acts, all for "entry and a couple of beers".
How I laughed. Oddly, they didn't when I sent them a quote.


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newgabe
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
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Posted: Written by :Durbs


We got asked to do a festival (who are worse than charities when it comes to blagging)



Yep, I fess up on that one. redface Festival fees are notoriously lower than corporate. Plus I have had many professional performers working for my festival venue for the price of a ticket (works out at about $10 an hour). But it's such a bloody marvellous experience that I have them approach me. So when paid spots come up (for taking some responsibility for running the overall program rather than doing a few workshops) Increasingly I am working with other parts of that festival to combine paid work and the workshopping in my venue.


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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Spanner
BRONZE Member since Feb 2003

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Posted: Written by :Blueberry


I don't have a big problem with charity asking but the thing that really annoys me is when people who are working for corporate events have the gal to request you to perform for free but "Oh yeah we can't pay you or any thing"

This happened to me the other day and it made me quite angry. I was asked to perform at a local psi trance underground dance event thing where they have Dj's from all over the world and are probably paying them a good penny or two. They said this exactly "oh we can't pay you and you can have a ticket because it against our policy to give free tickets."



Wow... I already have a big problem with companies who ask performers to help make them money for free, but asking performers to pay to help make them money really does take the pisscuit.


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simta
BRONZE Member since Apr 2006

simta

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Posted:i'm tempted to say its cos we all look like we're enjoying it too much. so they feel they dont need to give money for something thats enjoyable, cos thats not "proper" work

maybe we all need to become bit more staunch-faced


"the geeks have got you" - Gayle

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faith enfire
BRONZE Member since Jan 2006

faith enfire

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Posted:It's a charity. They ask circus performers because it probably fits their theme. I've seen ballet and opera singers perform for charities...I know (some) did not get paid, others did. The ballet was a school troupe, the singer was a student at my college.

And it is an oppurtinity to book paying gigs. Maybe some corporate guy was trying to think of something cool and sees this.

Of course, it doesn't hurt to ask for expenses, but don't be bratty if they don't because it's a CHARITY


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simta
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simta

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Posted: Written by :faithinfire

Of course, it doesn't hurt to ask for expenses, but don't be bratty if they don't because it's a CHARITY



i think the issue is that charities seem to pay other people to do stuff for them at normal rates, e.g caterers, marquee people, djs/sound equipment etc.. but when it comes to spinny stuff they just expect it for free


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Pink...?
BRONZE Member since Apr 2002

Pink...?

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Posted:People seem to be latching onto the Charity part quite a lot. It's not only charities who ask, I can understand charities asking, as long as they respect the performer, and pay for all the expenses (which from the conversations I've been having with people asking for performers is not the case). Although truely they should not be asking a school, they should ask the individual performers. We have enough work to do, let alone be the students agents.

My main annoyance is with other people, like the music video producer who has called 3 times this week already asking. No they can't have the students because a) they are not being paid, b) it's during school time.

As for the 'connections' people can make from free gigs, true enough. But at the same time connections can be made form paid gigs.

I think that what has been said earlier about the 'hobby-ists' performing for free has made it 'ok' for people to ask for free performances. I like OWD idea of when teaching people, at the appropriate time, bringing up the point about doing free gigs effects people who live off the work. I'm sure most people you mention it too would not have thought about it from that perspective.


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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

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Posted:I'd also like to point out, this isn't just about spinny arts or fire arts. Juggling, stilting, anything like that.
I've been asked to do my bed of nails, broken glass and swallow a sword...for free.
It stretched all throughout circus and sideshow and subcultural arts.
I've even been asked to do henna and face painting for free.
Uhhhhh...no.

Now, here's one I just got this morning.
They are a festival (yes..huge offender) who's budget is strapped and they can't pay so would we be willing to donate an hour long sideshow/fire stunt show AND (this is the part that got me) would we also be willing to extend our insurance coverage to include a magician and someone else on the roster. eek
That took some cajones!
A very polite price quote was sent in return. wink


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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Pyrolific
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

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Posted:so few charities really are just volunteers. Many charity events are put on by dodgy event organisers who are being contracted by the charity, and its them on the phone making all the promises and rarely delivering.

I dont even do paid gigs anymore because its not worth the hassle to go twirl fire for people I don't know. my day job pays waaay more than I could make as a fire performer...so why would I take time off on my w/ends to do gigs for people I wouldn't choose to associate with? I find it difficult tho to turn down paid work for people I know tho...but I already work enough...lazy...perhaps smile

on the other hand, if its a gig I would have gone to anyway, (ie my friends are putting on a dance party or something) then I'm all for it - no money required.


