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Thread: Booking fee?




  1. #1
    Advanced BHUZzer desertroses's Avatar
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    Booking fee?

    I have a question for those dancers out there that dance at restaurants.

    Have you ever been required by the person doing the schedule to give them a booking fee? In the years that I've been working at restaurants and the like I've never asked dancer's to give me a booking for "scheduling" them to dance somewhere. So I'm slightly taken aback. I personally believe that a booking fee would be something that the person scheduling would charge the OWNER of the place NOT the dancer who is performing.

    also to add, this "fee" is totally new and out of the blue, was not something originally included w/ the gig that's been going on now since May

    So yeah, feedback please?

    M
    Last edited by desertroses; 08-21-2007 at 11:41 AM.


  2. #2
    tamrahennatx
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    I've heard of this before, and in some cases I think it could be reasonable, in others, it's seemed suspect. It depends partly on how much is being asked of you, how scarce gigs are in your part of the world, and how much extra work making the schedule is causing the dancer doing the booking,


  3. #3
    Master BHUZzer zamora's Avatar
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    our agency only charges a flat fee for bookings generated from at&t and valley yellow pages, and on line yp.it pays for the adds, the phone calls to the clients .our dancers do not give out last names, home phones etc.so, they are paying a service fee for all this.
    i have always resented a non performer of anything, getting a % of booking a pro.
    in your case, is the dancer asking for the fee, booking you outside the resturant? is she useing the resturant dancers as "her agency"? not even the owner of the resturant has a real reason to get a fee.
    z


  4. #4
    Advanced BHUZzer desertroses's Avatar
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    Here is my largest problem w/ the whole thing. I'm the one who negotiated the price of the gig, months ago because she couldn’t dance and wanted/needed/asked me to, she had discussed no details w/ the owner, so told me to give them my price, so I did and it's a great high paying gig. She was pleasantly surprised when I told her how much they were paying and it's gone from there to be a great place to perform at.

    The other problem I'm having with this is the fact that she's just now "decided" to start charging a fee. I mean if it was the norm for this area, then I could see it happening but honestly no other restaurant (That I'm aware of) charges the dancer a booking fee, but will charge the Owner a fee for doing the booking for him/her.

    make sense?


  5. #5
    tamrahennatx
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    In that case, it's completely unreasonable of her to be charging to book YOU in there for sure, and since she had no hand in negotiating the set fee, I really don't think she should be charging anyone a booking fee.


  6. #6
    Advanced BHUZzer desertroses's Avatar
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  7. #7
    Mega BHUZzer aazura's Avatar
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    I'm confused -- was the "scheduler" the only dancer and you took her spot? or is she unable to perform now, but still schedules a rotation of dancers at the restaurant?

    Either way, I think a booking fee is unfair. If she schedules a rotation of dancers and feels she should be compensated for her trouble, she should take it up with the owner. Most dancers who do the scheduling do so in order to maintain some sort of control over the restaurant, imo (i.e. secure their own spot, make sure they get the good nights, etc). This isn't always the case, but it often is.

    If she was the only dancer and asked you to fill her spot for her for a while, had you negotiate the price, etc, then by all means she is not eligible to for a booking fee. Perhaps she feels a little threatened by you. And especially since you successfully negotiated a higher pay, she may feel you owe her. Completely unjust, but it could be the reason for the sudden fee.


  8. #8
    Advanced BHUZzer desertroses's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aazura View Post
    I'm confused -- was the "scheduler" the only dancer and you took her spot? or is she unable to perform now, but still schedules a rotation of dancers at the restaurant?
    No she had been asked to do an audition for the restaurant in question, and was unable to do so, so called me to do it and fill in for her. I did so, negotiated the price (because there was none at the time) and then told her the price that was negotiated and directed the owners to her so that she could still be "in charge" of the gig. Does that make more sense? God I hate typing things out sometimes lol. You loose some in the translation.

    M


  9. #9
    tamrahennatx
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    Quote Originally Posted by desertroses View Post
    No she had been asked to do an audition for the restaurant in question, and was unable to do so, so called me to do it and fill in for her. I did so, negotiated the price (because there was none at the time) and then told her the price that was negotiated and directed the owners to her so that she could still be "in charge" of the gig. Does that make more sense? God I hate typing things out sometimes lol. You loose some in the translation.

