(Close Window)
Topic: Eat or no eat?
Message: Posted by: david12345 (Jun 5, 2013 09:40PM)
As a rule I always politely decline when offered food at a party if I am paid to perform. I was hired for a 65 th birthday party next week and the wife that hired me to perform is insisting on setting a place for me at the table. There is a dinner before my show. I said thank you for the offer but not necessary at all etc...and she really wants me to dine with them. I wonder how far to push back? Thoughts?
Message: Posted by: Magic.Maddy (Jun 5, 2013 09:44PM)
I always decline the first and second times I'm asked. If they ask a third time I usually eat SOMETHING just to make them feel better. I had this happen at a school performance I did recently. The teacher INSISTED I have a cupcake and reminde me as I was walking out "Don't forget your cupcake!" So I came back in, thanked her, and left.


I do think its rude to eat, but then again, some people just really insist on it and it would make them happier for you to just go for it.
Message: Posted by: RicHeka (Jun 5, 2013 10:04PM)
I do get those offers too. I always politely decline for a couple of reasons: 1. I usually have some light food and water before departing for a gig....so I am never hungry.
2. I like to keep a professional distance from the actual event/party. It has never been a problem if I sincerely and politely turn down the offer.
Message: Posted by: Jesse Lewis (Jun 5, 2013 11:09PM)
I never eat no matter what I show up early if I have equipment to setup and check and then I disapear until 15 minutes before show time. I only work large events too so not being part of the event ussually isn't a problem for me.

The main reason I never eat is because you never know when somthing will hit wrong and you could get sick.


Jesse
Message: Posted by: Scott Burton (Jun 6, 2013 01:16AM)
I have celiac disease - along with some other sensitivities - so I always politely decline and explain why. In fact, I'm asked so much that I include the topic in my FAQs attached to my contract when it's sent out. I will sit with the organizers if that is important to them.
Message: Posted by: parmenion (Jun 6, 2013 02:22AM)
[quote]
On 2013-06-06 00:09, Jesse Lewis wrote:
I never eat no matter what I show up early if I have equipment to setup and check and then I disapear until 15 minutes before show time. I only work large events too so not being part of the event ussually isn't a problem for me.

The main reason I never eat is because you never know when somthing will hit wrong and you could get sick.


Jesse
[/quote]

Lol

Same for me, I stay all the time in my flat,never go out, you never know what could happens outside!
The world is so dangerous!
LOL
Message: Posted by: Gourmet (Jun 6, 2013 03:32AM)
Decline politely
Message: Posted by: TonyB2009 (Jun 6, 2013 05:19AM)
My rule is simple. I never eat or drink before a performance, because a good meal will throw my timing off. But if they are nice people I will often have a bite with them after the performance.
Message: Posted by: Jon_Thompson (Jun 6, 2013 05:32AM)
[quote]
On 2013-06-05 22:40, david12345 wrote:
As a rule I always politely decline when offered food at a party if I am paid to perform. I was hired for a 65 th birthday party next week and the wife that hired me to perform is insisting on setting a place for me at the table. There is a dinner before my show. I said thank you for the offer but not necessary at all etc...and she really wants me to dine with them. I wonder how far to push back? Thoughts?
[/quote]

This is what I always hated. Am I a guest or a turn?
Message: Posted by: dusty (Jun 6, 2013 07:43AM)
This is invitation to dine may have another agenda. When a performer dines with the guests it can be seen as elevating the status of the other guests at that table and may have nothing to do with you being fed!

If I have travelled a long way and food is offered, I will accept so long as I can eat away from the main guests i.e. changing room etc. Even then I would suggest a sandwich or similar as I don't want a full meal prior to performing. If no travel issues, I find that saying I've just eaten is the simplest polite solution, they can hardly expect you to eat two dinners!!!
Message: Posted by: Magic.Maddy (Jun 6, 2013 11:52AM)
I do feel I should mention this: Every time I've eaten it's been once all the guests have left and there is still a ton of food left and they quite literally BEG for me to at least take some. Might as well go for it.

