Here is one of the stupidest factors in an act being bookable.

I have booked a lot of shows. Over 250 wednesday night Boobietraps, plus remote Boobietraps, plus corporate events that I produce, plus random weird other shows for about 20 years.

I had someone tell me that if I am booking based on anything other than talent, I need to get my priorities straight. I disagree completely. Great curation considers diversity, taste, tone, creepiness, technical requirements, and a blazillion other factors.

I do think there are some really messed up reasons to book an act and the most ridiculous one that I stick with is costume.


As we work to improve our culture in America around police, the uniforms stand out to me as a statement of our priorities. They also act as a directive of what we want from the police. Their costumes are geared up, black, harsh, militaristic. They used to be a lot closer to a postal worker’s costume — I’m not saying postal workers don’t kill people too.

which of these cops do you think feel like killing machines?

Your costume changes you. It changes your audience’s impression of you, and that also changes you. Don’t believe me? Put some lettuce on your head, look in the mirror and see how you feel about yourself.

The narrative

The most important thing is that the costume instantly, with very little effort, completely changes the storyline of whatever’s happening. A doctor in scrubs rushing out of surgery to tell you everything’s okay is very different than a clown rushing out of the same surgery telling you the same thing… or someone in t-shirt and jeans.

The stupid part

While the perfectionist part of you is probably going through all the thoughts of what would be the right costume for yourself, you don’t need to. The stupid part is that

you will get 90% of the benefit of a costume by being deliberate.

To a certain point, it doesn’t matter what the costume is.


  1. Having a deliberate costume makes you seem bold. Leaders are bold. Audiences look for a leader.
  2. People will think you care about your stage time. If a joke falls flat or your voice is off, they’ll know that it’s not out of disrespect.
  3. Audiences will connect the dots and find a pattern even if there is no actual connection between what you’re doing and what you’re wearing.

Nude is a costume

I think some performers think they can get away with not making a costume choice by dressing in their normal clothes. Wrong. No matter what you choose to wear on stage, you’re wearing a costume. You can’t get out of it. Do something deliberate. You will be more bookable.

Who would you rather see completely crush a cover song?
Would this be so compelling without the outfit?

Written for folks who want to attract and energize groups

Scot Nery is an emcee who has helped some of the biggest companies in the world achieve entertainment success. He's on an infinite misson to figure out what draws people in and engages them with powerful moments.

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