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Topic: Help!!!
Message: Posted by: sjballa147 (Nov 21, 2005 04:07PM)
Hi there my name is Shane. I'm 14 years old and I was reading through the post about close up venues and I was wondering what kind of venues would be good for me a 14 year old kid.
Message: Posted by: Ben Train (Nov 21, 2005 05:05PM)
Age, for the most part, has nothing to do with where you can work.

Obviously anything that doesn't allow a 14 year old in (such as burlesque and casinos) is out.

But everything else is open to you.

What is good though?

Depends on how skilled you are.

From your post, I gather beginer, so look for venues you feel comfertable in when NOT performing, and start from there.
Message: Posted by: Parson Smith (Nov 21, 2005 07:02PM)
Wow Shane. That is a tough question.

Off the top of my head, I would probably suggest that you perfect a number of walkaround routines. Then visit with a restaurant manager in your area.
Perhaps you could work for tips and get some real life exposure at the same time.

Now, this might not be the greatest advice in the world and I would love to hear from others.
It was just a thought.
Message: Posted by: evolve629 (Nov 21, 2005 07:51PM)
I'd say birthday parties, holidays, and fund raising events at school. It all depends on what you do and your skills level. I hope this helps. Good luck.
Message: Posted by: abc (Nov 21, 2005 11:31PM)
You can work anywhere where you are legally allowed to enter. Restaurants are a great way to get close up magic experience while fundraisers and birthday parties are a great way to get some experience working with larger audiences. Try both but make sure your act is ready for it. Since you can do 2 ro 3 effects in a restaurant and then move to the next table I do suggest you start there because you only need a few well rehearsed effects to get going. This would give you some valuable experience which you can later use to move onto bigger things.
Good luck
Message: Posted by: MagicDan21 (Nov 22, 2005 12:28AM)
I'd go with fairs, farmers markets, anywhere were you'r not really 'hired' but more so strolling around.
Message: Posted by: liam-j-gilbert (Nov 22, 2005 04:10PM)
Hi Shane

I am of the opinion that in order to develop into a good magician you need two disciplines. Practice and Experience.

Forgive me for stating the obvious above... but I feel that the simple answer to this question is probably the best.

If you have practiced enough then you are good enough to begin getting your experience. If you feel that you have a quality act then begin approaching some local restaurant managers (the restaurant workers handbook gives some sound advice on doing this.)

If you don't feel that your ready for that, then I suggest following the other advice above - birthday parties, family events etc.

As a word of encouragement, incase you feel that you are too young to begin semi-pro performance, I was 13 years old when I did my first performance in a five star restaurant. I have worked there for the last five years and I am now a full time professional and I earn a comfortable living.

If you are good enough you are old enough.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Message: Posted by: sjballa147 (Nov 24, 2005 10:27PM)
Thanks a lot everyone for your help I just don't see many other venues that I could work besides a restaraunt and I don't wanna do stage magic at the moment so I'm just confused on other things. I was thinking about maybe doing daycare center shows. Those of you who have experience with daycare shows how do I approach a daycare center to offer my services also what would I charge for something like that. I was thinking around $50 for an hour of work. Is this too much or maybe too little? Is this a legitiment amount of time? Thanks everyone for all the help.
Message: Posted by: Parson Smith (Nov 25, 2005 12:09AM)
If you want to work Daycare Centers, go ask the director if you can do a show for the students for free. Ask for a letter of recommendation and ask the director if she will give you the names of other places and will she make a phone call for you.
Explain that your fee is $50(or whatever you decide) but that you will do one for the kids if she will help you out.
Some will say NEVER do free magic. But, I humbly disagree.
This will get your foot in the door and give you some experience.
Always get letters of recommendation.
Message: Posted by: sjballa147 (Nov 27, 2005 06:51PM)
Thanks everyone, Are my prices and time of work legit I wanna make sure I have the time and prices around normal.
Message: Posted by: MattWayne (Nov 27, 2005 07:25PM)

congrats on trying to get started with your performing and all. I started 'truly performing performing' when I was 14 too. Now it's all totally out of control. So, good job:) As far as your age- don't let it get you down. Don't let anyone tell you that you won't be able to get work at that age. Heck, I was probably one of the busiest in my area when I was 14. I worked hotels. Doing restaurant magic. I loved it. Did it for three years really every other day. It took a lot of work, but payed off. Because now I'm well rounded in close up performing and performing for some interesting groups of people, etc.

