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How To: Get Paid for Being a Performer

By Contributed content 11 January 2016
Jennifer Thompson

Jeff Anello and Michal Garcia

  So you're ready to show the world your talent and become a star performer, but how do you get your face out there and put some dollars to your name? To help you get started, we pick the brains of popular electronic duo, The Anello who have built a huge following in Asia and conquered countless gigs including Clockenflap.

Booking gigs as a performer is very attainable if you have a marketable act that you have been cultivating. Taking your dream and turning it into a career is a lofty goal but we have a few ideas to help get you started.

6 Tips for Turning your Raw Talent into Paid Gigs

    1. Make a video of the thing you do If you dress up as a unicorn and juggle knives while rollerskating, nothing quite captures that like a motion picture. The number one thing event companies and talent and music agents look for is a 1 to 2 minute video reference to send potential clients. A slick professional video is great and should be your first choice if you can afford it, but a clear, well-lit video with good audio shot, using a tripod, that showcases your skill can also take your very far. And don't forget to always shoot in landscape orientation.
    2. Shake it like a Polaroid picture (but hire a pro) You need professional headshots and possibly some performance images as well, so hire a professional photographer. A selfie won’t do it and it’s just so #2015! Your geeky friend owns the new Canon 15D Mark XIIIs, but that doesn’t mean they actually know how to use it. Plus, you’ll have so many new choices for your Facebook and Instagram avatars - and a birthday present for your mother. But in all seriousness, having hi-res photos readily available makes for an easier sell and is more likely to get your mug on posters, flyers, and social media.
    3. It’s not about the money (j/k) How awesome are you? Be realistic about the monetary value you are able to command for your work and ask others in your field how much they charge to get an idea of your pricing. Always charge a fair market rate for your work - this ensures other artists get paid a sustainable amount, especially the ones doing it for a living. Have this available upon request so potential clients can evaluate whether or not you fit into their budget. A bit of negotiation is okay, but be ready to say no.
    4. Be findable Your YouTube video was a big hit and has lots of views. Everyone wants to hire you, but cannot for the life of them find an e-mail address or phone number at which to contact you. A website would be handy about now, but a Facebook page and/or Instagram account with accurate contact info would go just as far in this age of social media.
    5. Be on time Congratulations, you’ve been hired and calltime is 5pm at the HKCEC Room 555. Hold up! Where? You’re 10 minutes from your own stop, then a 15-minute walk from Wan Chai MTR, and it may take 15 more minutes to find the right room. Try MTR journey planner to get the extra missing piece and calculate door-to-door time. Is it raining? Mark my words: There will be no taxis. If in doubt, always give yourself a full hour, even if you live only a couple of stops away.
    6. Let’s do it again! Yay, people seem to like you and you’re getting called back every now and then, but you wish there was some magical way they would call you more. The most low-tech solution is to keep track of people you work for, how it went, and plans on when to contact them again using google docs. A simple list or sheet will do, as long as you review it periodically. Oh, and be kind - HK is a small community and word gets around - so let those words be all recommendations and praise.
Good luck! You can follow the cheeky duo on Facebook and Instagram.
More Tips! Find out HOW TO: Lose Weight in 6 Steps from IMI, HOW TO: Beat Laziness in 6 Steps from private kettlebell training studio, Gorilla Strong, or HOW TO: Turbocharge Your Brain from PowerBrain Rx.

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