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p.b.jones
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"Type of commodity"? I am the type that Karrell Fox trained me to be. But some day we will have to look at tax papers and see which one is making more money at magic.....

HI,
Who earns the most is relativly unimportant to me. The way I view things is you can only spend so much money, I earn much more than I need, I also get lot's of free time to enjoy it (I could take bookings for the time if I chose to) and my other persuits which do not involve spending money so I am really happy with life to me that's more important than earning just for the sake of it... perhaps I am just lazy... but I like it!
Phillip
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Good take Phillip.....very true...

It's the thrill of the bookings for me at this point:). Shows pays for my addiction to this hobby or at least pays for some of it...
MarkTripp
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Who earns the most is relativly unimportant to me.>>>

Indeed, but it is a sure way to know who is working and who is not. More to the point, there was a very insulting tone in your first post.

The simple fact is I do this for a living, not a hobby. As such, I have done more shows and have more experience than most around here. I from time to time like to share so people can avoid the errors that hurt the art and craft.

As to "money", here is the real secret. There is only so much a person will spend for a show. Nothing you add is going to get any more money out of their pocket but it will add to your woes.

When this is your full time job, you take as many shows as possible because there are no paid sick days and for the most part it is a reactive market, in other words, people call you. It is nice to have money in the bank for when they aren't calling.

Again, if this is a "hobby" great. Just quit doing shows for money so those of us who make a living at this can do so.

Because once you take money, it is no longer a "hobby", you are expected to be a professional, in EVERY way.
Donald Dunphy
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Wow, Mark. I just read your post on another thread about the number of shows you do average per month. You are a hard worker. And I absolutely believe that you know, and are doing, what is right for you.

I see both points of view here. I see the benefit of doing lots of shows, I also see the benefit of charging decent prices for our shows. I know of many in my area who do not charge enough for the quality of work they do.

I put up my rates back in December, and it reduced the number of shows. However, the income is still about the same.

Some members might benefit from taking a peek at this thread, from a different area of the Café: Fee for strolling magic at private parties? While the topic is about strolling magic, it evolved into one about charging the right fee, and finding the right clientel... one that will give you "less shows, more money, more free time."

BTW, to bring this thread back on track. I subscribe to the "pack right, play right" threory.

I perform a mixture of small magic and larger magic. With birthday shows, because I charge a discounted fee, I tend to use smaller magic, and even some "pack flat" effects. I have used items like "Bunny Tip Top", "Dan's Magic Van" and the Coloring Book in my birthday shows. For the family shows (regular shows), I tend to use tricks that are a little larger, taking into account the visiblity of what I am performing. Larger audiences need to see the magic.

As has been stated before, it is a matter of personal preference, and what you know and choose to entertain an audience with.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
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Can't it be a hobby and a job? I mean by hobby, I am still interested and love all types of magic.

I feel I am worth every penny of what I charge though. I work hard and if I did get a negative comment about my show, I would definitely re-evaluate what I did wrong and go from there.

Kids may be kids but cultural values come in to play also.
kenscott
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WOW! I did read this thread much. SHould have popped in.

As to Mark. I do do the flying carpet illusion with a lot of success. As some you have seen in my birthday dough video or seen in my post. I like to bring a big show to the birthday parties. I can say that I do this fulltime and make GREAT money at it. What set's me apart of other magicians in Atlanta. I like to think that I am professional and entertaining but I think/KNOW that by turning the family;s living room into a small theater is as set me apart in a BIG way.

So someone said earlier if it works for you why knock it. I use a lot of music in my show with a great sound system and I use the showteck, Iuse a countryman mic, suitcase table. I don't do a lot of the pack flat stuff.

So all I can say with over 15 years at it is bigger can be better for some.

I would agree there comes a time when you hit the top of a market and you cannot get anymore money. Here in atlanta I get 275.00 to 325.00 for one hour birthdy party. The smaller end of the market in Atlanta is 125.00.

Best,
Ken
Chance Wolf
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Quote:
On 2004-09-14 20:03, MarkTripp wrote:
As to "money", here is the real secret. There is only so much a person will spend for a show. Nothing you add is going to get any more money out of their pocket but it will add to your woes.


Mark,
I respect your opinion and experience however I must STRONGLY disagree with this viewpoint. Please know the following point is NOT a "pitch" for my products..we are so busy, I really can't keep up!
I have customers who have made promo shots and flyers which include my entire line of magic. Let me tell you...this is an AWESOME visual impact on the potential customer showing them a complete professional routine with a visual continuity of a cartoon style which kids can not resist. Parents/Customers KNOW the effect it will have on the kids as well as take confidence that ( hopefully) someone who presents a show of the VISUAL caliber will definatley be worth every penny. And in most cases, it has proven more than true.
During my days of performing, I brought out everything including the kitchen sink even with multiple shows on a given day. It proved to be a bit more strenuous but far more profitable for the extra few trips to the car. In perspective, it is far easier than ANY given Illusionists problems ( which I did for sometime ). Overall, I believe it is worth it to give the kids a WHOPPER of a show that far exceeds the standard props etc.
Please remember, my business is to study what children TRULY react to and I can ASSURE you Visual Stimulation is the MOST IMPORTANT aspect of maintaining a child's attention..of course combined with good entertainment.
For my last point...over the years, I have watched my children watch Cartoons with full attention...with the sound OFF. Think about that. It is a powerful observation.
Just my Wacky and Humble opinion.
Chance Wolf
Wolf's Magic

