Posts Tagged ‘Gig Masters’

The ‘C’ Word

August 15, 2013

Wednesday August 14th, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

   One of the most unpleasant not to mention energy draining facets of the entertainment business is the constant attention that’s required to maintain a booking schedule. I’ve never enjoyed it, but there’s no choice. If one wants to be a professional comedian, the calendar needs to stay filled on a regular basis. In theory, that doesn’t sound so difficult. In reality, it’s a constant pain in the ass.

   Today was a perfect example. The website “Gig Masters” sent an email a few weeks back that a corporate gig was available between Madison, WI and Milwaukee. I applied for it, and thought I had it. I heard from the person who placed the inquiry, and she told me I was the main finalist.

   This person is not in the entertainment business, and has no idea how it works. I received word a few days later they were changing the date of the event to another date in October of this year. I happen to have a fairly solid October, and couldn’t do it. The lady said they’d love to have me, so I approached the booker for the date I had already booked that conflicted with the new date.

   The corporate show paid three times what I was scheduled to make for the entire weekend at a club, but I really like working that particular club and I’ve had it booked for months. They treat me well there, and understood my situation. They said they’d understand and switch my week if necessary. Not every club will do that, and I can understand why. It often turns into a big hassle.

   I made myself available for the corporate date, and wouldn’t you know it they changed the date AGAIN. The lady I’m dealing with dropped the ‘C’ word, and I knew I was in trouble. It’s a sure fire recipe for disaster, and the word is ‘committee’.  Any time a committee is involved, it’s hell.

   They’re 99.999% of the time filled with idiots that can’t make a decision, and I’ve been burned time and time again. There is always ONE self appointed crusading comedy snob in the mix that thinks he or she knows what funny is and it usually ends up being some inbred kin of theirs that plays a kazoo and works for free beer. I’ve lost out countless times to someone I never heard of.

   Well, chalk up another one. I was booked for their third night, but I told them I could get out of it if they could guarantee the night at the same price. This was six times what I was to take in for a one nighter that I’d have to drive several hours to get to. Had they said yes, I’d have had to call yet a third booker and cancel a date I just booked. They wouldn’t be happy, but money is money.

   I heard from the lady a few minutes later that they’d just booked someone else but she thanked me for my time and patience. I wanted to dash off a nasty note, but I’ve learned from experience that does far more harm than good. She didn’t mean to push all my buttons, but she certainly did.

   In the end, I’m still booked for the one nighter I never cancelled, and the booker never knew I was even considering it. I’ll drive farther than I want to, but it’s a decent gig and I’ll hope to sell some merchandise and make it worth my while. I’m also rebooked in the comedy club as well. It could have been a lot worse as often is the case, but this time no real damage was done. Whew.

   Drama scenes like this happen all the time. I’m beyond sick of them by now but what can I do? It’s an unavoidable part of the game, and if I don’t play at least a little I’m out of business by the end of the day. The average Joe assumes comedians are on a ‘circuit’ and there’s some kind of a                                                                                                                                                logical and preset order. Sorry, it just doesn’t work that way. We have to fight for every booking we get, and every week we deal with a new potential crisis. And people wonder why I flip out.


Ten Bikers And A Dog

August 11, 2013

Saturday August 10th, 2013 – Genoa, IL

   Just when I assume I’ve seen, heard and done everything, something brand new comes along to prove I have not. Any and all delusions I may have been secretly harboring about being in actual show business officially came to a screeching halt today. I no longer have a clue as to what I do.

   Right around Thanksgiving of last year I paid a fee to sign up on a booking website called “Gig Masters”. Their purpose in theory is to hook up live entertainers of all types with people looking to hire them. They’ve been around for years, and I decided to give them a shot to hopefully score decent paying work I wouldn’t normally get from comedy clubs and expand my horizons a bit.

   Quite honestly, many of the acts I’d seen listed in the comedians section were poor to mediocre at best. That’s often the problem when the public is allowed to buy acts themselves rather than be legitimately helped by a reputable agent. They don’t know quality, and often get stuck with a dud act and it turns them off to ever trying comedy again. The sting of poor quality trumps low price.

   I can’t stop anybody from listing themselves on a site like this, even when they flat out stink as a performer. I saw people listed on the website that had no business being in the same room with sound amplification equipment, so that’s what made me sign up. If those idiots were getting paid work at ridiculously inflated prices, I should be able to clean up. So far, I haven’t made one cent.

   I’ve been notified for quite a few gigs, and I have no beef with Gig Masters. They’re providing exactly what they promised – leads. It’s up to each act to respond to each one, and then the client chooses who gets it. This is where the trouble lies, as they have no idea who the best people are.

   I’ve lost out to several people for private shows that are nowhere near my level, but that’s their call. They have their reasons for who they choose, and I can only submit my name and resume to throw my hat in the ring hoping I get chosen. It’s a total crapshoot, just as most of this game is.

   Today was my first actual score from all the leads, but of course in Mr. Lucky tradition it paid a flaming zilch. It was a charity benefit, and I always try to do those whenever I can. I’ve made a point to donate my time to worthy causes whenever possible, and today it fit into my schedule.

   The show was at a V.F.W. hall in Genoa, IL which is not far from St. Charles where I had two shows at Zanies tonight. They wanted me there at 4pm to do a 45 minute show, and the purpose of the benefit was to raise money to help retired military dogs that were used in actual combat.

   Those who showed up for the event were all really grateful I came, but the problem was there were only ten of them – and one of the dogs. It was an aging German shepherd that moved a bit slow, but I was told it actually killed people during the war. Which war that was I have no idea.

   They led me into the bingo hall at the V.F.W. where there was a stage with a giant bingo ball machine on it. There was barely room for me to stand, and of course the ten bikers sat as far to the rear of the hall as they possibly could, adding to the already sky high degree of difficulty.

   A few minutes in the dog walked on stage and proceeded to sniff my crotch and ‘leather donut’ as one of the bikers referred to it. How totally embarrassing. Inside I was crying, as even though I love to help good causes this just wasn’t what I’d had in mind when I started in what I thought was going to be real show business. Did I help a cause? I hope so, but I didn’t help my career.