When To Say “No” To A Show

If you are like most performers you always want to work as many shows as come your way, and that’s understandable. But there are times when a show is not a good fit for you and you and the client will both be dissatisfied. There are times when you must simply say “No” to a show!

The Show Isn’t For You …

Not every show is a good fit, but somehow you stretch to make it work. If it’s too much of a stretch, you become angry inside and frustrated, and this attitude shows up in your performance. Let’s say you are a top notch children’s entertainer and that is basically your “schtick”. You get called by an agent that wants you to do a 45 minute show for a group of lawyers. Anyone working knows that it is sometime (not all the time..) difficult to entertain this select group, and you don’t have the material to pull it off. It’s at this time that for your benefit and the groups that you should say “no” and not look back. To take it may be damaging to your performance psyche, let alone your reputation. “No” was an important decision at this point.

The Group Needs Too Much Time …

You are a wonderful ventriloquist and you have a tight 40-45 minute act that goes over well. The client who calls you insists on you doing a one hour and fifteen minute act. That’s one half-hour more than the material that you have honed and perfected. Do you take it? I say “no”, because you don’t have the material to effectively handle this situation. That’s not saying you could at some point add more material to the show, but if you aren’t ready don’t put yourself in that position. You can’t jus “wing it” as that is a lot of time to fill and the act will sag and drag as you struggle to finish the last part of it. Be ready the NEXT time someone calls and want that much time.

The Conditions Aren’t Right For You …

I had an agent call me and wanted me to do a show with the audience sitting around a swimming pool. Most of my audience was far away from me and I would basically have no one in front of me (except the pool) and everyone on the sides. Fortunately I talked to the company president and he had his people move his audiences’ chairs to be right in front of me and it worked well. But I didn’t know this was going to be the situation until I arrived at the hotel and the hotel had overbooked their banquet rooms and had put this party by the pool. If I had known up front about the pool I probably wouldn’t have taken the date. It would not have been good for me. Thank goodness the company president recognized my dilemma and helped. This was early in my career and I now know to ask about the facility itself.

Do the shows that FIT. To do otherwise is to gamble on your good reputation.

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