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JackScratch
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In the "Fees: I can't afford that" thread, there has been a severe derailment concerning how much I charge. Which, in fact, I still have not actualy stated. In that thread, I have been attacked concerning the theorised rate I charge my clients. I am 99% positive that all of these arguments come from a failure to consider all that factors involved. I swear every attack I read on my rates sounds exactly the same "Well, I charge $500 for a 30 min show." Completely non-contextual given that I am strictly a strolling performer. Similarly, I am being judged by those who live in areas other than the one I live in, and also people who book themselves.

To be completely fair, if you are going to quote the rates of yourself or others, please include in that quote.
1. rate/time
2. Variety of performance
3. City and State you operate in
4. Other criteria besides price, including, but not limited to, contract/subcontract, operating expenses, years of profesional experience, and frequency of contracts.

These are but a few of the things you should consider before comparing yourself and your rates to those of another. I have spoken to a variety of other Houston performers, and while I'm certainly not outcharging everyone, I am a looooong way from the bottom of the barrel. I can even say, with some security that there are a variety of magicians in this area that charge considerably more for self bookings, but considerably less for their "day job", some of which are magic performances. I'm not going to name any names, because it isn't my place, but this onslaught of witty retorts to someones else's calculation of my rates is inappropriate.

I would actualy like to know if I am undercharging. Despite the gross number of comments on the subject, I actually still don't know if I am. I have had a number of people post replies that are witty, but completely unproductive, and many more that are only unproductive.
icentertainment
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99%

Posted: Apr 3, 2006 11:39am
Would anyone like some cheese with that whine?


Charge what ever you want.
Eventually it's your diary that will say how much you should be charging- or your sales techniques.

Don't compare yourself to other magicians - this is a mistake.

What you charge is your business and yours alone.
JackScratch
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Quote:
On 2006-04-03 11:39, icentertainment wrote:
Would anyone like some cheese with that whine?



Are there forums where comments like that are acceptable? I find it ironic that this should be a reply to a post which is mostly about being helpful instead of witty. Thank you for that lovely example of what I am talking about.

I'm right there with the rest of that post, but the fact is, I would like some concept of what the going rate for what I do is, and since everyone seems to want to be soooo helpful, I thought I would post a guidline on how best to do that. Also I thought I would take some heat off that other thread so it stood some vague chance of getting back on track.

And speaking of being helpful. Ever heard of the "edit" button? It's at the top of each of your posts.
RobertBloor
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Jack,

If you don't know icentertainment is Mr. Dave Welzman, a guy with a pretty wicked tongue online. I've chatted with him before and I don't believe he means ill in his comments.

Listen, ice is partly right...DON'T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHER MAGICIANS.

Especially those in particular who brought up your pricing structure. Dude, always consider the sources.

I used to be really judgemental about fees, dude. I really did. But now I say, if you can make a bit of money, cool. If you charge less than someone else would, so what? Just do the pros out there a favor - don't go actively pursuing otherwise high paying clients if you charge less.

Does that make sense?

I'm answering here, assuming, (which could by my mistake) that you are NOT a full-time pro, drawing EVERY DIME of our income from entertainment. I'm assuming (again, at my own risk) that somewhere, you have a standard hourly or salaried position that takes care of your bills, mortgage etc. If you do THAT'S TOTALLY FINE.

I think you made it very clear that you're charging between $100-$200 PER HOUR. Nothing wrong with that, dude. In fact, I can with almost 100% certainty GUARANTEE that very few on that other thread actually GET THAT REGULARLY. (By regularly I mean, more than once in a blue moon)

Stick to your guns, bud.

Robert
"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,"
-The Declaration of Independence
James Munton
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Robert,

Why does it make a difference to the fee he can command whether he is a full-time or part-time magician?

I have no idea what the others on the thread regularly charge, but $100 per hour is at the very lowest end of corporate strolling anywhere in the U.S. $200 per hour is also a bit on the low side.

Having said that, I think you are correct that Drew should charge whatever he feels comfortable with. He can then start increasing his rate every few months and see what happens.

Best,
James
RobertBloor
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James

The difference I alluded to was the undercutting factor.

Now, that said, there is still this "assumption" out there that he charges a flat rate of $100 an hour.

Hey, whether people know the difference, or the truth, or whatever is irrelevant. HE knows what he charges and has his priorities in order.

Can't ask any more of a guy.

Robert Bloor
"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,"
-The Declaration of Independence
James Munton
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Robert,

But I'm still not clear about the full/part time thing. Why does it make a difference?

Sorry if I am being slow to understand!

Best,
James
jimhlou
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I don't think part time / full time has anything to do with anything. People are paying X dollars for entertainment.

I have recently begun performing after a few years absence, and I, like JackScratch had no idea what to charge. I asked around, and got the same evasive answers JackScratch got. So I just went with $200 for a 30 - 40 minute show. Is this too little? Maybe, after reading some of the comments. I'll slowly start upping it and see what happens. However, I doubt if Julie's mom will pay more than $200 for her birthday party entertainment.
James Munton
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Jim,

Depending where you live, Julie's mom will certainly pay more than $200 for a birthday party.

Here in the Washington, D.C. area, she'll pay $400 plus!

