Now the title of this particular blog sounds relatively easy to which to respond. Dinner is dinner, right? Not so fast as I think we need to explore this a little bit.
My strict rule for over 30 years was to NEVER eat a meal with my client(s) before a show. Why? I have several reasons. The first reason is that, in my opinion, it is not good to load up on a heavy meal and then try to perform. Sometimes eating makes you sluggish and not at the top of your game. Because you are excited or nervous you may gulp your food, thus causing indigestion just prior to your show, which isn’t good either.
If you have to change into your wardrobe before you perform your driving clothes may not be suitable for eating with your clients and their guests. After all, driving clothes are made for comfort and not for dress, so what you wear to get there may not look appropriate. If you wear your “show clothes” to dinner you can add extra wrinkles to the clothes and come on stage looking like an unmade bed. Not good!
Also, what if you accidentally drop food or spill something on your show clothes. You may have to go onstage with stains, and that won’t help promote your professional look either.
The biggest reason I feel you should not eat is that sitting around with the clients prior to your show takes away some of the mystique of your performance. If the audience sees you for several minutes before the show you become commonplace to them. Instead of being the “entertainer” who is special, you become “the guy who ate dinner with us”. What’s so special about that?
If you worry about not mixing with your clients and being able to hand out business cards, hang around for a few minutes after your performance and thank people. If you did a good job you will have people approach you for your business card and then you can handle he situation in a professional manner. Remember..little things like this make a difference. Be that “special someone”, not “the guy who came to dinner”.
If you want to email Mark: firstname.lastname@example.org