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MDS
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I had been performing 2 nights a week (Thursday and Saturday) at a restaurant (Max & Erma's) for about 3 years. I was getting paid $45.00 per hour for 2 hours. Recently another performer came in and pitched to them 6 nights for $30.00 A NIGHT and the GM went for it. She didn't tell me about the other performer though she just said that business was down (BULL they were busier than ever) and that they couldn't afford entertainment right now. Meanwhile the other performer started the following Monday and I found out about it from friends. I maintained a professional attitude and made a call to the GM and told her "If you really wanted to save money and go with someone else than you should have just been honest with me".

I received a call from her last week and she said "I made a mistake; you get what you pay for I guess. He may be cheaper, but he isn't as good. We have had guests come in and find out that you are no longer here and get up and leave. Will you please come back?"

I said that I am sorry, but you already burned the bridge and I am not letting it happen again.

So the situation that I am in is how do I get another gig at a restaurant? It has been so long since I have had to I don't know what to do. I would really appreciate any advice that you can give me.

Matthew
Matthew David Stanley,
Comedy Magician
matthew@matthewdavidstanley.com
www.matthewdavidstanley.com
Clarioneer
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Ferndown, Dorset, UK
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I understand what you are saying but it happens in business - you suck it up - the wise move would have been to go back - permanently... have you said anything untoward...

In the UK we call it scratching your face to spite your nose...

This will happen again - but only once - they learn from the mistake...
catch you later

Clarioneer
tpdmagic
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WOW, I would have gone back as well, in fact at that point you probably could have asked for more money just based on their experience with the other guy. First impressions are so important with what we do, If you are good and they know it then when someone else steps in they'd better be as good. I would call her back and possibly ask for a contract as you feel that would benefit the both of you.

tpdmagic
paulajayne
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Hi

Call her back and tell her you have juggled your other bookings and that you are available.

Your fee is $100 for two hours and it will be contracted for 6 months at a time.
The contract IS to include YOU being advertised as the resident magician.

They booked the other magician for six nights, so they therefore feel that is required.

Either call or write.


Pride is one thing but work and money is another.

Paula
Paula Jay - Magic to Remember -
---------------------------------
I once wrote a book on elephants, I think paper would have been better.
----
Michael Baker
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Good advice going here. Paula said it best. The negotiating cards are all in your hand right now.

It's a shame that the GM of this restaurant didn't display the kind of loyalty that you showed her by keeping those slots open for her establishment for 3 years. I've had bottom-feeders try to undercut me, but fortunately, the management knew on which side their bread was buttered.

Paula's suggestion only gives this GM a light spanking, but what it does do beautifully is lets her know in no uncertain terms that you are a professional who brings to the table, talents and good business skills that are not to be toyed with, let alone considered disposable.

Go back and be proud that you are as good as what it appears you are.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Riley
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Quote:
On 2004-10-23 14:32, paulajayne wrote:

...Your fee is $100 for two hours and it will be contracted for 6 months at a time.
The contract IS to include YOU being advertised as the resident magician.



...plus dinner when you've finished Smile

Riley
MikeSpark
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First off -

You should have gone back. The manager admitted her mistake. Not going back shows arrogance on your part and that you desperately need to learn to be a professional.

Secondly -

IF for some reason you CAN get back in with them, you can't increase your price now because you were pretty much a jerk when they called and apologised.

Now YOU are in a position of having to apologise.

If you go back, you charge $45/hr.
You contract with them for a period of 1 year.

You ASK them about their needs for entertainment on MORE nights. You said you were doing 2, and that this guy did 6. Perhaps they could increase you to a 3rd or 4th night. (This cover your pay raise WITHOUT raising your fee).

And next time - don't be so short sighted. Not only did the other magician make magicians look bad, you also made magicians look bad because you acted inappropriately.

YA dig?

