and I try to encourage any act I think is good. Good acts generate their own market. Eventually the market they generate hires me, and vice versa.
Can I sidestep the agent, who referred you, to book you directly?
I like working with good agents. I'm happy to pay the 10-15% they earn by hiring me. Agents have work come across their desk that I would never see booking myself, and they also act as a filter, making sure the client will be happy with the acts they hire every year. Good acts, and good agencies, generate their own market, as I stated above. I operate on good faith with agents, directing leads from the shows they book for me back to them. I won't knowingly side-step an agent. There are† only a few I refuse to work for, and your chances of running across the dirty dozen are slim. Please, always tell me if you got my name through an agent.
Are the pictures you draw for sale? Can you do a portrait?† Will you make a custom artwork for me?
Yes, yes, and yes.†
Are you the guy who does the one man band routine at Seattle Center?
No, our styles are very different. His name is Francis Brennan, Contrapparatus, and he can be found here: http://www.reverbnation.com/onemanbandseattle
What are your technical requirements?
Corporate : The client needs to be sure that the audience will be able to see me, hear me and have no other distractions during the show.
The show should begin after dinner, dessert and any awards or announcements are completely through. There should not be any other events going on during the show. (Examples: ďcasino nightĒ tables/ display booths/ television sets, etc. should be shut down for the show.) Giving away raffle prizes or awards after the show is over is fine.
Stage set-up: Ideally a 16x16, or at least a 12x16w stage area with ten feet of headroom. The back of the stage area should be against the wall, not in the middle of the room.
I will happily consult with you and give a detailed description of how the room should be set, and how the event should be structured, to make the show and the entire evening a success.
Sound and lights:
For some corporate functions within driving distance (under 300 people) I am able to provide full sound and lights. I prefer to do this, if it is at all possible.
If I fly, the client must provide a front sound system (in-ceiling speakers will not be adequate) and front lights focused on the stage.
When using house sound, I bring a mic mixer to input my headset mic, guitar cable and CD player into the sound system with one cable. I need an XLR input (Thatís a regular microphone cable) into the sound board. I also need one open electrical outlet. If there is a full professional set-up with a sound man and multiple inputs, please call me for requirements.
Stage size questions?
In a banquet room, please put the 12x16w stage against a long wall of the room.
Some of the comedy club videos on this site were shot in comedy clubs with a 4x8 stage and a seven foot ceiling. (Smaller stage area† than your living room.)
I do sets at fairs and casinos using a six foot unicycle and ten foot tall stilt characters that require at minimum an 16X16 stage with at least ten feet of headroom.
Please contact me to discuss what routines would be most effective and appropriate for your venue, and I will give my recommendations for a stage size.
Q: Why† is eating dinner during a performance a bad idea, Eric? Isn't it like dinner theater?
A: At a hotel banquet room, the tables are usually large round tables that seat about 8 people. In order to eat, everyone has to sit facing their plate, which means half the audience has their back to the stage. People naturally talk to one another during dinner, which adds to the distraction. In addition, if you laugh with a mouth full of food, you may choke or spit it out, which is unpleasant.† In order to not choke, many people don't laugh, which makes it look and sound like the comedian is not doing his job. If all that weren't enough of a distraction,† the servers come by to collect the dinner plates and put dessert on the table.
The performance should start after dessert is served.
I wouldn't want any customer to waste their investment in entertainment when it is so easy to start the show just a few minutes later in order to be successful.†
Would you like to see an awesome one man band, and fellow native Montanan?
Erik "Fingers" Ray http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=21276442
If you were looking for the Seattle comedian, juggler, one man band, and stilt walker Eric Haines, but you misspelled my name Eric Haynes, Erik Hanes, Eric Hines, Eric Hainer, Eric Heinz, Eric Hays, Erik Hans or Eric Hayes, congratulations! You found me anyway.
Web site design and content © copyright Eric Haines 2008-2015 All Rights Reserved
Frequently Asked Questions
Will your act fit on my stage?
I adapt every show to fit the audience and the stage. I can work any size stage, but for the unicycle routine or comedy stilt routine please allow approx. 12 x 16 stage area.
Is your act clean enough for my corporate or business event?
Yes. Please discuss what you are interested in having me do. Do you want a show with late-night T.V. content, or a kidís show that is entertaining for adults? Tastes vary widely. If a client is offended by the Simpsons, I'll leave out my material that is social satire, even if it is considered clean by the general population. My nightclub act is considered network T.V. clean, but I adapt every show to fit the audience, whether itís an adults only audience or a kids show. Please read my referrals and quotes if you have questions.
Sure itís clean, but is your act funny enough for my comedy club?
Comedy comes firstĖ the variety is just a device to get to the funny stuff.
Do you do the six foot unicycle and stilts in every show?
No. On some stages there is not room.
Why donít you just do stand-up comedy?
My show is based upon my curiosity about all types of performing. I do stand-up, sing, dance, act, juggle, write songs, etc. and have a genuine love of entertaining people. I enjoy performing for all types of people, whether at a corporate party, a comedy club, a family-friendly stage at a fair, or a biker bar.
Can you provide sound and lights?
For private shows I often provide a sound system and lights. Please contact me well in advance to arrange this. If I need to fly to the event the client must provide adequate sound and lighting.
I have a company picnic at a park with all ages. Suggestions?
I would recommend a 45Ė minute comedy show, family-friendly, and strolling stilt characters afterward. Please contact me to discuss sound system arrangements for outdoor venues.
Why donít you post prices on your website?
I offer several different types of performances, packages/combinations of performances, and all are available in various lengths of time. I also cater each show to match the demographic, event size, and production support needed. Iíve developed a price sheet to help me determine what the cost of various packages are, and would be more than happy to quote a price once I know more about your event. Please call me or email me from my contact page.
Where did you get the monkey?
I carved him out of wood. Giuseppe took 2 weeks to design and build.
Where did you get the song/ background recording?
I write and record my own music. If I use a background track itís me playing the different instruments using a multi-track recorder.
What about the one man band/stilts/rocket/pterodactyl/Uncle Sam Hat/stilt pants/Jester outfit/ website?
I made them all from scratch.
I have a joke that I heard that would be good for you to use in your act.
No thank you. I write all my own jokes.
Do you go on the internet to get your jokes?
No, I write them myself.
Where do you get your props/costumes/ jokes?
Slow, are we? I write my own material (material means jokes, songs and patter) and build my own costumes, sets and props, except for factory-made juggling clubs and balls, and a few costumes that I have adapted.
Can I use your songs and jokes for my act?
No. write your own jokes.
Can I use your songs in my podcast?
If you call me and ask, Iíll probably let you use them for that. Just ask permission.
Would you create a custom song for me?
Yes, I sometimes write custom songs on commission. Just contact me to find out more.
Could you create a custom marionette/ vent figure for me?
Yes. Call me. Building is subject to my schedule.
You didnít buy the monkey at a store?
No, I carved him out of wood. Building and designing is a part of my creative process as much as writing material is. Everybody is a little obsessive/compulsive, this is just my area to be a control freak.
I want to be a comedianĖ my friends think Iím funny.
Not exactly a question, but I'll answer it anyway. Go to my News and Links page for resources about that.
Do you lip synch?
Whatís the hardest part about being a one man band?
Convincing television and rock concert sound people to run off the sound system that is ALREADY on board the one man band and ready to go, instead of a lousy lapel mic.
Gee, how come I always see the same routines here? Don't you write new material?
Yes, all the time. I keep routines here that are the most frequently requested, and are suitable to the widest tastes of people who might book me. I don't want to scare off a fair booking who might think I'd choose inappropriate "comedy club" material for their event, and I don't want to showcase bits just for kids and risk a corporate event thinking that I'm strictly a children's entertainer. The bits I've posted have been time-tested, and are generally suitable for practically any audience.
In 2010, one show I did was a two hour comedy show for a biker bar, and another was an hour show for a school assembly. These shows did not contain "filler" material.
To be honest, I also don't post much new material because material I've written in the past has been stolen and used by other acts. Stealing material is a big sin common among insecure old hacks or newbies. They often use the excuse "everything has all been done before, therefore your thought is unoriginal, therefore I will take it verbatim rather than risk failing with my own ideas."
I've done my best to generate unique material. If my stuff is similar to another act, it is accidental or unconscious.
†You must feel like you're competing with a lot of other performers, right?
Nope. If the acts are good, they generate more work for other good acts. Even if they do the same types of things I do, I never feel like I'm competing. I try to add something to make my stuff unique from everyone else,