The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Cruise income question (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
rtgreen
View Profile
Inner circle
Portland, Oregon
1322 Posts

Profile of rtgreen
I was asked a blunt question by a comedian the other night at a party I was working and I really couldn't answer honestly, so I'll pass the question on to you guys. I realize there a lot of magicians who make a good income doing cruise work, but this woman wanted to know if over $50k per year was a reasonable expectation for a good cruise entertainer. I calculated you'd need to be booked about 24 weeks a year to make that much. Was I correct in what I told her?

Thanks,
Richard
suspectacts
View Profile
Elite user
Boston
493 Posts

Profile of suspectacts
Richard:

Your math is correct, but remember you are doing the exact same thing that clients do all the time...

Someone calls you up and asks how much a show is. You respond that strolling magic is $300 for an hour. They get a little outraged and say something like "Hey, I went into the wrong business, I'm a lawyer and I only charge $125 an hour!" They are assuming you can take your hourly fee and multipy it by 40 (hours a week) and then by 48 (weeks a year).

It is no small feat to get 24 weeks of work on the ships. It takes years to build the act, years more performing in different venues to sharpen it and make it 'bulletproof', and then more work (of you and your agent) to book the dates.

But why think small? A successful comedian (not a superstar) - Dane Cook, Dave Attell, Jim Bruer, Earthquake - make a butt more money than almost any ship-board entertainer.

Tell your friend not to waste time shooting for the middle.

Peter Gross
Boston Hysterical Society
hugmagic
View Profile
Inner circle
7408 Posts

Profile of hugmagic
I just had my truck worked on at $95 an hour. Have you been to a doctor or attorney lately?

People do not realize that you do not have steady income. You pay your own hospitalization, unemployment, retirement (if you are lucky enough to be able to do that),and cost of living increases yourself.

Most people cannot cut being self employed and the stress of making work week in and out.

I keep threatening to get a 9 to 5 and let somebody else worry about the little things. But then I remember what it was like to work for idiots as bosses. I think I'll stay where I am.

Richard
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
www.hughesmagic.com
email-hugmagic@raex.com
Write direct as I will be turning off my PM's.
Dannydoyle
View Profile
Eternal Order
20553 Posts

Profile of Dannydoyle
Richard a lot depends. You have to take expenses out of things HUGE for some magic acts, but almost nothing for most comics. This matters.

Comics do not get paid as well as magicians and hypnotists. Plain and simple. Too many variables to really calculate. The exact ships worked makes a big difference, the agency used matters.

The problems are that comics are too easy to find and work way too cheap.

Posted: Oct 25, 2005 1:41pm
OH and before the PMs start I am speaking in generalities. Not absolutes. MANY comics make way more than I am saying. But since it was a general question, it was a general answer.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
rtgreen
View Profile
Inner circle
Portland, Oregon
1322 Posts

Profile of rtgreen
Thanks guys for the comments. I've looked into cruise work, but having never actually done it I was going by what I have heard. I don't think this woman was really concerned about expenses. I think she was just looking at gross pay. She knew I was looking into the business and wanted to know what I was finding out. It seemed to me that $50k was a very achievable goal, but I didn't want her hunting me down in a year or two looking for revenge because she was only making $5,000 or $6,000 working on ships. Smile

So, as a followup question, what do you think a typical cruise comic or magician could reasonably expect from this venue anually? (Nothing specific of course. I don't want to know what any particular entertainer makes. That's there personal information, but it would be nice to have a ballpark figure just to know.)

Thanks,
Richard
Lyndel
View Profile
Inner circle
wrote the theme to the TV show COPS!
1623 Posts

Profile of Lyndel
I have a buddy that made 100k per year ($2,000 per week) plus profits from sales of magic DVDs and magic sets in the ships gift shops.

At the time, he had a year long contract (a rare ocurrance for cruise magicians).


Lyndel
Image
rtgreen
View Profile
Inner circle
Portland, Oregon
1322 Posts

Profile of rtgreen
From what I understand, James Cielen has quite a deal with Holland America. They have actually made modifications to the theater to accommodate his show. I know this is very rare, but from talking with some production guys on the Oosterdam, his show is top notch.

Thanks,
Richard
MrHyde
View Profile
Special user
810 Posts

Profile of MrHyde
Quote:
On 2005-10-25 07:04, suspectacts wrote:
They get a little outraged and say something like "Hey, I went into the wrong business, I'm a lawyer and I only charge $125 an hour!"


similar


A corporation asked about my fee for a presentation.
I told her. She responded "we don't even pay our Corporate Lawyer that".
I told her, "book him for the job"

paraprased from Alan Weiss one of my favourite thinkers

Timothy
rtgreen
View Profile
Inner circle
Portland, Oregon
1322 Posts

Profile of rtgreen
I just did a search on Payscale.com for magician and according to them, the average salary for a magician is 30,000. I don't know where they get their numbers, but it was interesting to see.

Thanks,
Richard
Paul Romhany
View Profile
V.I.P.
Canada
798 Posts

Profile of Paul Romhany
Hi
As a working magician on ships I can give you a first hand account of salary. Your salary can start anywhere from $1500 to $3000 per week, depending on what cruise line and how good your agent is. A good friend of mine (Ventriloquist) recently was contracted for $3000 a week on a very high end cruise ship.
From my own experience and working on ships the average is about $2500 per week, give or take a few hundred. As I said, depends on the line and what your agent can get you.
Also, there are quite a few magicians out there who work all year long on ships, I know of quite a few having done it myself for many years, now getting back on land work I'm cutting back on ships a little. Rather than going out for 6 month runs then home for 2 weeks then back out again I'm going out for 2 weeks, back home for a week, back out etc etc.
I have a very good friend who works full time for a cruise company and goes out for 4 days, home for 3, out for 4. He has been doing this for many years now.
It seems that some cruise lines like to keep magicians on for a long time, the company I work for certainly does! Because my act is so different I now get to work on ships with other magicians, which is great because I get to see others work. I just had a friend phone me and tell me they have contracted him "indefinitely' on one particular ship ... he spends about 1 month a year at home! (The ship really is is home).

Hope this helps a little
Paul
"life is like a movie ... you write your own ending" - Kermit the Frog

http://www.paulromhanymagic.com

http://www.paulromhany.com
diamond
View Profile
Regular user
Serbia & Montenegro
200 Posts

Profile of diamond
It is amazing what some cruise lines are ready to do when they really want some magician badly. In the cruise line I was working for there was a guy that got paid 10 000 $ a week, and he was not a giga mega star (he was very good though). He had 2 tigers in his show and one of the open decks was completely prearanged to accomodate his tigers. He also had several macaws and cockatoos which were kept in specially prearanged window cabin (a sound isolation had to be put in it and the whole cabin was a huge cage). The cruise line employed several workers whose only task was to take care of his animals and clean his illusions of animal droppings. His tigers were trained to the extreme so he earned extra money (loads of it, it was his condition to the company that all the money from the photos goes to him) by having passengers' photos taken with his tigers during the embarkation/disembarkation.

Some of his illusions were so big that they had to dismantle a part of the port side of the ship as the boxes couldn't go through the aft marina or so.

Atop of all of this, the guy was extremely rude and the crew hated him. He was sort of a wild man. But the management would just close their eyes to that... Some of the stage hands and light/sound guys have worked with him (he worked on another ship of the same company for 2 years) and whenever they pronounced his name, they pronounced it with fear. If the sound & lights crew or the stage hands made any mistake during his show, he would beat them up after the show and nobody could do anything to him because the management wanted him badly. Several people got fired because of him (for instance he saw one of the tigers was nervous while being fed by a worker, he went straight to the cruise director and demanded that the worker gets fired because he is "so ugly that he scares the poor cat"). The very next day the worker got sent to his home country.

Besides all the money this magician (or shall we say the evil sorcerer) earned, he was stingy to the extremes. He would never drink any of the complimentary soft drinks he got during the show or for the dinner or whatever, he took them all to his cabin instead (this story was told to me by one of the stage hands). When his contract finally ended, the stage hands and the workers were ordered to pack all his illusions. The magician never touched any of his huge and heavy boxes, he just stood there giving orders and giving s*** to the workers if they handled an illusion incorrectly. The biggest surprize to all of them was when he ordered them to bring all the soda cans from his cabin and pack them into his illusions (into bases, boxes, everyhting). His props were loaded with thousands of soda cans. Well someone (one of the workers) knew a little bit about magic (actually the "Crushed & restored soda can" trick some of the previous magicians has taught him) so they prepared a little revenge. They made little holes in the cans as they were bringing them. I can imagine the magicians face when he got home (like 15 000 miles away from the disembarkation port) and discovered that his million dollar illusions were all wet and sticky....

Well, this was just an example, and there are no exaggerations in it. I was shocked when I heard it, but I heard it from so many people from the first officers to stage hands. I think that even if it happens that some cruise line wants your act badly and wants to pay big bucks for it, you should not get advantage of it by pretending to be a superstar. In showbiz, the good old rule still applies that no matter how good you are it is still a matter of luck whether your act will be paid well or not, and if you will have work at all or not.

