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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » I'm a real boy! » » Be an Opening Act! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

tacrowl
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I had gotten a notice on this gig a few weeks ago and responded, but apparently was out of the price range. I guess they figured they would have better luck on Craig's List.

Quote:

Ventriloquist needed for Upcoming Concert (Portland OR)

We are looking for an experienced ventriloquist to open for upcoming Eels show @ The Roseland Theater (Friday Oct. 8).

Please send us videos, pictures, links etc etc. .

We will be holding auditions sometime in September.. and will contact you with more details based on what you send us.

must be hilarious


The hilarious part is pretty important. I found reviews of one ventriloquist act that opened for this band and they were not favorable.

If interested - the link to the ad is:
http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/tlg/1908315663.html
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Mr. Pitts
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David Pitts
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Apparently they are hiring a different vent to open for them in every town on their world tour, but haven't put anything in their budget for it, or so it seems. I can't tell if they're going for campy irony or genuine entertainment with the vent acts, but the band itself is good and has quite a following, and they like to create a new sort of unexpected concert-going experience with each tour and the ventriloquist opener idea is part of that.
David Pitts
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Comedy Magician and Ventriloquist
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tacrowl
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Maryland
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I believe it is falling on each venue to provide the opening act, with the stipulation it is a ventriloquist. If it was coming out of their pocket, they would have hired someone for the run.

Irony or genuine, a good vent can win the audience. I've heard of two positive experiences, and read a review that was highly negative on a third. Not sure how many dates they've done so I'm sure there are more that have shared the stage with them.

I've talked with two of their venues now and quoted both my standard rate for opening a concert. Both said I was out of their range. Not sure what they are thinking budget-wise, but for someone who is establishing themselves, it would be a resume credit.
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tacrowl
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This just arrived through an on-line agency:

Hello, I am looking for a ventriloquist to open for the EELS concert at Terminal 5 in NYC on Sept 25th. Our budget is $250. I am also looking for The National in Richmond for 30 mins at 8:00pm on Sept 23rd with a $250 budget too. Please let me know if you are interested and available. Thanks, *******

I refused it again. I really hope anyone considering this would rethink it. As someone who has done a number of concert openings - they pay much better than this. Just a guess, but at that rate I'd say they are looking for inexperienced acts to make fun of the art.
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Bob Baker
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I had a little e-mail back and forth with the Portland theater folks. It turns out that each venue has to find its own ventriloquist, so each venue decides how much they want to spend. The nice lady from Portland told me that $100 would be a standard fee even for a band which would be the first of two opening acts before the Eels. That would be for a 1/2 hour set. So they figured they'd offer the same to a vent.

I find that remarkable. Say there are 4 guys in the band. Each would get $25 for the set. Maybe if they were thrilled to be opening for the Eels, they'd take the gig and enjoy the exposure, but I suspect most bands wouldn't walk across the street for a Ben.

So I don't think there is any malice in booking a bad vent to make us look foolish. I just think they don't know what talent costs.

Bob
tacrowl
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Thanks for sharing that Bob. I jumped pretty quick after reading the negative reviews of vents that have opened for them. The old adage, you get what you pay for, applies. That isn't to say the vents that opened for them are bad - but at that payscale, they were inexperienced enough to handle the date.

I've opened concerts for acts that do know what talent costs. In the independent band/club setting the scale obviously slides extremely low. For a young band starting out, I can see the opportunity to get in front of an audience, offer CD sales and perhaps make new fans that will come to their shows as a plus. Bands have a different career path than variety entertainers.

Hopefully your correspondence made them think. My bet is they will still try to hire the cheapest act they can get and the reviews will be, at best, mixed.
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Mr. Pitts
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David Pitts
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Tom,
According to her website (actually it's a blog) Carla Rhodes will be opening for The Eels in NY, Boston and DC. Maybe the promoters are learning the hard way, or maybe Carla's agent is 'educating' them.
David Pitts
The Astonishing Mr. Pitts
Comedy Magician and Ventriloquist
http://www.mrpitts.com
tacrowl
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Carla has an act that would definitely fit that audience. Thanks for sharing David!
Tom Crowl - Comedy Ventriloquist

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Mr. Pitts
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David Pitts
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I wish I were as cool as Carla.
David Pitts
The Astonishing Mr. Pitts
Comedy Magician and Ventriloquist
http://www.mrpitts.com
Bob Baker
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In your own way, you are!
Mr. Pitts
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David Pitts
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Irue, true, but my own way isn't as cool as Carla's own way. I'm too old to be cool anyway, and I'm glad. Cool's way too hard to maintain.
David Pitts
The Astonishing Mr. Pitts
Comedy Magician and Ventriloquist
http://www.mrpitts.com
tacrowl
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Maryland
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Just read a review that was extremely positive of Carla's opening act.
http://www.goshgeegolly.com/2010/09/flyi......ore.html

Glad the promoters for that show hired someone with experience working the type audience the Eels bring in.
Tom Crowl - Comedy Ventriloquist

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