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cafecheckers
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Hi - My name is Joey aka Checkers of Charlie and Checkers. My brother has been an active member here for the past 5 years. I have been lurking for the past few years occasionally. I have had the pleasure of meeting up with some who are members, and am so grateful to those who have contributed and helped us build our business.

I am entering into my 2nd year of college and am performing primarily as a solo performer. My brother now has a full time year round commitment to medical school and will perform occasionally where he attends school. I am hopeful to build my business skills as I will now be solely responsible for the day to day running of our business as well as moving forward in development of growing the business. I am contemplating a career in kids entertainment and would like to hit the ground running upon graduation from college.

I look forward to joining in with discussions and initiating threads to further explore business topics.
Dannydoyle
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Medical school? The nerve.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Mindpro
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Hey Joey, welcome! We're looking forward to you joining in on the festivities. We've enjoyed being part of your journey with your brother and now as you continue to work solo. I've always enjoyed watching you guys grow and evolve and your approach to learning this business. Let's dig in!
Gerry Walkowski
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Hey Joey,

Welcome aboard.

Your brother really seems to have a good head on his shoulders, which probably explains why he's in Med School. Smile

You should be off to a very good start with Charlie as your coach.

Gerry
cafecheckers
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Quote:
On Aug 6, 2016, Gerry Walkowski wrote:
Your brother really seems to have a good head on his shoulders, which probably explains why he's in Med School. Smile
You should be off to a very good start with Charlie as your coach.
Gerry


Thanks for the kind words. I should have properly thanked my brother in my first post. I cannot tell you how amazing it was to follow in his footsteps. He taught me many important lessons. Interestingly, many relate to how to participate here. We had no clue what we were doing and no local mentors to follow. Coming here taught my brother great insights about every aspect of our business. My bother taught me to not only use this place to discover direct answers to questions, but how to think differently in our approach. He taught me to be open to others, scrutinize advice, keep my ego in check, and give back.

A bit more about my role development: When we started, my character was a silent clown side kick to my brother. Discussions here helped me realize that it was best to evolve my charachter. I originally wore traditional clown make up and a nose. We were already quite established, so change was viewed as quite risky, but it was the best thing we ever did and allowed me to evolve as a performing partner and then transition to a solo performer. I have been doing solo shows over the past year in addition to our traditional show. I learned that well thought out risks can pay off. Had my brother and I not looked ahead to his eventual deparure, he would have left and I would have had no experience or charachter to fall into. Mindpro and Danny are frequent contributors here that we use as sounding boards. Sometimes it is not easy to hear their advice. Believe me, some of their comments and opinions of those of us who are younger do not appear encouraging at face value, as stand alone posts. My brother taught me to place opinions in context.
cafecheckers
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Quote:
On Aug 6, 2016, Cafécheckers wrote:
Quote:
On Aug 6, 2016, Gerry Walkowski wrote:
Your brother really seems to have a good head on his shoulders, which probably explains why he's in Med School. Smile
You should be off to a very good start with Charlie as your coach.
Gerry


Thanks for the kind words. I should have properly thanked my brother in my first post. I cannot tell you how amazing it was to follow in his footsteps. He taught me many important lessons. Interestingly, many relate to how to participate here. We had no clue what we were doing and no local mentors to follow. Coming here taught my brother great insights about every aspect of our business. My bother taught me to not only use this place to discover direct answers to questions, but how to think differently in our approach. He taught me to be open to others, scrutinize advice, keep my ego in check, and give back. He is now in his 2nd year of medical school which requires year round participation, so he will not be available. I will miss his leadership, camaraderie, and business mind.

A bit more about my role development: When we started, my character was a silent clown side kick to my brother. Discussions here helped me realize that it was best to evolve my charachter. I originally wore traditional clown make up and a nose. We were already quite established, so change was viewed as quite risky, but it was the best thing we ever did and allowed me to evolve as a performing partner and then transition to a solo performer. I have been doing solo shows over the past year in addition to our traditional show. I learned that well thought out risks can pay off. Had my brother and I not looked ahead to his eventual deparure, he would have left and I would have had no experience or charachter to fall into. Mindpro and Danny are frequent contributors here that we use as sounding boards. Sometimes it is not easy to hear their advice. Believe me, some of their comments and opinions of those of us who are younger do not appear encouraging at face value, as stand alone posts. My brother taught me to place opinions in context.
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Aug 6, 2016, Cafécheckers wrote:

He taught me many important lessons. Interestingly, many relate to how to participate here.

