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Words from industry experts to make the most of your events and performances.

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F@!* and Other Four-Letter Words to Remember this Recital Season

It’s the most wonderfully crazy time of the year: Recital Season! While we may not fully be “post-pandemic,” we are most certainly entering the most normal performance season we’ve had since 2019. Entering this new normal means that we can make adjustments to better serve our shows, our businesses, and our clients. 

And, while you may think these four-letter words are reserved for the shipping delays, the one size of a costume you desperately need but can’t find, the client that asks you in May to remind them of the recital date, or the venue that “forgets” to send the contract, they’re actually four-letter words designed to better serve YOU. 


Free is a word that needs to be eliminated from your vocabulary.

Free essentially equates to a cost to the company. 

If you added up your giveaways, ranging from complimentary tickets to t-shirts to swag, you’d probably be amazed at the amount of revenue you are missing out on. Just like lines are important on stage, your line items on your expense sheets are of equal importance. Don’t throw away unnecessary dollars!


Packs are bundles that are inclusive of multiple things: tickets, media, t-shirts, souvenirs, and so on. If you create a recital pack, it is SUPER important to itemize it out and make sure you aren’t tiptoeing into the “free zone.” 

There should still be a solid profit margin. 


If you are selling “at cost,” you are operating at a loss. 

When pricing items, take into consideration the time required to strategize, collect, process, sort, and deliver orders. You should be charging enough to cover that amount of time and still earn a profit.


Make sure people understand what you’re selling (the recital and all of its components) and why it matters. The year-end performance is a HUGE event that will make a memorable impression on your clients, and you don’t want anyone to feel confused, uninvolved, or excluded. 

Clarify the fees, communicate upcoming happenings and deadlines, show them examples of what they can expect, and generate excitement that will result in people wanting to buy into the experience. 

Your attitude is an incredible sales tool! If you’re stressed, your clients will sense that stress. If you’re excited and sharing the GOOD about the process and all of the things you offer, they’ll get on board, too. 


Year-end performances are huge undertakings that require an extreme amount of time, preparation, and detailed processes. While you’re busy helping everyone around you, don’t forget to help yourself! 

  1. Don’t wait until the last minute
  2. Put processes in place and delegate 
  3. Surround yourself with great vendors that support you in achieving your goals 

Apply these tips, and you’ll walk away from your performances with only two four-letter words left in your mind: EPIC BOSS

Looking for more great ideas from Chasta? Check out the following articles:

Chasta Hamilton is the Owner/Artistic Director of Stage Door Dance Productions in Raleigh, NC, and the Founder/President of the non-profit Girls Geared for Greatness. She authored the best-selling book Trash The Trophies: How to Win Without Losing Your Soul and continued sharing her story in her TEDx talk “You Weren’t Built to Break.” She loves sharing what she’s learned while empowering other studio owners to pursue truth, purpose, and passion in their unique journeys.

Follow Chasta on Instagram at @chastahamilton and connect with her online at

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