Alan Sands Entertainment

 

Don't you love when the client exclaims, "That's a lot of money for one act...!"

 

On April 27th, I was contacted by the moms production a lunchtime show for their elementary school in Pennsylvania. Great! This is what I do. I find the best performers in the region, all over the nation, that can do things like this. When I can't find them regionally, I can fly them in from elsewhere. This is what I have done for every sized event from schools, corporate parties, casinos, shopping malls, colleges, fairs - it is what I can do and I do well, I must admit!

 

After taking two days to track down and arranging two top flight comedy entertainers for the suggested budget of $1500, the client exclaims that she feels she should get more performers for the budget. Well, I was tired, sitting in an airport and I decided to give her a piece of my mind.

 

My rant back to her today went like this:

"So - ignore my cocky tone in the following rant. I am on four hours sleep and am in an airport in Minneapolis heading to South Dakota where I will do a show from 1:am - 3:am in the morning for a safe and sober post prom party.

>>$1500 for two performers! That's a lot! <<

Yeah, that's what people say. That's what people think.

It's 20 years of practicing skills no one else takes the time to do. Imagine spending a year learning one trick - hours a day.

It's working 100 days, doing office work 200 days to get that 100 days of work - and traveling to every stretch of the world to do the work.

It's standing in the rain ... and printing promo that costs you thousands of dollars to produce. No one sees the costume investment, the photoshoots, the video shoots, the video editing costs, the web site costs, the thousands of dollars we spend to stand in booths at trade shows and meet producers, agents, managers. The garage filled with unicycles, free-standing ladders, rope walking rigs.

People don't see the travel, the killing of equipment and cars, no benefits, no retirement, no sick pay, working on everyone else's holidays, going weeks without a paycheck between gigs sometimes, the investment in make-up, training, conventions, the family events we miss because, "the show must go on"

I was in South Africa when my daughter was born.
I think I made two dance recitals - missed most of her birthdays. I didn't get to tuck her in over 220 days a year her entire childhood.

There is a reason why Johnny Carson was married six times, Elizabeth Taylor was married eight times, TsaTsa nine times, Larry King 8 times ...

Do you want quality, or quantity? I deal with quality. I don't touch people who make $300 a gig. They are not dependable, their costumes look like they are homeless, they show up late, have no car insurance and bald tires, no health insurance - and even the quality ones often times can be artists - not business people so financially insecure. So many of them have Donnie tRump-like personalities, too. I have the honor of dealing with that. Egos - narcissistic personalities or they are introverts when not performing.

If you want to give them five days of work, I am sure I can get them to drop their price 33%. I personally, do not do any gig for less than $1500. I am getting paid $1850 for the show I will do tonight - but it is in South Dakota - and I have to get there. I checked three suitcases to do one - 2 hour show tonight.

I have been in this business my entire life. There is a reason why a Lilly Tomlin can hold the attention of an audience for 2 hours with a solo show. I am giving you seasoned professionals that have toured with Cirque du Soleil, the Big Apple Circus and more.

There are two types of performers - those that do Universities, Colleges, State Fairs, Cruise Ships, Casinos, Corporate Events and Comedy Clubs along with other professional venues. Those are the performers I work with ---- 
----- and then there are those who do birthday parties and street perform.

If you want quality performers, let me know. If you want to shop around for "more performers" because you think that is going to be better and more entertaining, I thank you for the opportunity to bid on your event. I hope it is the most successful event these kids have ever witnessed.

I am sorry - I am tired. I do not sleep well the night before I have to catch a plane at 8:10 am, fly all day, - drive 2 hours to the town I will be in - do a show at 1 am - 3 am, drive back to the airport two hours to catch a plane and fly home again ...

... the client is not paying for a 2-hour show, they are paying for almost 48 hours of my labor to get there, and I have to have bells on my toes and make the audience laugh so hard they cry and think, "This was the BEST show I have ever seen!"

