Tips for Entertainers

3 Replies

Tips for Entertainers

Posted by Eve Esch on Jan 7, 2019 12:06 pm

Hi Folks -

Our Programming Board is looking into hosting a Drag Show and the performers have inquired about receiving tips from the audience.
We don't have anything in our policies that preclude that from happening, but I'm curious as to how others have handled that scenario.
Thanks in advance!
Eve Esch

Re: Tips for Entertainers

Posted by Michael Schmit on Jan 8, 2019 10:00 am


We produce a very large Drag Show annually where tips are involved (so large that we had to move it off campus a few years ago). Our process related to tips notes that these can be viewed as a "donation". We do not allow "suggested donations" or allow for donations to be required for admission to programs, but the open decision to tip a performer is allowed. I have learned that tipping is often an important part of performances of this nature, and there is an expectation by the audience and the performers. 

We do not allow our staff to handle the tips, as that would make the moneys involved "state dollars". We have also worked with our LGBT Resource Center to have these tips go to support a local LGBT community organization instead of going to the performers. I cannot be 100% sure of how much of the money goes to the charity, but I have no reason to believe that it does not end up there. This arrangement has worked well for us for about 15 years, 10 in the Union and the last 5 at an off-site performance arts center. 

Hope this helps.

Re: Tips for Entertainers

Posted by Gregory Wilkins on Jan 14, 2019 9:05 am

At MN State Mankato, our LGBT Center hosts two annual drag shows. Performers have entertained students on campus since the 1980s. Tips are encouraged and go directly to the king/queen. Historically the show was free to students with ID; we now sell tickets to the event ($2 in advance) and control the size of the house (349 seats plus ADA).

Re: Tips for Entertainers

Posted by Carolyn Taggart on Feb 4, 2019 10:19 pm


In my last position as the Pride Center Coordinator at Eastern Connecticut State University, I worked with students from our LGBTQ+ organization when they were planning their drag show. Our institution did not have a policy regarding individuals tipping performers. I also did an educational piece with my student leaders, talking with them about how groups such as the International Imperial Sovereign Court's state and regional chapters use tip money at their fundraising events to support local charitable organizations and how that has historically helped within the LGBTQ+ community. (Imperial Court System)

As a student leader at Central Connecticut State University, we worked with performers for some of our drag ball events to donate any tips that they received to a local LGBTQ+ youth non-profit organization. 

Hope this helps, and I'm happy to answer any questions!
- Carolyn