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wizardpa
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The New Orleans area
1011 Posts

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I've had people tell me after my act that my show was so much better then the last magician they saw. I've even had 2 people tell me they enjoyed my show more than the one they saw in Vegas and 2 others said they enjoyed my show more than the one they saw on a cruise ship. People are often hiring a magician because of their advertisement in the phone book alone. I know of a few magicians who do a couple of rope and card tricks and stretch those out and call that a show. I feel they hurt other magicians by doing that. I'm sure the people that saw their show tell other people that he was not worth the money he charged. So my question to you is; Would you be happy to pay the amount of money you charged to see your show? If the answer is NO, then you are either charging too much for what you are offering or you need to improve your act.
Vick
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It's taken me 10+ years to make
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Don't believe everything you hear.

One way or another, temper everything someone says to you after your show against the most severe critic. You are only going to hear good things after a show. That is who will seek you out. Those who were compelled by your show to speak with you.

I couldn't get past 50 seconds of your video on your website. Does that mean it's wasn't a quality act? No, just not my cup of tea.

And most so called magicians are terrible. Being better than terrible isn't hard nor a big deal.

Jeff Hobson can stretch professor's nightmare out for 10 minutes and he kills with it!

Not many hire from the phone book any more.

To answer your question, my show is a steal for those who hire me. I don't charge enough ;-)~
Unique, Thought Provoking & Amazing Magical Entertainment Experiences
Illusions By Vick
Blog of a real world working magician
Magic would be great, if not for magicians
wizardpa
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The New Orleans area
1011 Posts

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Of course you are right about those seeking you out but there is another big part in which to judge your performance and that is audience reaction during the show. Are the children laughing at the funny parts of the show? Is everyone clapping after you do something amazing?

About 30% of my shows come from people searching for a magician from a phone book.

As far as my video goes, that is targeted to young children ages 4-10, or the parents of young children, so I guess it is not your cup of tea. I target all of my magic shows to whatever audience I'm trying to target. My young boys show is different than my young girls show which is different than my teenage show which is different than my adult show.

A 10 minute professor's nightmare would bore me to death. That is not my cup of tea.

Now do I think I'm ready to perform at a casino because someone said they liked my show more then the casino magician they saw? No, I do not. I feel I'm lacking a couple of large illusions.

I too feel that I do not charge enough, for the market I'm performing for, which is mostly for young Johnny's birthday. But I do get a tip in about 30% of my shows, and I've NEVER had anyone complain. By the way I never ask for a deposit or money up front.
Carl Skenes
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Quote:
Now do I think I'm ready to perform at a casino because someone said they liked my show more then the casino magician they saw? No, I do not. I feel I'm lacking a couple of large illusions.


It is never about illusions, or tricks, or balloons, or puppets, or songs, or dancers, or costumes, etc, etc. It is only about ENTERTAINMENT. That's all the audience cares about.

By the way, I would pay to see me perform. Unfortunately, I've never had the chance. It seems that I'm always working. However, I have been told that I'm pretty good.
s.freeman
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I just started moving from hobby to doing paid shows. This is a really hard step. Being new, my tricks are good, but the show feels unpolished. I'm in a small centre, I'm sure if there was competition I'd be undercutting the market big time. On the other hand there's a reason there's no professional magicians operate here. I guess I'm of the mentality that I'd rather charge slightly less, and get more work and never rip them off. I'm wondering if there are any guidelines or formulas to working out charges. Can anyone send me some feedback on that?
wizardpa
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The New Orleans area
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I'm guessing that if EVERYONE hires you when they ask about your show and your prices then you are probably not charging enough. You could slightly raise your prices until you get to what seems to be the best for you and the people hiring you.

I also think the economy is still messed up, and is effecting prices somewhat.

