Hello to all comedians, comedy magicians and all you good people who hire live comedians and comedy magicians. Let’s talk about performance opportunities that fly under the radar. Retirement communities are one of many untapped markets for live entertainers. You won’t get rich (fees range from $50 to $200 in central Ohio) entertaining at these venues, but they offer some advantages. They’re usually very flexible with scheduling. They actually prefer to book you in the middle of the week, usually before 3:00 pm. So, while they don’t pay the best money, they won’t interfere with the evening and weekend gigs that do pay well. They’re also great places to try out new material because the crowd is very appreciative.
Another untapped market is libraries. Although the window of opportunity is smaller than with retirement communities (normally the end of the summer reading program), the scheduling is similar and the pay is usually better ($250 to $500 in the Columbus, Ohio area). Still another untapped market for live entertainers is churches (Yes, most of them can afford to pay you). As with retirement communities and libraries, you will need to work clean (really, really clean). You could be performing for youth groups, singles groups, couples events, or for the entire church.
The last untapped entertainers’ market I will mention today is fraternal organizations (Elks, Moose, Sertoma, Eagles, American Legion, etc.). While they vary in size and degree of activity, they all celebrate holidays with parties for the members and their families. You could be hired to perform stand-up comedy for the adults, provide a make balloon animals for the kids, entertain them all with an interactive comedy magic show. Another option is to rent the hall from the lodge, sell tickets and keep the proceeds yourself. You may have to pay for a bar tender, but, you should still have a tidy profit after the show.
Okay, let’s recap. Whether you are a stage performer (stand-up comedian, prop comic, comedy magician, etc.) or an atmosphere or strolling entertainer (close-up magician, balloon artist, juggler, face painter, etc.), retirement communities, libraries, churches, and fraternal organizations can greatly increase your opportunities to hone your entertainment craft as well as earn extra money.