*******************************************************************************************

Had my brother and I not looked ahead to his eventual departure, he would have left and I would have had no experience or character to fall into.

*******************************************************************************************

My brother taught me to place opinions in context.





Yes, I am writing a manual on how to participate here. Your brother has the proper approach to read into and beyond what is written for the larger picture without being clouded by some of the noise here. He understands different levels of performers and experience. He always seemed to know when to listen and what questions to ask and how. Then it evolved to him and yourself making determinations and actions based on the information offered. It has been fun to watch him and you guys evolve based in part to specific information shared and offered here. I've always felt some people get it and see it for what it truly is and others not so much. He alwayys has and I'm betting you will as well.


What I think is great is very few performers, I mean literally less than I'd guess 5% think much or at all about exist strategies or down the road thinking. Most only see their performing only as far as themselves. For as young as you guys are, it is so exciting and refreshing to see you guys thinking about the bigger picture, almost from the start. I feel that is setting you up for both more clearly defined actionable steps, and seeing what you do as a business more than just a performance. I'm sure you both know you are poised to become much more than the two of you if desired.


One of the most things that you said I'd agree with is understanding and separating opinion from facts here and in one's learning. And also one's personal journey or experience form actual industry perspectives, knowledge and operations. Most only see, understand and experience things only as they pertain to themselves. Being able to look beyond this opens an entirely greater world of understanding and opportunity.
Mindpro
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Meant "exit" strategies.
Tim Friday
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Welcome to the Café Checkers.

While the Café is a place for discussion, keep in mind there are many ways to learn, and most are much more productive than the Café.

In regards to your comment "Sometimes it is not easy to hear their advice" referring to how advice is given here on the Café - it is possible to find experienced professionals who will give advice in a way that is respectful to you - even though the teacher has many years experience over you. There are people out there who communicate with respect rather than in a way that is condescending or dismissive because you are learning and maybe not doing it right the first time.

And if anyone does happen to talk down to you because you are new or learning, I would like to encourage you to have strong personal boundaries and to stand up to them, respect yourself even if others here on the Café do not respect you. And you can count me to stand up for you as well if you ever happen to be faced with any cyberbullying.

Welcome and I'm looking forward to more posts from you.
Dannydoyle
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Seriously? You take the hello post of another as an opportunity to bash?

You are really something else.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
cafecheckers
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Quote:
On Aug 6, 2016, Tim Friday wrote:
Welcome to the Café Checkers.

Thank you.

Quote:
While the Café is a place for discussion, keep in mind there are many ways to learn, and most are much more productive than the Café.

I have read your opinion on this in a previous thread and would like to know a bit more about your position. To me, discussion is an extremely valid way to learn. I know that we benefited here beyond the discussions in many ways. We have personally met members, corresponded via PM's, purchased products, received factual information and input on the many other learning possibilities. My brother and I have spent countless hours discussing the content he read and conversations he participated in. I believe one will get out of it, what they put into it.

Quote:
In regards to your comment "Sometimes it is not easy to hear their advice" referring to how advice is given here on the Café -

This is not what I intended to convey. I have reviewed many past threads dating back to when my brother started posting. Just because the advice given was not easy to accept, does not mean it was delivered in an inappropriate way. It only means that the likely reality is that more experience and work is needed than I had previously realized. Those who offer this advice have saved us time and money by avoiding disappointing short cuts. Of course, it may seem more encouraging when one is offering short cuts as solutions.
Quote:
It is possible to find experienced professionals who will give advice in a way that is respectful to you - even though the teacher has many years experience over you. There are people out there who communicate with respect rather than in a way that is condescending or dismissive because you are learning and maybe not doing it right the first time.

I do not recall a single time when my brother said he felt disrespected here. I do know there were some discussions he was involved in that got a bit heated, but that was in a different section and occurred several years ago. My intent is to come here and learn. I have been exposed to many different instructors throughout my education. I learn from all and adapt to differing teaching styles. This was always instilled in me from a young age. One of the things that I am most excited about is joining in discussions with experienced professionals that I would otherwise have no way of interacting with. I think avoiding this opportunity would be the biggest mistake I could make. I will work to earn the respect of everyone here and will try to post in respectful ways.

Quote:
And if anyone does happen to talk down to you because you are new or learning, I would like to encourage you to have strong personal boundaries and to stand up to them, respect yourself even if others here on the Café do not respect you. And you can count me to stand up for you as well if you ever happen to be faced with any cyberbullying.

Thanks. I have no intention of getting into situations as you describe. In reality, I am comfortable playing the role of a student and accepting constructive criticism. My goal is to build my business, not necessarily worry what others think of me.

