I am a professional opera crossover singer and tailor bespoke entertainment packages for Weddings and Corporate Events. I have in the last two years been asked by a good handful of Charities to perform at their events! Of-course when I mention payment, they reiterate the fact that it is a Charity Event and that there is only a minimal or no budget for the event and performers won’t be paid. As “compensation” they highlight that the event is very high profile, at prestigious locations and will be attended by high profile and leading figures of society which would be great for my resume and great for exposure and possibly securing future bookings! I have even been offered ‘to put my name in the programme’ as added value to my services and exposure.
When I try to negotiate with the Charity Event organisers, on matters such as fees, and suggest the kind of exposure that would be suitable to such a high profile event (eg. My picture and profile listing on their website for the event and any advertising material, plus coverage (listing) with the magazine or paper covering the event and any other arranged press coverage to maximise on my “exposure” as offered) I never hear from them again!
I love helping Charities and doing Charity Events, and I totally understand the predicament of this situation. But, if I do not receive payment for my work which I rely upon like everyone else, which Charity will support me? I am not a big star with a disposable income. I am a jobbing Singer! They wouldn’t dare have asked the Catering Company to feed over 2000 guests for no pay, so why do they find it acceptable to even ask this of Musicians/Singers/Entertainers and play on our Charitable heart strings?