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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » Rates Faq, Version 1.0 (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Dannydoyle
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Hey Jim,
As I've always said, if it's worth it to YOU, personally, then it is great.

Look at the flip side of the coin though, too. A guaranteed, poor paycheck for 13 years.

Heck, I only started 20 years ago. At 13 years ago, I probably didn't really deserve a fantastic job!
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Magicshore
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Jim,

3 cheers for you. Correct me if I'm wrong...but I think your heart, the love of magic, and your desire to give people a good time, makes you a true giver. I'll take that any day over a pocket of more, more, more, more money. Most won't get it, though.

John
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What a brilliant post!! I'm glad I found the link on the tablehoppers page. !!!

o.0


Monty
Jamie D. Grant
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Glad to be of service-I'm thinking of bumping myself up a level for this Christmas. We'll see how it goes...

jdg
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Jamie D. Grant
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Just thought I'd revisit this thread. I should also mention that when I wrote this I was referring to Corporate Functions/Private Events and not restaurant work. Perhaps we need a separate restaurant FAQ...

Hope everyone's well,

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
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Jamie D. Grant
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I was just surfing old threads and thought this one might need some new insight from the new workers who have jumped into the Café pool in the last seven months...

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
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Donald Dunphy
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Quote:
On 2006-06-28 21:44, Jamie D. Grant wrote:
Those figures are actually just examples based on the rent equation, listed under The Rates (I didn't come up with that idea but I can't remember where I read it) which would help to figure out what's appropiate to your city...


Hi Jamie -

You mentioned in this post that you can't remember where you read about this rent calculation idea.

You might have read the "rent" calculation idea in this post from TheTopBanana, on this older thread: Cafe thread titled... Fee for strolling ......parties?

I commented on it, when he posted the idea on that thread back in July 1994, because I thought it was a clever way to calculate your fee. I'm sure the idea didn't originate with him, though.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Jamie D. Grant
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Thanks for the history Donald!

~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
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Barry Donovan
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Wow it took you a year to reply jamie!

anyways my thoughts on gigs, as a beginner you say to limit your shows,
I'm on my 5th strolling/table event next week and all have lasted 2 hours so far, the 1st lasted nearly 3 hours, however I wasnt stuck for ideas, I just kept moving and performing, I never realised how fast the time goes until I check my watch later on. but you know when its time to finish, not based on time but when you can stand up and realise every table has been performed for.
when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
Jamie D. Grant
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Quote:
On 2008-10-19 01:56, Purist wrote:
Wow it took you a year to reply jamie!



Lol, I've been too busy making bottles...

~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
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Jamie D. Grant
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Still think this is a useful idea for a thread...
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
Michael K
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On 2009-05-15 02:05, Jamie D. Grant wrote:
Still think this is a useful idea for a thread...


Yes very much so. Many thanks for the generous and experienced information.

Michael
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abc
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This is one of the first threads in months that I have read beginning to end and I actually think it should be made a sticky thread. I remember when I started out, getting to the fee was a really difficult decision. Many new magicians would find the information in here very valuable.
chrisgq
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Very nice post! Very informative....thanks all
Decibel33
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Quote:
On 2006-08-01 13:05, ku7uk3 wrote:
Perhaps I missed it, but nobody seems to have commented on the level of skill that is relevant when setting a price.

I have seen many magicians doing self-working tricks and effects such as dynamic coins, which don't require any skill. They use cheap plastic props (that look gimmick ed) and can often be found in your local toy-shop.

I'm not saying that this is bad, but those people cannot charge the same rates as someone who does an Elmsley count with a key card double undercut flourish with a pack of cards.
Or fancy maneuvers with a coin, rope and ring etc.
These tricks require serious skill, and it shows. I've worked gigs next to other magicians who did these self-workers and they got no respect at all. I then came along to the same table and they refused to let me leave!

I know, to the client who pays the bill, they have no idea on the magicians level of skill. So its up the magician to explain that to them, and show them that you have quality effects, which is why you charge a little extra.

