notes from the road

Better write that one in my diary

09/30/09

I have received the posters for my tours and today I went around to different hostels setting them up, which is a very cool feeling as it shows that it is actually going to happen. Right now people could be looking at the posters or picking up a flyer and planning in their diaries to go on the tour this Sunday. I have a list of thirty three hostels to visit, and today I successfully put posters in eight. It is actually hard work finding the hostels, and getting to them as this usually involves a fair bit of walking. This was actually made somewhat more time consuming with me having to back track twice having left first thirty dollars worth of flyers and thumbtacks on a bench at a hostel and then my sticky tape. When I realised that I had left my tape behind I was torn between just leaving it there and carrying on and going back. I decided to go back, however when I was there I didn’t find it, the room was empty except for one woman sitting at a table. Just one woman.

Rewind.

Yesterday I was having a pretty lousy day of sales, though having a lot of fun talking to people surprisingly. In my third hour after lunch I got talking to a Brazilian woman who was very nice and spoke quite good English. What made this a little different was that instead of holding my display out infront of me facing her, I held it facing me and I stood next to her. For some reasons it just made it seem like we were on the same team, like old friends discussing what to do next. As it was we got along like lentils and rice, she gave me some money for a ticket that I discounted for her and I raced into a Starbucks to get her some change. Just after she left I noticed that I felt a feeling of guilt, like something wasn’t quite right. And then I realised, I hadn’t told her about the two drink minimum. And it put me in a bit of a downer for the rest of the afternoon.

Fast forward.

This one woman in the room was that Brazilian woman. The same one. She recognised me first and I was so happy and I told her so and explained about the two drinks minimum. She said that I had already mentioned it though. So perhaps I was just feeling a bit guilty about selling something to someone who I was just being friendly with?

Tomorrow I will complete putting up all of the posters and have a trial run through the tour with Mike. I’m feeling pretty good about it now. The posters look quite professional ā€“ much better than the vast majority of other tour posters there, and I’m also feeling quite confident with my knowledge of Harlem. This will be put to the test when I actually have to start talking to actual people ā€“ the test with Mike will be very useful I think. Especially in comforting my fears. Mike knows far more about Harlem than I do, so if I can give him a tour, then I should be able to give a tourist one.

Price list:

Colour posters (60): $35

Black and white flyers (300): $30

Clear display packets (100): $10

Thumbtacks (200): $2.79

Sticky Tape: $3

Estimated loss of income: $27

Total: $110. 79

This means that I need 12 people to come to break even. I’m only running tours twice a week which enables me to still work a five day week selling tickets which is the maximum allowed. For the moment I’m still working part time as I’m just now looking into doing some ‘extra’ work for films and what not. I’ve got an audition tomorrow but I’ve got a feeling it might just be another ‘give us money and we’ll get you a job (possibly)’ kind of thing. Worth a shot though.

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