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 Post subject: Pay To Play
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 2:33 pm 
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Rather than have everyone tear me a new one, I thought I might get some opinions from older and wiser heads. It has been suggested to me that running a night would not be a bad idea.

I know pay to play is hated by just about everyone but would this variation work? Comics pay £2 to get in, audience pay £4 to get in. ALL OF THE MONEY PAID BY THE COMICS gets given to the best 3 acts. The best act gets 50% of the money, the second best act gets 30% of the money, and the third best act gets 20% of the money. Best acts of the night are decided by audience participation. Sure, the comic bringing the most mates is likely to win regularly but at £4 a throw for the punters, he'd better be good. If I put fifteen acts on, then the best comic makes £15, the second makes £9, and the third makes £6.

I keep the door money.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 2:40 pm 
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NO

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 Post subject: Pay To Play
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 2:45 pm 
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spikymike wrote:
NO


Thanks Spiky. Duly noted. Any other views or is this totally a bad idea?


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 Post subject: Pay To Play
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 2:52 pm 
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spikymike wrote:
NO


As I mentioned in the earlier posting, I thought that it might make sense to test the waters before actually doing anything that would bring total hate on my head in the industry. But I do have one question: How is pay to play different from a bring a mate night? I am neutral on the subject myself but it does seem to me that they operate on the same principle. It seems to me that the ideal model put forward is that you run a night where the punters pay and comics perform for free and that any variation that involves some coercion of the comics must be equally reprehensible. Isn't bring a buddy just as bad as you will have a situation where it's the people with the most mates who get mic time as opposed to the best comics?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 2:57 pm 
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Charge the audience, pay the comics. Job done.


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 Post subject: Pay To Play
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 3:01 pm 
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Inspector Redwood wrote:
Charge the audience, pay the comics. Job done.


Thanks Inspector Redwood. Advice also duly noted. I can see which way this is going to go. But, I would be interested in what other people think of the 'bring a buddy' philosophy.


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 Post subject: Re: Pay To Play
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 3:12 pm 
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curiousyellow01 wrote:
Inspector Redwood wrote:
Charge the audience, pay the comics. Job done.


Thanks Inspector Redwood. Advice also duly noted. I can see which way this is going to go. But, I would be interested in what other people think of the 'bring a buddy' philosophy.
It's pay to play in disguise.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 3:17 pm 
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Do not do.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 4:58 pm 
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Don't put 15 comics on. Put three or four on with an MC. Charge your audience and then use that money to pay the acts the fee you agreed on. However, you should expect to lose money for the first month or two and may need to pay the acts out of your own pocket.

Alternatively find a nice venue where the owners will give you a weekly budget of around £150-£200 with them keeping the door and the drinks sales. They'll lose money for the first couple of months but if you put quality acts on then eventually the punters will come.

It's always about the quality of the night. If you want to make money then go and do something else. If you actually care about comedy then stay well away from charging comics or bring a buddy schemes. It shows complete lack of respect for your audience and your acts.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 5:09 pm 
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I though "bring a buddy" was just an American thing. Does anyone do it here? It's a ridiculous idea. "Sorry Mr McIntryre, we can't give you a slot tonight, as you have not brought a friend with you."

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 5:44 pm 
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spikymike wrote:
I though "bring a buddy" was just an American thing. Does anyone do it here?


I went to my first ever bring-a-friend comedy night very recently.
The standard was just so variable, but I noticed that of the ten stand-ups on the bill, more than half of them did wanking jokes.
Oh, and the MC was not a comedian, he had no jokes and didn't make the audience laugh but more importantly, he didn't keep the room focused between acts.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 5:49 pm 
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spikymike wrote:
NO


I think he may be winding you up

http://forums.chortle.co.uk/viewtopic.p ... ht=#301730

spikymike wrote:
I though "bring a buddy" was just an American thing. Does anyone do it here? It's a ridiculous idea. "Sorry Mr McIntryre, we can't give you a slot tonight, as you have not brought a friend with you."


Yes, Martin Besserman ... come join my campaign Spikey Mike

Do you hear the people sing?
Singing a song of angry men?
It is the music of the opens
Who will not be slaves again!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 6:23 pm 
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In this specific instance, who defines best? I got robbed of £20 when I won a spiky mike gongshow and everyone agreed I won on the cheer off. but mike said it was draw and I lost on paper scissors rock.

I'm not bitter though.

Anyway, I can only see this leading to bitterness between acts.

