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Bill Palmer
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There is another factor to consider. This is your competition and their prices.

I don't do kid shows any more. But I get at least 15 calls per week for them. These people are shopping for price. They don't realize that a good kid show is going to cost them $250 or more. I send all of them to a friend of mine who is an expert.

Strolling close-up at parties here is dreadfully low. There are way too many people here competing for the same party. I tell my agents how much I'll work for. There are a lot of $100 an hour magicians in Houston.

Restaurants are a different situation. In music, there is what we call "sit down gigs." These are jobs where you work the same place for four nights a week or more. The scale for these is lower than the scale for the kind of show where you set up in the afternoon, do the show and tear down. So a piano player in a restaurant may make, say $150 a night. But the same guy in a band doing a concert might make $250 -- this varies according to the scale in your town, of course.

An every night restaurant gig may only offer $100 a night. That's for about 4 hours of work. I won't do it, but there are a lot of guys who will.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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SoCalPro
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KU7,
Is magic your only job?
cheesewrestler
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There are so many things wrong with KU7UK3's post I can't get my mind around where to start to respond to it.

Hopefully a wiser forumite than I, with more self-control than I have (shouldn't be hard to find!), will post a suitable reply.
Jamie D. Grant
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Lol,

I'll just say this,

"The Magic is You."

I'm sure Bill Palmer could rock (and by that, I mean Entertain) us all with a Svengali Deck Smile. Would I be fooled? Who knows, probably, lol. But would I be entertained? I'm sure...

jamie
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
Kindness takes practice. My TEDx talk
Pete Biro
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Jamie.... of course your pricing is in Canadian. Smile
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Jamie D. Grant
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Hiya Pete!

Well, it's all based on the rent for a nice one bedroom apartment in your city. Thank goodness I pay my rent in Canadian, even though it's getting better Smile

jdg
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
Kindness takes practice. My TEDx talk
solrak29
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Keeping the other factors in mind (i.e. Danny's and others), I like Jamie's basic idea. From a beginner's perspective. It kinda sets a goal and some tangible number that would mean something to someone. It don't think it is set in stone, but at least some sort of idea or guideline to help you make your decision on
your rate.

I also agree 100% that your skills at sleight of hand vs. selfworking is the not the issue. Though you could use it as a convincer to get more money in
negotiations, but I think that would be hard to sell if the person hiring you
does not know what an Elmsley count is Smile. It entertainment value in the end if you ask me and what your employer or client deems it is worth.

Sorry for getting side tracked...

Now here is where I think it hard wired based on Jamies level...correct me if I
am wrong.

So it would be safe to say, that before doing any paid gigs that I stick with barter type method of payment up and untill my 25th show? Then after my 25th show I should re-negotiate (if I am working at an establishment) because I am at my next stage? What would be some good barting ideas? Also should there
be a price differential for specific type of shows. I'm assuming we're talking
solely on resturaunts and strolling, but I think each venue demands a different
pricing? Please shed some light here.
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"I intend to live forever, or die trying" - Groucho Marx
Jamie D. Grant
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Hi Solrak29,

Thanks for posting!

I would think that you probably shouldn't be approaching restaurants if you're still at the beginner level. In my opinion, your first 25 shows (this will differ from person to person, obviously) should be done for functions that are one offs (i.e art show, private party, friend's wedding, etc.).

By the time you start getting into Restaurants or Corporate Work, you'll really want to have your routines down and be comfortable with your performances- this, btw, might take a lot longer than people expect. Until that time, hit the streets looking for places where you can perform, make mistakes, and be comfortable. Then start going for the moohlah...

My 2 cents,

jdg
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
Kindness takes practice. My TEDx talk
solrak29
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Jamie thanks for the added advise here...

Please see my comments in-line...

Quote:
On 2006-08-11 01:27, Jamie D. Grant wrote:
I would think that you probably shouldn't be approaching retaurants if you're still at the beginner level.


I totally agree...I was thinking along the lines in your earlier posts, but thanks
for emphasising that.

