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  1. #1
    Ultimate BHUZzer SatinWorship19's Avatar
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    Creating New Venues

    Been brainstorming about this for awhile now....

    Aside from private parties, I feel like I've hit a standstill in finding places to perform. My area doesn't have a huge M.E. population or a booming cultural district, and I've sent my feelers out to some non-M.E. restaurants and clubs, only to raise a bunch of eyebrows. (To give you an idea, the movie Stepford Wives was based on, and set in, my neck of the woods!)

    I've given up on breaking into the restaurant and club scene, because there are virtually no venues that don't require commute to NYC or stepping on established dancers' toes. And as much as I love charitable work, not getting paid does get old. It's hard to get established when your local scene doesn't have much to offer.

    I'd like to break into some alternate venues (i.e. corporate entertainment, bigger stage shows, etc.), but I'm not really sure what else is out there, or how to get in.

    Any suggestions? I know my niche is out there, somewhere....

    Lisa


  2. #2
    Advanced BHUZzer stardancer's Avatar
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    Re: Creating New Venues

    Don't completely rule out the Danbury area (If your near there). You can always contact the established dancers and offer your services as a sub to start. :o)


  3. #3
    Ultimate BHUZzer SatinWorship19's Avatar
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    Re: Creating New Venues

    I've been thinking of hitting up SoNo, but Danbury is actually a great idea that I never really would have thought of. Not sure if there are any M.E. establishments, but they have a pretty diverse population and some venues for live entertainment. Good call!

    I've given up on New Haven, as it's kinda supersaturated, the restaurant owners I've met there seem pretty sketchy, and I don't feel safe performing there unless I have a big, brawny guy in tow ..g.:

    Thanks for the tip....I think I'm gonna take a ride through Danbury this weekend!

    Lisa


  4. #4
    Mega BHUZzer Samira_dncr's Avatar
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    Re: Creating New Venues

    I don't know your area at all. Are there conventions there? Can you work with agencies for convention work? (from Vegas...the land of convention work)


  5. #5
    Ultimate BHUZzer SatinWorship19's Avatar
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    Re: Creating New Venues

    The only major convention around here is Rakassah East in NJ, unfortunately. I'm scratching my head to think of others.

    I think the only remedy to my situation is to move to Cali. Or Vegas. That's virtually inevitable for me. Sounds like you ladies out West have all the fun

    Lisa


  6. #6
    Mega BHUZzer ruta21030's Avatar
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    Re: Creating New Venues

    actually, samira_dncr is right, hit up an agency, a talent or entertainment agency.....especially i ur looking for corporate or upscale gigs (doing the same here.........)


  7. #7
    Ultimate BHUZzer *Shira*'s Avatar
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    Re: Creating New Venues

    Is there a singing telegram agency in town? Maybe you can work for them as a messenger. I've worked for two different ones in the past.

    Are there any hotels in your area of the sort where corporate travelers stay when they come to town? If so, you might talk to the managers of the bar areas to see if they'd be interested in hiring you to dance as a way of keeping hotel guests spending money in their own bar rather than going out on the town to look for fun.

    Are there any wedding planners or event managers in town to whom you could market your services?


  8. #8
    Ultimate BHUZzer SatinWorship19's Avatar
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    Re: Creating New Venues

    All great ideas so far! Especially the hotels and wedding planners. I really prefer upscale, classier private gigs that pay well, and would like to carve a nice little niche for myself in the high-end market. (I'm beginning with a switch to high-end costumes....or so I tell myself, to rationalize all these Swap Meet purchases )

    As for agencies, maybe I'm just jaded due to a few that have royally hosed me in the past, but I owe it to myself to do some shopping around. It's always nice to have somebody help you with the legwork and negotiation. Especially seeing that I'm a startup and would like to spend more time getting myself established than sitting around making cold calls, or spending entire weekends pounding the pavement on my own.

    Thanks for the tips! Slowly, I'm finding encouragement that there's more to this dance than 'grams and restaurant work. ..l;,

    Lisa


  9. #9
    Mega BHUZzer yasmindiab's Avatar
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    Re: Creating New Venues

    Quote Originally Posted by SatinWorship19 View Post
    The only major convention around here is Rakassah East in NJ, unfortunately. I'm scratching my head to think of others.

