This last week ago yesterday WEDNESDAY HERE's JOHNNY and then some more hours we have had the pleasure of the Cabin Boy's special delivery from deepest Pencoed arrive and come to stay with us. Yes, he's completely mad. Which is why he fits in so well. Here is a little Vlog what he did make:
As an entertainer, you usually find yourself inundated with charity job requests, which, initially, for the first three minutes, you're really chuffed about, as it seems like, oh, wow, people WANT us! It's working! We're on fire. This year charity, next year The Albert Hall. Or something. After a while though, when you see (by your empty wallet and belly) that the promises of "exposure" and "kudos" and "free advertising and promotion" don't actually amount to an awful lot of paid work.. (you know the stuff that keeps the roof over your head, and food on the table?) you begin to view the endless requests in quite a different way.
I've read many articles about pricing your work to include travel, insurance, wear and tear (on equipment, flesh and bones) and a myriad of other expenses such as clothing, advertising, promotion, chasing quotes, telephone bills, accountancy, administration... In fact here is a great article about how to price yourself as a fire performer:
This article, from Elizabeth Knights writing for Fire Magazine is a very good read for anyone interested in WHY we charge the rates we do, or for performers wanting to work out how much they should charge, is a very helpful commentary, and puts it probably far better than I can.
I had an email exchange with a lovely lady who is a fellow Home Educator, for whom we did a two hour workshop recently. We took 50 children and ran them through as many pieces of equipment we could during the limited time. The kids, and their paents, by all accounts loved it. After the event, we were asked if it were possible to add a discount, as there was some confusion as to how many tutors we were going to provide for the workshop. I thought a while (over 30 seconds, which is impessive for an ADHD mind..!) before replying with a fairly detailed estimate of the breakdown of what it actually costs to run a workshop. The lady then replied she was sorry she had asked ( I bet she was, my reply was about twelve pages long.. well not quite, but ya know) and indicated she hadn't realised the figures involved, which of course, she's not going to, this is by no means a label of fault in any way. I didn't realise until I got myself into this just how much IS the right price.
Back to charities - yes, we ALL need to do our bit, and there is kudos and the feeling you've contributed which is important, but if we took every request we were asked then we'd be out of business in no time, and stacking shelves in tescos. I would guess that entertainers get asked to help more often than most professions, I don't know any plumbers or electricians who regularly get phone calls asking them to come and fix this charity's taps or wiring for free..!
Having said this, often, there comes along a charity which you really feel compelled to say yes to. So, last Thursday we packed up the ship and sailed on down to Niagara Conference Centre in Hillsborough, and the Rumbucket did an hour or so of balloon modelling for the RVS with some very appreciative and giggly older folks :)
They were attempting to highlight issues regarding societal isolation, and presenting a "Skill share" event whereby a person under 50 could swap skills with a person over 50. An interesting concept which I will be watching to see if it has an impact.
Finally - I'd like to leave you with this priceless page entitled: Becoming a Childrens Entertainer in GIF, which any new or seasoned entertainer will identify with. FUNNIES :D
If I HAD to hunt a cow, I'd probably just "borrow" someone elses Veg.
I am Jasamine Jackdaw and this is where I used to live:
Okay - I have learned that ADHD does not allow me to create promo videos since it can't be done in three minutes yesterday by someone else. Rather, it takes a long and utterly mind numbingly boring editing process, and that can't even begin until you actually have access to video editing software, which I don't, since my mac has been out of action for months now due to ADHD not allowing me the impetus to fix it, even when I remember to fix it, since calling someone up to ask about fixing it has proven nigh on impossible due to the absolute irritatingly banal bla and meh of finding someone to ring, and then remembering to make the decision to ring them when they're actually in the office, rather than at 2am when I remember the mac needs fixing.
So - go further back into history and you will find that you actually need to go out and film your shit, and to do this takes time and planning, again, an ADHD nightmare. You would think, that during this nightmare someone would wake you up with soft kisses and comfort food. I can tell you from personal experience that this-never-happens.
Anyways, I'm bored of typing now, so here is the results of our very short attempt at a video promo, with no video camera (we used an ipad balanced on a toy piano for the most part) and no video editing software, apart from youtube's very limited audio collection:
Pricing a simple <3 minute promo video is about 400 sea shells. I have tried to join the Sheffield LETS so I can do fire show swappsies, but my ADHD saw there was a long and complicated form (1 side of A4 asking for name and address) which involved being printed out and signed, so unless some kind person reading this blog decides to do it for me, I suspect that won't happen for another 400 years at least.
And is very scary!
We went on our jollies for a few days over the bank holiday weekend, at a gorgeous little campsite which is adjoined to a therapy centre, run by the slightly bonkers but incredibly friendly Clare. Saturday night came and everyone piled around the campfire, and we decided it was time to light the fire whip for the first time:
It's completely scary and I shook like a leaf the entire time.. as soon as I've edited video footage we'll get it up on youtube.
After followed more rum and fireworks - campsite is recommended to anyone who enjoys geting back to basics and appreciates a really chilled friendly vibe.
We also had a mini practice the other eve down at Rivelin valley, and have some footage stills:
It really is some sort of wild beasty that needs to be respected. We will be working on this over the coming weeks, ready for our Halloweén fire performance at the Hillsborough Arena: