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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Association of Family and Kidshow Performers » » "I have to be honest, but it is out of our budget"... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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KC Cameron
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Inner circle
Raleigh, North Carolina
1808 Posts

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Oh, we DO make a ton of money for the work we do, don't kid yourself! Sure, we have our costs to run a business, and people do pay for experience, but still. If we actually worked 40-50 hours a week on our business, there is no reason why most of us shouldn't make six figures. Truthfully, most of us are lazy (myself included).
Kipley
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New York City
45 Posts

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This is a great thread! Obviously an important topic.

I have been working in the NYC market for the last six years. Last year I did about 325 shows, and my main audience is children under 6 years old - I do shows that combine live music, interactive puppetry, and age appropriate magic tricks.

In the NYC/NJ market, my fees are about average for my level of experience and the age group I focus on ($250-$350 per show). Among my goals is to maximize my income doing the types of shows I enjoy most - specifically, preschool and birthday party shows for children ages 1-6.

A few years back, I did experiment offering a shortened version of a couple of my shows at a lower price, but I found that cutting a show from 45 to 30 minutes didn't significantly reduce the time involved with a gig.

It's the driving and the parking and the setting up that takes the most time, and that doesn't change regardless of how long my show is. Plus, I still have to pay the same for gas, tolls, etc. (Though I live right across the river from Manhattan, bridge and tunnel tolls plus parking in NYC can eat up $45 of a fee!)

Worst of all, I kept having to turn down full-price gigs because I had already booked a discount show.

Like other entertainers I have spoken with, I have found that potential clients who begin a relationship by haggling for the lowest price are often difficult to work with throughout the process.

I have also had the experience where a client I offered a discount to tells all her friends that they don't need to pay full price and should just haggle with me. In that case, offering one discount does drive down the price of multiple gigs.

I personally don't like being "sold", and so if a client tells me they cannot afford my fee, I don't push harder to make a sale, nor do I immediately drop my price.

I don't say anything about "you get what you pay for"... I think people inherently understand that, which is another argument for not discounting.

I just do my best up front to find out what the client needs and discuss the benefits of my shows. I encourage clients to call around, talk to other entertainers, and make the comparison themselves. I have found this approach often gives clients more confidence in dealing with me.

I think of my performing business as a brand, and I want Mister Kipley Music & Puppets to be perceived as a high-value brand. My goal is to be at my absolute best so that I can always be confident about the fee I'm requesting.

I also need to be confident that my weekends will be booked up well in advance, and this motivates me to keep working and improving all aspects of my business. I would never lower the quality of a show just because someone paid slightly less, but sticking to my top fee certainly keeps me focused on doing my best at all times.
Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
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The first thing my mentor Dave Finnigan told me was "never sell yourself cheap". If you do $100 parties that is all you are worth. Back in 1987 when I started I charged $150, I do a better show now, and the price of gas has tripled since then.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Kevinr
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Inner circle
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I think it is plain WRONG WRONG to charge one person in the same area of town one price and another person in the same area of town more money.

News channels do sting operations on plumbing companies and other services with corrupt practices like this.

You should set prices and treat clients right!
Russo
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556 Posts

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I gave a discounted show to a client once - when packing I heard him say to another -"cheap Price-Cheap show- BUT he called me the next year - he excepted my full price- out of revenge I gave him the same show as last time - after the show he came up to me and said-"best show I've ever seen"- so you (they) get what they felt they PAID for. - for 60 years only been burned 4-6 time out of 15.000 shows(yes 15,000- 85% by word of mouth- make em happy). Ralph
Russo
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556 Posts

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Gave some experience and advise and comments (from a 75year Pro.) NO REPLYS - is it still that most current Magi are still "OH I'm so great" and don't need anyone else comments??? RALPH
Donald Dunphy
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Inner circle
Victoria, BC, Canada
7289 Posts

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Quote:
On 2012-09-20 09:24, Russo wrote:
Gave some experience and advise and comments (from a 75year Pro.) NO REPLYS - is it still that most current Magi are still "OH I'm so great" and don't need anyone else comments??? RALPH


Ralph -

I hope you realize that the "The Little Darlings" area of the Magic Café is much more active with discussions about children's magic. If you're looking for more interaction, you might want to participate in that area.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Russo
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556 Posts

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Thanks Don - been out of touch with good magicians - glad I found Magiccafe- -still learning to navagate- though not bad for an old man- (glad I can still think young- ) anyone form the Los Angeles area?? -I was an early member of the Magic Castle- sponsored by Bill & Milt Larsen- (sorry didn't mean to brag- due to expense and out of the area had to drop membership- though their a great group. Ralph
wwhokie1
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If you try to meet their price by chopping up your show to give an economy show, aren't you going to end up with a poorer quality show. Less price, less value, less entertainment. It seems to me that would not only reduce the experience for the audience but also hurt your reputation. I can see having different level shows, charging more for longer shows or for including more expensive or bulkier props, but it would be easy to cut out some of the amazement when cutting down the value of the show. Would the economy show really be just as good, and if it is then why would it not cost just as much. If it is just a shorter show, even that can seem disappointing to the audience if it is too short and can hurt their experience.
Bernie Balloons
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N.Y.C.
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[quote]On 2009-02-02 15:32, Justin Style wrote:
Okay...sounds good in theory.


Teamsters don't make the money magicians make...and they work way harder. Magicians don't make what doctors make because they ain't smart enough to be one (Yeah, I know there are a few doctors here in the game...)




Not true I am a Teamster.
Performing at Kids Magic shows is way harder plus all of the office work I got to do.
Also I make more as a Teamster (local 831) than a Magician and I got a pension,dental,prescription and health benefits
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