Ya Gotta Get Paid

Sometimes, my job here at CDT isn't to come up with the material myself...

but to further share (and appropriately cite) some of the best ideas in the business. And today, I am so inspired by the work of Seanna Sharpe.

Seanna Sharpe is an aerialists and member of the worldwide FB group, Safety in Aerial Arts. She posted on the group earlier this month she was under bid for a gig which sparked quite the conversation. Seanna  made her rates public information and the conversation quickly escalated.  Below is the graph she made and shared with us here at CDT as well (Thanks GIRl!) Take a peep...

Graph created and provided to CDT from Seanna Sharpe

Graph created and provided to CDT from Seanna Sharpe


There seems to be a riff in the circus world between the professionals, who quite literally do this for income and amateurs, or folks (like myself) getting started who are excited to perform. When Seanna made the graph public, some people rejoiced, while others seem to have taken it personally.

The question is,

why am I sharing this graph? Why wasn't it left at the 38 or so comments on SAA? Because I think not only is the information vital, but the responses to the information is crucial. Aerial arts is taking center stage, for it's captivating beauty, show of strength and dare devil qualities. I think what's amazing is the amount of womxn who are aerialists. We're working with the sociological concepts of gender minorities, physical labor, no set standard for excellence and no set metric for safety; with so many variables in the air, we're bound to get price gauging, and ego crushing consequences that can't even pay for training spaces. For amateurs, again like myself, getting a couple hundred bucks a gig sounds like a dream, but what if I'm outbidding someone who does this for their livelyhood? What if taking too little money for an act doesn't just affect me, but the folks who've been doing this for years before me and the folks who want to do this AFTER me. We set a standard not just for ourselves, but for the wild wild west of emerging performers.

What do you think of these rates? Are they what you charge or close to what you charge? Who taught you about performance pricing? Let me know in the comments below <3


Because paying aerialists $50 - $150 an act is a death sentence.
— Seanna Sharpe


Again, I'd like to thank Seanna for sharing this graph and starting this conversation.


Did this post leave you feeling inspired? Well be sure to be subsribed to get notifications of important updates right to your email AND check out some of these previous post. <3