(Close Window)
Topic: Difference between $100 and $1,000 magician.
Message: Posted by: Thehedge (May 19, 2015 02:12PM)
What sets apart a $100 magician and a $1,000 magician? Is it his or her clothes? Marketing? Website? Personality? Props? Skill level? Networks? Or is it simple as what he or she charges? Maybe it is a little bit of everything. I would like to know what the X factor is. Thoughts?
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (May 19, 2015 02:14PM)
It's the way they socialize.
Message: Posted by: BrianMillerMagic (May 19, 2015 02:22PM)
There's a world of difference between the $100 and $1000 magician, and it's no one thing. The fundamental difference is perceived value (how much you are perceived to be worth) - but what goes into that perceived value is everything you mentioned and more. I'm not going to dive in deep right now, but I'll say this:

10 years ago I couldn't imagine charging $200 for a gig.
5 years ago I couldn't imagine charging $500 for a gig.
Today $1000 is a normal gig (rather on the low end, actually).

In those first 5 years, my tricks changed often and my sleight of hand improved drastically. In the next 5 years, I hardly changed my material at all. Just something to consider.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (May 19, 2015 02:26PM)
A lot of times it starts over the phone. What the prospect hears is very important. It is important the magician is speaking clear. The magician must have confidence on what he is speaking about. His speech must have the right words.

If in person the magician must good with the 3 V's, voice, verbal and visual. Look the prospect in the eyes showing his voice is great to listen to. The magician must know the right pitch inside out. It is best to show the prospect they are making a friend.

Posted: May 19, 2015 03:32 pm
The Great Zucchini dresses up in shorts and a tee shirt, but look how far he made it to the top: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTZ9uLUgsY4&feature=youtu.be His secret is the way he socializes. I know because I met him in person. I also watched him do lecture and a convention. He swept people off their feet.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (May 19, 2015 02:42PM)
Mike are you $1,000 magician?
Message: Posted by: sjbrundage (May 19, 2015 02:43PM)
Interesting Question. I think it is all how much the magician thinks he is worth, How much he is willing to ask for, and Who are the clients he is getting gigs from.

When I first started booking gig's I remember quoting $300 for three hours of strolling and I didn't think they would book me because it was SO much money. LOL. Than a few months later I remember quoting $500 for a Bat Mitzvah in Westchester county. After the gig the lady mentioned I should be charging her a LOT more because I was good and would be able to get more money. On the drive home I vowed to charge the next bar Mitzvah... $700.. no $800... NO Maybe $1000. While talking to my girlfriend she was saying "that is too much" No one is going to pay that much for a magician. "Boy she was wrong"

Overtime I gained more and more confidence and starting to ask clients for $1500. While I did lose a portion of some of the clients who couldn't afford to pay that much.. It allowed me to make more money doing less gigs. I was doing the type of events that I wanted to do.

After all the crazy viral attention about 5 months ago.. It gave me a HUGE ego boost and allowed me to actually have some perceived value in my services.. Where I have no problem asking for $3000 for events... Do I get the $3000... sometimes.. A lot of times clients will come down to $2500.. Which I think is fine. Do I honestly think a few hours of strolling magic is worth nearly 3 grand.... LOL.. I couldn't even afford to book myself... But boy am I happy I can book gigs like this. If you asked me 1 year ago if I would ever book a gig for 3 grand.. I would have laughed at you and told you 5 years down the road.

I am still booking gigs for around the $500 - $850.. But I very wary about giving up the date incase a larger gig comes through that could pay $2400. I feel like I need to have a clause in my contract saying that If I give them the discount rate of $500 -$850 and I larger booking for $3000 comes in I will find another magician to fill in that date for me.

Posted: May 19, 2015 03:44 pm
What are you thoughts about telling the smaller booking that if another gig comes in that you will refer it to a friend? Is that an acceptable practice among professional magicians.
Message: Posted by: charliecheckers (May 19, 2015 04:34PM)
[quote]On May 19, 2015, sjbrundage wrote:
What are you thoughts about telling the smaller booking that if another gig comes in that you will refer it to a friend? Is that an acceptable practice among professional magicians. [/quote]

On a smaller scale, I face the same situation, but would never ever consider that approach. The only thing I might consider is offering a price that is discounted in exchange for timing flexibility of an hour or two the same day, so I could do another local event. I have on a few occasions asked for such with current clients who I have a great relationship with and where I am familiar with the event enough to know that a slight time change will not impact their event.
Message: Posted by: BrianMillerMagic (May 19, 2015 04:38PM)
[quote]On May 19, 2015, sjbrundage wrote:
What are you thoughts about telling the smaller booking that if another gig comes in that you will refer it to a friend? Is that an acceptable practice among professional magicians. [/quote]