I would never eat with my audience or in front of my audience though. (Unless it's part of my act XP)
Message: Posted by: John C (Jun 6, 2013 12:20PM)
Think about what you can learn at a dinner table. Use it as an opportunity.

If she insists don't offend her. Just say yes. It doesn't happen all the time and you will make her happy. Eat light if you must.
Message: Posted by: kannon (Jun 6, 2013 01:39PM)
Are mentalists too mysterious to eat!!?

Chow-down!
Grub up!
and Enjoy.
Message: Posted by: george1953 (Jun 6, 2013 01:42PM)
Here in Spain it is the norm to be expected to eat at the venue, especially if its a communion. I no longer accept communions as they never run on time, its always 2.00 star and then they don't even arrive from the church until 3.00, then they will happily sit down for the meal, which could take upto 2 hours, then you are supposed to perform, when you point out that you were booked for 2.00 they will just say oh these things never run on time. I never do them now as a bookiing that should have taken 2 hours takes up to six or seven instead.
Message: Posted by: John C (Jun 6, 2013 02:10PM)
So George, how do you feel about communions?
Message: Posted by: Macphail (Jun 6, 2013 02:48PM)
It's an interesting dilemma and these comments are very thought provoking. I think a hard and fast rule will likely not serve us well as performers--there are always exceptions.
Message: Posted by: TonyB2009 (Jun 6, 2013 03:52PM)
George, communions in Ireland have to run on time, because I do four to six of them in a day. So I cannot afford to allow delays. Occasionally they will tell me that they are going to eat first, but when I tell them I will still be leaving at four thirty and they will be paying the full fee, they normally adjust their plans to suit my schedule!
Message: Posted by: Steve Suss (Jun 6, 2013 07:18PM)
No. I would be burping all through the show.
Message: Posted by: George Hunter (Jun 6, 2013 08:12PM)
We are all wired differently. I do more speaking and lecturing than performing, but I cannot function at my best in any of those three roles on an empty stomach. Sure, feed me; but probably no dessert.


George
Message: Posted by: David Parr (Jun 7, 2013 06:49PM)
I never accept the invitation. I don't want to be placed in the role of a guest at the event. I'm not a guest. I want people to understand that I'm there to work, to do my job, not to load up on champagne and canapés. Being vegan provides me with a ready excuse if the client presses the issue.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jun 7, 2013 06:55PM)
I never want to be seen by or mingle with an audience prior to a show. When I'm introduced that's when they meet me for the first time. When I come on stage and say that we've never met or spoken before the show, I'm speaking the truth.

After the show, I'll mingle.
Message: Posted by: Jerskin (Jun 7, 2013 07:40PM)
Didn't know communions used entertainment-must be a European thing.

I never eat with the guest. Plus, your pants get wrinkled sitting and you might spill something on yourself.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Jun 8, 2013 12:51AM)
If I eat, I eat after the show. :)
Message: Posted by: Rodney Palmer (Jun 9, 2013 12:00AM)
I never eat before the show. If I am asked to Dine with them after the show and I do not have anywhere else to go then I will sit down with them. This Humanizes me with my Clients and their Friends. And sometimes it even gets me a booking. I always want my Clients to know that I am not above them I am equal to them. Most of my clients really like if I spend a few minutes with them or even an hour as that makes them comfortable and in that type of situation I have met some really good very wealthy people. And I have had them call me to hire me as they stated I seemed to be genuine and a real person who has a Professional Act but can still mingle with the crowd and it very approachable.

Rodney
Message: Posted by: mrunge (Jun 9, 2013 12:36AM)
I would decline by saying I have already made plans for dinner afterwards, and leave it at that. The plans I might have made could be the drive through at the local fast food joint. The details of the "plans" I've already made aren't important and I don't have to explain myself. "Thank you, but no thank you, I have a previously scheduled appointment to attend."

