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Topic: Starting up
Message: Posted by: RJW (Sep 11, 2004 01:51PM)
I am 14 and would like to start earning a little bit of money. I was wondering if you could give me some ideas wher to start and what to charge.
Message: Posted by: Paddy (Sep 11, 2004 03:32PM)
Well, if you could give more of your background and abilities it would help. How long have you been in magic? What kind of effects do you do? Do you rely on gimmicks, or do you perform magic? These thing must be known in order to answer your question.
Message: Posted by: Jim Snack (Sep 11, 2004 11:04PM)
Start doing shows at nursing homes and take whatever they have in their budget. Then do children's birthday parties, charging somewher between $75-$150, depending upon where you live and what you offer. Do that for a few years and you will be on your way.
Message: Posted by: RJW (Sep 12, 2004 06:30AM)
Paddy in answer to your questions I have been in magic for about 6 years I perfer to preform magic to an audience of 3 or 4 but would like to expand this to 15 or 20 people. I like short sharp tricks with a story behind them hope this helps.
Message: Posted by: Paddy (Sep 12, 2004 04:50PM)
It does help. On another forum I belong to there are a lot of kids who buy two or three gimmicks and suddenly think they are magi and want to go to work.

Jim had GREAT ideas, so after starting there you may want to work I a restaurant or two doing table hopping. See the GENERAL manager (he or she is the only one with authority to hire you) do a freebie ONE NIGHT ONLY audition. If they like you then charge them. I use the formula of looking at the menu and seeing the average price of a meal. i.e. if all the meals are between $10 to $15 then I would use either 13 or 14, then set the rate at twice that per hour, plus tips. so I would charge $30 per hour, you may want to shoot for 25/hr as you are just starting.

If they balk at that the reply is "People will be comeing in because of my entertaining I will easily add 2 customers per hour while I am here.

Good Luck

Message: Posted by: RJW (Sep 17, 2004 03:05PM)
Paddy, thanks for your posts they have realy helped. yours also Jim thanks for you time!
Message: Posted by: MarkTripp (Sep 17, 2004 04:10PM)
First, and this is key:

Get an act!

Not stuff that you see others do, but your own act.

Save money for the Tarbell course, or lacking funds the Wilson Course, and dig in. Find things you nave NEVER seen another magician do!

Stay OUT of the magic shops and internet magic sites. Make your own magic.

Ask yourself, if my magic were real, and I am 14, what would I do with it?

Once you really have an act, it gets easier from there....
Message: Posted by: pikacrd (Sep 17, 2004 04:21PM)
No matter what happens don't give up. Keep at it and you will be fine. Here is the thing in my opinion if you are willing to put in the work at all of the nursing homes and daycare centers that you can find even if you have to do them for free at first you are building working knowledge that someday will turn into money.
Getting an act is fine and something that you should strive for but remember you are 14 an act will come with time and understanding of what it is that you are doing your act will probably change 10 by next year so while getting an act is great make sure that you are out in front of people doing magic and getting the experience that you need to do an act. As you learn your craft you will see that doing things like taking acting classes and scripting are just as important as the items that you have in your act.
Good luck and best wishes.
Message: Posted by: Jim Snack (Sep 17, 2004 05:04PM)
Early in his career, world class magician Michael Ammar performed at the nursing homes in West Virginia when he was starting out. He relates the story in his tape, "Making magic Memorable," which I recommend to all magicians. One thing that stuck with me on that tape was his observation that "everybody needs some place to be bad."

One of the great things about being 14 years old and doing shows at nursing homes is that nobody expects you to be great. You can take risks, try routines out and have fun in a low pressure situation.

Granted, the reactions you will get from the audience at a nursing may not be typical audience reactions, but you are working on performance skills, technical skills, blocking, show management etc. Nothing beats just getting out there performing. As Jeff McBride puts it, "You need flight time."
Message: Posted by: MarkTripp (Sep 18, 2004 04:40AM)
Well, I will give you what I did, but boy it REALLY ticked the girls off, and made the boys wonder (hey this was long ago and boys and girls made money in different ways).

I was "The Magic Baby Sitter"

I made up signs and put them up everywhere that I did magic for the kids when I baby sat for them!

Now, who do you think the kids are going to ask mom and dad for?

Roy Kissel, when he heard I was doing that waited for the shop to empty and said "Mark, you are going to be a full time professional magician! Take every class in school that will help with that, because you really are going to do that with the way you think."

The baby sitting thing was so unique (and would be again) it led to some interesting articals in the local and school newspaper; which led to more jobs, which led to birthday parties, etc.

At 14 this is a great way to start and learn how to entertain children, pays nice too....
Message: Posted by: Dr_Stephen_Midnight (Sep 19, 2004 06:23PM)
I started performing for the city recreation commission (nursing homes, playgrounds, civic centers). Ther was NO MONEY in that, but plenty of experience to prepare me for shows where I DID ask for MONEY.
Message: Posted by: magicmanrob (Sep 19, 2004 10:52PM)
I have to agree get out to the nursing homes even if you aren't that great to them a lot of them have poor eyesight anyways , but its all about " flight time" saw Jeff McBride earlier this year at the IBM convention and he told the youth at the special workshop just for youth members about when he was starting out and doing lots of shows for nearly nothing , he was paid back 100's of time over later. Its called delayed gratification. don't be hung up on instant profit when you are just starting out.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Sep 20, 2004 08:06AM)
I am all for flight time. You must get out there and perform whenever you can. You learn so much more by doing and through trial and error. the more you perform, the more you learn.

Message: Posted by: George Ledo (Sep 20, 2004 10:33AM)
Nursing homes are a great idea -- the people are very appreciative, usually friendly, and often have relatives (sons, daughters, etc.) who might be looking for a magic show for a party or company function. Hospital day rooms are good for this too.

But nursing homes are also a great way to learn how to play TO AN AUDIENCE instead of to the back wall. Make eye contact, relate to individuals, work for a reaction, and play up the applause and laughter. Make it a two-way street, and you can learn an enourmous amount.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Sep 20, 2004 10:36AM)
Another idea is to contact your local library and ask them that you would love to do a free show for the kids in their reading club etc. This can be on a saturday and you can do a nice 30 min show.

because it is a free show, you can perform without too much of the fear involved in a paid performance or gig. But, you not only get experience, but you can also pass out your cards and some marketing materials to get your name out to the community.

This is even better at times then nursing homes in that these people and parents can and may actually book you later on for a b-day party etc. So the show in a way becomes a marketing tool for you.

Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Sep 20, 2004 10:51PM)
On 2004-09-12 00:04, Jim Snack wrote:
Start doing shows at nursing homes and take whatever they have in their budget. Then do children's birthday parties, charging somewher between $75-$150, depending upon where you live and what you offer. Do that for a few years and you will be on your way.

Thank you, I was charging $50-75 quite a few years ago for birthday parties in the RI area and was told I was pricing out other magicians. (I felt the people I was performing for could afford $50-75, but would balk at more than that no matter how good the magician was.)
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Sep 21, 2004 06:02AM)
It is also about perceieved value in the mind of the prospect. Just like your a consumer, you will be willing to pay more for a product you beleive ion and know to be of good value. The same applies for your show. Be a solutions provider to your prospects and they will be happy to pay a higher price.

Message: Posted by: RJW (Oct 3, 2004 06:48AM)
Thank you all for you posts they have helped me come to few desisions on where to start and what to to. I figured I just need to go out there and practice.