Not that I'm familiar with and I would never do anything to imply that all magicians are interchangeable.
Message: Posted by: tacrowl (May 19, 2015 04:46PM)
As I was reading this thread I had a thought - I don't believe "perceived value" is the right phrase. Someone could create the perception they are worth more - but it doesn't mean they are. To sustain a price point, you have to provide value. The difference between the $100 and $1,000 magician or any type entertainer - the $100 one doesn't have the knowledge to bring that amount of value to the client.
[quote]On May 19, 2015, sjbrundage wrote:
What are you thoughts about telling the smaller booking that if another gig comes in that you will refer it to a friend? Is that an acceptable practice among professional magicians. [/quote]
You could leave a buyout clause in the contract, meaning if you don't do the show, you pay the contract price to the client. I've used the clause in a couple of contracts but only exercised it once. The idea came from a conversation with Denny Haney decades ago.
Message: Posted by: sjbrundage (May 19, 2015 04:53PM)
[quote]On May 19, 2015, charliecheckers wrote:
[quote]On May 19, 2015, sjbrundage wrote:
What are you thoughts about telling the smaller booking that if another gig comes in that you will refer it to a friend? Is that an acceptable practice among professional magicians. [/quote]

On a smaller scale, I face the same situation, but would never ever consider that approach. The only thing I might consider is offering a price that is discounted in exchange for timing flexibility of an hour or two the same day, so I could do another local event. I have on a few occasions asked for such with current clients who I have a great relationship with and where I am familiar with the event enough to know that a slight time change will not impact their event. [/quote]

Yeah. This is one of the things I have been really thinking about and struggling with the past few weeks. About a month ago I got in touch with someone from new york who booked me for an event. The person is reputable and well known within the magic community. After performing at the event.. it went so well he has decided to sell me to one of his best clients who he does around 50 events for each year. So far since this last event I have gotten 4 calls within the week for gigs priced around $2400. Obviously he up-sells me to his client.. who up-sells me to the actually people having the event. From my understanding the people booking the event are probably paying $4500 - $5000 for my services.

My biggest issue now is saying yes to smaller bookings and missing out on these AWESOME event. Currently I already had 2 booking that didn't work out because I already had the day booked up. I have events on the other two dates but should be able to fit both of the events into my schedule. If I quote a local client $1500 and they say we can't afford that.. we only have $700 for the budget. Do I say yes to the $700 but have a clause in the contract that I can find a backup for the event, in case someone is willing to pay my full rate, OR do I just hand off the event to a friend.

Obviously I have a reputation to keep and I will stand by my work. I already turned down a $2400 for a $850 booking because the client had already booked me in the future and they advertised the HECK out of me for the event. I guess I need to find a balance that works for both ends of the spectrum, so I can book as much events as possible for the maximum profit, while maintaining my integrity as a performer.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (May 19, 2015 06:11PM)
[quote]On May 19, 2015, sjbrundage wrote:
What are you thoughts about telling the smaller booking that if another gig comes in that you will refer it to a friend? Is that an acceptable practice among professional magicians. [/quote]

I have no idea what is or is not acceptable. I know only what I personally do.

I am hired by people not looking for a "magician" but who are looking to hire me. I do not like the idea out there That I am so easily replaced. While I know it is true I am not going to let the client know this. (Incidentally this helps with the perceived value idea.)

I sell me not a magician or hypnotist or comedian. This only an opinion. I have no idea what is or is not common practice.

If I agree to work for the money no matter what it is I show up. I would not want them to have a clause to be able to find a les expensive performer and cancel me.
Message: Posted by: charliecheckers (May 19, 2015 08:22PM)
Also, turning away high value events because you are already booked can serve to enhance your perceived value in that the client that you turn down realizes that you are in real demand. Especially in Sjbrundage's situation you can leverage it for the high priced opportunities to book far in advance for next year or so.

In reality, we all face moving up in class in steps where we have commitments and bookings below what we are currently booking at. My way to handle it is to be patient and grateful for the loyal clients that helped me get to where I am, while building up my higher priced gigs as they come.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (May 19, 2015 08:56PM)
You will find that as you grow, you do not have as many shows, but have a balance of enough to cover the nut every month.

But you have to find clients to replace those who were at price range X and you will no longer be marketing to. You will move to price range Y. The key is to not turn down too many X price range dates while the Y range dates fill in. It is tough to figure at times and REALLY tough to get your head around NO I will not work for that.

Perceived value is wonderful. Problem is you can not pay the mortgage with it.
Message: Posted by: Tim Friday (May 19, 2015 09:16PM)
Actually Lou Serrano has an excellent contingency he uses that addresses exactly what is being discussed here about lowering your rate but with a contingency. It is a very professional way to handle this situation and clearly communicates everything up front for you and and client. I believe it is in his book.
Message: Posted by: saysold1 (May 19, 2015 11:06PM)
People typically perceive that there is greater value in a product they pay more for. Whether it is a Mercedes, Audi, BMW or performer - the higher the price, the higher the perceived value.

If the performer meets and exceeds expectations at the event, then the client will usually be thrilled regardless of the fee charged.

A good performer should properly set up & callibrate those expectations when interviewing the client by phone prior to event day.

Personally I'm trying to raise my prices at least yearly if not more often.

I'm originally from LA and I could certainly charge higher rates generally there than I can in my current town of Phoenix. I also try to avoid wedings and bar-mitzvahs etc - I'm not opposed to them mind you, but know from experience that in this market (Phoenix) people cannot typically afford my rates for these events.

My focus (what I choose to concentrate on) overwhelmingly is corporate and higher end parties and booking companies that work these markets. If I focused on the wedding circuit here I would probably not get more than $100-$200 per hour - that is what I know the local Magicians charge. By avoiding marketing to those segments I try to choose the playing field where I can charge higher fees.

My goal is to make no less than $1000 a gig and in the past few years that has been the rule rather than the exception. The more exclusive gigs (parties) also tip better generally...which I like :-)
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (May 19, 2015 11:51PM)
It's been interesting hearing some of the thoughts on this topic. Thoughts come from different levels and perspectives. Truth of the matter is there is a huge difference between the $100 performer and the $1,000 performer, and the differences are many. If you don't understand the differences you are likely not the $1,000 performer. The differences for the most part are not typically understood by the $100 performer. It's threads like this that many will not understand, but those at the point of need or consideration of this will get much more clearly.

It's hard to discuss this because most are not $1,000 entertainers, so they almost always take offense to perspectives and advice offered. As an agent and entertainment broker I can immediately look at a performer, performance or promotional materials and know immediately their value on the market. Most are unable to do this. It's taken years of experience and having booked $100, $1,000, $10,000 and $100,000 or more entertainers. There are very notable differences.

I will tell you it has nothing to do with how they socialize, lol.

First and foremost is professionalism. Not the Webster's definition of professionalism but a multi-facted definition of professionalism (my students know exactly what mean as I have a narrow acceptance and toleration for any other expectation or definition). Someone here several months ago asked my about my definition of professionalism. I will see if I can dig it up and decide if I want to share it here as I think it came out of some of my private materials. But professionalism happens on many levels - at once.

Next is understanding market value and positions, how others perceive you, the circles you operate in, how you operate, the understanding of the hierarchy and different levels of entertainer (which I listed here previously) and you and your level of execution - performance, operations, value and compatibility. Then of course there are many components within your show itself and it's production. Also how you work with buyers, bookers, agents, promoters, press & media, etc.

Also usually $100 guys are performers, $1,000 are entertainers.

I will say this, if a so-called $1,000 performer books a $100 performance, he is a $100 performer. The whole idea of "if I am booked, I will offer the booking to other magician's I know" is a lower level mentality and strategy. Especially for a higher priced performer, you should be working hard to create an identity, branding and positioning to separate yourself from the others or anyone else, and by referring or recommending others, you are simply lumping yourself in with everyone else and doing the exact opposite of what you should be striving for. You are interchangeable and replaceable.

Now don't get me wrong, some just want to be the $100-$425 performer. If that's all you strive for, then the refer-a-friend concept may be fine for you. You are all magicians, you all do basically the same things, and you are all basically interchangeable. For those with few bookings or early in the beginning of performing for income, this can be a way to network and get out of your bedroom or basement.

It really needs to be understood that different mentalities and different approaches are conducive with different levels and price points of performers. It's one thing to say "I am booked but by buddy Magnificento is available and he does a lot of kids parties and is great with kids too", which is different from a $5,000 trade show performer that says, "I'm sorry I am previously booked myself, but have you considered Anton Zellmann? While he doesn't do the type of magic that I do, he does a great memory show for trade show clients worldwide which could be a different option for you." While they may appear to be similar, they are different in many ways on many levels. Again, the differences need to be understood.

Sbrundage brings up some valid and interesting points as it is obvious he is in a transitioning stage. We all go through it at some time (most professionals do) and it can be a struggle and even confusing one you attain the greater levels to let go of or try to accommodate your former level of clients and bookings. For some it's immediate and easier, for others they make it a process with disdain and reluctancy.

Then there's the whole working with middle operators (agents, producers, promoters, etc.) who will book you at one rate and sell you at a much greater rate. Remember, your price is what you sell yourself for, not what the middle operator sells you for. I've seen so many falsely believe they are worth the $4,500-$5,000 price range just because an agent or promoter sells them at that rate. They are not. All it says is the agent or promoter has clients that will buy at his price or he can sell at that price point. You can't or you'd be getting that kind of money regularly. If you declined, he would simply find another. That's one thing lower level performers don't realize when trying to get representation with an agency. They agent is concerned about who can meet their clients needs at the right price. Who is offering them the best AF price, allowing them the best margins. This is just the tip of the agent/agency iceberg.

Interesting topic and replies. This is one of those topics that is hard to get performers at such levels to talk about and that I've been fortunate enough to study intensely for decades.
Message: Posted by: saysold1 (May 20, 2015 01:10AM)
As Spock always said...

