The Art of the Advance
By Tammy Brackett
“Going on stage sounds like one thing, but really it’s ten thousand things.” Comedian Steven Wright.
The show is booked, posters and handbills are in the mail and you've created an event on face book and tweeted about your upcoming appearance. You've received a media list from the venue and are actively in touch with reporters and writers for interviews and you’re contacting local radio about scheduling in studio performances or recording station ID bites to promote your show. Good job!
Three to four weeks from your date, call the talent buyer and review the details of your show. This is called advancing the show. It’s best to create a document template and type in info as you’re talking to the buyer on the phone. Make a hard copy of your advance document and put the sheet in the tour vehicle.
Your advance document should have the following information: Date of show, date show was booked and with whom, name and address of venue, venue website, phone number, booking contact with cell number and email address, hours of venue operation, manager on duty day of show with cell and email address, load in time (arrival on site), load in details (front door, back door, stairs, freight elevator), and parking (on street, in lot, behind club, garage, etc).
It’s also wise to find out about what type stage you’re performing on (corner, elevated, outdoor, indoor), details about dressing room (green room, hallway, broom closet) and when sound check will be. You’ll also want to know who the tech is and if he or she needs a copy in advance of your stage plot.
Other essential details are door time, ticket price, Showtime, set lengths, closing time, curfew, opening acts and start times for them, capacity of the venue, accommodation info and room confirmation numbers.
You’ll want to review the venue’s food and tab policies, discuss guarantees and percentages, and who will pay you and how you’ll be compensated (check, cash, check and cash, etc).
Advancing gigs alleviates stress and shows professionalism. An advance usually takes ten minutes to complete and is well worth the effort.
-Tammy Brackett owns Moonstruck Promotions and specializes in writing bios, articles and press releases for bands and businesses. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org