Heartsinspyre Entertainment

Seattle fire dancing circus art professionals available for festivals and events!

5/16/17

Seeking Performers & Community Support


  Producing and promoting an event is a full time job (40-60 hours a week during the 3 weeks leading up to the event) that doesn't pay very well at all unless you already have established a large crowd/scene of regular paid attendees and/or book talent that has enormous draw (at least 3x the amount of fans in town than the venue capacity and this is only if they don't perform in town more often than once a year). The Seattle FLOW Showcase meets none of these guarantees and in fact is a million times harder to sell than an unknown DJ night because we are asking for an audience to lend us their attention and support a genre of performance art they have never even heard of much less seen and know in advanced what they will get for their time and money.



  This is why we consider the SeattleFLOWcase an event being produced by the Seattle Flow Arts community for the same community to further all is or would be professional performers in the creation of a foot hold or platform for which we can stand upon and leap off. Unless a performer is booked 5 days a week on a regular basis for non-fire flow arts performances and has a proven draw knowing that just their name listed on the event page, and on poster graphics, plus them announcing their appearance on their fan pages means that a certain percentage of ticket sales and attendee numbers can safely be considered guaranteed and attributable by their booking alone then asking to be paid without even offering to help promote is honestly pretentious and rude. Here's why ~


HOW DO YOU PRODUCE A SUCCESSFUL EVENT:

(remember the #SeattleFLOWcase is a show not a party which already puts it at a huge disadvantage because more talent means more splitting of the door and no DJ/dancing means less reason for people to attend)

~ Venue: There's 2 main factors to consider when choosing which venue to book to hold your event.
1.) size & location ~ if it's too big your audience looks small and it feels dead even if you made enough at the door to cover your talent & promo costs. Plus location is huge because you have to consider if it's convenient for your audience to get to or if there's any local traffic/people wandering by and/or regulars who may pay to come in purely because they are looking for something to do and trust the venue to have events they enjoy.
2.) cost ~ if the venue is in a good location and would possibly make money just being open without reserving the space to you then there's an upfront cost they are going to want to assure they can pay their staff & electricity bill. This means you are taking a risk by deciding to produce an event or show and it is extremely rare that a venue is willing to share that risk by not having a contract or having only a verbal agreement that they keep the door until they recoup staffing cost. You have to get to a certain level of trust with a venue before this can be waived by proving that you can consistently bring in a large enough crowd for them to cover their costs and turn a good profit by alcohol sales alone. If your venue doesn't have alcohol then it may not be the right venue for you as it may be too expensive for you to reserve.

~ Word of mouth: You have enough enthusiasm to be obsessed with the event's success and are constantly working on it by telling each and every person you see and are effectively convincing them of why they should go!

~ You need help: If you're a hermit starving artist who can't afford to go out and are doing it alone you are in big trouble if word of mouth is what you're relying on. Once upon a time Facebook would allow you to produce a moderately successful event if you had at least a thousand friends but it no longer will let you and is restricted unless you pay them for advertising which is an upfront cost. Hopefully you are able to recruit a crew who will talk enthusiastically and post online constantly in addition to just you.

~ Advertising: Hopefully you are feeling confident that you will be out of the red zone (losing money) by the above factors already however you should never be overly confident without a good amount of proof. I have found that a 10% factor on fb works fairly well to predict your attendance. If you invite 1000 (which you can not do alone now) you will get 100 RSVP's confirmed attending and this is a start but those 100 attending is entirely dependent on weather and other things going on. I've seen as low as only 15-20% of those confirmed actually show so if you need 100 paid to cover cost you better have some form of advertising in place. This can be paying fb to get that number up and/or printing and distributing posters & flyers. Both will run you a minimum of $50 and still require your time and friend's time plus enthusiasm invested to keep it at that min expense. The only way posters work is if you put them all up & hand them out otherwise you spent money for nothing. You can hire a local business to distribute them for you which adds another $100-$300 min for a productive advertising campaign and this same amount could go into an online ad or having one printed in a widely distributed newspaper or magazine like The Stranger.