Mybe the story is extreme a little bit, and I hope it's not off topic too much... It's just a story about a non typical performer who gets paid very well in the cruise industry. I hope that all the top dollar performers in the cruise industry are not like that...
Dannydoyle
View Profile
Eternal Order
20553 Posts

Profile of Dannydoyle
The cruise industry has taken a recent downturn. If your not on the slates already you may or may not be soon
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
diamond
View Profile
Regular user
Serbia & Montenegro
200 Posts

Profile of diamond
Yeah, it is true that the cruise entertainment industry has taken a downturn. For instance, I've heard that more than one cruise line have taken up the whole new concept of entertainment which soon might leave us without work. They employ circus artists from China, Belarus, Ukraine, etc., and with they put together sort of Cirque du Soleil style shows dressing the performers in weird costumes with lot of unusual music and space age lights and special effects. These performers usually work for ridiculous fees (as low as 200 $ a week for a troupe of 4 people), so the cruise lines can afford a large number of different performers in the show for the price which is less than a price of an average magic show. Again, I'm saying, this new fashion has started recently and I've heard of several cruise lines doing that already.

The problem is that the quality of acts is very good and the price is very low, plus those performers in many cases agree to some conditions many of us would never agree to (in some cruise lines they get crew status, crew cabins and they eat in the crew mess, etc.). This way the cruise lines get a huge extravaganza for a very low price and these cruise lines tend not to employ featured guest entertainers any more.
Paul Romhany
View Profile
V.I.P.
Canada
798 Posts

Profile of Paul Romhany
I have also heard of several 'rumours' regarding the cruise industry. The Cirque type show on NCL just didn't work out at all. I heard that Holland are reducing their evenings entertainment by one performer and having a 'dark' night where no acts are on. This means one less guest performer. It all comes down to the almighty dollar. On the cruise line I work for each ship has a budget and if you work smaller ships this reflects in your pay.

Diamond:- Wow, what a story. I had heard through somebody that worked for that company about the magician but didn't know if it was true or not.
"life is like a movie ... you write your own ending" - Kermit the Frog

http://www.paulromhanymagic.com

http://www.paulromhany.com
icentertainment
View Profile
Inner circle
1429 Posts

Profile of icentertainment
Somehow I think that If a performer beat people up- he would have a little accident at night esspecially from the the cruise ship team.
Dannydoyle
View Profile
Eternal Order
20553 Posts

Profile of Dannydoyle
I am not speaking of "rumors" but economic reality. The industry has taken a huge hit in the past couple years. Not from Chinese acrobats, not from anything but economics.

That means once it is corrected it will be self correcting and up once again. I LOVE the rumors though keep them comming. It never seems to affect those of us in it for the long haul though. I have been through boom times and bad and have not really suffered any ill effects. Bottom line is if you can break in, do.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
tctahoe
View Profile
V.I.P.
Lakeland Fl.
700 Posts

Profile of tctahoe
As far as I know the cruise industry is doing just fine...a lot of the lines had profits go up even with the weather, this past quarter...

Paul, it sounds like your friend has a pretty sweet deal...lucky bast...guy
Dannydoyle
View Profile
Eternal Order
20553 Posts

Profile of Dannydoyle
Tctahoe, many many cruise ship workers have been drastically cut back recently. The season has been horrible to say the least.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
tctahoe
View Profile
V.I.P.
Lakeland Fl.
700 Posts

Profile of tctahoe
I can of course only speak from my experience and with Carnival, even with this devastating hurricane season, they have not cut back on the performers. Even when they sent the three ships to New Orleans, they tired to find other ships for the entertainers and the ones they could fit in on other ships, are still getting paid.

Without the monies from the government contract (for the three ships) Carnival’s fourth quarter profits were up.

Like I said, that the situation here…might be different on other lines….
Paul Romhany
View Profile
V.I.P.
Canada
798 Posts

Profile of Paul Romhany
I agree with you TC. The cruise ship company I work for are always hiring entertainers, regardless of 'hurricane's as they have to cruise somewhere and need entertainment. I know of no other cruise ship magicians, within the company I'm working for, who are 'hungry' for work so the idea of the cruise ship work being drastically cut back really doesn't apply to the company I work for. If anything they are always looking for acts!
It sounds as though the company that you work for Danny are cutting back but as you say, which is a shame, although I've nothing to complain about. I just finished the Med Season.
"life is like a movie ... you write your own ending" - Kermit the Frog

http://www.paulromhanymagic.com

http://www.paulromhany.com
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Cruise income question (0 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.23 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL