That’s Not a Problem – Dealing with Problems at Shows

One of the techniques I use when I’m working at events is having the attitude that nothing is a problem. Sometimes it’s just a small switch in the mental thinking that something isn’t a problem, sometimes it will be demands put on you by the client, and other times it’s actually being able to solve the issue so it’s no longer a problem.

  • There’s going to be audience members sitting at bad angles for the show? Not a problem.
  • The show needs to start later than expected? Not a problem.
  • There’s another performer going on stage immediately following you so the stage needs to be cleared quickly? Not a problem
  • The show is going to be outside instead of inside? Not a problem.
  • The power went out in the venue? Not a problem.
  • That one kid won’t sit down? Not a problem.
  • Nobody was hired to run the rented sound system? Not a problem!

Inevitably there’s going to be things that go wrong and other challenges whenever you’re performing at an event. And as a professional entertainer you need to be able to deal with any difficulties that arise. What separates the amateurs from the professionals is being able to confidently deal with these problems and put the client’s mind at ease. Ideally the client shouldn’t even know that there were any challenges in the first place.

Sometimes these situations are going to be less than ideal, but with the proper knowledge, experience, and preparation I would say that almost all of these problems can be solved. You need to be able to anticipate these challenges by being prepared with additional props, routines, equipment, and knowledge.

I don’t think that there’s any way for me to teach someone how to be able to do this. It’s just something you’re going to have to figure out through experience. But what I can try to explain is that it’s all about a confident attitude you project to your client once you have the experience. I believe that after a while problems that an amateur would have at an event are invisible to the seasoned professional because it all becomes automatic and second nature. You’ll find that with experience you’ll be able to anticipate challenges that an event might have even before you arrive.

The truth is that the show itself is only a very small piece of the puzzle. By being low-maintenance in the eyes of the client it makes your services more desirable. You become a PLEASURE to work with when you can consistently over deliver on your promises to deliver a quality show. I believe that if you put in the hours, put in the work, the results will show. You’ll end up providing higher quality services to your clients so you can keep your schedule full year round. So get out there and perform, perform, perform because there’s no shortcut for experience.