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Romulo
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Brazil
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Well, recently I'm having some contacts for children's show and when I give my price people say:

-You are charging 'R$ x' for a 45min magic show. On the other hand a clown charges almost the same price for a 2 hours entertainmet show. I'd rather pay the clown!

What should be said in a situation like that, and of course, convince them to hire you without minimize the clown work?

I hope my doubt is clearly written. If not please let me know.
Chuck Lyons
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Well being a clown I will weigh in on this one. You can say that what you are paying for is a formulated magicial entertainment that has been proven to captivate your audience. The clown on the other hand is entertaining as well but he may not be keeping the audience in one place. He may be doing walk arounds, short bits or balloons ect. The difference as always is you are getting what you pay for. It depends on what the buyer is looking for, 2 hours of roving vs 45 minutes of a more formal organised perforamance. Both may be good but what is the buyer looking for and how can we as performers meet their needs. I hope this makes sense.
Andy Wonder
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I assume you have a great show that is better than what the cheaper acts are offering. If not that is the place to start.

This type of reaction is usually a sign that you have not adequately sold, or pitched your show before revealing the price. Think of those infomercials that go through every benefit of a product before revealing the price. They do it that way for a reason. People tend to discount or forget any benefits they hear about after they know the price. It is just the buying pattern people¡¦s minds naturally follow. Make sure your sales pitch follows the same pattern.

You know what benefits your show has over any of the cheaper competitors in your market. When you get someone you feel is shopping around, drum in those particular benefits plus the benefits that seem relevant to that client before you reveal the price.

In my situation I know none of the clowns in my market use a PA system. When I get a call for an outdoor show I explain how the PA system I use is essential for a show of that nature. Without one I would just be yelling at the children and that is no fun for anyone. If I know the caller is going through the yellow pages I will suggest they only to hire someone that brings their own PA system. No one will watch a magic or clown show they can¡¦t hear.

That is just an example of a tactic I sometimes use.

Going back to your original question I don¡¦t really see a clown actually performing a 2 hour show. I doubt any booker would have guests prepared to sit and watch a clown for 2 hours. Most likely the clown is going to do a short show & make balloon animals for the rest of the time (or maybe just do balloons). It sounds like they are comparing apples with oranges. The clown has probably used the length of time as a major selling benefit. It is easy to out sell that.
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
Neale Bacon
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What you really have is a parent who wants as much as possible for the least money. The longer the entertainer works, the less they have to do.

I agree with Andy..it is apples and oranges. As a clown and as a magic I know my 2 shows are totally different.

If the clown is offering 2 hours of entertainment it is probably as has been described..some magic with balloons or clown bits to fill in the rest.

I would tell them simply they are two different types of entertainment.
Neale Bacon and his Crazy Critters
Burnaby BC
Canada's Favourite Family Ventriloquist
www.baconandfriends.com
NJJ
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I used to do a magic clown show which COMPLETELY muddied the waters. I was charging for a magic show whilst others would do the whole 2 hour package thing!

It got very frustrating trying to explain the difference.

My patter went "I perform a full 45 minute spectatular show, the kind of show you can video and watch again later that the children will remember for ever. A 2 hour visit would more likely be more like childcare."

I said this without putting down the other performer.
Magic.J.Manuel
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You may also offer a super effect such as the chair or carpet suspension, or a rabbit production. Also you can offer to fill the second hour with organized games with small prizes, or balloons if you can, for even more money. And a magic set for the child.
Just do not drop to the lowest price level in your market, you want to be the premium, most desirable act. Not the cheapest. Try to market to a client base that will pay to impress their friends, and tell them that the kids will think their party is the best on the block.
Nothing would get done at all, if man waited so long that no one could find fault with it.
Chuck Lyons
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I do book most outdoor performances for 2 to 3 hours. What I do is considered to be stroling magic and performance. I am usally the only performer on the grounds although thier may be a face painter. I move from group to group for any where from 15 to 30 minutes. Then I go to my trailer and change to another program like the axtell bird arm, then to a walking puppet stage, then I usally end up with my mini model t or my ride on elephant. I get bored doing the same thing so I do a variety of entertainment. Not just one sit down show. Most people think at the end of the day I had several different clowns. I also agree in any profession if you can not be heard you can not be enjoyed at what you are saying. THat is like telling a joke to a 6 month old baby , they just don't get it.
Joseph_Then
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Romulo, I read from a business marketing book on how they answer similar questions like your and I find it VERY CLEVER.