Yup, they could have hired a birthday party clown locally - but instead they chose to try and hire the best their money could afford. That's me, and my peers. Yeah, I have some friends who make 5X as much as me, and I have some friends who make 1/5th as much as me per show - but as a rule, I know my peers - others who are tops in their field.

I do not have details on what they will do exactly - they will cater the show to the age of the audience. I do not dictate what they should do, because they know what their best material is for the audience and it may change depending on the age of the group. i.e., Children 5 & 6 like more buffoonery. 9-10 year olds can begin to appreciate higher skill levels. If you'd like an outline of what they would suggest, I can ask them for it. I will do my best to get it to you asap.

Need to go catch a plane now."

 

 

Please share your opinion in the comments section. I look forward to hearing your input.

Some people have an option - some do not

There are performers out there, like me, who do not have an option.

We either perform - or we die.

Since I am 3-1/2 years old, I have been on stage. Doing solo work since I am 12, making money since I am 17, and never have had a job since I am 19 - I am now 54.

I honestly know little else. And when I am not on stage (or producing) I am depressed. It is not severe depression, but it is depression.

My sister deals with it too. She is an entertainer as well.

Why do entertainers, sports figures, politicians all have so many addictions? Shopping to the point of bankruptcy, religion, alcohol, drugs, over eating, multiple marriages, sex addiction, money addiction ... because we are trying to get HIGH. And we can't get the same high from anything else the same way we can get the HIGH from being on stage.

Everything else is temporary. The stage is our passion - and that is why George Burns and Sinatra were on tour till the day they died. And that is what killed Michael Jackson, Elvis and Marilyn - trying to maintain sanity between the highs of the stage and performing. The natural adrenaline - there is no better high. Why do politicians remain in office and fight to remain in office? Some thing it is power, and you are right - but really it is the "HIGH!"

Pursuit of the next gig will also help me - but it is an attempt to stay high. Find the fix, Get the Drug, have an audience that laughs, applauds and gives you their undivided attention for 60-90 or more minutes.

Do you want to get high with me? Come on stage with me. Better yet, do your solo - a song, a dance, a monologue, a routine - do an entire show. Let's get high together.

I go to other people's shows and I want to do the sound, work the video camera, be back stage - not in the front row ... I want to breath the show. Feel it, taste it, touch it. A show has a soul. Let me breath it's soul.

I live in a house - my sister's house. She is married to a performer and she is a performer and her five children are all performers - and why? Because it is in our blood. It is highly contagious, too.

We eat - drink - breath - sleep - discuss over dinner - discuss from the minute we awake - and we awake to answer the phone because ... it might be a gig. PLEASE - Get me HIGH!

Obsessed by it - we write about it - gig proposals or books or articles or blogs. We do all types of shows and we want to be around our own types - others who know the feeling, understand the addiction, support us - feel our pain.

We live together in Vegas, NY, SF, LA - because we support each other's addiction.

I went to dinner with Mitchel Barrett tonight and two other friends. Mitchel became quickly debilitated at one point and put out of business in less than a week. He talked about how he can't remember his last show ... and he wants to do a "last show" - Why? It is a passion. To run through a field with a favorite pet, to make love once more with the lover you remember best, to hike a mountain and camp in the wilderness with someone who you had the time of your life with - and to feel that applause, laughter and attention - to know you mastered that ...to remember your last show ...

Want to get high with me? I will turn you on to the most addicting drug in the world, and you make it inside of yourself - it is called adrenaline. Only Artists and presenters have the addiction. Politicians, Sports figures, Artists, Musicians, Performers - we all have a stage, an audience - the sound of the crowd... and it gets us very high. Very high. I will turn down anything to get on stage. It's better than sex!

No, really ...

Let me turn you on ...

2012 January 26. If you haven’t already seen it, you should check out this New York Times article, which I posted to Facebook today: In China, Human Costs Are Built Into an iPad .

Apple, along with most other computer companies, now assemble and manufacture everything in China because China can do it for less than $10 a unit. How do they do it? China operates sweat shops that keep workers at the factory for 12 hour shifts to meet the high demand Apple has for its products at the cheapest price. ...

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