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PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 11:22 pm 
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I feel devastated and betrayed at this indecency that has fallen upon me. My cousin replaced me with another "Magician." I question this title for him although it may just be my anger that does so. He told my cousin he would only charge a third of the rate, which comes to only $40 USD. His skills or rather his ability to handle a show is questionable. He did a small performance to "demonstrate" his talent. He did "Ashes" and swallowed a knife.

I was insulted by his ignorance! He says he has performed those "tricks" as he so kindly named them for kids dozens of times. I gritted my teeth and clenched my knuckles, as he grinned openly at me. His arrogance is what gets at me the most, and his performance for the children makes me worry about their well-being. Kids are very impressionable and if this moron, this shrew of a "Magician," were to make them harm themselves, then my fury will be upon him.

I'm also disappointed by the fact that I feel as if all this time I have spent was wasted. I can barely glance at another deck of cards, let alone my case of props. I was disgusted at this injustice, but I was more let down by the fact that I swallowed my pride and allowed it to happen. I aim to talk to my cousin to at least find a more kid friendly magician, before he makes one of my family members harm, maim or even kill themselves.

I know that this is the real life, but the adventure that I went through felt so wonderful. I can honestly say that it feels like tripping and breaking my leg, right before I crossed the finish line. My eagerness is dwindling, and my confidence was shot. I can only wonder what else I can do.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 11:42 pm 
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Joined: 28 Jan 2009
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Location: Kettle Falls, WA
Hmmmm.............................

I wouldn't be too suprised if you still wind up doing a show for your cousin later after this idiot blows it.

You have done all the right things and have nothing to be ashamed of. Sounds to me like your show is worth every penny of 3-4 times more than this moron. Anybody who does those effects for children is an idiot and then some.

I'm sorry that you are discouraged by this. I wouldn't waste your time trying to justify your price with your cousin either. In the back of his mind I'm sure he knows that you would do a better job.

Keep working on your show. You WILL find people who are willing to pay for it and will thank you for the effort you have put in.

Ted


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 12:11 am 
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Thank you very much for your output, it just simply saddens me that there are people like "that," out there, placing the title "Magician" on themselves. It turns me rotten that I'm categorized with him. I don't doubt his skill but I doubt his lack of premise and his ability to satisfy those children. I've calmed myself down, and I was able to convince my cousin to hire a friend who was willing to do it for free, because his child would be there to watch him.

That calmed the rage that built in my heart. I still hesitate to pick up a pack of cards. I know it may sound silly, but I was just looking forward to it oh so very much. The entertainer inside me nearly died when the bad news took place, but he survived luckily. As I recover, my next goal is to get another chance. Another race so that I can cross the finish line. Another quest so that I can complete it, not for the glory, but just for the sake of completing it.

The urge to entertain, to perform is aching and yet it's growing. I want to see the reactions of my audience, the satisfaction that I am hoping I can bring. It is a picture that I am hoping to take, readying my camera for that "Kodak Moment."


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 11:09 am 
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Location: Winnipeg, MB, Canada
My personal thought on this whole subject was that you overcharged and your cousin wanted a cheap show and ended up getting one for free.

You may ask yourself how you overcharged. The simple fact is that you never did a real children’s show before. You wanted a professional fee (on the low side) for your first show. I believe this to be thinking to highly of yourself. I still give my family a great deal. In fact I’m performing for my niece next week as her birthday present. My sister is only paying for the goody bags. The only thing I ask is that she worked around my schedule as I have another gig before.

You should talk to your friend that ended up taking the show and ask if you could do it for free as a learning experience. That is I'm assuming he has done a lot more shows than you and doesn’t need the experience as much. All though I do question that as he took a non paying gig. Your cousin will hopefully at the very least give a small amount of money.

Just my thoughts on the subject. It's good that you want to charge a professional fee. You just need to make sure you have a show worthy of this fee and that only comes with flight time.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 11:46 am 
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Try not to be disheartened. I know it is difficult not to be, but your hard work is not for naught. Knowledge can never be taken away from you and now you will be even more prepared for your next show. Just keep that in sight. I am sorry for the loss of the gig, but another one will come along-- they always do.

