1) A KJ that I know had a gig at this place on Friday nights for quite some time now. Recently the Owner of this place decided to end the Karaoke and just have a DJ on Friday nights. The KJs last show at this place was 2 weeks ago. Would it be ethical of me to walk in to this place and offer my card to the owner (to consider hiring me as a KJ for New Year's Eve)?
2) (This one's gonna be long-winded) I've been doing a gig at a place since March on a monthly basis. I've been charging $200 for a 4 hour show, but I have been giving them 4 1/2 hour shows (and in one case, a 5 hour show) of my own accord (and not asking for anything extra). The turnouts have been decent with the exception of my last show (on Nov. 9th). There were about 8 people in the Bar that night, and I had 3 singers.
I got paid in full for that evening, but the Owner was not very pleased. He told me that if I had shows like that one again, I would have to consider accepting less for that evening. I came back a few days later and had a long talk with him, where I laid everything out for him. I don't need to go into the whole conversation, but, bottom line, I told him that I would not be willing to work for less (based on how busy or dead the place might be). I gave him a counter-offer. I told him that I would be willing to give him a 3 hour show for $150, and if the place looked busy enough, and they wanted me to stay longer, then he would have to pay me an additional $50 for that 4th hour. He said he would discuss this with his wife (and co-owner).
I came by a week later, and all of a sudden, he told me that he would like to try a different KJ on a different night (my show was on Saturday nights) to see if he draws better business. Due to my regular work-schedule, the owner knows that I am not available to him on the night he wants to try (at least, not until mid-January). I asked him who he was planning on using and he showed me the other KJ's card. I recognized the KJ's name. This conversation took place about 1 1/2 weeks ago.
I went back to the Owner yesterday (just to check up on things). I noticed that he had a flyer in the window advertising the new show for this upcoming Friday night. I decided to get a little bolder and asked the owner when he was first approached by this KJ. He told me that this KJ approached him several times over the past 3 weeks. I then asked him how much he was aksing for his show and the Owner told me that he was asking $150 for the first show, and then $200 afterwards.
Here's the issue....This KJ knows me (not very well, but we know each other as acquaintences). He knew that I was doing a monthly show at this place before he ever approached the place. Even though I could not offer to do a show this month on the night that the Owner wanted, I don't think that this guy should have walked in and offered to do so (Yeah! I know...."Welcome to the real world!" And, "That's how businesses do it all the time."). The other thing is, is the fact that he undercut me (to get his foot in the door) as well. I have been to one of his shows, and he has an excellent sound system (comparable to mine), and ditto with his library.
I have not discussed any of this with the other KJ. I want to wait this out and try to find out how his show went (after this upcoming Friday). Then, I want to see if the Owner will still want me back next month. If I discover I am screwed out of this gig, I am seriously considering breaking my "code of ethics" by going after one of his gigs (which he has every other week on Saturdays), and offer to do it for $150 (which I'm sure is less than what he's getting at that place). Personally, I can afford to do this, because Karaoke is not my main source for income. It's just some extra pocket money for me.
OK, Let's hear your thoughts on both of these issues. I'm probably gonna get an earful on #2.
[This message has been edited by Cueball (edited December 02, 2002).]
They say revenge is a dish best served cold, and if you can afford to dish some out, it's tempting. However, by doing that, you would be contributing to the so-called "bottom-feeding, undercutting scumbag KJ" thing. Are your ethics worth $50? I don't know you too well, but from your posts here and elsewhere, I don't think so. I say go after the other guy's gig at your own price.
What can you do about bar owners who can't see the big picture? If they want to get ****y because one night was slow (like who hasn't had that happen anyway?), and they can't remember all the other times you go overtime for no money, all you can do is explain things like you did. I don't know what other types of entertainment they offer, but it seems to me it would be hard to maintain a monthly karaoke show. Maybe by them offering it more, by adding the Friday, it will help attract more singers to the bar, who will come out to your Saturday show, thus making you look good.
As to number 1, sure, drop off your card and make a proposal. They got rid of karaoke for a reason, so you shouldn't feel like that bar is off limits to anyone but the original KJ. If they are down on karaoke anyway, they likely don't want it for NYE, but it can't hurt to check it out.
#1. Your situation here is not disimilar to one we've recently experienced. Over a year ago I spotted a venue I really wanted. They had a KJ so I left it alone. 3 months ago, our singers came and said they had fired the kj and cancelled karaoke altogether. THAT's when I approached them. We got the GIG! We didn't take it from anyone. Short answer (I know, too late )..YES.It would be ethical to submit a proposal.
#2. Kinda disappointing that your bar owner threatens your job when it's slow but doesn't offer a "bonus" when it's bustling.
I've gotta give him points for telling you his plan though - much better than him just going ahead with it and your walking into a rude surprise. He was on the level. If you are not available, one cannot blame him for looking elsewhere. He didn't cancel you, he's exploring options for other nights.
The other kj DID NOT TAKE YOUR GIG! He picked up a show on a night you were unavailable. Please, don't go shopping for his. You could try to pick up a show in a place that might want another night of karaoke but not as a replacement for the current KJ. Try not to undercut. It devalues your service. Stick to your guns.
