Being a professional entertainer can be frustrating, especially when the shows are not coming in. Either it means the show that is being sold simply is not good enough; or more commonly, no one is aware of what is being offered. Over the five years that I've performed professionally, I've been faced with this problem or no one knowing what I did. However, there are ways to solve this. I've mentioned a few other ways in different essays I've written, but here are a couple more that I've had quite a bit of success with recently.
A resource that many performers over look is http://www.craigslist.org/about/sites
. I'm not talking about putting an ad in Craigslist (which isn't a bad idea anyway, since it is free), but actually going to the gigs section and seeing what is available. Many companies put out opportunities that are well worth looking into, and they list them in the gigs section. Personally, I've been booked for numerous shows by simply replying to one of these ads. Not all of them have been in my state, but for someone like me, who enjoys traveling, it is no problem to look at different states and see what is posted for them as well.
Another good free site is http://www.gatheringguide.com/
. For this one, you actually put a free listing on the site. You can also upgrade to a Gold package. I've had the free account for a couple of years now, and it has sent about half a dozen shows my way a year. So it is definitely worth setting up.
My favorite though has been http://www.gigmasters.com/
. This one does cost. However, it pays for itself usually within the first show. For me, it has been wonderful. If used correctly, it will bring in a good number of shows.
In addition to these sources though, cities always have local guides as well. If one would search the newspaper, or online calendars, there are many possibilities for shows. I've consulted my local community calendars when I have dates available that I want filled. It takes a little searching, and sometimes a lot of calling, but it ends up paying in the end.