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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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tboehnlein
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No pet food needed for the goldfish as I swallow them in the act.
charliecheckers
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Quote:
On 2011-11-28 21:44, Howie Diddot wrote:
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


I think this is an excellent point. I recall other magicians proudly telling me they use the free throw away papers, prepare them far in advance to save time and money when performing the Torn and Restored Newspaper. I never agreed with that notion. To use a current paper adds to the story line and seems more genuine than a old less recognized one. (Ray Pierce once offered an exception to this, as an older paper fit his story line) I also use a few give away items selectively to ensure everyone is having the best time. I offer lollipops (when I produce them during the performance) after the show. I buy them in bulk for a few cents each. I spend $7 to $9 and budget $10 in my cost to cover breakage and loss.
tgs
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Quote:
On 2011-11-28 11:01, magicgeorge wrote:
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.


This is something too many of us overlook... some props literally last forever, but most of them get replaced eventually. If for no other reason, regular wear-and-tear keeps props from looking their best.

So if a $50 prop needs to be replaced after 250 shows, its true cost is $0.20 every time it's performed. With a trick like gypsy balloon, there's no main prop to repurchase every however many hundreds of shows, so the entire cost is the balloon, the helium and the string. It probably costs more than most of your other tricks, but not by as much as you think.

One other point on this topic: consider all the money spent on effects that never make it into your show. Here's a chance to use your budget for something that will definitely be in the show, as you are specifically purchasing it for performance.

Whether or not to include it in your act should hinge primarily on whether you think it makes your show better; an effect that uses a relatively low-priced consumable almost always has a lower marginal cost than it first appears.
Red Shadow
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I don't agree on the cost of wear and tear. Yes, there are tricks that require it, but for the most part you can protect against it, like laminating the cards. I have several tricks that have been in my show for over ten years. They require a bit of re-gluing and tlc, but they can pass the test of time. Things like that come down to trick selection and not choosing effects made from cardboard. I also add those into a different category of costs and don't cost to be used specifically for each show.

But from the clients point of view, they have no idea that our show costs us money. They have never seen a magician before, or if they have, understand the cost involved. They can only compare us to what they have seen, like a comedian who uses no props. A football coach who has no consumable costs, a dance teacher or even a bouncy castle. The only costs they see for those business are the initial startup costs of advertising and basic props like a football.
And when they see a magic act, they compare us to those trick sets they had as a child, where the props do most the work and they are repeatable without consuming any costs.
They have no idea how wrong they are, as they have never seen or performed a magic show in their lives. Even when you see someone tear a newspaper, how many of us ever think about how much that trick costs while it is being performed? It never even crossed my mind until I wanted to do the trick myself and learnt, this trick is costly and time-consuming.

I personally perform no tricks that require set-up at home. I do however use about 2p of rope for my cut and restore and that's about it unless I do the tricks I previously mentioned. It's not about doing the best show possible, the non-consumable tricks are just as entertaining as the others. I have absolutely no need to perform gypsy balloon. I already have 5 x 45 minute shows that I rotate whenever I wish, with only a tiny consumable cost. But I have an idea for that particular trick which would require specifically themed balloons costing a little more than normal. I'm trying to justify adding an expensive trick to my act when I have no need to.

I don't think its wise to increase price based on the tricks in your show. As mentioned earlier, the client has no knowledge what's involved and only ever hear the price, and compare that price to your competitions. If your going to spend money in your act, then it comes out of your pocket and you have to absorb the costs.

Those that argue that you sell your show and all that, I don't think have a lot of competitioin their area. I have lots of compeition and keeping my price competitive and not pricing myself out of my Market just because I want to perform a few tricks that I want to, it not good for my business.

Steve
Zuke
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Quote:
On 2011-11-29 06:10, ku7uk3 wrote:
I don't agree on the cost of wear and tear. Yes, there are tricks that require it, but for the most part you can protect against it, like laminating the cards. I have several tricks that have been in my show for over ten years. They require a bit of re-gluing and tlc, but they can pass the test of time.
Steve


You should come with me on a school tour some time. Smile

I'm not sure whether it's just the pace of school tours or the roads in Australia (and the dust) but I guarantee if you bring a piece of granite with you, it will need to be repaired or replaced within 6 months.
Red Shadow
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Most props break in transit. I learnt a while ago to pack all my props tight, into one box. Not only does it make loading and unloading quicker, but they all cushion each other over speed bumps and protect each other. I also create effects that can't break, such as tricks with socks and coins. It's pretty tough to break them.

I removed tricks that required additional care, such as water effects after one of them leaked and destroyed several props. The suitcase table itself requires the most care, but the props inside can take a beating and often do. 260 shows a year, for over ten years. They might not appear in every show, but they stay in the box for when I need them.
magicgeorge
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Quote:
On 2011-11-29 06:10, ku7uk3 wrote:
I don't agree on the cost of wear and tear.


I'm not sure what you are not agreeing on. As you have stated it's not a major factor for yourself but that doesn't mean it isn't a factor for others.

I have to replace my hat, raccoon, flito flower, silly wand, puppet, flowers for my wand quite regularily. It all adds up but it's all the things I like to perform so I'm not going to replace it all with sturdier stuff just for the sake of my budget.
MichaelDouglas
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For the 70% of my business that are birthday parties:

$ 2 for Consumables (sp, mouth coil, balloons)
18 for 8 goodie bags included with my "standard" bday package
5 for average cost of gift for birthday child
8 for magic t-shirt with my advertising for birthday child
20 average cost of milage & tolls
1 thank you card sent to client
5 gift and postage for thank you for filling out my feedback survey
(I've collected enough surveys so that I don't send these every time anymore.)
______
$54-$59 for the average total cost of a birthday show for me.
Red Shadow
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I mean that for most cases, the wear and tear on a prop is determined by the model you buy. The raccoon for instance - if you buy the model from Dave himself, it will last for several years. But if you buy the cheaper version from magic makers, or one of the knock-offs from the pound shop, it will last a week.

The same for the flito flower. I have had the cheap versions that broke on me continuously. I then got Jolly Rodgers version with metal insides, and it has and will last for many, many years.

I know for some tricks, the choice of materials is not there and replacements will be necessary. And I also understand that you may not be aware of the alternatives available to you. Magic by its very nature is suppose to be secretive and certain props are only made aware to us at lectures (like Shoots Thimbles). I like the thimble argument as you cannot get them anywhere else other than from his lectures and yet I would not be doing a thimble routine today if I didn't have his thimbles, they are the only ones that work for me.

But the old argument of buying a pair of shoes I think applies to magic as well. Buy a cheap pair and the soles will wear down in a month. Buy Adidas, and they may cost six times as much, but they last ten times as long.

But I think we should separate the line between expected expenditures like wear and tear, new clothes and PA Systems as I see them as part of the start-up necessities and are an expected form of expense for any show. But choosing tricks that literally means you are paying to perform them, that’s the difficult decision to make here.

Even though it might only be £1 for a piece of flash paper, that's £1 coming out of my pocket. Do I want to spend £1 on a stranger to show them a trick, or perform my ambitious card again which doesn't cost me a thing?
magicgeorge
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Dave who?
Williamson? He doesn't sell them. I do use the same make he uses though and they last about a year.

If Jolly Roger does a flito flower then I can't find it on his site. I think Richard Hughes probably does a fancier version. I see what you're saying about the quality props lasting longer but on the other hand some shoes cost 10 times as much and last 5 times as long so it can be false economy.

As for spending money on consumables I don't really sweat the small stuff. To me it's about doing a good show rather than looking at it as purely a money making exercise. If I want to use flash paper I'll use flash paper, if I'd prefer to do a card trick I'd do a card trick.
Pasquale
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Just replace a piece of sting on the chinese sticks......
Beowulf
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Thomas A. Lilly
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Birthday party show: balloons, two poppers, hat tear, blown egg, flash paper, hat coil, Tootsie Pop, inflate wand, Big Buck giveaways: $6.00