As to the price, my personal opinion (take it for what it is worth) is that whether it is your first show or your 100th, if you have done your practice, have a nicely routined show, and are confident in your end result of that show-- then charge the going rate. My daughter's first show's price was set by her mentor which was prevailing rate in our area.

There will always be different opinions on this subject so you have to go with what feels right for you. Personally for us, the last thing I wanted to do in this situation since many of the magicians in our area are our friends, is to upset them by undercutting their prices. Of course in our area the prevailing rate can range greatly depending on what side of the bridge you are on. The best thing you can do (again my opinion) is just research the prices in your area and then make an informed decision. :D


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 9:00 pm 
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lucnguye92 wrote:
I feel devastated and betrayed at this indecency that has fallen upon me. My cousin replaced me with another "Magician." I question this title for him although it may just be my anger that does so. He told my cousin he would only charge a third of the rate, which comes to only $40 USD. His skills or rather his ability to handle a show is questionable. He did a small performance to "demonstrate" his talent. He did "Ashes" and swallowed a knife. ....


When i started I called other magicians and pretended I was going to book a party so I could find out their rates. I then set my price higher than everyone elses. When people would say "but X is cheaper!" My reply was "yes, but you get what you pay for, you can't buy a Rolls Royce for the cost of a VW bug." I booked most of them and I kept getting refferals and rebookings. My show is good and I charge for it, let the others charge less but you will kick butt by having a good show.

There is one person I don't want to go against and that is Kristen's daughter. I think my show is good but hers is EXCELLENT!!! She is the ultimate magician and I do envy her shows.

Paddy


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 10:15 pm 
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:oops: Oh my! :oops: She (we) have a long ways to go, but appreciate your kind comments Paddy. We try hard. Luckily, we've come a long way for newbies since we only got started in magic 5 years ago. But, that is thanks to a lot of many hard working magicians who have helped us, influenced us, given us encouragement and advice-- yourself included Paddy.

The friendships we have made is what I love most about magic. We have met just the most wonderful people who will always have a special place in our hearts. :D


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:15 pm 
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Location: Visit my blog at magic-yeti.blogspot.com
lucnguye92 wrote:
TheCaffeinator wrote:
lucnguye92 wrote:
Thank you very much for you advice, and I actually have that set in my dusty shelves somewhere.


It's not a "set" per se... it's a routine using a set of standard metal cups, but with balls made of tissue paper -- each made in front of the audience from a sheet of a different color. At the end of the routine, two balls "unexpectedly" vanish and appear nested inside the third.


Oh, I thought you met the toy cups and balls with the plastic red, yellow and blue cups, I saw the word "Tri-color". The routine itself? Now that is what I have to look for then. Also, Paddy and Ted, I wholeheartedly denied the extra 30 minutes for extra cash. With both of your insights and opinions, it makes my decision so much more right, thank you both as well. I'm glad to have the backing of experienced magicians and the sound advice of such company. Thank you all very much.


I had the pleasure of seeing Rachel Colombini perform that routine back in August and it is quite good. Simple, colorful and magical.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:39 am 
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I wish I had such an opportunity to witness such an event. Sadly, I may not be given the chance.

On other news, I have been luckily given the chance to perform another show. The child is turning 3, and by sheer luck of draw, the theme was "Carnival." The mother was researching shows and she came to me saying that the highest price she would pay for a 30-45 minute show would be $400 USD. She wanted a kids show, and then another 15-20 minutes of Balloon Shaping.

My eyes widened and disbelief and my jaw dropped and smashed into the ground, leaving a crater of my sheer astonishment. Here was my meal ticket, my golden goose egg, my silver lining, and any other term that would fit the idea that this was the opportunity of a lifetime. The birthday is in 3 months, so that would be more time to refine my patter, routine, and personalization for the birthday party.