Quote:
In my opinion, your first 25 shows (this will differ from person to person, obviously) should be done for functions that are one off's (i.e art show, private party, friend's wedding, etc.).


Any advise on finding these? Since street magic is not considered the same here...
or is it?

Quote:
By the time you start getting into Restaurants or Corporate Work, you'll really want to have your routines down and be comfortable with your performances- this, btw, might take a lot longer than people expect. Until that time, hit the streets looking for places where you can perform, make mistakes, and be comfortable. Then start going for the moohlah...


I agree whole heartedly. I am just starting on my routines...I don't like just
doing someone elses magic verbatim. I've been seriously pursuing this when I
read someones posts about "getting an act first"....

So once I have "my act"...and hit the 25 mark and have the done what you written
above...then its time to approach the world and say..."show me the money" Smile
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Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2006-08-03 23:21, Jamie D. Grant wrote:
Lol,

I'll just say this,

"The Magic is You."

I'm sure Bill Palmer could rock (and by that, I mean Entertain) us all with a Svengali Deck Smile. Would I be fooled? Who knows, probably, lol. But would I be entertained? I'm sure...

jamie

I've sometimes been known to do the Svengali pitch with a borrowed deck.

Whether you do things that require sleight of hand only, all gimmicks or a mixture of the two is irrelevant. What matters is whether the audience knows that you are using any of these. The source of the magic should not be noticeable to the audience.

What ever you use to entertain the audience -- entertainment is the key word.

This said, the fellow who can work out of his pocket will probably be better at getting the audience to believe he is doing good magic than the guy who pulls a different deck of cards out of his briefcase for each of 25 different effects.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
solrak29
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Quote:
On 2006-08-11 21:56, solrak29 wrote:
Quote:
In my opinion, your first 25 shows (this will differ from person to person, obviously) should be done for functions that are one off's (i.e art show, private party, friend's wedding, etc.).


Any advise on finding these? Since street magic is not considered the same here...
or is it?


Any thoughts on the above? And at what point would one consider themselves ready
even for this part?

I also thought to myself based on the beginning post that we're talking about 1 and
2 hour gigs. Would it be best to limit yourself to how long you do a gig based on
the number of people? For example, it is hard for me to see strolling magic for
2 hours for only 10 people. Just curious on this one.
To Find Me On The Pitch, Follow me :On Twitter
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"I intend to live forever, or die trying" - Groucho Marx
Jamie D. Grant
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Hiya,

I would agree that when starting out you probably won't want to be doing 2 hour shows. You could even start out by doing half hour shows if need be. Try and find some local events to volunteer your services: old folks homes, friends functions, anything you can think of really. Even though you may be a beginner, you want to start off on the right track of approaching events. Something like, "Hi, I'm a local magician and I've finally decided to take my skills public. I'd love to do a 30 min show at your event in exchange for..." might work...

You should also try and look for events that will have more than 10 people. You'll find out that when starting, in my opinion, the more people there are,the easier it will be on you. If there's 1,000,000 people at one function then you could do 2 card effects all night. If there's only 1 person you might need a bit more Smile

As for when you're ready it's hard to tell. You're probably best off asking a fellow local magician to take a look at your set (which includes your dress, demeanor, attitude, and effects).

jdg

p.s. also keep reading and searching here on the Café. There are a ton of posts regarding where and how to start.
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
Kindness takes practice. My TEDx talk
solrak29
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Thanks again Jamie, your points are well taken.

There was an earlier post about an IBM....

The IBM group that I belong to, do shows as a group...would you say this can
go down as a gig? I'm thinking yes.
To Find Me On The Pitch, Follow me :On Twitter
Checkout my pseudo blog : The Sidewalk Performers Forum

"I intend to live forever, or die trying" - Groucho Marx
wsduncan
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Quote:
On 2006-06-29 17:52, Dannydoyle wrote:
A professional gets paid for what he does. Pretty clear. Not too much grey area.

YOU have a different standard for "blowing away" a group you randomly approach than one which has paid some good hard earned money to see you. Their standards are far different from watching someone in a pub for no money, and someone who has made the claim they are going to do a show.

