Damn Good Advice

Way back in October my buddy Mickey O’Connor recommended the book Damn Good Advice. I ordered it on Amazon and read it on the a flight recently.

damn good advice (for people with talent) by george lois

This book is written by a graphic designer and the advice is really tailored to that industry, however a lot applies to being a performer. This book is an easy read and is broken down into 120 suggestions.

One of the take aways for me is to be willing to walk away from things that aren’t a good fit. For example, I don’t perform in costume for events. It’s not a hard rule and if it’s something simple like it’s a “red” themed event and I have something that fits no problem. However if it’s something like a superhero event and they want me to wear a cape, it’s a hard no…unless they’re will to pay a crap ton of money for me to wear it. My character doesn’t work in most costumes and I know that. By performing in a costume I’m doing a disservice to the client and myself. It’s a no win.

When someone brings in headline entertainment for their event, and asks them to change how they do things, it will effect the quality of the product. Sure you can practice and rehearse with the changes, but there’s no guarantee it will make the product as good as what is before the changes. Also it add a lot more time to practice and rehears, which adds cost and 99% of the time the buyer doesn’t want to pay more for a lesser product.

When you’re starting out as a performer it’s important to say YES to everything to gain experience. However as you become more experienced it’s OK to say NO.


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