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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » My $425 Libarary Show (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Gerry Walkowski
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I just finished a series of library shows at $425 a pop. Is that considered good money in this market? (I'm asking because I don't normally work the library trade.)

It's funny because I didn't perform or mention anything about books during my presentation. My show didn't even have a theme like "Dream Big," or whatever that current library theme is for this year.

The client was more than happy with all my shows and is already talking about having me return next year.

Thanks,

Gerry
Dynamike
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Yes, making that much is considered good for a library. How many did you do?
The Great Zucchini
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Yep, I've priced my library show at 400 and feel very good about it. I think 425 is great, I also don't theme it.
Payne
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$425.00 is an acceptable fee for some libraries. others couldn't afford it. Not all systems are as flush with cash as others so they don't have a lot to spend on programs. There might even be systems out there that $425.00 is too low. It just depends on which part of the country you live and the budgets of the libraries you are working for.

I always provide my libraries with a show that fits into their theme. This is why they hire me for their programs instead of the other magician's in the area. I know a couple of local guys who have been trying to get into the library circuit around here for years. But the won't theme their shows so the libraries won't give them a second look.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
JamesinLA
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The Los Angeles City library system has a policy of no more than $200 per show, which sucks. But you always get private shows from those library shows where I charge my normal fees.
Also, LA County libraries and other city's like Santa Monica pay more.

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
MoonRazor
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Yeah I'd say that is good money for a library show.
magicpro12
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In my area, we have several library districts. The biggest one will pay about $200.00 per show. They always get a great crowd and promote you as a performer. So in turn, it pays off in the long run.
Mindpro
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Let me ask a legitimate question, as I really do not work this market. Do those of you that do work this market do it basically for profit as you would any other job, or as a promotional opportunity to lead to other better paying bookings? (I know both is probably the general answer). I may have a misunderstanding of this but I always though Library Shows generally paid between $175-$275, and therefore deemed then not of interest to me.

What type of bookings to you generate from these? Is this primarily for kids performance such as birthdays? I know some may say school bookings, but any other benefits or reasons? I guess I'm trying to see the bigger picture and the "long run" that is being mentioned. Do they also only lead to other similar paying bookings? Also what is the general length of these performances? I'm just trying to understand this seemingly seasonal market. Thanks.
Payne
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There are many reasons to do library performances. The fee may be low for some performers but you can make up for that in quantity. One of the systems I perform for is the second largest in the country with nearly fifty libraries in its system. So that's twenty to thirty bookings during the summer I can get with what amounts to a single call. I make a program submission in the fall and then the libraries call me to arrange a booking. Library shows also primarily are on weekdays so they don't interfere with ones weekend bookings. It's also possible to do two or three libraries in a day.

They are also good for advertising your services and one gets a lot of residual business from them as well. Plus they are fun to do. They allow one to present a more formal program in a controlled environment. My library shows are always bigger shows than my typical party programs as I know I have set-up and breakdown times and a large room in which to perform. So they are more like little stage shows so I can do effects I don't normally get o perform.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Mindpro
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So it's more about "a magic show" or more about "the message or theme"?
charliecheckers
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The libraries in my area are a year round opportunity. The summer is the main season with slightly higher paying opportunities as well as more plentiful ones. They are using entertainment to compliment their summer reading program. They have sponsors as well as government support to promote their reading initiatives. Like any other market, if your name is a draw, they are willing to pay more for your services. Having a theme to your show that incorporates reading a bit may help some of us to differentiate our offering and win some points with librarians. I know Ken Scott mentions that he uses the Library season as a warm up for his school shows. I like the Libraries because the work environment is predictable (mainly indoors), and the libraries are use to bringing in entertainment so there are few surprises. I do not believe the residual shows are any better or worse from other shows I do. There are some entertainers that generally command a higher fee than the libraries are willing to pay, so they use library shows as filler shows to round out their day. I am not aware of mandatory caps on what they pay a particular performer, but as they have limited funds, they have to be convinced that paying more than the average fee will yield a better turn out, as it will limit their future programming funds. They may say "the most we pay is....", but that may just mean they save a larger portion for a performer they really want to bring in.
Gerry Walkowski
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Sorry, I was away a few days on vacation. Also I apologize for spelling the word “library” incorrectly. (I could kick myself over that one. Smile)

I performed 12 of these shows for an area outside my normal market. The person who hired me had seen my show at a festival and that's how I got hired for these library shows. Again, my shows had nothing to do with books or reading.

It's funny what this one person said to me afterward. I also think there's something to be learned from this as well. The person said most of the entertainers in that region weren't that good and all their shows seemed to be exactly alike. Were they all offering the same themed show, or the same tricks?

I didn’t push for more details, so perhaps I’ll never know.

Thanks,

Gerry
SteveFromSpokane
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Quote:
On 2012-08-19 13:11, Gerry Walkowski wrote:
Sorry, I was away a few days on vacation. Also I apologize for spelling the word “library” incorrectly. (I could kick myself over that one. Smile)


I have misspelled words on the internet and didn't notice it in time to change it. So there it sits, in infinity. We all knew it was just your finger hitting an extra key and went on to ready your story. But alas there it sits with your name attached. You are not alone.
Sam Sandler
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As for libraries I never offer a themed show at least not the theme they are running that year.
I do a lot of them and they enjoy bringing me back year after year.

I offer my own themed shows or just a fun magic show and tie in about reading books but I do not have a themed show specifically for their summer reading program.

there are enough magicians that do that sort of thing but I don't.

as for payment my base price is $350 and my top show is $750

I get both as well as some inbetween. the way I see it is that I will work with some libraries on price as they are not taking up prime time.
I am willing to do the show for say $300 as they want me on a Tuesday night at 7 that works for me.

plus I get my BOR which can bring in any where from $50-$300 depending on the size of the audience. usually I have in most cases 200 or more people at the show.

I am actually already working on booking next summer with my new show.

have fun

sam
sam sandler- America's only full-time DEAF Illusionist
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RevJohn
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All I know is that the Libraries I have seen appreciate working with their theme:

"Your extra time in incorporating our theme into your program was GREAT! We would highly recommend you to others! Your thoroughness, promptness, enthusiasm, stage presence, and entertaining style were greatly appreciated and effective!"
~ Blackfoot Public Library

RevJohn
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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Over the last few years, the libraries in my region have had tighter budgets.

Larger price shows are many times reserved for kick off or ending the season shows.

There are a few that are well deservingly priced even higher than your 425.

Mine is not one of them.

Harris
"stuck (actually very comfortable) in the middle"
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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Gerry Walkowski
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Rev John,

My testimonial was almost identical to yours, except for the part about having a theme for my show.

Gerry
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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My post refers to shows that are priced at 1500 + per show.
They are usually housed by several branches in a community center, school or theatre.

Be safe, well and creative.

Harris
working on the 2013 shows.
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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Tamariz
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A library show is something that is usually magic with a message v. Just entertainment. Since most educational communities are chronically underfunded I think you are limited in this market.
KC Cameron
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I charge $250 for a show, and will be going up. As with anything, the area where you work will determine what you can get. If a library is strapped (and many are) we can always negotiate. Libraries can have your poster up for MONTHS, and unlike schools, they generally don't mind if I tape the show.
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