So last weekend my fire troop performed at a heavy metal show. Since we performed early, a lot of folks missed it and asked us to spin again. When the band finished their set and started making announcements and giving shout-outs, I walked up to the stage and let the fellow know we'd be fire spinning out in the lot. He handed me the mic. I gave my name, my troops name, and invited everyone to come watch. Then I gave the fellow a a business card. As I walked away he makes a joke about sexy dancers ending in "fire crotch."
So I turned around and crowed real loud, "We're Incendio Fire Performers and that's NOT how we represent ourselves." I got a couple nods from gals standing near me in the crowd, but the guy didn't even seem to notice.
Same thing a couple weeks ago at a local festival. I introduced myself and my troop by name. Gave the MC a business card and asked if he'd give our troop (who had a booth set up) a shout out. EVERY time he suggested people "check out the hot hoop girls."
I handle myself as a professional. My troop was hired same as all the other performers at those events. I treat other performers with respect. I expect the same. I mean, theses guys don't announce bands as "Those sexy metal-heads" or "Let's give that strapping bassist a round of applauds." No. They USE THEIR NAMES. Just because I'm a woman and a dancer doesn't make me a sex object. In fact, I purposefully try to side-step the "hottie hooper" identity---not because I think there's anything wrong with it, but just because that's not who I am as a person and a performer.
I'm just soooo frustrated and wondering how much you folks deal with this BS. How do you respond and how do people respond to your requests for basic human dignity and professional respect?
Oh, how frustrating. They were very unprofessional.
If it's an announcer/MC or event official offending you, definitely say something. Maybe as explicity as you have here (the sexy metal heads and strapping bassist examples are nice and concrete) If it's another performer, especially if they are on stage in their persona, you're probably not going to get very far. Try chatting to them offstage and see if they will listen to you.
Alternately (since it is not always possible to change other people) practice letting go of your need for dignity and respect.
You bring up a good point about being in persona....especially related to the metal show--which was VERY testosterone driven.
And even more than it's about dignity and respect, it's also an issue of marketing. I'm trying to my troop's name out there, so I'd really appreciate it if folks would use our name rather than just a generic label. Though I still try to take it in stride.
Maybe you should make t-shirts or a poster with your name on it so when you perform people will just read it and absorb it that way... because a lot of people are attention deficit and are focused on their alcohol or cigarette or the hot metal singer guy...
Plus those guys are idiots anyway
Ugh how disrespectful! That generalization has seriously bothered me from the moment I picked up the hoop. Simply because I am moving my hips and other parts of my body in ways that could be considered "sensual" does not mean that I am a sex object and looking for that kind of attention. I do these things because they are fun and they bring me joy- the fact that other people enjoy the show is just an extra perk!
I seriously love the examples that you gave in reference to other performers- they really put the whole situation into perfect perspective! Good luck with your troupe- hopefully MCs will get their heads out of their arse some day!
Some jerkfaces just dont know how to behave themselves! I just dealt with the same disrespectful attitude at a performance i did this past weekend. A really good friend of mine wanted me to perforem at his bonfire birthday bash, I was extatic because i knew his birthdays always draw a huge crowed. This was one of the few times i got the nervous jitters right as i was about to perform. So cutting to the chase, the crowd was in awww! I was getting a lot of positive feedback from them, up until i slowed the pace and was doing a one handed isolation and this guy from the back of the crowd yells "DO IT WITH YOUR CLOTHES OFF!" This totally caught me off guard. I only had a spit second to think on how to react and i did and said the first thing that came to my mind. I vertical chest hooped closer to the crowd with my head facing them and yelled back "YOU do it with your clothes off!" Lets just say the audience all started cracking up and I didnt hear anything else from the heckler until awhile after the performance when he actually apologized about giving me a hard time and said hed never seen anything like this before in his life :)
Im glad i handled the situation as i did. The "party" atmosphere wasnt ruined by me yelling at the dude, and the performance went on without skipping a beat. Overall it was a good learning experience.
haha good job :) well handled.
UGH. good for you to stick up for yourself