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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Getting Jobs That Pay (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Angio333
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What is the best way that you have found to market yourself to get gigs that pay? Also, how long are your routines, and how much is a good price to charge?

Thanks in advance.
- C
solrak29
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Hey Angio,
I'm sure your going to get the, "search the Café" response with this one. This information is scattered all over the Café. I don't have the direct links but this is what I learned here... remember, I am not a pro yet... feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

You have to market your self as you would any business.
Jim Snacks (just search for his name) has one of best reviews on his course on how to do this in detail.

Essentially, it comes down to running a business, but not just any business, an entertainment business (this is my 2 cents).

The length of the routines depends on the venue or market that you are targeting. You have to know this to get your business going, so we need more information here.

Charging?
There is nice piece written by Jamie (again search on this)
a veteran here in the Café who has a nice baseline. This conversation is brought up time and time again, but you can get an idea after reading the first hundred posts. Also, again, it depends on the venue or market.

I know this barely helps, but hopefully points the way.
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evolve629
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The short of the answer is to get Live At The Jailhouse, a guide to restaurant magic!
One hundred percent of the shots you don't take don't go in - Wayne Gretzky
My favorite part is putting the gaffs in the spectators hands...it gives you that warm fuzzy feeling inside! - Bob Kohler
acesover
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I believe I have
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I am sure that this topic is well covered as others have mentioned. But having said that, let me just add my thoughts.

You have to decide if you are going to do this full time or part time. Now before anyone starts to jump on me and say that if part time you are ruining the market for the magicians that do it full time for a living. Let me clear the air on this. First off if you are full time you should definitely be attended to the fact that there are going to be part time magicians. Some of these part timers will be fair, some will be good, some will be excellent, and some will give the profession a bad name.

So to you full timers you must cope with this in your own way but please, please do not complain that the part timers are ruining it for the professional. Quite honestly I do not think there are very many "full time magicians" unless you are in a very heavily populated area our craft is not much in demand. Again if you are full time it is up to you to create the demand, but I am off topic here.

Look at it as if it were a full time job when you set a price.

What does that mean? Well let us say that you, in your full time job want to earn $40,000 a year. Not a kings ransom but not poverty level either. Sooo you can now break it down and say that I have to earn $800 per week. While this explanation is going to sound simplistic it is reality. If you are able to book four performances a week you would have to charge on average $200 per performance. If these shows are one hour long, your hourly rate is $200. Is $200 an hour a lot of money per hour... of course it is, but remember that not many magicians work a 40 hour week which would be fine then you could charge $20 an hour and make your $40,000. Remember you have a lot of practice, practice for which you do not get paid, but hope to be rewarded for in future performances.

So in short you decide how much to charge as to how much you hope to earn. That is one side of the coin... the other is the part time magician who loves magic, loves to buy tricks and effects and maybe help pay for all of this. What does he charge? The answer is... what ever he wants. He is not dependant on this for putting food on the table or house payments or car payment...for the most part this is a hobby that he has decided to possibly make a few bucks on the side or at least help pay for his hobby. The pitfall here is to undercharge in order to get a booking. You feel that you are only a part timer and should be glad to get a gig....don't let this mentality set in. First off, become competent enough to be able to put on a good show and as a result do not be afraid to charge. Maybe not as much as the "professional" in your area and who knows maybe you are as good or better than he is.

Do not be afraid to have someone turn you down because you are to expensive. Rather be afraid that you are being booked because you are the cheapest guy out there and got hired because of your price, and not because of your ability. You must sell the individual on your ability. Being a magician is first and foremost a sales job. Honestly I could go on and on writing about this as my mind is flooded with thoughts, but let me end it here.

I would have to say that if you feel competent enough to perform you should be paid accordingly.

So HOW MUCH DO I CHARGE? I feel that even as an part timer you should charge from $80 to $100 an hour plus, add in your expenses if travel is over 15 miles, then I would add on .50 a mile. I am stating a price as I do not like to keep hearing vague thoughts as to how much to charge. Remember that whatever you charge add in the cost of your performance items such as cards that are used and ruined or props that must be replaced. The $80 to $100 is an hourly rate not a performance fee. I am sure that many here have other ideas..this is just mine..again using the old phrase it is my opinion and as often said we all know about opinions.
If I were to agree with you. Then we would both be wrong. As of Apr 5, 2015 10:26 pm I have 880 posts. Used to have over 1,000
ToasterofDoom
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At least it is a concrete opinion... I've been hearing this topic skirted too many times, and yours is probably the first one that goes outside "depends."
Brad Burt
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Yo:

Yes, DO do a search for more info, but....

