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Old 04-02-03, 06:17 PM   #1
mini mansell
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Post Splats

Hi, i have been doing some circus workshops in the Uk for a company called Splats.

i have detailed my unfortunate experiences here

http://www.minimansell.co.uk/Splats.htm

i urge, anyone in the UK approached by splats to read the above page before they take up any work with them.

i have been very careful not to liable anyone so the page simply details my own personal story.
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Old 04-03-03, 03:16 AM   #2
le pire
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I once worked as the project manager for an Electronics company. I closed a deal that saved the company 1.2 million dollars because I was a shrewed mother fucker. You know what I got? A coffee mug.

Agents, like performers, take what they can get. You were happy with £145 a day. PERIOD. This only changed when you compared what he makes to what you make. You consider your work 'more important' than his because you're 'the man in the field.'

I hate to break it to ya pal, but we are a dime a dozen.

I also agent work out, and let me tell you that it is FAR easier to perform 10 shows in one day than to book those ten shows. You say
"why pay someone 60% of a days earnings just to post a letter and answer the phone." If you think it is that easy than you don't really know very much, do you?


The agent-performer relationship is, at best, a partnership, but more often than not it is mutually parasitic. We use them and they use us. Without us, they have nothing to sell, and we are generally shit at selling ourselves because we are too 'personally attached' to the act.

There are two sides to every story. I wonder what they would say about you. I'm not taking sides, mind you, I'm merely making a point.

étienne
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Old 04-03-03, 04:15 AM   #3
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Hi.

your completely correct. i was very happy with the money mid weeks in january, when it was raining, and there was no alternatives.

i only became unhappy when i found out the differential in earning.

3 months ago i spend some cash. had some very nice colour fliers printed up, did my own mailshot.

the result was more work in the next 3 months than they gave me last year complete. so i am a very happy bunny now.

my post was mainly concerning if you like our general lazyness.
we let others do the mailshots because we convince ourselves we dont have the time, or energy, or ability.
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Old 04-03-03, 05:11 AM   #4
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I have read all posts on this topic and i agree to all points, however there are a couple of points that have not been talked about.

That of upseting agents, in my humble 16 years of pro performings. I have worked for hundreds of agents all over the world and one thing I have learnt is the thing they hate the most is artists that hand out promo stuff while working on their gigs. It becomes a matter of eithics. The actions of mail shoting schools after you worked for splats will be by them, considered the same thing.

While we do get pissed off on the somtimes HUGE commision or cuts they take. Their sole income is that from finding gigs. We can at times piss an agent off by one way or another and as étienne so wizly said "we are a dime a dozen" As fast as artists drop out of the game there are 10 more to take their place. Once you burn bridges with an agent, you can be sure they will never forget and they will never work you again.

They as agents are the same as us as performers. They TALK, so you can be sure that when an act gets a bad reputation with one agent OTHERS will here about it. It dosnt matter how much you want to stick to your guns THIS situation is BAD. Don't get me wrong I have no solution to this age old problem, but it is a swings and roundabouts issue. Do we bite our toungs and swallow our pride or be stubern and say "fuck you" !

It is up to you my friends to make that choice for yourself. But beware. If you steal a gig from an agent you will never work for them again, and be asured that that gig will not last for ever. I have seen so many pro acts fall into this trap over the years, I see them or talk to them and their talk is all the same, " wow its really slow at the minute, no work etc" I knowing through the grapevine that the main reason they have very little work is that they have pissed off a lot of agents that know them.

Like i said there is no real solution to this, except that an act must make the choice which way to go and how much they will stand.

This is a topic that has plagued me for years as I too have had that dilema to deal with at many many times.

The one and only time that I myself have gone behind an agents back in this way was 10 years ago. I had done 4 days work at Earls court for a very well known London Corpoate agency on a stand for a cleaning company. All normal and standard trade fair performing my close up magic at their stand, you know the stuff. Well at the end of the run the Managing director said that they would love me to work their next trade fair at the G-mex in Manchester in 2 weeks time, BUT they didnt really have the budget of the 5000 pounds they had just paid for me this time. Well considering I was being paid my normal corpoate rate of the day of 250 pounds a day, (you do the math) I was very very pissed off. I said to the managing director that I would do it at a better rate but I would explain to the agent.

OH THE NIEVENESS of me then and i should have known better. Cutting a long story short, I called the agent said how apauled I was at the over charging but I offered them a decent commision from the next gig, but as you can guess. I was called every name under the sun and to THIS DAY, The agent has never worked me and is still one of the UKs biggest corpoate agents.

I know i have driffed a little off the original topic but the two situations do run hand in hand very often.

All i can say is really think before you act and plan your marketing campain so it wont piss anyone off. There has long been an expression in vartiy showbiz, "Dont piss anyone off on the way up, because you may need them on the way down:

Groovy

[ 04-03-2003: Message edited by: The Groovy Guy ]</p>
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Old 04-03-03, 05:34 AM   #5
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Hi Groovy,

points taken.

