Performance Riders

The show rider isn’t about the green M&M’s.  I promise you that.
On my jog this morning I listened to the Variety Artists podcast.  Within the interview the guests mentioned having a rider for your show, something every professional act should have.  A rider for all venues no matter what.  I think they’re 100% correct and that its of great benefit to the show, producer and client. I’ve heard other entertainers suggest that riders and having specific conditions can be off putting for producers of corporate events.  I challenge that notion. If a speakers bureau, event planner or conference / convention chair has bothered to hire you, wouldn’t they want to make the very best of their entertainment dollar? It behooves all parties to set up the performance in a way that makes the most of the venue and creates the experience you’ve paid for.

For example, one of the few requests I make is there be a microphone on a stand, not a podium.  It’s a pretty basic thing, but you’d be surprised how often I run into a mic firmly and permanently attached to a podium.  Useless for someone like me who moves around the stage and engages the audience.  Of course I have a work around for this issue but its never as great as a proper mic. I also ask for the smallest space between the audience and the stage, to help create an intimate performance environment. Laughter moves front to back and a giant gap prevents the comedian, magician or whomever is entertaining from connecting with the crowd. Its shocking to me how many “ professional” buyers of entertainment don’t realize that a dance floor sized gap front of the stage between the audience and performer is absolutely a guarantee of a bad show.  I used to spell this and one or two other things out in a rider that needed to be signed by the client. It wasn’t but a half a page. Still, people never read it. Contact me and I”ll be happy to share my rider and some other thoughts about making your corporate event work the best it can.

I’ve come to realize that in today’s busy corporate environment with so much going on in the business of organizing a conference or convention, it’s difficult to remember details. Even a small rider like the one I used to used was troublesome.  I now use infographics.  My excellent friend and fellow magician from Orlando Florida; Nathan Coe Marsh uses this.  I think it’s the best in the business for detailing one of the most important aspects of corporate performance the room lay out.  It provides a check list that’s easy to follow. We work together on events time to time and its always enjoyable. Part of that reason is we’re on the same page as it relates to having conditions for a great show. My rider is even less complex than this, but you get the idea. Check it out here :

End of the day I think its important to remember that we the artists performing at your event, be it a Toronto conference for home builders or a finance firm in Manhattan, want to make you AND us look great. That rider is there to help all parties. 

Just my two cents and something to keep in mind.  We aren’t trying to make your job harder, we’re there working in the easiest way possible to make you look fantastic. All boats rise with just a bit of effort. 

I look forward to seeing you at your next conference, or convention. Until then,

Good Night and Good Luck, Jane Doe

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