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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » How much do the tricks in your show cost you? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Red Shadow
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Hi Guys,

I’m interested in what your thoughts are regarding the cost of your show.

I always like adding new tricks to my show, especially stronger magic routines. At the moment there are two routines in my show that cost 30p each. The first is my metal bending and the second is my themed balloon routine.

Because of the cost involved, I don’t always perform them. I pick and choose my audiences whom I think respect the show and so spend a little money on that particular audience, rather than doing my colouring book routine for example, which costs me nothing to perform. I might also perform these effects when I’m bored of doing the colouring book and want to rehearse those effects again or it’s a repeat booking etc.

Entertainment wise, they are equal to all the other tricks in my show, that don’t cost me a thing so there is no difference there. It’s more about me wanting to save the pennies and not wasting money.

But recently, I’ve been looking at ‘Gypsy Balloon’. It looks like a great trick. But helium costs £30 for 30 balloons worth, and the balloons costs £1 each. The string is also a little bit special and goes into the cost. But let’s say it costs £2 each time you perform the effect – would you ever include it in your show?

Other tricks like the torn and restored newspaper cost you the price of the paper, the rubber cement and a ton load of time. Ignoring the time factor, there is still some cost involved and how do you justify that trick and its cost over performing a dove pan effect or other cost-free routines like Tricky Bottles.

What tricks in your show currently cost you money to perform, how much and how often do you perform them?

Steve

P.S. I just remembered flash paper – that stuff isn’t cheap. How many of you use that in your show?
yachanin
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Cleveland, OH
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Hi Steve,

I perform "Silk to Egg" (cost of an egg), a torn-n-restored newspaper (cost of papers), and Sands of the Desert (cost of the chemicals - although I only perform this in my adult show). My total cost, then, is typically about $2.00.

Regards, Steve
btedeski
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Pittsburgh PA
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Balloons are my largest expense for a show

Lets see what else

1 small Banana,
Bag of pretzels (not used for a birthday or holiday show)

for a normal kids show about $5.00 depending on the number of kids I need to make balloons for
Billy The Clown
www.BillyTheClown.com

Bill Tedeski
Pittsburgh PA

Were magic is just too funny....
magicgeorge
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Belfast
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For expendables I use 5 modelling balloons and 2 party poppers every show and that costs me about 60p.

I don't see the other tricks as costing me nothing though as I tend to have to replace most of them about once a year. My flyto flower for example is pretty tatty after about 100 shows and needs replacedso that ends up costing 65p per show. Which is more than all my expendables put together.
TonyB2009
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I use two balloons during my performance, so perhaps 12p in your money - 14c in real money. I don't do anything that involves expendables, or pre-show preparation. At the end of my show, for private parties, everyone gets a balloon, but that is not what you are asking about.

For my adult show I used to do Russian Roulette with exploding toilets, but I added E20 to the fee to cover the four pyro-flashes.
magicgeorge
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Quote:
On 2011-11-28 11:40, TonyB2009 wrote:
For my adult show I used to do Russian Roulette with exploding toilets, but I added E20 to the fee to cover the four pyro-flashes.


Awesome!

That doesn't sound like your bog standard roulette routine.
Sam Sandler
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Cost can add up but if you are factoring that in to your fees then the cost is covered.
it cost me about $150 a show. from Flash paper, blow thread, throw stremers, Baby chicks, confetti, and a host of other special effects and disposible props.

now that is for my big show

for my private parties and solo shows my cost is about $70 a show.

you mention that you wont do some effects because of cost and I say that is not the way to go. if you are not performing the effects on the regular basis you will never perfect them. you will never work all the bugs out of them and improve them to the point of being a stand out effect.

my show is the same every time. sure my assitant and I work on new stuff through out the year but we only add some thing new maybe once or twice a year and some times that does not even stay in the show.

back to the cost factor- I think if the effect is powerful enough then it should be done all the time. such as the torn and restorde paper I think this is a very very good effect. although I have not performed it in years (considering putting it back in my smaller show) I do remember it being something that many people would talk about after the show.

sam
sam sandler- America's only full-time DEAF Illusionist
http://www.samsandler.com
http://www.deafinitelymagic.com
MichaelCGM
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Oklahoma City
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I always use expendables in my shows (both kid's shows and adult shows). To me, it's just the cost of doing business. In my kid's show, I use at least two mouth-coils, 1 pint of milk, a hat-tear, 6 balloons (total: about 5 bucks), and (occasionally) a few other items.

