(Close Window)
Topic: Emergency Backup Kid Show Entertainer Plan
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Mar 11, 2003 05:11AM)
What plan do you have in place should you find yourself in a situation [b]where you can't make a scheduled booking?[/b]

For instance, you get into a car accident several hours before a show, or you wake up with a fever and must visit the bathroom every 15 minutes for a combination of reasons.

Do you have a friend, or several friends you can call?
Message: Posted by: Billy Whizz (Mar 11, 2003 05:41AM)
Yes, I call Emazdad and Chris, two good friends who I know won't let me down and offer a good show.
Message: Posted by: Emazdad (Mar 11, 2003 05:53AM)
Before I contact the booker, I'd do my best to find a replacement. In my book, you should never tell a booker you're not coming. It should always be, I can't make it, but I've arranged for so & so to do your party. I can call Billy and Chris, but if it is on a weekend they will probably be busy. Failing that, in utter desperation, there are a few other kids entertainers in Plymouth and if I was really desperate I'd contact them. As for illness, I'd have to be on my death bed before I failed to turn up for a show.

If I'm held up in traffic due to an accident or breakdown on the way, I have the bookers contact details on the contract so I can phone ahead, explain what's happened and let the know I'll be there ASAP. They can then start the party with the food and when I arrive I'll then do the party without a break.

Wow. Here I am using a non-swear word which is a short way of saying I'd do my utter best and it's edited out. Obviously a cultural thing.
Message: Posted by: Mark Andrews (Mar 11, 2003 07:36AM)
Just two weeks ago I was rushed into hospital after vomiting blood, etc., and spent 5 days in hospital, which meant I missed a whole weekend of work.

My partner called friends of ours who managed to cover all the bookings for me.

When my partner called the clients and told them the situation, they were fine except one, who said that "this wasn't good enough."

Two others I had to cancel were great. One sent a get well card and another emailed me to check how I was doing.

I have to add that all of the clients I was due to be with over the weekend all had an entertainer. OK, it wasn't me, but they weren't left with a party full of children and no entertainer!

As I operate a deposit system for each booking, these were refunded - obviously.

But still, this one client complained. She had said how badly I had let her down, etc. Some people are just not satisfied. What was I to do? Discharge myself from hospital just for her and then book my bed again afterwards?

By the way, I am now fit and well(ish).
Message: Posted by: Billy Whizz (Mar 11, 2003 07:49AM)
Shame on you Mark, you should have jumped out of your bed and done her show. ;)
Message: Posted by: Emazdad (Mar 11, 2003 08:48AM)
It just goes to show that no matter what steps you take to avoid letting people down, it will never be enough for some people. She's probably a professional complainer.

I bet you wish you'd gone along and vomited all over her carpet :rotf:
Message: Posted by: Andy Wonder (Mar 11, 2003 01:30PM)
I was in a car accident on New Year's Eve 2001. I had two parties on that day. I was on my way to the first one when some idiot on the highway pulled out & sideswiped me as I was travelling at 100km/h. My car skidded sideways down the road and ended up upside down in a ditch. It was only just a minute up the road from the farm house I was going to for my 1st party. I was unhurt, but my car was a write off.

I called the client and the Dad drove down to see me & helped push my car back onto its wheels. He drove me back to his house where I had lunch with the party. I performed the magic show after lunch instead of the planned time of 11:00 AM. I had to cancel the second party, but they were more than understanding about the situation.
Thinking back, I might have been able to organize someone else for the second party if I had the yellow pages with me to call around & find someone.

LESSON TO BE LEARNED: Make a list of all the people you would potentially call in an emergency to do a show for you. Add their numbers to the memory on your cell phone so if you have to call them from the side of the road or from your car you can.
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Mar 11, 2003 01:43PM)
I was interested in what other people have done. I was called Sunday by the booking agent because someone just cancelled a birthday party leaving a 4-year old heart broken. I made arrangements to do the show, but when I called she was very thankful to me and did have some choice words toward the other person, and had already gone through the phone book and got someone else.

Andy said it clear, and it is nice to have a backup or two programmed into your cell phone.
Message: Posted by: Cheshire Cat (Mar 11, 2003 04:11PM)
I take a harder line now, guys. You see, I feel that this almost religious attitude that we all have to fulfilling bookings is not reciprocated by customers. Yes, we load ourselves up with tablets if we don't feel well and go out and do it! I travelled back off my honeymoon in Spain, would you believe, to fulfill a musical engagement! Two hours after my mother died we fulfilled a children's Christmas Party function! When my first son was born I apologized to the family whose child's birthday I should have done and sent the girl a card and toy shop gift voucher. I didn't even get a thanks, let alone a call to ask how mother and baby were doing!! Maybe they thought I should have been at their kid's party instead of with my wife at my first son's birth!!

The big bookers are even worse. I had signed contracts to do summer cabaret shows for a Holiday Park Company (the company that eventually was to buy the big UK Butlins business). My wife just came along to help at the time. When they found out she was pregnant they practically accused me of trying to deceive them and tried to cut the fee! I told them to 'stick' their contracts and eventually the Agency I worked for took a drop in commission as neither I nor the Company would budge.

These days we make it quite clear that 'last minute breakdown' or 'accident' or 'serious illness' must be accepted. In turn, we accept it when little Johnny has measles and even return their deposit (and you know it's doubtful 'little Johnny' does REALLY have measles every time in these cases!). There are about 20 other entertainers in our local Yellow Pages, so if there is time, I guess they will find someone! There is always some loudmouth who will blow hot air over the phone for 5 minutes and then go out and hire a video or a castle (jumper) for the party or whatever, who couldn't care less if you are on your death bed. If you, like us, are basically honourable people who try beyond the call of duty almost, to fulfill bookings, then there is no more you can do.

Remember! When a client cancels it's always a CANCELLATION. When an entertainer cancels it's always a LET-DOWN (even if you are dead!).
Message: Posted by: p.b.jones (Mar 12, 2003 02:18AM)

I tend to go along with Ace here. I have done shows throwing up outside between gigs.
Once I had a cow that ran into my car and fell on the bonnet on the way to a show. The trouble is people book [b]me[/b], not a party entertainer, for the most part, moving the time/date of parties to suit me very often. So how can I send someone else? If you do send someone else and the client does not like them, not only do you get blamed for letting them down but for sending a poor replacement, too.
Message: Posted by: Tim Zager (Mar 12, 2003 09:41AM)
Ace, I couldn't agree more. I ALWAYS under-promise and over-deliver to all my clients. It's a shame when they don't understand uncontrollable circumstances.

Wow, P.B., what was the cow driving??