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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Working Pro's out there, how much do you charge? And rate my routine. (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Poveglia
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Orlando, FL
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I've finally gotten into kid magic (breaking away from my street stuff and bizarre magic), and am going to start putting myself out there to hire for kids parties.

I've done 4 shows so far, two for military kids at the local base school, one for an 18 yr olds birthday party, and one for my friend's kid's party. All of these shows have been for free. Now that I am starting to get requests I am wondering what is a fair price to charge for a 45 minute to an hour show?

All of my effects and props so far have been purchased on my own dime, since I have never charged for magic.

My routine has been a hit so far, but like I said it's all been for free. Also, if anyone can give performance tips, I'd appreciate any help from you pros.

My script essentially starts goes like this (feel free to rip it apart and give me advice! I'm thick skinned!):

I start by handing out wands to all the kids in the audience, telling them that I need their help. I buy the cheap wands that are like $5 for a dozen or so.

Depending on their ages, I start with the magic coloring book. I show the book empty. The kids then point their wands at the book and the uncolored pictures show. I then get the disappearing crayons out and have the kids point their wands at the crayons and say whatever magic words I come up with that day. Then I show the colored pics. After they all magically erase the book I move on.

I then patter about colors (since we used the coloring book first) and move into the Hippity Hop rabbits routine.

Following that, I act like I need a break. From here, I casually grab a Fanta and do the Airborne trick. Usually I wipe my brow and act like I don't know it's floating. I then ask "who had their wand pointing at me while I was pouring" kind of thing. From their I turn the fanta into a mini routine by doing Multum in Parvo glasses. When I reach the final glass, I pour the contents into a mirrored glass with slush powder and produce an orange silk. Then I do a simple silk change to a white silk from an orange one. I then explain I need one of my assistants, so I place the white silk into a change bag, and produce a live white mouse.

Usually I get "awe!", sometimes get a little scream, but I step down and let the kids pet my assistant. I then place him into a small cage and keep him on stage.

I then explain I usually bring a few assistants, and I go into the talking/moving drawing board routine.

From there, I move into a needle through balloon. After that, I move into a grand finale where I do a chair suspension with the birthday kid. I usually tie a balloon on their feet (an idea I got from a youtube vid) and do the suspension.

Following that, the b-day kid and I bow, and I present a gift to the birthday kid. Usually a Melissa and Doug magic set (I like the wood props the kids get). At the very end, I give all the kids a simple coin slider magic trick that I buy on Amazon for $7.50 for a dozen.

So with that all being said, the party (we'll say 24 kids) costs me $10 for wands, $15 for coin sliders, and $30 for a magic set for the birthday child. So $55 out of my pocket for the show.

With all that being said, how much is a fair cost to charge, and any advice on my routine?

Thanks guys! Love ya!
wwhokie1
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Charge $50 if that is all you can get and it's all your show is worth. Charge $800 if you are worth it and can get it. You will probably fall somewhere in between, but the same principle applies, what is your show worth and what can your market afford. Check the "Little Darlings Index" sticky at the top of this forum and you will find some discussions on this topic. Average pricing seems to fall between 150-250 from what I can tell, but can go higher or lower depending on the above guidelines. Good Luck
jay leslie
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Hello
The rates to charge are determined by culture, competition and experience.

The real way to know is to find another worker in your area and price yourself accordingly.

Some areas, you can charge 80 dollars- others you can charge 350 and ithas nothing to do with skill.
wwhokie1
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Kids magic is very different from what you have been doing: "street stuff and bizarre magic". Make sure you really want to do kid's magic, and that you really enjoy doing it. Kids are a very different audience. However if you enjoy it, they can be the best possible audience, in my opinion.
charliecheckers
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A few thoughts... Go with your current show for now, but track response to your routines. Determine who your target audience is and then either tweak routines that are not not getting optimal responses, or drop them in exchange for something else.
$55 is a lot of cost per show, because you also have to factor in maintaining props as well. Unless you have a strategy to reach customers willing to pay top dollar, you will likely have to consider reducing the give aways at some point. Right now, if it is creating an exciting show, I would not change it. I think you will find that soon enough, your show will take different directions and you will rely less on the give aways. Be very mindful of the distractions that the give aways can be. If you work with young kids, I can promise you it will be a major distraction. I made the decision to focus my show on younger kids, so I eliminated many of the effects I initially had as part of my act because they were not ideal for this age group.
Pricing is all over the board. No can really tell you what is best for you. You will need to do research here, in your local market, and determine what your show will sell for. Some who post here include pricing on their websites, which will help you get an idea of what other shows sell for.
Ryan Price
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Those wands are going to turn into weapons at some of your shows. You will quickly decide against giving them out at the beginning of the show.
Bazinga
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I see that you're in The Netherlands. Getting specific numbers from people in other parts of the world are probably not going to do you much good.

I don't do kids' birthday parties but I'm told that average prices for those and small daycare centers is about the same. At least it's something to compare to. I've also read an interesting paper on "Big Mac Economics." Basically it talks about using the price of a McDonald's Big Mac as a measure of local economics.

My small daycare center show price is 41.25 Big Macs in my home area. I increase my fee for distances over 30 miles. Maybe others can post their fee in Big Macs and you can get a better idea of how your price fits your local economy.

Interesting, no?
jay leslie
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Quote:
On Apr 19, 2014, Ryan Price wrote:
Those wands are going to turn into weapons at some of your shows. You will quickly decide against giving them out at the beginning of the show.


Yeah, Give them hats and wands and they'll bang the wands on the hats like drums.

And DON'T give them food either.... especially little hard candies like Ju Ju Beads.
http://www.thehouseofenchantment.com/pag......oem.html
TonyB2009
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Poveglia, it is great fun, and I hope it goes well for you. Here is how you determine your price (as Jay has pointed out). You find out what other magicians in your area are charging. You have less experience, so you charge a little less. Perhaps 80% of their fee. Don't go any lower than that, because you are underselling yourself, and forcing the price down for everyone.

As you gain experience, bring your price up to the average. Then you have to decide on your positioning. Do you charge a little less than the average, and go for volume, or charge more and try to make yourself exclusive? That is a decision for the future. For now, 80-90% the local average is your fee.

Bazinga, I had never heard of that Big Mac thing, but when I googled the price of a big mac, it turned out you are not far off. Depending on the city I perform in, my price goes from 38 to 42 big macs. Weird. Poveglia, maybe that could be your guide?
jay leslie
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How many big macs equals a lap dance?
Poveglia
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Wow thanks for all the help!

Yes I know kid magic is a break away from the street/bizarre stuff I am comfortable with, but I do enjoy performing for the kids. I have 3 kids of my own (and one on the way), and half of the fun of me being a magician is performing for them. Plus, most kids are so impressed, that they want to learn for themselves and that in itself enhances our art!

As for me being in the Netherlands, honestly, Europe is a ripe market for magicians. Not only are there not too many street/bar magicians walking about, but magic shops are few and far between. So when I perform here, it is the first time some of these people have seen illusions.

Just from doing bar magic at my local watering hole, I was invited to represent the city at a local carnival festival. I set up a booth and hung out with my bar mates and performed for passerby's. All proceeds from my tip jar went to a local orphanage.

But, I am done with performing in the Netherlands since I am being re-assigned in June 2014 to Tampa Bay (MacDill AFB). So, in Tampa, my main crowd will be military families and their kids. I'll probably get with the local Army Community Service, and see if I offer these shows for free, if they'll fund me.

Speaking of which, I need to join a local SAM or IBM in that area and hopefully hang out with some of you board members.

Thanks for all the help!
The Great Zucchini
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Congrats, my friend, on getting into the field. I think you'll find that it's rewarding, fun, and I wish you tons of luck. I very much agree that don't put a thing in their hands while you're perfuming, Even if they aren't swinging wands, they are looking at them, looking down, whatever, but it's taking attention away from you.
MagiCol
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If you're having fun with magic and not making a profit you're doing magic as a hobby.
If you're having fun with magic and making a profit, your doing magic as a business [or, in a business-like manner].

It takes money to make money, so to start out you have to buy props and routines and once you've paid them off, that cost is pretty well finished with.
One cost that doesn't go away is the travelling cost, and that is more than just the fuel for the vehicle.
The presentation makes the magic.
pbj100
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You can keep costs down to by thinking about your act before you buy,
Its easy to think oh I am entertaining kids so I need this prop and that prop .
That you simply do not need .

You prob have a thumb t and silk,
You can make a nice routine with these for kids or little outlay.

20th century silks packs small, not to costly, plays big

Misers dream,
Plenty of cheap cans about that make a loud sound

Rope routines are generaly cheap and play big

You really do not need wolfs latest whatever or a £300 bunch of fake flowers

Its you who will sell or not sell not the props
Phil
thekidsmagician
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Bristol
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Phil's post above is well worth reading a few times and acting on - especially the last sentence.

That's the approach I have always taken.

- Mike
Children's entertainer in Bristol - making children look AMAZING! - www.thekidsmagician.com
Al Kazam the Magic Man
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Maybe, a little punctuation will help get the meaning across.

"It's you who will sell or not, not the props".

As usual Phil is right on. He is outstanding in his field. Smile
Al Kazam --> Magic guy in Perth Australia
pbj100
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Quote:
On Apr 20, 2014, Al Kazam the Magic Man wrote:


As usual Phil is right on. He is outstanding in his field. Smile


Moo , moo
TonyB2009
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In Ireland we call a man who is outstanding in his field a farmer.
Billybonkers
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Quote:
On Apr 20, 2014, pbj100 wrote:
You can keep costs down to by thinking about your act before you buy,
Its easy to think oh I am entertaining kids so I need this prop and that prop .
That you simply do not need .

You prob have a thumb t and silk,
You can make a nice routine with these for kids or little outlay.

20th century silks packs small, not to costly, plays big

Misers dream,
Plenty of cheap cans about that make a loud sound

Rope routines are generaly cheap and play big

You really do not need wolfs latest whatever or a £300 bunch of fake flowers

Its you who will sell or not sell not the props
Phil


In my opinion this is proven perfectly in this video I found, lot of expensive props but not the smoothest performance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mu4wt4-6nz8


I don't mean to offend the performer in question in the video or anyone that knows him, I'm just using it to help prove the point. Nor am I saying I am a better or more successful performer then him. It is just my opinion.
The Mighty Fool
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Be glad you started in The Netherlands & NOT the U.K.! That's the one part of Europe which has....lets just say, more than a few magigians.

For just getting started in kid's shows, you have a pretty impressive arsenal---drawing-board, chair-suspension, etc.

I agree that handing out wands at the start isn't all that good of an idea. Instead just teach the kids a magic word & accompanying hand motion. you'll save money and trouble.

Be sure to do the coloring book more than once, you can get ALOT of laugh-milleage out of that prop!

A 30$ magic set?? Wow!! I hope the people whove gotten your show for free realize the deal theyre getting!

As for the price, if this is a side / supplementary income, try to get at least $100 a show (that's AFTER expenses, gas, giveaways, etc.) but if youre looking to make this your bread & butter, you'll need more like $250 a show (again, that's after expenses) and you'll have to have the look, ad-campaign, and props to justify that rate.*

* I'm assuming you have a good performance. All the above wont mean diddly if you don't.
Everybody wants to beleive.....we just help them along.
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