How Much Should You Charge...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Luis Vega, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. Hello Guys!!!

    Well I saw this thread in the afternoon after lunch about how much does somebody must charge for a show...and I was wondering the same thing when I was starting out to get gigs...and how badly I wanted somebody to help me put a price to my show...there is nothing worst (well maybe) that hesitate when somebody ask you how much do you charge for a show...they realize you don´t have to much experience and sometimes they want to take advantage of you...

    I wanted to write this guide for begginers since the pros already know how they charge depending of a lot of factors like experience, time, people and other things...I know about that...but some people here are starting out and maybe they have some offers and I really remember the first gig I got and when they pay me...Oh man!!!...It was a great feeling to get something in return for your work!!! especially when It´s an art!!!...I want that people to feel that too!!!...so this guide will help you out...at least that what I hope....since performing and getting some money really makes you work harder in your magic...it really does...


    Now, this is the way I do it...and it has worked for me, but I could be wrong...but anyone that can contribute here is more than welcome...

    first of all...I am assuming you have decent experience performing for strangers, and you have some decent material...I won´t be talking about "tracklists" (the name I use for a list of tricks to use in a gig) but I maybe be refering some trick or two...

    first of all I do have 3 ways of charging depending of what the client wants...

    Close-Up and Personal...this mode is when it´s under 10 people, like a private party, a dinner of some sort or an small event...usually this last 1 hour an usually it´s done in a living room or a small place where everybody is sit and placed around me...we are chatting and I am just making magic that is angle proof and with small objects (cards, coins, rubberbands, loops, some little gimmicks) and it looks more casual and looks impromptu....now to be honest prepare this show takes me around 10-20 minutes before the show...an sometimes I get to eat free and meet people...since this is a very friendly way of doing magic I really don´t charge a lot, since It doesn´t represent a big effort on preparing the show nor to perform it and sometimes I can do 2 or even 3 in night...however, this one is the more common kind of show when you are starting out, but be prepared to have good material

    How Much?: 50$- 75$ for 1 hour...
    Material: cards, coins, rubberbands, loops and Mentalism...
    another tip?: usually pre-paid...and don´t spend to much in your magic like using expensive gimmicks that leave expensive souvenirs....sometimes you can even get to met some people here...

    Table Hopping:Now this one is very good since you only need like 5-10 tricks to get through the gig...doesn´t require a lot of setup and you get to eat (most of the time) and meet people and you get good money!!...now this gig is very important you go well dressed and talk with the client days before the show...this must be pre-paid and you need to have at least 2 hours paid...now even though the setup is very little and you will be using mostly resetable and easy tricks, the effort is a lot more than the Close-up show since you will be performing non-stop for 2 to 3 hours maybe more...calculate 5-10 min per table...and very important...ask the client about the tips...I usually tell to the client that I won´t be asking for tips...but if somebody offers me a tip, I will take it...they usually are ok with that...but if not, don´t ask for tips or receive them...since the effort is big and also you have to dress nice an sometimes is in the night the ranking goes...

    How Much?: 100$ per hour, maybe you can give a discount if they hire you for more than 2 hour...like 80$ per hour in block of 3 hours...that´s 240$
    Material: resetable and usually patter simple tricks since sometimes there is a band playing and you are going against the noise,so no room for patter or even mentalism that requires psychological suggestion, since maybe they won´t hear you and are easily distracted...
    any more tips?...yes, a lot of bussiness cards, and it´s very hard to give souvenirs in this kind of gigs, since you have little time and usually a signed card is all I give...

    Full Show!!...now this is the biggest, hardest and more awesome kind of gig I get...it´s my full show and is usually 45 min to 1 hour long depending on how the audience is participating, it´s more like Stand-Up magic with a table...now this one requires 2 hours of setup and it´s really demanding, since I am doing all kinds of magic and the stress is bigger than the other shows...I have to get 1-2 hours early to the place and prepare everything, I have to dress acording to my style...this show is bigger and you need to check a lot of things aside from the tricks, like how much people s gonna show, what kind of people, what age, the lighting conditions and a lot of things depending on the place and your situation...
    this one is really profesional and must be done as so...I am just putting it here in case some of the begginers want to take the risk and put together a show this size...it is not recommended to do it unless you have a lot of experience and have pre-tested yourself in some stand-up magic

    How Much?: I charge $200 for the full show since it´s demanding...also I am the only magician of my kind on my city, so maybe it depends on the demand of your own...maybe 100-150$ could be good in some cases
    Material: check other threads for suggestions since this one depends on your character and style...
    any other tip?: for Pro´s only!!!

    well there you go...I hope this was helpful and you could take something from here...now remember this is for begginers and feel free to leave your comments and if you want add some more tips...

    thanks again for your time!!
     