If the Friday show pans out for the bar owner..give him the date in mid January when you will be available to do both shows and offer him a discount for the package.
If the 2 shows are back-to-back, you can give him a better discount since you can save on setup and teardown.
Most important, keep the lines of communication open with the bar owner. Discuss with him what you can do to increase business. Let him know you are willing to work with him. Discuss your availability and package rates in the near future.
Offer $100-$150 for a 4-hour show plus a percentage of the bar. If it's slow, you're guaranteed a certain amount for your time and troubles (and the owner doesn't feel too bad). If it's a good night, everyone gets rewarded. This also motivates yourself to put on the best show you can and attract more singers.
I kinda like Greatfuls idea. Though it sounds like a hard sell. But if you are a good enough salesman, and the owner isn't a hardnose, you might pull it off. As for shopping for the NYE gig, I agree. It's not like you are snaking another KJ's gig. They don't have one. But be ready to get turned down for the DJ, if he's bringing in the crowds they want.
There are always going to be busy and slow nights, it's an occupational hazard.
If I knew that I could fill a club every night that I worked and made it profitable for the club to operate and pay for the entertainment..... I'd own my own club. It'd be stupid not to.
But with the proliferation of karaoke on every street corner these days, it's not just a matter of "having it." Everyone has it... and it's primarily a popularity-driven business. Ever notice that if you really start to keep a club jumping the patrons tend to ebb and flow? They won't like waiting so long... kind of a backhanded compliment isn't it?
How often does the bar owner compliment you on a great night? Never? But they have no problem pointing out the slow nights do they? Many of them are unwilling to look at the averages.... slow vs. busy... it will average out.
Quote from Cue: --------------- I am seriously considering breaking my "code of ethics" by going after one of his gigs (which he has every other week on Saturdays), and offer to do it for $150 (which I'm sure is less than what he's getting at that place). Personally, I can afford to do this, because Karaoke is not my main source for income. It's just some extra pocket money for me. ---------------------
This is the part that raises my hackles (no offense Cue, it's the principle).
However, this is what is driving the price of this "industry" down... and it's a way that has been "training" bar owners that they can always get it cheaper.
It's easy to say; "That's just competition" or "welcome to reality" but that reality depends on your perspective.
#1. If I work a "day job" that provides me with a comfortable living and "do karaoke on the side" then it really doesn't matter what I I charge. It also doesn't matter if I stop tomorrow either, I wouldn't be depending on for an income.
#2. If I don't work during the day, I take the income generated from it much more seriously... and these days, the available income is just being driven through the floor for a number of reasons:
#1: Pirates are a big one because they don't have the same costs associated with operating as a business. (We have 9 sets of DK 1-99 that were purchased new, at $39.95 per disc.. that alone was over $36,000.00 )
A couple of years ago, we had a pirate that used our schedule to systematically take over our gigs for barely under what we charged, they'd just burn another set for the next gig they took. Pretty soon they were up to over 50 shows per week.... then they were tipped off to a KAPA bust and replaced their burns with originals.... easy to do since they were now rolling in pirate dough. So they financed their business on their piracy. Is that "smart" or "unethical" or both?
#2: And the part-time (or sideliners) are another, primarily because of this logic: "Personally, I can afford to do this, because Karaoke is not my main source for income. It's just some extra pocket money for me."
There will soon be no such thing as a full-timer anymore because it won't generate enough to survive on it alone.
The only thing that bothers me about #2 is that the owner didn't tell you about the KJ on another night, that he was thinking about doing it. Maybe you could work out something or not, but the point is, you're HIS KJ...
I definately feel you have every right to talk to the other KJ and mention that what he did was underhanded, and not on the up and up. It would have been totally different if he'd come to you and said, "I understand you have a gig on Wednesday... I don't. Would you mind if I approached your Fri-Sat gig for that day only?"
But we don't live in a perfect world. Like has been mentioned, there will always be bottom-feeders out there.
Personally, I think turnabout is fair play. I think you can now approach HIS gigs with your card and discuss business. How you choose to do that is up to you. I PERSONALLY wouldn't undercut, but I also don't think that ethics really apply here.
Tit-for-tat. Quid-Pro-Quo. Point to point. However you say it or personally feel it, what this KJ did was wrong, and he has earned a repricussion.
However, if you CHOOSE to do this, be prepared for a whirlwind that could start. It could be the predecesser to a war you may not be prepared to have happen. The fact you're asking for opinions means you have some doubts and can see some outcomes!
Or you can look at it from ethics. You can swallow it all down, do what you do best, keep and maintain honor in yourself, and count yourself the lucky one. You can pat yourself on the back by NOT lowering yourself.
Steve, you have a good heart, and a higher sense of morality. You're the best judge here!
Matt, I disagree with you that Steve is "HIS KJ". Steve is "HIS KJ" on that Saturday per month, or until the owner (or Steve) decides he's not "HIS KJ" anymore. Just because you have a steady gig however many nights per week in a bar does not mean you have some entitlement to any other gigs that bar may decide to implement. The bar owner knows that Steve has other committments, and can't host on Friday.