#1- You need a PRODUCT worthy of being 'purchased'. Think in terms of 30 minute segment. A standard 'stand up' show is almost never more than 30 minutes. Know to the -5+5 seconds how long each routine will run.

#2- Magic is a BUSINESS. Want to get shows then learn how 'service' type businesses are marketed. Buy and read the Guerrilla Marketing books by Jay Conrad Levinson.

Start performing at every conceivable opportunity, free or otherwise. You need practice in the real world and seasoning. Video or audio tape every performance possible and pay if necessary someone who knows what they are talking about to critique your act. At the very least set ego aside and rip up your own act.

#3- Finish as much school as possible. Read as widely as possible. Take as many classes on voice, acting, dance, stage, etc. AS POSSIBLE!

#4- Go to work for some very successful magician as whatever they need even if all you do is sweep floors. Watch. Learn.

Best,
Brad Burt
donrodrigo
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Acesover I like your words, well said.

Of course when I reached my full time profession I set up an arrangement with my agent. I still take private shows outside the agency. My gigs run 1/2 hour no more than 40 minutes, On a rare basis or once a year I permit them to run 1 hour shows. Did some in the past that ran 2 hrs with intermission, but those are a handful, and to much hasle now a days.

Sorry, cant discuss fees.
gaddy
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Quote:
On 2006-12-27 07:17, ToasterofDoom wrote:
At least it is a concrete opinion... I've been hearing this topic skirted too many times, and yours is probably the first one that goes outside "depends."

hehehe....
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
Magic Enhancer
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Robert Haas
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If you have a solid act, you can start by posting a page at http://www.Gigmasters.com or at http://www.partypop.com. You will get gigs and you can decide to bid on them if you would like to perform.

Be prepared though, because it is extremely competitive.

Robert Haas
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Quality magic products for the working professional.
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Andy the cardician
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Michael Ammar has a great audio book on getting the right pay.
Cards never lie
Al Angello
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Gigmaster is not for beginners. I do hope you have a solid 45 minute show. Go to the yellow pages, look up entertainment, and call all those who are not DJ's and dating services. Find out if there are some parents magazines in your area (I do hope you have a kid friendly show) and place an ad. Place your business card at local businesses that know you (I hope you have business cards). Send out promotional post cards to day care centers and/or libraries. Gigmaster, and Party Pop, is more for the seasoned pro (a seasoned pro is someone who has worked regularly for several years).

Or you can buy one of the many hundreds of "how to be a successful magician" courses that all say the same thing, and only serves to make the author successful.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Magic Enhancer
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Robert Haas
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Angio,

Al is right. Those are excellent places to get started. You never mentioned your experience level. If you're just starting out, I wouldn't advise Gigmasters or Partypop. If you have a good show already established, then they can definitely provide you with some great leads and more business.

A good business card and web site are a MUST these days.

Robert Haas
Robert Haas
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Quality magic products for the working professional.
www.MagicEnhancer.com
Andy the cardician
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Quote:
On 2008-01-20 22:23, Al Angello wrote:
Or you can buy one of the many hundreds of "how to be a successful magician" courses that all say the same thing, and only serves to make the author successful.


Spot on, Al.
Cards never lie
Al Angello
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Andy,
Don't you just love those guys who will teach you common sense for a mere $300? I often wonder if selling courses are a primary source of income for those guys.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Andy the cardician
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Al,
Again, spot on. There is a whole industry around this kind of self-help offer, and they are the ones that benefit from this.

Think about a fictional book, HOW TO BECOME A MILLIONAIRE - the only ones who really becomes rich are the people who produce and sell this book.

Andy
Cards never lie
abc
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That is not only applicable in magic like Andy said. Most popular over the last few years was Kiyosaki's Rich dad poor dad. Check what he earned prior to the book (yes he wasn't poor) and check what he earns now from speaking engagements and book sales yet in essence nothing has changed. What can he possibly teach me other than if you want to be real rich skip property and write how to get rich or how to be succesful books.
I am not knocking all the material out there but if I say all of it is nonsense I will only be wrong 2% of the time and I am willing to take thise odds.
magicalwonders
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It's important to decide what market you are pitching for when setting a fee for your services. A close-up worker, an illusionist and a Kids performer will command very different fees.

Location is another factor. Not only which part of the world you live in - but which part of your Country you live in will make a big difference.

Ability is also important. How good is your act?

It makes no difference if you are selling a magic act or used cars - the rules of business remain the same. You need to have a good product, let the right people know about it, and be competitive. Do some market research - find out what your competitors are offering in your local area. Then you will have some solid information with which to structure your fees.

Hope this helps

Myles
http://www.magicalwonders.com/freestuff.php

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