Snake Oil Productions,
professional variety entertainment and other modern conveniences.
proprietress, designer, performer, producer, makeup artist,
stitcher, props-fabricator, illustrator
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,
WHY IS THE COMPANY
CALLED "SNAKE OIL PRODUCTIONS"?
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
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.
Snake Oil Productions a full-service talent agency?"
"How can you do [all three skills of] performance, production AND
"Can I pick and choose from your skills to create a stage show [for you to perform]
at my event?"
"How much do you
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
"Is what you do dangerous?"
"Why do you perform at Renaissance Festivals for so long? We heard that those show
are for amateurs."
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
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:
stage show, or
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
"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
"Is what you do dangerous?"
what Lauren does has some (or much) danger -
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
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
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.