PS...my props are not limited to Stage effects by no means. I can't think of one customer who does not use them at birthday parties. Heck, that is why they bought them in the first place Smile
Creator of Wacky Wolf Productions & Fine Collectibles

A DECADE of building Magic and we're just getting started!

http://www.wolfsmagic.com
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"For my last point...over the years, I have watched my children watch Cartoons with full attention...with the sound OFF. Think about that. It is a powerful observation. "

How true! My 3 yr old can sit and watch colorful cartoons with the sound off and be truly amazed.

While on the way to my "other " job I was thinking about this thread. While money is important, I think of it as a reward for my performance. My goal is really not more money but being one of the best entertainers in the city. If I don't become one of the best, at least I gave it my best.
Donald Dunphy
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Quote:
On 2004-09-15 00:10, kenscott wrote:
WOW! I did read this thread much. SHould have popped in.

As to Mark. I do do the flying carpet illusion with a lot of success. As some you have seen in my birthday dough video or seen in my post. I like to bring a big show to the birthday parties. I can say that I do this fulltime and make GREAT money at it. What set's me apart of other magicians in Atlanta. I like to think that I am professional and entertaining but I think/KNOW that by turning the family;s living room into a small theater is as set me apart in a BIG way.

So someone said earlier if it works for you why knock it. I use a lot of music in my show with a great sound system and I use the showteck, Iuse a countryman mic, suitcase table. I don't do a lot of the pack flat stuff.

So all I can say with over 15 years at it is bigger can be better for some.

I would agree there comes a time when you hit the top of a market and you cannot get anymore money. Here in atlanta I get 275.00 to 325.00 for one hour birthdy party. The smaller end of the market in Atlanta is 125.00.

Best,
Ken


Wow! Ken gave away his USP. How generous is that?

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
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I am glad to see others burning the midnight oil tonight:)

Ken's birthday show (video) has plenty of color, props, comedy and magic. I'd hire him if I was looking for a magician at my kid's party.
p.b.jones
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Indeed, but it is a sure way to know who is working and who is not. More to the point, there was a very insulting tone in your first post.



HI Mark,
First I would like to apologise for the way my post read I meant no insult in my post. I just would not want to work that hard there is more to life than work for me.

........................

"The simple fact is I do this for a living, "


HI,
Me to magic/ entertainment (as I do puppets too) is my full time job. Though I work to live, not live to work
Just my choice

.............................
"As to "money", here is the real secret. There is only so much a person will spend for a show. Nothing you add is going to get any more money out of their pocket but it will add to your woes."

HI,
To a point I agree add ons will not greatly increase your show fee (though could add up over a year)
Though they will pay much more for someone they really want, frankly most people do not even ask my price until after the booking is in the diary a kind of afterthought, the exception would be a small percentage that are totaly new to me.

.......................
When this is your full time job, you take as many shows as possible because there are no paid sick days and for the most part it is a reactive market

HI,
I choose not to take as many shows as possible, if I did it would drag my price down and I would have to work harder. I prefer not to be so available and charge more. If I wish to do something or go somwhere then (as long as I have no prior booking) I take the time off refusing bookings for that space like wednesday nights are scuba diving nights, I take time off for holidays or magic conventions when I want. clearly there has to be times when I knuckle down.
but I like to have a good balance
Phillip
Emazdad
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Like Phil, and yourself Mark I also do this for a full time living, I do maimly 2-hour shows for birthday parties and average about 30 a month.

<<<There is only so much a person will spend for a show>>>

Yes to a point, but which person, a poorer family has a lower budget than a richer family. if you have a brilliant show and once your diary is full every month you put your price up a couple of things happen,
1, you put yourself out of most of the poorer rougher bookings and into the richer areas.
2, If you're good people will come back next year and pay the new price willingly because they know you are worth it.

The majority of my work is re-bookings and reccomends, I've people phoning for parties this year who paid £95 last year and are now paying £110 quite happily, next year they'll be paying £120.

What we (Billy & I) found on increasing the prices was at first the number of callers who hesitated or didn't book us increased slightly, but after a while bookings have increased up to the level we were at before the price increase. Although we were doing less weekend shows the number of weekday shows increased. Overall we've done less shows this year than last, but due to the price increase earnt a lot more money. Now we are at the point where we are turning away lots of bookers again as we can't fit them in, hence the proposed price increase. I now work a policy that when 6 days in a week have something on I cross off the final day and will not work on that day. The next price increase is designed once again to lower the overall workload, but still increase our earnings.


<<<<When this is your full time job, you take as many shows as possible because there are no paid sick days and for the most part it is a reactive market>>>>

Once you are established and have a good rep, and the confidence to know that work will always come in, you get the luxury of being able to pick and chose your jobs. If I don't like the sound of a gig, I tell them I'm booked and can't do it, I know another call will come in for that day. If I want a weekend off I just plan it in ahead and steer any jobs that come in to dates either side of the days I'm off. I also ensure that I have money put away as a cushion for emergency's like illness.

Your statement says to me that yes you are very busy, but you havn't reached that level of confidence in you business that you can relax and enjoy all the money you are earning. I was at that stage for the first few years in the business the same as everyone else. Now I earn the money, and more importantly get to enjoy it.

Who earns the most is not relevent as we all have different standards of living, and fees in areas and countries differ, IE someone in London can get twice the fee I charge. I look at it this way, if you're working you're guts out and earning more than me, but I'm standing on the golf course with Billy enjoying a sunny days golf, (yes it does come out here occassionally) or Phils off diving with his mates, who's got the better life?

You need to enjoy life, not worry where the next penny's coming from. One of the best thing about being a full time entertainer for me, is getting up in the morning picking your paper up off the mat, looking out the window at my nieghbours scraping the ice off their cars and then going back to bed with the paper and a cuppa, then getting up and driving to the the golf course.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
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"I prefer not to be so available and charge more"

Bingo!! Even though I am only part time, I truly can relate to that. Just a few minutes ago, a school counselor called me who I had almost written off and booked two back to back shows for $450. I am hoping that show will create more business because my only advertising is business cards and direct mailing.

I out everything I have into these shows and have come over to kids shows from mentalism (crazy isn't it). I have learned from new magi as well as the seasoned here on the Café' and hope the dialogs will continue to stay civil:::))

Thanks to all here!

PS: Anyone have a Fraidy Cat Rabbit they want to sell before I bid tonight on one with sliding doors?

Candini
Rupert Bair
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Emazdad, If Billy leaves for Spain you are going to be working 24-7, LOl.

Matt
Emazdad
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I know Matt I'll have to 1, increase my prices, 2, find another golf partner.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
Chuck Lyons
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I just read marjs suggestion that those of us that do not perform for a living but as a hobby should not charge for the program so he can make a living> well that would litterly flood the mark with hobby performers doing shows for free and would that not kill the buisness for the paid performer. I believe their is room for all of us and at all skill levels. The audience will in the end be the judge wheter they get the value out of it or not. Each of us have different levels of performance and skill but does that mean that those of us that do not perform full time are any less of a dedicated performer? I really don't think so, at least not in 100 percent of the cases. Like every thing else in life nothing is ever that cut and dried ... well except life and death and that is a whole nother thread. LOL
Billy Whizz
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Increase your prices mate, and then have extra holidays is Spain and play even more golf Smile
Rupert Bair
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Well you could invest into a robot with all the extra money, that does shows for you and plays golf!
matt
MarkTripp
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Again, interesting. A few final points:

1. Pictures of the props? How silly is that? The best pictures are your audience having fun and YOU being the cause of that. If you really think its the props, send the props and you go play golf.

2. You know, it is very hard to see past a polite audience. I stand on the fact that the flying carpet in the living room is not going to fool many people, and mom and dad will see through it for what it is. If its working for you, great. I submit it will not work for most.

3. Sorry boys, but the professional arena is NOT the place for a hobby. Why not a part time dentist for that root canal you need? BTW THAT line closes a lot of shows for me. If you are taking money you are a pro which means you have to act like one.

4. The money thing is interesting; but it reminds me of an old joke on the Bob Hope radio show; Jimmy Durantie is on and the following happens:

Bob: I went out with a lovely movie star last night

Jimmy: That's nothing, I was out with two stars.

Bob: Well, I have 20 pictures of girls in my dressing room

Jimmy: that's nothing, I have 40 pictures of girls in my dressing room

Bob: (silence)

Jimmy: Well?

Bob: Oh no you don't, this time you go first!

In point of fact I have NO problem getting $350 for my birthday party when I am in town to do it; and upsells into the $500 area are not uncommon. What I am doing is VERY hot, and frankly is crushing the magicians/clowns, not just in this market, but markets all over the US.

Why?

Because far too many of you really believe it is about the size of the show and the props; rather than the size of the entertainment the joy and true feeling of wonder in the children.

To each their own.....
Cheshire Cat
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Having passed the quarter Century doing kids parties I see where Mark's comments are coming from (that's the nearest thing you'll get to a compliment from me Mark!). I have felt the thoughts Mark expresses in his Sept. 14 posting. However these days I tend to be more philosophical about the business. If someone wants to book a two party a month clown who's a window cleaner during the day then there is little I can do about it. We can't do every party in our area, we would not want to either. I also agree wholeheartedly with Ken.

Regarding Matt's excellent Topic here, as entertainers who've always done BIG shows to the extreme, I have to admit, - if we were to move house and move area, somewhere where nobody knew us, - the show would be much smaller. Such is life.

Tony.
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