The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » When did you first charge for your performance? (5 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

mndude
View Profile
Special user
778 Posts

Profile of mndude
Most of us started out as hobbyists.

When did you decide what you could do was valuable enough that you could charge for it?
Mindpro
View Profile
Eternal Order
10129 Posts

Profile of Mindpro
When you have a show put together rather than just stringing tricks together.
funsway
View Profile
Inner circle
old things in new ways - new things in old ways
9003 Posts

Profile of funsway
Back in the late 50's and another young magician and I decided to do kid's parties.
We did not charge a "fee" for our efforts, but did expect compensation for travel and supply replacement,
especially since someone had to drive us.

So, that is relative and negotiable. $10 back then would be $50 today..
What was our performance worth? We did not want to put a price on it.

Many years later I was buying a car. The salesman told me how he remembered my entertaining his crippled brother at a birthday party.
So he showed me a "loaner car" used by the owner's wife on occasion. Two years old with 1700 miles. I got it $15000 Blue Book car for $4000.

....

I have never charged for a performance, one reason I decided NOT to "go pro" after college.
I retain the right to "say no" to requests and perform only what I want, when I want. A personal choice.

Bert Easley said I was good enough to make a living from magic, but Arnold Furst questioned that I could "deal with the audience fear,"
or enjoy a life on the road. So, money is only part of the equation - not only "what to charge" but "what to pay?"

....

from a different perspective a lawyer once asked what I would charge to tutor his teen aged kids because he "didn't have the time."
I replied that since I was doing something he was unwilling to do I should get what he charged per hour doing what he wanted.

He laughed incredulously, "You expect $300 per hour for teaching?" (back in the 80's).
I replied, "No, you expect me to be magician and turn your undisciplined kids into college wonders -
to make up for the years of lost parenting." As a magician I get $100 per hour plus expenses plus a $500 bonus each if they pass the SAT."

I did not get the job, of course, but one of his kids came and asked if he could go to work for me. Great employee! That is magic.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



eBooks at Lybrary.com * questions at funsway@eversway.com
davidpaul$
View Profile
Inner circle
Pittsburgh, Pa
2971 Posts

Profile of davidpaul$
Quote:
On Jan 25, 2021, mndude wrote:
Most of us started out as hobbyists.

When did you decide what you could do was valuable enough that you could charge for it?


When someone saw me performing (casually) at a party. They asked if I was available for a get-together they were having. That was well over 20 years ago and my first paid gig. I had only been into magic for about 2 years.

The paid performances grew from there in many different venues and had a great career performing in restaurants until March of 2020. Darn Virus.
If you can't help worrying, remember worrying can't help you!
Russo
View Profile
Special user
So.California / Centl.Florida
875 Posts

Profile of Russo
At age 12,( 1949 ) a Ladies club asked me if I would do a show for there Childrens Christmas Party-I would also get a gift . I did a little show and they gave me an envelope - when I got home my Mom asked me why I looked sad? -"all I got got this envelope", Mom said "Open It" - in it was a $10. dollar bill. We were a welfare Family (Mom sick - Dad gone) So we put a small add in the local Paper and - gigs came -very few - but grew - it sure helped. The State Welfare, said "You're not to Entertain for a Living ". I didn't - but did as an Ad vocation. In a way - a good thing - though often made more $$ on gigs, than the Job. But the Job paid Sick leave, Health Costs (for me and eventually my own Family)- Vacations - Holiday - Retirement- etc. Also when I was 16, I entertained at a Hospital and met a cute girl, patient. 3 years later we were Married for a Blessed "63" Years It's MAGIC - Isn't it WONDERFUL !!!!!!
MGordonB
View Profile
Loyal user
Toronto, Canada
255 Posts

Profile of MGordonB
Great story Russo. Theres’s a memoir just waiting to be wriitten!
copperct
View Profile
New user
Cincinnati, Ohio
52 Posts