Just tell them, "Well, they are charging what they think they are worth" Or "They are charging what the market think they are worth"

I think it's smart. I tried it and I do get bookings after that. :>
-----



Joseph Then

Singapore Ventriloquist
Midwestmagic
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Bartlett Tn
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I do both for birthday parties and both shows last about and hour although the magician is some what higher .
Rob Johnston
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Utah
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Quote:
On 2004-09-06 21:06, Neale Bacon wrote:
What you really have is a parent who wants as much as possible for the least money. The longer the entertainer works, the less they have to do.

I agree with Andy..it is apples and oranges. As a clown and as a magic I know my 2 shows are totally different.

If the clown is offering 2 hours of entertainment it is probably as has been described..some magic with balloons or clown bits to fill in the rest.

I would tell them simply they are two different types of entertainment.


Neal hit the nail on the head. The parents just want the most babysitting for their money. This is one reason I do few children shows.
"Genius is another word for magic, and the whole point of magic is that it is inexplicable." - Margot Fonteyn
Decomposed
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I guess the easiest answer to this is say goodbye and hang up the phone. Politely though of course:)

Seriously, I am using the basic birhday sales pitch offering the basic and deluxe packages and then basically leaving it up to them. I push harder for the schools though.
Emazdad
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If I get that sort of answer once I've given a quote, I usually ask them what the clown or other performer is giving them for that cheaper fee, Does he do all the stuff I've told you I do, or will he just turn up, do a quick show and leave, is he fully insured, etc etc. I also hint before they book him it would be an idea to find out why he can only get work by charging such a cheap fee.

After that I thank them for their call wish them luck with the party and hang up. If they call back the next day and I'm still free I'll take the booking, if it's gone tough, they should have booked me when they had the chance.
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.
p.b.jones
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Hi,
Personaly I would just let them go book the clown. once you have been doing shows for a few years(provided your work is good) most clients are referals
or repeats and not really worried about price
phillip
Rob Johnston
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Utah
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Think of them as UNWORTHY to partake of your Magic!
"Genius is another word for magic, and the whole point of magic is that it is inexplicable." - Margot Fonteyn
Romulo
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Andy,

For the people’s reaction and their feedback after the show I can tell you we have a very good performance and unfortunately we (me and my brother) are not charging what we think our show worths, but we get there...

When someone contacts me, the price is the last thing I talk about. I argue that it’s not a ‘simple’ magic presentation. It’s a SHOW, with music, smoke machine – I don’t know the proper name in English –, light equipaments. We assembly all these materials when the space allows us.

What ‘PA system’ stands for? I didn’t get it, sorry.

You’re right when you say a clown rarely performs a 2 hours show, but that’s what he says he does.

Thanks.
----

Magic.J.Manuel,

As for to drop my price, it’s out of question. I will work for those who really want a magic show, not a childcare desguised in magician. ‘Try to market to a client base that will pay to impress their friends, and tell them that the kids will think their party is the best on the block.’ that's a very good suggestion.

Thanks.
----

Nkthen,

Many thanks for the sentences. They will be very helpful.
----

Thanks you all that posted.
Magic.J.Manuel
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PA is a Public Address sound system, Speakers. amp, mic, good music, sound effects.

I was not going to pitch some one else's product, but since you liked the suggestion I must reveal where I got it. Eric Paul. I knew what market positioning was before reading his books, but he put it into an excellent context for magicians. Check out his magic business course at http://www.moremoneywithmagic.com
His program is not hype.
Nothing would get done at all, if man waited so long that no one could find fault with it.
Chuck Lyons
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Channahon, IL
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You all have great suggestions But I must wonder is it the general feeling of the group that clowns are a lesser form of entertainment than magicians. I quess my point is that I vae invested over 34 years thousands of dollars in quality props and education, Pa system backdrops ect. But just because I don't do serious Illusion does it make my perfomance less proffesional? I do know that thier are clowns that charge a lot and give a little, but I know that there are just as many magicians that do the same. Not to argue but to open a line of thought. Thanks in advance for your consideration.
Donald Dunphy
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Chuck -

From my experience, it would seem that clowns charge less for their shows. Even when they are the same calibre of performers.

