Thursday, February 28, 2008

Club Etiquette in SL


You've all heard me mention a few times that I DJ at some clubs on Second Life. Even some of our fellow Mean Girls have been (or still are) DJ's at a few spots on SL. Along with DJ's, many clubs also offer Hosts and Dancers (exotic and non-exotic) to help broaden your overall experience.

Let's take each role one by one to further explain what they do.

Dancers

As I said, some clubs have exotic dancers while others do not. Exotic dancers are self-explanatory. They provide exquisite eye-candy for patrons and remove items of clothing (often with lusciously written text to follow) in response to how many and often they receive tips.

Okay so then what is the purpose of non-exotic dancers? More often than not they still dress very sexy to get your attention, but their clothes do come off (unless they choose to). They still serve a purpose of greeting new guests as they arrive, mingling... and in general providing a fun atmosphere for everyone.

Seems like an easy job being a dancer, right? Not necessarily. Male dancers, on average, earn less than female dancers. Also, if a dancer doesn't respond to patrons or are generally not enthusiastic he or she could miss out on tips.

Hosts

If you prefer to do a little more than shakin' your groove thang, then you may want to be a Host at a club. Dancers often assist the Host in greeting arriving patrons and making them feel welcome, though hosts have many other responsibilities as well. Hosts also...

- Keep guests informed of the current contest/party event
- Remind patrons who the DJ and Dancers are during the event
- Tell guests about certain vendors in the mall areas
- Keep track of contest boards and/or votes in IMs during the event
- Overall keep a watchful eye on the floor and any patrons who may become troublesome over the course of the event
- Hand out prize money at the end of an event (if the contest board doesn't do so already).

In reality, a Host is the 'Mother Hen' of the floor. It's not an easy job by any means... but can be very rewarding to those who master this fine art.

DJ's

Unless you plan to have a radio playing 24/7 at your club, you're gonna need DJ's. Being a DJ is a bit more than just playing a bunch of songs for 2 hours.

There's a few simple rules for DJing:

1) Respect the club's musical preferences
2) If a guest asks for a request (and it doesn't break Rule #1) you try to get it for him or her as quickly as possible.
3) If you cannot find the requested song, ask the guest if he or she has an alternative choice.
4) You have the right to say no to a request if it is either offensive or breaks Rule #1.
5) Be enthusiastic on the microphone! If you're having fun, then it'll inspire everyone else to have fun.
6) Assist the Host in giving out information about the club and event in-between songs.

Now some clubs are bit more lenient than others as far as music, requests, and using a mic, but these rules give you a general idea.

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Now I didn't just type all this out to remind club employees about things they already know. I've typed all this out so that guests can understand how much hard work truly goes into providing the perfect club atmosphere.

Respect is a two-way thing...

If your DJ gets your request on the very next song without question. If your host greets you within seconds of entering the front door. If your dancer swerves, sways, and generally makes all the right moves. If they all work together in harmony to give you a thoroughly enjoyable experience...

PLEASE show them the same respect and TIP! Don't be a Schmuck.

13 comments:

Thema Felix said...

Yep. Also, depending on the budget of the club, many hosts (like myself) don't get paid above tips. So if you see 2 hours go by and you're enjoying yourself, don't forget the people who help make it a fun experience! Cheers!

Vivianne Draper said...

Also....

If you want to hear your music played, go be a DJ. One or two requests are fine. More than that is disrespectful.

Jhuzen Ketsugo said...

Not sure I would call a non-tipper a Schmuck, but that's just me... I understand that there are newer players without linden balances, but I do appreciate a thank-you and I do expect them to remember me and come back to my club again, and tip me when they are able.

@ Vivianne: I do so agree with you about the "Request-O-Matic" Guests, who us you as their personal juke-box, you wanna yell at them and say... "Dude, you wanna hear a list of all your songs? Get an i-Pod!". I also know that as the DJ you tend to be the most accesible person in the club, they think because they have heard your voice (as opposed to the host & dancers) that they know you and they forget that you are working and seem to want to start personal conversations during your set... it is so difficult for me to shut people down sometimes.

I host too, and it is so much more than blurting out scripted dialog, you really have to be a part of the conversation and keep it going, you are basically a cheer leader for the club, it is rough work. Dancers need to remember that going AFK or failing to respond to tips is the number one reason a guest leaves or fails to continue tipping, there is an art to the tease, and saying "ty for the tip" aint gonna cut it, you have to emote a little, and make the guests feel special without being too saccarine. TY for this post... Yer not so Mean after all! ;P

Rykk Ferraris said...

As far as non-tippers being schmucks: most definitely. It's not the amount of the tip, so much as the thought, and the appreciation shown, that counts. At some of the busier clubs, I'll have 90 minutes of requests in a 2-hour set. If your request is more than 2 songs back in the queue, I'll leave the IM window open, tell you where it is on the list, and shoot a quick "up next" when appropriate.

I'm there to play what you want to hear (within limitations of club genre, etc). Other DJs come to the sets & play "stump the DJ". All in good fun, of course. The bigger the crowd, the more fun I have, and in turn the more fun patrons have. And I also tip my hosts & dancers, because they are part of the show's success. Without them, I couldn't do my job as effectively. When I'm visiting a club, I tip generously as well. I can't stand the sight of an empty tip jar.

I have noticed that male dancers tend to make fewer tips than female dancers...even when most of the patrons are female avies...hmmmm.

One of the more recent career decisions I've made is to set a minimum appearance fee. That way, if the club fails to draw a crowd, or the patrons are on the cheap side, I'm still compensated for my efforts. At a busy club, I still make 2 or 3 times this fee in tips, however.