Do what I do. Get a budget and spend it between acts you have already seen. Paying people, even if it is a token amount of a fiver, has (in my experience) led to less dropouts and less dying on stage as people take it more seriously.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 6:30 pm 
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AndyL wrote:
Don't put 15 comics on. Put three or four on with an MC. Charge your audience and then use that money to pay the acts the fee you agreed on. However, you should expect to lose money for the first month or two and may need to pay the acts out of your own pocket.


Pear Shaped works thus - 10 opens , one ten, one fifteen paid spots
sometimes an opening 10 if I think we're short of acts.
Doorsplit or fixed fee depending on how many of the regulars are there.
We sold out 30th - reaching maximum turnover £200 but this has to support the nights
when only one person comes etc. No point in booking better acts as my turnover is limited to room capacity of 45 people.
The way it is run makes sense for that room - every room is different.
And different clubs have different purposes.
Booking at least 10 opens for a small room works as it means there is always
money going over the bar and you dont get chucked out.
The new acts are filtered and records are kept on them so if we make terrible
booking mistakes we dont have to repeat them like Sir Arthur Greeb-Streebling.
But people bring mates anyway, you really dont need to bully new acts into bringing mates
or insist they stay all night.

The Martin Besserman's of the world breed on fear and ignorance.
So Pear Shaped is here to shine a light in the hope that someone might notice.

It's a shame I used to have some respect for the man
but after reading his website and confronting him on this
I have come to the conclusion that actually he's a total cunt.

What gets me as well is that Bennett and Time Out are always moaning
(and they have a point) that they dont have the capability or man power
to list every single gig and these gigs are getting listed which means that
other more ethical gigs arent and I'm not sure if this would happen
if anyone knew how these gigs were run or the despicable methods Besserman in employing.

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 Post subject: Pay To Play
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 7:02 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 9:32 pm
Posts: 75
Location: London
Anthony Miller wrote:
AndyL wrote:
Don't put 15 comics on. Put three or four on with an MC. Charge your audience and then use that money to pay the acts the fee you agreed on. However, you should expect to lose money for the first month or two and may need to pay the acts out of your own pocket.


Pear Shaped works thus - 10 opens , one ten, one fifteen paid spots
sometimes an opening 10 if I think we're short of acts.
Doorsplit or fixed fee depending on how many of the regulars are there.
We sold out 30th - reaching maximum turnover £200 but this has to support the nights
when only one person comes etc. No point in booking better acts as my turnover is limited to room capacity of 45 people.
The way it is run makes sense for that room - every room is different.
And different clubs have different purposes.
Booking at least 10 opens for a small room works as it means there is always
money going over the bar and you dont get chucked out.
The new acts are filtered and records are kept on them so if we make terrible
booking mistakes we dont have to repeat them like Sir Arthur Greeb-Streebling.
But people bring mates anyway, you really dont need to bully new acts into bringing mates
or insist they stay all night.

The Martin Besserman's of the world breed on fear and ignorance.
So Pear Shaped is here to shine a light in the hope that someone might notice.

It's a shame I used to have some respect for the man
but after reading his website and confronting him on this
I have come to the conclusion that actually he's a total cunt.

What gets me as well is that Bennett and Time Out are always moaning
(and they have a point) that they dont have the capability or man power
to list every single gig and these gigs are getting listed which means that
other more ethical gigs arent and I'm not sure if this would happen
if anyone knew how these gigs were run or the despicable methods Besserman in employing.


Thanks for the advice guys, which is genuinely appreciated. There are quite a few 'bring a buddy' nights out there and I was curious to see what everyone else thought. Everyone had something sensible to say. I think one of the reasons why I thought every act chipping into a pot and distributing the pot to the three best acts on the night is that it would encourage people to take the night seriously enough to prepare properly as well as stay to the end. That's why I was quite happy to collect a performance fee from all the acts, redistribute it accordingly, and not make any money. If no audience turned up, I would not make any money at all, three acts would at least cover their travel and possibly the cost of a beer, and no one would really gets that out of pocket. Is this really that evil?

I think the problem with open mic nights is that once an act is done, he /she and mates all bugger off and you could have the last few acts performing in an echo chamber and that's not much fun.

One of the alternative plans was to pay for a decent headliner, and opener, and possibly the mc. Somewhere along the lines of Pear-shaped. What would be a reasonable amount to pay acts to do these jobs on a small night in North London?


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