We All Lie

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by JD, Sep 8, 2011.

  1. #21 KeoSilver, Sep 9, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2011
    I hate it when magicians start potential negative post with disclaimers...actually I hate it when magicians give disclaimers before performances, whether it be magic, mentalism or seance work. Just get on with the talky! With that said, I generally agree with some of the things you've said Mr. Slade. However, I disagree with some of the things you have said in your initial post.


    Alright that is a semi good list but it isn't the end all. One of the most major things I feel that should be mentioned instead of these is that magic is FUN! Whether you are performing, creating or watching, its just fun. I was an odd child when I started magic, my love started in special education class when I wanted to be a real wizard like David Copperfield. My entrance into magic was completely selfish and to fill the illusion that I could really be a wizard or perform miracles. It was fun to be able to pull a red silk from an invisible hole in the palm of my hand; whether I had an audience or not heh.


    But gospel magicians and the word of the God, make some people happy...*ignores the religious wars at this time*


    I'm going to echo someone previous to my post. I think you've exaggerated the amount of usage of the reply, “I do it to make people happy.”. I've known no one to who has said something as blunt as that. I've heard people tell me stories about how they enjoyed watching the expression on the faces of their participants and it kept them going to see that moment of wonder over and over again. I've also heard that they just enjoy socializing and entertaining people. I know whenever I perform magic, I usually talk a whole bunch before a single piece of magic occurs. Do I perform to make people happy? Well, yes I do. But I cause happiness indirectly, by making friends with them. Being accommodating, kind, approachable and making my participants or guest's experience something strange and hopefully stimulate the thought that there are principles that they don't understand yet.

    Going a lil off topic for a line or two. If you traveled back in time to 1950 America with a wireless computer with internet, could you play yourself as a magician? It's amazing what dreams are now reality in the present, it happened almost like magic. Is it really hard to believe now a day that a person could vanish from one box and appear in the other, a teleportation?
     
  2. I'm just going to keep this short and simple because I felt like this thread is pointless and will not advance our art of magic in any way.
    The reason I perform magic is to make people happy. Period. I don't care about money or recognition all I care about is to be able to brighten someone's day up and hearing and seeing smile and laughters of people of different ages. This in itself makes me feel that I've done my job and the feeling that I get is better than anything else in the world. When I'm at school or outside and see some people sitting there and seems like they're bored, I go up to them and asked them if they would like me to show them some magic and 80% of the time, they said yes. I then perform for as long as they want me to using cards, coins, rubberbands, rocks on the ground etc.., their reaction made me feel very happy inside I can't even describe that feeling.
    This is all I have to say, and I completely disagree with your post, that's it.
     
  3. Not true at all. The main point of this thread was to get people to be realistic with themselves. If you are realistic, you can be a better you. Which in turn means you can be a better magician. I'm sorry that you didn't agree and you have every right to your view.

    Same with you Keo.

    The 99%: Just figurative speech. A random number. My point was that a lot of magicians say that phrase. No need to take everything literally.

    Magic is fun: Hell yes it is. I don't know why it isn't on the list. It should be.

    I've removed Mr. Everhart from my initial post. Also, I think you missed the point entirely about what I said in regards to him, but it doesn't matter.

    Basically, be yourself and be true in why you do magic. That's all I'm trying to say and all that I'm going to say.

    JD
     
  4. I agree, just be real with yourself. If everyone can look into the mirror and say "I do magic to make people happy, and make them wonder, etc." then that's that. USUALLY that isn't true as people have agreed in different motives aside from making people happy. This thread is about understanding what you goal is exactly as opposed to making a false goal to ride a high horse. Not here to call anyone out, just giving a well needed wake-up call ;)
     
  5. I take everything literally when I don't know who you are. Your initial post started out as a standard Towtox style bashing session. I apologize but I repeat what I said in my opening post. Get on with the talking! Or more accurately, get to your point... :p

    There we go... Take care Slade.


    I'm curious Zach, what are your goals? If you are being genuine in your intent in the purpose of the thread, why don't you supply some examples of what are "Real" goals and "False" goals that you have in placed for yourself specifically in magic? I think I have my head back down on the ground now and have an understanding of what you all are trying to do. But still, I'm curious.
     
  6. If you are asking what my goals are it's pretty simple.

    My goals: To make money, establish local fame.
     
  7. Zac, firstly I would for being honest on this board with what your intentions are. I have discussed this in a thread when you released your website. You are under charging for your services and not to mention you should never openly reveal your prices. However, you have decied to make sure that they are correct, for example;

    WALK-AROUND GATHERING?

    60 Min. Show - $60.00

    Each hour after the first hour is $20.00. EX. You hire me for 2 hours, price would = $75.00 total.

