The Magic Café
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » When do you get paid? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Eric Leclerc
View Profile
Inner circle
Ottawa Ontario
1185 Posts

Profile of Eric Leclerc
A lot of the magicians in my area like to get paid prior to the show. I understand why, but I always prefer to get paid afterwards to talk to the person that hired me and when they are paying cash, they sometimes throw in a little extra (which would be weird to do after the show, if you got paid first).. How many of you like to get paid first?
View Profile
Inner circle
wrote the theme to the TV show COPS!
1623 Posts

Profile of Lyndel
Although my contract states that payment is to be paid prior to the show, I don't push the issue when I arrive unless for some reason I'm a little concerned about the client paying me, or it's a large venue and tracking down the client might prove to be difficult.

...And you're absolutely right, chances for obtaining a tip go up a great deal AFTER they have seen your show and are as pleased as punch with you. It's at the crucial moment that they want to thank you for adding so much to the event by giving you a little more than you asked.

I too have often struggled with whether to ask for the fee prior to the show or wait until afterwards. There are pros and cons to both sides I suppose.

View Profile
Elite user
Milton Keynes
417 Posts

Profile of itshim
Unless it is a wedding or a corporate job I tell my clients that I'll take the payment on the day. If it is a wedding, I always ask for 50% up front (after having a number of weddings cancelled in the past), if the wedding is cancelled then I tell them that if they want to book me again for a different event I will do it at a reduced rate. If it is corporate, I ask for a 25% deposit and give them a fee scale in case of cancellation. So far I've never had to chase any corporate job.

I knew a man who kept saying "pliers, pincers, scissors". He was speaking in tongs.
View Profile
Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

Profile of magic4u02
This is an interesting topic. Thank you for posting it here for us to discuss. There certainly are pros and cons to both ways, however, I have always found that I like to get paid after my performance.

For my wife and I, it was just always better received when they pay us after they have seen us perform and after we have provided our client with the solutions they requested. In many times, we have gotten tips because of payment follwing a performance and it also allowed me a perfect opportunity to hand them my thank you kit to them in person. This also many times gets them talking to us about possibilities for other events or a rebooking the following year.

Now my wife and I always use contracts or confirmation letters, and it clearly states payment to be received on day of the event. This covers us and protects us and agreed upon by both parties. But we tend to try and except the payment after the show when at all possible.

Kyle Peron

Entertainers Product Site

Join Our Facebook Fan Page at
View Profile
Inner circle
6439 Posts

Profile of NJJ
Payment after the show. I offer 14 day accounts to some clients.
Tony S
View Profile
Special user
New York
581 Posts

Profile of Tony S
I assume those clients are regulars or corporate clients. I'd be interested in hearing who you offer those terms to.

We are all about as successful as we choose to be.
View Profile
Eternal Order
20552 Posts

Profile of Dannydoyle
The venues I work are all spelled out in the contracts.

The easiest way to avoid all misunderstanding is to say " I know you will be busy after the show so lets get the paperwork done now so you have 1 less thing to do". Sounds nice and really helps. If you are expecting a tip then forget this approach.

I invoice corporate clients, comedy clubs pay the end of the week, colleges that night, it differs. Make sure it is all spelled out in the contract for you own peace of mind.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Eric Leclerc
View Profile
Inner circle
Ottawa Ontario
1185 Posts

Profile of Eric Leclerc
The only reason I ask is because I was late for a show due to the lady who hired me leaving the venue to go get some supplies that had run out..I had to wait 25 minutes which made me arrive at 6:00 for a 6:00 show start...

Some magicians in my area claim to do more than 7 shows a day on weekends and they don't have time to await payment after the performance. I have even told clients, "don't worry about payment tonight, we can take care of it later" especially for weddings when the bride hired me, the last thing she wants to do on her wedding day is look for her purse..
Deke Rivers
View Profile
Loyal user
216 Posts

Profile of Deke Rivers
My contract calls for payment upon arrival, but I generally get paid after the show. The clause is in the contract for my convenience, in the event I feel the need to get paid sooner (per Lyndel's posting.)

A lot of companies will give all kinds of reasons why they need 30 days, or whatever, so I'm pretty adament about getting paid the day of the show. I also get a deposit, particularly during the Holidays (I can't afford to be sitting home on a Saturday in December because someone cancelled!)
Bill Nuvo
View Profile
Inner circle
3094 Posts or
2747 Posts

Profile of Bill Nuvo
I get a retainer fee to begin with at the time of booking/contract signing. The the balance is due 7 business days before event. True it cuts down on tips, but oh well. I never have to worry about getting paid, chasing down the payee...

I have some friends that charge 50% up front at time of booking to ensure everything. I am not that bold yet but I have considered it at times.

Birthdays are excluded and I pick it up after the party.
Caveat Lector
View Profile
Elite user
493 Posts

Profile of Caveat Lector
For me this all comes down to the type of client and venue I am working. When I am performing at my haunted attraction I get payed in cash at the end of each performance weekend. When I am working a nightclub I get payed a half hour prior to the show starting. This is helpful as club owners are notorious for disappearing later in the night. Corporate is the same, a half hour prior to show start, and for fairs they pay me before the last show on the last night of the run. I try to keep that as my main stay for payment, this way the client knows that I am there and set up and they don't feel that I am going to jet on them and I also get payed before I have to perform so they won't be unavailable after the show. It is always a good idea to get a deposite from the client this way they can't back out on you and force you to go after them, if they do, well at least you got half. I don't concern myself with tips as my fee is high enough that I don't have to think about that. When I do shows with TV and agents you will sometimes have to wait a while to get your payment, but that is something you need to discuss when you are getting the booking through the agent. Most TV work pays within 30 days.
Corrupting the art of magic, one show at a time
View Profile
Special user
Manhattan, NY | Studio City, CA
624 Posts

Profile of MattWayne
I do an initial deposit; usually from a distant booker. Just works out a lot easier- more like an insurance policy for me and the contact. I always get the check though before the start of the show. Sometimes even half now (initial deposit), half apon completition.

Best regards,
Matt Tomasko
Matt Wayne
The Celebrity Magician™ / / /

Creator of, 'Got a Light?' and others.
Spokesperson behind, TouchTricks
Keith Raygor
View Profile
Special user
Naples, FL
969 Posts

Profile of Keith Raygor
Agents/Event Planners - check arrives 3-4 weeks after, by mail
Hotel/Resorts - invoice ahead of time, check 4-5 weeks after, by mail (which can sometimes be annoying when you know they have the client's thousands before the client checks out)
Corporate - invoice ahead of time, check on night of performance (sometimes a week or two later, by mail)
Country Clubs - check evening of performance
Private Parties - check or cash following performance
Birthdays - cash or check immediately following loading of my vehicle
Daycares - check after performance

When I pre-invoice, there is a line at the bottom that says "Please provide check at end of
performance, or remit payment to:"
Autumn Morning Star
View Profile
Grammar Hostess
Today, I corrected grammar in
1379 Posts

Profile of Autumn Morning Star
It depends on the client. I research new clients to make sure they are legitimate. Everyone signs a contract. No exceptions.

My contract that is simple, but spells out exactly what I need, even the size of the stage (or performance area) and the type of flooring. (It also mentions that important part about not performing in the round. Amazing how many folks want us to do that!) It also states that I will be "paid in full" the day of the show. If I know in advance there is an honest delay, I will amend the contract.

I recently added a percentage surcharge for late payment because of one library convention last year that took 6 months to pay.

Bigger shows have bigger contracts. My illusion show contract is 16 pages, sometimes more. It covers a whole lot of things that you would never need for a smaller show. I also get a 50% deposit (wired into my account) and they pay the rest after the show.
Wonder is very necessary in life. When we're little kids, we're filled with wonder for the world - it's fascinating and miraculous. A lot of people lose that. They become cynical and jaded, especially in modern day society. Magic renews that wonder.
Doug Henning
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » When do you get paid? (0 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.2 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