Author Topic: Newbie needing some advice from seasoned performers  (Read 1819 times)

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Offline crystalgypsie

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Newbie needing some advice from seasoned performers
« on: December 18, 2011, 02:13:44 PM »
Ok, so I've worked some faires before, but always as a volunteer or at most for tips to cover the cost of my gas. It's something I love so much that I decided I wanted to make it my livelihood and so have been working on an act to take on the road full-time. Basically, I need any kind of advice you can give me about how to go about starting up, getting established as a performer, ballpark of what I should charge to start out, and literally any other advice you can possibly think to give me.

From browsing the forum I know most of the responses say they need more information about the act, so here it is: It would be a children's act of a faerie (me) telling overly dramatic and funny renditions of classic fairy tales. There would be a few brief snippets of song and dance in with the storytelling. I would also want to work the lanes between shows, just engaging the children and sharing my magic with them and such.

I had thought of starting out doing faerie festivals and using that to get footage, references, pictures, ect and using that material to submit to renaissance festivals? Does that sound like a good idea to you?

Thanks in advance! :)

Offline Miguel de Zaragoza

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Re: Newbie needing some advice from seasoned performers
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2011, 11:46:24 PM »
I would have to ask if you have performed this show? What you have sounds like something that is very "lane" oriented. Or a children's show.

If you HAVE performed it - then a resume', footage, recommendations, auditioning is the way to go. Photos, etc are very important. I will say this - do not skimp on your costuming. Theater is a visual form. The more colorful and beautiful (ugly, brooding, sexy, haughty, whatever powerful statement you wish to say) the more impact you will have and the more the festival "powers" will desire you.

If you have NOT performed it - use any opportunity to hone what you are doing....

Your fee? Well, what are your needs? The amount of money spent on entertainment really swings a wide arc. You have to figure your needs, your costs, your experience, your ability to draw or affect crowds and then make a gander. Tips, surprisingly enough, can sometimes be very very good.... sometimes very very bad.  Lots of folks want to do the festivals because they are drawn to the lifestyle. I say, in entertainment, that entertaining must become your focus, your first love.

I am sorry I am rambling. Hope this gave you some insight from an old timer "Rennie" of over 30 years.....

Offline Merlin the Elder

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Re: Newbie needing some advice from seasoned performers
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2011, 09:14:10 AM »
... I say, in entertainment, that entertaining must become your focus, your first love. .....
As a long-time performer myself—albeit not at festivals—this has to be rule one. Being hungry can be a common feeling as a performer until you reach the point, as Miguel has, where you are working as much (or nearly as much) as you want and need to. Without the love for the art, you'll sour, and it will be noticeable.
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Offline temper

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Re: Newbie needing some advice from seasoned performers
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2012, 03:09:11 PM »
I opted to stay a "weekender" because I like my day job and benefits but here is what we know for what it's worth.

1) You should be able to sleep in your transportation
2) You shouldn't limit yourself to renfaires-schools, libraries, other events like kids days at towns or even corporate events shouldn't be out of your realm
3) Have something of a cushion before you start-and hopefully friends where you plan to perform.
4) Be willing to make ends meet with a job in the off season. The most successful act I know also has a drop-in tailoring job.
5) Take advice and see how the pros do it.
6) Be willing to have some failures.
7) Only work with a contract. Emails count as contracts in certain states.

Hopefully that was helpful.
Temper; what makes a good sword, be sure to keep it.


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