    The way I read it is $60 for one hour plus $20 for the second hour should equal $80 not $75. If you cannot do simple maths why would any one really want to hire you.

    Secondly you need to understand how budgets work in a business, not to mention you will have to pay your income tax rather than your employer soe you need to take income tax into consideration when you are setting your prices. I am not going to pick apart everything wrong with your price list or your desire to achieve fame and/or monetry gain. Looking online a decent house in your city rents for approximately $700-900 a month. Being very conservitive you will need to look at getting 3 hour long gigs a week based on your pricing structure. then you have to take into considering the cost of living (food, petrol) tax we discussed, props, travel and many other factors you would need to work quite a bit.

    I know that there is a lot of money in corporate events, but if you went in requestion $60 dollars nobody would hire you. The reason being people do not know why one magician is worth $1000+ an hour verse one who is worth $200, it is the performers job to convince the organiser that they are worth that much. Now a $60 magician would be laughed at, because a lot of companies budget more money than that for food and drinks per person in attendence. Mind you a lot of companies still allow you to bring your partner on the companies penny.

    Not to mention under pricing yourself by that much will not only negativly impact your business it can also impact the industry. You have a talent, not many people have so why not charge them to experience it.

    I will chime in later with why I perform.
     
  8. #28 Zac Eckstein, Sep 9, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2011
    Your right. I actually agree, I should go fix that error now. Just a heads up, maybe next time you want to deal with me directly in a way that isn't part of the thread PM me, I like to think I'm easy to get along with! haha, but ya you are right.

    EDIT: also, I would like to justify my price range though. Most magicians in my area charge 250 on up. I get the amount of bookings I do because of my low price, never had a complaint yet though so I don't want to change it. It is a pretty poor place where I live in deep south TX. I do shows so I have some cash while doing something I like to do. I'm going to a community college, so I live with my parents. So I don't have to make a huge amount of money anyway. Thanks for letting me know about that 75 thing, guess my head was somewhere else haha.
     
  9. I was told not to price yourself in two ways:
    1) Don't underprice yourself.
    2) Don't undercut others.
    Rick Everhart told me the second one when I started asking him how I should price my shows for kids parties and the like. He said if you start undercutting other magicians in your area, they will start to hate you. So although you haven't had any complaints yet, it could be that the other guys haven't caught wind of your pricing yet.

    Just something to stay cautious of.
     
  10. Well, they do kids shows mostly and I don't so I am not in the same market. Also, I don't have 30 years experience like they do so If I charged 250+, it wouldn't make sense anyway.
     
  11. If you don't see yourself in the same market as them, then why shouldn't you market yourself in a way that would be more profitable to you. Performing for kids birthday parties and performing to adults sounds like a good reason for "upping the ante" if I were a layman asking about prices. But only you know how good you are and much you're worth. If you think your show is only worth about $60, then they're going to get a $60 show. But never undercut yourself. If you're like me, you've spent too long practicing and perfecting to sell yourself short.
     
  12. Hey guys, sorry I have been so slammed at work and just got back from a gig. I'm just going to cut straight to the point and tell you what experience I have and what I charge / make. I have 11 years of magic experience under my belt but ONLY 2 years performing at paid gigs.

    I charge $125.00 for a birthday party show for kids. They receive a 30-40 minute show followed by balloon animals for the children and a big hat for the birthday child.

    I just returned from a balloon sculpting gig at a company picnic 20 minutes ago and charged the $100.00 for an hour and half of just standing in one spot and busting out balloons for the little kids.

    If I am strolling at a wedding reception or a nicer event my prices start at $100.00 and up per hour.

    If I am doing a parlor show for 75 guests and up....my prices start at $300.00 and up depending on the duration of the show and how far I have to drive.

    When I drove an hour to Amish Country and did a Christmas Party Show I charged $500.00 for a 45 minute show and a little bit of pre-dinner strolling.

    As I have said to some of you before, you know what you are worth. It takes money to buy your props. Things wear out. You have to drive to the location and pay for gas. Do not sell yourself short and do not undercut the competition around you or you will very quickly find yourself the enemy of all the local entertainers which doesn't become much fun when you show up at magic club meeting or a magic convention.

    If anyone has any more specific questions...feel free to fire away and I'll do my best to field them.
     
  13. Those are kinda high, for me at least lol. I mean it seems like God forbid our prices be reasonable and affordable here.To be straight up, I perform for some of the poorest people in the R.G.V. and they can't afford those types of prices. I remember just the other day I had to decline a show because I would be out of town. I referred her to a magician, she said it cost too much. Then I referred her to two other magicians, she said the same thing. So her kids birthday party went without a magician. Sad. Maybe I am low on the price range but things work for me and I intend to stay the course until I see fit for a change in how I do business. I'm affordable, I get booked. If you guys want to charge 300 bucks and still get booked, go for it. I like how I work, I like my pay out and that's the bottom line. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." is pretty much where I am at in this little discussion. If things work out for you who am I say you are wrong. I hope you see it the other way around as well.
     
  14. Zac I agree with you for the most part, your prices really need to fit your demographic and your location. I live in San Diego, there are really nice places and really poor places around. There's a chain of restaurants called Nico's in my area, and where I live, it's about $5.00 for a bean and cheese burrito. Quite a bit for a taco shop. If you drive about 25 mins south, there's another Nico's that charges $3.50 for the same burrito, owned by the same family, it's not a franchise. That's just how it is, if you get booked- go for it. I think what everyone is trying to say is that if you feel you're worth more over time, don't be afraid to bump up your prices at some point.

    I always tell people to call me for pricing information, once I get some of their information I try to tailor my price to what I think is appropriate, obviously I consider the other magicians in my area and their cost, as well as transportation.

    I will disagree with the "If it an't broke don't fix it" idea, especially in entertainment. I'm not sure if you meant it this way, but as a precaution let me say this; the one thing you have to be as an entertainer is dynamic. You should never look at anything through the lenses of it being good where it's at. It's the job of the artist to continually push limits.
     
  15. Zac, no offense man. I'm not taking shots at you or anyone else. I also live in an area that is low income. Our school has free lunches for 65 percent of our student population. I guess whatever works for you is fine and by all means keep doing it and performing. I guess at some point you may want to target companies who can afford to pay a little steeper prices. You have the talent man...I've seen your videos.
     
  16. I appreciate all the help and everything and I understand what you all are saying. Thanks Rick, I appreciate the compliment there!
     
  17. After reading through the whole thread I understand that you didn't mean anything bad about this, but starting off a thread by accusing the majority in this community of lying about their motives gives off the vibe of pretentiousness in my book. It's always better to ask than accuse. It's a good topic to discuss and therefore we should strive towards leaving the black and white zones and entering shades of grey.

    I don't think that the majority of magicians perform solely for the joy it brings others, I really don't. I do however believe they're being honest at the same time though. It's complicated to list all the reasons why we do what we do, so it's easier to just sum it up by naming the major reasons.

    I got into magic because of several reasons. I wanted to learn how to do those miracles I saw other do, I wanted to know the secrets behind magic, I wanted to impress others with such a rare skill, I enjoy the psychology involved when doing it properly, I enjoy making others feel the same way I felt about it. That's why I got into magic.

    The reasons to why I perform aren't exactly the same, but they're similar. I perform because I want to share the experience and give others a chance for some entertainment. I want to fine-tune my magic to see what works and what was only good in theory. I want to get something out of all the hours I spend on practicing.

    Why do I practice magic? It's therapeutic, sitting there and going through the motions. I enjoy coming up with small changes to the effects so they work better for me. I love to see progress being made - from clumsy to smooth.

    Why do I love magic? Because when done right - it's poetry in motion.
     
  18. I could have started it off better, I agree.
    I do really like your last sentence. I've always thought the same thing.
     
  19. This is a weird topic. I don't lie about why I like to do magic. I don't know other people who lie about it either.

    I don't know anyone who does it just to make other people happy. And I've never heard anyone claim that "making people happy" is their sole reason for doing magic.

    That's not to say it's not part of the reason they do magic, though. Nothing wrong with making people happy. But in a way, that's selfish, too, as you like the way making people happy makes you feel.

    Whatever you do in life, you need to love doing it. If not, then why bother? So of course most people do magic because they love magic for one reason or another.

    But there is that unmistakable rush you get when performing for people. That shared experience is awesome. Unless you aren't a performer. Then you're just doing it for the love of it. And that's cool, too.

    BTW, I have to say, I don't believe anyone who says they just do magic for the money. It's tough being a performer if you don't love what you do. Plus, there are a lot easier ways of making money.
     
  20. On some level everyone does magic for themselves, whether it be to make money, for attention, to work on their social skills, etc. But there is another level to it once you get beyond that, when it starts to become more about others and less about yourself. That's not to say the scale completely tips to the other side, but it does (for some at least) start to balance out more. Believe it or not there have been many times when I had no interest in performing, and had nothing to gain from doing so--whether it was a few quick effects to cheer someone up or provide some entertainment for some people who weren't getting any, or doing an entire event for charity for free when I knew I wouldn't get any bookings out of it--but did so anyways because I knew what it would mean to those I was performing for.

    I'm glad to see you're being honest with yourself--that's a very respectable thing and something that will serve you well--just don't trick yourself into believing you're above everybody that disagrees with you just because you're willing to openly admit your own self-interest whereas others may have earnestly grown more beyond that stage in their journey.
     

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