Quote:
Welcome and I'm looking forward to more posts from you.

Me too!
cafecheckers
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Quote:
On Aug 6, 2016, Dannydoyle wrote:
Seriously? You take the hello post of another as an opportunity to bash?

You are really something else.

Not sure here- did I walk into something?
cafecheckers
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Quote:
On Aug 6, 2016, Mindpro wrote:
Yes, I am writing a manual on how to participate here.

Wow! That sounds like a great idea.

Quote:
It has been fun to watch him and you guys evolve based in part to specific information shared and offered here. I've always felt some people get it and see it for what it truly is and others not so much. He alwayys has and I'm betting you will as well.

Thanks so much! There are many things we discussed about how to move forward. We are different though. I need to become better at things he did well. He always followed through even though he is extremely busy. He really liked your information and read your books. We used your knowledge to better prepare for media appearances and newspaper articles. I have ideas on how to use other information you shared in your book, but I have not yet gotten to that point. Right now, I am just trying to get comfortable with the business end my brother was doing.

Quote:
What I think is great is very few performers, I mean literally less than I'd guess 5% think much or at all about exist strategies or down the road thinking. Most only see their performing only as far as themselves. For as young as you guys are, it is so exciting and refreshing to see you guys thinking about the bigger picture, almost from the start. I feel that is setting you up for both more clearly defined actionable steps, and seeing what you do as a business more than just a performance. I'm sure you both know you are poised to become much more than the two of you if desired.

Thanks again! We had many heated discussions about my desire to remove my make up and become a speaker charachter. Looking back, it seems so obvious - but at the time we were both really worried that it would not play well with audiences who were used to us. I am proud to say that I "won" that argument, but I give my brother a lot of credit for being flexible and listening to my reasons for the change. A few years later we made a decision to retire our rabbit who had always been in our show. In both situations, audiences were a lot more receptive than we ever imagined and it allowed for a smooth transition.


Quote:
One of the most things that you said I'd agree with is understanding and separating opinion from facts here and in one's learning. And also one's personal journey or experience form actual industry perspectives, knowledge and operations. Most only see, understand and experience things only as they pertain to themselves. Being able to look beyond this opens an entirely greater world of understanding and opportunity.

I remember many times when we decided to eliminate or alter suggestions from courses, books and dvd's because it did not fit our situation. It worked ok for the person who wrote the book, but that was because of who they were.
charliecheckers
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Quote:
On Aug 6, 2016, Cafécheckers wrote:
I should have properly thanked my brother in my first post. I cannot tell you how amazing it was to follow in his footsteps. He taught me many important lessons. Interestingly, many relate to how to participate here. We had no clue what we were doing and no local mentors to follow. Coming here taught my brother great insights about every aspect of our business. My bother taught me to not only use this place to discover direct answers to questions, but how to think differently in our approach. He taught me to be open to others, scrutinize advice, keep my ego in check, and give back..


Thanks for the kind words, and welcome to the Café. We had a great ride together, and we will ride again together (occasionally)- I am sure.

Thanks all for welcoming my brother!
Mindpro
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It's good to know you've been around here for a year with your brother's guidance as I'm sure you are well aware of who the obvious pot-strirrers and from whom such things come from. We can see exactly where and from whom this started on this thread. Danny is right, every opportunity apparently to bash.

Joey is correct when he said above "To me, discussion is an extremely valid way to learn. I know that we benefited here beyond the discussions in many ways." This is a great place to learn, often directly from those with the experience and insight you are seeking. The real point is those that approach this place the right way, with the right attitude and the right understanding WILL actually learn and often get much more than they can offer. It is a great place for learning and participating properly can have many great advantages as both you and your brother well know. Don't let anyone insinuate or tell you any different. Eventually you will do the same for others when you are truly there and at such a point.

What I don't understand is if one feels they can't learn anything here, and in every post choose to bash, derail and flame, why come here? Of course I and others have asked this many times still to receive no answer.

I know that you are well aware of who is who and some of their agendas. However, I also know that like many members that come here you tend to often immediately look for certain members posts first. These are the ones you seek as you know these are the ones offering info that is helpful and that you will likely earn from consistently. You also know whose to avoid or be less acceptant or cautious of for a variety of reasons which are often personal. Again, Joey is not new to here, just new to posting. Great advantage.

Glad to hear about how you made a wise foundational decision that you are comfortable with, believe in and that can/will/has truly created n planned opportunity for growth and evolving. It would be quite hard to be a silent solo performer (possible but more difficult in several areas).
Dannydoyle
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Discussion can work as a learning medium. But only to a point. Discussion involves listening. Not crying that someone hurt your feelings. Not telling others how to act.