    M
    So YOU auditioned for her, YOU got the job for her, YOU negotiated her price, and then you handed off the gig to her and she wants you to pay her for scheduling you to dance there?

    That's a heckuva lot of nerve on her part. It sounds to me like that job should be yours in the first place.


  10. #10
    Mega BHUZzer aazura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tamrahennatx View Post
    So YOU auditioned for her, YOU got the job for her, YOU negotiated her price, and then you handed off the gig to her and she wants you to pay her for scheduling you to dance there?

    That's a heckuva lot of nerve on her part. It sounds to me like that job should be yours in the first place.
    COMPLETELY AGREE!! I would thank her for the referral but pay her a regular booking fee???


  11. #11
    tamrahennatx
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    Quote Originally Posted by aazura View Post
    COMPLETELY AGREE!! I would thank her for the referral but pay her a regular booking fee???
    If anything, the other dancer owes HER for getting the gig and negotiating a good price.


  12. #12
    Advanced BHUZzer desertroses's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tamrahennatx View Post
    So YOU auditioned for her, YOU got the job for her, YOU negotiated her price, and then you handed off the gig to her and she wants you to pay her for scheduling you to dance there?
    Pretty much.

    [qoute] That's a heckuva lot of nerve on her part. [/QUOTE]

    Thats how I feel about this too. ;o/ and now I'm feeling at a loss because I didnt want to be the "gig stealer" as she needed me to fill in for her, however at this moment I'm totally stumped.


  13. #13
    tamrahennatx
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    Quote Originally Posted by desertroses View Post
    Pretty much.



    Thats how I feel about this too. ;o/ and now I'm feeling at a loss because I didnt want to be the "gig stealer" as she needed me to fill in for her, however at this moment I'm totally stumped.
    How can you steal a gig you landed in the first place?


  14. #14
    Advanced BHUZzer desertroses's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tamrahennatx View Post
    How can you steal a gig you landed in the first place?
    I guess I feel obligated to her because she contacted me first? maybe it's a hang up of mine.


  15. #15
    tamrahennatx
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    Quote Originally Posted by desertroses View Post
    I guess I feel obligated to her because she contacted me first? maybe it's a hang up of mine.
    I can understand that, but I don't think your obligation extends to paying her a booking fee. If I was the one in your situation, I would talk to her frankly about how I feel about the booking fee, especially since I helped her to get the gig in the first place. It's kind of a mutual obligation you share, in my opinion.

    You may owe her for giving you the opportunity, but she also owes you for turning that opportunity into a good-paying gig.


  16. #16
    Mega BHUZzer aazura's Avatar
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    Desertroses, you don't owe her anything. I'd thank her for the referral (to be polite, take the moral high ground, don't burn bridges, etc etc), but that's it. I'd just explain to her (kindly but firmly) that you will not be paying a booking fee.

    Just curious... has she ever danced at this restaurant?? Do you think she has any "pull" with the restaurant owner if you refuse to pay? I mean, I guess the worse that can happen is that she complains to the owner and they fire you. But if I understand the dynamics correctly, I honestly don't see that happening.


  17. #17
    Mega BHUZzer aazura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tamrahennatx View Post
    I can understand that, but I don't think your obligation extends to paying her a booking fee. If I was the one in your situation, I would talk to her frankly about how I feel about the booking fee, especially since I helped her to get the gig in the first place. It's kind of a mutual obligation you share, in my opinion.

    You may owe her for giving you the opportunity, but she also owes you for turning that opportunity into a good-paying gig.
    THTX, we posted at the same time! Good advice -- especially the point about turning the opp into a good gig!


  18. #18
    tamrahennatx
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    Quote Originally Posted by aazura View Post
    Desertroses, you don't owe her anything. I'd thank her for the referral (to be polite, take the moral high ground, don't burn bridges, etc etc), but that's it. I'd just explain to her (kindly but firmly) that you will not be paying a booking fee.

