How do you handle overtime? In my area it has been the custom for the KJ to stay over when it's busy and most do it for free. I too used to do that. I had a gig working for the best club owner in the world for two years. When it was slow she never complained about paying me my small fee. So when it got jumpin' I felt like it was OK to stay over a little extra. WELLLLLLLLL! My shift was 5 hours on a Sunday afternoon. I started staying over sometimes as much as an hour or two. One night I stayed 5 hrs over that's 10 hours. As I was talking to one of my regulars one evening, she told me that "The KJ shouldn't sing. We are just the hired help and are there for the patrons pleasure." I asked her if she realized how many hundreds of hours I had worked with NO PAY to let her sing more. Her mouth dropped open. That was a few years ago. My view now is this: I contract with the club for a set number of hours. When my time is up, if the patrons wish to continue singing then someone has to pay for my time and the use of my equipment. If the club opts to pay overtime then I'll stay. If not, I use an option I picked up from another, very successful KJ in our area. I tell the crowd that my shift has ended, (Yes, It IS a JOB!) and if they would like to sing past my quitting time it will cost them $3.00 per song. This is preferable to passing the hat because it places the cost on those who are going to get the benefit of it. I don't work for free anymore.
Posts: 37 | From: So Cal | Registered: Sep 2000
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Wow! that's one loooong shift! I just recently faced a similar venue where the manager would get very very drunk and want to sing and party more and more and more....until I'd simply leave him to run the party into the ground (well past closing and my agreed upon shift). I was gonna quit, but he fired me 1st Didn't like me pooping on his fun <LOL>
Many of our gigs go to closing time. Those that don't quite often result in the patrons wanting more more MORE! When this occurs, The patrons pass the hat and collect a minimum of $35.00 (sometimes they'll throw together more knowing they don't have to).
We do it this way because *everyone* benefits from the additional entertainment and many MANY people come out to our shows even theugh they never sing...just to watch and be part of the fun. They're most willing to pitch in a buck or two and only those that want us to stay contribute to the hat.
Most of my shows last from 3-6 hours. Everyone likes a good party, I've been faced with the prospect of going overtime many times and sometimes I do and other times I don't. If I'm having an especially good time, I hate to end a party just because my shift's up. I'll usually go over only 30 minutes max. At that time, I'll announce that my shift was over 30 minutes ago and anything further will cost them (Assuming the management let's us go overtime).
At least you guys get to at least stay and get the people off your lists, We have to shut down right at closing time no if's, an's, or but's. You should hear the grief that we get when people can't come in and sing their songs, they look at us as we just killed their kid or something.
Posts: 1795 | From: Fall River, Ma | Registered: Feb 2001
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One gig I attend often goes on past 4 in the morning! It's illegal to sell drinks past 2:00 AM in California, but after last call they'll lock the doors, bring out the ashtrays, and the party continues. As long as the venue is still making money, they'll risk it.
Posts: 1487 | From: Irvine, CA, USA | Registered: Jun 1999
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At $3 a song that is maybe $42 an hour, that is still underpaid for a 5 hour stint by a dollar! That is considering you play 14 songs and hour and sing one making 15 songs an hour.
Most clubs want me to stay over, I will for a fee. We broach it as the evening presents itself, not pay - no play. I have too many singers in rotation to finish one and be done in 30 minutes I draw names and 3 alternates in case the singers leave. NO substitutions! if I can finish the rotation I know when to count the singers, multiply time 4 minutes and tell when to close the acceptance of new names to sing. I allow for 5 or six above the amount to close time, since most times people will drop out and head home.
Overtime with pay or for free is up to the KJ, who should stay in control and know how many singers it will take to fill your time to show close, even with an overestimate of the volume of singer waiting to sing. I do it up to 30 minutes over (most times it is 5 to 20 minutes over), let the singers know I did it ON MY TIME because I care about my singer (perception is important) and they are thrilled, the club is happy, I don't mind since I have my rig permanently set up.
Most wait staff do not like pass the hat as it takes from their tips/sales, and most times the hat may be too light for the KJ to warrant the extra overtime time.
If the club wants a 6 hour show they better get out their wallets!
Grateful, I'm surprised the bar takes the chance, I was at one club where the KJ played right up till 2 bar time, all the patrons left and I stayed to help her pack up. At 2:15 real time there was a knock on the window and out side was a lady with a badge, she was from liquor control and there were too many cars in the lot for her liking luckily all the booze had been pulled and locked up. So ir seems really risky to keep serving after hours.
Well, the owners are extremely greedy and will do anything for money (e.g., they charge $1 per song, accept $20 bribes to sing next, etc.). They also serve people under 21. The restaurant/bar is kind of in a residential district. It's surrounded by houses and no other businesses are around.
They're being slightly more careful though - they don't just give you a beer bottle any more, they pour it in a paper cup! They serve mixed drinks in coffee mugs. There are no windows so no one can see in, and they have cameras outside so they can see who's at the door.
[This message has been edited by Grateful (edited September 01, 2001).]
