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snap
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New York, USA
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Hey, guys
I just got booked to do strolling and a stage act at a festival over labor day weekend. the woman I talked to said I could accept tips, but would not be paid for the performance. now, I know there are a million and one phrases to promote tips, but since I will be on a stage, possibly with a wireless mic, I don't want to sound tacky. what do you guys suggest? should I go with these phrases, should I put out a bucket that says "tips" or is there a third option? thanx in advance for all the help.
**--snap--**
Daryl -the other brother
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Chicago
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Quote:
On 2005-07-13 11:16, snap wrote:
Hey, guys
I just got booked to do strolling and a stage act at a festival over labor day weekend.


If your doing this for free you didn't get "booked", you offerd your services at no charge and the offer was accepted. There are many threads here on doing free shows but IMHO it's not a good idea as it gives the impression that your time and peformance have no real value and all this brings is more free shows. As for tips, do a search and you'll find plenty of ideas.
Al Angello
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Collegeville, Pa. USA
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Get an attractive woman to circulate the crowd in front of the stage shakeing a top hat, and in the future get an agent to negotiate a better deal 4U.
Al

PS Getting that attractive woman may be more expensive than the tips you receive.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Skip Way
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I use a version of Cellini's hat line:

"Ladies & Gentlemen, I am neither beggar nor thief, but a simple entertainer seeking your applause and an honest sawbuck...or two. If I've lightened your heart with a moment of cheer, won't you please share your pleasure with a buck or two here. My mother thanks you."

I agree with Daryl and Al...As you mature as a performer, insist on suitable compensation for your effort, experience and time. Still, make the most of this opportunity. Enjoy yourself and keep plenty of business cards on hand and visible. Maybe you'll book a number of private parties increasing your overall compensation.

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

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
rikbrooks
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Olive Branch, Mississippi
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Actually, this isn't so bad as all that. What he's doing is busking. Not only is it fine to work for tips at places like this, most magicians pay for a license to do so.
dave.m
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I have done lots of free shows and cheap ones. I find that the best it is to give your number out, and wait for the bookings to come in. Don't do too many free shows as there will be no one left to book you.
Al Angello
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Take out whatever amount of money you think my show is worth, FOLD IT UP and put it into my hat, because tips are my only pay. If you liked my show my name is Al Angello and you can ask my lovely assistant for one of my business cards. If you did not like my show my name is Amazing Larry Vee and you can find my phone number in the book.
Al
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Dirko
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Michigan
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I think asking for tips always looks tacky. It is just my opinion. I know I am not alone because just the other day I went out to eat with some friends. One of them payed with a debit card. The lady behind the counter asked what are you leaving a tip on here? When we got in the car two of my friends thought that was very tacky. Asking for money is very risky. You can offend people quite easy. That is why I agree with many people who said negotiate better fees. I think all of us would rather book a show than get a buck or two. If you offend them you will never book their show or their friends. People love to talk. Just my 2 cents.
Skip Way
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As Rikbrooks sagely stated, there is nothing wrong with working for tips. And it all depends on HOW you ask as to whether it's tacky or noble. Street Buskers know that the best way to get the tips flowing is to do a GREAT show for a large crowd and make your hat line (the request for tips) part of your show. Humorous hat lines work best for me...it may be different for you. Check the Street Performer areas for other advice on tips.

It also changes with the type and location of the festival. Most of mine pay me outright to provide live entertainment. A few allow me space to perform my street act and busk for tips. When I busk at a festival or event, I , personally, refuse to provide any type of stage performance. First it is hard to get a stage audience to come forward with tips. Second, it may cause me to lose a choice busking spot that I've spent the day cultivating. Third, my stage shows are far more involved than my street act...if they want it, my fees are set and competitive. Again...that's me.

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

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
snap
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New York, USA
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Quote:
On 2005-07-13 11:56, Daryl -the other brother wrote:
Quote:
On 2005-07-13 11:16, snap wrote:
Hey, guys
I just got booked to do strolling and a stage act at a festival over labor day weekend.