That's true what Carl say's; "It's only about entertainment." How does the audience respond too you.
Ed_Millis
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Yuma, AZ
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Quote:
On 2010-03-08 03:12, s.freeman wrote:
I just started moving from hobby to doing paid shows. This is a really hard step. Being new, my tricks are good, but the show feels unpolished. I'm in a small centre, I'm sure if there was competition I'd be undercutting the market big time. On the other hand there's a reason there's no professional magicians operate here. I guess I'm of the mentality that I'd rather charge slightly less, and get more work and never rip them off. I'm wondering if there are any guidelines or formulas to working out charges. Can anyone send me some feedback on that?


You and I are in the same situation. I'd recommend heading over to the Tricky Business section - questions like this get answered a lot over there. Also, Jim Snack (who posts there) offers a course that looks promising - I personally have not yet bought it, but from advice he's quoted me from his course it's speaks to this situation.

I've decided to set my price where I want it to be initially, and then offer a discount for the first two months to those who pre-pay in full.

One gauge on setting price is: can you say it with a straight face and no choking or excuses when someone asks? If you're uncomfortable with your price, then you need to re-examine your expectations, your price, or your performance.

Ed
mmreed
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Harrisburg, PA
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John Breeds in his book "How to Create Kid's Magic And Triple Your Income " goes into painstaking details on pricing and finding your support level for your area.

The book is 60% business and 40% tricks for kids show from his battefield tested toolbox.

The book is worth it for the business advice alone. It really does take you by the hand and walk you through making magic a full time business. From setting your rates, to marketing, to proven phone techniques... it really does offer a good primer on this business.

Most dealers should be able to get this book, if not, we carry it:

http://www.shopmagicvault.com/How-to-Cre......770.html
Mark Reed
Wedding and Event Entertainment
MHamel
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New Hampshire
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Quote:
On 2010-03-08 03:12, s.freeman wrote:
I just started moving from hobby to doing paid shows. This is a really hard step. Being new, my tricks are good, but the show feels unpolished. I'm in a small centre, I'm sure if there was competition I'd be undercutting the market big time. On the other hand there's a reason there's no professional magicians operate here. I guess I'm of the mentality that I'd rather charge slightly less, and get more work and never rip them off. I'm wondering if there are any guidelines or formulas to working out charges. Can anyone send me some feedback on that?



Hey, your doing the right thing. I have been performing for 3 years and when I started all I heard from mentors and IBM members was the most important thing when you start is getting experience. Even if you have to say you will do a show for free you are getting good practice and who knows, maybe you will get a weekly gig.

As far as prices go it is hard to say because different areas call for different things. Once your show is to a point where you no longer have to go looking for all your jobs, step back and compare your price to other magicians in the area. I myself own all my stuff for my stage show and my close up show is pretty much a regular deck of cards and a couple gimmicks ive picked up a long the way. Since I own all my props I CAN drop prices low when I have to and still make a living.

One thing David Sandy told me was always aim higher then you would really settle for. This way if they agree then good but if not your still doing ok. I feel like this is a very debatable thing but I just figured id share that...

hope this helps!
Sorry its so long!
-Marc Hamel
wizardpa
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The New Orleans area
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Here is something else that I also think about.

Of course I want to get paid what I feel I deserve, because of the price of props and time devoted to getting ready for a show and such. But by the same token, I really do love performing magic and ventriloquism.

So if I do not have a booking for a particular date in the near future and I get a pretty good feeling that someone is interested, I may offer them a special price to encourage them to book me.
Ed_Millis
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Yuma, AZ
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Quote:
So if I do not have a booking for a particular date in the near future and I get a pretty good feeling that someone is interested, I may offer them a special price to encourage them to book me.


That can seriously damage your business credibility. People do talk to each other. And when someone finds out they can squeeze you down, they will pass it along! And even if it's not that tone, if they hire you on someone's recommendation and find out later they paid more, you might be in trouble!!

I'd rather keep a list - a short one - of public or charity places that will let you perform on a few days' notice. You do something good, and you can bill at your regular rate but discount for charity and write it off.

Ed
Carl Skenes
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[quote]On 2010-03-08 16:37, Ed_Millis wrote:
Quote:
You do something good, and you can bill at your regular rate but discount for charity and write it off.

