Archive for December, 2014

What the Heck is a Tech Rider?

December 9, 2014 Comments Off on What the Heck is a Tech Rider? Uncategorized

What the heck is a tech rider? Why should you have one? When do you trot it out? So many good questions! Oh my.

What the Heck is a Tech Rider?

A tech rider is a detailed list of requirements for your performance. They cover two areas: hospitality and technical needs. Now, let’s be honest – none of us are going to be demanding much “hospitality” beyond water and maybe meals (“I want 1000 green M&M’s and two cuddly puppies prior to every show!”), so let’s focus on the technical aspects.

It’s helpful to have two versions of your rider – the quick n’dirty version that you give to agents and performing companies, and the three page one you give to venues or clients when you’re booking directly with them.

  • Quick n’Dirty – If every performer for every event gave me a four page tech rider, I would keel over dead. If you’re dealing with companies that hire circus performers often, send them the bare bones. Examples:
    • Ariana Aerialist – I need an overhead anchor rated for a minimum of 5000 lbs of dynamic weight, at least 18 feet of height, a clear floor (no people, chairs, tables, etc), a minimum of three feet between my point and the lip of a stage, and 20+ minutes between sets.
    • Giovanni German Wheel Artist – I need a clear, relatively smooth, dry floor, a minimum of 20 x 25 feet of performance space, 2-4 “minders” at room entry points to ensure that audience members remain clear of the performance area, and at least 20 minutes to space the act. It is also very important that I be able to check the placement of the lights and cords.
  • Full Rider – If you’re dealing directly with a client or venue, or a company who is new to booking circus acts, it’s time to trot out the full version. Include everything – and I mean everything. Spell out your overhead anchor requirements, height, floor space, dressing room, EVERYTHING. Don’t worry that you’ll forget something – your rider is a fluid, living document – you’ll add to it a hundred times as you figure out what you need.


Why Should You Have One?

Your full rider should be an integral part of your contract. Clients often believe we are superhuman, or can’t imagine why a 125 lb girl can’t hang on a 200 lb point (it holds 200 lbs!). If it’s spelled out on paper, they’ve signed it, and they can’t/don’t/won’t honor it, you’re protected. It also gives them a clear understanding of all your performance needs, and what they need to do to make that happen for you. Everyone wins!

So, don’t be shy! Spell it out. Be clear on your performance parameters, and go forth and be fabulous! Dare to imagine, Laura

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