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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » Fee for strolling magic at private parties? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Paddy
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Milford OH
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Quote:
On 2004-07-13 01:28, S2000magician wrote:
...You're not one of those people who believe that an extremely good amateur should not charge $100 for a show for which an equally good professional would get $500, are you?...


The "amateur" should charge the $500. I really thing that what he was saying is that if you are good enough to get a gig don't sell yourself cheap. When I started doing magic and charging for it I called every magician in the book, plus the birthday party clowns and other children'd entertainers and got their prices. I then charged 25% more than they did. Everybody, except one, was $75 for a birthday party, I started at $100. Was booked solid within 2 months.

I have found that there is this "elitist" feeling that the more an magician charges, the more he's worth. It's true so about every year I call around and find everyone (except one who still charges $50) is up to my rate so I raise it again.
Non Impediti Ratione Cogitationis

I reject your reality & substitute my own

http://www.Scho-Lan.com
dynamiteassasin
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I'm 17 and mostly I do strolling magic in the streets of a U.S. Naval Air Facility in Japan. Yes, I live inside a U.S. Base.

Would you think $100 per hour is too pricey for my age if I perform in parties?
TheTopBanana
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Early on I gave a formula I believe in....and age is not a concideration only proffessionalism!
Peter Marucci
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Robert Bloor writes: "I say raise fees or get out of the game and leave entertainment to real professionals."

So, apparently, the only sign of professionalism is a high fee, by that argument.

Sorry, but after more than half a century in the business I have to disagree.
Donald Dunphy
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Quote:
On 2004-07-13 00:57, TheDean wrote:
Interesting...


I agree. Interesting...

- Donald.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
S2000magician
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Quote:
On 2004-07-13 08:19, dynamiteassasin wrote:
Would you think $100 per hour is too pricey for my age if I perform in parties?


No, I wouldn't.

Your age is immaterial.

Quote:
On 2004-07-13 05:44, Paddy wrote:

I then charged 25% more than they did. Everybody, except one, was $75 for a birthday party, I started at $100.


Not to put too fine a point on it, but if they're charging $75 and you're charging $100, you're charging 33-1/3% more than they are, not 25% more.

Quote:
On 2004-07-13 10:08, Peter Marucci wrote:
So, apparently, the only sign of professionalism is a high fee, by that argument.


Your position weakens when you exaggerate.

Robert suggests that one sign of professionalism is a high fee; he never suggested that it is the only sign of professionalism.

Are we drifting a bit a field of the original question here?
rkrahlmann
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Re: high fee=professionalism.
When Groucho Marx made the transition from radio to television with "You Bet Your Life", one of the writers (yes, he had writers. He was a brilliant improvisor, but even more of a genius at giving scripted remarks an off-the-cuff delivery) was talented, but had only been in the industry a short while. As such, the producer hired him for $150 a week, which was the going rate for young talent. When Groucho heard of this, he said, "I don't want a $150 a week writer. Fire him and get me a $1000 a week writer." Instead of firing the writer who was delivering great jokes, he upped his pay, and told Groucho he now had his $1000 a week writer. It is not clear whether Groucho knew it was the same writer, but he was nonetheless pleased having such a professional on his staff.
The point is price DOES equal perception. Look around in your own experience, and chances are you believe that most professionals who charge a large fee are worth it. Price yourself too low, and you will be treated, and perceived, as someone who does not have a quality act. If you're priced to high, there is a chance people will think "They're not worth it", but by and large the first thought will be, "They must be good, other wise they wouldn't be charging as much."
I discovered this while making a living as a free-lance writer. The less I charged (trying to make myself "affordable"), the less respect I got, and the more trouble it was producing a piece the client was happy with. They felt as someone who charged a cheap price, they didn't have to respect me. When I double (then tripled) my rates, I got better clients, and more respect, and more jobs.
Of course, if you're charging a lot, you have to deliver the goods, and then some. Every job has the opportunity to over-deliver on a contract, and they go a long way to justifying a high fee. At a recent mentalism/tarot walk around gig, I made it clear in my contract that any time worked over two hours would be charged double, based on any portion of a half hour worked. After two hours I was leaving and saying good-bye to my client, someone came up and wanted one last tarot reading. I agreed, finished in 10 minutes, and rather than charge for the time, told the client it was on me. They were very pleased that I had gone this extra mile (if you can call ten mintues a mile). Had I been charging much less, the gesture would not have ment so much, and the client wouldn't have perceived getting a generous gift.
Donald Dunphy
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Excellent post!

When I hired a higher priced entertainer for my wedding reception 10 years ago, he included some suggestions for a great performance in his information kit. Some of his tips included some food and beverage ideas for him in his set-up room. No, not purple roses or green M&Ms. Smile

I went the extra mile to give him some of those items and the set-up room, because he charged a professional fee, and doing these things (his suggestions only, not demands) seemed to be the right thing to do for a person of his caliber.

It is about customer perception, too. I was a lot more giving and flexible, because he charged a higher fee. BTW, he did back up his fee with a performance that was outstanding!

- Donald.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
MagicalPirate
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Interesting. That means in my market I should charge $175-250 an hour for walk around. I guess that meets up with a market in which they charge $75.00 for a birthday party show.

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cheesewrestler
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Quote:
On 2004-07-13 01:28, S2000magician wrote:
Quote:
On 2004-07-12 17:56, RobertBloor wrote:

I say raise fees or get out of the game and leave entertainment to real professionals.


