How much do I charge?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by domwhit23, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. I am hoping to start performing at events, such as birthday parties or weddings, but don't know how much to charge. I am looking to provide light walk around entertainment rather than a stage performance with large illusions.
    I'm 17 years old and live in the UK...(if that helps)
  2. My friend does that, and he charges about three hundred for a night. Although for birthday parties, I would charge less.
  3. You may want to consider the difference between a wedding and a birthday party. Also, who is it for? How large is the venue? How long are you working for? How old are the people you're performing for? I doubt that anyone would hire a random 17 year old magician for their WEDDING. If they feel so inclined to provide that sort of entertainment at their wedding, they will almost certainly opt for the professional. To summarize what I'm saying, it varies depending on what exactly you're dealing with. There are alot of things to put into consideration, so take your time with it. $300 is a LOT to ask for as an amateur teenage magician with no experience.
  4. Thanks
    Is that pounds?
  5. Thanks for the advice Pav
    That's the thing I was thinking about, I knew I had to start from the bottom and do smaller gigs, I just don't know how much to start on...
  6. No, it is American dollars. But, like I said, I would charge much less for birthday parties. Weddings tend to pay more because they are more lavish events, and it tends to be a long gig. With birthdays, you can do two or three everyday, and make a name for yourself, making people more inclined to choose you for their weddings.
  7. Two or three EVERYDAY? He's 17. Most professionals don't do two or three birthdays every day. Where are you getting THAT information. Think of how hard it would be to BOOK that many gigs. It just doesn't happen.
  8. You're right I'm not looking to do 2 or 3 a day, but I will be looking to do as many as possible to make a name for myself
  9. My apologies, I didn't mean to write everyday of the week (I meant 2 or 3 A DAY), and I also did not necessarily mean large events. I was considering children's birthday parties, in which you would only have to perform for, say, forty five minutes. While two to three a day is a lot, I have met performers who do small gigs like kid's parties, and hop from one to another in the area on the same day. I also understand at 17, you do not want this much responsibility, I was merely pointing out the advantages of smaller events.
  10. Several professionals do multiple gigs in a day. Not every single day, but lining more than one gig up in a single day is fine as long as you can bring your A-game to all of them.

    I think figuring out what to charge is a matter of finding the right mixture of what you think your worth and what you can get out of the client. That's not to say overcharge them, but if you quote a higher price and someone takes it without flinching, then you're normally charging too little.

    I like Jamie D Grant's scale, which he talks about in this post:

    Only you can figure out what you're worth, but this is a nice guideline. Don't worry about what other people charge beyond looking at the baseline for your area. You may have to fight to get the appropriate amount if your city is full of people who don't charge what they should be charging. You'll have to prove that you're worth more than them because you put on a better show.
  11. In the busy season it is nothing to do three or four gigs a day four or five days a week.
  12. Sure, maybe for a full time professional. But for a first time 17 year old performer? I assume this isn't going to be his full time job.
  13. It was my full time job at 17/18. I knew magic was what I wanted to do and started doing table hoping, street fairs and private parties at that age. By the time I was 20 I was doing corporate events and entertaining country musicians who came to town. So it is not impossible for a 17 year old to be doing three parties a day over the summer.
  14. When I started with my gigs I started to get my name out there.
    I did free gigs for schools and leisures. It gave me a good overlook what I need to work on as a preformer and what I need to change in my preformance. When you start you will have trouble having a good structer on your show so my advice is to do 3-5 free shows for schools etc. and you will know what you need to change and after a few shows you will have an okej structer to start taking payments.

    Also an other thing is in a free gig you don't have to worry if it's not topnotch. Of course you should do the best you can do and give it all your got. It will pay of later. The kids you preform to want a magician at their birthday parties and their parent check with the school, and scahszam! you get a gig.
    It's a good way to spread your name quickly.

    When I started to take payment for my shows I started out with 50dollars when I noticed it was to low I went up to 60-70 dollar that was also to low so I went up to 100dollar/hour and that was also to low now I'm up in 150dollars/hour and it's still no problem which mean I'll raise next gig and so on.

    Over the summer for me it's been kinda of a dry peroids of shows and preformances but I starting to get loads of bookings now again when people coming home from the vactions. An other way to spread your name is to talk to your local newspaper. Try to get them to write about you.
    This is the tips I got sorry if it's abit clutered and confusing I tryed to explain the best I could after my own experiences.

    Hopefully this helped =)
    Thanks - Markus/JokerZingo
  15. Thanks a lot guys,
    Every piece of advice I've gotten is great and helps alot and gives me a guideline for my further research and advertising
    Again, thanks, I really appreciate it
  16. #16 Randy, Aug 2, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 2, 2013
    You're 17, so I would suggest you search out local family style restaurants that have kids and just offer to do a free trial night at a few of them. (I would suggest using yelp and looking at each places reviews and making a list of the type of places you want to perform at.) Once you've got that, simply go in an approach two or three different places.

    At your age, I don't think you should be doing 2-3 gigs a day. You're more than likely going to start out with 2 or 3 gigs a month at the most.

    One thing I forgot to add is this. I would suggest you start working on an act and start working that act at the outdoor shopping centers and parks. Get your 100 or so bad performances out of your system BEFORE you start performing professionally. This way you won't have to worry about bad word of mouth or anything because you'll just some random stranger who performed bad magic once. Not to mention the fact that the people you'll be doing these bad performances for will be completely random people and you won't ever see them again.

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