  2. also, remember, price yourself on how much you think you are worth. if it is your first show, i would price less. 100 for an hour of walk around seems steep if its your first time.
    a good way to learn is to do magic for free for a resturaunt, just for fun.
    you wont make much money, but you'll learn how to approach, script, do tricks and such.
    you'll also make some connections
     
  3. Something else to consider is how much others are charging (who are performing at the same caliber as you). You don't want to be undercutting those around you.

    Also I loved doing restaurant work. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to jump start their magic career. You really earn your chops.

    j
     
  4. Thanks, this helped :)
     
  5. Great topic there, bookmarked !

    I'm about to jump into it, im a little bit tired of performing in bars for free..

    Each time when i go out, i go to the bar with friends and since its forbidden to smoke inside all public places in France, I meet lot of people outside...etc etc...

    Now i know i can do it for sure since I have a little bit of experience...

    Tomorrow night i'll be in a restaurant for free, and if it works...then we'll see...


    Thx for the tips guys ..
     
  6. I agree at some degree...

    see I met this magician in my hometown..he was a bad magician with a very big ego...he told me I shouldn´t charge less than him...but suposedly he charge 3,000 bucks per show...I was like WTF?...

    I think it´s good to check first the other magicians and see how much they charge and from that get an average...especially if you are starting out

    It didn´t worked for me, but only because of the circunstances...
     
  7. True. This is why I mentioned performers doing shows at the same caliber as you. Shows for $3000 are at a different level than the $300-$500 range.

    Then of course there is the magician who gets one gig for a lot of money and brags that he charges that much, when reality is he actually only charges a fraction of that amount, but likes to puff himself up.

    I haven't done this myself, but some say the best way to get accurate prices is to secret shop the competition a bit.

    Then on the flipside, if all the magicians in your area charge $3000 for their $300 show, then you are perhaps missing out! (lol) ;)
     
  8. to update..

    he told me he charge 3000 a show...but when I check with others magician they told me he was a liar because he had a very big ego...and that he should charge that and that´s why nobody hired him....

    when I met him I felt sorry for him...one thing he did and I didn´t like is that between magicians he called the spectators...as*ho*** which I didn´t like and he hated me when I ask him to at least in my presence stop calling them like that...he told me I wasn´t supposed to have an opinion when I was talking to better magicians than me...

    well most magicians in my area (only other 2) charge 100-150 bucks (1000-1500 mexican pesos) but the show of them last 30 min and then they do 30 minutes of table hopping...
     
  9. haha wooot! i havent even read your post yet, im just totally psyched because i saw this and i thought "this is about my thread!" and now i feel VERRY important! KACHING! ok now to go back and read what you typed, and then ill probably post again
     
  10. so what i had planned was about a 30 minute show for someones birthday party, would cost me 15 bux to do, and they would get souvenirs such as a bent fork, a signed card, and a knot from a piece of rope lol planned to charge 35 cuz it cost me 15 to get everything i need and 20 bux would be great to make on my first show to me lol, so is this too much to charge? or is it about right? this is the price my dad suggested, but hes not a magician and really has no experience in it
     
  11. p.s. ignore my signature, its verry old and needs changed, those questions have been answered, but i cant remember how to change my signature now lol, imma figure it out in the morning, but for now, just ignore it lol
     
  12. hey!!!

    that`s why we are here...to help each other advance!!

    should you desire check my other threads and I hope they can help you too!!
     
  13. Oz Pearlman's advice is a good shorthand reference to consider when trying to figure out how to price your shows.
     
  14. Great advice.

    j
     
  15. Thanks to everyone who posted here; it really helped me get a scope of what I should do going forward.

    Again thanks,
    d3m1g0d
     

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