SNAKE OIL PRODUCTIONS

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ENTERTAINMENTS

Charlie Chaplin interactive
Tableaux Al Fresco:
Walking Paintings
Airbrush Facepainting
Facepainting, illustrative style
Western skills and shows
Renaissance : the new vaudeville
Corporate event offerings
Interactive / Roving performances
Variety Stage
Fire-eating artistry  
Silhouette-cutting
Handwriting analysis for special events: for entertainment purposes only  (currently under preparation)

RELATED ENTERTAINER

Magic & sleight of hand
Flea Circus
 

DUO COMEDY-DANGER
STAGE SHOW

"WhipFlash!": fire and whip
--The Bullet Catch
--The Wheel of Death
WhipFlash in the media
 

CREATIVE SERVICES

Airbrushed creations
Design and innovation
Signs and Banners
Custom Props 

Historical Style Wood Pocketwatches

 

PRODUCTION SERVICES

Production Management
 
 
 

(c) 1997-2004
Snake Oil Productions, professional variety entertainment and other modern conveniences.

Lauren Muney, proprietress, designer, performer, producer, makeup artist, stitcher, props-fabricator, illustrator

Updated 12/09/2004.

FAQ

WHAT HAPPENED TO SNAKE OIL PRODUCTIONS RECENTLY?
Lauren Muney and Jim Frank have gone their separate personal ways, but still remain in friendly contact as well as professional association, including a duo appearance on the Steve Harvey Big Time television show, taped in fall, 2003. Jim Frank has developed his own website, Period Productions, specifically oriented to period props, supplies, and performances!
 

WHY IS THE COMPANY CALLED "SNAKE OIL PRODUCTIONS"?
"Selling snake oil" was a term harkening back to the days of the old- time medicine shows, where scam artists would create performances before pitching "medicine cures" to unsuspecting townspeople. These might range from pain-reducer to elaborate trickery. In any case, these cure-all elixirs might not deliver what they promised, but the shows which gathered the townspeople were certainly interesting, if not the health-booster the salesmen promised. Although most famous from the Old West of the United States, medicine pitchmen have been working the public eye since medieval days -- when they were known as "quacksalvers", a term still known in Europe today.

Lauren Muney performed her own one-woman Old-Time Medicine Show from 1988 until approximately 1992, touring through the United States. Employing the same theatrical techniques used by original quacksalvers, Lauren, as her alter-ego "Castor Oil Kate", enjoyed playing the concept of "just because people say it's true doesn't mean it is".

Snake Oil Productions is a tongue-in-cheek reference to that concept, as Snake Oil Productions is as honest and forthright as you can ever get. Despite being show-business, a business of performance, not reality.

"Is Snake Oil Productions a full-service talent agency?"

"How can you do [all three skills of] performance, production AND creation?"

"Can I pick and choose from your skills to create a stage show [for you to perform] at my event?"

"How much do you charge?"

"Why doesn't your web site or packet have a price list?"

"When I book my shows with you, you ask many questions about the event. Why do you do that?"

"Is what you do dangerous?"

"Why do you perform at Renaissance Festivals for so long? We heard that those show are for amateurs."

How can you do [all three skills of] performance, production AND creation?
Lauren is a highly dedicated professional. Through many years of working within the entertainment industry, she saw the value of being detail-oriented and total commitment to the craft. This dedication translated into interests in technical aspects (production and production details), craftsmanship (creating custom-made props, costumes, and effects), as well as a variety of performance skills. Every part supports the whole. Many performers do not delve this deeply into subject matter which has no audience feedback; luckily, she feels that all three disciplines create a better finished product. 
"Is Snake Oil Productions a full-service talent agency?"
No. Snake Oil Productions is thecompany name; the presentations may be theatrical, artistic, or technical. Lauren does not book other entertainers. . . . but she is happy to work with clients, agencies or production companies to fulfill clients' needs. She can even refer you to a full-service company for extra needs and other entertainers.
"Can I as the client pick and choose from your skills to create a stage show [for you to perform] at my event?"
Sorry, Lauren doesn't do a "pick from column A and column B" performance on stage. The stage shows have been crafted for the best impact onstage. However, if you are fond of something she doesn't yet do in a show, please ask: she might make a performer referral for you; she may also create multi-skills roving performances for your event.
 "How much do you charge?"
The rates vary, depending on many factors:
a. Roving, stage show, or production time
b. Which stage show
c. Hours performed
d. Travel required
e. Custom created costumes or props if necessary
These factors are asked in our initial conversation: see below for extra explanation.
"Why doesn't your web site or packet have a price list?"
Show prices cannot be arranged by just a "menu" of fees. Prices are arranged in accordance with your event's needs. Each client who has a specific event will receive a customized Bid Sheet for your event. Don't worry, performance prices are competitive with other quality performers and agencies.
"When I book my shows with you, you ask many questions about the event.
Why do you do that?"

Lauren asks all the information which is pertinent to the event and for your pricing.
Common questions include:
a. WHEN is the event?
b. HOW LONG does our participation last?
c. WHAT PERFORMANCE (s) are you interested in?
d. WHERE is the event?
e. WHAT THEME is the event or performances?
All of the queries will help make a custom bid to help the entertainers know your needs better.
"Is what you do dangerous?"
Most of what Lauren does has some (or much) danger - Fire-eating, Bullwhip, The Bullet Catch. The Safety Specifications Sheet for the stage shows (included in any mailed packet) gives a good indication of safety perimeters.
Here are some examples:
a. Stilt-walking in the pouring rain, high winds, low indoor ceilings, or uneven ground is dangerous.
b. Painting a stage right before a stage show is dangerous.
c. Roving fire-eating for over 2 hours (6 mini-shows) is dangerous.
All other concerns will be addressed directly on the contracts.
"Why do you perform at Renaissance Festivals for so long?
We heard that those shows are for amateurs."

Nothing could be farther from the truth about Renaissance Festivals - not only do VERY professional performers make their living doing those shows, many have been 'discovered' there! Lauren Muney and associated performer Jim Frank performed at Renaissance Festivals because:
a.  No other shows bring the audiences closer to the performers because of the proximity  of stages to the seating.
b. The frequent shows allow for new material creation.
c. The audiences who attend are generally diverse and interested in creativity.
d. The shared experiences of the venue brings performers closer together.
e.  Renaissance Festivals allow performance and project diversity all in one location.
f.  The stage-and-street format of Renaissance Festivals has taught Lauren how to be an invaluable interactive entertainer at many other venues, including city-wide festivals, Western shows, and corporate themed events.