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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Fellowship of Christian Magicians! » » Charge for a church show (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

curtgunz
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I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask this. If not my apologies but it seems to fit here best.

I've done several shows for churches (VBS, summer program kick off, special events).

In the past I just asked the church to pay "whatever they felt was in their budget" and had more than I hoped but usually A LOT less than I hoped.

Now I am clowning full-time and would love to do more churches but I have to get paid because my family has gotten in a bad habit of wanting to eat EVERY day, sometimes three times a day. :0)


Anyway, how much is a fair price for a 45 clown magic show with a Gospel theme? Also, what do you guys charge for mileage when you have to travel to a church in another city?


Thank you.
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Mark Boody Illusionist
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Having done almost exclusively church events, pricing can sometimes be a slippery slope. In Duane Laflins book Greater Gospel Magic he suggests a flat fee plus a "love offering". I have always charge a flat fee, which I figure in mileage if its out of town. It will be up to you to figure out what your show is worth & what others are willing to pay for it.

I use a 3 tier pricing system: BRONZE, SILVER & GOLD show. Each show has specific effects. Silver show has rabbit production, gold show has bigger illusions, head chopper, sword basket etc. along with the rabbit which affects the price. I leave it to my client on what they want & what they are willing to spend for it.

I hope this helps. Best of luck going full-time, it's not just a job, it's an adventure!

Mark
paulmagic
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As a full time pastor, I don't charge for my shows as I don't have to but I think Mark's advice is good.

If you don't have the repertoire for such a three tier pricing system could I suggest you have a basic fee for your show. (Based on some research I did on marketing magic)

Then explain the additional costs - i.e. things like travel distance.
Then ask if they want balloons for each child, (these are legitimate extras) - then explain how much you charge per balloon
Ask if they want you to prepare special magic / clown packs with theme related tracts ... that is extra too

I'm not into Gospel magic to make money but a worker ought to be given a fair wage. This may seem like insincere marketing but I think it does help the church leaders understand the reality of some of the costs involved and the fact that you are also doing this for a living.

This way I think you will be able to at least cover your basic needs (a reasonable basic fee for a show) and your travel expenses.

But I do think Mark's suggestion of a three tier show (a method used by many successful commercially famous magicians) is something you should strive for. That way those who cannot afford your best show cannot complain about the quality of your show if they are not willing to pay for your best show. Also some venues / bookings will not be suitable for some shows so your reputation (assuming it is good Smile) will be intact.

Sad thing for me is this - in the past when some churches ask me to do a show and I know they are a big church etc with a big budget, so I recommend they ask professional magicians / clowns who could do a much better job than me, they are not happy as they do not want to pay their fees (which IMHO is very reasonable). Me, I'd rather have the time slot preach the gospel than do a gospel magic show and only have a little time to share the gospel Smile It would be more effective for my skill / gift set.

You need to make some judgment calls too on which "jobs" you take. If it is a big church and they are willing to spend a lot of money on the other aspects of the programme / activity they want you to do your show (decorations, food, music etc) but want you to work for something that can't cover your cost etc, then be warned that the things you need to make your show a success may not be provided (even if "promised").

BTW, If you are into clowning primarily as a conviction that it will give you opportunities to share the gospel, be aware that it many may not think this way and see your ministry more of wholesome entertainment (though nothing wrong with that).
Many Blessings!!

Paul
afun14u
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Around here Church's ONLY want you to do a FREE show! I even had one church that literally wanted to do a Police Background check on me and my company and still wanted the show free???? I am all for helping out a Church and teaching Gods word but I need "FOOD"! My Daughter needs food! It's enough for me NOT to want to even bother anymore! It's a JOKE around here when it comes to Church programs! If I weren't a Christian already it would make me think twice by the way the so called Christian Church's are around here. Just my thoughts!

Robert
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Mike Maturen
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The old joke in business is to NEVER do business with a Christian...you'll get screwed every time. I have personally found that the richer the Church is, the less they seem to want to pay.

I haven't done many Church shows, but I am also a nationally-known Catholic speaker. What I have founbd works best for me is to do a flat fee PLUS a free-will offering. Most often, the two combined are MORE than what a fair speaker's fee would be.

....and I ALWAYS do the free will offering AFTER my talks...that way, if I wow them, I do well. If I stink that day, well...not so much.
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Donald Dunphy
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I charge a flat fee for my gospel shows, as I do for my regular shows. And I offer 3 show options, at different prices.

However, what I might do differently from some others, is I reveal my pricing right up front in my mailings (I customize the mailing to their region). This way, I am only contacted by those who are prepared to pay my fee. No protests about me being too expensive, or requests for free shows.

Here's another thread that talked about gospel show fee structure:

--> Magic Café thread titled... On Th......Churches

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
1tepa1
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I would think that churches would have more than enought money to pay you.
Mark Boody Illusionist
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You would think that, but its definately NOT true. I have been on the budget commitee of our church & it's always been a struggle to meet our obligations, but throught the grace of God we do it!

With a down econcomy people just don't give enough to contribute to the expenses of the church. We need to step out in faith because God will always provide. Amen!!

Mark
afun14u
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Most Church's Can! and have MORE than enough money to do so ... the WON'T! They want to hide behind and drill your eyes out and get something for nothing! I am ready to give up on Church and church shows all together because of their actions and treatment
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Dan Bernier
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Wow, how profound! You are obviously going to church for the wrong reasons then.

