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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Your most expensive show ever... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Jamie D. Grant
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Eric,

I regularly try to be the nicest guy on earth, that's my motto, 'Be nice!' but this thread has put me into a bad mood. I heard someone once say, 'Never ask a women her age or a man her age...' to which I thought, 'You're an idiot.'

People who are unwilling to share that kind of information are usually witholding that info in a bid to try and make themselves feel powerful or to try and manipulate you. Why on earth would I not tell someone I make? What do I achieve by not sharing that information? Anyone with an average intelligence can look up any occupation on the net so what's the big deal?

Let me say this. If you're embarressed about what you make, grow up. In my mind, mature people don't get embarressed. If you think what you make is no one else's business, grow up. Most people can tell what you make by looking at your shoes. And if you're unwilling to share or contribute, perhaps you should stay silent. There's other places in this world where your negativity is more than welcome.

That said- when I worked at MacDonald's 20 years ago I made $3.65 an hour. I charge $150 an hour as a magician and have a much better time doing it. If you want to charge $200 an hour after reading this I fully support you and hope you get it!

I hope everyone is doing well,

django
TRICK OF THE YEAR: Industrial Revelation, BOOK OF THE YEAR: The Approach, The AIP Bottle, and my new book Scenic 52, can all be found over here: SendWonder.com
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NJJ
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The Café is full of tricks, techniques, ideas designed to get more money and yet we all get nervous and jittery when it comes to talking hard figures (putting our money where out mouths are so to speak)!

What is wrong with sharing, with pride, our high fees and business successes?
mgical
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The only thing I would say as a note of caution is should someone search for your name on the web, your posts in the magic Café may pop up at the top of the list. Matt your own webiste is 4th on google, Magic Café is 6th. I know most people wouldn't do this, but someone may, would be a shame if someone watched a show and thought I want to know more about that guy and found something here.

By the way I picked Matt as 1)your name is unique enough to work on google 2) I don't think any of your posts I have seen are anything other than helpful, and this one if found would not offend as it justifys your fee clearly to the client. So hopefully I don't offend by using you as an example.

Nicholas, the 'priceless' post was wonderful. Though in the interests of dodgy prizes 'I make more THEN him' of course this doesn't beat spelling grammar wrong!

To Skip, I have no trophy wife (came second again, and they just give you a ribbon!), my killer car is doing 25 to life for murder, my box is plenty big enough since I added the shoebox extension...but too far Sir when you ask about my masucline pride! That is too far, my lions are my own business.

Would kill to make $50,000....that is an offer PM with targets name and I accept PayPal, reciepts given for taxman on request
icentertainment
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Django
When you turn pro - you may change your mind on discussing your prices.

Personally It's no ones business but your own and the worst thing you can do is publish it on a forum so It will be here forever

If they type your name into google and this pops up price $xxx stupid.

I think the quote on "witholding that info in a bid to try and make themselves feel powerful or to try and manipulate you"

I don't think you have any idea what your going on about

MABY it's not about embarisement maby I don't want my competition knowing whjat I charge or would be customers accidently finding this post on the web.


GEES I feel the force and I may have to turn into Darth David again
Skip Way
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Django, sorry to have annoyed you...such is the power of opinion. Jim, as usual, gave a far more rational voice to my thoughts. I can sit here and tell you all that I once made...let's say... $3,500 for a series of shows. So what? First - this could be a flat out lie set to superficially inflate an already out-of-control ego...and it could lead some kid just starting out in the business to think that he or she can command these rates with a set of canned jokes, a Professor's Nightmare and a thumbtip. This hurts us all.

Instead of bragging about the size of your paycheck follow Matt's excellent example. Explain what it was about this particular client, event or show that commanded this incredible fee. This is positive. This is instructional. This is constructive. This is the spirit of The Magic Café. This way the novice and the working pro can both learn something from your approach to earning this fee. It ceases to be bragging and becomes sharing. Sharing is good.

To me...and this is just my opinion...simply stating "I earned a whopping $5,000 for a single hour show" is no different from saying "I scored six barmaids last night." Big Whoop! Crass, crude and who cares? Tell us how we can get our share of barmaids... er.... higher fees!

Skip
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

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Jamie D. Grant
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Skip,

Well said. And I hereby recant my bad mood.

Hope evryone is well!

django
TRICK OF THE YEAR: Industrial Revelation, BOOK OF THE YEAR: The Approach, The AIP Bottle, and my new book Scenic 52, can all be found over here: SendWonder.com
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ThePartyMagician
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Quote:
To me...and this is just my opinion...simply stating "I earned a whopping $5,000 for a single hour show" is no different from saying "I scored six barmaids last night." Big Whoop! Crass, crude and who cares? Tell us how we can get our share of barmaids...


So let's elevate the tone of this thread, and not only discuss HOW MANY barmaids you got, but WHY/HOW you got them. Ideas people!! ;-)

Mike
Al Angello
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Skip
I if I could scored 6 bar maids, I am absolutely sure I would disapoint at least 5 of them, even if I had my vile of blue pills with me, which my wife never let me take out of the house, and by the way I think my wife is the most beautiful woman I have ever met (really).
Al
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ricker
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All big deals are made by networking!!!! It's who you know and timing.. Get to know people in the 'high places'. They are the decision makers who sign the checks.
NJJ
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Quote:
On 2005-11-23 04:10, mgical wrote:

Nicholas, the 'priceless' post was wonderful. Though in the interests of dodgy prizes 'I make more THEN him' of course this doesn't beat spelling grammar wrong!



CURSES!
J ack Galloway
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$5,000 for showing Buster the Aqua-Keet at a Wal-Mart share holders event.

Usualy 600 to 2,500

500 to 900 for doing my numberology work.


Jack

The act is for sale here on the Café' by the way.

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Jim Snack
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$5000 for six barmaids....could be a fair price, depending upon the value did they delivered. The old saw goes: A man once asked a woman, "Would you spend the night with me for $1,000,000?"

"Certainly," came the reply.

He then asked, "Would you spend the night with me for $1?"

"No!" she replied angrily, "What do you take me for anyway?"

"We've aready established that," the man retorted, "Now we are just negotiating price!"

Seriously, regarding prices, I've found that there are several fee levels in this business. In fact, I discussed them in my Kidabra lecture last August.

Level one fees are in the $100-$300 range per date, and include birthday parties, libraries, day care centers, etc. Best left to part-timers, although many full time entertainers still accept bookings in this range.

Level two fees are in the $300 - $1000 range per date and can include schools, fairs and festivals, colleges and some corporate and association work. Most full time performers work a lot at this level.

Level Three fees are in the $1000-$2500 range. Now we are talking about corporate and association bookings, some trade show work, colleges and small theaters. Now you are starting to get serious about the business.

Level Four fees $2500-$5000 - Be prepared to deliver the goods for corporate and association events and/or draw audiences to medium sized thaeters.

Level Five - $5000 and up - You are pretty well known and can draw audiences to theaters, conventions and the like.

At the lower fee levels, bookers tend to have a fixed budget for entertainemnt and that will keep prices down. At the higher levels, the act is often sharing the profits with the booking person in some sort of joint venture arrangement. The upside could potentially be very lucrative for all parties, so it's possible to earn much higher fees.

In every market, however, there are people who position themselves at the lower end, some in the middle of the pack, and others who price themselves at the highest fee level. It's wise to learn the needs of the markets you serve, the typical fee ranges paid, and then work on increasing the value (perceived and real) that you deliver to your clients.

Jim
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magicofCurtis
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I understand many viewpoints on this subject about reveal the highest fee.... It can be fun and interesting to see how much we "working class magicians" can bring in... Therefore from that view point it would be fine to reveal such...From the view point of shoving it down someone’s face how on much one charges would not be that much fun to say how much....

We must consider all factors in the fee, type of show, timing, special request, style, IMAGE, etc etc....

Therefore I will take the viewpoint of the "Highest fee"
One of my international tours I charged $300,000 US dollars for 29 shows plus production cost of $85,000 I was gone for almost two months and it too my manager, agent, and Pr staff almost 5 months to plan such.

But please consider the fact I was doing death defying stunts that brought lots and lots of publicity to the venue over 1 million additional visitors over the course of the 29 shows... (this is always my selling point bringing in more traffic and free PR…)


So spill the beans others and justfy why such of a fee.....
J ack Galloway
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Good answer Curtis,

I will provide a response tomorrow.

Jack

I also think Jim provided some very good information.

You guys have a good night.
Bill Nuvo
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In the past I never really compared pricing. It is interesting to note what people are getting. Sometimes people don't know what to charge and Jim's post is a great guide (thanks).

Will I be affected by someone else recieving more? Not personally. I think it's great that someone can make money doing this. I also think it helps show what a market can provide in terms of revenue.

Why should we be so secretive about our pay? Sometimes magicians hold their fees more precious than the secrets to their tricks.
MattWayne
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I'm going to go out on a limb here and advise this. The experiences that I've had in magic all have been positive. The people I have met have all been more than helpful, supportive, kind, and just downright great guys/ 'er and a few female magicians too. This post has been about inflated prices. But what is a price? I've done high end gigs; that's evident. I've enjoyed seeing the bank account balance rise here and there. I make an honest living performing. But what kind of work am I doing now? I'll fill you all in: low paying work.