Could you clarify why that is the tendency? Do they not see the value of their services to the customer? Do they feel they can't ask for more? Do they feel that more shows at a lower pay, will amount to more $$ in the long run, than less shows at a higher pay?

Do you honestly feel that a great number of magicians overcharge? Or do you feel that a great number of clowns tend to undercharge?

As has been mentioned previously on this thread, I see the logic in pointing out to the customer the difference between strolling and stage performances. Differences such as performers and their appeal to the different age groups, the impact on the audience, and how much attention is being held for how long.

However, this shouldn't be done by knocking your competition by name. That will just drive business away.

- Donald.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Emazdad
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Hi Chuck,

There are good and bad magicians, and good and bad clowns, There are magicians that try to be funny and fail and clowns that try to be magical and also fail, so which ever gives the best performance and value for money etc is down to the performer rather than the name, clown or magician.

Do you think it's because the public expects more from the magician. IE, do they think the clown is going to come along act silly and fool around, while the magician is going to come along and perform magic which he has taken a long time learning and perfecting. The average punter probably doesn't realise that a good clown has spent just as much time perfecting his art as the magician.

In their minds it may be a case of anyone can put on a clown suit and act silly, but it takes real skill to be a magician. This thinking (as wrong as it is) May be the reason the clowns are not able to demand as high a fee as the magician.

Generally though if someone in your area is charging a lot less than everyone else (and this goes for both clowns and magicians) it's down to 2 main reasons:-

1, they are rubbish and can only get work by undercutting everyone else. these guy's don't get the plum jobs, and end up working for those people who's first question is "how much do you charge"? Rather than "I want to book you for Susans party again this year are you free on the 15th of next month?"

2, they are new to the business and are unsure of what to charge and are scared of overcharging and losing the job.
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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[quote]On 2004-09-09 18:13, The Gr8 DonaldD wrote:
Chuck -

From my experience, it would seem that clowns charge less for their shows. Even when they are the same calibre of performers.

Could you clarify why that is the tendency? Do they not see the value of their services to the customer? Do they feel they can't ask for more? Do they feel that more shows at a lower pay, will amount to more $$ in the long run, than less shows at a higher pay?


Donald I will try to answer your questions , but first I want to thank both you and Emazad for you reponses. I beleive and this is my opinon only that both groups have different circles. What I mean by that are there are magicians and they hang togetter, and clowns and they hang togetter kind of teritorial, althought there are a few of us in both parties that cross over learning from each other. Sadly there are so many misconceptions on both sides. IE there once was a beieve that clowns in makeup could not eat. This is a silly notion to any human being that works a day we get hungry. Somewhere along the lines clown have the opion that they cannot get the fees that are paided to magicians because they have been told it is so. I do not know who wrote that book but it is out there. Now I would never say that there are not some that do under cut just as I now some magicians in my area that do the same.

For myself I beieve a audince in a home or picnic setting would not sit for a 2 hour any thing speech, tv show, magician or clown, but when you vary the performance walk around, puppets , magic balloons ect you as the performer can entertain for longer venues becaus you are not offfering a sing format but many different formats. Abolutely no performer that claims to be professional should knock another performer wheter it is about a magician, clown, singer author, or puppeteer. That act belittles all of us.

Emazdad, I do not beleiev that the majority of the public expect more of magicians than clowns . I beleive they are hiring a party to perform and entertain. Now some are looking for babysitting true but are they willing to pay $100. or more an hour for that alone?

There are many in all professions whom under cut their competion, phone companies here in the states are an example of that. What I can believe each of us can do is to look in the mirror ocassionally and ask Am I worth what I charge, or do I need to step up, or charge more. Usally the word of mouth will kill off the lousy performer faster than price points will.

I agree with your second reason as well that most beginers in either field are afraid of over charging.

34 years ago I charged $5 for a half hour show, and I worked my but off. Today I get $150 for and hour and guess what I still work my butt off. ( My wife asked why is it so big than). I have said enough. but in closing want to say thank you for having a forum like this where clowns and magicians and puppeteers can come together and learn and educate each other. I Love this list Thank you all. Hope I have anwsered your questions.
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