I don't have a fixed price for Gospel magic shows I do. I take a love offering, and I have never been disappointed. I have even done free programs for churches as well. I do Gospel magic as part of my ministry, and not to pay my bills. I am blessed to have a successful business that supports my family financially. I realize this is not the same case with some others. There is nothing wrong with asking for a fixed price, but there is something terribly wrong when we make money our motivation, or lack of motivation to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In otherswords, to have an attitude of, "If they don't pay my price, I don't do my program" is wrong in my opinion

"Give what amount they ask, and let the money be their blessings" not sure who originally said it, but I like that quote.
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Nick Astle
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Quote:
On 2011-07-10 08:34, afun14u wrote:
Most Church's Can! and have MORE than enough money to do so ... the WON'T! They want to hide behind and drill your eyes out and get something for nothing! I am ready to give up on Church and church shows all together because of their actions and treatment


People who make broad generalizations like this typically haven't been involved in handling a church's finances.

In general, the smaller the church, obviously, the smaller the amount of people who can give. But in my experience, the larger the church is, the greater percentage of people who assume that others will "pick up the slack." Just because a church has a lot of people does not necessarily mean the church has a lot of money.

Although I have no doubt you've been to churches that DO, and have felt slighted. I guess it can't all be about the money, I'm certainly not in it for the money, but half of that is because I'm not good enough Smile But I do understand that a guy needs to make a living, too.
Mark Boody Illusionist
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Gospel Dan

You make a great point! My wife & I always want to make our program available to everyone, spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ is what is important. However if financial obligations can not be met, then the ministry can not go on.

I don't know who said that quote either, but it definately is a thought provoker.

Mark
afun14u
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"You are obviously going to church for the wrong reasons then"

NO, just tired of being LIED to by so called men of God!

If you only knew the half of it you would agree! I think you should ask and check before you make your little assumptions!!
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Dan Bernier
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Why do you go to church then?

We all get lied to, and I have yet to be part of a church where everyone is perfect.

For you to assume Most Church's can afford it, and have more than enough money to do so, and going further to say they want to hide behind and drill your eyes out and get something for nothing is a lot bigger assumption than the one I made.

"I am ready to give up on Church and church shows all together because of their actions and treatment"

As Nick already pointed out, this is a huge broad generalization. Or, as I put it, a huge and incorrect assumption


I hope and pray you don't give up on Church. I have met people who have been burned by church people before, and they usually play the victim role way to long causing them to fall away from their faith. I see it enough to know what usually happens. I don't know your case, but I want to pray for you. You have obviously been hurt, and I know how it feels. However, keep your eyes on our Lord, and consider it a testing in your life which will bring much fruit if you persevere through your trials. Not my promise, but God's.
"If you're going to walk in the rain, don't complain about getting wet!"
MikeHolbrook
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We sometimes forget that a church has expenses. The electric bill, staff salaries.facilities up keep and repair and so on. But churches often have discretionary funds to be used by the different departments for whatever thier needs (entertainment being one). It's going to vary a lot from church to church.

Mike
Terry Owens
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I spent 8 years full time on the road doing Gospel magic in churches...30 to 40 weeks a year and in a church for 6 days each week. This was my sole source of income...the only time I stated a fee was when I was forced to by a church. I came for love offerings and God took care of my wife and I.

Now, since I pastor, I only do 3 or 4 day programs and one night programs and I actually get better offerings doing 3 days than I did for a whole week.

No church should expect anyone to do a program for free...they simply need to raise the money prior to the event...It's not biblical...now it's a whole new ball game if the Lord tells me to do it for free or to give the offering back...but a church should never expect you to do it for free. They have the wrong heart towards ministry and ministers.
Sam Sandler
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Wow Guys I am surprised by some of what I have read. any who

if its ok with you I will share what I have been doing over the years and have found it to work out quite well.

first I offer both a smaller show - more for the church itself like a VBS or a family night where I might share my testimony
I also offer my full stage illusion show which is an outreach program.

here is my take on this subject.

I ask flat out what the church can afford. well first I let them know that my illusion show would normily cost in the 3-4 thousand dollar range and my smaller show $500-$750 range

now lets work on the assumption that I am booking the illusion show.

they tell me that they can only afford $1500 I say ok lets do the illusion show and we can do one of two things. charge for tickets or take a free will offering. I usually push for selling tickets as it will draw more people to the show.
I explain that the ticket sales go to me. well first I tell them what my flat fee is lets say I said its $3000 they pay me the $1500 and then the tickets up to $3000 if they sold more then $3000 in tickets the rest is theirs to keep.

I do this so that the church knows exactly what they are spending and they are spending exactly what they can afford

this works with smaller shows too.

I quote for a family night $500 but they can only affort $300 ok lets do it and take a love offering BUT I tell them regardless of what comes in it all goes to me even if it puts me over the $500 I quoted. this is just the lords blessing so that I can then work more with other churches

its late tonight and I am really tired so I hope this all reads well. if you have any questions feel free to contact me.

have a great night, day or what ever in the lord!

sam
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dbearden
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Depending on the program requested, I usually do one of the following:
1) if the program is for a special event, such as VBS, a banquet, etc., I charge a flat fee.
2) if the program is for a worship service (which usually consists of a magic performance and message), I go on a love offering basis. I know some are afraid of going this route, but in my years of doing this, I have never been disappointed in the offering given. I do communicate with the pastor ahead of time and ask that he explain to the congregation that I am coming on a love offering basis, and that whatever is given goes back into my ministry. I never mention the offering or money from the platform. I, like many of you, have read horror stories of churches that have taken advantage of folks, but so far in 20 years, I have never had that happen to me.
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