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  1. #41
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    Omg Jane! You poor thing!

  2. #42
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    The website listing rates is great -- EXCEPT:

    It's unrealistic in REALITY.

    I know for a fact what dancers in Louisville ADVERTISE as their rate is MUCH higher than what they actually ACCEPT. What they actually charge is a completely different story.

    I personally know a dancer who advertised $150 for a show, but then accepted $35 (!!!!) when she found out another dancer's website advertised a similar show for $75.

    Undercutting in the cornfields is rabid. There is no way you can get anyone to pay more than $50 for a bellygram here in Evanspatch because there are independent dancers (apart from the main troupes) who undercut JUST to have the performance opportunity. And Jo Public doesn't know any better, which continues the descending spiral of what the public thinks is bellydance.

    There is a chain entertainment company (like Gigmasters) who will actually ASK the client how much they've been quoted, and then say they can send a dancer for HALF that. This happened to me once, when I turned down a birthday party that a neighbor's cousin or something wanted me to dance at. They ended up getting a no-talent, who nobody had EVER seen in a bellydance class in town at all. (Maybe one of those fitness pros who took a weekend workshop? Or a stripper who happened to have a genie outfit?)

    I often wonder about dancers who say they get $150 a set for dancing at the falafal hut (or an equivalent). I have a hard time believing some of those little holes-in-the wall MAKE $150 a night in food sales, especially the ones that don't have a liquor license. Again, I knew a Louisville dancer who TOLD everybody she got $150 a set for dancing in one hole-in-the-wall, but admitted later she got $40 for the NIGHT and a free meal plus free house wine (which is technically illegal in Indiana (and KY, I think), but it happens all the time.)


    Side note:

    I'm not talking about charity gigs. I'm talking about regular paying gigs.

    Now, everybody does their own charity gigs, and I personally will perform for free at any Humane Society or local shelter benefit, after informing the shelter that my rate is $125, but I am happy to waive the fee as a "donation" to their shelter. That's my thing. I feel it's the right thing to do. And I teach breast cancer patients basic dance classes at no charge to them, but I'm given a stipend from the Komen foundation. Again, my choice. But when the American Cancer Society wants performers, or a church wants entertainment for their social, they write a check same as anybody else.

  3. #43
    Senior Member Eshta's Avatar
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    I'm not sure where I stand on the 'undercutting' debate. In the free market when companies band together to agree not to undercut each other it's called a cartel & faces legal action...

    But what I HAVE found out the hard way amounts to the following:

    - Each gig takes time & energy & adrenaline. There are few 'performance opportunities' that warrant all that effort for no payment. I have a minimum rate, below that the opportunity to spend an evening in my pyjamas on my sofa is just too irresistable!

    - If I feel the overwhelming urge to 'perform' there are plenty of haflas I can go shake my tailfeather at. Either as a performer or as a guest on the dancefloor afterwards! These are often more enjoyable as there are fewer restrictions on what will work with the audience, and there is less chance of an attempted groping.

    - If you 'publicise' yourself as a dancer by dancing for free, you will become known as 'the dancer who dances for free', which is what your next clients will expect.

    But it took some shitty experiences to work these things out. The first time I turned down a gig felt a bit scary but such a relief! I didn't sit at home kicking myself for not taking it - I did go to my other gig (the one that showed up 2 days later and actually did accept my fee) and feel a little bit sorry for the desperate girl they did find at the measly £25 they were offering...!

    As long as you are not so traumatised that it will put you off performing again, you now know a huge amount more than you did before you started, and next time you will ensure you have agreed a rate in advance, collect it before performing (ideally take a deposit), ensure there is an adequate sound system, performance space, changing area, agreed performance time, etc...!

  4. #44
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eshta View Post
    I have a minimum rate, below that the opportunity to spend an evening in my pyjamas on my sofa is just too irresistable!
    Exactly. I now no longer leave the house for less than $75. I don't care if I "work" dancing or not. I can pay my bills with my day job.

  5. #45
    Member ShiroiOji's Avatar
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    Wow Amber, you really comported yourself like a professional throughout this, and I would like to commend you on this. It can be hard to not wanna yell at the sour old sow who slipped you the tenner rather than a real price, so good for you for keeping composed and not slapping her silly!

  6. #46
    Member Artemocion Malta's Avatar
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    Default They took advantage coz u were the "student"

    Amber .. It s only your second show and you were brave enough to tell that woman that you wanted to dance before it gets too late but next time make sure you know how much you are getting paid, and if they dont wanna tell you just give ur own price...take it or leave it.

    moreover u are the dancer not the sound person! i send my dancers to various shows and i always tell them..." if things dont go the way they are expected call me and i will strom there" when u r still students u might need help but then u get used to it. a deal is a deal. I would so get angry if anything like that happens to one of my girls!

  7. #47
    V.I.P. Jane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jenc View Post
    Yes but did they pay?
    No, we got the gig through the YMCA as a non-profit. I got paid by the Y for my time though. When I book student recitals through the Y, we don't charge local nurseing homes. The ladies who performed were students and not good enough yet to charge a fee. One student was good enough, but she waved her "fee" as a donation.

  8. #48
    Member Nur Al Leyali's Avatar
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    OMG OMG OMG OMG I never ever evr evr heard of only ten dollars why didnt you tell her to keep it that you couldnt buy a lipstick for ten dollsars rather on pay for exspences or gas or costuming or what ever you did to prepare your self .... Wow what an insult. I would never i just would never omg. You know this is bad taste to only say that ... You were proffesional I give you a word of advice here... People watch your responses and the last thing you need to be known as was unperfessional or unladylike in an arab community rather on in YMCA wow ..... I still would have been like keep the money .. And i would have left very proffessionallllllllYYYYY its better to take one for the team so to speak ,, then get a reputation of unprofessionalism trust me. my friend did karena was a good dancer good person got paid 50 dollars for a solo 60 min dance and this is not an easy thing ... think about 60 min and dancing alone wow!!!! at a large henna party. Now think 50 dollars . NO way . she was so upset she cursed the lady and the lady told the whole arab community what had happened and they did not call her again . Horrribbblllleee situation. she cried . better to be professional.
    Last edited by Nur Al Leyali; 08-15-2008 at 06:11 PM. Reason: Bad taste.

  9. #49
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    I feel I should probably speak up here...

    People keep biting into my teacher. While I have to admit maybe it wasn't the best thing she could have done, my teacher is an awesome lady. Shes still learning herself, and she made a mistake. We talked about it, and its fine. Water under a bridge.

    Thanks for all the help and kind comments.

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