Parlour Style Show - How much should I charge?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Oli Smith, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. I may have the opportunity in the coming weeks to arrange a parlour style magic show in my local pub. Ive done gigs before but its always been table magic at party's and weddings. I was just wondering if i should charge more for a show, and if so, how much? Thanks a lot in advance for any advice you can give.
  2. What do you charge for your regular gigs? Is this going to be longer than your normal gigs? Are you selling tickets or is this more like an open mic setting?
  3. How long have you been working on this stand up show and how long do you plan to perform for? I would say that most guys who do a stand up show (close up) usually will only have the show being around 30 min to an hour at the most.
  4. My regular gigs vary from about 150-400 so far. Pound sterling btw im in the uk. Unfortunately, i dont really know yet the landlord of the pub mentioned the idea to me the other day and said he'd call me during the week, i wanted to have some idea of what i could charge before i started negotiating. As far as i gleaned from the conversation we had though, i'd be an open mic setting but with good advertising around the local area. The show ive developed will be about an hour and a quarter.
  5. Well, for a 45 minute birthday party show I normally charge $150.00 U.S. so something at a bar with adults for an hour I would probably try to get $300 or so depending on how much equipment I had to take in, set up, sound systems, etc. It would also depend on how many people the owner was trying to pack the place with. Obviously he is banking on filling the place and keeping the drinks flowing for his $$$ to increase.

    An hour and a quarter is a long show if it is just you standing up in a parlour style show. You better be a strong act to go that long. Just my two cents.
  6. Thanks for the advice. And yea your probably right, ive really got my work cut out for me over the next week or so to condense it into a solid, powerful act.
  7. Rick is pretty much on par for today's world, but there are a few factors that must be considered as well, starting with the fact that this is your "first" parlor/club styled act, which technically places you at the lower end of things. My suggestion in such a case, is to leave room for the contractor to make an offer; you might let them know what the typical range of fee is, but leave it to them to make the offer on pay for the time being . . . until you get a few shows under your belt and develop a stronger sense of confidence in regards to this "shift" into a new arena for yourself and of course, refining your script and show format to something more focused and smooth.

    Once you have a real product then you can ask for the greater sums. Similarly, if you are taking gigs after this first show based on word of mouth, you can quote rates about 10-15% higher (at first) than what you saw on the first date.

    Bar owners are notoriously cheap so they may offer you part cash and part barter, such as so many free meals + a small cash fee. It's ok to accept such deals at first, god knows the majority of us have. Besides, you can end up with some sweet assets when it comes to barter exchanges and being able to use them as bargaining chips with pending clients . . . if you have some free pizza deals with one client in town and you want to do a special promo for a local car dealership, for example; grab yourself two or three pizza pies and take them to the dealership on the day the management & sales team meet with you . . . there's no better way to solidify deals than food (& maybe a bit a booze).

    I'm saying this so you understand that you don't always need the cash so long as your basic costs are covered. Something a lot of us don't think about when we're first starting off.
  8. heh, my first barter was half cash, and the other half in free movie tickets for a year.

    Great advice so far. I would charge pretty low for the first show. My first show was $50, then worked my way up as I did more. I would try to hit that $50-$100 range. The reason is that the show hasn't been tested. Don't be greedy - you will get more gigs, and as you do, you can charge more. You will not get spin off gigs, if they felt you charged too much for the quality of the show.

    Let us know what results!
  9. Justin, I may have misunderstood, but I don't think this is his first show. I just think it is the first of this type of show for the adult bar setting doing parlour. If I threw out a $50 price tag to a local bar and they were bringing in people for the event I don't think they would take me very seriously. Just my thoughts. There has to be a perceived value attached. I realize everyone is different. I too will be interested to see how much he got and how it all plays out.
  10. Thanks for all the advice. I think im going to pretty much leave it up to him to make me an offer. I mainly want the gig for exposure and experience so as long as its not too low, ill probably take it. I agree with rick though that $50 (about £30) is too low, i dont want to seem cheap and inexperienced. its the gigs i hope to get from this that im really interested in so i think as long as he offers me above about 50-60 ($80-90) ill be happy - im sure ill be able to get some free drinks too!! :)

    Ill let you guys know how it goes. Thanks.
  11. As I said earlier, so long as your basic expenses are covered, go for it for now. Maybe push for a spiff such as a meal & non-alcohol beverages just so you have the last word on things. . . see if they'll toss in a press notice too, let folks know you're going to be there. It's a great way to get that "exposure" factor as well as introducing your name to area media. . . the more they hear that name the more likely it will be that they will want to do a feature on you later on.

    Best of luck!
  12. Along Craig's advice...I would tell anyone and everyone you know to be there. Afterwards, they can play like they don't know you and go up to bar staff and management and say, "Wow, that was a great show. We really liked him." or "You should have more entertainment in here like that." It seems cheesy but it works.

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