“A comedian’s performance rider,” by Danny Rathbun

Dec 16th, 2020 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

It’s a tough world out there for artists who are just starting out; producers are always ready to take advantage of young artists and try to cheat them out of pay, or force them to work in unsafe conditions, and it can be very difficult to speak up for yourself when you feel you’ve been wronged.

That’s where a performance rider comes in; this is a simple, clear, short contract that you can send out to any venue you’re performing at to make sure everyone is on the same page about exactly how you expect to be treated.

I’ve been a nationally touring standup comedian for almost eight years, and this is the one I send to every club I perform at. Feel free to swap in your own name and use this yourself!

Danny Rathbun-Performance Rider

Please read this rider carefully. By signing it, you are agreeing to supply ARTIST with production and proper working conditions essential to performance. Any breach of the terms and conditions of this rider is a breach of the contract and may cause ARTIST to refuse to perform without releasing PURCHASER from his obligation to pay ARTIST.

  1. Approaching Mr. Rathbun
    • Always approach Mr. Rathbun slowly and calmly, with your hands visible. Hold your hand out, and allow him to sniff it to show you’re a friend.
    • Do not make direct eye contact with Mr. Rathbun; this may be seen as a sign of aggression.
    • Always speak to Mr. Rathbun in a calm, gentle tone.
    • Never touch Mr. Rathbun, or pat him on the head, until he gives you permission.
  2. Accommodations and travel
    • Rathbun’s dressing room must measure AT LEAST 2-4 inches longer than his overall length, 4 inches longer than his overall width.
    • You will take Mr. Rathbun to the bathroom twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.
    • In the event that you need to take Mr. Rathbun anywhere offsite, you are not to leave him in the car, unless the windows are rolled down and/or the AC is on.
  3.  Food
    • Rathbun will be fed twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.
    • Rathbun shall receive no less than 6 cups (610 g) of food per day.
    • Do not feed Mr. Rathbun from your table.
  4. Bonuses and Penalties
    • You are not to hit or strike Mr. Rathbun, under any circumstances.
    • Never yell at Mr. Rathbun. If he does something wrong, show him what is right.
    • If Mr. Rathbun’s performance goes well, he will be rewarded with one (1) treat.

This Agreement shall be effective only when signed by PURCHASER and returned to ARTIST’S booking agency. All attachments and addendums are considered a part of this contract rider and are binding.








Danny Rathbun is a New York based, nationally touring standup comedian. He has performed at clubs and festivals all around the country, including the Burbank Comedy Festival in California, the Charm City Comedy Festival in Baltimore, and many others. He is the star of the Horror/Comedy film Super Special, has opened for Jim Gaffigan, and written for Robot Butt, Little Old Lady Comedy, and many other humor publications. He is also the writer, director, and one of the stars of the web series Unpaid Spot.

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