Profile of copperct
That's an awesome story Russo! Thanks for sharing.
gossamer
View Profile
New user
21 Posts

Profile of gossamer
Wow, Russo! You may be tired of hearing this but that's a remarkable story! Truly magical! I agree with Gordon that that's worthy of a memoir.
Dave Scribner
View Profile
Assistant Manager
Lake Hopatcong, NJ
5168 Posts

Profile of Dave Scribner
60 years ago I did my first show. My mom let me put an ad in the local paper to advertise my act. I was too young to drive so when I got my first call, I made arrangements that in addition to the $25 fee, they had to pick me up and drive me home. Of course at that time, I wasn't doing dove magic but looking at my act today, I'm still doing some of the same effects I did in that first show. Some effects are timeless but as they say, what's old is new again.
Where the magic begins
wulfiesmith
View Profile
Inner circle
Beverley, UK
1140 Posts

Profile of wulfiesmith
Over 40 years ago, I advertised in my local newspaper; in the "personals" section.
Saying "introductions to professional card magic" ... false shuffles, cuts, deals, magic, and flourishes.

It led me to many local magicians and business opportunities.

Wulfie
DerekG
View Profile
New user
52 Posts

Profile of DerekG
I did one paid gig ever. I made $75 for 3 hours of table hopping at a restaurant that my friend recommended me for. It was a trial basis for both me and the restaurant and while it was a definite success, I declined to continue based solely on it not working well with my main employment. I've been too lax with my practice to consider getting back into paid work anytime soon, but I'd be open to getting back into it in the future.
Dave Scribner
View Profile
Assistant Manager
Lake Hopatcong, NJ
5168 Posts

Profile of Dave Scribner
If you do get back into doing paid work in the future, I'd consider raising your fee. $75 for 3 hours is selling yourself short and definitely not in line with a normal rate.
Where the magic begins
DerekG
View Profile
New user
52 Posts

Profile of DerekG
I appreciate the advice Dave. It wasn't in line with going rates when I did it and it was kind of a paid tryout. To be honest, I only did the gig for the experience. My friend had asked me several times to do their family night and I'd kept saying "no" because I didn't think I was ready. I was inspired to give it a shot after seeing a street magician in Jackson Square in New Orleans doing a handful of tricks over and over all day long and doing quite well with tips. The handful of tricks he did were things like sponge balls, one rope trick, and a couple of card tricks. I realized if he could do that over and over standing in the same spot, I definitely had enough tricks that were rehearsed enough to table hop. I wound up doing Miser's Dream, a sponge ball routine, a couple different card tricks, Rainbow Ropes by Daryl, and then the Invisible Deck. I ended up cutting Miser's Dream after the second table because my hands get a little sticky when they're slightly sweaty and that made it hard to do the sleights smoothly. It was a blast and I had a ton of fun. I even got one offer for a party, but it was that weekend and I had to work. I proved to myself (and the restaurant management) that I could do it, which was great, but I could only work every other week because of my schedule at my job and they already had other performers (children's costumed characters) who could only do every other week as well... and it was the same weeks as me. I actually tried to get a friend hired on, but he's been doing professional magic for decades and he wouldn't work for what they were willing to pay, and I don't blame him. He's an award winning professional magician and they were trying to offer him money the same thing they offered me if I took the regular gig, about $125 if memory serves, when he made twice that at his other restaurant gigs.
Russo
View Profile
Special user
So.California / Centl.Florida
875 Posts

Profile of Russo
A past thought - Once a Mens Club asked if I could give them a break in cost for their Kids Christmas Party - so I cut it in 1/2. When putting my equipment away, I heard one say "cheap price -cheap show" The next year they hired me again (why ?). So, I charged them triple - and did the SAME Show. Comments were "GREAT SHOW - Thanks ". And a few times the next couple years. ????????????????
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » When did you first charge for your performance? (5 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.11 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL