2/13/20

How Does a Talent Booking Agency Work?


Talent booking agency is an important part of the entertainment industry. Booking agencies serve as the bridge between performers and venues, two vastly different worlds. However, despite their prominent role, few people seem to know what a booking agency actually does. These agencies serve multiple roles and are vital to the entertainment industry’s growth and success. So why are booking agencies so important?

Photo Credit:  Pixabay

Scouting


Scouting and discovering talent is a major part of what a talent booking agency does. First, a booking agency must look for potential acts that they can represent and find work for. This means that a booking agency must comb through countless entertainers and acts just to find high-quality ones to represent. In addition, it also means that a booking agency must be a good judge of talent or else they’ll fail in their goal. Booking agencies must also scout out venues as well, as their clients will need venues to perform at. Finding the right venue that provides maximum visibility for your clients while also earning them the most pay is a vital part of a booking agency’s job. Before a booking agency can even get into all of the aspects of its job, a lot of prep work and scouting must be done.


Connecting


The next step of a booking agency’s job is to connect their clients with venues. Booking agencies need to have the judgment to determine which of their clients best fits the venues that the agency scouted. Being able to properly connect the right clients with the right venues has a major impact on how successful your clients will be. A band may be extremely talented, but if they don’t perform in the right environment or in front of the right crowd, then their chances of success could be diminished. As a result, it’s up to the booking agency to put their client’s in the best possible position and give them their best shot at success. This can be done by properly identifying each clients target market and connecting the client with a venue that is a hotspot for that demographic.


Negotiating


One of the most important aspects of a booking agency is the negotiations you will have to take part in. A booking agency will work with both the client and the venue in order to construct a performance agreement. You will have to help the two sides draw up a contract and get through various hurdles that could stall negotiations. These hurdles could include topics such as money, time of performance, fees, security, advertising, and promotions. As you can see, these are all things that are extremely important to a client’s success. As a result, a booking agency’s negotiating skills are a huge factor in how successful a client is at earning money and building their brand. A good talent booking agency will negotiate better deals for their clients, deals that will pay their clients more money and will get the venue to build the band’s brand through advertising and promotions. A bad agency that isn’t very good at negotiating could cost their client lots of money in contract talks, so this is a very important part of the entertainment industry.


Maintaining


After the deal is negotiated, a booking agency’s job still isn’t finished. Rarely are things that easy in the entertainment industry, and booking agencies are often the ones required to clean up the mess. There are a wide variety of problems that could arise from a performance contract. For example, some venues have been known to try to rip performers off, paying them less than what was agreed upon or nothing at all. A venue may also breach contract in other areas such as failing to execute on promotions or providing inadequate equipment or stages. As a booking agency, you can help ensure that the contract between your client and the venue is followed and everything that was agreed upon actually happens. This includes ensuring that your clients get paid and that they receive all the help that was promised to them. Many venues may try to take advantage of performers, it’s up to you to protect them.

Restaurant Review: Ringside Cafe in Columbus Ohio


When I was in college, I landed an engineering internship in Columbus--and during our first team outing, the first thing that my boss said to us was that she and her husband loved Columbus. It was a great place to raise a family because there were so many things to do and a never-ending supply of restaurants. We have lived in/around the city for nearly 20 years now--and we are still discovering restaurants and hidden gems at every opportunity. This weekend--we took a trip "downtown" for a Saturday night dinner as a family (which is becoming harder and harder to schedule with teenagers). Ringside Cafe was on our must-visit list. What did we think of this downtown Columbus find?

Before we dive into the details of our outing--let me tell you about Ringside Cafe

Ringside Cafe & Its History. I LOVE. LOVE. LOVE going to any establishment keeping bits of local history alive, and Ringside Cafe is keeping up quite the legacy in serving from its doors in downtown Columbus. Ringside Cafe has been a part of downtown Columbus since 1897. Its back-alley location in the middle of Pearl Alley makes it a bit hard to find--but adds well to its 1897 character. Once known as The Rathskeller Cafe (with the name still etched over the doorway)--this space has long been a gathering place for locals, downtown workers, politicians, and those venturing to the local theaters and downtown activities.


Given the location--steps from the Statehouse in a city with city, county, and state government mingling in the downtown area--it is easy to see how the establishment would see its share of political influencers dining. My favorite aspect of the building is its stained glass windows (one depicting a donkey and another an elephant.) The story says that in those days past--the restaurant would light a candle for visitors to know which political party was taking up residence for the evening to hash out politics over some dinner and drinks! They would place a candle behind the appropriate window to "warn" others of the political party of the evening. Since the early '90s, however, the place has shifted slightly from the political front and has opted to appeal to the boxing fans (or the prizefighter fans as my Grandpa would have preferred).


