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 Post subject: Bribes?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2022 9:28 pm 
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I seem to recall this subject being discussed here a few years ago, but it was brought to my attention again recently, and I'd like to get up-to-date opinions from members here.

Last Thursday evening we had our biggest attendance of the year with the following day being a holiday (Good Friday), and most folks not having to work in the morning. As we were approaching the end of night shut-down, and with several singers left in the rotation, I was approached by a young man, a twenty-something, who wanted to sing and was obviously "three sheets to the wind". I told him that there would be no time to get him in, whereupon he offered me $20 to "slip him in". When I told him I couldn't do that, he upped the ante to $50. He wasn't belligerent, but definitely surprised that I wouldn't accept what I consider to be a bribe.

My "regulars" know that I don't deviate from the posted rotation, but every once in a while someone thinks they can "game" the system... everything from "It's my birthday." to "I have to leave in ten minutes." to "You missed me." to "I'll buy you a drink." to "I'll show you my ta-tas." to various amounts of $$ incentives.

I made it my policy a long time ago that I wouldn't alienate those in the rotation by inserting someone before they would normally be positioned.

What is your policy? What "incentives" have you been offered, if any?

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 Post subject: Re: Bribes?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2022 3:47 pm 
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I let my software control the rotation for me. No amount of money will change the rotation.

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 Post subject: Re: Bribes?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2022 7:28 am 
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Unfortunately, many try to be selfish and steal the show by bribing the host. In southern Florida, it happens all the time, especially during tourist season. I make announcements during that time of year and let everyone know that trying to move yourself up in rotation will not happen under any circumstances, and yet, there's always some turd that comes up with a sweaty $20 dollar bill or more.

My regulars get a kick out of these jerkwads and appreciate me being fair and honest. It means alot to me and them both. On another note, over the years, I've had owners/managers of restaurants ask me to let their friends sing and when I tell them my policy some have been understanding and some not so much.

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 Post subject: Re: Bribes?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2022 11:43 pm 
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i will accept tips, but not bribes.
about 3 weeks ago i turned down $100 to make a new singer next and it blew his mind. i told him i had people waiting for over an hour and a half to sing and it would be really messed up to put a new person in before them, which he agreed with, then i told him not taking bribes is part of WHY it is such a long rotation.

once regulars see you get bribed, you are done. i love other hosts taking bribes, it always sends more people to my shows when they take them.

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 Post subject: Re: Bribes?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2022 11:28 pm 
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since you asked...

y'all gonna continue to hate me, for the way i personally ruin karaoke in some ways for others, but y'all realized early that i'm cut from a different karaoke cloth from the rest of y'all

believe it or not, i don't take bribes. and i don't have a tip jar. i do take tips if folks give 'em, but i keep no tip jar and i reject bribes. but typically, pretty much any request i get, to skip someone or it's somebody's birthday, or play this mix tape they got or anything blah, blah, guess what, I do it. I do all of it. ALL OF IT. I'm not kidding. And I'm not trolling.

I was a karaoke patron, of course, before I ever became a karaoke DJ. And i told myself back then while sitting in different karaoke venues that if I ever became a KJ, I'd do it. Whatever folks requested, I'd do it. Didn't care what it was. I would do it because all the KJs typically say no, I'd be the one to say yes. I won't take their bribes or money, but I'll do it. I love it when I just skip folks for one person who has to leave early and people come up and like did they pay you to do it, I look 'em right in the eye and say, "Nope! I did it for free." Yes, I will decline $100 and have done so, AND STILL did what the person requested--for free.

I guess I do it for power--in a weird way. For me to feel it's MY show. I will randomly do whatever. But I bend over backwards for all my singers. And I do it, I accept pretty much any random request. Folks come up to me requesting stuff and they think I'll say "No" but before they can finish their sentence, I'll say "yes, are you ready?". And I'm known for handing the mic to the person right at the spot when they make the request--yes, I'm skipping everybody right now and handing you the mic.