My adult shows: tons of envelopes, rope, newspapers, books (that I give away), dice, lotto tickets, an occasional tambo-coil, etc. Cost: about $15-20 per show.

I wonder, though, isn't that an expected cost of performing the type of shows we do?
Magically Yours,

Magical Michael

MagicalMichael.com Smile Laus Deo!
danfreed
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West Chester PA
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Balloon for Gypsy balloon are just regular party balloons and you can buy a bag of 100 for around $8-$12 US. Shop around party supply stores for helium tanks and also shop around companies that provide helium tanks for industrial uses - look up helium or gas on Google or use the local phone book.
I sometimes do the giant climb inside balloons which are over $20 each so I only do it when the fee I'm getting is good enough or if I want to make sure I put on an extra fun show and I think it's worth it to impress the clients. I also use various regular and animal twisting balloons and slush powder , but that's the cost of business.
bowers
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Bag of lolypops a egg some balloons and flash paper
that's about it for regular shows.
todd
Potty the Pirate
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Minor consumables such as SP and balloons total about £10 a show. Other expenses add up too: PA and microphones, backdrops, costumes, props, all of which get wear-and-tear, and need regular maintenance or replacement. Probably another £15 per show.
Then, I think we should consider the cost of maintaining the office: phone line, broadband, printer ink, paper, stamps, etc: probably another £5 per show.
And the cost of driving: let's say on average £30 per show.
That adds up to about £60 per show in material costs.
Which makes a fee of at least £200 seem very reasonable, don't you think?
Doug Smile
(And note, I didn't include investment in new props and stuff, which makes the ongoing costs even higher.)
The Mighty Fool
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I use a 50' rainbow mouthcoil (1.25) for the daycare shows. I also use inflatable wands (8 @ 1.12 each) and throw-coils (2 @ 1.75 each) for a birthday show. Then there are the giveaways for volunteers: For daycares these are little glow-in-the-dark stars (about .13 each) and for birthdays, I usually have a giant change bag with small tricks, glo-bouncers,rainbow slinkys and other little treausures kids love(bulk-rate=1.88 each) and of course a special present for the birthday child: neon-string-spinner (11)

Daycare:$2.55
Birthday:$44.75

Like Steve, I'll break out some more expensive effects if the client seems well-connected or likely to tip.
Everybody wants to beleive.....we just help them along.
jay leslie
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Absolutely nothing to a few thousand dollars each. The sound system and music alone are a few thousand,
mpacyga
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Bag of Hershey's Kisses (From the Dove Pan), Picture Frame, 5 X 7 photo for the birthday boy/girl, 50 or so Balloons.

About $8 to $10 without counting Gas in my truck.
jay leslie
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Oh. I misunderstood... consumables... 4 dollars. I would use something like that for stage shows where the fees are relatively higher.

On the one hand. If you build it they will come - on the other - they have a budget and won't part with more money just because you do.
tboehnlein
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About $10, 2 goldfish, bag of candy, a couple of balloons, veggies and 2 paper bags.
TonyB2009
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If you spend $44 on items for your birthday show, that is a price you have to pass on to the mother. I am not sure - at least in my market - that the mothers would be happy to bear that cost. If I suddenly raised my price by $44, I know my competition would be delighted, because it would mean more work for them.

Perhaps the USA is different in that way. But I am quite happy to use a business model where I keep costs down to a reasonable level and keep my show affordable. In Ireland that is essential, especially now the country is bankrupt.
Howie Diddot
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Always perform your best show; you never know who is in the audience. If it costs $7.00 to do a show, raise your price $7.00. the corporate event planner attending his son’s friends birthday party may see a vision of you performing at his next convention dinner meeting
Dynamike
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A lot of pet food to keep my animals live.
jay leslie
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Quote:
On 2011-11-28 23:07, Dynamike wrote:
A lot of pet food to keep my animals live.


What about feeding your assistant, Mike... or is she on a diet?

)I wish I could get away with feeding the animals and not the girls) Smile
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