corporate entertainer & physical comedian 1
corporate entertainer & physical comedian 3  
corporate entertainer & physical comedian 4
corporate entertainer & physical comedian 5

How to book your own entertainment:

• 

what to expect from a professional entertainer

• 

8 steps to success


How to use an entertainment agency:

• 

the advantages

• 

what an agency charges

Vancouver Comedian and Top Corporate Entertainer       

He's an exciting juggler, an acrobat and one of the funniest, most versatile corporate entertainers and physical comedians working today. Rick Lewis has performed for a staggering range of dignitaries from Bill Gates to the Prime Minister of Canada. Rick is based in Vancouver but travels extensively to perform, and where ever he goes he receives rave reviews. For top corporate entertainment call Rick Lewis.


"The entire room was in tears with laughter. Very few comedians can captivate every single soul in the audience and keep the act tasteful and politically correct."

Mark Gajb
Corporation of the City of New Westminster - Read the Letter

 

Rick Lewis is a hit as a corporate entertainer for America's largest and most successful corporations

"Your antics as a waiter are being retold a thousand times over and everyone thoroughly enjoyed them."

Jack Koraleski
Executive Vice President, Marketing & Sales
Union Pacific Railroad - Read the Letter

Vancouver comedian Rick Lewis at a GE Plastics corporate event -

"My sincere thanks for the outstanding performance..."

D. Richard Pocock
General Manager
GE Plastics - Read the Letter

Vancouver entertainer and comedian Rick Lewis at an IBM Leasing corporate event -

"It was a true feat for you to energize and entertain a group of 200 sleepy business people first thing in the morning!"

Donna L. Lewis
Advisory Marketing Representative
IBM Leasing - Read the Letter

Vancouver comedian and entertainer Rick Lewis at a General Electric Company corporate event -

"You were a perfect close to our meeting."

Helen Casey
Manager, Marketing Programs
General Electric Company - Read the Letter

Rick on Purpose

"The purpose of my appearance at your event is to facilitate an extraordinary rapport between people who have gathered to celebrate their association with each other, to affirm their belief in your product, or to enhance their dedication to a common vision. My commitment is to deliver the essential information and spirit of your organization as well as provide unforgettable fun.

Whenever people gather together something very grand becomes possible. My aim is to realize that possibility at every event."

Friends & Planners

If you've enjoyed Rick's act in the past and want to let others know about his show, simply e-mail a copy of this site's URL - http://www.rickshow.com - to those you think might enjoy hearing about it. THANKS for spreading the news!

Industry Professionals

If you're an event or entertainment industry professional who'd like to introduce Rick's show to a client, have we got a marketing tool for you!

TopCorporateAct.com is a mirror copy of Rickshow.com except that it contains no links or contact information. You can e-mail the URL - http://www.topcorporateact.com to your clients without concern for loyalty issues. The contact fields within this site read, "To book Rick Lewis, obtain promotional materials or get more information, please contact the associate who referred you to this site."

Questions & Answers

What is Rick's background and training?
Can Rick customize his act?
What is included in Rick's rider?
What are Rick's technical requirements?
Does Rick offer any kind of guarantee?
How should Rick be introduced at our event?
What do I need to know about the Comedy Waiter routine?

What is Rick's background and training?

Rick began performing professionally at age eight, appearing in commercials on television and children's roles in professional dinner theater. Rick continued to work professionally in the entertainment industry until he was in his early twenties as an actor, dancer, acrobat, and musical theater performer. Rick then attended Webster University in St. Louis, Mo. where he received two years of intensive training in their renowned theater arts program. At 22 years of age Rick landed a role in the Broadway touring production of the hit musical Barnum which traveled internationally, playing in 70 cities over a nine-month period. Following that Rick decided to build his own solo physical comedy act for special events, blending together his experience in theater, training in circus arts and background in dance and athletics. The result is his completely unique entertainment act which, though it is ever evolving, he still performs today.