Mike
Decomposed
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Now now. He may have made a mistake but I don't consider Matthew a jerk for it. Stubborn maybe. Give em a call back Matthew.
broothal
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Actually, I would have done the same as Matt if the gig wasn't the only source of income.
Daegs
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Hmmm, I guess matt will have to fire his "personal assistant" now. Smile

I think Paula said it best:

"Pride is one thing but work and money is another."

Call them up, say something to the tune of "I'm sorry, I was upset when I last talked to you over the other magician, but because I value your restaurant and your customers, I'd like to come back", ect ect....

Even if you don't like the managers, think about any patrons of the restaurant that might like to come see you routinely, and any jobs you book from the patrons at the restaurant.

The last thing you want is the manager telling them something bad about you, etc.

I'd say go back, those customers that got up and left when you weren't there should really tell you something.... go back Smile
MDS
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I appreciate all of your advice, on the other hand I got to the point that it was getting old. I did make a lot of friends with the staff and patrons, but I REFUSE TO LET YOU CALL ME UNPROFESSIONAL. I was pretty much fed up with the GM anyway because she started telling staff as well as patrons how much I was getting paid and the staff started to turn on me because I was making so much more money then they were. I appreciate Broothal standing up for me. He did make an excellent point, that wasn't my only source of income. I still perform well over 100 corporate and trade shows, 250 kids’ shows and 3 or more Magic Conventions per year. I will admit that it was nice having the steady income and that is why I want to pick up another restaurant. Going back to M&E's is out of the question in my book at least as long as that GM is still there. I don't give her much longer though; they went through 3 GM's in the time that I was there. I do want to pick up another restaurant in the meantime and I would really appreciate your help.

Thank you,

Matthew
Matthew David Stanley,
Comedy Magician
matthew@matthewdavidstanley.com
www.matthewdavidstanley.com
Carl Andrews
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I would have went back but with a higher fee. I had a hotel stop using me once not because of another magician they just thought they did not need me anymore. A few weeks later when they realized their mistake they called me back but I increased my fee by 1/3 and they were happy to pay it.

Best Wishes,
Carl
MDS
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I have already told her NO. From the time that she started until the time that I left she was always standoffish towards me and she was one of the very few people in life and in business that I just could not come to respect and I refuse to work for her again. Like I said I am seeking advice on picking up another restaurant. I would really appreciate your advice if you could provide some on that topic. I do perform pretty regularly, but in mentioning those figures I was including my two nights a week at M & E's as well as another restaurant that I worked at on Monday night, but they went out of business nationwide (Chi- Chi's).
Sincerely,

Matthew
Matthew David Stanley,
Comedy Magician
matthew@matthewdavidstanley.com
www.matthewdavidstanley.com
Review King
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Matthew, why not go to another restaurant near by, between 2-4 ( that's when deliveries arrive, so the GM is open to seeing you ). Explain what it is you do and where you were working and the situation that happened ( do NOT use it as an opportunity to attack the GM you don't like-take the high road ). That's a good start.

I remember Chi Chi's. I always like that place. Sorry to hear that went under.
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
Keith Raygor
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Matthew,
This was my approach:
I used the Yellow Pages and driving around town to make a list of 15 restaurants where I thought I'd like to work. I generally selected ones that were NOT nationwide chains, but were still desireable - unique designs, excellent reputations, solid business, each had some factor that spoke to me and said 'here's a place I would enjoy'. I'm in a relatively small town, so most places should be able to supply 15 names on a list.

I arranged the list geographically, so I could be efficient in driving to them.

One day, I called all 15 and said 'could you let me know who I would speak to that would make decisions about hiring an entertainer?' and 'when would I normally catch that person in?'.

(Even if they were there, I chose not to speak to them at that moment as my brain was still in the -collecting data- mode.)

A day or two later, I called and asked to speak to each owner/manager. I took notes after the call of who I spoke to, what they said, etc. in case I needed to make a followup call some time later. I made the call brief, friendly and to the point. After explaining what I did, I essentially asked them if I could just drop off a promo package to them and 'what would be a convenient time' to give it to them personally, and will only take a moment of their time as I know they're busy.

