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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Setting your show rate as part of a touring show (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

randyburtis
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Anyone have any experience in this?

I am curious how you know what is a good rate for participating in a touring show, where you are part of the show,not a headliner, but one of a few acts on the program.

You tour to different cities, do multiple shows per city, and move on.

Does the producer arrange travel and accommodation for the team, or do you need to work that in(obviously this would differ from producer to producer).

As an example, In Canada, Murray Hatfield produces a cross canada magic show playing 3 shows a day and covers the country over 2.5 months. He headlines and produces and hires 3 other acts.

In other ideas, you have shows like Reza, Dan Sperry and other acts in Masters of Magic tour...just to give and idea of the concept I am asking about...
Randy Burtis
Calgary's Kid Show Magician
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Dannydoyle
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Keep one thing in mind. The show has to make money for the producer. Period.

Seriously, it has to turn out money for them or they would never consider doing it in the first place. So any money each act gets needs to be taking this little fact into account.

As for how much, and who provides what, it comes to deals made between each performer and the produers of the show, whoever they may be.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
trickychaz
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Quote:
On 2010-02-05 01:03, Dannydoyle wrote:
Keep one thing in mind. The show has to make money for the producer. Period.

Seriously, it has to turn out money for them or they would never consider doing it in the first place. So any money each act gets needs to be taking this little fact into account.

As for how much, and who provides what, it comes to deals made between each performer and the produers of the show, whoever they may be.


Really the producer has to line his pocket? I would have never thought of that as being an important thing, but sure does sound logical. that's stage advice!
Mindpro
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Trust me, if the producer or promotor isn't making money you will not be either. That's basic business.
Dannydoyle
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Tough to tell if you are being sarcastic or what but in case you are being serious, why do you think anyone produces shows (or anything for that matter) in the first place?

Your "value" is only as much money as you can bring in. To a touring show producer having a lot of really fantastic high dollar acts generally does not turn into much money.

Try producing a show some time. It bites.

The show is not about "magic" or anything of the sort. In the end it is about money. It is tough for magicians to put their mind around, but it is not always about them but rather about the one making it possible. Often the "best" performer may not get the job as much as the person easiest to work with, more cost effective and any number of a thousand things that go into the mix.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Mindpro
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Exactly! This is also why many entertainers have such a hard time working with or for agents or agencies. You must look at it from a business perspective. Yes, you may have a better act that others, therefore think you should be priced higher based on your show, experience, props, etc., but the reality of the matter is how marketable you are to an agent's clients, price points, and most of all the agents/agencies profitability.

I have seen it over and over again for decades, entertainers who do not get this, and then ultimately have a bad opinion of agencies or bad wrap working with them.

The truth is quite simple as I stated above, it's business. Better isn't always best to an agent, more experienced or higher priced isn't always appealing to an agencies.

If an agent feels they can only get $XXX amount from their clients and their market, and this amount must include their commissions and costs, they subtract this (commission amount)to come up with the price they feel comfortable with to pay for talent. Then it becomes a matter of finding the best they can find meeting this criteria. The best performer, experience, client-friendly, agent-friendly act within these perimeters. It's not about screwing the artist or favoring the client. It's working withing available and profitable resources.

The same is true for producers and promotors of a tour or show. They are responsible for paying for the costs of running, delivering and executing the tour. They know what their "numbers are based on a very detailed formula (venue size, ticket price, road expenses, operation costs, etc. and many unseen factors that go into producing or promoting a show or tour. Margins are thin and something as basic as the weather (among a million other things) can cause serious catastrophies.

Today many entertainers do not even understand the concept of having agency pricing or rates! Yet they don't understand why another entertainer is part of a lineup or tour, but rather complain "well I know I could do better than that." It's not all about the performance it is show and business. This is also the reason for the misunderstanding of why a run or a tour closes or cancels. I've heard many entertainers say "it was a great show, the audience loved it, the performers killed." Perhaps, but all of this is irrelevant if the agent, promotor, or producer aren't making money. As I said above, if they aren't making money, neither will you. It's about the business of entertainment...always has been, always will be, especially on this level of the business.
Dannydoyle
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So many magicians read about "business" and marketing and such from other magicians or worse yet the sales guru types. Man it can be so tough to deal with them once they have.

Everything you said is true. SO much goes into it. Agents and producers are creatures of habit. If they have used a guy who gave them 0 problems in the past and they made money, they will in general go that same route. Why wouldn't they after all? It only makes sense. (well dollars and cents but you get the idea)

Many magicians outthink themself right out of jobs and then complain about how much better they are than the guy working. It is sad.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Mindpro
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"Everything you said is true. SO much goes into it. Agents and producers are creatures of habit. If they have used a guy who gave them 0 problems in the past and they made money, they will in general go that same route. Why wouldn't they after all? It only makes sense. (well dollars and cents but you get the idea)"

Yes, very correct. What you explained is also why many entertainers don't understand when they hear other entertainers say "oh, about 85% of my business comes from agents" or "why are the same entertainers listed with so many agencies?" For the very reason you stated - they are agent-freiendly, offer agency pricing, are easy to work with, receive great client response and feedback, and allow the agency good profitability. Once you are in with an agent under these terms they will continue to work with you over and over again, Some very regularly, others may only be good for one or two gigs a year, but when you are listed with a dozen top agencies, this will keep you plenty busy or at least working consistently.

