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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Explaining why you're not free (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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jay leslie
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V.I.P.
Southern California
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So

The caller said "But this is just for a school function... and they're just kids, they don't know if someone's good or bad."

So I said "Since you feel that way, why not just fire the teachers... since these kids have no value - why bother teaching them anything at all?"

- - - - -

You're turn.
billappleton
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Inner circle
Los Gatos, California
1154 Posts

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Tell them you'll do it for free if you can get everyone's address for a mailer
Starrpower
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Inner circle
4070 Posts

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Unfortunately, here in Wisconsin where I live they are doing just that ... dumping all the teachers! Hiring a magician is pretty much a thing of that past.

As for my explanation to the guy, I would not even bother. What's the point in justifying your fee to someone who's not gonna hire you anyway?
jay leslie
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Southern California
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Funny you should ask. He used to be the VP of our magic club!!! (so you'd think he would know better)

But for arguments sake, what do you-all tell people who don't value your time?
Beowulf
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Thomas A. Lilly
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Good-bye.
Bill Hilly
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449 Posts

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What would the movie theater say if you asked them to let you see the movie for free?
What would Sears say if you asked them for a free set of tires?
What would J.C. Penny's say if you asked them for a free shirt?
What would the cable company say if you told them you wanted free cable?
What would ________ say if you asked for (a) free ________?

Under certain circumstances I can make deals to a lower fee (i.e. Two half-hour shows in the same town 100 miles away on the same day can split the travel costs) but in general, my fee is my fee. I state it and simply say I'm sorry if they can't ask for a free show (unless it's a charity of my choice), just like all of the above.

I do my best to make them feel like they get more than they pay for, but it's my business, my livelihood. And just the girls I knew in high school (or so it seemed), I ain't giving it away.

- B.H.
danfreed
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Inner circle
West Chester PA
1220 Posts

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Non-profits ask for donations all the time. It's their job to ask and they mean well. I am nice, but sometimes I say, in a friendly way " I'd be a non-profit myself if I volunteered for more gigs, so I have to turn most of them down, good luck" Sometimes they have a budget and pay me anyway.
Potty the Pirate
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One of the things I usually say is that by hiring me, and paying a professional fee, they will guarantee to increase attendance at their event. My promotional materials are available to them to use, should they want to. Lots of organisations advertise the fact that I'll be at an event, and it does indeed mean that a lot more folks come along on the day.
TheAmbitiousCard
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Eternal Order
Northern California
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When they ask about me doing a free show I tell them,
"just call your local cub scout troop. I'm sure there's some little kid that would love to do a free show"


If you read between the lines, it says all that needs to be said to make your point, remain respectful and not burn a bridge.
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
Trophy Husband, Father of the Year Candidate,
Chippendale's Dancer applicant, Unofficial World Record Holder.
TonyB2009
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5006 Posts

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A friend of mine got a call from a charity yesterday asking him to do a show next week, for free. He was already booked so couldn't have helped them anyway. But they had the cheek to berate him for letting them down.

I have zero tolerance for people who ask me to perform for free. I generally tell them that if they want me to donate my days wages to their cause, they will have to donate a day of their wages too. That gets the message across.
Howie Diddot
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San Francisco & Los Angeles California
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I have performed at no charge in the past for non-profits, I have decided the cause had merit and I contacted the organization to volunteer my time; If I do volunteer, it is required that I am allowed to mingle at the cocktail hour and have meals with the other attendees at the table; this allows me time to network and distribute and collect business cards from the people I talk with.
Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
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My fee is to compensate me for my 40 years of practice.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Matthew W
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New York
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I was called by a non profit (and one who's cause I believe in) to perform at their fundraiser. It was on the way to another paying gig that day, so I offered them a donated show. The person I spoke to accepted.

A few days later I get a call. They don't want me because I can only give them one show.

I am now no longer donating shows.
-Matt
Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
11047 Posts

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Matt
A do gooder that makes phone calls to solicit volunteers will tell you anything you want to hear, and not be anywhere to be found on the day of the event. The first lesson I learned as a performer is "NEVER SELL YOURSELF CHEAP"
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Danny Hustle
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Boston, MA USA
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"MT is one of the reasons we started this board! I’m so sick of posts being deleted without any reason given, and by unknown people at that." - Steve Brooks Sep 7, 2001 8:38pm
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Matthew W
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New York
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It has nothing to do with telling me what I want to hear. I offered them a free show. One wasn't good enough for them. It shows greed on their part.

I have no problems donating a couple shows a year to worthy causes, but to be that ungrateful is just rude. If you don't have to pay, take what you are offered.
-Matt
Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
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Matt
I understand exactly what you are saying. The bottom line here is if you do free shows for charities again you will get burnt.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
TheAmbitiousCard
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Eternal Order
Northern California
13414 Posts

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The California State Fair called me about doing a free show a few years ago telling me it would be great exposure.


Seriously?
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
Trophy Husband, Father of the Year Candidate,
Chippendale's Dancer applicant, Unofficial World Record Holder.
TonyB2009
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Inner circle
5006 Posts

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A guy asked me to do a show today for six kids at a greyhound track. He told me the venue was prestigious, and I should actually be paying him for the exposure. Needless to say we didn't do business.
tboehnlein
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ohio
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I used to not any more, I just explain "this what some people charge for exposure how much you going to pay me"http://financialedge.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0510/Outrageous-Celebrity-Appearance-Fees.aspx#axzz1ZSXK7MWN
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