~ Talent: You need to be sure to use the 80 to 20 standard which means that at least 20% of your talent is of headliner quality meaning they are a name that people have heard of before and has an established fan base of people who will come out to see them no matter what. This is most likely your paid act that you are sharing the leftover potential profits with after you deduct the venue and advertising expenses. Be sure to book someone who is worth it and not someone who wants to get paid while you do all the work. If they have a loyal fan base or if you do then a HUGE chunk of the work is already done but if not then you have your work cut out for you as you still need to get the word out to this fan base or artists having a draw won't mean all that much.
  It's usually safe to book 80% unpaid no name talent as honestly they are the ones who will have friends come out and support them since it's their first time on stage and appreciate the opportunity. If you drift away from the 80 to 20 standard then you risk not being able to pay yourself for all your hard work and believe me it is unbelievably hard work to take anything home at all. If you guarantee all your talent will be paid then you are volunteering to produce the event for fun and you will feel really shitty at the end of the night when everyone comes to collect their payment and you think about all the work you have done and all they did was show up.
  *As a performer I understand the sentiment all too well about insisting on money and not exposure but standing on the other side if nobody has ever heard of you nor what you do then exposure is precisely what you need to be working on. There's no getting around the fact that everyone HAS TO INVEST IN THEMSELVES AS A BUSINESS and this means there are no rides for free! If you don't have a website, fan page with reach, and a name built up where people know of you by word of mouth then you have no leverage to demand pay with yet. You have been told to never perform for free because professionals who book private parties who have big budgets to hire entertainment with want you to not volunteer to do them for free because this affects the market value of what we have to offer and are actively trying to sell. I ask for a minimum of $300 to do a fire show and if you do it for free then the value just went down to a $150 average and I will have to lower my price to compete with the current supply vs. demand. This is extremely alarming and upsetting which is why I was one of the main local people who got the word out and spread around this rule to every newly aspiring amateur (don't perform for free). Fire dancing now has a market although it isn't in high demand I can now easily request and get what I ask for in payment for a fire gig and I often do and will HIRE YOU after you do the FLOWcase for good paying fire gigs as my minimum payment is $75 for safety and $125 for fire performers that I book. **Flow arts, however, has absolutely no market whatsoever as in my 20 years of being a professional performing artist I have only been hired once for led/glow performers when big name gaming brand company had some leftover budget to spend for their free publicity event during a convention in town and for that I was able to pay 3 people $75 to spin glow things go go style for 2.5 hours and the reason I got that gig is because I was the only person with a well established website up online who was still in town and available that weekend (Labor Day during Bumbershoot and Burning Man). They found me and I had enough connections to make it happen which was improbable actually but I did it and for this I kept a standard 20% booking fee because booking gigs is also extremely hard work and it doesn't just pour in without any effort. I've spent YEARS ESTABLISHING MYSELF AS A BUSINESS who provides this service and I still to this day work my ass off all the time to get and have my name out there by producing events that require a full 40-60 hour work week for 4-6 weeks and make me no money whatsoever and accepting gigs that paid me as little as $8 which didn't even cover my bar tab much less my costume but that is what you have to do to prove yourself and build your name up so that you get referrals and slowly improve upon what you can expect for compensation and having a draw to show for it or an extensive resume that includes having your shit together for years with a permit which is a huge expense and responsibility very few people at all in this city have ever taken on and in fact I can name them on one hand (Cabiri, Spinergy, Pure, Ignition, Pyrosutra plus one new player who came from out of town in the past few years to a new surprisingly empty market and one other who used someone who first used me and is just a self serving narcissist I accept as just a lesson learned...)



*Please see the written description on the event page for the 3rd annual Seattle FLOW Showcase that clearly states it's objective for all potential participants and the concerning community ~ here
**also here is my own personal disclosure on ticket sales, pay, and personal interests