Pay Fair. Pay Right. - Khandie Khisses - Burlesque, Fire Breather, Underwater Mermaid and more...

Pay Fair. Pay Right.

Pay Fair. Pay Right.

A true scenario.

Caller: Hi Khandie. I am looking for a fire performer to do walk about and breathing at my event tonight. £20 ok to cover expenses etc?

Me: no. £20 does not cover expenses.

Caller: Bit rich, its only up the road.

This is often how work is advertised or bounded about particularly in the entertainment side of life. Or the dreaded ‘exposure’ payment offer. That quintessential currency that no retailer accepts so why should you!? I will come back to this later.

So the gig offered to me above… £20…lets see how it covers my immediate costs.

Petrol: £14.57 (no trains running due to finish time and in any event this is more cost effective)

Parking £8

Fire fuel: £18.99

Already I am £21.56 OUT OF POCKET and I havent even worked out the rest of my requirements.

Shouldnt I be expected to be paid for the actual time I am working? I was asked to be there from 5pm to 1am. Thats 8 hours! Of which by my working out is earning me NOTHING. So even if I wanted to charge my time at the minimum wage of £6.70 (2015 for 21 yr olds and over)  I am down now £53.60.

So far this £20 gig is costing me £75.16

Some of you may wonder why I am looking to pay myself minimum wage when offering a specialist skill. It is merely to highlight that performance is work however you cut it. I am working for the benefit of another. A person who benefiting in some way be that monetary or otherwise from my being there. You should with any business look to earn a wage and a small profit on top. Otherwise it will fail. Running a business at a loss is not a smart move.

And dont think that because you have a full time job, and only do this on the side that you shouldnt be paying tax. You should. So take that into account also when working out that fee payment….You got to contribute potentially tax and NI…so that money pot is even less now.

I am not simply done with spending there on this ‘gig’ by the way. Nope. Add on my yearly insurance to perform. My fire insurance. My re-wicking costs for the fire equipment, my costuming wear and tear costs. Each costume costs to make and has an expectancy to earn itself back and beyond. The government do not look favourably on those deeming to deliberately make a loss so why set yourself up to. If anything you are simply saying: hey I am such low value as an entertainer, I should be paying YOU to let me be there for your benefit.

Now exposure is a tricky one. Sometimes something comes along like a film or a music video and its amazing bragging rights. Perhaps an amazing photographer is offering you a shoot if you do some modelling for them for free and you LOVE their work. Then yeah it might make sense to do this. But performing at a show for it!? Is this show some high end theatre production? Will there be amazing producers there? Will I get a clear high quality video to use as I want? Will I get amazing retouched images to use? No? oh…nah I will pass thank you. If you are offered such delights in return for performance, get it in writing. Get it down on paper. If anything so its for the tax man.

Oh you LOVE performing?! Great. But every now and then think if this was equated into actual money that you are spending/is costing to be here would you throw it down the drain. Would you throw £75.16 down the drain because someone gave you £20?




Khandie Khisses 2017 Up
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