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Thread: Need help explaining undercutting




  1. #1
    Advanced BHUZzer eden_eyes's Avatar
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    Need help explaining undercutting

    Having a professional argument with my boyfriend

    He's having a hard time seeing the problem with undercutting. Well, at first anyway. His dad was a business owner and is on his side of the argument. His claim is that ALL performers must undercut at first to help build a reputation and clientele. My claim is that it will build a reputation all right, but not the one you might hope for. While I agree that building a performance resume take s a lot of hard work, I don't agree that one must degrade or devalue their self-worth in order to get more opportunities.

    Specifically, he disagrees that a 30 minute fire show with our fire troupe is worth, say, $500. That pays for 30 minutes of show time as well as splitting that 4 ways and being able to cover expenses. He says that as an entertainer, you are only worth what somebody is willing to pay. I told him I am not worth the $20 some a-hole is "willing to pay". That that would not cover my expenses alone in the first place! I think it's a mix of wanting money and also wanting to get his name out that drives his argument. But I'm sorry, you don't make money by doing a kickass fire show for $50. He's under the assumption that if you were to allow that customer who is unhappy with your high price, to lower it to whatever they want, that they would still respect you. No. Because you cannot do a $500 show for $100 logically. You would lose out on money. So your choices for this situation would be: lose money and let that person walk all over you by still putting on a $500 show so you don't at least discredit your skills and training, or give them a $100 show by sitting on your rump and twirling a fire wand around and damage your name by being incompetent.

    I just...I don't know what else to say. I would shrug it off and not worry about it but it's my boyfriend and my troupe mate. If he were to book a troupe gig for $50 that would really piss me off, but if I turned down a troupe gig for $50, he would get pissed. The other troupe mates are on my side or at least somewhere in the middle--as in, they want to make money but also know that charging awesome amounts of money and expecting a show every week is not likely to happen for us, in our area.

    How do I explain this to him? And to his dad?? His dad is not a performer, he owned a business once upon a time, but that's his experience, and it's really influencing his opinion.


  2. #2
    Established BHUZzer Emma's Avatar
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    Re: Need help explaining undercutting

    When you undercut the only reputation you build will be as someone who works cheaply. If you do a show for $100 will your client be willing to pay $500 next time? Unlikely. They know that it's possible to get someone for $100 so if they shop around they can likely save themselves a lot of money. So as well as hurting the wider community you'd be sabotaging yourselves.

    What you could do as a group to get some work under your belts is seek out events where it is acceptable to work at a reduced rate. Charity events, not for profit events...perhaps not old people's homes for a fire troupe but you get the idea.
    kozmique and tigerb like this.


  3. #3
    Advanced BHUZzer eden_eyes's Avatar
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    Re: Need help explaining undercutting

    That's what I push for when it comes to reduced rate events. We do the local Ren Faire for next to nothing because we LIKE to and we support the event anyway. I donate performances to my university. In fact, any show that I've ever "donated"...I've received repeat business from. My university chooses me all the time because I'm reliable and I actually care, not because I perform cheaply (well technically lol) and because they respect me and thank me for what I do for them. They know how much each show costs when I do them because I've told them and so they understand and are always so excited to have me. Not to mention they send other gigs or events my way and vice versa. I donated a show to a local women's conference and received gratitude in the ways of "I know some friends" and "I'm part of an empowerment group and would love to hire you for a show" and "here's some chocolate!! want a poster too? go pick which one you want".

    However, "donating" a show to a private party is out of the question. That only happens if it just so happens to be a house party...at my own house...that I'm helping to host anyway .

    When I first started out, I admit to going down the road of undercutting. And guess what happened? NOTHING. Well other than losing money and being known as that "beginner dancer that doesn't know what she's doing". Yeah. Every cheap show I ever did for the sake of a private party got me absolutely nothing. I got tips once. But that was it. GGGRRRRRR undercutting turns me into the Hulk


  4. #4
    I could get used to this! PassionWarfare's Avatar
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    Re: Need help explaining undercutting

    Goodness, how frustrating, dear! First off, the whole "worth what someone's willing to pay" phrase is what auctioneers use to describe OBJECTS! (For instance, a rare 5th Dynasty Ming Vase might be worth $100,000 to a COLLECTOR, but for you and me, it's just something to put flowers in.) As far as performances, especially fire performances, that phrase just simply does not apply, and is a bit insulting. Just because this cheap-o client is only willing to pay $40 per dancer does not mean that the next real, professional client isn't willing to pay the full price.

