Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Encounter with a Celebrity Fitness Guru

Recently, a friend arranged an introduction to a Celebrity Fitness Guru.

Before I met her in person, I was directed to examine her website. The website plays eastern-influenced dance music and has many pictures of the Celebrity Fitness Guru wearing a lavalier microphone, leading marathon classes that combine dance, yoga, weightlifting, and aerobics. "Kickass" classes, she calls them. She had been sending out feelers for a meditation teacher to come and teach meditation classes in her place, hence our introduction.

After a few emails to break the ice, I paid a visit to her dojo. She has a nice little place in Studio City, decorated in bamboo trim, shelves loaded with t-shirts, books, and various merchandise. Sign-in sheet, loads of material about the classes here and the teacher. She charges a sturdy tuition for her classes, and she also has a private clientele - the Hollywood celebrity circuit, not bad. Celebrity Fitness Guru has a very good enterprise here.

Friend had intimated that he thought Celebrity Fitness Guru would charge a fee for use of her studio, but that I might be allowed to market to her mailing list so as to help the class succeed and provide her with extra revenue. Win-win.

After perusing t-shirts with slogans on them ("Peace!") and grooving to the fusion of Balinese gamelan with hip-hop drumbeats, I got around to discussing terms with the Celebrity Fitness Guru. The terms were a little surprising.

$50 an hour for use of her room. Just the room. Fuh-fuh-fifty dollars? Steep. I would have to charge accordingly. This would not be a meditation class for undergraduates surviving on work study and coffee. Okay, but at least I'd be able to send an announcement to her base, right?

Oh no, said the Celebrity Fitness Guru. I'm looking for someone to bring in their own following. Indeed, so somebody else's following can walk in and buy t-shirts and vitamin supplements and sign up for her "kickass" classes. Very enterprising indeed, this one. What she wants is for someone to pay her a high hourly rate to expand her customer base. Well, I cast no aspersions. It's a nice racket, if you can pull it off.

Besides which, she said, I do teach meditation as part of my classes. Indeed, she does - and nutritional counseling, and life coaching, and if you've got a musical instrument handy she'll probably give you lessons on that, too, shouting encouragement into her lavalier microphone while bench-pressing a mobile home. "Namaste, baby!"

And the kicker: By the way, I will need to see your liability insurance.

Liability insurance? For a sitting class? What exactly do I need to buy liability against - bed sores? Liability insurance for sitting on a pillow?

I, um, haven't called her back. But the Celebrity Fitness Guru is toning hard bodies in the Valley and kicking celebrity ass and doing very well indeed. I wonder if she sells liability insurance, too...

1 comment:

Jane R said...

Oh, geez.