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alex cahill
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I have a question. If there is a regular contract somewhere and you are asked to do a free show for an evening so you can be seen working do you do it?
See the thing is, what happens if the employer then says no we do not want to hire you. They have just had a magician for free even if you were very good.
secondbaseman
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I would still do the show, Its my hobby Smile and who cares if you don't get the money, you like magic right? You like performing right? So what do you have to loose?
It will only make you better.

Niels
alex cahill
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This is true but the fact that you could be conned into a free booked show does not appeal. It could be a scam which everyone could use if they wanted a free magican.
BroDavid
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Generally, you will not be asked to do a free show as an audition. You may be asked to show a bit of what you can do, and that is appropriate.

I am not suggesting that you do a free show, because, it sets a value of "0" for you.

So if being asked to do a free show, and you somehow feel that you must, be sure to get agreement up front as to what will constitute success, and what will happen if you succeed.

I have heard of folks saying "do a free show, and we will see". Then when it was done, they said; Thanks! I really don't need a magician right now. But I will keep you in mind in case I ever do need a magician. So obviously, they really weren't ready to sign a magician in the first place. Believe it or not, some folks just want a free show!

Some will say, go ahead; it is good practice. And it would be good practice. But if you are giving something of value, you should receive something in return.

BroDavid
If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
Zenneth
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China - Hong Kong
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Alex,

If I were you, I wouldn't do a free show in that kind of situation. I would do free shows for charitable organizations.

You can provide the employer with the refund option, if any customer or guest complains that your performance was bad, then you can refund the money. But never a free show for commercial reasons, otherwise, it would deduct the value of magic performance.

Zenneth
Vinnie Anderson
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atlanta
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When I started in magic, I started because I loved the art. I did not start out to make money by performing. That came later and was only a benefit to my hard work. I still love to perform, and perform as often as possible.

I perform for free very often. The other day, I was walking around the mall, and there were a group of senior citizens out for the day. I started with a few small tricks and ended up performing for 45 minutes. The smiles on their faces, and the small amount of joy that was allowed to enter their lives as a result of my hard work and practice was well worth it, and definitely payment enough.

Vinnie
Smile Smile
Andrew E. Miller
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From my experience, free shows = money. Sometimes you have to do a few free gigs to get business and when you do they will like you more for having done those free shows as a sample of your work. I think they are ESSENTIAL.

Andrew
If you get bored go to www.a-miller.idz.net and watch some magic.



-Andrew
Michaels
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Good points however I think it depends on where you are in your "magical career". 34 years ago I did my first show for free. The lady liked it and ending up paying me $5. Boy was I excited. Today I'm still performing for free for health related and children's charitable orginazations . Most of these functions are black tie and many of the guests have many private parties. It's a win-win situation. I often get well paying shows and at the same time I'm donating my time to charities of my choice. Other than that, no freebies. As stated before if you charge nothing you come across as being worth nothing.
As far as contracts---My charitable shows have a contract. It protects them as well as you.
"Our technology is ahead of our humanity"
Albert Einstein
Dynamike
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At first I used to perform free shows. It was a good way too practice. I don't perform free shows anymore unless it is for something charitable like Zenneth metioned above.

People will try to trick you into performing a free show. Their number #1 con line is, "I promise you will get calls because a lot of people will be there."

If you think it is worth performing a free show, try to make a deal with the person. For example, You will receive a free video tape recording from them of the show, or you will receive free food from their restaurant for 2 months, or they will advertise you with your phone number on 1000 flyers concerning the event. There are other ways you can negotiate also.

Dynamike
Mike Powers
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The general maxim is "One free show leads to another free show." This applies more to the situation where you are told that lots of people will be there and you'll get some real gigs...

In the case of the restaurant "audition" situation, you could work one hour for a free dinner and let the manager see what you do. One hour is enough time for a manager to assess the value of what you do. I would assume that the manager is really checking you out rather than that s/he is trying to get a free evening of magic.
DoctorAmazo
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Mike--
What an excellent idea! It sends the message that you don't work totally "free", and also implies that you need to see if their restaurant is up to YOUR standards. Like you are "auditioning" their food/service.