Ed


Charity is great. However, US Tax laws change from year to year. The last time I checked, you could write off product, but not performance. Check with your accountant.
Ed_Millis
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Yuma, AZ
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Quote:
On 2010-03-08 23:13, Carl Skenes wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-03-08 16:37, Ed_Millis wrote:

You do something good, and you can bill at your regular rate but discount for charity and write it off.

Ed


Charity is great. However, US Tax laws change from year to year. The last time I checked, you could write off product, but not performance. Check with your accountant.


Okay - next time I'll check ~before~ I throw something out!

Just got off the phone with the IRS. For a Sole Proprietorship, I can NOT deduct:
-- the value of time and service
-- reimbursed out-of-pocket expenses
-- any personal expenses

Also, the service can not be performed with the expectation of value returned. (You're performing to help out the charity, not to build your resume and get gigs. This does not prevent you from using your standard materials which have your contact info on them - as long as they _are_ your "standard" materials.)

That left us with one option: present a bill, receive a check, and write a personal or business check back to the organization. It may not zero out, because contributions may not be reported dollar-for-dollar and income is. Also, the organization would need to write a statement for any contribution over a certain amount (I think it's $250) showing that nothing of value was received for the contribution, or stating the value of anything received in return for your contribution.

*Whew*!! You wouldn't believe how many people it took to figure out the answer to that one.
Ed
teedpop
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Would I pay to see my show?
Nope
bicycle66
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I am currious if a lot of people say that they like your show and that it was great how can you be sure that they are not just being polite? Sort of like when you do a trick and you know that you made a mistake or flashed or something but no one says anything. Of course after you flashed you do another even greater miracle in hopes that they remember that and not the mistake....but how can you be sure that you are getting the real feedback? Thank you Sean.
wizardpa
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The New Orleans area
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There is no logical reason for someone to SEEK me out and tell how much they liked the show. I do not ask anyone how did they like the show.

Plus like I said in an earlier post one can tell just from the audience reaction to what you are doing whether, it is laughing at funny routines or clapping after doing something mystifying.
MHamel
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New Hampshire
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Quote:
On 2010-03-12 08:31, bicycle66 wrote:
I am currious if a lot of people say that they like your show and that it was great how can you be sure that they are not just being polite? Sort of like when you do a trick and you know that you made a mistake or flashed or something but no one says anything. Of course after you flashed you do another even greater miracle in hopes that they remember that and not the mistake....but how can you be sure that you are getting the real feedback? Thank you Sean.


I think a lot of it comes down to judging the audience reaction during your show. I know one thing I do is record my shows and playback to see what gets reaction and what could be improved. If you feel like you flashed then look at the person you feel you flashed most to... Whats there reaction? I have seen some people perform and it is almost amazing at what gets by laymen. Its hard to answer this without saying to judge people... but you can deffinantly tell the people who are sincere and those who say "great show" then walk away.

My best advice is really listen to the audience during your performance because they really do write your show. Just tune in and see what they clap and laugh at.

Hope this kinda helps!
-Marc Hamel
MagicB1S
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Knoxville Tenn.
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Quote:
On 2010-03-07 09:45, wizardpa wrote:
I know of a few magicians who do a couple of rope and card tricks and stretch those out and call that a show. I feel they hurt other magicians by doing that.


If you have the chance check out this video of Mike Finney all he does is a Card Trick, A rope Trick, and calls it a show.... He has been doing this for 25 or so years and makes a good living at it.... now I am not saying that what you are saying is wrong. I've seen a few magicians that need to go back to square one and rework there routine However By you saying that it made me think of Mike and I wanted you to see his work.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YiOVubj-wg
"There are Tricks To All Trades.... My Trade is all Tricks"

"An amature practices until he gets it right. A Professional Practices until he can't get it wrong"

www.Themagicchest.webs.com
bobswislosky@yahoo.com
bicycle66
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That is great I will try to video the next time so that I can see what kind of reactions I get as you say you can always check out when you flashed and see if it went by and only you noticed by their faces. Thanks for that. Sean.
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