You're not one of those people who believe that an extremely good amateur should not charge $100 for a show for which an equally good professional would get $500, are you?

(


I'm not remotely understanding the thinking there.

X is an amateur.
Y is a professional.
They perform the same show.
X charges $100.
Y charges $500.

Sorry ... not getting it ... unless X is trying to undercut Y and drive him out of business ...?
S2000magician
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An amateur who is not familiar with going rates or who thinks that his skill is below professional level may charge less - even substantially less - than a professional who suffers from neither of these hobbles.

Or he may believe that, because he enjoys performing so much that he would willingly do it for free, he is getting $100 than he thinks is fair.

Or he may be malicious.

His motivation isn't the issue; his actions are.
Mogwai II
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The Alpes
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Charge whatever you think you're worth. I think it also depends on "Who" is taking your service. If it’s a company, I like to take a bigger paycheck. If it's a small birthday party of people I know aren't that rich, I charge less.

I do since two years now, and had never any complaints. With that "high rate - low rate" principle I have a nice average rate, from which I can live happily ever after. Smile
"You'll wonder when he comes, you'll wonder more when he's gone..."
cheesewrestler
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Quote:
On 2004-07-15 02:48, S2000magician wrote:
An amateur who is not familiar with going rates or who thinks that his skill is below professional level may charge less - even substantially less - than a professional who suffers from neither of these hobbles.

Or he may believe that, because he enjoys performing so much that he would willingly do it for free, he is getting $100 than he thinks is fair.

Or he may be malicious.

His motivation isn't the issue; his actions are.


The issue is that he's undercutting the guy who performs to pay his rent.
S2000magician
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Quote:
On 2004-07-15 17:58, cheesewrestler wrote:

The issue is that he's undercutting the guy who performs to pay his rent.


Exactly.

Is it magician A's responsibility to ensure that magician P can pay his rent?

Maybe magician P needs to find a market in which magician A cannot compete.
cheesewrestler
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Quote:
Is it magician A's responsibility to ensure that magician P can pay his rent?

Maybe magician P needs to find a market in which magician A cannot compete.


Oh, I see where you're coming from.

I getcha.

OK, well in that case, maybe Magician A needs to get his arms broken.
S2000magician
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Mea culpa.

I thought this was a serious discussion.
Paddy
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Quote:
On 2004-07-13 13:42, S2000magician wrote:
Quote:
On 2004-07-13 05:44, Paddy wrote:

I then charged 25% more than they did. Everybody, except one, was $75 for a birthday party, I started at $100.


Not to put too fine a point on it, but if they're charging $75 and you're charging $100, you're charging 33-1/3% more than they are, not 25% more.


OK I'm a magician not a mathematician. OOPs but you're right.
Peter
Non Impediti Ratione Cogitationis

I reject your reality & substitute my own

http://www.Scho-Lan.com
S2000magician
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Either way, you're still better off!

;)
hagemagic
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OK. Just a few points I'd like to add from personal experience.

1. Some are in it for money (it's their business). Some are in it for art. Either is fine with me. For me, it's a business. I increased my rates at the beginning of this year and compared to the whole last year, I have doubled by income from magic in just six months.

2. Increasing my rates has INCREASED my business. I now have revenue to enhance my show and pay for marketing. Even with this, my PROFIT is up from last year.

3. There's a market for ALL rates you want to charge. There's a market for $50 shows and there's a market for $5000 shows. You get what you pay for. The consumer knows this and the magician must at a minimum meet the customer's expectations (hopefully exceed expectations). Have a show to back up the price, but don't set a low expectation by your fee. Low expectations up front are hard to overcome no matter how good you are.

4. "Charge what you think you're worth." I hate when people say this. Most good people (magicians are good people) underestimate their worth. It's better to charge what the market can support or what they think you're worth (if it's a business you're running).

5. It's a good idea to find out what others are charging in your area without colluding to fix prices or set a going rate. Call around to see what others are charging for walk-around in your area, and the set your rate higher, lower, or the same (depending on how you want to be perceived in your market and how much business you want).

Take care.
Donald Dunphy
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Quote:
On 2004-07-18 20:51, hagemagic wrote:
3. There's a market for ALL rates you want to charge. There's a market for $50 shows and there's a market for $5000 shows. You get what you pay for. The consumer knows this and the magician must at a minimum meet the customer's expectations (hopefully exceed expectations). Have a show to back up the price, but don't set a low expectation by your fee. Low expectations up front are hard to overcome no matter how good you are.


This is a comment about prospects who have never hired an entertainer before, and perhaps have contacted only one for information (the first one they hear of, or first one they actually talk to in the yellow pages), and not several entertainers (so as to make an informed decision).

Just a thought about this point. Often potential customers have no frame of reference for what an entertainer costs. They may not understand there is a range of $50 up to $5000.

While we may understand that $50 an hour is the low end, they might think that is the high end. Their frame of reference might be comparing our fees with their hourly, 9-5, wage. When they get $10-$20 an hour for their work, and they call an entertainer, and find out he charges $50 per hour, they may think that is a high fee, and that he will give them an incredible event with an incredible show.

With the comment about the consumer understanding that you get what you pay for, they may not understand that a $50 show is the low end of the range. They might think that is the high end.

Just a thought.

- Donald.

P.S. Although higher price might sometimes reflect that a performer is higher calibre, that is not always the case. There are good and bad performers that don't charge a lot, and also good and bad performers that charge a lot. Price is actually a pretty poor measuring stick for the consumer. There are other things they should consider, as well, and you covered most of those.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
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