Miss Glory Pearl has just written an insightful piece about ‘There’s no Such Thing as a Free Gig’ on the burlesque scene for 21st Century Burlesque and just dropped us a line, requesting our thoughts on the matter…
Miss Glory Pearl
It’s a tricky and thorny issue. And sadly, it’s not just related to the burlesque scene. We come from a ‘media agency’ background and the business model that worked two years ago, just doesn’t work in the same way anymore.
Thanks to the internet, everyone is an expert. And thanks to the recession, there’s always someone who’ll undercut you or not pay your bills. And thanks to an increased population, there’s even more competition than ever before.
We know that this is going on across the board. But while there are some businesses that are struggling or holding on at best, there are others that are thriving – the people who will succeed are the ones who discover what people will pay for.
It’s tough times out there and they’re forcing everyone to look at what they’re doing and give it up, reinvent it or look for different sources of income.
The ‘free’ model has no doubt became prevalent because of the internet, but in other businesses, people are offering ‘free’ content or work because it’s a lure to making money in other ways. Even TimeOut is going free to increase its circulation in a bid to harness more revenue from advertising. So literally everyone is changing their business models to adapt because the old rules have stopped working. It’s a sad reality.
So our answer? We don’t know. We’ve each got to find our own way to make sense of and work in the new economy. And we get that this is in no way easy when the business model is historically ‘sparkle and we’ll pay you’!!
But if you love what you do (like we do!), we hope to find a way whilst being supportive and respectful. We’re all in this together after all. What do you think? What’s your experience of working for free?
For more information on Miss Glory Pearl the check out her website MissGloryPearl.co.uk.
Enjoy more burlesque debates with In Defence of “Bad” Burlesque.
Burlexe is a sensational London burlesque show inspired by the women who created the genre and perform the art. It fuses burlesque performance with storytelling, dancing with acting.
Join us at the Burlexe show by booking your ticket.
(Image via John Fox)