I work USO shows for troops. A gig that doesn't pay. A gig that the only way it really pays is to cheer someone up. To entertain the families of Marines, Sailors, and defenders. I work constantly. I'm always on every single night. It's the holiday tomorrow and guess where I'll be? Entertaining Naval troops in Norfolk, VA. Do I get paid- yea. Two checks a month. Is it what I was 'used to?' Nope. So, why is a 'usually high paid' guy doing low paying gigs? Ha- gang it's a paycheck. I have a home for five contracted years. Going overseas here in a very short while. Now....

See any point developing? I do this because I enjoy working. I wanted to make a living at it and I am. I work my toosh off and have fun. BUT, does it matter that my pay is around $2000 a month? No.

Consider the perks. Do I have to pay for food? Nope. Do I have to pay for housing? Nope. Do I get to travel? Heck yea. Never was to Chicago before I joined this organization- except for the one show in Nebraska where I switched planes in Chicago, but that doesn't count. Never was to Virginia before now. Have I ever gone overseas? Nope, but will. Three years overseas tour. Health Care insurance, and Dental all taken care of. I think it evens out. I get to bring entertainment to the military as one of the only magicians currently. (I believe so, if anyone knows of anyone else please contact me!) And if I can do that- I'm satisfied, they're more than happy- everyone's honkey dorey.

Now- since I want to be constructive with this post, and not just rant. What could you do to help the military out? How could you entertain them as I am? Simple. Apply. I work for three organizations. AFE, USO, and MWR. You can easily apply and enter the AFE (Armed Forces Entertainment.) You're bound to go overseas, and actually receive some ok money. http://afe.afsv.af.mil/ If there is a military base near you, all you have to do is contact the MWR office on that base. Every military installation has some sort of recreational facility. Hence MWR is- Morale Welfare and Recreational services. If there isn't a military base near you; heck there is bound to be a Veterans home. You can get paid! Don't think that they'll 'persuade' you to donate your time. Just like nursing homes- they have budgets. But unlike nursing homes; Veteran's homes have higher budgets...

Some might wonder why I would write up this post and encourage you to do this. I think it's a good thing and that everyone should at least attempt; if not think about it. I know I enjoy it. Now- to get contracted. That is the business and luck part. I can't tell you what you should do. It's all you then. You have to be the one to take that initiative. It's not like I'm going to get jealous if you join these groups- it's not like you're making more than me;) Everyone makes the same. Even the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders. Oh- that's another thing. You get to meet some interesting entertainers and be on the bill with diverse people.

Since everyone was discussing inflation- I thought I'd mention my deflated price and plug USO shows. Well anyway. 'Tink outside the comfortable living bubble. I still wear a suit daily, still am who I was before; so that quality of life hasn't dispersed. If you have any questions- feel free to post one.

best regards,
Matt Tomasko

Oh- and Happy Thanksgiving
Matt Wayne
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Facebook.com/CelebrityMagician

Creator of, 'Got a Light?' and others.
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magicofCurtis
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Mr. Billidentertainer,,,

Yes, it is interesting in seeing the different ranges.... I also concur with Jims view point on the fee ranges...

Although, I have received over $20,000 for one show but hey I still LOVE, yes LOVE doing the Library shows for about $300 ish dollars when there is a gap in my schedule...

I am proud to state that I started in magic by doing birthday parties, school shows, etc which has been the blue print to my upcoming success... It has taught me, and shaped me for the market that I am in today...

I have created a super star playful image for myself that risk death for amusement which has lead me to much of my $$$$ success... which I have learnt from my smaller shows…..

TomaskoMagic, I solute you for your work,, but man, shorten your post, they are always are long,, But good info......eheheh wink... teasing you

CHEERS
Eric Leclerc
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Interesting discussion....no???

the only down side I see to this thread is that someone would google my/our name and see these posts, its a slim chance but hey... I DO regret posting it fpr that reason...but still find it interesting to see what people replied....

I am one of the few (i'd estimate about 20%) that have their real name here on the Café..Could defenitaly be weird for a potential client or someone researching your name see a thread like this...
magicofCurtis
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Yes,,, these threads do come up on searches at times... HEY MAGIC Café>> FIX THAT>>>>>>
icentertainment
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Sorry you'd have to pay to make the server secure as in https which cost money
and being a free site - it doesn't make sence.

But we now know that it will show up on serch emgins-- I just hope no one looking for me types Darth David into a search engine
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