    Just curious... has she ever danced at this restaurant?? Do you think she has any "pull" with the restaurant owner if you refuse to pay? I mean, I guess the worse that can happen is that she complains to the owner and they fire you. But if I understand the dynamics correctly, I honestly don't see that happening.
    Honestly, it sounds to me like the owner likes her and wants her to dance there. I'm sensing some perception of threat from the other dancer, which is perhaps where this sudden booking fee came from.

    Desertroses, perhaps the other dancer a)wants to discourage you from dancing there by making it unpalatable for you or b)doesn't want to lose the income, even though she's been asked to book you in, so she's come up with a way to make some money even when she's not dancing there.


  19. #19
    Advanced BHUZzer desertroses's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=aazura;46133]Just curious... has she ever danced at this restaurant?? [/qoute]

    nope shes never danced there, at least not yet.


  20. #20
    tamrahennatx
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    Here's how this situation sounds to me, a complete outsider to your community, mind you:

    I, Dancer X, have been called to do an audition for a new venue. I can't do the audition for whatever reason, so I line up another dancer to audition for me (here's the first problem: if Dancer X cant find the time to do the audition, IMO she should have passed both the audition and the subsequent gig onto Dancer Y (desertroses in this case).

    So Dancer Y does the audition, wows the owner, negotiates a great fee, then hands the gig back to Dancer X (me). At this point, for whatever reason, I decide to go ahead and book Dancer Y in as a backup dancer (maybe because the owner liked Dancer Y and is now asking me about her).

    Instead of recognizing that I owe my gig to Dancer Y, I decide that if Dancer Y is going to work there, she's going to give me a portion of the fee that SHE NEGOTIATED FOR ME WHEN I WAS TOO BUSY OR OTHERWISE OCCUPIED TO DO THIS FOR MYSELF.

    I'm sorry, but I don't like myself a whole lot right now. What an ingrate!


  21. #21
    Just Starting! Kiore_Dancer's Avatar
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    As someone intimately familiar with the problem at hand:



    "The Scheduler" (as henceforth known) asked Mina to dance because she couldn't make the gig. Mina danced, negotiated the fee, and has pretty much done all of the leg work, save making the schedule, to get dancers in that restaurant and make it successful for both the dancers and the restaurant.

    The restaurant has said The Scheduler needs to change the schedule to include more people with Mina's style of dance. Four months after Mina started dancing there on a near weekly basis (covering for the Scheduler's girls who flake out, dancing her regular spot without fail, and even covering a wedding party for a greatly reduced pay because one of the Scheduler's troupe girls flaked out) she is being asked to fork over a portion of her pay.

    I'm rather new to the belly dance community but not to entertainment. A booking fee is what is charged to the restaurant for bringing the dancers in. The Scheduler is not Mina's PR Director and is definitely not her agent so a 10% cut is not entitled to her. Further, Mina has done all of the work getting the dancing there up and running and recommending award winning dancers to fill in spots. I think, all told, Mina and the two dancers she recommended have a total of 35 or so years of experience?

    Further, the Scheduler doesn't even dance at her own restaurant. Again, I'm new, but is that even close to the norm? Every other restaurant I've been to that has a belly dancer scheduling the entertainment, dances more often than not at the restaurant.

    In my opinion The Scheduler is feeling like she is doing all of this work getting her students… and Mina to dance at the restaurant but is getting nothing in return. Easy solution? Shelve the idea of charging a booking fee that has no reason to even be discussed and start dancing at your own restaurant. You'll get a month's worth of booking fees in one night. Easy.

    -Kiore


  22. #22
    Mega BHUZzer aazura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tamrahennatx View Post
    Honestly, it sounds to me like the owner likes her and wants her to dance there. I'm sensing some perception of threat from the other dancer, which is perhaps where this sudden booking fee came from.

    Desertroses, perhaps the other dancer a)wants to discourage you from dancing there by making it unpalatable for you or b)doesn't want to lose the income, even though she's been asked to book you in, so she's come up with a way to make some money even when she's not dancing there.
    My understanding .... and perhaps I'm wrong here... is that she's the only dancer at the restaurant. You don't need a "scheduler" to schedule ONE dancer. Which means the other dancer no longer has a stake in this place unless the owner is hoping to get her in when her schedule opens up. I agree that it sounds like she is threatened by Desert Roses, especially since the owner is asking her for "other dancers like her." But the original dancer (aka "scheduler") gave up her stake in this when she passed it on. Now, Desert Roses could offer to share the gig to help smooth things out. But since the "scheduler" passed it up to begin with, and since she really isn't doing any "scheduling," she has a lot of balls asking for a booking fee.