    I know that markets are different from place to place, but here in Atlanta, I have been told by several wise dancers that any show that involves more fire than say, candles (Fire eating, poi, fire fans, fire staff, fire sword), the MINIMUM price is $200. It's dangerous, it requires an insane amount of practice and preparation, you have to lug a LOT of stuff to the performance site, you go through fuel like crazy, you have to buy performer's insurance, and did I mention it's dangerous? If someone wants a dazzling, jaw-dropping, knockout fire show that will impress all their friends and make them look cool, then they HAVE TO PAY for it! By that standard, your price is extremely fair, especially for four dancers. What I would do, dear, is look into what the professional Polynesian performers, fire eaters, fire breathers, hoop spinners, and poi spinners are charging for gigs in your area, and use that as a baseline. If clients start to whine about the high price, explain to the client that if he/she wants a professional, INSURED, highly-trained and safety-aware group of performers to entertain guests at a party, he or she MUST pay a higher price than, say, a 6-week wonder fire fan diva in a hip scarf who may light your house on fire. They may have to pay a little more up front, but it's certainly cheaper than hiring an un-insured, just-got-my-package-from-Riz-in-the-mail-this-afternoon-and-now-I'm-a-fire-dancer for $40 and watching your whole party/house go up in flames because she didn't spin out her fans properly before waving them around.


  5. #5
    Master BHUZzer casbahdance's Avatar
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    Re: Need help explaining undercutting

    My philosophy is,"why get paid less when you can get paid more to do the same work."

    Will you get more work if you charge significantly less than the going rate? Probably.

    Do you want to prepare for, travel for, and execute three or four low-paying gigs when you could do one and make the same amount of money? Or do those three or four gigs and really rake in the dough???

    I know which I choose...

    Deborah


  6. #6
    I could get used to this! PassionWarfare's Avatar
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    Re: Need help explaining undercutting

    Sorry, ran out of room....

    If none of that works, one way that you might explain/validate your price to the hubbs and cheap-o clients is by pointing out that you could make $75-$120 (plus tips) in one night dancing at one of the local Middle Eastern/Mediterranean restaurants in the area. I tell my tough clients that the reason why I charge at least $150 for belly grams is because that is the amount of money I WOULD be making (or more!) if I was dancing at a restaurant. And hey, let's face it, restaurants are comfortable! We know where they are, we know we'll make some tips, and most of them feed us. With belly grams, we're going some place that most of us have never been, we're around a crowd we're not familiar with, and there's no guarantee that we'll make a single dollar in tips. So when that cheap jerk-off insists that $40 a person is enough, feel free to hit him with that! "Well, you see, if my troupe and I used up one of our two most precious, money-making time slots to do the gig for you for the measly $40 each that you're offering, we'd be out at least $35 APIECE. So tell me, why would I dance for you instead?"

    (Okay, maybe be a little nicer than that....)

    One thing that has DEFINITELY helped me in getting more well-paying gigs is investing in a great photographer and a professional, easy-to-read website. You may already have both of these, but one thing's for sure--when you look great and present yourself and your troupe in a professional, well-put-together manner with plenty of nice visuals on your website, more high-end clients will begin to trickle in. Also, be sure to have your minimum price displayed repeatedly on your website--that will discourage many cheap-o's from even bothering to contact you. Don't get me wrong, they'll still send youe-mail after e-mail asking what your price is and can't you give them a deal, but at least you'll weed out a few of them right off the bat.

    Advertising helps, too! Do you have any YouTube videos? If you can claim web fame and show clients videos of you and your troupe kickin' a$$, that can also help bolster your price and your reputation. (Plus, I'd like to see you ladies in action, too--your show sounds awesome!)
    Last edited by PassionWarfare; 12-30-2011 at 03:34 PM.


  7. #7
    Mega BHUZzer mahsati's Avatar
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    Re: Need help explaining undercutting

    As the performer, you get to decide the value of your show. Clients can try to negotiate with you, but they are negotiating against the value that you set.

