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NACA and the College Circuit

For several years in the early nineties, I did college shows in the Midwest.

To really do the college circuit, one has to embrace NACA, an organization that provides colleges access to entertainers, bands, and public speakers. Smaller schools seem to benefit the most, as the major universities tend to book household names. Still, there is a great deal of untapped talent out there, so it's a win-win scenario when student run organizations, who are trying to book events for their schools, and the unknown performers, who are trying to be discovered, get together.

NACA hosts big conventions where school representatives come, agents set up booths, and performers showcase. I was fortunate enough to have a good agent sponsor me for three regional and one national showcases. The competition to get the cherished showcase spots is fierce, and there is a great deal of politics involved, so claiming a regional spot, let alone a national one, is tough, and there's a bit of pressure. (Especially if your agent is hosting all of the expenses. Thanks Rick!)

The NACA showcases are a great opportunity to network and see what everyone else is doing. The school reps can browse around, and check out the various acts, but it also provides the performers an opportunity to see what is being shown out there. I met a few other jugglers, some great musicians and a bunch of other agents.

Whenever I would book a college show, the agent that represented me would add to the performance contract that the client (the school) would have to provide two XL sweat shirts for each performance. I got one, Rick the other. It was neat to have a collection of shirts from all of the schools that we played! Closet space is limited, so that idea does have it's drawbacks...