We have a flat continuance rate of £10 per extra half hour. It has not always been that way. One of our first gigs used to hound us to carry on and on. One night we went on till 3.15 in the morning (official stop time should be 11.30 in the UK). Being green and soft, we justified it to ourselves as keeping the singers happy and being loyal to the proprieter. Big mistake - They whinged and whined when we had to stop because we were starting to fall asleep standing up, we were totally wasted the next day and it sent them a loud message that they could get extra time out of us every time for no extra money. After a month we had to wise up and put our collective foot down. We love our singers to bubbles but commitment culture is for mugs unless you see it working 2 ways! Our commitment is there for all to see. We've spent double/triple on our system compared to the KJs we see locally, have the biggest disc collection and will happily make the start time up to an hour earlier (makes no odds to us). Buy if you want late play you pay.
That gig that took the mickey showed no loyalty when it was time to raise the price and we lost it anyway to a cheapskate shoddy suspected counterfeit racket who offered to do it for £50 less. We left with heads high, put up with the rumours that we were greedy. Two weeks ago we get a call from the NEW landlord and now we have a 16 month booking for £50 more than we were there for before and the good old £10 per extra half hour rule agreed to. You do yourself no favours bending over for 'em it just makes the access easier when they wanna shaft ya! he he.
It has been a long time since we let proprietor feel they were doing us a favour "letting" us play. Au contraire mes mis - they are the lucky ones. Believe it and it is amazing how much more respect you get off of 'em.
Posts: 251 | From: Bedford, Bedfordshire, England | Registered: Aug 2001
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Here in my hometown of Gun Barrel City, Texas, we have to shut it down at midnight...no way around it. BUT, down the highway a bit is Seven Points, where we stay until 2:00am... So when one of our shows close, we just take 'em down the highway to our OTHER show... works out great! LOL There are 8 of us working in our little karaoke company, so we can have multiple shows each night...
------------------ Keep Singing...It's Good For Your Soul! ~Shawn
Posts: 30 | From: Gun Barrel City, Texas, USA | Registered: Sep 2001
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Gun Barrel?!?! WOW!! A fellow Tejan!! My sister use to live near there...Maybank, I think it was...my ex-wife almost got MY arse kicked in Gun Barrell..the stupid @E%#@!! Did ya'll's mayor abdicate his position after calling 911 on himself, or is that all straightened out? Sorry fer ramblin'...there's another 100 degree + survivor here! hehehe
You have a business, it is up to you to see that your business is profitable. Your time=money, money=time. If the place is jumpin' it's because of you and maybe some good drink specials. WHY NOT GET PAID EXTRA for your time?
I have had drunks want to sing 'ONE MORE TIME" I'll tell them the venue doesn't pay me for over time, so it'll cost them $20.00 for this song, NEXT. Some times I get it, sometimes i don't. It's no sweat off my body, because it I don't I go home, if I do, I'm happy. $20.00 for four minutes! I've bee so lucky to have three of those drunk double-sawbucks in my pocket.
Maybne its because of the liquor control laws here in Connecticut, but there is no such thing as "overtime" around here. Usually, on a Friday or Saturday night, the shows are scheduled to end at 1:30 AM... By law patrons must not be drinking after 2 AM... so that gives them about 20 minutes to finish up their drinks and get out. The places I work for would not ever think of going "overtime" as it takes the full 20 - 30 minutes to get the straggelers out
Posts: 575 | From: West Hartford, CT USA | Registered: Apr 2000
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Sorry to get back to this so late FANTOM. I work for more than that, but taking what the karaoke was taking they should at least be taking the amount I mentioned. Pay varies in may clubs and regions. I earn about $21 more an hour in the clubs so the amount I figured as a base fee would be low for me. --------------------------------------------- People who leave and come back later with a friend, find I am too full to take in more singers. I stop taking new singers an hour and a half before closing due to long rotations that may run me 20 to 30 minutes over to complete. I try to keep playing over to a minimum. 4 minutes per singer times 20 singers is at least 80 minutes or an hour and a half. --------------------------------------------- You can expect a rotation of 20 + people will have a few drop out before you finish an evening's last rotation, and go home or elsewhere, yes. --------------------------------------------- Where did you come up with your last phrase? I think perhaps it was a misread on your part, the word or idea of the word "MOST is nowhere to be seen or implied. --------------------------------------------- I had to read and reread your post to try to understand your point. I hope this helps and answers your queeries.
Posts: 542 | From: Mobile, Alabama, USA | Registered: Jan 2000
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Recently a club owner caught one of our shows. He returned 2x more, then brought his partner. At the end of the show, they appoached to book for Sundays (which we currently have free). Even though they specked us out, liked our show, and decided they wanted us...they dropped the line..."c'mon, give us a break here, It's not like you were booked for Sundays anyways!" when we discussed $. They stated the dollar amount they were willing to pay so I stated the number of hours they'd get for that dollar figure. If they want a full show, they'll have to pay the full price. period.
Lisa, we've been too soft in the past as well and have never been rewarded with loyalty or respect for it.
We even bid below our regular fee on a gig in a club we didn't really have a good feeling about, only to have a local "scab" "pirate" "counterfeiter" substantially undercut us and get the gig.
Not sour grapes, but, I'm now glad that we didn't get a gig in a club we didn't really like and now know that I would not take the gig if they called in months from now.