Ask A Cabaret Question at McElrath Cabaret–A Reader’s Question–Join The Conversation!


Welcome to McElrath Cabaret–We hope you enjoy our cabaret blog!



Here is British chanteuse Barb Jungr, with a beautiful rendition of a song from her recent Bob Dylan cabaret show entitled “If Not For You”–enjoy!


Hello everyone, and happy 49th anniversary of Hello, Dolly! opening on Broadway today!  It’s been a crazy couple of days here.  My computer died, and we’ve spent a great deal of time running to a computer store, getting my hard drive cloned, and finally having to buy a new computer, but all is well and back together now!  Because of all this, we missed our regular Cabaret Tip Tuesday post yesterday, but we will be back with a tip for you next Tuesday.


Today’s cabaret question comes from a reader on the LinkedIn Cabaret group (–have you joined yet?  You should, and there’s a link at the bottom of this post!), and this person asked us:


 I was curious about how to book my show with venues who have not heard of me?


This is a great question, and here is my response:


 It would depend a bit on where you are in your cabaret career. If you have a big name and following in your area, just visit the club and give them your press kit and any recordings, and find out if they’d like to book you. If you’re starting out, we’ve had luck by going to a venue when they have a piano bar or open mic, and then getting up to sing. Ideally, you can time this so the booker of the room is present to hear you–you’ll have to do a little homework to find out who the booker is. If the audience likes you and the booker sees this, it will help you to get in. Unfortunately, we’ve also been in situations where new entertainers are allowed into showcase performances based on their ability to pay for associated lessons, etc. If you have the money, this is another way to get your foot in the door, however. You might also try to open up a new venue to offering cabaret–this is not so easy, but sometimes possible with a restaurant, a lounge, a hotel, perhaps a museum, library, theatre or another public venue ideally where food and drink are served, and another way to get your show in the venue. If you have money, you could consider renting a recital hall at a piano store, and having someone cater it for you, and then you charge tickets for your event, but you need a budget for something like this. You’d look for places that have the appropriate licensing (ASCAP and BMI are the 2 big ones) if you are performing copyrighted materials, and that have an audience you think you can work with to entertain them, even though they may not be familiar at the outset with cabaret entertainment. We have done this approach as well. Also, do what you can in advance to build your following. Anymore, a lot of venues expect you to bring your own audience in for them before they will consider booking you, and this is a big issue if you are just starting out. My best advice is to work some private events and build your email list from this. You can decide to work for pay and name your price, or you might consider being part of a benefit show, where you might not be paid cash but you would get good exposure–that can be just as worthwhile, and helps a good cause. It doesn’t happen overnight usually, but if you keep at it, you will get in where you’d like to play, so good luck and let us know how it goes for you!

So how about you?   Do you have a tip to share about booking your cabaret show at a venue that has not heard you before?  Let us know down in the comments!


You can also leave a comment on LinkedInGoogle+Facebook or Twitter.  And you can always feel free to drop us a line, either in the comments below or send us a direct email, and let us know a cabaret question that you would like us to ask, and we’ll do our best to include it in an upcoming Wednesday post.  


I truly look forward to your joining the conversation with your comments! We value each of our readers very much, and hope to entertain you and give you a place to come and learn more about cabaret.


If you like this post, you can Like us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter, and subscribe to our blog via email or RSS–thank you!  


We are now also on LinkedIn–which has a Cabaret group you should join (!)–and Google+.  You can connect with us there as well.


We appreciate your support!

Till next time, 

Weekly Post Lineup At McElrath Cabaret:

Tuesdays:  Cabaret Tip Tuesday

Wednesdays:  Ask A Cabaret Question

Fridays:  Cabaret Through Time

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About Athena at McElrath Cabaret

Athena McElrath is an entertainer with a love for theatre and singing. She enjoys delving in the area of historical cabaret, researching the singers and clubs that were in business from before 1920 to the present, in New York and beyond.
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