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magicmanci15
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110 Posts

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I know we talk a lot about getting restaraunt gigs by first giving some value like an hour of magic in a place free of charge. With a gesture like this, we, the performer have intent to get hired by a prospect, but when else is it ok to perform for free? What is too much? One of the booking agencies in my contact call me for a lot of charity events. I don't do them all, but Ive been working with him for about 2 years now, and usually these events are for charitable causes, and usually I get pretty large leads following the event. But there is no definition. Should I only give away magic when its for an event, or walk, or foundation. I try to keep these gigs to a minimum. Who else gives their magic away for free, or reduced price occasionally? THOUGHT?

Ivan
Adam Michael Magic
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Buffalo New York
34 Posts

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I usually play it by ear. I just got hired to do a Charitable event that is a Kidneywalk (Walkathon). I saw that it was a oragization so I did chargethem. I just lowered my price to let them think they were getting a good deal.

Last week there was a benifit for a little girl who was diagnosed with Lukimia and the family had very little money. That one I did for free.

I think being able to see exactly what the money was going to helped. At the kidneywalk I don't know exactly who the money is going, they were raiseing money for research. But for the other event The money was all going to help that little girl.

~Adam Michael
patrick flanagan
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Inner circle
lisle, illinois
1045 Posts

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I've done some work for free, and some for a reduced price for charitable causes. I don't like to make a habit of it, but I do feel really good when I finish the event. A lot of times if I am doing a charity performance for a family, individual, etc, I will request what my usual fee would be and have them issue a check directly to the family or individual that the charity event is being held for. For example, I did a walk around show for a family that the mother (40 years old) died of cancer. Husband and 3 small kids with piles of medical bills, etc. I requested a check for my normal fee of $400 (for that time frame) be issued in the families name. I did this because I wanted the family to have the money directly. I didn't want the organizers to think they had $400 more dollars to spend on other stuff. Maybe it's semantics, but I felt better knowing that the check was made out to the family.
I don't think this would work when doing charitable work for big organizations.
Patrick
Dannydoyle
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Eternal Order
20449 Posts

Profile of Dannydoyle
Wow charity work, and getting jobs. HMMMM.

First off I usually disagree with the free night to get a job. But since everyone seems to do it, go for it.

Second of all the thing to remember at charity events is fund raising is a big money business. Odds are quite good that YOU are the only one not going to make any money and I don't give a rats hind end what they tell you. You end up feeling like the north end of a south bound horse.

SO here is the solution. ALWAYS charge your full fee. No matter what. THEN, if it is a charity you believe in you donate back the fee, or a part of it.

This will do a few different things. First off the donation is deductable and has a nice paper trail. Second of all it establishes what your price is. IF someone asks the organizer your fee, he can then quote your actual fee to them. Then when your name gets passed along, it is as a professional who is paid, not as a guy who works for free, very important.
By doing this you avoid many of the inevetable calls for free work.

Just the way I do it. Hope it helps.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
chichi711
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Danny is a very wise man.

I have done my share of charity shows. I used to just do them for free. I don't have a problem with not making any money. I love this stuff and I am helping a charity. I don't have a problem with that. Karma comes around at some point. Its nice to have some good karma on your side. Danny's advice of charging full price and then if you like the charity donate it back is a fantastic idea.
Kent Wong
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Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
2458 Posts

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I don't have a problem supporting a particular charity of my choice, especially if it has a strong personal connection for me. Every year, I perform at drastically reduced fees for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. But that's my choice.

I also just recently received a call from a very good magician friend of mine who asked if I would help work a charity fundraiser. I didn't question the event since I'm doing it more as a favor for a friend rather than as a paid gig. Any money I make from the gig will simply be icing on the cake.

But Danny is absolutely right about charging charities. Many charities will make thousands upon thousands of dollars for their event. So there really isn't any reason why you shouldn't get paid as well. Just my opinion.

Kent
"Believing is Seeing"
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JeffMac
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Sudbury, ont
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It's always depended on the charity I've done work for. If it's a large organized charity I'll only work for it if I belive in it but I'll ask for a tax reciept for my services. If it's a local group raising money for some speacial cause ie. building a rink, an individuals tragedy etc. I'll do it for free flat out.
For me working a night for charity always has payed me back in someway sometimes finacial sometime in otherways.
Michael Baker
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Near a river in the Midwest
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I have never done free restaurant nights. Well, once... and that defined the word "chump", and I got smarter. What I have done is this... during the interview/audition process, if it looks like it needed just a slight push to ink the deal, I have made a suggestion that if the manager/owner knows anyone in his place, at that time, who is a regular customer, I could demonstrate in a live setting, what exactly he could expect from me. In the few times I have felt the need to do that, it seems to have worked, although it could go badly if the demo is less than you hope for.