Today, visitors to the Ringside Cafe will still find those stained glass windows and The Rathskeller Cafe etched over the door with some original details--but will also be treated to a historical boxing lesson as well. From the murals outside to the boxing decor and the black and white replayed matches shown on the television over the bar to the aptly named burgers on the restaurant's menu--the ringside cafe has transitioned from the political ring to the boxing ring.

Okay--So, What did we think of the Ringside Cafe in Columbus, Ohio?

Getting There and Parking. This place was probably excellent in the early 1900s--with most of the patrons walking in for dinner or drinks. Today--its location may present some challenges. If you know where Pearl Alley is (maybe you go for the farmer's markets...or you spend time downtown.)--you probably have a plan for parking. If you don't--your GPS is going to drag you down a couple of narrow one-way streets (currently construction ridden) and say "You Are Here"....and you can't park...and you may not know where you are...or if you are THERE because the Ringside Cafe isn't so easy to see in the dark!

SO. Do some quick mapping, a little research, and plan your parking. We lucked out and parked just around the corner on Gay Street in front of Pub Mahone--but, this followed a couple of minutes of "This isn't it--did you see it?" and "It's here--we just have to park and walk and find it." In the rain. And the Dark.

Walking Into Ringside Cafe. I love walking into historical buildings and seeing the remnants of floors and ceilings and fixtures from a time gone by. We were greeted immediately and shown to a table--though I expect that there may be a wait at times during lunch and dinner rush hours. The dining area is small (though I understand there is a private area available for those wishing to reserve a party or larger group outing)--and the booths could be a bit snug-fitting for larger diners. There are a few tables for larger parties--but those may be at a premium during busier times.

How was the Food?

Okay-in reality--we all go out to eat for the food. The Ringside Cafe claims to have fantastic burgers. What did we think of the food at The Ringside Cafe?

The The “Duran” Cajun Bleu Burger



The Duran was a ½ lb beef patty with Bleu Cheese Crumbles, Grilled Red Onions & Smoked Bacon. I ordered it cooked medium-well, and it was cooked mostly though without any charring. I subbed onion rings for the house chips. The portions are pretty big--and without a knife and fork--it took a minute or two to figure out how to eat this burger "gracefully". I finally forgot grace and took a bite! I really liked it. It wasn't saucy and messy--just a burger loaded with bacon strips onion and bleu cheese. The onion rings were good--but I did find myself stealing some of the house chips from my daughters' plates throughout the meal!

The Haymaker Jalapeno Burger



My husband was undecided between this burger and the one that I chose--but picked this one. He ordered his "medium"--and it was pretty rare. I think he was expecting it to be medium-well. He generally orders medium rare for steaks--so it was okay for him--but, I would verify with the server to make sure you get what you want in the done-ness. He opted for fries--and we all stole those from his plate. I would definitely order fries next time.

The Buffalo Chicken Sandwich




This one was a little messy--and was in keeping with the size of the burgers. Our youngest ordered it with the house chips and could only eat half the sandwich. We helped with her house chips!

The Club Sandwich




Our middle one ordered the Club Sandwich with just lettuce and house chips--and it was a hit for her. She ate the whole sandwich--but did share the house chips!

While we did have some drinks (I had a Rhinegeist Swizzle)--I failed to make a note of my husband's IPA draft. He liked it--and had two--but--beyond Fury in the title...we were at a loss later in the evening for either the brewer or the IPA's name!

No dessert options on the menu--but we were all too stuffed to think about that anyway.

Would I Recommend Ringside Cafe in Columbus, Ohio? I really liked it. I loved the history and architecture of the building, I loved the themed elements, I loved the small space, and I enjoyed the food. The server was friendly, the atmosphere was relaxed--and I will definitely look to return when we are out and about in the neighborhood. Parking can be a little tough--but it is not impossible. You may have a bit of walk--but, map it out and look for parking in the block surrounding the cafe. If you are already downtown and parked for a show at one of the local theaters, I would definitely stop in for dinner before or after the show--and it would be the perfect spot for lunch after visiting the Pearl Alley farmer's market or a tour of the State House.


