College Shows pay more…

If we had a dime for every entertainer who told us that college shows pay more, don’t understand the nature of the market.  Yes, there are some colleges who will pay $50,000 or even $100,000.  But these big budget shows are reserved for household names.

College shows start at $600 and go up from there. To tell us what colleges are willing to pay because you got that amount once or your hear what someone got is not the reality of the business.  Budgets come in all shapes and sizes and the more we get, the more we are able to afford in the level of comedy.

The question you need to ask yourself, is if I am willing to work for that money, does it fit in my schedule and what else am I doing at that time.  Most entertainers mistakenly think they can hold out for a better price…this doens’t work on two levels–

Unless you are a household name, you can easily be replaced by another comic who is willing to work for that money.

Most colleges, military bases and casinos simply don’t have or don’t want to pay anymore. 

If Entertainmentmax can’t work within their budget, the client goes to any number of other booking agencies.  If the comic can’t work within the budget of a show, we simply go elsewhere until we find someone qualified who will — and there always is.

It may be harsh, but this is the reality of the entertainment business today.

What Comics Wear Matters…

Entertainmentmax thinks it is important to let performers know that what you wear does say a lot about you. People judge people before word one is ever uttered. If you see someone at a party with a t-shirt with a four letter word on it, you may think you want to stay away from him or that’s funny and you should go over and talk with him. The point is you judge people by what they wear.

Most great performers all have a certain look. Bill Cosby had the sweater, Jerry was the sport coat and jeans, Richard Lewis was always dressed in black. There were reasons for those choices. Richard Lewis was always saying “I‘m in Hell“ and wearing all black showed his inner soul. If you are unsure of what to wear, always error on the side of more professional. There are many shows that want their acts to be presentable. People pay between $10-$20 to see comedy, and they‘d like to see someone that cares enough to dress nicely and look like a professional and not some bum that walked in from the street.

Why do some guys get booked and others don’t?

It’s not just about the funny.

It’s not just because you are a good hypnotist or a good magician.

It’s not just because you have a great sound.

A big part of getting booked with Entertainmentmax, or any booking company for that matter is attitude and ease of working.  The simple truth of the matter is:

1. People who get back to us quickly get booked more than those who don’t.

2. People who send us their marketing materials so we have something to show the client get booked more frequently that those who don’t.

3. People who are realistic about what the market will bear, get booked more than those who aren’t. (this is going to be the focus of next week’s blog).

4. People who are respectful to the staff get booked before those who give us a hard time.

5. People who treat themselves like a business - return messages quickly, have promotional materials, have a website, etc get booked more than those who don’t.

These things may seem obvious, but you would be surprised at how many entertainers don’t take these things to heart…

Show Me…Don’t Tell Me with Comedy

Entertainmentmax thinks it is important to let fledgling performers know that comedy is about relating to people on some level. Performers would like to think that audiences come to the show and all sit quietly and listen to their brilliant observations. However, the truth is comedy clubs are there to sell drinks. If they could train monkeys to juggle, and have people come out and watch and drink, most comedians would be out of business.

Entertainmentmax suggests that when you deliver your material, that you use all the resources you can to express the feeling of the joke. Seinfeld was the master at using his voice to show us where the funny was. Often his pitch went up so high, that audiences had to laugh. Brian Regan is called by Seinfeld the best physical comedian working today. Instead of saying that your dad looks everywhere for the remote, it is far funnier if you show us. Pretend to be your dad and look under cushions, stand on a stool and pretend to look on the ceiling, and end the bit with finding the control in your pants. Show the audience where the funny is because most people in the crowd have had a few drinks and may have trouble following your act if you are just standing around talking.

If you are in the market for a funny comedian, a professional speaker, or spectacular

Reporting Back from a Show - Comics, Hypnotists, Magicians & Musicians

Wendy here, often times we will call you after a show or a week of shows to ask you what happened.  Of course, we know that you always do great, but what we are really looking for is some head’s up when we call the client.

If you tell us a show went great because you did great…and there were six people in the room, the show did not go great for the client. We need you to let us know because you are our eyes and ears.

If the mic didn’t work, if the lighting was bad, if the room was empty, if the bartender was rude, if the room was really crowded, if the opening act didn’t show up…all this is valuable information to us.

The enteratiners that get booked and re-booked help us by providing this information. Knowing what went on the night of the show helps us retain that client — and without all of us working together there will be no shows for anyone — not for us…not for you.

We are providing this information becuase we want to break down that “booker-entertainer” adversarial relationship and make it more than a partnership.

We believe at Enteratainmentmax that there is enough business for everyone. So let’s all work together and make business for all of us.

Remove Your Mask to Show your Comedic Voice

Entertainmentmax thinks it is important to let fledgling performers know that comedy is about relating to people on some level. If you are willing to reveal who you are to the audience, that is when you begin to find your comedy voice. We all have masks we wear in the beginning of any relationship. When you first meet someone at a party, you probably don’t launch into how you were a bed wetter, and have a mole on you ass that looks like North Korea.