But giving away a free night??? Think about this. If you walked into a restaurant and asked for a free meal, with the stipulation that if you liked it, you would become a customer, what do you think the reaction might be?? To me, it sounds like the first few lines of a poem:

Simple Simon met a pieman going to the fair;
Said Simple Simon to the pieman "Let me taste your ware"
Said the pieman to Simple Simon "Show me first your penny"...


Charity shows is another issue entirely, and I have handled them differently through the years. I like some of the ideas above, especially requesting a check being written to the charity by the fund-raiser, and the other of donating back, if you choose to do so.

I do have one black and white line. If the recipients of the charity are on site, and I am entertaining them directly, I will often do the show for free. Example: Camp Smile-A-Mile caters to kids with cancer. I know many magicians who took time to do shows for survivors of Hurricane Katrina. I will entertain at these events without qualm. This type of an event, although still charity work, is quite different than a fund-raiser.

Around here, I have been asked to do many fund-raisers, only to find out on site, that I am entertaining the wealthiest people in the city, who are taking advantage of their own check-writing to establish and/or maintain themselves socially. Social status may not be a big deal in a lot of places, but it seems to be an established lifestyle around here. These people are wining, dining, and conducting after-five business, and using it all as a tax write-off, and a way to stay in the inner circle. Philanthropy is not always on everyone's mind. I have learned to charge full fee for these. The food and wine is not free, so why should their entertainment be?

I can recall many instances of spin-off paid gigs as a result of shows where there would be no question that you are getting paid, but not many from charity shows, where you are usually viewed as one of a few replacable "potted plants" on the charity circuit chump roster.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Dannydoyle
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Eternal Order
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Michael, I could not have said it better myself.

Actually I tried to edit the word chump from my posts, but I gotta say before anyone jumps in on you here your right.

You may book more shows from a charity, but indeed most of that work will be free work as well.

As for free restaurant nights, well my feelings are exactly what yours are, and just as strong. I am glad you are the ligntening rod this time and not me LOL.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
patrick flanagan
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lisle, illinois
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Michael and Danny,
Outstanding advise!
Your responses make very good sense. I'll be handling those calls much differently now. Just goes to show....never too old to learn something!
The Simple Simon rhyme...I like that. That actually happened to me in a bar one night a loooooong time ago. But, the pieman had long dark hair and a short skirt.
But, I still have my penny.
Patrick
Michael Baker
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Near a river in the Midwest
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Patrick,

The "pieman" in your ana1ogy is a priceless visual! That penny saved can be used on something besides penicillin.

Danny, hopefully chump will fly because I directed it at myself. LOL Chump roster, or potted plant, refers to the nameless magicians/entertainers that so many of these entertainment bookers hire, like picking one of so many cans of soup from the shelf. They want "event fill", and nothing more.

Before I am accused of being cold, I do believe in most charitable causes. I do however have a problem with some of the methods employed, including over-grazing certain fields.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
JeffMac
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Sudbury, ont
350 Posts

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I've done a few fundraisers for the wealthy in town and I did them for a tax reciept, I charged more and basicaly came away with half of my usual fee in taxes back. Plus booked gigs off it at the increased rate. Either I'm not charging enough generaly or I'm doing the same thing everyone else at the party was doing, paying some money to mingle with people with deep pockets.
blink_inc
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Hamilton
278 Posts

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If you donate your time, in Canada anyway, it can be used as a tax deduction.
Talk with your favorite accountant.
I am a Sankey addict....please, help me!

My name is Will, my company is Blink, an experience in transposition.
Dannydoyle
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Eternal Order
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Yea Canada is HUGE different.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
JeffMac
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Sudbury, ont
350 Posts

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Sorta you gotta use your wordding and all creativly.
Magic_Steve
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Maryland
1476 Posts

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Quote:
On 2007-03-14 16:02, blink_inc wrote:
Talk with your favorite accountant.


Someone said on here that if you have any tax/financial concerns, never go to an accountant. They are required by law to report you. You would be better off going to a lawyer, where there is a confidentiality clause (big words!) or something. I'm not sure...just what I heard.

Steve
JeffMac
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Sudbury, ont
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That was probably me. If you want advice about something you are thinking of doing your fine to see and accountant. If it's something you've already done go see a lawyer
blink_inc
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Hamilton
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I did say your favorite accountant.

That made me laugh Jeff.

Will//
(calling my lawer)
I am a Sankey addict....please, help me!

My name is Will, my company is Blink, an experience in transposition.
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