[Callers] Scheduling/programmer Question

Woody Lane woody at woodylane.com
Thu Sep 12 12:37:49 PDT 2013

On 9/11/2013 5:57 PM, Linda Leslie wrote:
> I am very curious about how the programmers have decided to schedule
> in this way, Kalia. Did they get together and decide to do it this
> way, or did this just naturally happen? In the last few years, I have
> noted that it can be a real challenge to try and schedule gigs, since
> the time frame varies so significantly from dance to dance. A few
> dances, such as the Concord MA Scout House, follow the quarterly rule
> (with exceptions for traveling callers/bands from far away). But
> others seem to schedule up to a year (or more!) in advance. I would
> also enjoy knowing the thoughts of other callers on this subject.
> Thanks! Linda

Hi Linda,

In addition to calling, I've been programming the Eugene dance for more 
than 7 years, so I experience both sides of this issue. We have 2 dances 
each month from Sept through June. Which kind of corresponds to an 
academic year. I break this up into two parts -- Fall (Sept through Dec) 
and Spring (Jan through June). I begin booking the fall dances in April 
and May, usually done by the end of June. I begin booking the spring 
dances in Sept and October, usually done by mid-November. My MO is that 
I don't send out an all-points-alert for dates. I generally contact each 
caller and band individually for specific dates (or a wide or narrow 
choice of dates) -- at least for the initial dates I can fill. As Jim 
pointed out, I think that individual contact shows appreciation for 
individual skills and qualities whereas a broadcast does not. Contacting 
folks individually is more work, but it also allows us to visit about 
possible band-caller combinations and preferences that I may not know 
about. But in the end, if there are still open dates, then I will send a 
(relatively narrow) broadcast.

I have noticed that some other venues in Western Oregon have gone to 
filling their entire season (Sept through June) at one time. Those 
programmers contact folks in May for the entire following year. I think 
that is for the programmer's convenience, and also that they may be 
afraid that they won't get talent when they need it.

 From my perspective, as a caller, I am really reluctant to make a 
calling commitment a year in advance for a nearby community dance. Six 
months is no problem, but committing in May to calling a small community 
dance the following April -- I am not comfortable with that. Too many 
conflicts can arise, either in the dance/calling world or 
professionally, as I travel a lot for my work. True, I may miss some 
calling opportunities, but that can't be helped. (In contrast, I am not 
talking about caller/band tours which are often booked 8-12 months or 
more in advance.)

Woody Lane
Caller, Percussive Dancer
Roseburg, Oregon
voice: 541-440-1926 cell: 541-556-0054

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