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A little confused

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A little confused

Post by flopsietheclown on Sat Nov 19, 2011 12:30 pm

I just found out that a group I am a member of has hired an entertainer for our annual Christmas party. Last year I offered to face paint at an extreme discount because they said the budget was very limited. When I got there I was surprised to see they had hired an "elf" to do magic and balloons. I was later told he did it for free for the opportunity to hand out cards, which was untrue. He was paid the same as me or more depending on which story I'm going by.

Frankly, he was horrible and I even helped repair some of his twisted balloons. This year the idea of me returning to paint faces was briefly tossed around at a couple of our meetings. I just contacted the organizer, a fellow member, and she said although they would love to have me back, they could not pay me. I found out from another member that they are hiring that same horrible "elf" for triple what they paid me last year. This is the same elf who beat a puppet to death as part of the show, even though the organizers told him not to do that "trick". So me, a member has to donate my services for free while a non-member who violated a simple request is getting brought back at triple the rate?

How do I express my concerns without sounding petty or jealous? The group is small so I would think that we should help each other out when it comes to business. Any suggestions?
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Re: A little confused

Post by artyfacesbyluz on Sat Nov 19, 2011 1:39 pm

I think the Elf has to be friends or family with an influent member of the group.
There have to be a commitee that make the decision based on performance and budgets.
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Re: A little confused

Post by Fun2Play on Sun Nov 20, 2011 10:14 am

Hi Flopsie... I've spent a few minutes thinking about a response, but I'm just not sure how to handle it tactfully. That is, to speak up and still maintain a relationship with them (the group members).

Honestly, if it was me, I would probably just boycott the party out of principal and go get myself another booking or just have a night off. But I don't know what your general feeling about the group is so easy for me to say that.

If you can't let it go, I can only suggest letting them know that, as much as you enjoy being part of the group, you are not in a position to work for free or for only pennies. And quite frankly, it's a bit insulting to be asked to do so when they are paying other entertainers a fair price. Not sure it will get you the gig, but should at least get your point across.

Unfortunately you will need to be very careful if you criticise your competitors to a potential client, because if you can't prove something, then you may risk a slander suit.

If you choose to speak up, make sure you find the right person to do it to though. No point discussing it with members who are powerless to make a decision.

Good luck.
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Re: A little confused

Post by flopsietheclown on Sun Nov 20, 2011 10:36 am

Trinkie, I completely agree! I don't want to make a big deal of this. I spoke to the president about my concerns and I tried to contact the event organizer. I like the group. I've been involved in a few fundraisers where I provided my supplies and time either for free or received less than $1 per child. I taught basic face painting to those who wanted to help at the fundraisers.

I do feel more insulted the more I think about all I've done all year and to have them not even consider me for this paying event. I guess it is one of those situations where you let it go and lesson learned.

Luz, you were right. The "elf" was a family friend. My main problem is the shadiness of it all. Why not keep me in the loop and why lie to me when I asked direct questions?

Thanks for the input. I'm now going to build a bridge and get over it. Smile
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Re: A little confused

Post by Denise Cold on Sun Nov 20, 2011 12:50 pm

I guess I'm not very tactful but I think that is insulting. You've been so helpful and gracious the whole year it's time for them to pay you back...literally.

You can't do it for free. I think that would set a irreparable precedence and you wouldn't be respected by the group any longer. They will miss your presence and parents will ask why you aren't there and they should invite you next year.

And you're right. I hate being lied to.

D.
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Re: A little confused

Post by skjfunny on Sun Nov 20, 2011 2:11 pm

I believe for me it would be a deeper issue, how important is this group to you? Obviously you were not appreciated when you were gracious and giving of your time, you have been lied to, and the "people" making the decisions chose to PAY money to someone that did not honor their requests????????????? There are many groups to work with, but having said that I have not often found it works to "discuss" it with them since offense is usually taken when you are the offended party NOT them. It is easy to be "busy" even if you're just busy practicing. It simply sounds like a lot of negative energy to be around and that can drag you down. Sorry they didn't see your value...obviously they are very short sighted.
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Re: A little confused

Post by Gamezgirl on Sun Nov 20, 2011 3:55 pm

Here's another side guys...Flopsie, you said that you have worked for them for little or nothing before. That has set the tone. They have a very low perceived value of you and your work. It is very odd mentality...but I started out charging a low rate...didn't work as much, wasn't happy with the jobs I did get. I doubled my prices...and now I work more, for more appreciative clientèle. The people I gave discounts or freebies too, never pay more later, they only know they got me for less...and if someone else charges more...they must be better because you get what you pay for.
Too many times we train people to treat us with lower value. We are so eager to get experience, that we do so much for so little. All that does is show people that we are just glorified volunteers playing a game, not a serious professional.

Edit...Sorry, that was not meant to be a judgement on your kindness and giving...just my take on how it appears to the other side. Smile
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Re: A little confused

Post by flopsietheclown on Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:41 pm

Great points. Thanks again. I needed to vent here where people would understand my side of things a little better. I am thankful for you all and your input.

And... it turns out that there are a few craft fairs in the area that same weekend. Wouldn't it be great to make a bunch more money or maybe even get my photo in the paper? Laughing
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Re: A little confused

Post by Gamezgirl on Mon Nov 21, 2011 12:16 am

Go get em!!
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Re: A little confused

Post by AshleyMarie727 on Mon Nov 21, 2011 9:33 am

Oh wow i am so sorry to hear that happened. i hope everything works out for you, i would just call and see if you could maybe arrange a meeting with the organizer and let him know that you already know he is making triple what you made and just ask why you know it never hurts to ask and see maybe why they decided to go with him and let him know it did hurt your feelings. I do wish you the best and if this doesnt come thru for you then just write them off and find somewhere new and never look back.
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Re: A little confused

Post by Gamezgirl on Mon Nov 21, 2011 5:13 pm

I disagree with the talking to them. Does walmart call and tell you that you hurt their feelings when you shop at Target? Or does Ronald get in a snit when you pay too much for a burger at XYZ Burger joint? Sadly, it is what it is, all you can do is put your best show forward, quote for the gig when it comes up with whatever relevant info you do at any other gig...and either they bite or they don't. You can carefully and professionally point out where you excel over the other enteratainer, but be careful that it is positive info...not slander or petty.
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Re: A little confused

Post by Psalmbook on Fri Nov 25, 2011 3:24 pm

I'm thinking the same thing. They probably thought they'd get you for free anyway, so budget for someone else & have 2 entertainers. Maybe this year try to reset the tone, have a cost,etc.

I always charge at least a supply fee & give an invoice. On the invoice I have how much it costs for my services & then a subtracted amount w/ a final total at the bottom of the page. This way, the organizers know the value of what they are getting even if they're not paying full price.
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Re: A little confused

Post by HillbillyDiva1 on Sun Dec 04, 2011 6:05 pm

I've had the same problem here and the only good outcome is to move on.
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Re: A little confused

Post by flopsietheclown on Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:26 pm

SO happy to report that I just booked the 2nd gig for that same day. I could have squeezed in 3 gigs if the 3rd hadn't been so far away. Thanks again everyone! It's so much more fun putting my efforts into positive things like cleaning up my kit and getting my Christmas ordering in. Can't wait to get my hands on some more pearl TAG colors.
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Re: A little confused

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