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hamamelis
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hamamelis

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Posted:It's not just circus that gets this though- used to know a retired guy who worked, as a volunteer, for the RSPB, wound up running their cafe there.

He liked doing it, until a new (paid) manager took over..

They were a little annoyed at having to do events away from the reserve for the charity, but when he started booking them (all but him volunteers) for weddings..

The manager honestly didn't get what the difference was.. he thought it was great, undercutting all the other catering companies because his staff didn't ned paying..

I even worked in a pub in New Zealand, for a week, that was running the entire place on a work-for-a-room basis, apart from the owner- they had me, a random backpacker, running the kitchen solo one night! It sort of worked there because while the 'staff' changed all the time, it was a little mining town, so the customers were always the same, and could probably have run the place by themselves..

Another one that gets it is photography- anyone else seen the newspaper/online news agencies advertising 'send in your newsworthy picture, and get it published- free! sort of ads?

How many of you would ask a mate to take some publicity shots, and get them a beer for it, rather than pay a pro?

Amateurs who are just happy that someone thinks their stuff's good enough to ask for are always going to exist, the only real thing you can do about it is what the photographers do- just try and be a lot better, and more professional at what it is you do than the hobbyists that will do it for free.. Some people will be willing to pay for quality, some won't.

I know a lot of people don't get the difference between doing something you like as a hobby, and as a job- hey, my parent's zoo can actually *charge* 75 a time for people to come and play at working there for a day, no-one's saying all the staff should pay to come in to work!

They also get lots of people ask to volunteer on a regular basis- and accept some, then a few vounteers have gone on to be paid staff, most haven't.

I do think it says something though, pay to do it once, do it one day a week (or for one week) for free, do it full time and get paid!


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FireTom


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Posted: Written by :simta

i'm tempted to say its cos we all look like we're enjoying it too much. so they feel they dont need to give money for something thats enjoyable, cos thats not "proper" work

maybe we all need to become bit more staunch-faced



Would mean that Porn5tars work for free? umm wink btw I got a hard time to sort out the pics where I'm really smiling whilst performing that concentrated look is not appealing.

Nat: As long as you're the only professional troupe in Perth and sub' I reckon it's allright to play for free as long as you get the chuckles. As soon as they are others in the area you simply turn the screw in the wrong direction.

As OWD already pointed out: If you make your name with freebies, it's hard(er) to charge reasonable money later. IMHO you're a 'pro' as soon as you charge money - it doesn't say anything about your capabilities...

With last years Antaris festival I finally called it quits to work for free (entry). As far as I know they invited and paid for a DJ from Anjuna (Goa)... Fact of the matter is that DJ's get paid good bucks and (usually) never spin for free.

Why should we?

Photomodels sometimes indeed work for free, so-called "tests"...

Guys it's all "user generated content" these days - you join the game as long as you enjoy it.


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Spanner
BRONZE Member since Feb 2003

Spanner

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Posted: Written by :hamamelis


How many of you would ask a mate to take some publicity shots, and get them a beer for it, rather than pay a pro?




I think this is different though:

if a friend asks me to do something for less than going rate or free, it's likely because they don't have the money and I know them well enough to know that's true (and I don't know many people, if any, who don't do "mate's rates").

If someone from a company asks, who I don't know from Adam, I'm unlikely to know whether they're lying about their "budget" or not.

 Written by :Durbs


After a couple of these, I started saying "no", even using the "would you work for free?" question when people ask for a 40-minute fire show for free - it's amazing how the "really tight budgets" suddenly free up a couple more grand once they realise they're not getting it for nothing...



I'd like to see more performers take your example by making businesses decide between who they can pay the going rate to rather than letting them have their cake and eat it.
As businesses tend to see it, it's the freebies who let them allocate their "budget" to performers who they know will insist on payment, so I think performers do have to take responsibility by putting themselves in that category.


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yay,

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hamamelis
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hamamelis

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Posted: Written by :Spanner


 Written by :hamamelis


How many of you would ask a mate to take some publicity shots, and get them a beer for it, rather than pay a pro?




I think this is different though:

if a friend asks me to do something for less than going rate or free, it's likely because they don't have the money and I know them well enough to know that's true (and I don't know many people, if any, who don't do "mate's rates").

If someone from a company asks, who I don't know from Adam, I'm unlikely to know whether they're lying about their "budget" or not.