    I think the only remedy to my situation is to move to Cali. Or Vegas. That's virtually inevitable for me. Sounds like you ladies out West have all the fun

    Lisa

    Ooh Ooh!

    Move to Vegas!


    it's warm here, too.

    lol


  10. #10
    Advanced BHUZzer Safiyah's Avatar
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    Re: Creating New Venues

    Great ideas in this thread! My company holds an annual meeting that has a themed dinner...if we ever do Arabian nights I can totally see hiring dancers. So my suggestion would be to contact your area hotels' and resorts' sales managers.

    I have never planned anything with entertainment, but I do always ask the sales manager for ideas on events or optional activities I can set up for my guests. For example, I do the board meetings and we always have to plan a spousal activity. I've always secretly wanted to do a mini show/instructional for these ladies. It would be totally different and memorable. We have a budget of $1200 for that event, so we could order tea and pastries on top of it all!


  11. #11
    Ultimate BHUZzer SatinWorship19's Avatar
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    Re: Creating New Venues

    Quote Originally Posted by Safiyah View Post
    I've always secretly wanted to do a mini show/instructional for these ladies. It would be totally different and memorable. We have a budget of $1200 for that event, so we could order tea and pastries on top of it all!
    SUCH a cute idea, Safiyah. You could absolutely play up the pampering aspect....what a great way to rejuvenate weary guests!

    Take that secret idea out of the closet and let me know how it goes!

    I'd love to start working the hen parties, bachelorette parties, and other girl-bonding events. Lower Fairfield County is the "Ladies Who Lunch" capital of the world. That could be my angle ..g.:

    I'm getting so inspired. Thanks, everyone!

    Lisa


  12. #12
    Ultimate BHUZzer SatinWorship19's Avatar
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    Re: Creating New Venues

    Quote Originally Posted by yasmindiab View Post
    Ooh Ooh!

    Move to Vegas!


    it's warm here, too.

    lol
    I bet there are some great performance opportunities in your neck of the woods. And not to mention, there's the fabled and mystical destination that is Tanya's closet ..l;, ..l;, ..l;,

    Who knows where I'll end up. Of all places, though, Vegas sounds like the least likely place on earth to encounter the "You do what? Bellydance? Do you do that with a pole?" response that seems so ubiquitous in the milquetoast SoccerMomVille that is Connecticut. I've had my eye on Dina-esque minis and costumes with bazillions of cutouts, but I'd never buy one due to the "WTF?" factor I'd probably encounter if I wore one to a gig in, say, Greenwich!

    You have to show me around if I end up in your neighborhood, Yasmin ..l;,

    Lisa


  13. #13
    I could get used to this! mira's Avatar
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    Re: Creating New Venues

    Mainstream conventions and big trade shows actually have great potential. Back in the early 90's I used to get hired to perform at the Furniture Market in High Point, NC (middle of nowhere back then...but that was where everyone came for a week to see and buy the new lines of furniture)

    Conventions often have "theme booths" and Arabian ones aren't uncommon...find out if there are any event planning companies in your area and check out the local convention/civic centers.

    Good for you for looking for new avenues!
    Mira


  14. #14
    Ultimate BHUZzer SatinWorship19's Avatar
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    Re: Creating New Venues

    Mira, your blog and all of your posts are always brilliant and insightful.

    I bet there are some great trade shows for weddings, the nightlife industry, and even the fashion/beauty industry, where a bellydancer could give some much-needed ambience.

    Actually, my co-worker's girlfriend manages trade shows for high-end shoes, including Jessica Simpson, BCBG, and Tory Birch....might be a stretch, but I just might see if I can get an "in" ..g.:


  15. #15
    I could get used to this! mira's Avatar
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    Re: Creating New Venues

    Thanks for the compliment!


  16. #16
    Mega BHUZzer yasmindiab's Avatar
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    Re: Creating New Venues

    Quote Originally Posted by SatinWorship19 View Post
    I bet there are some great performance opportunities in your neck of the woods. And not to mention, there's the fabled and mystical destination that is Tanya's closet ..l;, ..l;, ..l;,

    Who knows where I'll end up. Of all places, though, Vegas sounds like the least likely place on earth to encounter the "You do what? Bellydance? Do you do that with a pole?" response that seems so ubiquitous in the milquetoast SoccerMomVille that is Connecticut. I've had my eye on Dina-esque minis and costumes with bazillions of cutouts, but I'd never buy one due to the "WTF?" factor I'd probably encounter if I wore one to a gig in, say, Greenwich!