Over the next several days I made my way down the list. Upon each visit to drop off promo (almost all agreed to let me drop off promo), I had an invisible deck, a pair of rubber bands and a pleasing disposition on me. I always offered to give them a quick demonstration, if they'd like. Most said yes in a sincerely enthusiastic way.

After the demonstration, I said goodbye and left with a promise to give them a call in a couple days after they had a chance to look over the promo. I never pushed for the sale at that point as I'm not that aggressive in sales and didn't want them to think I was, either. But if they continued the conversation with questions, of course I followed through with an offer to let them watch me with their guests for a few minutes.

In the car, I added notes to my list of the conversation and they're reactions, etc.

After 4-5 days, I'd done two evening auditions of about a half hour each and was waiting on their reactions when I visited the eighth restaurant on the list. This restaurant hired me on the spot and I've been there 6 years, 5 nights per week. The real blessing was that it was my favorite place on the list.

If you get to the bottom of the list of 15 and nothing yet, do your second list of 15. I'm inclined to believe in the numbers, though, and think that if anyone sets out to visit 15 restaurants in a few days time with the proper clothes, demeanor and magic, something will break for them.

I wish you the best of luck.
Keith

PS. MagicChris - this edit is much better.

PSS. Having never met the man in person, I can say that some of the ideas in Carl Andrews' videos and writings have been directly responsible for increasing my bank account over the last 4-5 years. His ideas on table cards alone is gold.
kinesis
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If you haven't got it already, read The Magic Menu Years 1-5. There is a wealth of information on how to approach restaurants for work.
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein






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MDS
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I appreciate that excellent advice Keith. I have been reading The Magic Menu for years now, but I wanted to get some more incite before I go about this search.

I forgot to mention why I have worked restaurants before, but don't know how to book them. When I decided a few years ago that I would like to try and get hired at a restaurant I made up a short list of people to call. The first name on the list was Max and Erma's and I just told the GM what I did and he said okay when can you start and I worked there two night a week for three years. As far as Chi Chi's goes I filled in for a guy a couple of times so they were familiar with me. He decided to move to St. Louis and when he did he set me up to take over for him. So I really haven't had much experience booking the restaurant. Keith, what kind of information should be in the promo pack that you give them. I have several other promo packs, but nothing geared directly towards restaurants. I appreciate everyone’s advice.

Matthew
Matthew David Stanley,
Comedy Magician
matthew@matthewdavidstanley.com
www.matthewdavidstanley.com
Keith Raygor
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I made a short list of benefits that I printed out and looked over just prior to going in to visit the GMs. I had it near the phone as well. (Thank you Al the Only and Kirk Charles books).

It goes like this:
Personalized entertainment - especially good for special occasions, like anniversaries and birthdays

Unique entertainment

A cover for delays in seating or delays in the kitchen

Entertain guests on busy nights

Increase business on slower nights

A way of attracting return customers that bring new customers with them

A way of attracting publicity

A way of delaying the customers from leaving, generating increased revenue

A way of stimulating conversation between strangers in the lounge

An extension of the restaurant’s hospitality


My promo pak wasn't really geared towards restaurants. It's primary purpose was to show professionalism - that I took my job seriously.

It contained a photo, small copies of any articles, quotes, etc.
Same as my website, but printed out.
MDS
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Thank you Keith. Al and Lori are friends of mine. I will have to ask Al some questions as well.

Matthew
Matthew David Stanley,
Comedy Magician
matthew@matthewdavidstanley.com
www.matthewdavidstanley.com
Decomposed
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Excellent advice Keith. Thanks!!!

After 4-5 days, I'd done two evening auditions of about a half hour each and was waiting on their reactions when I visited the eighth restaurant on the list.

What did the auditions consist of?

Candini
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