I'm not trolling and I'm not kidding. Anytime the in-house staff wants to sing, for me they go up immediately. Bartenders, waitresses, etc. They all sing immediately when I'm hosting. Even if I have to skip folks, etc. I really do this. My thing is: why let the staff wait? We all work here in this miserable place together, for damn sure I'm not letting my fellow venue staff wait. And I don't do it for free food, etc. Believe it or not, I pay for everything, everywhere I go and I leave big tips. I'm weirder than all of you. The staff gives me free food but I'll leave a ten spot or $20 on the table and walk away. I'm dead serious. But as a karaoke patron, I told myself if I ever became a KJ, I'd be who I am today and do what I do today. I pay for my singers meals, give them birthday gifts, etc. I don't ask for anything in return. But I said I'd do this and be this person when I wasn't a KJ.

Every gig I do always goes late. I don't ever finish the night on-time. I'm sure some managers and staff don't like it, but I think everyone respects it. Everyone knows when it's me, Everybody's singing. I don't care if you just walked in a minute before closing, you're gonna sing, I'm staying late. No, I don't ask for overtime pay.

Oddly enough, I rarely use the restroom when I KJ. I don't leave the DJ booth when I KJ. I don't take breaks. This is not made up.

so you asked for folks 'policy', this is mine. "No Ragrets" as they say (purposely misspelled).

I recommend any of you to follow suit. Take all requests. Don't say NO--especially in your last year of KJing before you retire from it forever. What do you have to lose? In my case, I think folks respect me for doing it. I always turn down their bribes and do it for free anyway. Makes me feel powerful. Then again, I do this naturally. It's not a forced thing from me or an act. I naturally feel whatever anybody asks, I'm gonna make it possible if I can. "No Ragrets".

Disclaimer: I'm also a 'minority'. So growing up where i'm from, you always hear 'no'. So, I said if i ever get the chance to be in a certain position, i'd always say yes and try to help make it happen. I can always 'feel' from other minorities when they approach me with a karaoke request and I say 'no'. I see it on their face. So I change my answer to 'yes' and try to make it happen because I remember. I've been there. So believe me when I say I do it for free and I don't take bribes and even when I get free food, I always leave money.


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 Post subject: Re: Bribes?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2022 11:56 am 
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Product 19 wrote:
since you asked...

I would never be going to your show. You're making it all about your ego, not about being fair to your customers. You're letting your customers control your show instead of YOU doing it.

I, like most of us here, treat everyone fairly and don't play favorites. I don't discriminate among my singers. And I keep a fair rotation. No one gets bumped up for any reason.

You are a prime example of a terrible self-centered karaoke host who cares more about his "power" than the fairness to his customers.

If I was at your show and saw you act that way, I would tell you to go "F" yourself before I walked out.

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 Post subject: Re: Bribes?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2022 6:03 pm 
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Oh this is an old subject, one that I seemed to be against the grain on, but unwillingly. It's been 9 years since I stopped being a KJ, it was a solid 13 year run as my primary income source.

My first few years I wouldn't take them, and I was only needed 2 nights a week. I'd flat out refuse, until one day the owner of the bar waving a $20 in my face was screaming at me that I didn't take the money, "Here! Put this guy up next, I'll split it with you"

Why cut her in for 50%? So I just started taking them.

What I noticed was the type of customer this attracted. You still got those people desperate for recognition singing on a karaoke stage, but you also ended up with those guys that had no issue throwing money around becoming regulars. Week after week, dropping $100's if not $1000's of dollars. "Sorry guys, I bribed up next, I'm buying you all a round!" Before we got it into software, I tried to make it predictable. I had a sign, "$1 for every spot you go up." When there's 30 in queue, you would think there's a limit to some of these guys wallets, there never was. If they wanted to drop $100 to sing 3 times in a row they could, they would.

When we got it into software we added what we dubbed an out of rotation multiplier. If you were moving up a song in the current rotation, standard price, next rotation, 2x, rotation after, 3x and so on.


This caused it's own issues as now I was completely dependant on the owners to pay me what was owed, and at first they did, but slowly what was owed, and what was paid did not add up. For me, I wasn't getting paid much, I was providing most of my own equipment, software, website, and the internet connection for the first few years. Kids sort of really changed things, whatever hustle you can get on to give them the life you want them to have, you have to do it.

I wouldn't neccisarily look down on someone for taking them. There might be reasons.


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