Place your hand in a bucket of water and quickly remove it. The water ripples as you extract your hand, but notice how quickly the water settles down, restoring calm. That’s what it is like when you’re replaced.
I was working with a colleague and reminiscing about the Chicago White Sox. We both worked with the White Sox for 5 seasons and were replaced a season ago. Ironically she made the statement, “They’re just using inferior entertainers.”
Over the years, I have served as replacement for entertainers in restaurants, at corporate events, and for private parties. I don’t think I am the inferior entertainer. I have always considered myself the upgrade.
Yet, at times I have been replaced, too. So, in those cases, was I the inferior entertainer?
I have learned over the years that clients are human and like variety. After years of going to the same pizza joint month-after-month, they venture to a new pizzeria. Why? To Try something new, save money, or experience a different atmosphere.
In my experience, rookie entertainers overcompensate for their lack of entertaining skills. They will bring big expensive props; carry supplies and material that are really overkill for an event. They work harder, stay longer, and tell silly jokes to overcome stage fright. As a veteran entertainer, I evaluate the client’s needs, and provide a quality of entertainment that suits their event. Years of practice and working events have taught me to fine-tune time management, props, and comedic patter.
I would never say the person replacing me is inferior, but classify them as different. I am sure there are many businesses that are looking to change things up, looking for somebody to work with who fits their constraints, needs, and wants. Which, surprisingly, may be the same constraints, needs, and wants that I want for my career.
Whether we outgrow our position, overstay our welcome, or become so complacent that change is needed, we are all going to be replaced sometime in our career. The best advice is to find a new client, show them an experience that they have never seen, and become their newest, greatest, attraction, so they will boast about you, sending even more work your way. After all, we may come to discover that we have indeed replaced a great entertainer, which encourages us to work harder to improve our skills. This is how we do indeed become a superior entertainer.