How long should a children's show be?

Jan 22, 2012
418
1
Hey guys,

Recently my friend and I were discussing how long a children show should be and how much to charge. My friend told me that he does hour long shows which I think would be way too long for a children's party and said that half an hour is much more suitable for how long a show should be. The thing is I feel that 1 hour of kids sitting down watching magic would be very boring because it's just trick after trick after trick. I know there are plenty of magicians here that work kids show, so maybe you can help figure out how long a children's show would be?
 
Aug 31, 2007
2,025
1
31
Long Island/New York
An hour for kids is perfectly fine. Depending on their age group, you might want to cut it down to forty-five minutes. Then possibly do fifteen to twenty minutes of balloons.
Regarding what to charge, it's pretty much what you think you're worth and what the client is willing to pay. If you're new to children's magic, then you really want to do it more for the experience than the money. It's a little tough pricing parties since you don't want to undercut any magicians that may be in your area. I would think anywhere from $180- $300 is a fair price for a standard backyard children's birthday.
Prices depend on a few questions...

1) Where is the party?
How far will you need to travel to get there and back, gas money isn't cheap these days.

2) Where the party is being held.
If it's at a hall, depending on if they need to use your performers insurance or not. That costs extra for them. Also, if it's at a hall, that's a hint that these people might have money to throw around. Not saying they're rich, but you might be able add on a few dollars.

3) How many kids are going to be there? 25? 100? 200?
If you audience is bigger, your pay should be bigger!

4) What is the client's budget???
This is the first most important thing you need to ask every client! Don't waste you time asking details about the party before knowing how much they plan on paying you. If they say $50, then I say I'm sorry but you can't afford my services. Sounds rude, but on the phone you're not the magician, you're the business man/woman. And you can't waste your time with offers that don't pay off.

I'm sure I skipped a few questions, but that's all i got for now.
 

Blaziken

Elite Member
Sep 8, 2012
85
0
Quebec, Canada
twitter.com
An hour for kids is perfectly fine. Depending on their age group, you might want to cut it down to forty-five minutes. Then possibly do fifteen to twenty minutes of balloons.
Regarding what to charge, it's pretty much what you think you're worth and what the client is willing to pay. If you're new to children's magic, then you really want to do it more for the experience than the money. It's a little tough pricing parties since you don't want to undercut any magicians that may be in your area. I would think anywhere from $180- $300 is a fair price for a standard backyard children's birthday.
Prices depend on a few questions...

1) Where is the party?
How far will you need to travel to get there and back, gas money isn't cheap these days.

2) Where the party is being held.
If it's at a hall, depending on if they need to use your performers insurance or not. That costs extra for them. Also, if it's at a hall, that's a hint that these people might have money to throw around. Not saying they're rich, but you might be able add on a few dollars.

3) How many kids are going to be there? 25? 100? 200?
If you audience is bigger, your pay should be bigger!

4) What is the client's budget???
This is the first most important thing you need to ask every client! Don't waste you time asking details about the party before knowing how much they plan on paying you. If they say $50, then I say I'm sorry but you can't afford my services. Sounds rude, but on the phone you're not the magician, you're the business man/woman. And you can't waste your time with offers that don't pay off.

I'm sure I skipped a few questions, but that's all i got for now.

Yep, Danny nailed it! I guess he told you everything already.
 

RealityOne

Moderator
Nov 1, 2009
3,577
3,848
New Jersey
Hey guys,
The thing is I feel that 1 hour of kids sitting down watching magic would be very boring because it's just trick after trick after trick. I know there are plenty of magicians here that work kids show, so maybe you can help figure out how long a children's show would be?

If you are doing trick after trick, 15 minutes is too long.

A children's show needs to be designed to hold their interest by having a theme and a plot. Kids sit for an hour to watch the Disney Live or Sesame Street Live shows. Why, because there is a plot (however contrived). Children know that stories have a beginning, a middle and an end. Does your show have a beginning a middle and an end?

Arman, I know we talked about this, but anyone that does kids shows needs to go watch Dora the Explorer. The conventional wisdom before that show was that kids couldn't focus for long periods of time. That resulted in the shows like Sesame Street that had short disconnected segments. Dora tied various segments together using The Map. This gave kids an idea of what was going to happen but also maintained interest by letting them know where in the story they were.

Th shows also need to be interactive. Most magicians think this means using "look don't see" and gags. I think it goes beyond that. Again, look at Dora and The Upside Down Show (those guys rock). The interaction makes it THEIR show and not something they have to sit and watch.

My show is 45 minutes but I'm working on a longer show.
 

Bizzaro

Elite Member
Sep 1, 2007
465
7
Vegas
www.smappdooda.com
Say you charge "X" amount for 30 minutes (Which if it's entertaining can be 20-25 mins. honestly) but for an extra "X" amount you teach the kids a trick or make balloons at the end. You can knock the price up by adding things such as those mentioned or a live animal production, float the b-day child, etc.
 
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