As I’ve written in the past, we’ve seen poachers, hecklers and bad, competitive acts but I am going to let my partner talk about something that is so utterly tacky that I had to hear it twice to make sure I wasn’t just hallucinating:
In his own words:
I like doing the shows we do in Pensacola and Mobile. The main reason is because the people who run the shows are very nice people. One of the reasons I feel this way is they often go out of their way to do the right thing.
The main organizer is a lawyer and we get VERY specific contracts that give minimum number of performers, minimum number of shows per day, minimum number of minutes per show and all sorts of other things.
But, despite all the legal paperwork, when you actually get there he is much more “do a good show and I don’t care” attitude. He doesn’t count how many people I have on stage, how many minutes I run or anything like that. He just wants the crowd to be happy.
The contract also says we won’t do any other shows within 100 miles. Not normally a problem for us living 1300 miles away, but a couple of years ago we got a call from a mother who wanted some sword fighting at her son’s party there in Pensacola. I called to see if I could be let out of our contract for that.
“A ten year old’s birthday party?” the organizer asked. “OF COURSE you should be there! Don’t disappoint a kid! Stop by here first and I’ll give you a bunch of discount coupons for all of his friends and a free ticket for him and his mom.”
We did the birthday party show. The kids were happy. There are lots of other examples like that over the last 13 years we’ve done shows for those people.
I guess one of the other towns in the local area wanted to have a faire like this one. They contacted the organizer and asked to meet with him to discuss it.
“We can run it for you if you want,” the organizer said. “Pay us a fee to produce it and we can provide you with acts, vendors and anything else you would need.”
The town turned him down and is now having their own faire anyhow.
OK. I understand that happens. They don’t want to pay someone else to run their faire and think they can do it themselves. I’ve got no problem with that.
What I do have a problem with is this:
- The town sent their person who is going to organize it to the faire we were doing.
- They dressed as a king with a crown and all.
- Their tabard was a big sign saying the date, time and place of their faire.
- And, the guy went from booth to booth, act to act, trying to recruit people to come be at his faire.
It’s one thing not to hire someone to do something for you. It’s another to go to that person’s thing wearing a billboard of what you wouldn’t hire him to do and try and hire what he has away.
That’s just rude.
The faire organizer we work with could have gone to people and waved the contract at them.
Instead he went and talked with people. He explained why they had the clause and why it would hurt his faire if folks he had contracted to be unique started doing other events nearby. But, he ended with “you have to do what you have to do to get your paycheck.” Not “I’ll sue you for breach of contract” or anything like it.
So, I still like and respect the guy we work for. I don’t think highly of the folks at this other faire.