Can Rick customize his act?

Event Types
Rick has customized his presentation to many industries and environments. Rick can design his show to support the objectives or theme of your event. Including -

Award shows
Trade shows
Client parties
Employee events
Conferences
Celebrations
Christmas parties

Spaces

The finale' of Rick's show is a unicycle routine which ideally occurs on his twelve foot unicycle. A specially designed piece of equipment, Rick's unicycle is modular and may still be used in rooms without the requisite ceiling height for the twelve foot version. Ceiling clearance information is available in Rick's technical requirements below.

Undercover Video

Rick has filmed the comedy waiter portion of his act with a hidden camera, capturing the reactions of guests and delivering the footage to event organizers for use in video conference reviews or future promotion of events.

What is included in Rick's rider?

Travel and Accommodation

Client provides:

- Return airfare from Vancouver, B.C., Canada
- Ground transportation to meeting venue, and to and from accommodation if off-site.
- Accommodation for appropriate nights at performance venue or nearest suitable location. Non- smoking, King or Queen bed.
- Vegetarian meals or $50/day per diem.

What are Rick's technical requirements?

Client provides:

Spacing and Room Dimensions
- Minimum 8' 6" clear headroom required for 6ft. finale.
- Minimum 11' 6" clear headroom required for 9ft. finale.
- Minimum 14' 6" clear headroom required for 12ft. finale.

- A stage riser approximately 8' X 12' and not more than 18' high.
- If riser comes in sections these should be interlocking.

- A sufficient area in front of riser for Rick's finale unicycle routine:
- 8' X 10' for 6ft. unicycle finale.
- 10' X 14' for 9ft. unicycle finale.
- 18' X 20' for 12ft. unicycle finale.

Sound
A sound system including:
- Wireless lavaliere, lapel microphone (UHF if possible)
- Separate speakers (Not hotel house sound)
- RCA patch into sound system for mini-disc player
- Sound Technician on site during performance

Lighting
- Floor to ceiling general lighting wash or specials to allow Rick to be seen when on his twelve foot unicycle. (This puts his head at approximately 15 ft. high.)
- Any specials should be hung to left and right of performance area not directly in front.
- House lights should be brought to ¾ full during performance.

Costuming Requirements for Comedy Waiter
Client arranges with meeting venue to provide:
- Attire needed to match catering staff servicing the event - Sizes: Vest (L). Jacket (44)
- Rick will provide his own white shirt, black pants, black shoes and basic black bow tie.
- If a designer bow tie is required, this must be supplied by the client or catering department.
- A name tag with hotel or catering company logo if needed to match other staff

Does Rick offer any kind of guarantee?

After Rick performs at your event, if for any reason you are not thrilled with the results, you will not be obligated to pay the performance fee. Rick offers this guarantee as a gesture of confidence in his own product, reliability and dedication to providing an extraordinary entertainment experience.

How should Rick be introduced at our event?

If Rick is performing his Comedy Waiter routine in conjunction with your event, there is no need to introduce him. If Rick is only performing his Headline Comedy Act at your event the following introduction may be used in its entirety or modified as required.

"He's a juggler, an acrobat and one of the funniest most versatile physical comedians working today. He has performed for a staggering range of dignitaries all the way from Bill Gates to the Prime Minister of Canada. His comedy has had them gasping for air at conventions and festivals around the world, and tonight, he brings us his unique brand of humor. Ladies and gentleman, won't you please welcome the incredible Rick Lewis."

What do I need to know about the Comedy Waiter routine?

The Comedy Waiter routine works because it's a surprise. So don't tell anybody. The fewer the people who know the better.

Once Rick's staff is given the contact name for the catering company or in-house catering division, they will handle all communications necessary to brief the management on the routine and coordinate details with the on-site staff.

At the event itself Rick tailors the routine to the guests' needs, balancing his interactive entertainment with ample space for enjoyment of the dining experience.

How to Book Your Own Entertainment


What to Expect From a Professional Entertainer

       • They may require a deposit upon signing a contract for a performance date.

       • They will arrive on time (Don’t hesitate to ask for it in writing in the contract.)

       • They will be willing to forego the consumption of alcohol at the function.

       • They look professional and dress appropriate to the venue or theme.

       • They will provide you with up-to-date promotional material.

       • They will be able to identify their exact production requirements.

       • They will handle production and logistical details well in advance of the function, not at the last minute.

       • They will treat you and your guests respectfully.

       • They will not mingle, eat or drink with your guests unless specifically invited by the coordinator of the event.

       • They will facilitate the planning process by having questions for you.

       • They will not make unnecessary demands on the event planner or production team.

       • They will finish their performance on time if this agreed upon in advance.

       • They will provide two weeks notice prior to cancellation unless it is an unavoidable emergency.

       • They will help you find a replacement act if necessary.

       • They will want to be paid at the conclusion of their performance.

8 Steps to Success


            1. Research The Market
            2. Determine A Budget
            3. Check References
            4. Review Promotional Material
            5. Ask The Right Questions
            6. Sign A Contract
            7. Coordinate Production Requirements
            8. Support The Presentations

1. Research The Market

       Most people, when they think of hiring an entertainer for an event, will think of a band, DJ, or comedian — followed by anything they’ve been exposed to lately. The options in terms of entertainers available in the greater Vancouver area is quite astounding. If you do some looking around on the internet you are bound to get turned onto possibilities you’ve never considered in the realm of live entertainment and performance. Belly-dancing, physical comedy, accapella music, a hypnotist, a mentalist, roving variety acts, customized caricature drawings, musical murder mysteries, body art, moving sculptures — are just a few of the lesser utilized possibilities.

       There are many hidden gems, wonderful entertainers in the greater Vancouver area who are underexposed. This means that even if your guests get out a lot or attend many functions, hiring such an act will open up a new world that will delight your audience. People often see the same things over and over again and are simply thrilled when they get to be part of something that is new and different.

2. Determine a Budget

       The entertainment at a function is more pivotal to the success of the event than most other factors. An event is an experience, a lasting impression which carries either a positive, negative or neutral charge. Event attendees will remember what they felt while they were there, and the emotional flavor of their experience will color any memories they have about the function or its associated elements.

       A good entertainer has a much better shot at putting one of your guests in touch with feelings of delight, joy, power, elation, wonder, or excitement than the food (although food probably ranks close) or the lighting, or the décor, or the centerpieces, or the bar, or the scenery. Ideally all of these factors are tailored toward having an integrated impact which is favorable for the attendees of the event, but the right entertainment is arguably the most bang for your buck in terms of making an extraordinary impression.

3. Check References

       Its always wise to ask performers for recent references. Ask if you can call the individual or the contact identified at the company to inquire about their experience of that performer. If a performer does not have at least three or four glowing reference letters either available on their website, ready to fax, mail or courier to you right away, then move on. Any professional entertainer ought to be collecting such things and be sparking experiences with their audiences which generate positive, if not glowing, written responses.

       I would go so far as to recommend that the primary basis of making a decision about what entertainer to hire should be the experience of recent clients. The reason for this is that you can often view the promotional materials for an entertainer and either be impressed by the material and then disappointed with what you get, or unimpressed with the promotional material (which is simply poorly designed) and miss out on a wonderful act.

       Certain types of acts who work frequently, like some music groups, can be seen live in person at a public venue prior to making a decision about hiring them.

4. Review Promotional Material

       There are two things to consider here. The first thing is that any entertainer worth hiring should have ready for you to review-

       • recent letters of reference

       • photos and descriptions of their performance

       • a video, audio cassette or CD of their material

       • a website to which you can refer

       Unfortunately, there are some very worthwhile entertainers who do not have their “act together” in the promotional department, even though they would be well worth employing. This is why its worth relying heavily on client references in the decision making process.

       When you are looking at the performer's material you can ask yourself the following questions -

       • Do I feel excited by this performer?

       • Is the performance unique?

       • Is the performer evidently skilled in his or her craft?

       If you don’t get an immediate yes to at least one of these questions then take the tape out of the VCR and go on to the next act—hopefully you’ve at least a small stack of tapes to choose from.

       When reading the letters of reference or speaking directly to the entertainer's referrals try and get a sense of the type of audience the performer has been successful with in the past. A performer who can keep a room of elementary school children in rapt attention will not necessarily be able to translate this to a room full of business people, although that is more likely than the reverse.

       A performer’s promotional material may not be indicative of his or her performing talents, virtuosity as a musician, skill as a juggler, or talent as an actor or comedian. The material will, however, give you a sense of the performer's professionalism, attention to detail and ability to interface effectively with the production aspects of your event.

5. Ask the Right Questions

       Finding the right act or performing group for your event, whether it is music, comedy, environmental roving characters, or a celebrity to emcee your award ceremony, depends upon satisfying a number of crucial components.

       • Is the entertainer of high quality?

       • Is the entertainer suited to the audience?

       • Is the entertainer suited to the theme of the event or the venue?

       • Can the entertainer be adequately supported with his or her production needs?

       • Can you afford to hire the act?

       • Is the entertainer a team player?

       • Will the entertainer work well with the any other entertainment which might be at the event?

       • What are the entertainer’s production requirements and are these expenses included in the contract or will you be billed additionally for them, or even expected to provide them?

6. Sign a Contract

       Rarely, if ever, would it be a good idea to make an agreement with an entertainer without signing a contract. No matter how clear things may seem in a conversation with respect to the details of an event, it's imperative that your understanding be represented in writing. Anything other than that is a recipe for trouble.

       Questions to Ask Before Signing a Contract:

       • Will you provide your own transportation?

       • What are your production requirements?

       • What do you need me to provide at the production level?

       • What is your cancellation policy?

       • Do you require a deposit?

       • Do you require a change room?

       • What is in your rider?

       • Do you have liability insurance?

       Details Which Ought to be Stipulated in the Contract in addition to all of the above:

       • The name of the entertainer and the client making the agreement.

       • The client's contact information including phone, email and fax number.

       • The contract date.

       • The exact date and time frame of the function.

       • The exact venue of the function including address and phone number.

       • The client contact person or persons on site at the event for the entertainer.

       • The production contact person or persons on site, including phone numbers if possible.

       • The exact times at which the entertainer is expected to arrive on site, perform (including any breaks), and finish.

       • A description of the act which will be performed.

       • Any necessary rehearsal times or site inspections.

       • The mailing address of the hiring individual or company.

       • The billing address of the hiring individual or company if different from mailing address.

       • Whether or not the client will require a separate original or faxed invoice for accounting purposes.

       • The fee which the entertainer will be paid, including taxes, and when that fee will be paid. i.e.- any deposits, when they are due, and final payment and when it is due.

       • Who will provide the production requirements and what those requirements are.

       • Details of transportation and accommodation if the act is coming from out of town, including who is bearing the costs of these and how they will be billed.

       • The entertainer's contact information including mailing address if payment is to be sent by post, and work, home and cell phone numbers.

       • A cancellation agreement which stipulates the consequences of cancellation for both parties.

7. Coordinate Production Requirements

       Coordinating the details for a entertainer or entertainment group can range from being a no-brainer to being a nightmare. In general, the larger the performing group the more production and logistical support will be required to get them up and running.

       Things you can ask the entertainer to make the process go more smoothly:

       • Do you need a power supply and how much power do you need?

       • How much space do you need? Is a stage or riser required?

