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  • Rob Chapman

The Extra Mile or Getting Asked Back.


Exploring one way you can get asked back.


Whether you are a band, comedian, solo artist, magician this is a principle that if applied will mean you will be the one that is asked back when a decision needs to be made between artists. even if you are not as good as some of the others.



If you have spent any time at events you will know that for the outward appearance to be smooth there is an army of people and usually an event manager paddling like crazy beneath the surface. And, sometimes, things go wrong. Even at smaller gigs, there can be problems.


As a performer, you have two choices.


CHOICE 1: I am an artiste darling....


You see there is a problem, you choose to ignore it, after all, you are the performer.


It is not your place to maybe help set something up, deal with someone who may be being awkward or help out. You are the star, you shine.


So you sit down backstage and watch the chaos unfold. Maybe you let the organiser know that this is not a very well put together gig and that you are disappointed, or maybe you have a big row with the organiser because it is just not good enough.



It is not very Zen sounding, and you mat think that I am exaggerating. However, in the past 20 years of performing I have seen this attitude time and again.


The act maybe amazing on stage, but back stage, they make an impression as well. Not the type that people like.





CHOICE 2: Go the extra mile.


Now lets take the same situation, but this time, you see there is a problem, or help is needed moving something.


You get up and you say the magic words,


"Do you need a hand with that?"


or


"Is there anything I can do?"


Alternatively you just see that a job needs doing and you muck in. You laugh and joke with the crew whilst helping with whatever you and make sure they see that there really is no problem you helping out.


The way I have always seen it is that even if you are the performer you are there to help make an audience or guests have a good time. If that means helping lay out chairs, then do it. If there is a way you can help do, go that extra mile.


This will make them remember you and if it is a choice between you and someone else in the future and that other person just watched the chaos because they were there to perform and nothing else then you will be invited back. Unless of course you act is terrible, in which case, improve it.


Just to show that I am not just all talk here are some examples from my own experience where I have gone that extra mile and it has paid off.


I wonder how many ways you can go that extra mile and improve your ask back rate?




A Show With No Stage.


I arrived in the cabaret tent of one festival to discover a very young and stressed stage manager, looking despairingly at a pile of wood, nails and paint. Stood on a floor that looked like it had just been ploughed. I was due on in 30 mins. I enquired on the situation to be told that this was all meant to have been sorted yesterday. The pile of wood was in fact my stage.

Choice one would have said, " That is not every good, find me when it is sorted so I can d my show."


Choice 2, and the choice I made was, " OK, well lets get started!"


5 hours later after building the stage, painting the stage and helping level the floor with 2 tonnes of wood bark I did my show. I did not by food or drink all weekend and have repeatedly been asked back to the festival.


Psychosis By The Stage.


At one festival a performer cam up to me and said, "Rob, you are a hypnotist , there is a guy caught up in some sort of cannabis induced psychosis, security are not handling it well, is there anything you can do?"


I was off duty, it was 9pm. I went over and saw the situation. I must point out that I am a trained counsellor and hypnotherapist, I do not just make people cluck like a chicken. I spent three hours with the young gentleman, getting him into a good place, back to the medical centre whilst we waited for the ambulance. Dealt with an over enthusiastic security team, who bless them only had one approach and that was like fanning a fire and strongly informed the police on their arrival that if they were to step out of the shadows and be seen the whole thing would start again and I would leave the whole mess to them to sort out. (It was midnight I had missed the band I wanted to see.) The las got to hospital and all was good. Again, have been invited back many times.


The Angry Customer.


Once at a magic gig there was a very angry customer laying into the bar manager. Now, I know it is not my place to do this but remember, choice 2. Having run a pub for a while I know what it is like when you get "that customer" They want to talk to you, but you are also the focus of their frustration. I approached and listened in form a distance. Once I had the gist of the situation I approached, told the customer that I completely empathised with them, that as part of the evenings entertainment I was sure the situation could be resolved happily and that I knew the manager would see to a few drinks for the inconvenience. Then I asked the customer if whilst the situation was being sorted out I could share some magic with him.


The distraction worked, he focused on me, enjoyed some magic whilst having a moan. The manager appeared half an hour later, the gentleman was now a lot calmer, the situation was sorted. The customer ended up with a free meal for him and his family and I have been asked back on a number of occasions.



The final part of going the extra mile is this:


NO PROBLEM


When the organiser/ owner thanks you for what you have done. Tell them, no problem.


Compliment them on a great night and let them know you would be delighted to be a part of any future event.


Don't get me wrong, it may have been a big problem, at the end of the day I was not happy, rolling around in mud, helping a guy who did to many drugs settle down. Missing my time out to watch music. But the organiser need never know that,


So be mindful of where you can go that extra mile, because it builds respect, lasting relationships and if your jolly with it, people will like you and they will remember you.









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