How-To Information for Storytellers
Protect yourself. Draw up a written contract and have both parties sign and date it. Calling it a Performance Agreement will ease any anxiety over the word “contract.” Never rely on “verbal” agreements. Use one for every gig, no matter how informal.
A contract shows your professionalism to your clients, and helps to pre-empt potential pitfalls to a smooth-running gig. The more informal your gig, the more important it is to set out your requirements and what you are promising - this can avoid nightmare situations!
You can do this by e-mail. But many people feel safer US mailing two copies of the contract (both signed by you) to the client along with a self-addressed stamped envelope, requesting that the client sign one copy and return it to you.
Items to specify in your contract:
Put a copy of the signed hard agreement in your files, then carry it with you.
• Most clients appreciate the details that make it easier and a better situation for them.
• Make it simple. The easier you are to deal with, the more likely you will be rehired.
• If you talk with bookers or audience members about future bookings before or after a performance, keep track of these conversations in a special file and make follow-up contacts to confirm. Be sure to collect business cards or contact phone numbers or e-mail addresses for your file.
A comprehensive compilation of sample contracts may be found at: www.timsheppard.co.uk/story/articles/compil001.html
Harlynne Geisler includes a sample contract in her book Storytelling Professionally – The Nuts and Bolts of a Working Performer, available on at its publisher: Libraries Unlimited
Sample Contract that Kate Dudding uses: www.katedudding.com/contract-example.shtml
Sample Contract that Bob Shimer uses: www.drango.com/tips/contract.htm
|Copyright 2007 by Jackie Baldwin and Kathryn Eike Dudding. All Rights Reserved.|