It's not really different- it's still the same attitude that spinning/taking photos is something people do as a hobby, therefore it's not proper work.. If your mate was a painter & decorator, who would seriously expect them to come round and paint your house for a beer?

I'm using the comparison 'cos my Dad's a semi-pro photographer, and gets a magazine which has had a virtually indentical debate in it to this one going for months- just remove the work 'spinning' and replace it with 'taking photos'..

Even vague aquaintances will ask photographers to come and.. say.. photograph their daughter's wedding for an invite to the reception and the price of the film, if they're using film.. One of my uncles gets it all the time, everyone knows he's always got a camera.. so... what work can it be, huh..? You take pictures anyway, so what's the difference in doing it *here*? He normally smiles and tells them he'd love to come, if they get a pro to do the 'proper' pictures, and leave him free to take candids and fun pictures, with no responsibility if anything goes wrong with the camera..


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Spanner
BRONZE Member since Feb 2003

Spanner

remembers when it was all fields round here
Location: in the works... somewhere..., ...

Total posts: 2790
Posted: Written by :hamamelis


It's not really different- it's still the same attitude that spinning/taking photos is something people do as a hobby, therefore it's not proper work.. If your mate was a painter & decorator, who would seriously expect them to come round and paint your house for a beer?





Myself and most of my friends are fortunate enough that, whether offering or asking, we'll do our day jobs outside of the 9 to 5 for each other in return for being sorted out with some beers wink or something else which appeals if we can't afford their going rate.

You seem to be missing my point that real friends don't take the attitude of undermining each other's work, because those who do usually find they don't have a friendship with the other person left. Organisations tend to have far less qualms with each other and individuals because their relationship is solely business, not personal.

 Written by :hamamelis

Even vague aquaintances will ask photographers to come and.. say.. photograph their daughter's wedding for an invite to the reception and the price of the film, if they're using film.. One of my uncles gets it all the time, everyone knows he's always got a camera.. so... what work can it be, huh..? You take pictures anyway, so what's the difference in doing it *here*? He normally smiles and tells them he'd love to come, if they get a pro to do the 'proper' pictures, and leave him free to take candids and fun pictures, with no responsibility if anything goes wrong with the camera..



Again though, you're talking about "vague acquaintances" in response to me talking about friends so it isn't a fair comparison.

Anyway, if they're asking because they want to save money by not hiring a professional photographer so they can spend it on something else, of course that's cheeky, as much as it would be if a company tried that on, but if they genuinely couldn't afford it otherwise, I don't blame them for asking. There's a similar argument against the old music copying issue: you can't lose anyone money if you don't have it to give.

Either way, so your uncle says no, even to friends. Fair play. Some do, some don't. Some people will offer, some people won't think to offer but will happily accept if asked. In the circumstances I've explained above, unless you can explain to me how that's hurting professionals in either feelings or finances, I can only conclude that it doesn't smile


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natasqi


natasqi

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Location: Perth

Total posts: 489
Posted: Written by :FireTom


Nat: As long as you're the only professional troupe in Perth and sub' I reckon it's alright to play for free as long as you get the chuckles. As soon as they are others in the area you simply turn the screw in the wrong direction.

As OWD already pointed out: If you make your name with freebies, it's hard(er) to charge reasonable money later. IMHO you're a 'pro' as soon as you charge money - it doesn't say anything about your capabilities...




YAY! I'm a pro!! WOOHOO! :P

There is another troupe in Perth.. though we often do gigs together... And charity gigs together i.e they'd say "Such and such has asked us to do a show... obviously they're not paying us/only paying expenses. If you want to come join in the spinning and use our fuel, then feel free."

I don't know how much they charge.. Our gigs are very different, We don't really have any props in common...
But knowing they have the same ideas as us in this regards I think makes the choice easier.

Bossman and them are friends, so i guess they've talked about this already. If not I may ask them next time I see them what their thoughts are...


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hamamelis
BRONZE Member since Jan 2006

hamamelis

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Location: Bouncing off the walls., Engla...

Total posts: 756
Posted:I was using the 'mate' thing more in the 'someone you know' myspace sort of sense- people who really are your friends do stuff for you and you do stuff for them, no-one has an issue with that- it's when it gets beyond that to a regular 'people you just about know keep bugging you for free stuff' level it starts annoying everyone.

My Uncle does do a fair bit of photography for actual friends, but when someone's paying thousands of pounds for a wedding, they tend to get upset if.. say.. the back of the camera opened midway through and ruins the film of the only copy of pictures.. same as someone organising a gig is going to get a bit upset if you show up and mess around, even if they *did* get you for free..


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