In analyzing an investment, financial advisors often focus primarily on the yield; the income return on an investment, in the form of interest or dividends received from a security, bond, certificate of deposit, or other investment vehicle. Typically, yield is expressed as a percentage based on the investment’s cost, its current market value or its face value. Yield is tangible? the interest or dividend is received in the form of cash, check or a direct deposit. In looking at your mobile business, what is your yield? Unlike an investment in a security or bond, yield on an investment in the mobile trade might be a bit more nebulous, because payout is not measured in interest and dividends. When we track our business spending, in what ways can we view certain expenditures as investments? Rent, utilities, fuel, music, and cell phones are expenses for operating on a day-to-day basis. Simply, these payouts are the cost of doing business. However, when you purchase equipment or software, that may be considered an investment. For instance, when you elect to buy a game system to enter that interactive segment of the mobile entertainment market, the yield can be measured by the number of engagements performed with the system as either the prime or secondary draw. Engagements booked without using the game system are eliminated from that equation. Similarly, when you purchase video equipment to enhance your on-site presentation, you may be able to measure the yield based on the number of gigs booked because of the presence of the visual elements.
Yet with technology leveling the playing field and constantly changing the dynamics of the business, are video or software really an investments or, in the contemporary mobile world, just the costs of staying competitive of staying in business?
If asset purchases are merely the cost of staying competitive, is there an investment that can truly return a generous yield?
Timpani roll, Joe Cipriano cue: In a world where technology changes the game every hour, where clients may have equipment as good as a mobile entertainer, where the playing field is leveling every single day…the best investment you can make in the mobile entertainment world may be in? YOURSELF.
LIFE IS A CABARET
Consider this: The client isn’t renting the equipment; they are hiring YOU.
So what investments in yourself might offer the best yield?
Classes, workshops and performance experience in acting, voice, comedy, and dance will help you develop confidence that you can handle any situation, and provide you with more tools to offer your clients. Attendance, active participation, and attentive absorption at national workshops and conventions will enhance your ability to learn new games, enhance existing skills, identify current trends, and determine what personal areas require additional development. At the core of the business is entertainment. While “human jukeboxes” are still in demand, increasingly, clients harbor high expectations of the performance abilities of mobile entertainers. When a client can program an iPod and buy a couple of powered speakers to fill a room with music, or pipe in a satellite service, your basic skills package of vast musical knowledge and mixing skills may not provide a compelling enough picture.
GROWING YOUR PORTFOLIO
Acting: During an event, you may be called upon to play many roles, gracious host, energetic interactive performer, able dancer, skilled emcee. The key word here is “role.” That doesn’t mean you feign sincerity. Rather, you embrace the role and actualize the situation. Consider acting classes as a way to build your ability to interpret the various roles you must play at an event.
Learning how to project and employ your voice to indicate emotions, command attention and communicate effectively will be enhanced via acting classes. Check out your local community theater, recreation center or college for acting classes. Comedy: Charlie Chaplin once asserted, “All I need to make a comedy is a park, a policeman and a pretty girl.” Mobile entertainers sometimes work with quite a bit more material, but act with much less confidence. Comedy is about timing, relevant material, timing, delivery and timing.
In the mobile entertainment biz, successful comedic bits also encompass tastefulness, tact and client-centered preparation. Classes in improvisational and sketch comedy will help you develop a stronger sense of timing, character development, and appropriate material employment. Improv comedy also offers the benefit of learning to work within a team framework to optimize success. Check out your local weekly newspaper, the regional phone directory, search the web or quiz your local theater about comedy, particularly improvisational, classes.
Dance: No one is expecting a budding Fred Astaire to emerge from a mobile entertainer. But dance training will not only provide a potential additional skill to call upon, but also knowledge of the field will help with appropriate music programming, and your physical presence at an event. Posture can speak volumes to guests, and how you move around a floor can exude confidence, communicate indifference or impart disdain. Dance classes will help with posture, grace, footwork, physical presence and, perhaps, encourage you to effectively incorporate dance elements into your show. Increasing your yield in a very competitive mobile world may be daunting. Where best to invest? How about yourself?
You might be surprised at the yield! MB
Filed Under: Issue #140
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