You might also say you have a date afterwards...maybe it's a date with your wife, significant other or even a quiet night at home with your dog, cat, fish or even yourself on the couch!! :napping:

Mark.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Jun 9, 2013 04:01AM)
[quote]
On 2013-06-09 01:00, Rodney Palmer wrote:
I never eat before the show. If I am asked to Dine with them after the show and I do not have anywhere else to go then I will sit down with them. This Humanizes me with my Clients and their Friends. And sometimes it even gets me a booking. I always want my Clients to know that I am not above them I am equal to them. Most of my clients really like if I spend a few minutes with them or even an hour as that makes them comfortable and in that type of situation I have met some really good very wealthy people. And I have had them call me to hire me as they stated I seemed to be genuine and a real person who has a Professional Act but can still mingle with the crowd and it very approachable.

Rodney
[/quote]

I like that, your whole mindset and approach. :)

Nice.
Message: Posted by: Christophercarter (Jun 9, 2013 10:10AM)
A marketing expert once explained to me that the invitation to eat with a client is never about the food. It's an invitation to form interpersonal bonds and cement relationships. He explained that by declining the invitation I could be percieved as shunning that relationship, and at best I would be turning down a golden opportunity to network. So I took his advice to heart, and now I always eat with the client, specifically at the table with the owner or higher level of executives of the company.

The difference has been astonishing. It was quite simply the most powerful marketing advice I have ever recieved. You will never have a better opportunity to find out what a client's additional needs are than during this pre-show conversation, nor will you ever have a better opportunity to paint a picture of what else you can do for that client. And the best part is it you're never selling anything. All you're doing is saying yes to a buyer's request to get to know you better.

Now that I realize what that invitation was really about as well as the huge amount of business I was effectively turning away by turning it down, I've become a bit of a preacher for the concept of "Never Eat Alone" (which, btw, is the title of an excellent book on networking.)
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Jun 9, 2013 10:23AM)
[quote]
On 2013-06-09 11:10, Christophercarter wrote:
A marketing expert once explained to me that the invitation to eat with a client is never about the food. It's an invitation to form interpersonal bonds and cement relationships. He explained that by declining the invitation I could be percieved as shunning that relationship, and at best I would be turning down a golden opportunity to network. So I took his advice to heart, and now I always eat with the client, specifically at the table with the owner or higher level of executives of the company.

The difference has been astonishing. It was quite simply the most powerful marketing advice I have ever recieved. You will never have a better opportunity to find out what a client's additional needs are than during this pre-show conversation, nor will you ever have a better opportunity to paint a picture of what else you can do for that client. And the best part is it you're never selling anything. All you're doing is saying yes to a buyer's request to get to know you better.

Now that I realize what that invitation was really about as well as the huge amount of business I was effectively turning away by turning it down, I've become a bit of a preacher for the concept of "Never Eat Alone" (which, btw, is the title of an excellent book on networking.)
[/quote]

Great advice. Thanks. :)
Message: Posted by: innercirclewannabe (Jun 9, 2013 11:13AM)
[quote]
On 2013-06-07 20:40, Jerskin wrote:
Didn't know communions used entertainment-must be a European thing.

I never eat with the guest. Plus, your pants get wrinkled sitting and you might spill something on yourself.
[/quote]

Thankfully it is no longer a somber affair with men in black dresses telling us how to behave!

I also try to avoid the audience prior to performing. Afterwards I have a chat with them if they want, and it tends to help with my BOR sales! ;)
Message: Posted by: Chris Cheong (Jun 9, 2013 11:39AM)
Never eat BEFORE a show. Because:

Burping is not cool on stage.

It happen to me twice many years ago and I learned.
Message: Posted by: jamiesalinas (Jun 9, 2013 12:44PM)
As you can see...it depends upon the performer. For me, if it is not a corporate event and is in a home, I will take a plate to go if they insist I have some food. This can sometimes be prepared\made by the host and they are proud of their cooking. I will take it to go because "I have another show and I will have to leave right after my performance and before my show, I must prepare for the show." If the food is great, you can enjoy it after your show. I have found they will often pack a large plate with extra food as they often will have extra food.

