Although my partner thinks that Ohio is the worst Phoenix Job we ever did my least favorite was the Summer Camp.

Red Flag #1

Now, when we were in negotiations with this summer camp, they were super-vague about what they wanted so lots of back and forth emails. In fact, because we are nice people we mentioned that they had closer acts that were local to them.  In fact there are two major renfaires who hire acts from that area and we’d worked with them and in fact, I knew their prices and they were better for what they intimated they needed.

I wish I had called my local-to-the- area friend because we found out later WHY they were scouting so far afield for acts.

Red Flag #2

They said they needed specific shows and we adapted several of our shows for three levels of audience.  We were told that we’d do four  ½ hour shows and go home.

Red Flag #3

In the middle of NOWHERE.

We were left on a soccer field with no shade. The maintenance guys brought down a table and some water.  We were not invited to eat any food and had to buy our own.

None of the groups they’d brought matched the ages.

There were stretches of up to two hours between performances.

We were threatened with being fired and not being paid (In hindsight, this would have been the time to leave)

You only wish there were flags left and everything was not a dumpster fire

And our “representative” of the camp confessed that she’d lied and told the director our shows were an hour long.

So we did 3 sword shows (2 sooooo extended with sword lessons) and were slated for a fire show.  The performer who said she’d bring the music…didn’t. Now ever have one of those moments where your gut says “Dooooo it” and you do and it pans out?

The day before we left I bought a used Djembe and I’d left it in the car.

So we were panting while the very nice maintenance men let us sit in their air-conditioned shack just before the fire show.  We had the idea of seeing if any of the campers could drum.

One guy had it out for us because I’d teased him about his tights.  And he almost came to blows with a number of our members. The whole time Fenix was keeping a smile and everyone calm.  The troupe were hot, tired and angry.

Just before the fire show we found a kid who was a *superlative* drummer and we worried because our fire show was NOT an hour long.

Then, the “rep” told us we’d “just have to cut the show to 20 minutes” Sure, we can do that, we said with complete full on BF.

So we did, then got our people the hell out. When Fenix went for our check (I know this will take you by complete surprise) they told us that our emailed correspondence and contract was not sufficient, they needed an itemized invoice.  (Funny how this was never mentioned previously) Not carrying a printer with us and having many hot and angry people, we opted to “send it via email”

Fenix and I told the team to meet us at the nearby gas station and we would buy their gas, liquids and snacks.    We ran behind because we attempted to get our pay.  We calmly got into the car, closed the door, and independently, synchronized, and spontaneously screamed
“F*CKERS!”

Then drove to the gas station.
And let everyone unload, get hydrated and calm before driving the multi-hour, nasty route back to home.

And I know, dear reader, this too will blow you away in both lanes, they contested how much we charged as we had “shorted them on the first show” when we sent the invoice.

And we had to invoke the Anton. He has done shows with us, hires us for his faire (which is excellent BTW)  He is also one of the most dogged lawyers we know. And we do love him as he is also motivated by spite and so, sending a certified letter with a reduced price and a threat of court action, we were finally paid by these assholes and realized why no one in a 200-300 mile radius would work for them.

It left some members with fear of working Summer Camps.

So if a Summer camp that recently changed its name from an offensive one regarding Native American People to simply the initials of that offensive name, in Pennsylvania, calls you to do some shows?

Don’t work for those A-holes