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Old 04-30-02, 09:08 AM   #1
Spinners' Wacky World of Tops
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Post Q&A for Mr.Trix on edmonton

As I was reading about edmonton on the web it mentioned how you were able to do a show in person rather than just sending in a video.Would you be willing to share how that was accomplished?
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Old 05-02-02, 11:24 AM   #2
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Hi.

Sorry I'm late, I've been off the boards for a couple of days. Where did you read that?

I was working Halifax festival, and had heard that Shelly was coming from Edmonton to do some of the producing and directing. I met her at the opening dinner/show, and asked her if she would have a look at my show, and give me any direction she might have, some time during the fest.
I ask this of anyone I respect at a festival, and have gotten feedback from sources as varied as Martin Ewen: (See if you can have them widen the door so your ego will fit out easier) to Hilby: (You have the comic timing of a Polish calander.) to Dick Finkle: (If I see one more unicyclist climbing on the backs of his audience, I'll swallow razor blades.) and Glenn Singer (It would be a lot funnier if you did some comedy.) Feedback rocks.
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Old 05-02-02, 12:29 PM   #3
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Thanks MR.Taxi trix,If she still has it up it a news article on the festival web page its had a picture of you on your cycle while juggling and you and her talking about how hard it is to break into that festival.She mentioned how she was at 5 no's to every one yes at that time.this year its 8 no's to every one yes.Is that her way of saying you aint got a chance?
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Old 05-02-02, 02:16 PM   #4
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My guess would be that there's no hidden meaning in that statement, and 8 no's to a yes is probably just the real number. Everyone wants to do Edmonton. It boils down to courtesy, really. Edmonton Festival treats their performers better than any other, and word got around years ago. (I'll throw in that Waterloo is a close second in my book.) 8 to 1 isn't insurmountable, though, and if you're doing a show featuring tops, you have "original" on your side, a celebrated commodity.
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Old 05-02-02, 02:42 PM   #5
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thanks for sharing/ that article is still up did you find it?
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Old 05-02-02, 06:09 PM   #6
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Yeah, thanks.
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Old 05-03-02, 05:40 PM   #7
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Can I add a couple more pennies worth of elaboration?

The sad reality is that there are hundreds of *you* and few of *us* (Gawd, I hate polarizing in those terms), meaning performers and venues. I think last year in Waterloo the rate was something along the lines of 9 no's for every yes (over 160 applications, 17 acts presented), and this year in Dundas I'm presenting roughly 20 acts out of about 140 applications.

Perhaps it's the word "application" that needs some clarification. For me, I consider nearly every artist I've ever worked with and many of those I haven't had the chance to work with but have seen at other gigs, PLUS emailed, posted, shouted or otherwise delivered expressions of interest, for whatever show I'm putting together.

For *me*, I'd prefer you drop me an email, and I can then ask you to send a tape, disc or whatever if I think you might fit into the mix I'm trying to achieve. I won't just ask you to invest your resources in applying to me if I don't think there's at least a chance you might work out - I mean, if I'm not looking for a banana-suited, swordswallowing flamenco guitarist, then I will politely decline your offer of promo.

And your best investment, for my meagre opinion, is to establish a website with good streaming video and audio, then email a "I wanna come play" note with your URL. I can get a pretty good idea what you're about, without you having to initially spend on dubbing and post.

I'd guess that 25-30 % of the applications I considered this year came as unsolicited or cold-call approaches from artists, 50-60% came as notes or reminders from folks I had previously crossed paths with, and the rest were artists who's work was familiar to me that I considered inviting if they were right for the mix.

This balance is going to be different for every festival, every producer, every venue.

One thing most of us have in common, though, is that we actively try to attend each other's festivals to see artists' work, to "scout", if you will (though I hate that term at about the same visceral level as "agent").

If you've applied to a producer with whom you've not worked, and been turned down, drop a line with news of other gigs in the area you'll be playing. When possible, I'll make an effort to go to other (even non-street) events, to see more of an artist's work than just what's in their promo. It's a lot harder to say no to someone who's work you've enjoyed, who's hand you've shaken, who's face you've put a name and voice to.

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Old 05-06-02, 11:33 AM   #8
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Oops. Perhaps judging by my mail over the weekend, I need to be a bit more specific. Myself, I'd like to hear from you about dates that I meight get a chance to see you work *somewhere reasonably close*. I'm happy for you if you've got work in Gander, or Barcelona, or Palm Springs but it's not likely I'll get to see you there.

Somewhere in mid-south-southwestern Ontario might be more within striking distance.

Thanks,
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Old 05-06-02, 01:34 PM   #9
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WOW!Thanks alot,I'm trying to learn more about the inner workings and sometimes I swear everything is in secret code.I would like to give you my situation.a producer gives me 8 no's to 1 yes but won't say NO.Do I think o.k. maybe if a couple acts bow out and someone breaks a leg then maybe I might be called?
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Old 05-06-02, 08:43 PM   #10
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Sometimes, ummm, yes. Rosters are fluid things until contracts are signed (and even sometimes then they're not solid enough to walk on). And it's possible that you haven't received a firm no because you're still in the "maybe" file, but offers have been extended that await confirmation or denial. It's possible that it's a good sign - you haven't been turned down outright.

But in the meantime, your reality is that you have to plan your life, your tour, your next drivethrough meal ... it's OK (with me, anyways) if you drop a note or call to ask "que pasa"? Just don't make a daily habit of it.

And maybe don't forgo that bird-in-the-hand offer that comes your way, in favour of "maybe" status. There's always next year.

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Old 05-07-02, 08:50 AM   #11
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you are not only a gem, you are a polished one/a wealth of understanding has been shared here
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