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.