    Maybe it will help with his 'only worth what someone will pay for it' to bring it home to something he owns? A simple 'thing' isn't the same as a performance, but it might help him to understand. Does he own something he loves, maybe even something he had to work hard to earn? Offer him $10 for it. By his logic, that's what it is worth because that is what you will pay for it. Your skills, time, and expertise are valuable and worth the going rate or more. You shouldn't be expected to work for less.
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  8. #8
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Lauren_'s Avatar
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    Re: Need help explaining undercutting

    1) I am only willing to pay about $20 for a pair of jeans. But that doesn't mean Levi's or Tommy Hilfiger are going to lower their prices. They are going to sell their product ONLY to people who are willing to pay the rate they feel is fair.

    2) It is just as easy to sell a $500 show to a client who values my service than it is to sell a $50 show to one who doesn't. In fact, it's often easier. I would rather build relationships and get referrals from people in the first category than waste my time hanging out in the circles of those who fall in the second category. Turning down NINE of the $50 parties frees up my time focusing on finding & selling the $500 client, and that leads to more $500 clients.

    3) Just like with other professions, like lawyers or electricians or plumbers or doctors, there is a certain minimum rate that newcomers charge, while those who have built outstanding reputations and followings are able to charge more.

    4) As a businessperson, I am not going to set myself up for poverty. If I were performing full-time (or aspired to) I would need to look at how many shows I can realistically book if I were working at this full-time (marketing, rehearsing, networking, bookkeeping, etc) and what my expenses are. Then I need to price my shows so I can earn a living. If I can book, rehearse and perform 2 full troupe shows and 4 solo gigs per week working full time, then I'd better be able to cover all my expenses (costumes, props, supplies, gas, rehearsal space, music, advertising, website, phone) and earn a LIVING off that number of shows. Can I do that at $20 a gig? No. Then why would I even consider performing for that rate?

    5) It's true that a product or service is only worth what someone is willing to pay, but not everyone gets to buy every product/service. I would like to have a Mercedez and I have $5,000 to spend. Too frickin' bad, right? I can see his point if you are ONLY encountering people who want to spend $20 on a show (there may be something wrong with your shows, or you may be marketing in the wrong area). But as long as there ARE people willing to spend $500+ on a full troupe show, then why would you ever sell for less?


  9. #9
    Master BHUZzer shems's Avatar
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    mahsati likes this.


  10. #10
    Master BHUZzer SamiraShuruk's Avatar
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    Re: Need help explaining undercutting

    Eden,
    Send them to my website. I've got my prices up.
    They think FOUR people with FIRE are worth $50?
    My 20-25 minute solo belly dance show STARTS at $300. My 15-20 minute Bollywood Mujra show STARTS at $400. I have lots of repeat clients (and get tips in addition to those rates). I can't imagine running a business without taking into account THE COST of running a business. What kind of fool does that and STAYS in business? That's not a business... that's an expensive hobby that you sometimes get something back for. lol
    People who hire PEOPLE for entertainment are people with money. A belly dance or fire show SHOULD cost more than the Apples to Apples Party pack card game, you know? It's an entirely DIFFERENT business model.
    Yes, newer dancers charge less... but in my area they're still charging $250 or so (for solo shows). It's not "undercutting" when it's within a reasonable range. This reasonable range allows for newer dancers to get out there and get experience.
    As a business we can only be in one place at one time. Everyone wants entertainment around the same times. We have A LOT of prep time that needs to be accounted for. Education, costumes, music, props, travel... tons of stuff. Add it up. Do the math. Then continue to run your business of dance like a business. :)


  11. #11
    Established BHUZzer Tiziri's Avatar
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    Re: Need help explaining undercutting

    I'm in total agreement with everything Lauren said here.

    I would also add (this is from the perspective of having done a lot of freelance graphic work rather than being paid for dance, mind, but I think it's still relevant) that good clients are often VERY leery of hiring someone whose price is considerably lower than everyone else's. There's a kind of floor, as Lauren said, of what someone who is competent but still building a business and rep can charge -- sure, it's lower than what more-established people charge, but it's still within shouting distance. Too much lower, and someone who wants good work done is going to suspect they are dealing with someone with absolutely no clue (and they are invariably right), and are going to be sorry if they hire them.

    Sure, there's people out there so keen on the bargain-basement price that the pikers will have plenty of business -- but it's likely to be a regrettable purchase.

    As for "you're only worth what a potential client is willing to pay..." Well, I already know this translates the same way in dance as it does in art: there's always someone out there who thinks you should work for them for free, because after all, you're an artist, it's not real work, and you're just lucky that someone wants you to do what you love for them, money be d@mned. Also, you'll be getting exposure!!! if you work for them for free, and isn't that worth something?