If your doing this for free you didn't get "booked", you offerd your services at no charge and the offer was accepted. There are many threads here on doing free shows but IMHO it's not a good idea as it gives the impression that your time and peformance have no real value and all this brings is more free shows. As for tips, do a search and you'll find plenty of ideas.


actually, the way this came about was rather complicated. I at first did call her to ask her if I could do street at a fourth of july festival there, she thought it was a good idea and called someone else and asked me if I could be at this festival as well. it wasn't a matter of me offering my services for this festival, she is giving me a free booth and the privilage of NOT having to get a permit in exchange for entertainment for the kids and parents. although this is great, I also wanted to get something else out of it. when I inquired about tips, she agreed. I just thought I should clear that up. when I'm doing just the strolling kind of thing, I don't see a problem asking for tips, but I just think it would be a little tacky to do it up on stage infront of several more people than when I'm performing otherwise. do you guys think it would also be tacky if I put a bucket plainly visible that said "tips for the performer"? should I just keep my mouth shut during the show (about tips, I mean)? thanx for the help!!
**--snap--**
magicalaurie
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I'm with Skip. Those are great lines! I'm gonna write them down.
JesterMan
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It can't hurt to have a few friends in the audience rushing forward to give you a token of their appreciation. Smile As stated above, it may be harder to get tips on a formal stage than in the strolling or street locales.

As for tacky, it might just be in how you ask. The lines above are great, and the one mentioned about the lady in the restaurant... NOT like that. (I happen to know a guy and his wife on here that will reduce the tip if the server says, "do you need change?") That IS tacky, but if the same server says, "I'll be right back with your change", they may expect you to say, "keep it". So, don't beg, make the request in an interesting way that befits your character. IMHO

JM Smile Smile
JM Smile Smile

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Lee Darrow
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I have a couple of questions about this deal, and apologize in advance for my cynicism:

Is there going to be other entertainment? If so, are they getting paid?
If they are, why aren't you? If not, are they on the same barter deal you have, or something different? If so, what?

One thing I have learned about festival managers is some of them will do just about anything to essentially get something for nothing. Booth space that they haven't sold at this late date is booth space that they are not, in all probability, going to sell for the event anyway, so bartering it away is a no-loss deal for them.

If it turns out that there are other entertainers working the event who are working on stage who are getting paid (and I am not talking major headliners, but local talent), then you have been played. If not, then you have probably worked yourself a pretty good deal under the circumstances.

Just a note to all and sundry, though, when one of these event managers comes to you with a deal like this, ask what other acts are going to be on the bill and stall. Contact them and ask if they are getting paid or bartering a deal. Be up front with them about why you are asking - you have heard of other people getting played on a line like this at other events and want to know if this is a posibility. Do NOT ask them how much they are getting paid, just IF they are getting paid or getting booth space, etc., in trade.

Once you know that, you can cut the deal more fairly.

Can you tell that I've been played this way a couple of times? Smile

Lee Darrow, C.H.
http://www.leedarrow.com
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
snap
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New York, USA
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Quote:
On 2005-07-14 02:45, Lee Darrow wrote:
I have a couple of questions about this deal, and apologize in advance for my cynicism:

Is there going to be other entertainment? If so, are they getting paid?
If they are, why aren't you? If not, are they on the same barter deal you have, or something different? If so, what?

One thing I have learned about festival managers is some of them will do just about anything to essentially get something for nothing. Booth space that they haven't sold at this late date is booth space that they are not, in all probability, going to sell for the event anyway, so bartering it away is a no-loss deal for them.

If it turns out that there are other entertainers working the event who are working on stage who are getting paid (and I am not talking major headliners, but local talent), then you have been played. If not, then you have probably worked yourself a pretty good deal under the circumstances.

