My doctor gave me six months to live. When I couldn’t pay, he gave me six more months. ~ Henny Youngman
I have recently started to manage Heather’s comedy careeer.￼ She did a show recently and since it was a benefit, we offered to do it for free. The guy called and demanded that we except money for the performance. I sent him an invoice and waited patiently, then impatiently after my emails began to be ignored. We finally got the check yesterday, a full month after the show.
It’s not totally rare to get stiffed by someone who booked you for a gig. It doesn’t happen often but when it does it drives me crazy. If someone hires someone￼ to entertain at their event, the performer should be paid the￼ night of the performance.
I’ve been stiffed a few times, but that’s not too bad considering the number of shows I’ve done. I once performed in a synagogue, which was quite unusual but a lot of fun. All of the comedians were given a check by the promoter and every single one of them bounced. We could never get her to pay, so we just decided to let it go. I hate chasing money.￼￼
Another time I had been booked for two Christmas parties on the same night. Heather was supposed to perform with me but she couldn’t get out from our house because the highway￼ was closed. Unfortunately there were several fatal accidents and it was going to be many hours before it was cleared out. ￼
I made it to the first show and did an hour of stand up. When I was ready to leave to get to the other show the guy only paid me half of what he was supposed to because Heather was also booked. I explained the circumstances but he was livid because he said he paid for two comedians. He did not. He paid for 45 minutes of comedy and he got an hour. I couldn’t stay and argue with him because I needed to get to the other show. Well, as they say, that’s showbiz.￼￼