       • What will happen on the stage or riser? Acts which move (dancers, acrobats, some bands, some types of comedy and theater) require staging which is interlaced, meaning the platforms need to be interlocking or held together so that there are no gaps and discrepancies which might cause an accident or disruption of the performance.

       • Do you require any special lighting? Some performers require the specific placement of lighting since they are dependent upon visual contact with each other, with the audience or with their equipment. (Dancers and jugglers for example.)

       • What are your sound production needs? Some performers may supply their own equipment. Others may need to coordinate with your sound company, might require an on-site technician to run equipment or follow cues or may need to speak with the owner of the venue to work out compatibility with equipment hard-wired into the venue.

8. Support the Presentation

       Once you’ve made it this far in programming your own entertainment there is only one thing left to do — enjoy it. Try and handle all the previously outlined details well in advance of the function. If you do, chances are things will run smoothly. The last thing you want to do is be in a panic on site or have your entertainer in a panic, because supporting elements have not been properly supplied. Don’t spook or rattle the entertainers by expressing your fears, hesitations, misgivings and anxieties. Let them know that you are very glad they are performing, that you trust their ability to deliver their product and that you support them as a professional. This will help the entertainer or group to shine at their best

How to Use an Entertainment Agency

The Advantages

      An entertainment agency can save you a lot of time and energy, not to mention a potential disaster, by handling many of the details that have been discussed above seamlessly and responsibly.

       An entertainment agency typically has had repeated experiences with performers they supply to event planners and party planners. They already know who they can count on, which vancouver entertainer is trustworthy in the Vancouver market and who to avoid. Some entertainers are simply high maintenance, may create a distraction for organizers, clients and production staff, or simply cannot show up on time. Reliable entertainers, and there are many of them, take responsibility not only for their onstage product, but for their conduct off-stage and in the negotiating and planning stages of the event.

       If you are not accustomed to handling the retinue of details which accompany acts or groups that use lighting, sound, special effects, or have specific space requirements, it's easy to let some of the details fall through the cracks and be left with five minutes to go before the entertainment is supposed to begin and things are falling apart.

       Disruptions I have personally witnessed due to what seemed like minor oversights at the time include complete power failure in a hotel ballroom, no sound available for the emcee at a major fundraiser, an empty stage where there should have been an award winning dance team, missing accompaniment tapes for performing soloists, complete darkness on parts of a stage where key performers should be well lit and glaring gaps in between entertainment segments in a full evening of programming.

       Any agent who has been successful in the entertainment industry for a respectable time, (try to find one with at least ten and hopefully more years of experience in the Vancouver area) has a good sense of most of the venues in town. He or she will have programmed entertainment in many of the major hotels, will have some knowledge of hotel staff, the various ballrooms and facilities, and will be able to work more efficiently and effectively with production personnel than an individual with limited or no knowledge of the venue or the Vancouver special event industry.

       Typically, unless the act is a major headliner or there several acts performing for one event, an agent will not plan to be present on site during the actual function. If you feel like you need this or would like to have the agent present to follow through with the presentation and production details, then you may need to specify that in your contract with them. It will probably cost you a little extra and in some cases it’s well worth the extra money.

       The greatest benefit to having an agency handling your entertainment is that they have made more mistakes than you and, hopefully having learned from them, can avoid them in the future.

What an Agency Charges

      A standard mark-up on the cost of the actual entertainer when hiring through an agency is usually anywhere from 15% to 40% of the total amount you pay. This amount may vary with the amount of work required to find the act (i.e. a clown, vs. a six-toed ballerina from Kenya) and in contracting and programming it. It may be worth it to ask some simple questions of the agent which will give you a sense of their mark-up. The question is not, “What does the agent cost?”, but, “Is the cost of using the agent worth what is being offered in return?” The answer to that question is not availed through any kind of simple formula, since the value of using an agent will be represented by the combination of the entertainer’s needs, the agent’s skill in handling those needs, and how much you are needing the help.

 

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