Learning involves a lot of keeping your mouth shut and ears open.

Discussion works really well when 2 peole have shared experience and can share that. But without that experience it is not when you force your opinion, it is when you listen.

Tim really stop pushing your silly agenda. If you don't like it here don't post. Is it that hard? If you don't learn anything fine. But don't stop others from learning with constant bashing.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Mindpro
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In an effort not to let Tim and his "special one-person wisdom" derail this great thread...now back on topic...

So now that you've weathered the decision of the makeup dilemma (I remember when KISS had this same issue) what are some of the issues and concerns you are currently facing? Is it hard or difficult for you now performing as a solo? I ask because I always loved and preferred performing as part of a duo. Most of my 20+ years in radio were spend leading a duo. 8 years of my annual spring tour were touring across the country with my daughter as my on-stage assistant. Several of my business ventures were with partners. I actually prefer the two person dynamic (IF it is the right person). This is also one reason that even as a solo performer I will sometimes take an opening act out with me.

To me it is less fun as a solo performer both on stage and behind the scenes, especially on the road. I have adapted fine and in some aspects now prefer it, but any time my daughter offers to do a leg with me, without thought, I'm in.

Curious as to where you are now?
cafecheckers
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Quote:
On Aug 7, 2016, Mindpro wrote:
So now that you've weathered the decision of the makeup dilemma (I remember when KISS had this same issue) what are some of the issues and concerns you are currently facing? Is it hard or difficult for you now performing as a solo?

Curious as to where you are now?


Thank you for your kind interest as well as sharing some interesting history from your career.

Last school year I performed 7-10 shows/month and this summer about 20/month as a solo performer. I also teamed with my brother for a fair amount this summer as well. I have mixed feelings. I prefer my solo show from the perspective that it is easier from a scripting and spontinaity stand point. Also, I can move forward with new elements and ideas more easily. My show is high energy and there are times I am breathless and can get more tired on days with 3 shows. Set up and break down time also takes longer and it is more lonely. (My sister who is 10 joins me occasionally. She is a gymnast and adds an acrobatic element. I enjoy her participation but she seldomly can do it).

My brother historically did all of the business end of things. Over the past year we have been working to transition things to me. One challange is that when we started out we were just trying to get a bit of business experience and land some gigs. We never thought of either one of us taking up performing as a career. So while there was plans to transition the business to me, it was more for the short run of 3-4 years. We picked and chose where we concentrated our efforts, but never devoted full time to developing our business to be much more than it is. Truthfully, we grew more than we ever thought we would. My brother created mailing lists for scouts, school PTA's, recreation centers, libraries, country clubs,fairs and festivals and such but not as extensive as a full time performer would be. Now that I have taken over there are things that I need to learn that my brother did and took for granted, like updating the website and creating mailing materials. I need to take some of the things we were working on with higher end opportunities and continue to build elationships.

In addition to just getting used to the business components, I am working to better brand my show. I am interested in cleaning up the "stage" appearance and coordinating the color scheme better. I am trying to create a more sleek appearance, while condensing and reducing my carry in. I plan on replacing my backdrop with a pop up banner or two and a few other visual improvements.

Perhaps most importantly, I am trying to add a component to the performace that better sets me apart from any other and creates a stronger audience drive for attending multiple performances. This will help me not only book more shows, but book closer to home and better saturate the kid market (which is important for my long term plans). I have some ideas, but admitidly still have a way to go on this.

I know with school coming up I will need to ensure I keep focus on my classes and business groups I am committed to as well. Again thanks! It is great to have people so willing to share their insights and wisdom.
cafecheckers
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Another thing I am working on is pricing. My brother had a system for quoting pricing, where he became proficient at accessing the particulars of a show and providing an accurate and consistent price. I have found that to be a challenge, as I recently took over that responsibility. I had a call today for a school show and tried to provide a quote, but realized my quote was well below our current price structure. Now I have to live with the quote and the callers perception of what I charge.

It got me thinking more about pricing. Pricing was not as important when we were only part time performers. Now that I aspire to become full time in less than three years, pricing strategies become much more important. I currently know little about pricing strategies. while my brother has more experience than I do, he agreed that it was a weakness of ours.
Dannydoyle
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Send me a PM and I can tell you a story of how I quoted a show so badly I actually paid to do a show in Eugene Oregon.

Unlike most of what you read in the magic books and courses and here I have actually made some big mistakes.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
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