Learn More About Ringside Cafe 
Website
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We were not compensated in any way for this review--we just wanted to share our experiences with a local restaurant!  If you have a favorite restaurant or activity that you think we should know about in Columbus or in your corner of the world--email us


Ringside Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

2/11/20

Make Them Stare With Improved Curb Appeal


You may have noticed as you drive through your neighborhood that there are those homes that you don’t bother to take a second look at and those that make you want to pull over and take a photo. You can turn your home into one of the latter by making a few changes to your existing landscaping. If you are at a loss to know where to start, here are a few simple tips.

Think First Impressions

You may not realize it, but the front of your home that can be seen from the street is considered part of the curb appeal. Do a good power wash on the entire façade. Paint the exterior if paintable. You may want to consider painting any brick as well - a more updated look than brick, especially in an older home. Choose a color that looks well with your roof and is different from the homes on either side.

Trim Bushes and Trees

Bushes that have overgrown should be trimmed. A window or other architectural element that is partially or completely covered by bushes and cannot be seen is not as appealing and can make the home seem smaller. Likewise, trees that have an unpleasant or incongruous shape, or that partially obscure the front of the home, should be trimmed by Rock Tree Services if they live in the service area.

Work on the Lawn

Treat your lawn to rid it of broadleaf weeds, clover or grubs. Nothing spoils the look of a beautiful lawn more than big white patches or stretches of messy dandelions. Add nutrients such as nitrogen and fertilizer to help build strong roots, thicken it up and develop a rich green color. Make sure to give the lawn regular watering just before sunrise when the cells of the grass are more open and receptive to the water. Watering during the heat of the day can cause the grass to burn.

Add Flowers and Plants

Choose a mixture of lovely green leafy plants, such as hosta and a variety of colors of blooming plants as well. Stagger the heights of the plants and add leaves with lots of texture. Zinnias hold their blooms and for a long time and continue blooming from summer through fall. They make a tall back edge and show off a blooming border of myrtle or marigolds.

Finish up with a few decorative touches like new light fixtures on the porch or updated shutters. With all the improvements, you will give the whole place a well-deserved facelift. Before you know it, the person stopping to take photos may just be yourself!

2/7/20

5 fabulous things to do in Mallorca


Mallorca, located in the Mediterranean, is the largest island in the Balearics and is a very popular tourist destination. Mallorca enjoys hot and dry summers, but in the winter months, it can be fairly cold and wet. There are many places to explore and visit in Mallorca depending on the type of thing you are interested in. Here are 5 fabulous things to do in Mallorca.
Photo Credit

Mallorcan Wine tours

There are many incredible vineyards on the island of Mallorca and more than 70 wineries, and so it's not surprising that there are many wine tours available to excite your palette. You will learn about the techniques used by the local winemakers, take a tour around the wineries and get to sample many of the wines that are produced. You may also be offered Mallorcan snacks that complement the flavor of the wine.

Yacht charters

There are many yacht charters in Mallorca which can be booked for differing timescales. If you are an experienced sailor or just love being on the water, you will love this experience. If you want to spend a few days, or even the duration of your holiday, at sea but are not comfortable taking charge, you can hire a skipper to accompany you. It’s a lovely and very peaceful way to see the island and its surrounding areas.

The Caves of Drach

Situated on the outskirts of Porto Cristo on the east coast of the island, the Caves of Drach (also known as the dragon caves) have been a popular tourist attraction for decades and are nothing short of stunning. The Caves of Drach, which contain a large underground lake, consist of four adjoining great caves which expand around 4km in length and to a depth of around 25m. Whilst being led through the caves, you will be told about its history and can enjoy a live classical concert at the end. It is a stunning and very moving tour and one you are sure to remember.

Tour the island

What better way to explore this beautiful island than hiring a car. There are many hire car outlets on the island so you won’t have any trouble finding a vehicle to suit. Mallorca’s roads are in the main excellent, but there are a few roads that may have your hair standing on end, so its best to avoid those! There are gas stations in most major towns and cities, but if you intend driving off the beaten track, make sure you do so with a full tank of fuel.

La Reserva Nature Park
Located in Puigpnyet in the southwest of the island and around 17km from Palma is La Reserva wildlife refuge. Offering beautiful views of the Mallorcan mountains, you can walk around the forests and see birds of prey and lots of animals who, for various reasons, could not be re-introduced to their natural habitat. If you are feeling particularly adventurous, why not have a go on the longest zip line in Mallorca whilst you are there.