My two cents.

Stephen

P.s: I charge £65 per hour. Every hour. I have on average 3 shows per week. (Manchester, England)
I know that's cheap compared to the competition, but I still have clients who cannot afford that. So I thinks its the right price.
And I know some of you are going to laugh at that price. I don't care. You might be able to charge double. But I get repeat booking, I get happy clients and I get the opportunity to perform on a regular basis.
When everything about you is about money, and how much you can rip off the client for, then your only good trick is making their money disappear.

P.s. - At Christmas I charge £95.00 per hour.


I don't know why, but it has always bothered me that magicians seem to need to prove themselves to other magicians. Some magicians get so caught up with how much skill they can display, they forget about entertainment. I'm going to tell you a true story minus names and locations.

I was working in San Diego with a man named Charles Brown, a local entertainer...I'm kidding! Okay, here's the real story:

When I had first started performing (years after I started in magic), I worked strolling magic for a shopping center. I was using gimmicked coins, cards, and Tenyo magic products. I was not the only entertainer there. Walking around somewhere was another magician who used pure sleight of hand for all his cards, coins and other magic. He was a real flourisher! And he had many years on me. By the end of the two hours that we were there, one of the shopping center's admin came to me and told me that their shoppers had been talking about me! I'm not making this up, but at one point of the conversation, he said to me, "People are indicating they prefer your magic over *other guy's* magic." I was floored!!!

Bottom line...entertain lay people, not magicians. There aren't too many lay people (if any at all) who are going to walk away saying, "Wow, did you see how well that magician could spread those cards!" or "That coin roll was the best part of the trick!" No, they're going to say "And then the coin changed in my hand!" and "He made the card magically turn face down!".

Ever since that first review, I've continued to use gimmicked magic. Can I do an double lift? Sure. But I'm not good at it! I don't like doing it. Can I do a coin roll? Nope! I don't even try!

I don't think it's a bad thing to show off with flourishes, but I DO think it's a bad thing to say "he has less skill because he can't flourish". Magic should be about entertaining. Period. How well you are at that is the real indicator as to skill level!

Oh, and sorry for picking on your post, ku7uk3. I hope you take no offense to it.
Scott F. Guinn
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FWIW...

I worked restaurants 3-5 nights/week for a lot of years.

At one point, I worked the same place 4, sometimes 5 nights EVERY WEEK for about 2 years. I didn't charge them much. I don't solicit tips, but unless I'm instructed not to accept them, I take them when they are offerred. At this place, I made as much and often far more in tips than I did in pay from the store. In addition, I booked a ton of gigs off it, and my "chops" were at their best ever. I got $30 an hour for 2 hours a night, plus a meal, plus tips and bookings. Not a lot of cash, maybe, but not bad for a couple hours work at a BBQ joint in Middleton, Idaho (population at the time about 1500, and only 5 minutes from my house).

As Jamie points out, restaurants are vastly different from one-off corporate gigs. I typically don't do JUST strolling at a corporate gig. I usually book an after-dinner show, and I try to up-sale them on strolling during the cocktail hour. The reason I do this is simple: I usually have to get there before the event starts to set up my PA and act, so I'm there anyway--might as well make a little extra jack during the "down time" until my show.

Here's what I do...

Let's say I'm talking to the client, and she has just booked a 60-minute platform act after dinner for an audience of several hundred, for say, $750. I would then mention strolling magic, explain what it is, and how it is a great warm-up, etc, etc. I'd state that my prices for strolling are cheaper than my platform show because I don't have to load/unload, set-up/tear down. I normally get $400 per hour for it, but since she has booked me for the platform show and I'm going to be there anyway, I'll give her a big discount if she'd like to add strolling to the booking, say 60 minutes for another $250. Much of the time, they go for this, so I get an extra $250 without much more work during a time where I'd be standing around waiting anyway--everybody wins.