    Obviously, that kind of business is worthless. Your work is worth vastly more.
    kozmique likes this.


  12. #12
    Advanced BHUZzer eden_eyes's Avatar
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    Re: Need help explaining undercutting

    Thank you soooo much everyone for all of your advice!! And especially the links!! I also really like the idea of presenting him with options of charging less but not TOO less. Maybe if I can at least show him that undercutting is bad but being on the low end of the appropriate spectrum is ok, he would understand. For all I know, maybe he thinks that I think that's what undercutting is in the first place. And it's so true....the clients that are worth it have friends that are worth it. My mom owns an antique business. She's not going to go do a party for a trailer home and expect to sell high end collectibles, nor will she expect repeat business from that host's friends. However, when she goes to rich peoples' homes she ALWAYS gets calls from their rich friends wanting parties. People who can afford to respect your work, often times do.

    The person you do a cheap show for will not be willing to pay more unless you plan on bringing a freaking elephant and the Cirque du Soleil. They will just get angry and say "well I only paid you $__ last time, I'm not paying more if it's going to be the same kind of show"...and so you either lose money again, work harder and lose more money, or not take the gig and stay home and just not make any money...

    I agree that beginning performers charge less and should. I still do because the market around here sucks. But I at least stay in the appropriate range. He's very stubborn lol, so it will probably only change his mind when he experiences what other undercutters experience. I hate for it to happen to him, but it certainly packs a punch in the learning department.

    We are the only fire troupe in the area, so maybe that's why he's so into the idea of charging so little, because he knows he won't be hurting anyone but himself. But it upsets me that he would be willing to subject ME and the other members of the troupe to a cheap show where we each would make about $20, just to "help make the troupe known". Sorry, but I don't want to be known as that.


  13. #13
    Master BHUZzer SamiraShuruk's Avatar
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    Re: Need help explaining undercutting

    Quote Originally Posted by eden_eyes View Post
    ...
    We are the only fire troupe in the area, so maybe that's why he's so into the idea of charging so little, because he knows he won't be hurting anyone but himself. But it upsets me that he would be willing to subject ME and the other members of the troupe to a cheap show where we each would make about $20, just to "help make the troupe known". Sorry, but I don't want to be known as that.
    You are the ONLY fire troupe in the area... well, then he's got it BACKWARDS! If there is NO ONE else to hire- when someone wants fire they HAVE to hire you... you have full license to charge more because you are so exclusive. His reasoning is totally shooting himself in the foot.
    Once a client hires you for $50... you'll NEVER get them to hire you for $200 or $500.
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  14. #14
    Established BHUZzer Tiziri's Avatar
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    Re: Need help explaining undercutting

    Quote Originally Posted by eden_eyes View Post
    We are the only fire troupe in the area, so maybe that's why he's so into the idea of charging so little, because he knows he won't be hurting anyone but himself. But it upsets me that he would be willing to subject ME and the other members of the troupe to a cheap show where we each would make about $20, just to "help make the troupe known". Sorry, but I don't want to be known as that.
    That right there, exactly what the fundamental problem with this mindset is.

    Yes: doing it for free or cheap presents not only an expectation that "this is something you should be able to get free or for cheap", it also reinforces the idea that creative work is not "real work." That if you're doing something you enjoy, of course the chance to show it before an appreciative audience is all you really need in terms of compensation. It's such a pernicious and pervasive myth. Because no one does "real work" for a hobby or just to try it out and express themselves, right? No one does accounting, or secretarial work, or food service for fun -- it's real work, so the expectation is it gets paid a reasonable wage (well...in theory, at least.) But in creative fields, people who do not plan on being professionals do take classes, dabble, do it solely for their own enjoyment, or something to entertain others. So you have people who figure, "My sister-in-law took bellydancing classes at a community college, and she loved it, and she's pretty good...so why should I hire you for a several hundred bucks to dance at my party, when she'll do it for free/a nominal amount?"