I don't think a little over a dollar a day is too much for fantastic birthday party entertainment! Julie's mom spends more than that buying a coffee every day.

Best,
James
jimhlou
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Thanks, James.
I live in Louisville.
I just gave myself a raise.
James Munton
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Good for you!

Best,
James
inhumaninferno
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Got to throw in some more on this issue.

I threw out numbers in order to give JS a rough measure of fees. Set in stone? No, there are slight variations depending on the market. I was speaking in reference to the generally conservative Midwest.

Sure, you can charge what you want when you want. Just don't compare apples to oranges. Full time, part time, whatever, get the fee you want. Just don't probe the client for info on what others charge and then go less. Yes, this was stated above but it is important enough to say again (i.e. no undercutting).

I've run into many people who will do shows for very little money-some get what they are worth...others are worth much more but due to inexperience, shyness or whatever don't charge what they should. When I see this happen, I try to educate.

You, Jack Scratch, according to your website, have listed many corporate clients. Upping your future rates (if you currently charge $100-$200 per hour) might be the way to go for you. Perhaps charging, say, $400-$500 for the first hour and then a reduced rate for each additional hour may get you more "into the money". Plus, it would help your clients to understand that quality magical entertainment is deserving of professional fees. Or, if you charge low dollars, they may think along the lines of bands i.e. local cover band/hobbyist (low fee), or pro band/name band (higher fees).

Hope this helps.

Oh, yes, I am a full time pro. I make my living exclusively from performing shows.
RandyStewart
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JackScratch's original post, not this one, had to do with a lady who was interested in his services but claimed she couldn't afford him. At some point she suggests a barter or reduced rate.

Not once did he ask any of us what we thought about his rates. Not once.
JackScratch
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Um... Actually, that wasn't my thread. However, I very much apreciate your sentiment.
James Munton
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Randy,

He asked in the first post of this thread:
"I would actually like to know if I am undercharging."

Best,
James
RandyStewart
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Sorry about that guys. The referenced cross-post is where I got confused.

Unfortunately I'm a real genius only one second out of the day.
Donald Dunphy
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Drew -

This thread might be of interest to you:

Cafe thread titled... Fee for strolling ......parties?

On that thread (10th post down, on page one), TheTopBanana (that's Dwayne's posting name, he's a friend from The Dean's List) shared A GREAT FORMULA for how to price your show, based on the rental rates in your city. It's interesting to read and contemplate.

Here's a quote from his post on that other thread:

Quote:
TheTopBanana:

Strolling in any major market should sell for at least $500 per hour with an optional (i.e. you as the performer decides if you want to offer it) discount for additional hours.

In smaller markets the fee will be less but here is a good way to figure a fair fee... find a decent two bedroom apartment, two to three hours of strolling should pay the rent... Los Angeles that means $500 an hour, same in Seattle where rent will be $1000-$1500. Denver with rent at $750-$1000 aropund $375 to $500 is a fair rate.


Of course, this is just one of many threads about pricing for strolling at private and corporate events. Reminder: that thread is almost two years old now.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
RandyStewart
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Thanks for the link, Donald. The Top Banana has an interesting viewpoint. And for those looking for a concrete, no-bull answer, that certainly is one!
Dannydoyle
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OK, let me chime in here as I am one of the people Drew is whining about in the first thread.

First off he STATED he was offering a 10%-20% discount. THEN he mentioned it was only a difference in 10 or 20 bucks.

The question then became are you really charging a $100 per show?

I believe this is a correct synopsis of what happened. THEN I mentioned he was way undercharging for the fee. PERIOD. I am right. Sorry, especially for Houston.

I then mentioned how he should charge what he feels he is worth. It is between him and his banker, not us. If he is worth that, then charge that. A man has got to know his limitations. IF he can only command a hundred bucks then who are we to tell him differently?

I was wrong as I have never seen his act. It may well be worth only what he charges. He indeed would know far better than myself. So I apologize and retract my statement. If you are worth a c-note then charge it. Glad we cleared that up.

Now to agree with James. Part time, full time makes no difference. A client should never know the difference, you should never charge differently. The SERVICE is worth what it is worth, whether you do it regularly or not.

James, keep preachin' on, brother!
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
JackScratch
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First of all, I haven't put what I actually charge in any thread yet. Nor am I likely to. Second, a person making $200 per hour with a 2 hour minimum can easily pay for a 1 month rent on a nice two bedroom apartment in Houston proper using the proceeds from one minimum requirement gig. As $200 is the top of the range that I said I was in, then I have to say all the shock and awe is pretty clearly self agrandizement. I posted at the start of this thread what I was interested in knowing, and I haven't seen much of it at all. Most of the posts in this thread have been juvenile attempts to belittle me, and people coming to my defense from that belittlement.

You guys posting the "is that all you charge!?!?!?!?!" posts need lives. You have made a variety of incorrect assessments, and judgements based on them, all to make yourselves look far more important than you actually are. Is this why you come to this forum?

There was a clearly stated range of $100 to $200 posted, and all I've read, over and over is $100. Now the other end of that range might not be huge, and it might still be a little low, but I'm betting there isn't anyone out there who doesn't have at least 2 published books, who is charging $1500 per hour for strolling in Houston. Hell, $1000 per hour. By all means, if you fit that bill, please speak up.
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