Further, the strolling allows me to make personal contacts that I wouldn't make from just a platform show, resulting in more long-term income.

One more thing: I've heard and read a lot of people saying that you should never join the client for dinner at the banquet. You're supposed to decline, and these folks say it makes you somehow seem more prestigious and professional. I TOTALLY disagree with this philosophy! I WANT to sit down over a meal with corporate bigshots and their spouses (who are often bigshots at another corporation) every chance I get! It gives me an opportunity to make more contacts, it makes it more likely that they'll remember me for repeats and referrals, and often I make new friends. I think you are missing out on strong relationship/networking opportunities if you decline having dinner with them.
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RobertBloor
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Quote:
On 2009-05-29 21:32, Scott F. Guinn wrote:
FWIW...

I worked restaurants 3-5 nights/week for a lot of years.

At one point, I worked the same place 4, sometimes 5 nights EVERY WEEK for about 2 years. I didn't charge them much. I don't solicit tips, but unless I'm instructed not to accept them, I take them when they are offerred. At this place, I made as much and often far more in tips than I did in pay from the store. In addition, I booked a ton of gigs off it, and my "chops" were at their best ever. I got $30 an hour for 2 hours a night, plus a meal, plus tips and bookings. Not a lot of cash, maybe, but not bad for a couple hours work at a BBQ joint in Middleton, Idaho (population at the time about 1500, and only 5 minutes from my house).

As Jamie points out, restaurants are vastly different from one-off corporate gigs. I typically don't do JUST strolling at a corporate gig. I usually book an after-dinner show, and I try to up-sale them on strolling during the cocktail hour. The reason I do this is simple: I usually have to get there before the event starts to set up my PA and act, so I'm there anyway--might as well make a little extra jack during the "down time" until my show.

Here's what I do...

Let's say I'm talking to the client, and she has just booked a 60-minute platform act after dinner for an audience of several hundred, for say, $750. I would then mention strolling magic, explain what it is, and how it is a great warm-up, etc, etc. I'd state that my prices for strolling are cheaper than my platform show because I don't have to load/unload, set-up/tear down. I normally get $400 per hour for it, but since she has booked me for the platform show and I'm going to be there anyway, I'll give her a big discount if she'd like to add strolling to the booking, say 60 minutes for another $250. Much of the time, they go for this, so I get an extra $250 without much more work during a time where I'd be standing around waiting anyway--everybody wins.

Further, the strolling allows me to make personal contacts that I wouldn't make from just a platform show, resulting in more long-term income.

One more thing: I've heard and read a lot of people saying that you should never join the client for dinner at the banquet. You're supposed to decline, and these folks say it makes you somehow seem more prestigious and professional. I TOTALLY disagree with this philosophy! I WANT to sit down over a meal with corporate bigshots and their spouses (who are often bigshots at another corporation) every chance I get! It gives me an opportunity to make more contacts, it makes it more likely that they'll remember me for repeats and referrals, and often I make new friends. I think you are missing out on strong relationship/networking opportunities if you decline having dinner with them.


Just wanted to comment on the last bit - I whole heartedly asgree. Take the opportunity to allow your client the chance to know you PERSONALLY. A personal relationship functions just a little differently than a business one.

This can give you a distinct advantage for future bookings.

Great idea.

Best,
Robert
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Kevinr
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On 2006-08-01 15:54, Bill Palmer wrote:
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.



I hear you Bill BUT in that same 4 hours they may make $130 in tips so they are making $230 bucks (counting the $100 they are getting paid) Plus sold gigs for the weekend.. So they are getting paid $230 for marketing... NOT BAD!
spatrick
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On 2006-08-01 15:43, Alym Amlani wrote:
Quote:
On 2006-08-01 13:39, SoCalPro wrote:
"I charge £65 per hour"

What is this in USA money?


http://www.xe.com/ucc Smile


So whats that in Canadian money? ;-)

S. Patrick
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It's almost time to update this thread to 3.0!
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
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