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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Make-A-Wish Gig (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Adam V
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Special user
603 Posts

Profile of Adam V
I had a gig yesterday afternoon for the Make-A-Wish Foundation annual bbq. I must say until I got there everything was set for it to be a disaster. For starters, I received a phone call two months ago asking me to donate my services. I said yes because I am fairly new to this game and don't want to turn down any experience. I'm told I would receive an email with more information. A month later I ring the foundation asking them what's going on. The response? "Bbq? We don't know anything about a bbq."

Well.

Eventually I get an email and it looks like the gig exists afterall. After a late night jazz band gig I manage to fall asleep at 3:30 in the morning only to wake up four hours sick to the stomach. Bad ham I think. Stupid me also forget to check exactly where the gig was. Turns out it was on the other side of the city from me. Mental note - don't be a moron.

So, four hours sleep, sick, gig in the middle of nowhere, not getting paid a cent for it. I figure if I can do this gig I can do anything. Probably a little presumptuous but at the time I can't think of anything worse.

Turns out to be the best gig I've ever had. I managed to wrangle a sound system off a friend so using a microphone really helped. The kids were really friendly and the parents were really getting into the show. At one point I do a tt silk vanish and I noticed a girl looking straight at my thumb. I looked her in the eye and gave her a smile as if to say "I know you know, you're pretty clever to have spotted it" and she just smiled back and kept quiet about it. I also had my first "toddler grabbing all my stuff" experience. I really wish I had a toy car remote control so I could do the gag of Silly Billy's with it. Would have been perfect. Oh well.

The kids were so good it gave me a chance to focus more on my presentation and gave me an opportunity to really notice a few things I was doing wrong. I think I need more visual magic, a lot of my stuff involves heavy by-play but the final impact of the trick isn't strong enough to warrant it.

I've rambled a bit but I'm still feeling really good about the show so I thought I'd share it with you. I guess if there's a moral to this story it's that no matter how cruddy you think it'll be, you may as well do it. Even if the gig sucks you'll probably go home haven't learnt more than at 10 perfect shows.
Adam V - 9 out of 10 dentists recommend him.
Zorak
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Regular user
Maryland, USA
114 Posts

Profile of Zorak
I would like to comment on the "MAKE A WISH" charity.
Those of us who are working magicians could spend all of our time doing charities. If you are wealthy, this is no problem. It is my policy to select certain charities to do each year. The MAKE A WISH foundation and the Luekemia Foundation are two I fully support. They do great things for children and their families. I've had personal experience with both.( A son)
I would suggest that special care be given to the parents and families. It is a very sensitive time for them. Watch what you say and what you do. Remember this, although the children are sick, they are still children. They are ready to have fun.
That's your job, give them your best. Entertain the kids...the parents will love you for it!
PS. Be prepared for sights that will tug at your heart. Smile
Magic is in the hearts of children from 1 to 101
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DougTait
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Sebring, FL
490 Posts

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Great advice Zorak. If you do charity work for sick or disabled children, you may not take home a paycheck, but you will take with you that which can't be purchased. Smile
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men [and women] to do nothing."
RandomEffects
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Boston, MA
323 Posts

Profile of RandomEffects
Zorak, you are saying the same thing that someone once told me when i got started. Pick one or two charities and stick with them. It allows me to turn down the loads of charity work i am offered but simply cannot afford to do, and not feel like a jerk for not helping those people.

I personally have chosen the Dana Farber Institute and The Jimmy Fund. I Try to go in when i can and work with the kids in the Brain Tumor Ward. Nothing, and i mean nothing puts your life in perspective like seeing someone who really is having a hard time. I think that all performers should try to give a little something back, but thats just me.
Not to sound callous but for those of you who are still undecided on charity work, you can write off what you would have charged as a charitable deduction on your taxes. Double check with your accountant just to be safe.

Mat
RayBanks
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Nassau Bay, TX
533 Posts

Profile of RayBanks
On the tax angle do take RandomEffects advice and see a pro.

However, I do know if you take that deduction you better be able to document it. An easy way to do this is to actually get paid and then write the charity a check for the same amount. Then you have a canceled check to prove the deduction.

Just my $0.02 and not meant to be advice from a professionsl tax type.
-------------
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Ray Banks
flourish dude
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from ? But I know where I am going!
1195 Posts

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I am doing a make a wish show this Sunday. She called and said her "other" magi cancled. She asked what my fees was and if I could donate I said the best I could do is take 100.00 off my regular 225.00 1 hour long Christmas show. She was very happy with that and so am I. I filled an open time slot, still getting paid but now I look like a hero becuased I covered the other magi and gave her a 100.00 off. As long as she likes my show I am sure I will go back next year. Donating does not always mean 100% for free. there are other ways to go about it.
Nothing of the same will bring any change, take action today!
Just taking a step, is a step in the right direction because when you stop working, your dream dies.
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magibrad
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New user
Canada
59 Posts

Profile of magibrad
wow... I couldn't bring myself to charge that much for a charity show. Granted that you are a professional magician, and i'm simply a lowly teen magician thus i have far fewer expenses than you but even so, i thought donating was doing it for free...i guess i was wrong.

Anyway...I find it to be great exposure as well as a great experience. I make the rounds at the local nursing homes...and once and a while i pop up to the hospital to visit everyone...that happens when i have time outside of school (which is rare sadley)

But seriously...the elderly is a great selling point. I got gigs all over town...mainly due to word of mouth, and because somehow i made the local newspaper, thanking me for my services.

I have to say that about 1/3 of my gigs are for charity...i did a show for a telethon on tv last month. but thats all right by me. If i can get gigs to fund my buying of tricks..and focus on charity, i cant complain. My name gets circulated never the less!

The only drawback is when they try and force money on you. I had one person sneak $20 into my magic case when i had my back turned, thats what one gets for being stubborn i suppose.
flourish dude
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from ? But I know where I am going!
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Well here is what I say.
Tonight was the gig. I was not the only entertainment there. there was a DJ, a band, a Santa, Pizza and for everyone. In my experiance I can tell you that everyone there was not there for free. I have a Charity that I do for free but thats is it. It is like a love offing at Churches. I find a whole lot of love and lillte offering. i gave them a discount 100.00 off. the more you give the more they will take. Word will travel very fast for you if everyone knows you do a free show. And they will call you on it and say "well you did such and such for free can't you do the same for me?"
Nothing of the same will bring any change, take action today!
Just taking a step, is a step in the right direction because when you stop working, your dream dies.
www.magicalmemories.us
magibrad
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New user
Canada
59 Posts

Profile of magibrad
Point taken...about the whole why dont we get a free show thing. And thanks for clearing that whole gig thing lol...it was a little different than what i thought (kids with life threatening diseases, at a magic show!)as it turns though thats not what it was...and i'm fine with that!

I really dont think that if you do a show for charity that ppl come back and ask why. If they do you tell em to stuff it, i mean seriously...charity is different than a reg show...

meh...thats my 2 cents, feel free to rip it apart Smile
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