Must-See Sights in New Orleans


New Orleans is attracting an increasing number of visitors, with the latest statistics revealing that 51.3 million headed to the city in 2018, another record year for tourism reports NewOrleans.com. It's really no surprise with so many things to see and do in the Big Easy - whether you're planning to visit to tour the New Orleans houses for sale or just to take advantage of its wealth of delights, be sure to put these must-see sights on your itinerary. 
Photo Credit

The French Quarter

The birthplace of New Orleans, the French Quarter is where the city was founded back in 1718. While many of its original buildings were destroyed in fires during the late 18th-century, the architecture you'll see today is magnificent, reflecting its diverse history with a mix of French Creole, Spanish, and Greek Revival styles. Many elements, like the vibrant colors, were influenced by the Caribbean region. Be sure to visit Jackson Square and capture a selfie with

the statue of Andrew Jackson on his horse while the grand St. Louis Cathedral serves as the backdrop.

City Park

City Park is spread across 1,300 acres of land and is one of the oldest urban parks in the nation. It's a great place to stroll with picturesque walking paths and lovely oak trees as well as being home to multiple attractions like an amusement park and several gardens, the Botanical Garden, Carousel Gardens and Besthoff Sculpture Garden and Botanical Garden.

The Cemeteries

While visiting a cemetery might sound like a very bizarre idea, in New Orleans they are a fascinating attraction, different from most others. That's because burying the dead in a city located below sea level is a problem here. The solution was entombing those who passed in elaborate marble chambers above ground. The result is cemeteries that are hauntingly beautiful and historic. You can wander through to discover tombs of famous figures like voodoo queen Marie Laveau and the plots purchased by Nicholas Cage in advance. St. Louis Cemetery can be explored on a tour, while Lafayette Cemetery can be visited on your own for free.

The Mansions and Homes in the Garden District

Taking a stroll through the Garden District brings the opportunity to marvel at some of the city's most stunning historic homes and mansions, with styles that range from Greek revival and Gothic to classically southern. It's the most prestigious neighborhood in New Orleans, with price tags of around several million dollars for many of these magnificent residences. It's bordered by Magazine Street and Saint Charles, First and Toledano, beginning as a plantation that was divided and sold into lots that were developed around the middle of the 19th-century. Be sure to bring your camera for the many great photo-ops.

Longue View House and Gardens

This popular attraction is an historic estate with eight acres of beautiful gardens, including an interactive Discover Garden for kids and a house museum. Visitors can tour the house for a unique glimpse into the lives of the rich and famous in New Orleans during the 1930s and '40s. The Drawing Room once played host to celebrities and VIPs from Eleanor Roosevelt, John and Robert Kennedy, to Jack Benny.

2/3/20

Working from home: creating the perfect environment


Whether you are working solidly for ten hours a day or you are a part-time worker, having a fantastic environment in which to work from home is important. Continue reading for our advice on how to create the perfect one for you.
Where will you work?

It is imperative that you are able to separate work from home. Finding an effective place from which to work can be tricky though and no one wants to be trapped in a pokey box room for hours day after day. It certainly isn’t conducive to efficient working. However, if that is the only room in which you can possibly work, that might have to do. For those of you lucky enough to have extensive outdoor space, installing a home office in the garden would be an excellent idea. Doing so means that you can work in a professional space without the usual home distractions. Having a purpose-built space also gives you the freedom to choose the design and layout much more easily than adapting an existing room or area.

What furniture will you choose?

Having a desk, for the vast majority of people who work from home, is a necessity. Choosing one that is right for you can take a little while. Commonly, nowadays, more and more people are opting for a design of a desk which rises and falls, allowing for standing up to work. It is a fantastic way to prevent back troubles and certainly an option to be explored in more depth. Likewise, a chair that is well-suited to you is also a vital consideration. If you are sitting for extended periods of time, a supportive chair is a must. Think also about where your printer and other electrical equipment will be housed. If you print a lot of documentation, will you also require a paper store? Many businesses, although largely paperless, still keep some paper documentation with personal information on. Investing in a lockable filing cabinet is advisable.

How will you decorate?

This might not be your primary concern, but at some point, you must consider decorating in order to add an aspect of calm and productivity to your environment. Keeping the walls neutral is a good idea, although a splash of color is not ill-thought-out. This could be done through some wall art or even motivational messages, which can be inspiring whilst working. Some people choose to adorn the walls with a water fountain, like one of these from Indoor Fountain Pros, as a way of adding some extra serenity to space. As well as the added extras, it is also very important to think about the lighting in your room. Natural light is much better for encouraging a positive mood. If natural light is impossible or hard to come by, especially in the darker winter months, consider investing in a lighting system that mimics natural light. It is also vital that you position any screen away from the lighting otherwise you will get an unpleasant glare.