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Profile of tacrowl
On Apr 3, 2014, TonyB2009 wrote:
I don't believe in performing for free to build up experience.

I saw Tony's statement and it brought to mind some advice from Tony Award Winner Jay Johnson:
Tom Crowl - Comedy Ventriloquist



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Profile of TonyB2009
I don't disagree with that, Tom. But you can get that stage experience and get paid as well. In fact, when I took the decision that I would perform for money, I began to get gigs. Putting yourself out there draws bookers.

I know plenty of people who perform at every opportunity at office parties, charity shows, etc, and at the end of a few years they are still doing a dozen gigs a year and not progressing. Your attitude changes when you charge, and that helps. The other thing that helps is that if you charge, you feel a pressure to perform. If you don't charge, you can phone in the performance. As amateurs often do.
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Profile of charliecheckers
Tony - I agree with you that charging for shows is a great way to jump in and excelerate show/skill development. The problem I have with with the OP is that he is taking paid gigs in markets he is unfamiliar with and then asking others what he should perform. Until you know what you are going to perform and have put a show together, you should not really be accepting a gig - paid or otherwise, in my opinion.
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Profile of Cliffg37
Charlie, as a teacher, I agree with you 100%. Two places you should never try to fly by the seat of your pants is, the classroom and the stage. Always have a plan, always know exactly what you are going to do at all times. If you are good at ad-libbing, and someone does something, or says something to take you off script.... Go for it. It might be fun... but have that plan, and be ready to get back to it.

Once you have the plan, take your show where ever you can, and charge what ever you can get.
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
Jim Snack
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Profile of Jim Snack
This is a difficult question, one that we all have had to deal with at one point or another when we decided to accept fees for performing. Here's my take on it:

It would be a mistake for kippteacher1 to try to create an entirely new 45 minute show for adults from scratch and present it for a fee without previously working out and polishing the material beforehand.

First, from a business perspective, it is unethical for a performer sell himself or herself as capable of delivering something at a professional level unless he or she has some experience and/or training to do so. Just because I've seen my automobile mechanic work on my car and I have a basic knowledge of how an automobile works, it would be unethical for me to present myself as an experienced mechanic and offer to fix someone's car for a fee that is competitive with what professional mechanics charge.

On the other hand, if someone knows of my limited ability and still asks me to take a look at their car, and even offers to treat me to dinner if I can fix it, then I have no problem accepting, as long as that person understands up front my limitations. And of course, dinner is contingent upon me successfully fixing the car. If I could not deliver the results my client wants or expects, then I shouldn't take my client's money, or dinner for that matter. To present yourself as an experienced adult performer when you are not is problematic.

That being said, we don't know if that is the case in this instance. Perhaps kippteacher1's client is well aware of kippteacher1's lack of experience performing for adults but still wants to engage him or her. Maybe the fee is commensurable with the experience level. Was the fee offered a $100 honorarian for expenses or $1000 professional fee? We just don't know the details to make an ethical judgement regarding the business arrangement.

From a perfomance standpoint, a 45 minute act can take years and hundreds of perfomances to polish to a professional level. It would be a mistake to try to do that, particularly for a fee. My next question is, do you really need to create a new act? I often perform the same material for adults as well as children. If the magic you perform for children is strong magic, then there is no reason it can't work for adults. Just set it up differently. I've had success performing the Die Box for adults by reframing the presentation as something that I witnesed as a child at my first magic show. Don't try to create an entirely new act. Just rework your existing material to work for adults. Then volunteer at a few, or many, senior centers and adult homes to work on the presentation beforehand.

I suspect, however that this solution might not work because, as charliecheckers points out, he is asking us what he should perform. After 20+ years of experience, regardless of whether its for adults or children, one should have a pretty good idea how to create an act that entertains. If you don't know how to do that, don't take the gig, especially for a fee.

Jim Snack

"Helping Magicians Succeed with Downloadable Resources"
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Profile of vincentmusician
Developing a Show for Adults takes years of experience. Also, the age of the Adults also matters. I have different Adult Shows for Younger Adults and Older Adults.
Even the Venue and number of Adults can change what I will perform in my Shows. This may seem obvious but choose material that is fairly strong and also something you have success with.
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Profile of Oscar999
Wow... this post is 7 years old... so, um... how did the show go?

Just kidding. Actually, if you had 20 years performing experience... even for kids, which is amazing btw, I think you probably did great.

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