    The intangibles -- the difference in terms of quality, investment of time and money, the matter of oft-tricky customer service (a huge landmine in any creative career -- people get extra-weird expectations when it comes to artistic work and behave accordingly) -- don't seem to occur to them unless they've really watched both types of performance, because this is (often) a hobby, something people do because they like to. This is why I dance, and wouldn't expect anything more. That doesn't mean anything negative about the hobbyist aspect, but that it is something some people do -- and even do quite well sometimes -- solely for personal enjoyment means that there is a mindset that a customer is doing you a favor by letting you do it for them, and going that extra mile if they're giving you 20 bucks. They could have gotten the SIL to do it, but they're giving you 20 bucks. And doing so -- doing it for 20 bucks -- just further reinforces that way of thinking. Tell him that if you haven't already!
    Last edited by Tiziri; 01-02-2012 at 11:32 AM.


  15. #15
    Official BHUZzer shahravar's Avatar
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    Re: Need help explaining undercutting

    They are all great...
    But OMG Shems this one is brilliant by Artemis:)

    Top 20 Club Cliches[/QUOTE]
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  16. #16
    Ultimate BHUZzer dunyah's Avatar
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    Re: Need help explaining undercutting

    How long does your boyfriend think that your troupe will be motivated to continue performing if you don't receive proper compensation and respect for your work? After a while, no matter how much fun you think it is to perform, if you are doing it a lot, it's a job. Shows take hours of prep, rehearsal and travel time. If you aren't feeling well compensated for all the effort, how long will you want to continue? Busting your butt for little or nothing is not fun after awhile.
    casbahdance and rachelw like this.
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  17. #17
    Established BHUZzer outi's Avatar
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    Re: Need help explaining undercutting

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiziri View Post
    So you have people who figure, "My sister-in-law took bellydancing classes at a community college, and she loved it, and she's pretty good...so why should I hire you for a several hundred bucks to dance at my party, when she'll do it for free/a nominal amount?"
    No you don't have to hire me. You can ask your sister-in-law to perform. But my price is still $xxx.
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  18. #18
    Established BHUZzer Tiziri's Avatar
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    Re: Need help explaining undercutting

    Quote Originally Posted by outi View Post
    No you don't have to hire me. You can ask your sister-in-law to perform. But my price is still $xxx.
    Exactly.


  19. #19
    Just Starting! BellyDancerJulia's Avatar
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    Post Re: Need help explaining undercutting

    Hello! I don't post or respond to threads much, mostly just lurking, but I wanted to throw in my two cents about undercutting and public perception of why some feel we're not worth what we charge.

    A while back there was a flare-up in our community about undercutting and specifically restaurant prices. Our area has miserably low prices for restaurant gigs ($20-$25 usually for TWO sets - even in some of the nice restaurants), mostly because a certain teacher has made things that way by sending out her six-week wonders. However, our community has a few venues that are not associated with her, one of which is very desirable for dancers to work in yet pays very little (but good tips). Some people seemed defensive when I pointed out that we (rightfully) charge $200+ for private parties (and are very vigilant about enforcing this standard), but are still willing to dance in restaurants for so little, when it should not be that way at all. One dancer said that if we got into belly dancing for money then we were in the wrong industry (which is kinda valid, lol). However, she said that she does not rely on it for income, is grateful when she makes money and has the skills to make these cheap restaurant gigs profitable and called herself a "professional hobbyist". And this, for the record, was from one of our most respected dancers - how can we expect fair pay when even our own leaders fail to stand up for us and justify such low pay with these arguments? I don't think calling yourself a professional hobbyist is doing much to convince restaurant owners that we are professionals who deserve to be paid as such; it will only give them the argument of, "Well, you don't NEED this money, so why should I pay you what you're asking?". Just food for thought, no flame wars intended if anyone is offended by anything I've said...

    Happy dancing this weekend! :)
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  20. #20
    Ultimate BHUZzer *Shira*'s Avatar
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    Re: Need help explaining undercutting

    Quote Originally Posted by BellyDancerJulia View Post
    One dancer said that if we got into belly dancing for money then we were in the wrong industry (which is kinda valid, lol). However, she said that she does not rely on it for income, is grateful when she makes money and has the skills to make these cheap restaurant gigs profitable and called herself a "professional hobbyist".
    If someone said this to me, my response would be, "In that case, why don't you go perform at places such as nursing homes who can't afford to pay a living wage to dancers but might have a small entertainment budget to pay you at a level that satisfies you, and leave the professional gigs to those who need the money?"

