April 19


I Don’t Want to Be Exposed

By Celeste DeCamps

April 19, 2022

Art, EntertainmentIsAFullTimeJob, FindYourPassion, FollowYourOwnPath, Music, Self worth, WeNeedPerformers

"There Will Be Days of Doubt and Fear, but If We Can Persevere, We Will Find Success."

I love the idea of following your passion, working your dream, and believing that you can turn it into a prosperous living. Of course, the keyword here is prosperous. It's a noble cause if you want to be a doctor, lawyer, or plumber. But say you want to be a successful musician, dancer, or anything artistic, and now you're not being realistic. I don't understand the disconnect many people have regarding this lifestyle choice. We're not all cut out to work in an office or a courtroom. Yet, we admire those that have taken a leap of faith and worked hard on their skills to sell out arenas and create box office hits. These overnight successes result from years of practice and money invested in climbing to stardom. So, my question is, why are these performers regulated to having their fees constantly negotiated down or told they should take the job for free with the hope of exposure?

Planning an event, even a small one, takes considerable effort because people want their guests well fed and entertained. Creating lasting memories requires a reasonably large budget. Most people will not argue about the cost of place settings but will try to skimp on entertainment and photography. It's as if these artists should be happy to work at all, and it's their problem if they can't make a decent living at it. It's hard to know your value when people disagree with what you want to charge.

I want to know what company or store you can walk into and say, "Let me try your product for free, and if I like it, I promise to pay for it the next time; I'll even tell my friends about it. Yet, people are constantly offering that 'great exposure' to artists as if that is a deal they shouldn't pass up.

When I was belly dancing professionally, I had a set rate, and every time someone wanted to hire me, they would try to get me to come down on my price. They would tell me that other dancers charged less or that the people at the event would see me and want to hire me. It was ridiculous, but I would stand firm. I would tell them that I understood that they had a tight budget and should try the other dancers who were not as expensive. They would pretend to be offended and explain that they could well afford me and would engage me after all. It was a game that I became very good at. At the beginning of my dancing career, I made the mistake of lowering my price, thinking that I would be appreciated for working within their means. The opposite happened. I was treated poorly as if I held very little value. I realized that I had lost their respect by letting them negotiate my fee.

Everyone wants a good deal but telling someone what you think they should charge for their services is wrong. If you feel they are too expensive, find someone else to do your hair and makeup. Many performers understand they are taking a long and arduous journey to make ends meet, but their purpose in life will only be fulfilled by staying on this path. I think their efforts should be applauded instead of being asked constantly, "So, what's your real job?"

It's easy to say, "Find and follow your passion, and abundance will come." However, it takes effort, time, and money to make it happen. There will be days of doubt and fear, but if we can persevere, we will find success. It's not an easy road to take and certainly not for the faint-hearted. But, I want to encourage everyone walking on the tightrope without a net that it's always worth the effort no matter what. Learning new skills is never a waste of time.

If you're looking for a place to perform or want to try out that new recipe you've developed, I have a party next week. It will be an extraordinary chance to get exposure from my incredible, highly influential guests, whom I'm sure will gladly pay your fee for their next event. I promise.

About the author

Celeste DeCamps has a B.A. in Communications from the University of Miami. She worked in radio and television, was a professional belly dancer, drummer, percussionist, nightclub owner, and a sales rep for Southern Wine and Spirits for 12 years. Throughout her different career moves, speaking to and teaching women how to be more confident is Celeste's most fulfilling job.

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