Just a note to all and sundry, though, when one of these event managers comes to you with a deal like this, ask what other acts are going to be on the bill and stall. Contact them and ask if they are getting paid or bartering a deal. Be up front with them about why you are asking - you have heard of other people getting played on a line like this at other events and want to know if this is a posibility. Do NOT ask them how much they are getting paid, just IF they are getting paid or getting booth space, etc., in trade.

Once you know that, you can cut the deal more fairly.

Can you tell that I've been played this way a couple of times? Smile

Lee Darrow, C.H.


lee,
there will be other entertainment there, not another magician, but some local bands. they are not getting paid, but they are also not getting a free booth. I see this as a possible publicity opportunity (the stage show, I mean.) as far as getting "played" I don't think this is the case, partly because the festival is in september and if they wanted to they could probably sell some more booths. the other thing is that I am a young magician and I am trying more and more to build up my reputation, besides, must I worry about their reasons? because this way I am getting a "freebie". thank you for the advice, keep it coming!
**--snap--**
Al Angello
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Collegeville, Pa. USA
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September is my busiest out door performance month, it is the month that I turn down as many jobs as I do. What is the significance of this booth thing, am I missing something? The wrong reasons for doing free work is "a booth" or "EXPOSURE". If you are young and inexperienced you should only do this free job to satisfy yourself, Eskimo's, jugglers, and magicians will all tell you that "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"
snap
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New York, USA
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Well, normally, I would havet to pay a significant amount to obtain a booth and do magic there. in addition to this, I would normally have to pay for a permit as well. so, in giving me a free one, it reduces my costs. thank you for the tips, keep them coming!!
**--snap--**
Joshua Lozoff
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Chapel Hill, NC
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Dirko,

There's a big difference between busking, which is a time-honored artistic tradition, and a waitress asking for a tip.

By the way, I hoped you tipped the waitress big. She's more valuable than the food you ate, and the question she asked you is her way of trying to provide for her own family.

Quote:
On 2005-07-13 13:28, Dirko wrote:
I think asking for tips always looks tacky. It is just my opinion. I know I am not alone because just the other day I went out to eat with some friends. One of them payed with a debit card. The lady behind the counter asked what are you leaving a tip on here? When we got in the car two of my friends thought that was very tacky. Asking for money is very risky. You can offend people quite easy. That is why I agree with many people who said negotiate better fees. I think all of us would rather book a show than get a buck or two. If you offend them you will never book their show or their friends. People love to talk. Just my 2 cents.
Joshua Lozoff

joshualozoff.com
Al Angello
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Collegeville, Pa. USA
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Maybe I'm crazy but a booth is where you sell your homemade crafts, magic, and knickknacks have nothing in common, I think you are waisting your time in the wrong venue. Are you an attraction or an exhibitor, no one is taking you seriously and you are buying it.

As far as asking for tips being tacky is concerned, I beg to differ busking is a time honored tradition that deserves respect, especially from performers. Would you call Gazzo a begger, or a performance artist?
opinionated
Al
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
snap
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New York, USA
218 Posts

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I agree with you, busking IS a time honoured tradition, and I am not questioning the tackiness of it, but I AM questioning the tackiness of asking for tips ON STAGE. no one seems to be understanding this, I don't have a problem asking for tips when I'm doing street, I just don't know about doing it on stage. thank you for the advice.
**--snap--**
Skip Way
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Snapster...I've seen Renaissance magicians solicit tips from their stage or platform. I don't see the stage as any different from the street...except that you're elevated a little above everyone. Set your tip bucket out there and seed it with a few bucks. Use an entertaining hat line at the tail end of your show...and make it part of your show.

If you use a sign on a tripod to identify your act, consider putting "THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIPS" with a color smiley face or something to that effect on the back. Turn it over as you make your hat pitch. You have to be brash to get the cash! If you offend someone...do you REALLY care? You just gave them a great show...and they want to be offended when you ask for a buck? Fugeddaboudit! Give it your best shot! I would!

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

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
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