Facinating.
Message: Posted by: Tim Friday (May 21, 2015 08:31PM)
I remember in his book Jamie D Grant suggests pricing your services at the same amount of the average rent/month in your city. I can't remember all the details or what qualifications he says you should have, I would have to look back at his book but it is an interesting way to think of it and it does take into account the cost of living in your area.
Message: Posted by: Thehedge (May 22, 2015 03:51AM)
Thank you MindPro and Brian Miller for you input into the discussion.

There are many factors to consider, but there is surely a difference. As I consider entering the realm of professional magicians, I would prefer to pursue a higher level cliental. I have enjoyed my hobby style performances, but my interest in magic draws me further. Now, I need to put in the extra work to build that worth and mindset.
Message: Posted by: Sam Sandler (May 22, 2015 09:55AM)
While I agree with much of what has been said. I do believe perceived value plays a role.

i have a friend that changed his name, his wardrobe and style of performance as well as targeted a new level of clientele and went from the little shows to making a million dollars a year in just a few years time. but it all started with a name change and how he was perceived by others.

for me I think it is a mix of both the perceived value as well as the quality of your show and the experience you bring.

a beginner generally wont be charging $300 or $600 or more. where as some one that has been performing for many years will and should be able to demand more.

i myself a few years ago decided I should be making more and simply raised my rates dramatically. (keep in mind I had performed close to 10,000 shows at the time)
and I watched my clientele change almost over night. while I was still performing birthdays at that time I noticed I was performing for people that had HUGE houses. charging $350-$500 for a birthday party was getting me fewer parties at first but was making the same if not more working less.
i don't really do birthday parties much any more but if I get a client that wants me and willing to pay the price who am I to say NO to making $350 in 55 minutes doing some thing I love! and that is the flip side to this conversation. a lot of this comes down to what you are willing to work for or what you WANT to make.
some are happy making $200 a show - I could not live on that as this is my full time job and that is the other reason some need to charge more -its their livelihood.

i can tell you also that many times that birthday party netted me a bigger show for their company.
i did one party for a family and turns out he was the VP for fortune 500 company. we talked after the party and a month later booked me for their annual Christmas event where I made my full fee for such shows. which is why you should always bring your A game- you never know who will be in the audience.

so my point is - if you have a quality show, the experience, the knowledge needed then raise your rates and work towards the clientele you want to perform for.
but the real key is to make sure you have a show worthy of the rates you charge.

just my thoughts

sam
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (May 22, 2015 11:29AM)
10,000 full evening shows? How long were they?

That is a fascinating number
Message: Posted by: Sam Sandler (May 22, 2015 12:49PM)
Hi Danny

i never said 10,000 full evening shows. I said I had performed close to 10,000 shows. at this point I believe the number is over 10,000 shows that I have performed.
my full evening show is 90 minutes long and my other shows all run 55-60 minutes long.

just last year during my 45 state national tour I performed 400 shows alone. 95% of the shows ran 50 minutes the rest ran closer to 60 minutes.
not every year is that many but there have been many years of 400+ shows. from full evening illusion shows with my assistant to private events, to walk around events to every kind of event you can think of.



its been a great 2 decades of magic and looking forward to my next national tour.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (May 22, 2015 02:22PM)
So 400 multiplied by 20 years is only 8,000.

I guess math confuses me because that is not anywhere close to 10,000 shows a few years ago.
Message: Posted by: AttnPls (May 22, 2015 03:23PM)
$900.
Message: Posted by: BrianMillerMagic (May 22, 2015 07:44PM)
[quote]On May 22, 2015, AttnPls wrote:
$900. [/quote]

I laughed out loud, quite hard. Thanks for that!
Message: Posted by: Sam Sandler (May 22, 2015 08:41PM)
Danny I'll try to be more clear.

Some years have done 400 some closer to 500 some only 250.
Plus the past 2 decades is just the time that I have been a full time professional. I have been performing for close to 30 years.

The 10,000 shows is lifetime. Sorry I was not clear. And if you read what I wrote I said I believe it is over 10,000. But it could be 9,500. Or somewhere a bit more or a bit less. I have not gone back and counted every single show I have ever done. But the number is up there.

But you know what. I don't appreciate what seems to be your condinsending attitude twords me. And insinuating that I'm not telling the truth here.
That's just impolite my friend.

I have performed, lectured and taught magic for over 2 decades. I have paid my dues.
If in the future you have a problem with my "math" or anything else please contact me directly.

Meanwhile I was merely trying to offer some advice and my thoughts and experience with others that were seeking it.
Why you needed to belittle some one is beyond me.

Sam
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (May 22, 2015 09:02PM)
Wow defensive much?

You put out a number and I asked for clarification. Now I am being rude?

I accused you of nothing. It is just that the number you threw out there is extraordinarily high. I was curious as to how one accumulated such a number. It can be done and I know those who have.

Not many people hit that number. People throw around numbers all the time and often do not quite understand exactly what they mean.

Sorry you feel condescend to. That is not my intent. I was curious about the number and apapparently you do not quite hit it.

I was curious what a show consisted of to be counted. Lots of my friends do amusement park shows at 7-12 a day! Adds up quick.

Try being less offended and just talking and maybe you won't get upset.

Not many guys out there doing that many shows. If talking about actual numbers makes you feel bad sorry. Not quite sure why that is such an issue.
Message: Posted by: RookieMage (May 23, 2015 03:22AM)
Because I am a Rookie Mage (I'm not much, But I Am All I Think About :o)
, I think I will toss in a point that I discovered a few years ago. And as a fair disclaimer, I am not now, nor have I ever been, a pro magician. But I'm still gonna toss in my dos centavos...

Limits to income are largely in the mind. Yes, skill, experience, etc... have an effect on income, there is just no way around those truths. Still, many times our incomes are limited by what we Imagine we can and cannot make. My income started to jump upwards drastically after I had an epiphany while negotiating a salary. I was offered a salary to go with a job offer, and I added $10,000 to the salary amount and the employer immediately said, "Ok." I was God smacked. The idea that other folks would value me at that much higher dollar figure Was A Surprise To Me Big Time! Prior to Asking For More Money (without hardly thinking about it), I had no idea it could work. When it did, everything changed. My income has only risen since then.

I suppose you could say that I am merely hyping the positive mental attitude gurus like Tony Robbins or Dr. Wayne Dyer, but there is a lot to be said about "acting as if you are already successful" and good old fashioned Believing That Something You Have Never Done Before Is Possible. My increase in income did not occur until After I imagined it was possible.

Lastly, a $100 mage might simply lack the business/negotiation skills of the $1,000 mage. If you are a great magician who has little business skill, you will always make less than the mage with more business skill (IMO). I do business negotiations around money all the time and I truly benefited from formal negotiation training, in a classroom, from veteran negotiators. Body language, closing, selling, incremental negotiation, there are a lot of skills that a pro magician could learn to increase their income beyond the pure magic skill level.

Oh well, I stuck my neck out, just remember; "don't hate the player, hate the game"... ;)
Message: Posted by: eatonmagic (May 23, 2015 01:11PM)
[quote]On May 19, 2015, sjbrundage wrote:
While talking to my girlfriend she was saying "that is too much" No one is going to pay that much for a magician. "Boy she was wrong"
[/quote]

One reason why she probably said this is because of the same reason ALL people say it. Because they think with THEIR wallet, not the client's.

Of course SHE could never imagine nor justify spending such an amount on a magician because she is not your idea client. This happens in byline of work doing design and marketing. Most small business owners think of the cost and not the investment or the return related with the investment.

Remember that people buy with emotion and justify with logic. If the need is great enough, people WILL pay.

Good for you to raise your rates and weed out the ones that aren't serious buyers. Perfect example of working smatter, not harder :)
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (May 23, 2015 02:21PM)
Since many are thinking it and no one is saying it, I'll take it....What's the difference between $100 and $1,000 magicians? $1,000 magicians (and even $100 magicians) don't use the term "mage"!
Message: Posted by: Sam Sandler (May 23, 2015 04:58PM)
Danny I then apologize. You know things can be lost in translation on threads like this with out hearing the tone or fully knowhi g how some one says something n
I'm sorry I got defensive. I have had some run ins with other magicians that have spread some nasty lies and falsehoods about me and I guess I just hit you with a knee jerk reaction. Sorry bud.

I perform a lot of school shows they add up fast as well as for 3 years I was the wal mart magician in my area I was performing at 6 wal marts a week 5 nights a week. Plus my regular shows. It was an insane 3 years but loved it.

I'm currently in talks and working on setting up another national tour that might run for 3 years. Working hard all the time.

Again I'm so sorry I miss read your intentions with your comments. But the one did seem a bit out there making the comment about math and stating it was not even close. I think you could have been a bit easier going and simply asked questions instead of leading others to think your questioning my words

But let's move past this and get back to magicians helping magicians.

Sam
Message: Posted by: RookieMage (May 23, 2015 07:15PM)
Hey Mindpro, thanks for helping out a Rookie Mage with your advice about not using the word Mage; I suppose it was one too many times playing D&D as a kid that left me using the term and at age 51, I am a tad stuck in my old lingo. As a confessed Rookie here, I can use all the help anyone can provide, thanks for sharing.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (May 23, 2015 07:54PM)
No problem, just having a bit of fun. Welcome! A point to consider, while many here are magicians, there are many here who are not and are other types of performers such as mentalists, hypnotists, jugglers, clowns, speakers, educators, novelty performers, specialty performers, agents, producers, promoters, balloon artists, non-magic kids party entertainers, DJs, comedians, party hosts, writers, creators, etc.

While magic is always part of things, many come here for a variety of other reasons usually pertaining to their business, marketing, specific performance markets, press and media, management and operations and making the transitions from hobbyist, to part-timer, or to full-time. Some amateur, others semi-professional and professional.

I think one of the nicest things here about this section is it is not about the magic or tricks or props and accessories (although now that I've said this someone will attempt to post just such a question) which I know to many is refreshing.
Message: Posted by: saysold1 (May 24, 2015 03:57PM)
Ya Mindpro reeled me into this section some months ago and now I'm hooked...
Message: Posted by: Thehedge (May 25, 2015 09:46AM)
Rookie age, thanks for your input. As you may not have performing exerience, your exerience can be helpful to us "young bucks." Thanks for your two cents.
Message: Posted by: Thehedge (May 25, 2015 09:47AM)
RookieMage sorry, darn auto correct.
Message: Posted by: Thorn (UK) (Jul 1, 2015 09:55AM)
In my personal experience I've found that (working through agents) once you've set a price with an agent they're reluctant to view you as worth much more as time passes. Agents I've started working through quite recently are prepared to pay me a far higher fee than agents I've been active with for years. I think people tend to get a very fixed idea of you and it's hard to make them see how you've grown.
Or maybe I just haven't been very good at keeping my older agents informed about the higher calibre gigs I'm getting these days!
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Jul 1, 2015 11:01PM)
[quote]On Jul 1, 2015, Thorn (UK) wrote:
In my personal experience I've found that (working through agents) once you've set a price with an agent they're reluctant to view you as worth much more as time passes. Agents I've started working through quite recently are prepared to pay me a far higher fee than agents I've been active with for years. I think people tend to get a very fixed idea of you and it's hard to make them see how you've grown.
Or maybe I just haven't been very good at keeping my older agents informed about the higher calibre gigs I'm getting these days! [/quote]


Yes, this is the way it is and really should be. You seem to only be looking at this from only one perspective.

You, as an entertainer are the product being sold, just like any other product that is taken to market. You've provided your wholesale price to the agency for them to retail to their customers. As with any other product, once a price is established the machine starts to work. Once a shirt is offered at one price wholesale, it is then sold to the source for resale at the retail price. That is exactly what the agency(s) are doing with you likely BASED ON THE PRICE YOU'VE GIVEN THEM AND AGREED TO. Once this is in place the agency/retailer then starts their machine to take it to their market based on the price you've provided. They offer it to their customers. Most if interested at all will not likely purchase until the need arises for them personally. This could take months or perhaps a year or two if at all.

Just like the shirt, it would be wrong and inappropriate after once it has hit the market to all of a sudden change your price (wholesale) as it would cause a chain effect all done the line. Now prospects that have been told one price and are proceeding with this figure in mind all of a sudden are expected to pay a new increased price? This is wrong on many levels.

And Yes, if your prices have changed it is YOUR JOB to inform any agencies you are listed with, and Yes, you stand a great chance of being dropped or dropped lower in their booking priority because you have now changed the formula - their price, their margins, perhaps the price point position they were interested in you at and many other elements that you seem to be completely overlooking.

There are three sides to this formula - your price, the agency's price and the price to the purchaser. You seem not to be thinking of or considering the last two perspectives.

This is exactly why most performers do not know and understand how to work with agents or agencies. Most entertainers have a completely wrong perception and understanding of agents, agencies and how they operate.

If you have newer agencies conducting business at a higher rate it's because you established this formula with them at a newer price. This all lies on your shoulders and responsibilities not the agencies.

Truth be told, most agencies accept to represent an artist or act for a specific reason, price point or purpose on their roster. When you change those elements and dynamics, it's wrong for you to have the same expectations.

Also just because one agency may be interested in you for a specific spot on their roster at a specific price point, in no way makes or assures the same situation position and price point to another or other agencies.
Message: Posted by: TonyB2009 (Jul 2, 2015 04:53PM)
Last summer I had a residency at a resort every week, at a price that I thought was okay (but not great). It was on a quiet evening that I would not normally have been working, and close by, so I took the money the agency offered and did the season.

One night I was cancelled because the resort had a big music act in and felt that they needed a prestigious magic act to go with it. I told the agency I was as good as any they would book, but they went outside the agency and hired the magician direct. He asked for eight times my fee, and finally settled for five times my fee for one evening.

The following week I asked the resort entertainment manager how I compared to the expensive magician. He said that I worked the crowd better, but the other guy had a nicer suit.

"Next time we have a situation like that, we will give you an extra hundred and you can hire a suit," he joked.

So there's your answer; it is the suit.

On a serious note, it is a pile of things that have nothing much to do with the magic. How you look, how you speak, the style of your website, the quality of your promotional materials, the confidence in your voice when you answer the phone. This year, fed up with the recession, I have begun presenting myself properly and asking for bigger fees with complete confidence. And funnily enough I am getting the gigs. Still a long way off a thousand a gig, but the day will come.
Message: Posted by: Bairefoot (Jul 2, 2015 09:50PM)
It's all about who knows you!

Bairefoot
Message: Posted by: saysold1 (Jul 3, 2015 10:18AM)
[quote]On Jul 2, 2015, TonyB2009 wrote:
Last summer I had a residency at a resort every week, at a price that I thought was okay (but not great). It was on a quiet evening that I would not normally have been working, and close by, so I took the money the agency offered and did the season.

One night I was cancelled because the resort had a big music act in and felt that they needed a prestigious magic act to go with it. I told the agency I was as good as any they would book, but they went outside the agency and hired the magician direct. He asked for eight times my fee, and finally settled for five times my fee for one evening.

The following week I asked the resort entertainment manager how I compared to the expensive magician. He said that I worked the crowd better, but the other guy had a nicer suit.

"Next time we have a situation like that, we will give you an extra hundred and you can hire a suit," he joked.

So there's your answer; it is the suit.

On a serious note, it is a pile of things that have nothing much to do with the magic. How you look, how you speak, the style of your website, the quality of your promotional materials, the confidence in your voice when you answer the phone. This year, fed up with the recession, I have begun presenting myself properly and asking for bigger fees with complete confidence. And funnily enough I am getting the gigs. Still a long way off a thousand a gig, but the day will come. [/quote]


It is the entire package: The salesmanship, the presentation and pitch to the booker, the performers record of past shows, the suit (minor), the show itself, and many many other variables.
Message: Posted by: Tony Thomas (Sep 4, 2015 12:59PM)
I recently hired a performer who charged well North of $1,000 for a church outreach event. We blew it out with 1700 in attendance. It was a great event, great message, ect. I'm a magician that charges $400-$600 per event typically (at least for larger church shows). So, I was very interested to see what separated me (at my level) and this person I hired.

My conclusion. There were a lot of things that separated us...
1- His website (highly professional)
2- The photographs of him on his site were clearly done by a highly professional designer.
3- He has a promotional package, that included art to download, videos to show our congregation, posters, etc. All with a high level of artistic flair.
4- His endorsements on his website weren't just pastors from other churches, they were nationally known personalities, like Dave Ramsey, Max Lacado, and others
5- He had authored his own book, professionally published, surrounding a theme of his stage show - so he clearly had content to communicate.
6- He has performed for some of the largest, most well known churches in the U.S., and received those endorsements
7- He had an elaborate array of videowork. Some of these promoted themes, like a commercial that could run on a TV. These were highly artistic, well produced short films, that were quite impressive to me personally (because I could tell what was required to pull the video together).
8- What wasn't a difference between him and me? The types of magic tricks that he performed. It was a clear reminder that it isn't about the Magic.
9- What he did very well, and what made his show successful and of great quality, was his ability to communicate a cohesive and entertaining message which carried the show.
10- And finally, he had a cool factor about him. I guess you could call it the X Factor. We shouldn't overlook that he was young, good looking, and cool from appearance.

What separates a $100 performer from a $1,000 performer. A lot of things - quality marketing, niche focus, something to say, entertaining stage presence, experience, the X Factor. And maybe a little Magic. Interesting topic.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Sep 4, 2015 04:58PM)
Very well said. It's professionalism. Professionalism is comprised of so many different elements and components, I would say close to twenty five or more things that immediately come to mind. This is what separates so many performers, as many will never realize this or even become aware of it.

Next is understanding the difference between a performer and an entertainer. Again, some never do or will. Then as you say come sthat "X" factor. Thanks for the reminder and great insight.
Message: Posted by: Ken Northridge (Sep 5, 2015 06:45AM)
Excellent post Tony! I love how specific it is.
Message: Posted by: TheRealMagicMike (Nov 19, 2015 11:06PM)
The word that comes to mind that represents the difference between a $100 magician and a 1K magician (and I've been both... in fact, I've been a $50 magician) is "insight". A client (whether its for a birthday party, company picnic or a trade show) appreciates, respects and values "insight" into their event. By that I mean, connecting with the prospect by giving valuable information about how to make their event better, what people at the event typically like in an entertainer/magician, and how you help meet those needs and wants.

It's part personality, part confidence and a lot of experience (success and failure), to develop real insight into someone's event. A prospect (or anyone for that matter) can sense real knowledge and authority.