No different than if your Saturday gig tells you that they are adding Friday, even though they know you host on Fridays at some bar across town. What are they supposed to do? Not add Friday because you are "THEIR KJ" and are working elsewhere that night? In some fictitious ideal world, it would be great if the owner came up to you and offered you first right of refusal (and that probably happens in many cases as it is), but why should the owner waste their time if they figure they already know the answer.
I sounds as if 1st right to refusal was given, as the concept of adding a Friday had been discussed and the owner knew of cueball's unavailablity.
I maintain, the other KJ did NOT take Cueball's gig. Irksome I know, but true. Now, here's the rub...if the Friday starts doing better and the bar owner goes with the other KJ for 2 nights, losing your night...The other KJ STILL did not take the gig, but won it in "competition". I know it sucks...but that's how it goes.
Don't be afraid to ask the bar owner what his intentions/inclinations are, make a plan, work together, get on the same page.
And definately don't be afraid to check with other bars to see if they want a 2nd night of service. They might be willing to mix-it-up a bit with 2 different personalities and draws.
btw..if you're going to offer reduced pricing in order to remain competative, offer a time limited deal (4 shows)so the "value" of the service is established. Show the actual cost vs the discounted rate on the invoicing. This will help to show others (and yourself) your worth, as well as help to keep the value of the service from dropping through the floor. Cutthroat pricing could come back to hurt you in the end. This IS our ONLY source of income, our full-time job, our livelihood, our bread and butter, and our passion
quote:Chip asked: Ever notice that if you really start to keep a club jumping the patrons tend to ebb and flow? They won't like waiting so long... kind of a backhanded compliment isn't it?
Posts: 878 | From: Ottawa, ON, Canada | Registered: Dec 2000
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Dan, in regard to your first posting, This place only wants to do Karaoke once a month. He's not interested in going every other week or even 2 nights in the week (on a monthly basis).
Matt, the owner did tell me (upfront) that he was going to try another KJ (and on a different night, which he knew I was unavailable for). It was my 2nd visit (1 1/2 weeks later), where he had the flyer up advertising the show for this upcoming Friday.
I understand that I don't own any rights to this place (just because I've been doing a Monthly show there since March), but I still feel that this other KJ had no business (ethically speaking) of walking into this place with his card (and then coming back several times, from what the owner told me) when he knew that someone was already doing a Karaoke show there. To me, that's not competition, that's stealing (especially when he offered that "Introductory" price).
Pony, as for your mentioning to sit down and talk with the Owner (to discuss how to improve upon the show), there really isn't much that I can do. The Owner actually takes out an ad in one of the Neighborhood's local publications. As for me, all I really can do is send out my own notifications (through E-Mail and S-Mail) to the people that I have on my mailing list.
I laid all my cards out on the table with this guy. One of the things that I discussed with the Owner, is the fact that this gig has several things going against it. Mainly, the fact that it's a Monthly gig (and with no regularity as to which week in the month it's held). The other thing I told him, was the fact that I travel withing similar circles of people that go to other Karaoke shows (of which some of them run their own shows as well). People have a hard time choosing where they want to go, and they would rather go to a place where Karaoke is established on a regular basis.
I appreciate everything that all of you have said so far.
[This message has been edited by Cueball (edited December 03, 2002).]
quote:Originally posted by DanJ: Matt, I disagree with you that Steve is "HIS KJ". Steve is "HIS KJ" on that Saturday per month, or until the owner (or Steve) decides he's not "HIS KJ" anymore. Just because you have a steady gig however many nights per week in a bar does not mean you have some entitlement to any other gigs that bar may decide to implement. The bar owner knows that Steve has other committments, and can't host on Friday. ...
Guess I have a different perspective then. To me, if you're working at a gig, you have the rights to be consulted or at least a casual comment from the bar of "I'm thinking of adding other nights... are you available?"
From what I gathered, this wasn't offered.
Are you guys telling me that it's purely ethical and within moralistic boundaries to approach a bar that currently has karaoke there and solicit other nights???
Without clearing it through the other KJ?
See, I don't get that at ALL! That's just dirty pool, no matter how you slice it up and serve it on a platter. It's ONE thing to drop off a card and say "I'm in the business, let me know if I can help you if you're unhappy with your current setup!"
It's another to totally undercut and undermine an existing host!
It's called respect, and courtesy.
Now, if this were a venue that was having different KJs from the beginning, I'd understand. Then I could see and understand Pony's 'competition' angle. This doesn't sound like that at all.
We obviously disagree Matt. We had this discussion recently, in a topic about one KJ soliciting business in another KJ's bar. I said then, and I say now, that I think any show, any night, whoever the host may be, is open to competition. Unless you have something in writing saying the bar owner cannot replace you (and how many bar owners would sign that?), then a KJ should assume that any of his gigs are up for grabs. If that's unethical to you, fine, but I don't happen to think using burnt discs is ethical either, so to each his own.
