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Advice to Young Performers

Posted in Behind the Scenes at FSD with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2016 by freakshowdeluxe
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Merchandise for sale after the show! Check out the new Glow-In-the-Dark shirts!!! This is a photo from FrightFest 2016 at Frontier City Amusement Park in Oklahoma City, OK.

FIRST: FreakShow Deluxe has finally opened an online store! Yay!You can purchase FSD-branded merchandise online and get it delivered wherever you want. Send it as a gift, or get a little something for yourself.

Get several somethings… they’re small.
We are offering over 20 items, including: our exclusive line of coffee (it is so good!), shirts, hats, buttons, stickers, shrunken heads, cigars, and so much more!
Go visit our store right now here: https://freakshowdeluxe.bigcartel.com
SECOND: There is a horrible public group on Facebook called the Sideshow Spectrum. It was put together by the amazing Todd Robbins, who is a great guy – but the group is a heckuva time waster when Reverend Tommy Gunn should be doing other things.
So it is a public group. You can go check it out yourself. Recently, a young performer posted, asking:

I am a very new performer (less than a year), but I feel I have a good act that I am still polishing. The trouble I am having is that it is only ~20 minutes and that feels short.
So far I have only been able to perform open mics, a local performing arts festival and as entertainment at a local outdoor event.

There was more – you can read the whole thing here.
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FIRST: Get a nifty banner and some cool costumes! (photo of Grennan the Green Monster and La Pequeña Arañita at George Washington’s Mount Vernon for the 2016 Colonial Marketplace)

After thinking about it, your Reverend decided to give his advice – in kind of a way like this:
You didn’t mention any of your other background, so you may not need this, but let me offer you the following advice that I have given to young actors — So you’re feeling pretty good about your sideshow show?
Good!
NOW: STOP DOING SIDESHOW. Walk away. Go take some acting classes, elocution lessons, speech classes, dance class, singing lessons, and movement work (maybe some martial arts training, too). Learn how to read music and maybe play an instrument. At the same time, study stage lighting, sound design, set design, and properties. In your free time, research performance history (not just circus and sideshow history – and not just new stuff, either – really get into the meat of it), mythology, story structure, philosophy, and psychology.
Once you’re done with those – COME BACK to your sideshow work, and rebuild it all from the ground up (because now you’re going to realize it wasn’t as good as you thought it was).
While you’re rebuilding it, take some time to do some formal study of business, accounting, insurance, contract law, and other money-related matters. Study some investing. Take some sales courses so you learn how to sell. Study, then apprentice, in tour management, booking, working with agents…
NOW you’re closer to really being ready to move forward!!
If you’re not going to do all those things, then HIRE people you trust who KNOW how to do those things for you that you’re not clear on – listen to those people when they tell you what you should do.
All of this will help you to see how all of these things are interrelated – and that nothing and no one operates in a vacuum.
By doing this you will hopefully avoid most of the pitfalls, and keep from adopting many of the bad habits that end up ruining performer’s enjoyment of what, ruining them financially, and making their life a lot harder than it needs to be.
I do not doubt that some folks are going to say/feel that I’m an a**hole for pointing all this out. I am. Some other folks are going to worry I’m giving away the secrets of success. I’m doing that, too.
But it’s not free advice. You’ll pay… oh, yes… you’ll pay.
OH! And don’t forget to attend the annual The Southern Sideshow Hootenanny in New Orleans, LA!! It is THE place to be for the modern sideshow industry. We look forward to seeing you there!
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The last thing you need to know is GTFM!