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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » For pay or not for pay (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

sinnead zenun
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Mt. Makiling
408 Posts

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My friend said that he will hire me as their inhouse magician long before his restaurant was open... he often tell it to other people and even ask me to show some tricks to other managers of bar and restaurant beside his own restaurant... after doing some magic for a few days, I was waiting for an offer for how much he would pay me... but still hesistant since the restaurant isn't full boom... so my problem is this... is it ok that I still do some magic there without pay and wait till the restaurant becomes full time and some people went there to see me... or should I stop doing magic there... but when we have talked again he said that I can perform there anytime and anyday I want... but I should not consider it as a job but instead his giving me the privelege to perform... so what do you think guys I should do...
Werner G. Seitz
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Inner circle
3131 Posts

Profile of Werner G. Seitz
Continue for some time doing it for free if you can spare the time and are not depending on the money.
This will result in, you get better and better re performing in that venue.

After the restaurant is established STOP performing and hopefully ppl will request your appearance there or the owner will ask you to perform.
THEN negotiate a suitable fee for your work..

I think this is a good approach, especially to get accustomed to the working venue, getting the correct approach and routine to contact ppl aso. and it will help you to get more confident as well as polish your restuarant-work.
Learn a few things well.....this life is not long enough to do everything.....

( Words of wisdom from Albert Goshman ...it paid off for him - it might
as well for YOU!!!- My own magic is styled after that motto... Smile )
magicmoment
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Down Under Australia
54 Posts

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Are you experienced in restaurant magic?
Comet
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235 Posts

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I've worked a friends place for nothing from time to time ONLY to practice. The problem I ran into was that they started treating me like a paid employee. I sat down with him and talked to him about it and came to the conclusion that he thought this was something that I "played" with. He's a friend who I met socially and didn't know I was a magician. When I told him that it was really a job that I made GOOD money at he was shocked. We are still friends and I'll do something for him once in a while and yes I'll even do it for free if needed but I make sure he dosn't tell anyone how much he's paying me because when you do a free show for publicity the only publicity is that you work for free.
Something like I've got is a great place to work in some new stuff into my routine. I've been doing this for close to 22 years now and I've been makeing pretty good money for over 15 of those years. those first 5 or 6 years I remember doing anything from working for a free meal to $30 shows so ya gotta pay yer dues but there comes a time when you can say No thanks. it's a tough call but sometimes ya gotta make it. Hope you work things out. I'm sure you'll be asked back after you stop like Werner said as long as you get the expierence and the following.
Enjoy!!
Joe Comet
Paul D
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NY
455 Posts

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Stick with it you will get payed in the end.
Astonishment as Therapy...?
sinnead zenun
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Mt. Makiling
408 Posts

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Thank werner for the good advice...
I had that in mind before, using my friend's restaurant for my rehearsal and polish my performance...sadly I don't get paid... but the good thing is I can perform there anytime and he has given me the privelege... besides this is only my second restaurant work (the first one is with a friend also... he just offer me some meals or drinks) ....

yes comet I still consider my self as an employee and act like one... I mean, I still promote the restaurant... and being polite and courteous to customers... some people have asked me if I was doing it for free but I told them that this is my job and I'm getting paid...

yes pauly I'll stick with it... thanks again...
Skip Way
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I have one family theme restaurant (Bullwinkle's) that I appear at regularly and without expectation of pay simply because I pick up an average of 2 or 3 party bookings each time I appear. These more than pay for the couple of hours I spend there each week. I have fun performing there, so it's never a chore...but my time is valuable. If it weren't for the party bookings, I couldn't justify my time there. Your situation may differ if you are new to restaurant magic.
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
denny_Corby
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PA
240 Posts

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For now maybe don't worry about a fee like 1 said if you have the time, but maybe when more people start coming and starts booming you can talk to him about a fee. especially if people are coming back to see you and bringing in other people to see you.
NJJ
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I'm afraid that as soon as you give yourself away for free its hard to get someone to pay you. They tend to think of you as having no value. They might think your GREAT, but they'll still struggle to pay you.

Its a bit like waking up next to a beautiful girl and having her roll over a bill....

*cough*

My suggestion would be to talk to the guy NOW. Come up with a plan...

Some examples to consider....

PLAN ONE: I'll perform for two hours a night. If 0-5 tables come in I am free. If 5-10 come in your pay me 50%. If more then 10 come in you pay me my full fee.

PLAN TWO: I'll perform for three months free if you pay me for the next three months. Get it in writing. If the restaurant goes bust then you don't perform.

PLAN THREE: You ask for a percentage of the total take for that night. You will then be keen to upsell his services for him

OR...

PLAN FOUR: Do a kick ass presentation for him and get him to pay full fees NOW.