Use confetti wand for a mall/library show: $11.00
ldl1017
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I used to do a routine where I had two silks signed. So it would be the costs of two 6 inch silks, balloons, stickers and wands for helpers and rope for a C & R rope routine. Maybe $6 to $8 dollars per show.
“I am, as I've said, merely competent. But in an age of incompetence, that makes me extraordinary.”
Billy Joel
MichaelCGM
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Quote:
On 2011-11-29 06:10, ku7uk3 wrote: I don't think its wise to increase price based on the tricks in your show. As mentioned earlier, the client has no knowledge what's involved and only ever hear the price, and compare that price to your competitions. If your going to spend money in your act, then it comes out of your pocket and you have to absorb the costs.
Wisdom is a rather subjective concept. That being said, there are two points to consider. First, one's "tricks" are very important in setting one's "price." Second, if your client is only comparing your "price" to your competition's price, you already have a marketing problem. (Being less expensive or priced the same as one's competition is not a great selling point.)

In your OP you said, "It’s more about me wanting to save the pennies and not wasting money." If that's your mindset, that's fine. It's just that it certainly isn't the only mindset that is correct. I don't raise my prices based on a few pennies here or there. My prices are based on what I believe my show is worth (which includes the cost of performing, as well as the skill of performing.) My clients don't get a breakdown of those aspects. They just get my full price and my reputation as justification for my price.
Magically Yours,

Magical Michael

MagicalMichael.com Smile Laus Deo!
Potty the Pirate
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I put into my show whatever I feel like, regardless of cost, unless it becomes outrageous. As I menitoned above, the overall cost of a show is considerable....the relative cost of consumables, compared to all the other expenses, is minimal.
And if the costs of your show are high - then charge more. Presumably, all those extras will make your show better. If not, then why are you bothering with them?
A snowstorm, flash wool, SP, etc, will all add a little "pizzazz" to your show....and are surely worth the small cost.
With petrol (gas) at about £6 a gallon, and my car only does about 25 miles for that, £265 a year for road tax, £350 a year for insurance, and about £700 a year for servicing, it's the cost of running my car that really eats my budget.
Doug
MichaelCGM
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Quote:
On 2011-11-29 14:44, Potty the Pirate wrote: I put into my show whatever I feel like, regardless of cost, unless it becomes outrageous. As I menitoned above, the overall cost of a show is considerable....the relative cost of consumables, compared to all the other expenses, is minimal.
And if the costs of your show are high - then charge more. Presumably, all those extras will make your show better. If not, then why are you bothering with them?
A snowstorm, flash wool, SP, etc, will all add a little "pizzazz" to your show....and are surely worth the small cost.
With petrol (gas) at about £6 a gallon, and my car only does about 25 miles for that, £265 a year for road tax, £350 a year for insurance, and about £700 a year for servicing, it's the cost of running my car that really eats my budget. Doug
Well said!
Magically Yours,

Magical Michael

MagicalMichael.com Smile Laus Deo!
Dynamike
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Quote:
On 2011-11-28 23:19, jay leslie wrote:
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?

She feeds me. It is her job to bring home all the bacon.
randyburtis
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Quote:
On 2011-11-29 14:49, MichaelCGM wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-11-29 14:44, Potty the Pirate wrote: I put into my show whatever I feel like, regardless of cost, unless it becomes outrageous. As I menitoned above, the overall cost of a show is considerable....the relative cost of consumables, compared to all the other expenses, is minimal.
And if the costs of your show are high - then charge more. Presumably, all those extras will make your show better. If not, then why are you bothering with them?
A snowstorm, flash wool, SP, etc, will all add a little "pizzazz" to your show....and are surely worth the small cost.
With petrol (gas) at about £6 a gallon, and my car only does about 25 miles for that, £265 a year for road tax, £350 a year for insurance, and about £700 a year for servicing, it's the cost of running my car that really eats my budget. Doug
Well said!


indeed, well said!
Randy Burtis
Calgary's Kid Show Magician
www.calgarymagician.com
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ldl1017
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I agree...Doug said it perfectly.
“I am, as I've said, merely competent. But in an age of incompetence, that makes me extraordinary.”
Billy Joel
Al Angello
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I have a lot of money invested in silks, and costumes. Everything else is ropes, scissors, ring, bags, wand, juggling clubs, cards, and tubes. I am the star of my show, and everything else is there just to make me look good.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
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