As far as Daycares. I can't really help you there. I market myself to adult audiences. I'm not much of a childrens show entertainer. My show is family oriented, but I've never directly dealt with childrens magic. Many on this forum have though. Try contacting: Skip Way he is regularly on here, and seems to be a guy that could help you out with performing for children. Also: magic4u02 (Kyle Peron), and DenDowhy (Dennis Michael) seemingly are entertainers who could help you out in that area.

Prices. Hmmm- a subject that will have people 'heated' regardless of which direction you take. All I'll advise on this is; the price you stated of 50 dollars per hour is fine. Charge what you wish. Is that a normal price? When I started out- I got that. So, yes it is an ok price. This was the price before the restaurant gigs though. But- anyway, you're going in the right direction.

Now, as far as doing it for free; Parson Gary Smith was correct: some will disagree. And well, I do in a way. I wouldn't do it constantly. But if you want experience; you could donate your time. Nothing wrong with it. I'd just do it sparingly. Other magicians will argue that you'll be stealing their shows if you charge nothing, or charge less than them. Now- this is true, if you don't do it sparingly. Also, speaking from experience don't wind up getting taken advantage of. This has happened to me. Don't get suckered into working for free. Regardless of how nice the place is; your time and performance is just that- your time. So, you should be able to get a compensation for your time. Always get something for your time. A free meal doesn't always cut it also!

My recommendations:

Old Country Buffet or a Damons---> I've worked for both. They didn't suite me very well, but for you- I'd recommend it. Both have their perks. But the enviroment just wasn't for me.

Hope some of this helps,
best regards,
Matt Tomasko
Message: Posted by: Parson Smith (Nov 27, 2005 07:35PM)
I think that you are correct. I certainly did not mean to say that he should do ALL shows for free. But when you are first breaking in, you can use that to get references and also determine if you have a good enough show to continue in that vein.
Message: Posted by: MattWayne (Nov 27, 2005 07:44PM)
Oh I absolutely would favor and advise doing that.

best regards,
Matt Tomasko
Message: Posted by: sjballa147 (Nov 27, 2005 08:23PM)
Well what about restaraunt work I would like to get paid doing magic at a restaurant and I have one in mind I just wanna know a good price for restaurant work. I think $100 dollars for 3 hours is an alright price. Can anyone else think of when they started doing restaurants?
Message: Posted by: MattWayne (Nov 28, 2005 11:49AM)
For a 14 year old- 3 hours- 100 bucks would sound good to me. At that age I would take that and buy a card college volume and go shopping at the Denny and Lee studio! I remember those times very well. Fun Fun.

You sure you want to start out at three hours though? I don't know about how tough of a guy you are- but three hours of continuous table hopping; even for me today is still tiring. Maybe that's a sign of getting older, but heck I'm not that old yet. But good luck; wish you the best.

best regards,
Matt Tomasko
Message: Posted by: sjballa147 (Nov 28, 2005 05:54PM)
Oh no I work for like 4 to 5 hours at the restaurant I work at now I am defonitely happy with three hours of work. What should my letter consist of what would make them more apt to hire me?
Message: Posted by: sjballa147 (Nov 29, 2005 11:58PM)
I am just tired of working for free and I know its wrong so please don't give me the spill. But I mostly did it for the exposure and I want to have extra dough. So help is appreciated.
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Dec 1, 2005 03:19PM)
On 2005-11-27 21:23, sjballa147 wrote:
Well what about restaraunt work I would like to get paid doing magic at a restaurant and I have one in mind I just wanna know a good price for restaurant work. I think $100 dollars for 3 hours is an alright price. Can anyone else think of when they started doing restaurants?
Shane when it comes to restaurants and you are just starting out I suggest that whatever you can get them to pay you - is very good.

I would suggest a family restaurant that does a family night and also a birthday party business. When I started out I did a bus that did birthday parties on a school bus called the Bud O Fun. I was the magician on the bus and got 10 bucks a show and did about 6 shows a week for them. 60 bucks a week a 11 years old was very good money in those days. And it beats mowing lawns.

What you need is a place to start off in and get letters of recommendations that can help get you more work. I know magicians that work for tips and use the place to book shows.

Remember the restaurant is only interested in what THEY get by having a magician. What is in it for THEM? It is a business and how does you doing magic in that Restaurant improve THEIR business!

Good luck!
Message: Posted by: sjballa147 (Dec 2, 2005 07:02AM)
Yeah thanks for the help that's very good advice.
Message: Posted by: sjballa147 (Dec 5, 2005 08:42PM)
What did others charge just starting out in restaurants?
Message: Posted by: lui (Dec 5, 2005 10:30PM)
Hi sjballa147,
here is a strategy that seems to work well in Berlin. Maybe it can help you.

Up to five close-up magician form a group and find a place were they can perform e.g. two days per month - an early and an evening show. The group will provide advertising material and get the biggest part/all of the entrance fee. The places will display the material, sometimes charge for the room and benefit from the increase of visitors. A spectator is charged 5-13 € (depending on quality/experience) for a 1:10 - 1:30 h show (25-40 visitors per show).

While this won't make You rich it's a solid base to start from. Just consider all the advantages:[list]
[*]Magic is not an additional decoration for the dinner anymore but a main event. Paying visitors will have a special interest in magic and are often a more respectful audience. Nevertheless the might have higher expectation, so keep the advertisement real.
[*]This event is an excellent showcase and test field for your effects. Hang around after show and have a chat. If people like your style the might book you. When ask about your skills off show just invite the curious.
[*]1:30 h is a lot of time to fill alone. If you share it with your buddies, each one is left with 15 min and some connecting patter for the next act.
[*]As long as you don't schedule this show on the weekend each of your group is left with plenty time for other shows.
[*]If one of your group is sick or booked the other can take over his time (and pay).
[*]If each member changes only one trick a month, your program will always be fresh.
[*]If your age will limit your "credibility for business" (sorry, that is the best English term I could think up) one older member would be good for the negotiation.
[*]With several magicians it's easier to have more variety in your show. One could focus on coins, cards, ropes mindreading etc. Just don't do all the invisible deck ;).
[*] With several people You can share the preparation work: designing advertisement material, booking and preparing the place...
[*]Usually it's helpfull to share knowledge, experience, ups and especially downs.[/list]
So where will you find like minded? I don't know the American magic scene, but any local magic club will be a good place to start. A magic shop will be another good place, since the owner usually has good knowledge about his customers and a high interest to keep them in business.
Message: Posted by: Frank Tougas (Dec 5, 2005 11:03PM)
Based upon some good advice I've gotten from the Café, a reasonable starting fee would be twice the cost of the average meal per hour. The high end restaurants then would pay more than a lower end restaurant.

Remember we are hired by a business for the service we provide, not just because it is a cool gig. In the private sector you produce a valuable product or you are soon out of work.

Frank Tougas
Message: Posted by: Paolo Venturini (Dec 6, 2005 12:22AM)
Thinking something else... What about "Summer Camps" performing for kids (summer time, of course). Or you could have a part-time in a local magic shop, or have an agreement with a Toy Store's owner, advertising your two (or 3) times a week performances... In all cases you're rising their business, you'll get paid and, most at all, exposure and more experiences for you... You'll growing in magic and after that, you could perform gigs in restaurants and be paid as a semi-pro.

Good luck.

Paolo Venturini
Message: Posted by: sjballa147 (Dec 6, 2005 03:59PM)
Thanks a lot all this advice is great. Any more venues good for closeup magic?