Club owners see no problem in paying appearance fees for live musicians, but many balk at paying for DJs. I see it this way: I play twice as long, or longer. I spend over $200US a month on music, have to keep my computer upgraded, etc. and on top of that, I do requests. Asking for a couple bucks for my time is reasonable.

I try to provide a memorable listening experience each & every set, no matter if I'm sick, tired, pissed off, or whatever....none of that ever comes over the mic if I can help it. So if you're enjoying yourself, toss a few lindens my way & let me know. And if there's anything you want to hear, let me know & I'll slide it in for ya!!

Vivianne Draper said...

I have stopped working for free except for private parties for friends birthdays and the like. I wish more DJs would do this. I spend hours every week finding music, paying for it, adjusting playlists and the like and its way more than just slapping music together (although I can do that). If they can pay live musicians they can bloody well pay me or they can turn on the radio. I wish more DJs had this attitude.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this information! As a novice to the world of SL clubs I wonder if I can press you to answer a question I have about tipping? I have very limited funds to use in SL and while it's nice to give 'whatever you can' I don't want to insult anyone by giving a ridiculously low amount. What is considered average? I can't tell you how many times I've been exploring, found a wonderful place and then left what would have been a perfectly fun time because I don't know the answer to that question and/or I just don't have any Lindens in the ol' coffer. Some of us "Schmucks" aren't bad people, just not sure what the protocol is.

Buckaroo Mu said...

Anonymous: in general, a L$1 tip is an insult. Anything else is highly appreciated - if all you can spare L$10, it really is the thought that counts - it tells us that you're listening to the music, and appreciate what we're doing.

I also appreciate the distinction between "exotic" dancers and "regular" dancers. At my old club, we had dancers - but they were more like professional guests who sometimes got naked. The good ones were, anyway. We had a strict no-overt-public-chat rule for our dancers - it was more burlesque than lapdance. If you wanted to get graphic, do it in IM.

I wish everyone in SL would read this guide. The times I've heard people bitching about the host or DJ reminding people to tip - in most cases, it's about all the money those folks are going to make. And most dancers and hosts, and some DJs, have a percentage of their tips taken by the house, so they make even less than you think.

♪ Guenevere ♪ said...

As far as folks who are "Request-o-Matics" I've started a policy where I'll play up to 3 of their requests and then no more unless they tip.

As buckaroo said, even a $10L tip shows that you appreciate what the staff has done. I've even had guests say that they wish they could offer more but didn't have the funds.

We all understand that newer Avatars don't have a lot of Lindens just yet. Even a simple "Thanks for being a great club!" is better than nothing. :-)

Trinity said...

@Vivianne Agreed on both counts!

Ajay said...

I know this is late, but I'm seconding the comment on the minimum tip being about $L10. I host in SL, and have some regulars who tip $100 per visit, and a few who go way above and beyond the call of duty on the tipping... but those are the exception rather than the rule.

Really, like I mention to folks who are all worried about not having much in the way of a linden balance, just show us your appreciation, say thanks, and so forth. I'm a total sucker for a pat on the back :)

Anonymous said...

Can I dont tip the DJ? I dont switch on the sound speaker and I dont request for songs (since I cant hear anyway).

I dont allow streaming of music in sl cos i am worried about lag since my computer is quite old.

Anonymous said...

I started as dancer, and one day a customer that eventually became a boyfriend confessed he camped hours for the only 10 lindens he had given me during those days. It brought me tears to my eyes.

But it was back then, years ago. On days where the Casinos existed and the economy of SL was decent. We could camp or dance for the money and those who can't put real life money in SL could earn a little money.

Now we're all poorer than ever. Those days and that boyfriend are long gone.

I became Host, and later on, DJ.

As DJ, I get tired of people that never tip or say "if you play this I will tip you". My tip jar is there, I am totally against people yelling "show linden love", but unless I receive a tip BEFORE, I am not taking requests because I have tier to pay and can't bring money from real life.

When I go to clubs, the one thing I hate is to hear the DJ talking on the mic. I am there to hear music, not drivel. If I want to hear conversation I go talk with RL Neighbors. I don't use a mic when I work, and in my leisure time, I don't go to place where DJs talk. I want music, not someone's annoying talk.

Lil

johnny said...

Lil, bad for u don't talk during your set. I don't mean u have to talk all the time ^___^ lols I mean inbetween songs. I have lots of DJs as my friends...and all of them "talk". As a visitor i go to the clubs (actually to the particular DJ's performance) to the clubs where the DJs made their "talk" a real ART! I'm fond of their ability to mix together what's going on in chat with the next song and make a little performance (usually it appears to be funny or sexy or else that make people have fun with you and your music). My...very good friend who opened for me DJ's life in SL also tald everyone that he is not using voice during set, that he is there bcz of the music not voice. That was before he met me. I managed to ask him into try to talk...then he got new job in a great club, and his voice makes it overcrouded! He is really sounds awesome! *i think right now he has his fanclub already*lols

As for male dancers...i'm totaly agree! I am a male dancer...and there are some days i get 0(!!!)L. We really get less (even if it's a gay clab).

I just think how much i have to spend to make my shape, skin, cloths, some specisl dances/or chimera really great (and spend not only money but time too, for inventing new emotes that won't be just *thnx for tip* or "too much" for guests). It's really hard job to chat with almost everybody, greet new once (and as i do - greet them on the language they speak, if i know what language it is), make party be fun and make great atmosphere for everyone
, cheer up hosts, DJs, guests...and not to BREAK STRICT RULES of the club.
And still can earn nothing for the whole evening((( *that's why i'm usually that schmuck w/o money*

But now i know that even 10L is a great way to show u like that ^^.
(that happened today: i earned just 20L for the whole evening...but i really like the host and DJ of that club...and sent them everything i got. These 20L wont help me if i need 3000L for new outfit or smth else...but they show that i like the club and DJ ^^)