I'm a good bit older now, so I don't perform nearly as much... but, I can honestly say my skills were not increasing at the same rate as my fees... and people were extremely happy paying the higher fees. My "magic" wasn't particularly better, but my insight into their event made me genuinely more valuable.
Message: Posted by: Nem (Apr 13, 2019 07:52AM)
While I believe there are limits to what the market will bear in some cases, the corporate market is another ball game. I am not aware of any birthday party magicians charging 1k+ but I could be wrong. They would be very few indeed. Unless you are performing for celebrities. Even then it comes down to marketing and reputation. Not knocking the birthday party magician, they have an endless market and usually steady work. The corporate market is entirely different in approach and fees. Just be sure your marketing and skills are up to it before you go there.
Message: Posted by: charliecheckers (Apr 13, 2019 02:43PM)
Https://magicianbusiness.com/mb-001-much-charge-andrew-smith/

$1000 Birthday Party Magicians exist. Itís always good to explore what is possible I purchsed this product several years back, not to pursue $1000 Birthday shows, but to explore his mindset.
Message: Posted by: Nem (Apr 13, 2019 03:09PM)
Like I said, I was not aware of any. Certainly not the norm though. What did you think of the product?
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Apr 13, 2019 10:49PM)
I would think birthday party magicians are making north of $500 a show in markets like NYC, Chicago, etc.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 14, 2019 12:35PM)
What would make you think such a thing?
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Apr 14, 2019 02:11PM)
Just a guess. I think I remember Ken Scott saying he was getting $450 for birthdays in Atlanta area. I figure nyc and Chicago could command a bit more.

I should have been more clear. I donít think all birthday magicians are, but I would think the Ken Scottís of those areas could make over $500 a show, especially nyc. Again, just my thoughts. I neither live in those areas nor have a I done a birthday party show in years and years and years.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 14, 2019 03:25PM)
My guess is that the market is significantly less than that. Remember there is a glut of birthday party magicians out there all trying for the same market. Some may very well be that high, but I have doubts to as if that is the median price.
Message: Posted by: Ken Northridge (Apr 15, 2019 09:41AM)
It is my educated guess that getting $1,000 for a birthday party magic show is extremely rare. However, I know for a fact that some people's budget for their child's party is in the thousands, probably 5,000 or more in some cases. In some cultures 1st birthday's are equivalent to a wedding. And why shouldn't they be? Anyone who has gotten through the first year of raising a child knows it deserves a celebration.
Message: Posted by: charliecheckers (Apr 15, 2019 09:46AM)
[quote]On Apr 13, 2019, Nem wrote:
Like I said, I was not aware of any. Certainly not the norm though. What did you think of the product? [/quote]

It has been a while since I read it, but I recall specific insights he shared regarding his take on branding, positioning, and marketing. He shared some things he avoids because they would confuse customers or devalue the perception of his brand. I enjoy learning from those who challenge the status quo in any field. I find it especially interesting in the childrenís entertainment industry because I can relate to the material more closely. I purchased this product to gain broad knowledge, not to directly impact my current business. For me, and the reasons why I invested in it, I am glad I purchased it.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Apr 15, 2019 04:07PM)
If I remember correctly, the key of his book and approach is basically adapting a different mindset. That most approach kids show bookings from a typical "magician's mindset and mentality." It is this exact thing that is limiting and creates many misperceptions. I remember this as it is what I often speak of in my works as well as here. This combined with NOT operating from the magicians perspective but delving deeper into the most important aspect which is the mindset of the client - what they truly want, need and are expecting, NOT what YOU THINK they want or are expecting.

As I have said here many times, it amazes me how many kids performers truly do not understand the market or the prospects and clients. As many still falsely believe the majority book on price as the prominent factor. He also does not believe this and views this as part of the limiting magician's mindset and mentalities.

If you are looking for magic bullets or secrets that he is doing that you are not, you probably may be disappointed as there are no magic bullets in this book. Just an adapting mindset and approach, and of course once this is firmly in place as a new foundation, adapting your marketing and business efforts to this new position.

I remember many dismissing this believing nothing "new" was offered here, and of course many failed to understand its true message and worth. I am on the road right now or would reference exact parts of it, but this has been the jest of it.
Message: Posted by: Futureal (Apr 26, 2019 06:30AM)
[quote]On May 21, 2015, Tim Friday wrote:
I remember in his book Jamie D Grant suggests pricing your services at the same amount of the average rent/month in your city. I can't remember all the details or what qualifications he says you should have, I would have to look back at his book but it is an interesting way to think of it and it does take into account the cost of living in your area. [/quote]

Jamie D Grant isnít even a professional magician he works on an ambulance!

So many so called pros writing books about how to be professionals etc, itís really screwing up the market. Almost as bad as magicians lecturing material that only flies at magic lectures. And tricks being sold that appeal to magicians but not laypeople.
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Apr 26, 2019 08:30AM)
Jamie never claims to be a full time professional. His book specifically talks about doing magic on the side for money. And he charges more than many so called full time professionals I've seen.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 26, 2019 10:24AM)
Yea he is VERY up front about it. Yes he has a different perspective because he has another job. In no way does that make it invalid.
Message: Posted by: Futureal (Apr 29, 2019 01:00AM)
If he's upfront about it then fine.
Message: Posted by: GlennLawrence (May 7, 2019 12:32PM)
The only birthday party magician I know of who would absolutely be in or above the $1000 range is Silly Billy (David Kaye) out of NYC. Then again he's most likely the top kids party magician in the country so it wouldn't surprise me.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (May 7, 2019 01:02PM)
Not any more.