It’s your event, or perhaps you have been asked by your boss to book the entertainment for your awards evening.  So the person you hire is a direct reflection on you.   You need someone that is going to fit in and be liked by everyone, be polite and respectful of your guests space and those moments that are as important to the event as  much as the entertainment.  As mentioned earlier a professional will always care more about his feedback, his living depends on it and ultimately thats feedback that you will be receiving from your guests or even the boss!  

Good feedback only comes from being liked by everyone, it’s so easy to get this wrong by forgetting the basics.  Being polite, not making fun out of people who they ask to help with the performances.  Not interrupting the flow of the evening or dinner service or even conversations.  

But what else makes the difference and why might it cost more?

Insurance –  Public liability this is an essential!  Most venues require at least £10million.  But more importantly you need to make sure everything is covered because things can go wrong.  Drinks can get spilt, bags might be tripped over even something as silly as a paper cut.  These things can happen, particularly in an environment when there is alcohol around!  

Being a member of Equity not only shows that your performer is a full time professional (these days the entry requirements are a little different but when I joined I had to provide 20 contracts or past and future work and do an interview!) Also it provides public liability of up to 10million.  

The truth is though you never ever want to use your insurance,  and is it hopefully just a tick box paperwork exercise.    The more experienced the performer the more different situations they will have been in and recognise if things are not going to plan or any potential hazards so you don’t have to experience them again!  

I have lost count of how many risk assessments I have filled in and scenarios I have had to imagine. For the British Grand Prix we even have to do a 3 hour course on Terrorism threats!!  So all this goes into the the vast pot of experience that will means that you have less to worry about!    

Personally I always mentally run through  what i do from the point of view as an audience member. For example,   there are great tricks that used borrowed items,  if an audience member lets me borrow a ring for example I know i have to treat that item with the utmost respect. From down to how they feel if it magically disappears and end up in an impossible location.  I will only perform this kind of routine if i know their objects are 100% safe  looked after at all times while its in my care.  They have my reassurance of this and will never be bullied into lending me their items! Even if i borrow a bank note and get them to sign it or if it ends up in the middle of a lemon it will always be restored clean and returned.  Its a respect thing!  

Magic Ruth

Accidents do happen, but they also can be avoided or dealt with appropriately.  Beyond that imagine the difference between guests saying under the breath, “who booked that guy he is rude inappropriate and unfriendly”  or you having guest telling you how amazing the event is, how much fun the entertainment is and you taking the credit for your amazing choice and skills in choosing the right entertainment!