  23. #23
    tamrahennatx
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    [quote=desertroses;46144]
    Quote Originally Posted by aazura View Post
    Just curious... has she ever danced at this restaurant?? [/qoute]

    nope shes never danced there, at least not yet.
    Whoa! So you mean she just wants you to give her a portion of your weekly fee for the referral?

    Before I start calling her names, may I ask why she's never danced there yet?


  24. #24
    Mega BHUZzer aazura's Avatar
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  25. #25
    tamrahennatx
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    Quote Originally Posted by aazura View Post
    Ok, now I understand the situation a little better. Yes, I totally agree that Scheduler should dance there if she feels she is not getting anything out of it for her effort. I still do not believe that Desert Roses owes her a booking fee. That's rather ungrateful, imo.

    THTX, I have never heard of someone auditioning in place of another dancer. Isn't the point of the audition to showcase YOUR abilities?? If I have some audition for me, how would the hirer know I can dance? Does this really happen??
    This is the first I've heard of it. As I said, If I really WAS Dancer X and I couldn't audition, I'd give both the audition and the control of the gig to a dancer who could. All I would ask out of the deal is a turn in the rotation.


  26. #26
    Ultimate BHUZzer laura 2's Avatar
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    This is the most bizzare situation I have ever heard of. I thought our restaurant scene (piddly as it is) was nuts. I'm just flabbergasted that the person doing the scheduling is:

    a) a Belly Dancer;
    b) the House Dancer, in fact;
    c) but has never performed that the place where she is in charge of the dancing

    a + b + c = WTF??????

    If she's not dancing there, are they paying her to just do the scheduling? If so, then she needs to go to them for a raise, not tack a booking fee on for other performers.

    I'm totally in agreement with Aazura being baffled on how you can send a sub in to audition for you, and still get the gig yourself. Auditioning by proxy????? What's next - maybe we can enter competitions and send a sub in to perform for us, and when they win we can say we won 1st prize? (Can I do this for the MBC? How much would I have to pay Aziza or Jillina, do you think?)


  27. #27
    Mega BHUZzer aazura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tamrahennatx View Post
    This is the first I've heard of it. As I said, If I really WAS Dancer X and I couldn't audition, I'd give both the audition and the control of the gig to a dancer who could. All I would ask out of the deal is a turn in the rotation.
    Oh yes, I understood that you'd never done it personally. Just wondering if anyone had ever heard of such a thing, b/c this is a first for me! I think asking for a turn in the rotation is fair.... but if I passed along an audition to another dancer who both got the gig AND negotiated a good pay, then expecting anything more than a turn in the rotation or to cover is positively ridiculous!


  28. #28
    tamrahennatx
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    Quote Originally Posted by aazura View Post
    Oh yes, I understood that you'd never done it personally. Just wondering if anyone had ever heard of such a thing, b/c this is a first for me! I think asking for a turn in the rotation is fair.... but if I passed along an audition to another dancer who both got the gig AND negotiated a good pay, then expecting anything more than a turn in the rotation or to cover is positively ridiculous!
    I have heard of a teacher doing something similar with her students - she arranged the gig, and then from what I understand, SHE kept the fee and paid her students in gift certificates to her shop. I felt like that was pretty audacious, but I also have to take the story with a grain of salt, because I heard the story through the grapevine.


  29. #29
    Advanced BHUZzer desertroses's Avatar
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    UPDATE

    After all the email mess between me and this other person, things have turned out for the best. :)

    thank you everyone for your thoughts and helping me work though my own thoughts to get it out properly.

    I laid alot of things out to her on how I was feeling and now we are perfictly in line and I feel good about the situation now.

    I can't tell you how much I love the fact I can come here and have you wonderful ladies help me work things though.

    thank god for BHUZ...

    M


  30. #30
    tamrahennatx
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    I'm glad to hear it! Sometimes a frank conversation is all that's needed.


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