Each plan has pros and cons which we needn't go into here but it should give you food for thought.
Dannydoyle
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Eternal Order
20523 Posts

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If you are experienced in this type of magic and it is your profession then you simply should not keep doing it for free. Your time and experience are worth something, why give them away. If you are horsing around and want a place to do that then doing it for free is not such a bad thing when you get meals and such as a return. If you want a professional relationship it is best to establish one right now. Problem is once you have the toothpaste out of the tube it is tough to squeeze it back in. Your friend may value what you do at exactly what he is giving you now. This is why you are best off defining terms as close to the start as possible so he does not get set in his thought. GOOD LUCK!!
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Spanky
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Oklahoma City
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Are you a resturant magician pr do you d close up as well?
NJJ
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Personally, and I think this will anger many magicians, but I find most restaurant magicians drive down the price of magic and undervalue our artform. I prices START at $200AUS for the first hour and $150AUS for each hour after that. And that's for a small kid's party!

So what are people doing charging $30-$40 and hour for a gig?

I can understand that it gets you other work (but HOW MUCH extra cash does it make you? Would you pay the money you are losing by performing so cheaply for an advertisments that gets you that much work?

I also understand that American's get 'tips'. How much extra is that per hour $100? $200?

I also understand that clients who give you regular work deserve a discount? But how much are you REALLY giving them?
Dannydoyle
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Eternal Order
20523 Posts

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Nicholas,

Thanks for taking the heat by saying that. I will jump in the pan with you though and wholeheartedly agree. People tend to think that you are worth what you are charging. I get tips and charge the resturant highly. Both groups think they are getting more than their dollars worth. The exception to the rule must be the Magic Bartender though. Traditionally a tipped position only, with painfully small hourly.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Sonny Vegas
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Chicago, Illinois - USA
199 Posts

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Tips do range depending on the tipper. I bartended and did magic behind the bar. I have found out the best tippers are guys with their dates. Show them a trick that he can be a hero. don't make him look silly infront of his date. My best tip was $50...usually $5-$10 is the norm range.

A good indication they are dating is glance at their ring fingers. No rings...they're dating...or cheating...lol

Guys got to show off to their dates and you can clean up here. Make sure your tricks are mind blowing effects and remember,...Booze only helps the matter in the trickery dept.

...and always ask first before start your magic. They might not want to be bothered with magic, which is hard to believe.

Do your best Smile
Believe in yourself and the magic will come.

www.SonnyVegas.com
www.TheVegasBrothers.com
Tony Noice
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I know a magician who does one night a week free at a buffet place in exchange for bringing in his magician friends for free lunch every saturday.
Dannydoyle
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Eternal Order
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Tony if he gets something like free Sat. lunch for friends........this is not actually working for free now is it?
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Brady
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Los Angeles, CA
235 Posts

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SZ,

You need to ask yourself who you are working for? If you are working for yourself and just practicing, you can do that in a lot of places. Your restaurant friend is getting a benefit by having you perform in his restaurant. From your description, it sounds like he knows it. But when it comes to the cash, he is "giving you the privelege to perform." What would he do if someone came in and ate his food, but instead of paying, the customer said he was giving him the opportunity to prepare meals. I think your "friend" would be upset. Don't let yourself be taken advantage of. If you are going to work there without charging the restaurant owner, then you must see the customers as your customers and work it from that angle. This way the restaurant owner is providing you with something of value that he has: customers. You need to work the tip angle and work the crowd for private booking. Make sure every one gets a card or two. Make sure they all know you are available for parties. Have tent card made for every table annoucing your table side perfomances and and your availability for private events, etc...

If your friend doesn't like this, well you have already performed for his friends who have other restaurants and he has already given you a great recommendation. Approach them for paying jobs.

Best of luck

Brady
Sonny Vegas
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Chicago, Illinois - USA
199 Posts

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It's great to just walk into a pub or bar and sit there casually, mysterious your pockets loaded with tricks and nonchalantly ask the person next to you, do they believe in magic? Usually you'll get a confused look, but once you jump into pulling off a trick, you doing magic will soon spread like wildfire and everyone wants to see your skill.

This is a good way to practice your magic and I usually will get a few free drinks from people I do magic for here and there. If they like you they will tell you. Bring your business cards to give out.

Another thing with bar/pub patrons....They always ask "How'd you do that". Just smile and say, "It's magic, fun isn't it?"

Doing it this way is just a way to practice and get fimiliar with the night life people. Never ask for anything doing your tricks this way. don't expect anything doing magic this way.
All I can say is that you might get a few pretty Girl phone numbers,...and I have Smile

Have fun, Practice.
Believe in yourself and the magic will come.

www.SonnyVegas.com
www.TheVegasBrothers.com
Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
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Sinnead
Why should he pay for something that up to now has been given to him for free. I'm afraid you have already established the fact that your magic has no monitary value. You are working for the worst reason of them all EXPOSURE, jugglers, magicians, and Eskimos will tell you "you can die from EXPOSURE".
Al
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
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