I have been asked to do several comedy shows lately for different organizations. This is something that I should be happy about because it means that I am getting recognition. The thing about the shows that I have been getting, however, I have been asked to do them for free. As an artist I had mixed feelings about this. I felt like it cheapens my art, since people pay for any service or good that they receive and I felt like if I am not getting paid to do these shows they don’t recognize how valuable of a service I am providing. The first show I did was for a conference and I did not ask for money up front because I thought that it would be taboo and that the organization would just give all of their speakers an honorarium. The second show I was asked to do for free for an overnight camp. The camp was doing it in a huge venue and had sold out a venue of over 250 seats with tickets at $18 dollars a person. This seems like a lot of money and yet they were unwilling to give the performers a single dollar. Instead all of the money was going to subsidize camp fees for people who come from underprivileged homes.
This made me think, while that is great what is in it for me. Shameful thinking I know, but I see all of my comedian friends booking these lucrative shows which are paying them to take part in. On top of that, I am also creating a comedy show to create a dowry to support local artists on the Autistic Spectrum. For that show all of the other performers are getting paid except for myself. Therefore, I was kicking myself for setting it up that way.
When it hit me, sometimes in life you give and sometimes in life you receive. Even though sometimes its your turn to give twice in a row before it is your turn to receive. For example, with this overnight camp I can see it as doing it unpaid or I can look at it as it is performing for my biggest audience ever. In addition, they are giving me a table so that I can have a volunteer (once again I receive) sell tickets for my Rumors show and my fundraiser to raise Awareness through the Arts and create this grant program. A grant program that I will most likely apply to and receive a grant from. In addition, one of the people I am working with to create this fundraiser has contacts out in Saskatoon who can help me with their fringe by putting up posters. Then there is the fact that Aspergers Manitoba has agreed to pay for my Fringe Poster and handbills in exchange for putting their logo onto it. The camp show is also letting me build a regular following who will come out and support me for paid shows, when you really boil down to it, I am receiving a lot more than I am giving. Sure what I am receiving isn’t a tangible like money, but it is giving me untangibles such as advertising and in the long run I am coming out the real winner. A person should always give and not worry about what they receive because in turn they will have received more than they put out. That is also true of energy or anything else in life that you always receive more than you give. Therefore, if you whine that life is unfair or you or you are begrudging or stingy than you will in turn receive all of these things in turn. So give positivity and from an open heart and not worry about what is in it for you.