I hope you’re ready for a fun time with my guest, Amanda McDaniel! Amanda is the co-owner of Friendly Farmer’s Barnyard Review, a music, magic, and comedy production. Amanda and I performed next to each other for a couple of years, and I’ll always think of her as someone whose stories WILL make you laugh. Join me to hear more of Amanda’s crazy story!
What you’ll hear in this episode:
- Amanda describes herself as a variety show entertainer who also owns a production company.
- She books variety entertainers for special events, spends four months each year as a fair entertainer, and has spent about ten years in the fair industry.
- She and her performing partner, Zakari Asiago, developed the idea of the farm-themed show.
- She and Zak are married, but NOT to each other! They are good friends who travel and perform together and are co-owners of the show.
- Although Amanda went to school to be a teacher, she has always loved the technical aspects of theater and started performing at a young age.
- While working at a fire department for 14 years, Amanda used her clown act to teach about fire safety, but she never dreamed of using her entertainment talent to generate an income!
- When she started doing paid entertainment at kids’ parties, she felt empowered and fulfilled.
- The thing she enjoys most about entertaining is being on stage, playing a character, and interacting with kids.
- The biggest struggle in the entertainment lifestyle is being away from home, away from her husband, and from her elderly parents.
- Amanda, a relative newcomer to the fair industry, estimates that it provides 75% of her income.
- Amanda likes the fact that there is a clear off-season during spring and summer, when she can work at resorts near her home.
- She shares her worst gig experience about being in the magician’s box when a severe thunderstorm hit in Hickory, NC.
- A big frustration for Amanda is agents who are unfair and charge more than the agreed-upon rate.
- Her advice for young entertainers? Put your show together and perform locally—A LOT! Talk to others in the fair industry, gather information, and ask questions. Be flexible and don’t undersell yourself. Don’t roll out your show until it’s a complete quality product. Be professional and be impressive.
- Common mistakes made by entertainers are being too demanding of fair managers and having a generally “crappy” attitude.
- Remember that everything is about relationships, especially between performers and fair managers.
- For more information, visit http://www.barnyardreview.wordpress.com and join the Tailgate Entertainer Facebook group!