Posts: 2367 | From: London, Canada | Registered: Apr 1999
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What does that last sentence have anything to do with this part of the conversations?
Thanks Dan. All a comment like that will do is stir the flames from many people.
So my original comment wasn't worthy of a point-for-point debate, without you bringing in something that you KNOW is a major disagreement for many people. It maybe a matter of ethics, but it's been hotly debated before time and again.
Threads have been shutdown or deleted over those types of arguements.
Congrats. Now I know where you stand on many issues.
Dan, Matt's right! That last comment of yours was totally uncalled for in this topic-thread!!!
Now, as for the rest of your statements, I understand what you're saying...that the Owner can do whatever he wants (as long as we have no contract). What I'm saying, is that this other KJ came and approached the place, knowing that they already had Karaoke there. He knew this before he even walked in the door. It was one thing to drop off his card, but then he kept coming back several times, and then offered an "Introductory Rate" (which probably got the owner into considering doing it on another night). That may be considered to be competition or common business practice, but on the other side of the coin, it is considered to be sleazy (and shows that this KJ has no respect for other people's turf). I've walked in to places where I found out (after-the-fact) that they already have Karaoke there (I would never approach a place which I know has Karaoke). All I've done is left a card (without discussing my price), and said that if they have any problems with their current KJ, to feel free and call me.
Matt, you mentioned that you do a show in a place that has Karaoke on multiple nights in the week (done by different KJs on different nights). In my neck of the woods, I only know of a handful of places that have Karaoke on multiple nights. With the exception of a few places that have their own House System (where they just staff the machine themselves or hire a host for something like $60 for the 4 hours), the other places that I know of hire the same KJ for their multi-night shows. I don't know of any place in my area where they have different KJs during the week at the same place.
Oh, and one other thing...Some of you know me from the JOLT Forum. Well, this KJ goes into the JOLT Forum occassionally (to advertise his upcoming gigs. Guess what...He hasn't listed this show (and it's in 2 days from now). You think he's trying to be secretive about it, hoping that I won't find out that he approached a place where he knew I was already at (since he knows that I'm in JOLT all of the time)???
[This message has been edited by Cueball (edited December 04, 2002).]
Matt, I'm sorry, but I don't treat each post as though I've never scene that person post before. Therefore, if you say something that I think doesn't hold up, then I will say so. I could have said "but we disagree on what's ethical in other ways", and I would have had to explain that anyway.
Steve, in my original reply, I said I felt it was OK for you to go after the gigs of your competitor. But I also said not to compromise yourself, and go in at your full price. If it's not something that sits well with you pesonally, then don't.
I would like to nominate you to be president of UPS though. Then, they wouldn't be coming into "our" customers, and offering them cheaper shipping options. I personally don't know how they do it. Maybe they are using unlicensed trucks or something.
As a matter of personalethics, I do not approach bars that have karaoke, not even to say "if you have problems with your dj give me a call".
I approach bars that do not have karaoke, or have cancelled for an undeterminate amount of time. But that's just me. My personal taste for doing business is a little on the idealic side.
I still maintain that competition is fair. I'm not talking cutthroat tactics nor dramatic rate cuts. But...I have never asked my mechanic if he minds if I take my car elsewhere...or apologized to Zellers for shopping at Walmart.
Around here, there are many bars that have multiple karaoke nights. Most use the same djs, but it seems from an owners perspective, to be beneficial to reap the benefits of 2 different dj's followings does it not?
Bar owners hire us all to increase sales. If this is not happening, they will try to think of other ways to increase sales. That could mean hiring someone else or adding another show.
Cueball, My original suggestion was NOT to steal the other guy's show, but if you were inclined to, offer a different night that you are available.
Ethics is a matter of what feels right. Personally I tend to use the ole "do unto others...". I would feel crappy if I lost a show to another KJ, or if another KJ were on "my" turf. Yet, the reality of the situation is that it is NOT MY turf...it belongs to the bar owner who is looking for ways to make money.
I'd certainly go through a "whatta creep!" phase. But, after the steam clears, I would look at myself good and hard and ask myself what I could have done to increase the turnout, work with the owner better, etc. (this is not saying anyone did anything wrong either )
NOW HERE's a sordid tale of a creep of a bar owner and, not one, but two unethical kjs...
One bar owner, gee, we'll call him "Sammy" had a regular karaoke company 2 nights a week for years. Then, one of that company's djs, gee, we'll call him "Brady" burned their entire library and struck out on his own, offering a HUGE discount. The company got a call on the day of their show telling them to NOT come in anymore because the owner had hired the pirate. Then, this owner hired ANOTHER company for a 2nd night (because the 1st dj was not available for both). The 2nd dj, we'll call him "Dave" burned the 2nd company's entire library, offered a pirate's rate, and the 2nd company was canned.
Now Sammy had 2 unethical, sh*thead kjs, and gee...would you believe that their shows sucked and he was unhappy????
Cue KJ's have ethics? Where? Just because you are considering breaking your code of ethics by going after 1 of his gigs doesn't mean you will get the gig? I hold in my purse 15 cards of KJ's that dropped them off at 1 of my venues. Obviously they have no ethics. I believe some of them told the owner that they heard I was quitting and they asked if they are considering adding karaoke on another night which is a crock of ****. They are hoping to get the present KJ's job. People can lie on this board all they want about that even being born blonde I can figure that out. I've been there weekly since May and things have been going very well that's why the owner locked me into a contract. I hear about every KJ who came into there.
As for working overtime for nothing that is riduculous. You need to put your foot down. Do you do that at your full time job? You do it once than they always expect it. Get a backbone!
As for undercutting, do you really want to set up & tear down and run karaoke for 4+ hours for less? I had 1 person undercut me at 1 place and at first I was a little upset but knowing what he's getting paid I laugh about it. Then to make it funnier that barowner came to one of my venues and asked me to come back. I said no thanks. (Under my breath I was saying you can kiss my white ass) I don't give second chances but I read on this forum don't burn any bridges so I was nice. I agree that undercutting is driving the price of the industry down. I could do it if I wanted to do but I enjoy the money and I'm gonna make the money while it is there to be made. I hope you don't stoop to that level. Good luck Stacy
Stacy, I understand you've had a lot of kjs show interest in your gigs. There's a lot of that everywhere.
Not all kj's looking for another night are trying to take the gig. We were in a situation like that a couple of years ago.
We worked Mondays and another company worked Wednesdays. There was NOTHING unethical about it. The bar was very happy with us and with the kj the other company provided.
The kj quit to go back to university and the company sent a string of kjs, including a very young, green, fearful kj for 3 weeks, then a loud-mouthed drunken kj who sang and sang and sang and ...well, you get the picture.
After a few months of this, the owner asked if we'd do both nights. We felt we had to decline.
Eventually, the company was fired. No big surprise. They lost the job. We were hired. We did not steal the job.
That's the ONLY time we've ever been in a potentially ethically sticky situation. It would never have become an issue IF the other company had done a good, or even a decent job.
quote:Originally posted by stacy: Cue KJ's have ethics? Where?
As for working overtime for nothing that is riduculous. You need to put your foot down. Do you do that at your full time job? You do it once than they always expect it. Get a backbone!
1) Yes, most of the KJs that I know of (in my area) have ethics. They respect each other and don't go stepping on each other's toes. They don't approach places where they know someone is already hosting Karaoke (whether they know the KJ or not). Sometimes we even use each other to cover a gig (when one person is unavailable). I know, when I cover for another KJ, I don't bring my sign-up mailing list with me, and I don't bring my business cards either.
2) As to going overtime...This has nothing to do with backbone! As I stated before, I enjoy Karaoke alot. I do the KJ thing because I enjoy it (and for a little extra pocket money). I have a very good system (Mackie 408S Amp/Mixer, Mackie C300 Speakers, JVC 3-Tray Player) and one of the best Libraries (as compared to many of the KJs in my area). My going into overtime was of my own free will. I only do/did it because the crowd was being responsive, respectful, and we all were having a good time. I was giving back some of what I've experienced from a friend of mine who used to KJ (he used to go as much as 2 extra hours to accomodate us Karaoke-aholics, and he didn't charge the Bar anything extra). So, like I said, backbone has nothing to do with this. It was my choice to stay extra time.
[This message has been edited by Cueball (edited December 05, 2002).]
Well said Cue! Pony, loved your post, and I applaud you all the more. I knew I loved you and Dog for a reason!
Stacy, KJs DO have ethics. You're just getting a whole crapload of horrid ones!
By the way Cue, I'm not working a venue NOW where the multiple KJ thing was working, but I did for a while. The owner eventually tired of the complaints that certain songs weren't available on multiple nights... so he hired the cheapest KJ to do them all. At the rate he was asking, I walked away happy and proud that I wasn't being ripped off.
The other KJ eventually quit. That venue came after me to take over, and when I quoted my rates, he said he'd find some jacka$$ that wouldn't charge him so much. I said "no problem, but you'll get what you pay for!"
I've been in the venue twice since then. Absolutely terrible!!!
I think Stacy's point is this, if you're doing the work, get the pay. Our industry as a whole, regardless if it's a "hobby" for you or not relies on a level constant playing field. I understand there are those rare occasions when you might be inclined to work over but this should be the exception not the rule. In addition, if, as you say you went over because the show was going well and the bar was still busy the owner shouldn't have a problem paying an additional fee seeing as he's still making money. As a side question, is this place dropping you and your night for the other guy or adding his night plus yours? Posts: 902 | From: Joliet,IL.USA | Registered: Oct 2001
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Thank you Flameslayer. Cue I have to ask have you ever had to get someone to fill in for you yet? If you have, did you tell the KJ filling in for you that you usually work over for free so they will have to and how do they feel about that? I know you disagree with me but working 2 hours overtime is unethical to me.
I'm glad you have KJ's that work with you in your area.
Matt I know there is a small handful of KJ's who have ethics. It will be nice someday if we all had the same ethics.
Flameslayer, this place is not looking to add an additional night in the week. He is using this other KJ instead of me (for this month). He is only interested in having Karaoke once a month. My concern is the obvious one...This guy will probably have all his friends show up the first night, and the Owner will like that (of course). Then he just might decide to drop me and keep this KJ instead.
Originally (way back when), he told me, that if things looked promising, he might decide to make it twice a month, but after a few months of having good/decent nights, he never wanted to commit to that.
Stacy, since I have only had this one gig, I have yet to have the need for someone to fill in for me (for whatever reason). If I were to have that need, I doubt that I would say anything about my going over-time. As I originally stated, for the most part, I've only gone about 30 minutes over (to finish a Rotation). There was only the one time that I gave them a full hour over.
[This message has been edited by Cueball (edited December 05, 2002).]
Cueball, I understand exactly how you feel now. It's a different story if the owner wants to add an additional night. With the owner wanting to try another night and you not being available at this point to work that night , from an owners position I can see why he opted for another KJ. (it's not personal, just business). If, however as you say business on the whole was good and this owner is having a knee-jerk reaction to a bad night then the only thing you can do is advise the owner that you've been around enough to see how these things play out. That being, they freak- hire a new guy,(who likely promises things that they cannot live up to or sustain), have maybe a good night or two because as you said the new guy "stacks" the crowd,but then finds things are back to the way they were. The crowd thins back out and the owner is in worse shape than before. The owner then blames the current KJ and asks you back. It's been well documented in other postings here of this very senario taking place and what ultimately happens is nobody is really happy because pride and feelings have been hurt on both sides. I guess the long and short of it is we cannot protect owners from themselves or their business decisions and you very well may have to look for a new venue, (easier said than done many times I know) and leave the self-destructing owners to their own demise.
Posts: 902 | From: Joliet,IL.USA | Registered: Oct 2001
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Cue I don't mean sound so negative. I know I'm a shrewed business woman. (That's a joke) I know it's hard to shut down when you have alot of singers wanting to sing more. I have learned how to put my foot down. I get paid until 1:00 a.m. and if the bar is still hopping and I have alot of request slips, I ask the owner around 12:45 if they want me to keep the show running. This informs them I do expect to get paid if I run over. It is a nice gesture to do for your singers but you are only making a bigger profit for your boss. I see how my groups have grown and I think to myself I sure am making this place alot of money. Also thinking to myself that I should open my own club.
As a potential club owner I would try different KJ's out to get the right fit who's gonna make me the most money. Just thinking of owning a club makes me think about this business in a whole different way.
On case 1 why not drop your business card off you have nothing to lose. Good Luck! Stacy
After putting in hundreds of free hours during a 2 year period and being told by customers "you shouldn't sing, (1 song per round & I drop out when I get 6-8 singers)you're the hired help. You're only here to provide us with karaoke", I stopped doing any free overtime. First off, I am not the "hired help". I am a business owner and I contract with the club to entertain ALL of the customers that spend money there. I do this as I see fit, with interactive games, trivia questions & prizes etc. I adopted an idea that I learned from a great KJ that I watched work. (Debbi, are you there?) She tells the crowd that her shift ends at such & such time and if anyone feels the need to sing after that, she charges them so much per song. She has huge crowds and they stay till they have to be thrown out. We provide a valuable service, with some very expensive equipment. There's no reason not to get compensated for it. (I am a full time KJ.)
Posts: 37 | From: So Cal | Registered: Sep 2000
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Here's a new twist to the original situation I discussed (with regard to item #2):
I just stopped by the Venue today (2 days after the other KJ's show), and casually asked the owner how the show went on Friday night. The Owner turned around and said, "It was excellent, no thanks to you!" When I asked him what he was talking about, he turned his back to me. I tried to ask him again, but he refused to respond.
As I walked out, he followed me and stated, "You better not try to find any work in this neighborhood, because I'm going to do to you what you did to me!" I went back in and tried to speak to him. I asked him what it was that I had done. He still refused to answer, so I left.
I haven't spoken with this other KJ at all. I never even confronted him about his walking in to a place where I was hosting Karaoke, and then handing the Owner his card, and then coming back several times to try and obtain the show. I haven't attempted anything (with regard to what I discussed I might consider doing either). I'm at a total loss here, because I haven't got a clue what could have happened (either that night or before his scheduled show).
OMG Steve! How horrible. I hope you find out what's happened (if only for piece of mind). Sounds like something is very fishy.
Posts: 878 | From: Ottawa, ON, Canada | Registered: Dec 2000
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Very interesting thought Matt. I have yet to make any attempts to contact this guy (since I first found out he had approached the place where I was doing a show, to present). I was contemplating whether or not I should attempt to contact this KJ (through E-Mail) and ask him what happened with his show on Friday night. But, now I'm wondering whether or not that would be a good idea (now that you suggeseted that), or if he would even respond back.
The only other thing that I can think of (that would have gotten the Owner upset with me), is the fact that I've been sending out notifications of other KJ's shows (as a courtesy, through E-Mails), and I never mentioned this place (his son was recently placed on my E-Mail list). But that's really stretching a bit, especially based on his comment of "I'm going to do to you what you did to me!"
I'm wondering whether I should try to talk with the Owner again, and ask him to tell me what I had done. But, after the way he responded to me on Sunday evening, I don't really think it would be a good idea for me to approach him again.
[This message has been edited by Cueball (edited December 09, 2002).]
Maybe his temper has subsided with a bit of time passed...and maybe your approaching him again will go a long way to showing him that you truly don't have any idea as to what might have happened.
Then again... maybe no...but I think it's worth a shot.
I'm not sure WHY you would advertise OTHER kj's shows and NOT your own tho???!??!
Cueball, I've been reading your posts for a looooong time and have really enjoyed and looked forward to your input here and elsewhere. I remember when you were putting together quite a library as a singer, talked about relieving KJ friends and now playing your own gigs. I remember in some of your posts you referring to your day job but I've forgotten what it was and couldn't find it in the archives.
I can understand your anguish, especially after reading so many threads where people have discussed ethics. I believe the "do unto others..." really about covers the ethics question. If you don't feel right about it, don't do it. If your worrying about whether or not YOU should do it, I believe in YOUR mind it's unethical to YOU.
There's always two sides to a fence and usually two sides to a story.
Do you / have you ever owned and operated your own business? Were you raised in a family owned business? I am curious. I believe our life experiences can also determine our personal defination of ethics.
Did you like the Godfather movies? Repeatedly they made reference to what was business and what was personal. LOL, seems like whoever got the two combined was the next one to get and offer they couldn't refuse.
IN REGARDS TO CASE #1: I can't imagine why it wouldn't be "ethical" to approach the owner and let him know of your services. He is done with the other KJ. But he will be hiring many different forms of entertainment as time goes by. Sounds like he's off of karaoke for awhile, but who knows? He can change his mind tomorrow. I doubt that KJ's career is over because he no longer plays THAT bar, do you think he will sit at home forever waiting for them to call him back to work. I think not. Life goes on and variety is the spice of life.
IN REGARDS TO CASE #2: I'll try to cover this by paragraph and by asking questions based on my business experiences and possibly the owners view.
A) You play once a month. Are you the only entertainment that plays this venue? You have played over your 4 hours, good for you, probably either you - the crowd - or both were on a roll. When you were finished did you pat the owner on the back and brag about what a good night WE had. Was the owner aware of your extra effort? I don't mean ram it down his throat but a big smile and mention you just couldn't quit playing for HIS customers. Extra effort is what makes a great show.
B) You got paid in full, but the owner was unhappy. I've been in waaaaay to many bars and the story is always the same. In fact it's just about always the same for any small business owner I have ever met. "Yeah, we had a good night Friday but it hasn't been worth a durn ever since, if things don't change I'm gonna have to....." the story is always the same. One bad night and the owner is going to have to do something. But think about it, they very seldom ever do. Was the owner having a bad day? You have no idea what else might have came up in his world that day. You were not scheduled to play for another month. December could be a super night for you and the bar. He had a month to cool off and/or have a change in attitude. Is there a particular reason you went back to him a few days later to, in your words "lay it out for him"? You said if you had shows like that again, who knows what December would bring. You ask for an immediate decision before you came back. You cut your own rate, he was going to see what happened next time.
C) All of a sudden? Who knows how long he has thought about doing karaoke on a different night? Bars add/change entertainment all the time everywhere I have ever been, is it different there? He wants to try karaoke on Fridays, you're not available... so?
D) Bolder? Evidently this owner likes and/or respects you. If he did not like you when you ask the questions about the other KJ he could have informed you his deal with anyone else is no business of yours. Seems like he was upfront with you about what was going on. The guy is going to play the first night for $150, then go to $200. I can understand that, evidentely they have not done karaoke on Friday night, who knows what the crowd will be, try and see. Then he is going up to your rate the next Friday.
E) Here's the issue, the other KJ offered a service that you could not. He can play on Friday's. He didn't book Saturdays. I do not think you were undercut. If he would have said $150 forever then I would agree, but a special rate for a first time try out show is a common thing in the music business.
F) Go after his "off" Saturdays would be ok, you would be offering a service that he is not providing. Going after "his" Saturday nights would be doing something to him that he did not do to you. You, like me evidently have the luxury of not really missing the money if we don't play. Just out of curiousity does the other KJ do it for a living? He's booked every other Saturday now he's looking for a Friday booking, is he just trying to make a living?
ANOTHER POST: Later you posted that the owner was upset. If you post in your newsletter other KJ's at other venues and did not list the Friday gig at the bar that pays you once a month,,, sorry Cue, big mistake. You knew it was going to go the the owners son, you knew the owner would find out. Refer back to the Do unto others and the business or personal statements.
I am fortunate to be friends with all of the area KJ's. I get private party referrals from them constantly and we all know the parties pay better than the bars.
Don't make business personal, you'll only hurt yourself in the end.
Like it or not, we work for them, it's not our bar, they have the investment and all of the responsibility. We all know they're crazy at times but we play our gig and leave, they live the business 24/7.
I hope everything works out well for you. I know several places that have two KJ's working different nights and it works out great for everyone concerned. We all have our regulars and a lot of people can't afford to go out two nights in a row. It can help the bar have two crowds (followings) instead of one.
I apologize for the long post, felt it needed to be said.
Cue, keep on playin', keep on singing, keep on entertaining,,, your heart and that old gut feeling is what will guide you the right way.
A) I am not the only entertainment that they have at this place. This place has booked various parties and stuff throughout the month. After I would do a show, I would come back later in the week to try an arrange a future available date with them. As to the owner being aware that I would go extra time, yes, he was aware of this, and I never felt the need to point it out to him in any way, shape, or form until I had that talk with him the other week).
B) The reason I came back a few days later to "lay it out for him" was because, after he paid me (and then made that comment about possibly not paying me in full in the future), he asked me to come down later in the week so that we could discuss this. As to me cutting my rate, technically I didn't... I offered him a compromise. I offered to do the show for less time at the same proportional rate (keeping it at 50/hr), with the option of requesting that I stay longer (and thus get paid for that extra time). I did not ask him for an immediate decision. He told me that he would discuss what I had talked about with his Wife/Partner, and for me to come back in a few weeks.
C) I have no answers to this.
E) According to the Owner, this other KJ came back several times. It is my assumption (yes, I know the joke about ASSUME-ing) that he did not initially offer an "Introductory Rate." That probably came after the next visit (or so) in order to entice the Owner into hiring him over keeping me. So, in a round-about way, he did undercut me to get his foot in the door.
F) With regard to "going after his Saturday night" gig, in this case, it would be doing unto him what he did unto me. The point-of-fact is that he walked into a place (where he had already known beforehand that someone was doing Karaoke there), and ascertained that they were only interested in having it once a month. The fact that I was unavailable on a specific night in the week was not common knowledge to this KJ. Maybe the Owner told him this and maybe he didn't. The fact that he came back several times (according to what the Owner had admitted to me), indicates that this KJ was trying to negotiate a deal which would replace me (regardless of the night in the week). As to whether this KJ does this for a living, I do not believe so. I am aware of only 2 shows that he does...one that's a monthly gig on Fridays (in a place that I consider to be too small for me to ever want to approach) and this other gig every other Saturday. If he does any private parties, I am unaware of that. I do not know this person very well (I've only met him a few months ago).
With regard to your other statement (about it being a mistake for me to send out an E-Mail advertising other KJ's shows), maybe it was a mistake to include the Owner's son in those mailings. Maybe this is a mistake on my part (to think this), but I did not feel obligated to mention that this place was having a show on that specific night. After all: a) I was not hired to do the show there (on that night), so I do not believe it is my responsibility to advertise it for them. b) I was not going to inform people on my mailing list (my potential followings) to go to a show (where I believe) that the KJ stole from me. Why should I send/give my (potential) following to this other KJ?
Even still, the list of people that I have is limited. And, only a handful of those people ever came out to the show there (when it was mine). For the most part, it seemed to be just the Bar Regulars that made up that show. If this other KJ knows any of those people (that are on my list), he could have informed him of the show himself (like I said before, a lot of us travel within the same circle of friends or same Karaoke circuits). It's not like I was "Blackballing" or "Boycotting" the place. I never told anyone not to go to this place on that night. I just never mentioned it.
On another note (pardon the pun), Pony just asked why I send out advertisements for other KJ's shows and not my own. Well firstly, since I don't have a regular show for myself, I don't feel threatened by doing this. If they send me an E-Mail advertising their upcoming show, I will pass it on to others. Secondly, one of the reasons I started doing this, is because another KJ started doing that for me. He started forwarding my E-Mails advertising my upcoming show to the people on his mailing list. I feel that I'm returning the favor (and that the other one or two KJs that I'm doing this for will reciprocate).
Thank you for your input, JB. In answer to your other question, my "Day Job" is that of a Mainframe Computer Operator at Merrill Lynch. I've been there for 21 1/2 years (on a night shift). My department is 24 x 7.
BTW...Don't apologize for your post being long-winded. If you've been following my posts (here and at JOLT) then you've noticed that I've been known to do that too.
[This message has been edited by Cueball (edited December 10, 2002).]
Like I just explained above (to JB), I think that the E-Mails are a bit of a stretch to elicit that kind of reaction from the Owner. After all, he stated that I had better not work anywhere in that neighborhood because he's going to warn all of the other Bars what I "did to him," and that he's going to "do to me what I did to him." That sounds a bit more personal than NOT mentioning his show.
Cue, Thanks for the additional information. As for a matter of explaination, I don't think it's a bad thing to send emails about whats going on at other venues. I can "assume" his son telling him about your emails and him thinking, hey, this guy is promoting everyone but the hand that feeds him. But there must be something else besides the email for him to make the other comment, "after what you did to me". The saga continues....... Thank goodness my memory isn't completely gone, I thought you worked with computers but couldn't remember for who. Keep on keeping on!!! JB
Posts: 10 | From: Grove, OK | Registered: Nov 2002
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