Many things go into making a professional. Some of the things seem to be just common sense, while others are habits you need to learn to train yourself to be a pro. Let’s explore a few.
• Eating At A Banquet or Gig – I always like to keep a professional distance between myself and my clients. I don’t mean to be stand off-ish (is that a word?) , but don’t be over exposed. If you eat with the client just before you go on to do your show you are taking some of the mystique away from you being a performer. You become common place before you do your bit and it can hurt the overall performance.
Also you may accidentally drip something on your performing clothes and it makes a bad impression later on when people view you from the stage.
My rule, I never eat or drink with the client.
• Handing Out Your Business Cards – If the show I am doing is for an agent I ask the agent for some his or her cards to pass out (with my name written on it) so the agent will get he referral. Afterall, it is the agent’s show! You are merely filling an order for the agent. I don’t hand out my own business cards unless it is my OWN show. That’s just professional courtesy!
• Telling “off color” jokes – Sometimes we may get overly friendly with the client and may drop in a joke or two that may be slightly “off color”. We are feeling relaxed and feel we can easily slip one of these in. Don’t do it! The whole situation can turn upside down on you within seconds of taking this liberty with a group you have just meant. When in doubt, leave it out!
• Arrive In Plenty Of Time – Even though we know exactly how much time we need to set our show, be there early to make the client feel comfortable. I don’t mean 3 hours ahead, but a good choice is 45 minutes to one hour head. You can be more relaxed and the client can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that you are there. It makes everyone less jittery.
I have more that I will share with you in another installment. Be the pro you picture yourself to be!