I have been very careful to never take business myself while working for an agent, and i always refer clients back to agents if they ask for more details.

i have also been very careful to exclude any addresses i have worked for splats in my mailshot. so i have not broken i hope any ethics.


i do hope though. at the rate the phone has rang this year so far, that i can exclude Agents completely from my plan.
So far it looks very much that way, this year i have not worked for a single agent at all. Everything has been done independant through my own mailshots and Phone calls.

My earnings so far this year have been Equal to my earnings for ALL of last year! so i must be doing something correct.
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Old 04-03-03, 06:09 AM   #6
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Hi Mini Mansell

Im glad things are working for you, my points were certanly not aimed at you personaly, just a general info from the things I have learned along the way. Its funny, but normal business ethics seem to apply to all forms of business, but in ours there always seems to be many grey areas.

good luck mate and i hope the work keeps flooding in.

Groovy

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Old 04-04-03, 04:10 PM   #7
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i think in these modern times, ours is the only business with Ethics at all.

every other business goes at things hard nosed. cutting throughts and back stabbing to raise the company shareholders dividend.

spying. lieing. espionage. all legitimate business tools for the likes of Microsoft, Dupont, GM, ICi,, all the biggest companies seem to feel its normal to behave this way.
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Old 05-02-03, 07:39 AM   #8
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Ethics , my arse .Is it not right that you were making commision on the juggling toys you were selling . At a high price ? Which makes you a salesman , screwing rich kids for a few extra pounds . And how can you work all day , and still make them laugh . You cant , I cant . If you want to be an artist , behave like one .If you want to be a salesman , all the time talking about money , then carry on .
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Old 05-02-03, 10:49 AM   #9
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[quote]Originally posted by jugglermatt1:
<strong> If you want to be an artist , behave like one .If you want to be a salesman , all the time talking about money , then carry on .</strong><hr></blockquote>

i am sorry. are you suggesting that in order to be an artist i can not mate money?
or as an artist i can not sell anything other than my talent?

If you wish to me a Martyr, live poorly, etc, then by all means do so. but it really is not for you to make these decisions for me.
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Old 05-02-03, 11:45 AM   #10
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No shame in making money. One's artistic endeavors have to be funded somehow, and you have to feed your body as well as your spirit.

But more on the issue, I think that if art is the goal, street juggling is a pretty poor medium. The circus skills are at best only a folk art, and as I have rambled about in the past, more closely resemble a craft. Without getting bogged down in semantics, either way is in the eye of the beholder, and for that matter, the creator.

Remember, the painter needs someone to sell him his brushes and paints. Selling props after a show may very well have a more profound artistic influence on the world that the show itself! Everyone has to start somewhere, even aspiring jugglers browsing a prop table, and spreading the joy of the gypsy-fantasy is in need these days.

Steven Ragatz

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Old 05-03-03, 05:39 AM   #11
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Artists are welcome to make money. It is usually a difficult path to get there, but as Dan Holzman pointed out at MotionFest, most self-employed people work 60-80 hours a week. We work maybe 20.

Why not sell stuff? If it enables you to take your art/craft further, and spread your message, great. You're an entrepreneurial showman. If the show is a vehicle for pushing product, so what? You're a clever salesman.

Who's to judge? And as for street juggling being a poor medium for artistic expression? Hmmm.... there's a lot of repetition going on out there, with a handful of artistic innovators. Just like in any art, or even industry ... Someone comes up with a good idea; many jump on the bandwagon until someone else comes up with a good idea. It doesn't mean there's no innovation or artistry on the street or in industry. I've seen phenomenal artistry in street shows, and there are some really cool gadgets on the market. But largely people find it easier to copy and adapt rather than innovate. (Anyone take a good look at Todd Smith clubs next to Dube clubs?) I'm not even sure if Dube innovated anything, but it was interesting that Todd Smith clubs used to be indistinguishable from them. (I say "used to" 'cause I haven't looked recently)

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Old 05-05-03, 08:28 AM   #12
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No , you are right . But I do feel that art should be for everyone , splats have cornered the middle class market , and by working for them you were giving your energy to a the people that already have .The havenots , as always go without .I had just finished a week of street performing in Granada , with everything that entails , and I left with less than you make in a day , but with a moral high ground.And you did go on a bit about money .
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Old 05-05-03, 11:32 AM   #13
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the whole splats thing definately is not for the haves and the have nots. the schools they work in are spread right accross the social spectrum.
the After school shop displaid some strange qualities.

in the year i worked for them i discovered that in areas of prosperity the average sale per child was £.90 (sterling)

in areas of poverty, the average sale per child was £2

it opened my eyes as to disposable income in the Uk.
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Old 05-05-03, 12:45 PM   #14
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No you are right , I was just in a bad mood that day , and wanted to fight someone , and that someone was you , ho hum
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