    You have to show me around if I end up in your neighborhood, Yasmin ..l;,

    Lisa
    Its a date!

    Most people out here that I mention BD to are all like "Wow that's cool, do you dance a Marrakech?" To which I always smile and respond "Not yet!" lol
    Not too many stripper/pole dancer references.


    In the meantime, I wish you good luck in finding other venues to dance where you're at!!! :)


  17. #17
    Mega BHUZzer Samira_dncr's Avatar
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    Re: Creating New Venues

    Quote Originally Posted by SatinWorship19 View Post
    I bet there are some great performance opportunities in your neck of the woods. And not to mention, there's the fabled and mystical destination that is Tanya's closet ..l;, ..l;, ..l;,

    You have to show me around if I end up in your neighborhood, Yasmin ..l;,

    Lisa
    There are a lot of opportunities. And if you can do other forms of dance it's a heyday! But you do have to be careful to qualify the type of dance you do or people do assume things. Dancer = Stripper. So you have to say "I am a MIDDLE-EASTERN artist"...hahahahaha. But truthfully, you have to do that anywhere you go these days. Tis merely an opportunity to educate the GP.

    Yes, move to Vegas. It rocks here. Our local community is pretty great too. It's definitely warm here...heehee... frankly it's just darn HOT, but you do get used to it.

    And, I've been to the fabled Tanya closet. It is an amazing site to behold. Tanya has been such a great friend for many years. I can't rave enough about her. I've told this story before, but she actually came to the birth of my dear daughter, Sierra...and she brought tierra's for all of us. I literally have a photo of Tanya, myself, and my daughter moments after her birth (cord still attached). Soooooo funny. A truly classic Tanya-moment.


  18. #18
    Ultimate BHUZzer Azhia's Avatar
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    Re: Creating New Venues

    Aaahhh... to be in the warm desert again...Or a warm dessert, either one.

    I almost forgot about a really cool and "unorthodox" regular gig a few dancers in Philly and I had for a summer.

    There was a high-end sushi bar called "Raw" and the first Thursday of the month, a Filipina, a Dominican, and a Lebanese dancer, we called ourselves "The Sheikas" (play off "chicas") used to dance on the sushi bar!

    We had 3 sets. We'd switch off between 2 who danced on the sushi bar and 1 who danced amongst the crowd in the restaurant/lounge (I usually stayed on the bar; too short to dance on the floor with the peeps; needless to say mini skirt costumes were OUT of the question!!).

    It was a blast. There was a DJ who spun house as well as whatever ME music we brought. One set we wore funky fusion outfits and the other 2 sets were straight up Oriental. We had quite a following and it was so much fun. And different.


  19. #19
    Mega BHUZzer Samira_dncr's Avatar
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    Re: Creating New Venues

    Quote Originally Posted by Azhia View Post

    It was a blast. There was a DJ who spun house as well as whatever ME music we brought. One set we wore funky fusion outfits and the other 2 sets were straight up Oriental. We had quite a following and it was so much fun. And different.

    Oh that sounds like a riot.


  20. #20
    Ultimate BHUZzer Azhia's Avatar
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    Re: Creating New Venues

    Quote Originally Posted by Samira_dncr View Post
    Oh that sounds like a riot.
    Much righteous/riotous(!) fun. I remember thinking that there was nothing weird about it either b/c we were still representin', just in a different context and with the crowd and the music, it seemed to work. I would be the one with the zills and damn, zills sound good with house music! ..g.:

    Had to be careful of 2.5 feet wide slippery marble sushi bar, though. ACK! .w.:


  21. #21
    Advanced BHUZzer resullivan's Avatar
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    Re: Creating New Venues

    So bellydance CAN go with sushi. ..g.:
    I just happen to like sushi.

    Quote Originally Posted by Azhia View Post
    Much righteous/riotous(!) fun. I remember thinking that there was nothing weird about it either b/c we were still representin', just in a different context and with the crowd and the music, it seemed to work. I would be the one with the zills and damn, zills sound good with house music! ..g.:

    Had to be careful of 2.5 feet wide slippery marble sushi bar, though. ACK! .w.:


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