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Regular user
Berlin, Germany
108 Posts

Profile of lui
Hi sjballa147,
here is a strategy that seems to work well in Berlin. Maybe it can help you.

Up to five close-up magician form a group and find a place were they can perform e.g. two days per month - an early and an evening show. The group will provide advertising material and get the biggest part/all of the entrance fee. The places will display the material, sometimes charge for the room and benefit from the increase of visitors. A spectator is charged 5-13 € (depending on quality/experience) for a 1:10 - 1:30 h show (25-40 visitors per show).

While this won't make You rich it's a solid base to start from. Just consider all the advantages:

  • Magic is not an additional decoration for the dinner anymore but a main event. Paying visitors will have a special interest in magic and are often a more respectful audience. Nevertheless the might have higher expectation, so keep the advertisement real.
  • This event is an excellent showcase and test field for your effects. Hang around after show and have a chat. If people like your style the might book you. When ask about your skills off show just invite the curious.
  • 1:30 h is a lot of time to fill alone. If you share it with your buddies, each one is left with 15 min and some connecting patter for the next act.
  • As long as you don't schedule this show on the weekend each of your group is left with plenty time for other shows.
  • If one of your group is sick or booked the other can take over his time (and pay).
  • If each member changes only one trick a month, your program will always be fresh.
  • If your age will limit your "credibility for business" (sorry, that is the best English term I could think up) one older member would be good for the negotiation.
  • With several magicians it's easier to have more variety in your show. One could focus on coins, cards, ropes mindreading etc. Just don't do all the invisible deck Smile.
  • With several people You can share the preparation work: designing advertisement material, booking and preparing the place...
  • Usually it's helpfull to share knowledge, experience, ups and especially downs.

So where will you find like minded? I don't know the American magic scene, but any local magic club will be a good place to start. A magic shop will be another good place, since the owner usually has good knowledge about his customers and a high interest to keep them in business.
Frank Tougas
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Inner circle
Minneapolis, MN
1712 Posts

Profile of Frank Tougas
Based upon some good advice I've gotten from the Café, a reasonable starting fee would be twice the cost of the average meal per hour. The high end restaurants then would pay more than a lower end restaurant.

Remember we are hired by a business for the service we provide, not just because it is a cool gig. In the private sector you produce a valuable product or you are soon out of work.

Frank Tougas
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
Paolo Venturini
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Veteran user
Lucca (I.) - New York City
385 Posts

Profile of Paolo Venturini
Thinking something else... What about "Summer Camps" performing for kids (summer time, of course). Or you could have a part-time in a local magic shop, or have an agreement with a Toy Store's owner, advertising your two (or 3) times a week performances... In all cases you're rising their business, you'll get paid and, most at all, exposure and more experiences for you... You'll growing in magic and after that, you could perform gigs in restaurants and be paid as a semi-pro.

Good luck.

Paolo Venturini
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Loyal user
278 Posts

Profile of sjballa147
Thanks a lot all this advice is great. Any more venues good for closeup magic?
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