Entertainmentmax suggests that you deliver material that is personal, and let us in on who you really are and how you feel and think about things. It’s scary, and you don’t have to talk about your childhood and your “touchy-feely” uncle, but let the audience in to your private world. You will be shocked to find out how many people relate to what you think is your unique weirdness. Once you master that and are comfortable revealing that person behind the mask, your success is unlimited.

If you are in the market for a funny comedian, a professional speaker, or spectacular

No More Flights

I went on a military tour last week in Grand Forks and Minot.  I took Northwest Airlines.  The flight was delayed by inclement weather in Minneapolis on the way to Grand Forks, and we barely made it to the show.  I understand delays, and l figured the show went well, and it wasn’t the airlines fault.

emaxlogo.jpg The next day we drove to Minot AFB, and had one of the best shows.  The place was sold out and we got a little standing ovation.  I was feeling great, and after speaking to the other comedian, we both agreed to fly standby in the early morning. 

I called the airline and explained we are in Minot (which is 3 hours from Grand Forks) and we had a 4:00 pm out of Grand Forks, but could we fly standby on the 5:00 am flight.  The Northwest agent said that flight was 1/2 empty and we would have no problem getting on that plane nor the connecting one in Minneapolis and I’d be home by 9:00 am.

So, we drove thru the night (narrowly missing about 6 deer) and when we got the airport, we found out the plane was having mechanical problems and that flight was not happening.  Everyone got on a bus to Fargo to catch connecting flights, but since we were standby, we weren’t allowed, and had to wait 7 hours in the garage they call an airport to wait for the next flight.  We got on that standby, but had to pay $25 each person for that privalage.  It’s a new policy I was told, but maybe you should tell your customers before they make a 3 hour drive.

Finally, we get to Minneapolis, but all the flights to L.A. are sold out, and I have to sit another 7 hours in Minneapolis.  What is the point of paying $25 to fly standby if I can’t get to my final destination early?  I am told “that’s the gamble you chose”. 

My reply to them was always, “and that’s why you are going out of business”.

With airline fares going way up, and the customer service going way down, I think it’s best to drive even if it is a 12 hour drive.

Email and The Comic, Magician or Hypnotist

By now I think all but a few of you use email. I want to take a minute to give you some tips about email. This makes you professional sounding and really helps us help you.  Since I like lists, here’s another one for you…

1. Set a signature up in your email that automatically loads your contact information into the email.  If you don’t know how to do this, or your service can’t, please put your business line, cell phone at the end of each email along with your name. There is nothing more frustrating than getting an email from someone with an email like funnyguy34@aol.com and we don’t know who the hell you are….

2. Skip the profanity in emails. Did you know that the written word is much stronger than the spoken? When you write us, we don’t see your face and it can be hard to know when you are kidding, when you are a little annoyed or really angry.  So make sure that the words you chose in an email get the point across simply and cleanly without making us shake our heads and go “that guy’s just nuts.”

3. If you are on a cruise ship, in the middle east on tour, or just away from your email for more than a day, put your forwarder on. We email and don’t get a response for days - we have no idea what is going on — then we hear back — uhhhhhhhhh I was on a ship.  This is frustrating because you need to communicate with everyone that you are unavailable to reach — this shows that you are professional and think about your reputation.

4. Put dates in your emails.  If you are available “that friday” we are stumped.  Entertainmentmax books over 1000 shows each year and we need dates…..please.

5. If you move, please email us. If you change your phone, please email us. If you change your email, call us with your new email so you don’t end up in spam.

These things help us book you and that means more money in all of our pockets.  Thanks for tuning into my emails!  wendy

Prop Comedy

Entertainmentmax thinks it is important to let fledgling performers know that respect from your peers and industry types is crucial to anyone with aspirations of real success. If you are using props in your show to get laughs, then you may find it difficult to get to the top of the comedy food chain. Often when you use props, you are not revealing anything about yourself, and the jokes are simply in each individual prop. This may get some laughs, but can be a problem for a successful long term career.

Entertainmentmax suggests going out and doing material that is important to you with your personal point of view as your guide. This is not to say that prop acts can’t be successful, as ventriloquist Jeff Dunham and Carrot Top can attest. However, when people want a great prop act, they will hire Carrot Top, and Jeff Dunham if they want a ventriloquist. Comedians are all different, and you can carve your own personal niche out with your voice and material.

Budget for Rentals at a Show

Entertainmentmax thinks it is important to set up your rental budget before you begin to try and book up the talent.  We at Entertainmentmax know it can seem like rental equipment shouldn’t be difficult to try and budget, but you will have many more entertainment options available once you know how much you will need to spend on rental equipment.  Whether you are booking a funny comedian, magician, hypnotist or DJ, you should start by knowing your entire talent and tranportation budget so you can help plan the entire event.

Entertainmentmax wants you to know that you can save money by going thru one rental agency.  Often a rental company that can bring chairs and tables can also provide technical equipment for any of your audio and visual needs.  If you are using a hotel, their rental price can often be overpriced, so you should shop around for the one rental company that can satisfy all your needs.

Entertainmentmax knows that the budgets for rentals can vary.  Some smaller venues may not have the equipment you need, as other larger venues might.  So plan out your budget for rentals and make sure you don’t overpay at some overpriced hotel.

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