If you’re always on the lookout for bargains and don’t mind being part of a creative trial, go ahead and take your pick from these innovative offers. Whether it’s a free gig or a haircut at no cost, not only do they promise full value for your moolah, but also ensure that upcoming talent in the city gets the much-needed patronage from enthusiasts.
Fancy free haircuts? Well, many junior stylists training with established hair academies in the city are always on the look out for models to practice their hair styling skills on. You can volunteer for one of these and give yourself a haircut or styling for free. Experts say that your tresses will be in safe hands. Sapna Bhavnani, owner of Mad O Wat Salon, Bandra, says, "These junior stylists are well trained and the session is always monitored by a senior stylist. If there is any problem, he/she will step in and complete the haircut. But it might just take a little longer than usual for them to work on your hair as they are new."
Salons usually rope in models using personal contacts or find volunteers among their regular customers. Some of them maintain databases of clients with different hair types, which they can experiment on. Twenty year-old Mehr Malhotra, a student of St Xavier’s College, recently got her hair streaked by a junior artist at a city salon. "It was great because I basically got the job done for free. It would have cost easily above Rs 1,000, had I got it done by an experienced stylist" she says.
Music to your ears
Popular clubs, like I Bar, Bonobo, Bandra and Blue Frog, Lower Parel, regularly feature open mic nights. Besides providing upcoming artistes with a stage to hone their performing skills, these events allow earlybirds to enter for free. City-based R&B artist, Thomson Andrews, who started off performing at Blue Frog’s Early Sets, and has now graduated to featuring among the main acts, says, "This is the best way to start and get familiarised with the live music circuit. It helps you prepare for bigger shows and get comfortable with performing for a larger audience."
Pay less, laugh more
Last month, The Comedy Store launched New Stuff, an act in which established comics get to try fresh content in front of a live audience. The attendees pay only Rs 150, as opposed four times that amount on another show night. "The main idea is to give these professional comics a platform where they can improvise and experiment with new content," says Charlotte Ward, operations and marketing manager, The Comedy Store.
Apart from this, they also have monthly open mic nights scheduled for amateur comedians, with an entry charge of R200.