If it is a corporate event and I do have time, I have found that by dining with my customer allows me to create a relationship that has allowed me to have a lot of repeat business. Often, I will have performed prior to dinner during the cocktail hour and will have met many of the guests. I will be seated at the VIP table often with the CEO and top executives of the company. I will ask questions about them and what they do. Of course I am very interested and impressed! I will usually excuse myself when dessert is served to prepare for the show as most of my performances are after dinner shows.

If you do dine with your customer, eat slow, be VERY carful not do drip anything on you, do not eat all of your food so that you are not feeling full and sluggish during your show. My corporate shows often take place in a hotel where everyone is staying. After my show, I will pack up, head to my room, take a quick shower and head to the bar in another suit. This allows me to get feedback from the guests and I will often have a drink or two with the CEO\boss or person who hired me. There will never be more than two drinks. Again, I am working on relationships here. Many of my customers have been customers for over twenty years. I get a lot of repeat business so this definitely works for me.

What works for me may not work for you. I know some will disagree with me while others will fully agree with what I do. To me, if your customer insists that you do after you have politely declined, I think you should take the food either to go or have a small something.

Jamie
Message: Posted by: david12345 (Jun 9, 2013 07:40PM)
[quote]
On 2013-06-09 11:10, Christophercarter wrote:
A marketing expert once explained to me that the invitation to eat with a client is never about the food. It's an invitation to form interpersonal bonds and cement relationships. He explained that by declining the invitation I could be percieved as shunning that relationship, and at best I would be turning down a golden opportunity to network. So I took his advice to heart, and now I always eat with the client, specifically at the table with the owner or higher level of executives of the company.

The difference has been astonishing. It was quite simply the most powerful marketing advice I have ever recieved. You will never have a better opportunity to find out what a client's additional needs are than during this pre-show conversation, nor will you ever have a better opportunity to paint a picture of what else you can do for that client. And the best part is it you're never selling anything. All you're doing is saying yes to a buyer's request to get to know you better.

Now that I realize what that invitation was really about as well as the huge amount of business I was effectively turning away by turning it down, I've become a bit of a preacher for the concept of "Never Eat Alone" (which, btw, is the title of an excellent book on networking.)


[/quote]

Interesting pov
Message: Posted by: jamiesalinas (Jun 9, 2013 11:00PM)
I missed Chris' posting that confirms what works for me. Also please note my drink or two at the bar with the CEO/boss. This is exactly the way to build relationships! If you don't drink, you could always order coffee or tea.

Jamie
Message: Posted by: ThatsJustWrong! (Jun 10, 2013 09:55AM)
I like to keep my distance and establish an air of mystery before the show. I don't find it necessary to reveal that my digestive system is a Lovecraftian nightmare that belches noxious gas and likes to vacate itself at inopportune times but, yeah, that's part of it. Another factor is that, despite my girth, I really can't eat much and it can be more insulting to pick at a hostess's cooking in front of her guests than to avoid the meal altogether. I usually explain to the host that it's important that we build relationships during the show but we need to begin as 'strangers' to make that more effective. The exception to this rule is corporate work where a bite beforehand with the Big Cheese is a networking opportunity but I still have to be cautious of what I eat lest there be impromptu intermissions.

After the show, it's the opposite. I seek out my volunteers to thank them, shake babies and kiss hands, and hawk my BOR. I'm Mr. Available though, by that time, people have gotten to know me and are usually filing restraining orders. If I'm offered a plate to take home, I'm always gracious. If it's a rare ethnic delicacy involving tongues and reproductive parts, well hell, I have four dogs and a herd of cats at home. Courtesy is a currency in our business and, as pros, we're supposed to know how to use that to our advantage.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Jun 10, 2013 10:31AM)
My situation was different. It was a small party, with hors...hors deu...hors-awww, APPETIZERS! Oh yeah. I scarfed. I was hungry. Bad one. Something..."weren't good". About five minutes into my peformance, I felt it. Uh, oh. I just rushed to the bathroom. It was VIOLENT. Not puking. The other end. The noise could be heard, and I heard the laughing.

That party is still known today as the "Splat Fest". 'Nuff said! :eek:

Doug