Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Do they think I am stupid??

I got a call today at 3pm asking if I could work in Coventry tonight. It was only 25  miles away so there was plenty of time to get there
They had been let down by another drag act
So, I arrived, as stated, at 9pm ready to be onstage at 10.15 or thereabouts
Everyone was saying they didn't think many would turn up so I waited in my dressing room (a storage cupboard) downstairs in the club
Three people turned up so the management asked me to take half my fee and go home.
By this time I was fully made up and ready to go onstage so I said no, I had arrived on time, I was ready to perform therefore I was going to keep the full fee.
Fortunately my Agent had insisted that I was paid on arrival. I had secreted the cash in my locked car. This proved fortuitous.
The performance was moved upstairs and into the bar where there were a few people and the area was much smaller.
Eventually, at 11.30pm, I went on. The act I had prepared involved me having to dash back to the dressing room towards the end for a quick change. As I was so far from the room I had to get extra music played to cover my absence.
Running down the stairs in my high heels I noticed a member of staff suddenly pop out of the doorway from my dressing room/storage cupboard. He had no reason to be down there
I thought no more about it until, having finished my act, I was getting dressed and noticed that my car keys were in the back pocket of my jeans instead of the front pocket.
Someone had gone through my pockets, obviously to try and find where I had stashed my cash. The mistake they had made was to put my car keys back in the wrong pocket. Otherwise I wouldn't have noticed.
The other thing that occurred to me was that perhaps they had used my car keys to go through my car looking for the cash
As soon as I was loaded up and ready to drive away I checked the money where I had hidden it. It was all there.

The postscript to this was that on the morning after the venue contacted the agent and expressed their thanks for my performance and would be happy to book me again!
As I told the agent, over my dead body!

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Disruptive audience members

Most performances suffer from disruption of some sort or another from audience members during a show.
There are, of course, as many ways to deal with these as there are heckler put-downs.
My favourite way is to first stare them out until they realise the rest of the audience is waiting for them. If this doesn't work then threatening a single person with the 'naughty step' is surprisingly effective. Invariably I don't even have to follow the threat through.
Another great line is to say "I am trying to work and I don't turn up and talk at the foot of your bed when you are trying to earn the rent"
Occasionally, just occasionally, karma comes into its own.
Tonight was once such time and the Gods of Karma served me very well.
I was at a very nice venue with a great bunch of girls who were up for a great night. There was me and two male strippers so the evening was destined to be fun.
All through the first half one table of five girls kept up a permanent chattering akin to a cage of budgies in the sun. A couple of times I tried to gently shame them into being quiet and, although it worked for a while, they always went back to their incessant chirruping.
Halfway through the second half, just when I was beginning to wonder if I would have to resort to being rude, I heard a clunk as something fell to the floor. Expecting it to be a phone I went over and asked, on the microphone, if they had dropped a phone. They were uncharacteristically quiet. Then I saw why. Nestled amongst the handbags scattered under their table was an almost full half bottle of vodka. Oops!
Revenge was going to be sweet.
I carefully slid the bottle into view with my foot and tutted loudly. I picked it up and walked slowly to the bar where I handed it over to the staff.
Funnily enough they behaved for the rest of the night.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Cancelling gigs

Sometimes it is necessary to cancel a gig.
In the past it has usually been, on my part, for health reasons (I won't go into the weird and wonderful reasons clients give for cancelling a booking).
However, given the current weather conditions (it is snowing a blizzard all across south west England), it proves impossible to get to a venue.

Today I was booked to perform at a beautiful Golf Club complex on the Welsh borders. Unfortunately even some of the motorways have been closed with snow drifts and this morning it was obvious that I wouldn't be able to travel to the venue and, even more importantly, the audience would not be able to get there either.
This is where a good agent comes into his own and earns his commission.

I got a call just before lunch saying the client would appreciate it if we could postpone the event until after the bad weather had cleared. I am assuming sometime in the next month or so.
I agreed to postpone. I was very dubious about making it to the venue anyway and having the agent negotiate on my behalf meant there could be no bad feelings on either side.

This easily demonstrated why, even in these days of the Internet and instant communication, an agent has a place in our business.