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Kondini
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Paul Evans (020 8709 8252) ITV producer is looking for a five min. spot on a reality Quiz Show, possible 4 mil viewing public. As per usual no fee! Hence I pass this on to anyone who wants the exposure.
DavidEscapes
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Thanks for posting the contact Kondini. I am on the show on Monday Smile Yeepers... I have 5 minutes and it goes out live! Scary stuff...

David Straitjacket
David Victor - The artist formally (and still occasionally) known as David Straitjacket.

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James Peters
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Romford, UK
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David,

What time, what channel? I want to tune in!! Smile

James.
EscapeMaster
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It is intensely irritating when producers want you to perform for free which seems to happen with alarming frequency.

Normally it is possible to persuade them to pay you some sort of fee but on other occassions they can be stubborn.

I assume, Ken, that this one was stubborn as you clearly have the experience to have tried the former option.

It is ludicrous to expect performers to do their acts for free. It is understandable that chat shows will get all manner of experts in without paying them. These people have their incomes secure and acting as a consultant is fun for them. A brief foray into television with the chance of some publicity for the company or campaign.

But for people like us giving performances on TV is what we actually do for a living you cannot justify a single free performance on TV without justifying doing all your performances for free.

They say you will get publicity. Anyone who has been on TV will know that you probably get more bookings from a live show than a TV performance and, besides, publicity is taken for granted from any performance anyway.

I once had a friend who loved a particular new beverage. He wrote to the manufacturer asking if he could have some free bottles on the condition that he tell all his friends about the wonderful new drink and invited them round to taste the free bottles.

How stupid can one be? The promotion of new items relies on the fact that if you like a product you will tell your friends about it. It is taken for granted. Needless to say I am no longer in communication with that fellow.

So with performing on TV, don't let them tell you to do it without a fee for the free publicity. Any performance you give should generate you publicity.

One thing annoys me more than these producers. The people who do agree to work for free. If you are a fully fledged professional you don't need to go doing these performances and you will know the value of getting paid which is why I assume Ken turned it down. Thank you, Ken.

But if you are not professional you should not go out into the real world where people are trying to make a living and undercut those in the business. If you do, producers will know they can rely on free talent and even more will stop paying. That is why arts like this and many of the sideshow/circus skills are dying out - because you cannot make a living out of them.

You may think you are being generous by helping out one program here and there. You are generous to the over-commercialised TV companies. But you are harming the rest of us.

It is easy to say that you are simply getting us more exposure by doing this or that on TV but the crux of the matter is that these companies do have the money lurking around but they are reluctant to give it away.

With sufficient nouse you can always get it out of them (especially as we have such a wonderful product to sell) and this is beneficial to us all. So we must all agree not to do high profile work like this for free.

Steve.
James Peters
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Steve,

Thanks for sharing your opinion; I don't think I agree with you, though.

Sometimes you do things for free to "get them on your CV" .... and once you have a bit of TV experience, you're more likely to be asked to do something again, for a fee, because you were good.

They're not likely to fork out for a complete unknown!

Take care,

James.
EscapeMaster
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Dear James,

If you do not have enough on your CV for a TV company to realise you are worth paying for then you should not be approaching a TV company. (Of course, if they approach you then they obviously want you and they should expect to pay.)

If you are taking on a professional role (as opposed to entering a televised talent contest, for example) then you ought to have experience.

One school of thought says that experience in the real world does not equate with experience on television. This is true to a certain extent but experience in any medium is invaluable and arguably even more useful if it is in a medium different to the one in question.

They are not necessarily unlikely to fork out for a complete unkown. ABC offered Blaine $1000000 as an unknown (although, I do agree, a crass example). They are, however, unlikely to fork out for an inexperienced or bad performer.

Now, if they do consider you good enough to have on their show then you are good enough to be paid.
Kondini
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Hi, Truth is I have done far too many TV slots in the past for peanuts,,,,over the past ten years with constantly saying no I have found that the TV producers now come to me prepared to offer or pay my full fee, on this occassion they came to me knowing that I was what was required for this particular spot but once again they were skint !!
Being in the twilight years of my showlife I am happy to say that I can now pick and choose a bit so I said no, and posted an enquiry for the gag here (At their request).
If I were at the start of my career and thought the exposure would be beneficial I would have done it (Yes I was starving and not so many years ago at that)I also know that there is always someone out there who will say yes because like it or not the entertainment lark is and always has been a dog eat dog industry. Until anyone has worked freebie TV they will not realise that a couple of minets on the box will not explode you into fame or even gain you work for the future (It will all be forgotten by the next day) and the TV company will be the only ones to gain,,,but you have to try !!! For the newcomer it will be valueable experience with such experience under ones belt you can then go on knowing the demands of the camera so when the phone rings and its the TV you can then quote your full fee with confidence (And hopefully get it !!).
KerryJK
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There's a quiz show on Channel 5 called "Back To Reality" right now, is that the one?

edit: I hope it is, this show's terrible! I don't want to have sat through it for nothing! :o

another edit: the show's finished and not an escape in sight. Oh well, guess that wasn't the one.
DavidEscapes
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Hi everyone

oops... I thought I had already posted the details here. I guess my memory is fading.

Sorry about that, I would have liked to hear peoples responses on the show.

Anyway, the show went out live at 6.30 pm this evening. With me having a full live 5 minutes to myself. There will be edited highlights shown tommorow between 5-6 pm.

Now, the question of why I did it for free. I feel that escapemasters tone implies that he doesn't think I am a proper professional, given that he has made statements like this...

"One thing annoys me more than these producers. The people who do agree to work for free. If you are a fully fledged professional you don't need to go doing these performances and you will know the value of getting paid which is why I assume Ken turned it down. Thank you, Ken."

&

"But if you are not professional you should not go out into the real world where people are trying to make a living and undercut those in the business. If you do, producers will know they can rely on free talent and even more will stop paying. That is why arts like this and many of the sideshow/circus skills are dying out - because you cannot make a living out of them."

As I am tired I will not rise to the insult, but simply say that I have only ever once before (in 15 years!) taken a job on for free. Howver I choose to take this on for three reasons:

1) While I am an experienced performer, I am NOT experienced within a TV studio environment. I have already done some FULLY PAID tv work and am activly seeking more. Therefore I feel that I should become accusstumed to working within that environment. A person only learns by doing.

2) I felt the fact that this is primetime, and live, would mean that publicity would be valuable. And yes, I did think about my CV. No I didn't expect sudden fame, but having my face, and my name, more known, and associated with primetime TV is useful.

3) I am currently putting together a new video and promotion pack. Agents and bookers are, in my opinion, simple people, and are impressed by television apperances. OK, maybe not all of them, but some.

EscapeMaster, I feel that you have made some comments towards me that are wholey derogatory. I don't know you, and you don't know me, therefore I couldn't care less either way. My reasons stand up on their own and I stand behind them.

I will not, and never have, made a habit of working for free, and I have NEVER knowingly undercut a performer at any point in my career. To do so would only harm my own income.

Cheers

David Straitjacket
David Victor - The artist formally (and still occasionally) known as David Straitjacket.

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