    Quote Originally Posted by BellyDancerJulia View Post
    I don't think calling yourself a professional hobbyist is doing much to convince restaurant owners that we are professionals who deserve to be paid as such; it will only give them the argument of, "Well, you don't NEED this money, so why should I pay you what you're asking?"
    I agree.
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  21. #21
    Official BHUZzer Nabila-Nazem's Avatar
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    Re: Need help explaining undercutting

    Quote Originally Posted by BellyDancerJulia View Post
    ... One dancer said that if we got into belly dancing for money then we were in the wrong industry (which is kinda valid, lol). However, she said that she does not rely on it for income, is grateful when she makes money and has the skills to make these cheap restaurant gigs profitable and called herself a "professional hobbyist" .... I don't think calling yourself a professional hobbyist is doing much to convince restaurant owners that we are professionals who deserve to be paid as such; it will only give them the argument of, "Well, you don't NEED this money, so why should I pay you what you're asking?"...
    The is SO UNBELIEVABLY INSULTING I want to ... well, name it. It is true that no one in their right mind would engage in a performing art JUST for the money. But to not deem it worthy of appropriate pay as a business if done at a professional level in a business setting? It is an affront to the art form, the businesses who employ the dancers, the audiences, and the folks who take it extremely seriously. Sorry to seem all uptight, but I get huffy when I hear ignorant people talking about musicians as low-life lazy scum as well. Just because the bar band down at the local pub play for beer and "pass-the-hat" money every third weekend doesn't mean YoYo Ma should be on the same pay arrangement.

    Sorry for the rant, but this is a pet peeve of mine! Meow!
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  22. #22
    Mega BHUZzer Lara L's Avatar
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    Re: Need help explaining undercutting

    As a business person talking to another business person, he should get this. Yes, a product is only worth what someone is willing to pay... to any particular potential client. It is not cost effective to produce certain products at the price point people are willing to pay, so as a business person, you have to decide if there is market that will sustain the product you want to produce. I don't sew and sell teeshirts because it is not cost effective for me to do so when the perceived value of teeshirts is so low, so I produce a value added product which can be marketed to a higher paying niche. If a client just wants something to wear for a cheap price, they can buy a teeshirt made in some factory out of cheap material. I don't need to fill that niche just because it exists.

    I live where there is not a market which will sustain a belly dance performance career, and I have to accept that and find either a product the market will support, or try to develop a niche market that does not yet exist here. Both are challenging but not impossible to do without selling myself short.

    As a business, it is possible to sell some products at a defecit, but you have to make it up somewhere else. Amazon is a great example of this. They do sell things at a loss because those prices get people onto Amazon and buying the things (like the Kindle) which do make them a lot of money. As entertainers, we can do this too, but a free or discounted performance should be considered strategically, not thrown about willy-nilly. It really isn't that doing a free or discounted gig is evil in and of itself, rather it is one tool in the marketing arsenal which needs to be used wisely with much consideration as to how a particular performance will enhance the over all business. Sometimes it can, but in the experience of many, many dancers, the majority of the time it doesn't. I'm not averse to ever giving a free performance, but I need a reason why it is actually beneficial to me, and I need something concrete, not just speculation from someone outside the field.

    That one phrase really does it for me. It is not cost effective for me to put on a show for less than my published fees.
    Last edited by Lara L; 01-07-2012 at 08:07 AM.


  23. #23
    Just Starting! BellyDancerJulia's Avatar
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    Re: Need help explaining undercutting

    Shira, what upsets me most is that many dancers in our community dance in these "non-undercutting venues" (i.e. not associated with before-mentioned Six-Week-Wonder-Undercutting School - or "SWWUS") for low pay (and I have been guilty of plenty of times too, I've just started thinking about these things more in depth and am trying to take a more logical, unbiased view to them in the last year), yet still blame SWWUS for the wages that they still choose to take from non-SWWUS restaurants.

    I feel like my specific community needs to stop blaming SWWUS for their choice to take these low-pay jobs and accept some responsibility for the bed they've made for themselves. After all, nobody is holding a gun to their head, and there is still ONE venue in town that pays fair wages that's non-SWWUS affiliated. However, everyone tells me that if we were to quit these venues if they refused to give us a pay raise then SWWUS would take over those places and we would all be left with nothing but haflas/galas/showcases/recitals and everyone fighting over the few private parties. My views have somewhat alienated me from others in my community, but I don't feel like I'm wrong. What do you think?


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