As I read thru this thread, I was thinking "How many restaurants give a free meal to their first-time customers?" That would be the same as they are asking you! (Of course, if you pointed that out, you'd never work there...)
Michaels
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I would never do a freebie for the place that's interested in hiring me or any other freebie for that matter unless it's charitable orginazations.
If someone is interested in hiring you instead of doing a "freebie" invite them to see you perform at one of your other shows.
As I stated before free shows cheapens your
reputation as a performer.
"Our technology is ahead of our humanity"
Albert Einstein
alex cahill
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How about, saying what your rate is and if there are any complaints or people do not like what you are up to you give all the money back. Would that work??
Dynamike
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Quote:
On 2003-04-11 09:05, Mike Powers wrote:
In the case of the restaurant "audition" situation, you could work one hour for a free dinner and let the manager see what you do. One hour is enough time for a manager to assess the value of what you do. I would assume that the manager is really checking you out rather than that s/he is trying to get a free evening of magic.


That is what I do at times, but only when I contact them first. If they call us first, they might be giving a special event to make money. "If you are a professional, never sell yourself cheap/free."
markyeager
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I believe that if you do a free show the client should be willing to help you promote you services. For example sending letters to a certain number of businesses to help you get pay shows. Using his letterhead to discuss your services. I ask them to give me copies of what they sent and provide contact info and their relationship with that possible prospect. If they are not willing to do this for me. I have a problem donating my services. I do make exceptions for special causes.
It's Fun to be Fooled
Chris Berry
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Alex, you trying to get in at a restuarant?

When my friend went to get a job at a restaurant he was turned down about 6 times. Finally at the last one he went to they were about to say "no" and he told them, "just wait here and watch me for 5 minutes."

He went to a table and did awesome performing and the manager loved it. He went back to the manager and they arranged one night where he would come in for an 'audition' and he got free dinner for it.

Chris

P.S. Dynamike, 2 months free food is a little absurd. No one would give you that deal.

Chris
Dynamike
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Quote:
On 2003-04-13 17:31, Seismic wrote:

P.S. Dynamike, 2 months free food is a little absurd. No one would give you that deal.

Chris


If the magician is professional I see no reason why a restaurant manager would not give free food for two months. A professional would negoiate how much the maximum is each visit. Another thing a professional would do is negoiate the amount of days he/she can come each week throughout the 2 months. If a magician is thinking about coming everyday, he is not professional.
Michael T
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The only free shows I will ever do are charities, and when they ask about if I want pay or not, I simply say, "See me at the end."

The problem with doing free shows is that most people will treat you like you're a person who does "free shows". Charge them a hefty sum, and you get free bar, a big introduction and a round of applause, food, and a round of applause to finish. Sad, but it's the way it is (in my experience).

So here's what you do for charities, particularly the ones that auction off things. Right at the end, say, "I want you to auction me off. I'll get up there now and you can sell me." Everything else has been sold, so you're now "the main item" (even though you're not). Now, people who enjoyed your performance will bid and the prize is you doing a gig for them. Once others realize that people are prepared to bid, more people bid and from my own experience, the following will happen:

You WILL get sold, not for much, but you will.

You will get another gig out of it. Sure it's free but you've already proven your worth.

You will get about 6 other gigs out of it from those who didn't win.

You will have made money for the charity .

You WILL be there again the next year, and next year, you WILL NOT be treated like a magician who does free shows and ain't all that.

Think about it, it's one of the cheekiest things I've ever done and it paid off big time.
Angus
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Rather than Hijack this thread, I posted a related question here
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......44&0

That refers back to this thread.
johnathanblades
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I only dabble at very fancy restaurants with major players in a lounge setting. I network with alot of people that can afford me and sometimes the managers/owners take notice and then I can negotiate.
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