The performers who do not realize this or have the perspective "all an agent wants to do is take a cut of my money" really is just making it difficult or impossible to ever become agent represented. The are the performers that constantly complain about not being able to get interest or listed with agencies. Again, like marketing and entertainment business, there is much misinformation and misunderstood logic (usually thanks to info-marketing gurus), working with an agency, producer or promotor is not always correctly perceived or understood. There are an entirely different set of rules for entertainment business, some completely opposite of conventional marketing and business. This is what I love about the entertainment business. Sadly, many entertainers will never, even after years of being a solid performer, will ever understand this. The dangerous and most sad part is that they think they do.

Also to truly understand the producer/promotor perspective, try to four-wall (or some variation of) your own show, I guarantee it will be tougher than you think (I'm not saying you Danny, I know you have and know this, but generally speaking). Only once you have done this and fell short of expectations, lost your a** financially, and become emotionally drained, will you truly START to have a better understanding of agents, producers, promotors, buyers, bookers, etc.
Natural Mystic
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Randyburtis,

I just received from Amazon.com “How To Be Your Own Booking Agent: The Musician’s & Performing Artist’s Guide To Successful Touring” (revised 3rd edition) by Jeri Goldstein. Her book details in a step-by-step manner how to be your agent; however, chapter nineteen delves into working with professional managers and agents. Anyone thinking about touring their show and other business related matters, owe it to themselves to purchase this book. For a measly $30 dollars, this book is jammed packed with up-to-date information. Also, I’m not receiving any compensation for recommending this book. It’s that good!

One of her articles: How to Approach Booking Agents
http://www.performingbiz.com/?content=article044

Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/How-Your-Own-Booki......0&sr=1-1

Her Website:
http://www.performingbiz.com/?content=home
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randyburtis
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Thanks for the link, I will look into that, thanks Smile
Randy Burtis
Calgary's Kid Show Magician
www.calgarymagician.com
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Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On 2010-02-05 17:47, Mindpro wrote:
Also to truly understand the producer/promotor perspective, try to four-wall (or some variation of) your own show, I guarantee it will be tougher than you think (I'm not saying you Danny, I know you have and know this, but generally speaking). Only once you have done this and fell short of expectations, lost your a** financially, and become emotionally drained, will you truly START to have a better understanding of agents, producers, promotors, buyers, bookers, etc.


Been here done that. Lost huge, so I prefer to think of it as paying for an education LOL, but it amounts to the same thing.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Jerskin
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Usually the producer would offer a fee and it'd be up to you to accept or not.
GrEg oTtO

MUNDUS VULT DECIPI
randyburtis
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Thanks for the feedback and PM's that addressed my question.
Randy Burtis
Calgary's Kid Show Magician
www.calgarymagician.com
www.Facebook.com/calgarymagician
Murray Hatfield
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Hi Randy,

I figure I better jump in here as I have some experience in this area. While there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to pricing for acts on tours it comes down to a number of factors.

Type of act, length of act, notariety of act but most of all...BUDGET. My budgets are dictated by the realities of the marketplace. A theatre can only hold so many people. Take the ticket price and multiply by the expected sales, the number of shows and the number of cities minus theatre costs plus the (huge) cost of selling the tickets and there is only so much left for acts, dancers, lighting, sound, technicians, props, transportation, hotels, food and lastly...me. It's a tightrope that in the end dictates, to a degree, what I can pay not just the acts but my entire crew.

Also keep in mind that most touring acts are paid on an entirely different scale than corporate or college performers. A corporate or college performer may make multiple phone calls for every gig. Then with paperwork, contracts, arranging transportation and flights it adds up to a fair bit of work for each and every show.

When I hire an act, we talk a few times about pricing and details but then I do all the contracts, travel arrangements, accomodations, etc. for the whole tour. The acts just have to show up. It's a different animal and thus pricing is totally different.
randyburtis
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Thanks so much Murray, I appreciate the words coming from one who has been there done(and doing it) and knows what the realities are. I figured, especially with the Magic and Miracles tour, that you do a LOT of the admin and planning.As a performer who would come on board, I think it would be sweet to have all those details looked after, and, due to that, performer cost needs to reflect that. We all know how much behind the scenes work has to be done in order for a show to actually be performed, whoever does that work needs compensation for that work, beyond the performance aspect.

The tour rocked(again) this year, look forward to seeing what you cook up for next tour!
Randy Burtis
Calgary's Kid Show Magician
www.calgarymagician.com
www.Facebook.com/calgarymagician
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