Do you see the difference? It is colossal! They have nothing invested in you just approaching them in a pub, and "blowing them away". Once they pay, it takes on a new meaning for them and hopefully for you.


Danny,
My perception is that most of the time, when people see this sort of magic they didn't pay anything. Their host or the resturant or someone else did. So does that still apply?

Here in Seattle, for example, we have Monday Night Magic shows at couple of local bookstores (they have stages for speakers / poetry readings, etc.) and people come out specifically to see a free magic show.

In my mind having people get out of their chairs and drive to the show is more of an investment than simply stumbling in and having dinner where I happen to be working, or being compelled to attend a company party where I've have been booked.
Dannydoyle
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An investment of their time, yes definitely that applies if you ask me. Even more so when you put it that way. No doubt sir.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Destiny
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Thank You Jamie for your advice - translates well I thik using the rent thing - as for tips we don't do the tip thing in Australia - here people are supposed to be paid a decent wage for a decent job - very grateful for that - have watched videos of American drag performers running round the stage trying to fit in the odd bit of entertainment between collecting tips - hope that never comes here for magicians - quick trick - swing on a pole - collect a tip
fccfp
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I have not had a regular strolling gig for several years (25?). Recently I had the opportunity to speak to the manager at a local, family oriented, restaurant. This place caters specifically to families w/ young kids and is relatively inexpensive. (I don't eat there). They have me for two weeks and we will go from there.

Factors I took into consideration:
1) The restaurant caters to folks that don’t have a lot of green and what they get is probably around $6-10 per head.

2) They are trying this out to see if it is something they want to do. Manager is experimenting; owner is waiting to see what happens.

3) I believe (hope & pray?) that this gig will raise my visibility in my area, allow me to give out cards & collect names.

4) I hope to benefit from the publicity/advertising they do to promote the night. (ME!)

5) It will pay for an upcoming convention Smile

6) I would enjoy doing it.

7) I will be able to say I was the “House Magician” @ (name of restaurant).

I quoted well below my regular rate for a birthday party and a fraction of what I get for larger shows. They offered me free meals there for my wife and me, we will not be taking them up on it. On the plus side, it is on my commute home from work and I won’t be lugging all my equipment, backdrop & PA. These are big pluses to me. I don’t think I would have done it for this amount if I had to drive an additional 20-30 minutes each way. If this turns out to be a regular, long-term arrangement, great, if not I won’t be too disappointed. For two appearances, it will still be fun. I would not do it for free, but the enjoyment factor is important to me.

Not everyone will agree with my reasoning. It works for me & that is enough. That’s my story and I am sticking to it.
A.K.A. Jay The Magician
www.jaythemagician.com
Dannydoyle
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Now think of it this way.

IF you book shows, how much will you get for those shows? Dosn't sound like people eating here can afford your regular show fee. Yea you get exposure, but what kind?

Being "House Magician" at a cheap restaurant, is that something you want to brag about?

Why don't you and your wife eat there? That should be your first question. It matters.

I am not saying don't do it, or it is right or wrong, just your coin has 2 sides.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Amon
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I'd be curious to find out how your new gig goes..let us know.
here and now
SoCalPro
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Hey Danny,
Here is my 2 cents..........
I currently perform at 5 restaurants a week. One of which is a low rate restaurant. You can get a steak, veggies, salad, AND soup for about 8 bucks. I do not get many gigs from it (that’s OK), I never make good tips from it (I don't accept tips anyway), and sometimes the guests are less than classy (sometimes downright dirty). Now for the good part. This restaurant has employed me for 13 years!!!!! That has been a guaranteed paycheck for 13 years!!!! I know this is an exception and not the rule, but they have had me EVERY WEEK through thick and thin, bad times and good times (kinda sounds like a marriage). Although I may not enjoy performing there every week, it has been a steady paycheck, and I have met some really nice people(no, really). Not to mention that it has given me a GREAT place to practice new magic.

Again, just my 2 cents, and NOT the norm (kinda funny cause the place is called NORMS). Smile

JIM
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