The balloon shaping is absolutely no problem as I have practiced this art ever since I asked a clown to make me a balloon sword. (I was 8 at that time and as a boy, a sword was absolutely the greatest thing ever.) Now what I want to discuss now is, the price. The mother is willing to pay up to $400 USD. I honestly for the life of me would not be able to charge the full price.

Call me naive or an idiot, but I would only accept payment that was commensurate to my level of skill, professionalism and performance. My show generally crosses the 30 minute mark, and I usually give myself a grace period of 5 minutes. I now have the task shaping balloons into all shapes and sizes, which would stretch my "whole" performance to almost an hour length.

I can handle both parts of the performance, I am slightly indecisive on how much I should charge.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 10:29 am 
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Luc,

Really, the best thing to do is price the market. Call other magicians in the area and find out what they are charging. Then HONESTLY evaluate your skills and find out where you fall within the range of numbers you were quoted. Don't undercut, but don't charge to the hilt if you are unsure of your skills. Remember, the key is to make a name for yourself-- and you want that to be a good name! ;)

See, another gig always comes along. Perhaps this was truly meant to be your "first" gig. No need to despair over the first one!

Good luck!


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:10 pm 
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I priced the market, and apparently they do up to 25 kids, the show lasts 30 minutes, nothing else, and they throw in 20 miles of traveling time. That costs $256 USD, and that was the economic package. I used a magician search engine for parties and they apparently assess the price by the amount of illusions, the amount of kids, and the time it takes to travel. All of the one's in Houston charged a minimum of $250 USD. They all used fancy names like the "Econopackage" or the "Magician's Discount" and more titles that promised a show for a low yet questionable price.

The parent and I discussed and conversed about the price. I promised her a 30 minute show, with no traveling fee considering I live rather close to the area, and I am going to do balloon art. I am not going to give goody bags, because I lack the resources and the insurance to do such things. Also, I'm quite confused of classifying what part of my routine as a "Big Illusion." I know that the show is very satisfying, and that it will last 30 minutes. My price tag stood at a flat $275 USD.

The show I am performing is for an audience of 18 kids and Parents of some children. The parents considered the price tag, and I presented the available collected information of other children magicians and what they would provide. I told them earnestly that I will not undercut them of a performance, and I don't believe in an "Econopackage." They firmly accepted my offer and I graciously shook their hands. I know the price tag may sound steep, but that was the market in Houston.

My performance date is growing closer, and I'm still working my routine constantly over and over. I have countless videos of myself on my digital camera performing to a familiar crowd and I am constantly adjusting anything I dislike or disapprove of. I will give this family a performance of a lifetime, because like paddy says. "You get what you pay for."

Kristen, I would like to thank you sincerely for your support and advice, and I look further to having more discussions about the prospect of my career as a magician. I know I will have sound advice and resources in this forum with people like you, ted, and paddy.

Side note:

Previously, I stated I have been practicing the cups and balls routine. I purchased Michael Ammar's Volume #1, #2 will have to wait for my funding to come back. I say I can do it rather well, although that may be an overstatement, I am not sure. I had an idea where I could extend my routine, by when I make the final load, instead I place an intermediate load. Instead of fruits/bigger balls I use 3 juggling balls instead. As I reveal the intermediate loads, I then initiate the final load, misdirecting them with the appearance of 3 colorful juggling balls.

I then juggle, and perform a mini filler routine with juggling. (I have to say my ability to juggle is... questionable. xD) As I finish the juggling act, I resume the final routine, in which I reveal the fruits/bigger balls. My preference are lemons, because I tend to finish with "When life gives you lemons, perform magic. :]" The smiley indicates my huge smirk when I get screams, gasps, and applause.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 7:06 am 
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Location: Atlantic City, NJ USA
Lucnguye92,

First of all, if the magic show does not work out, I’d try your hand at writing. You are a fine writer and I enjoyed your posts.

For the record, I think you missed a golden opportunity to perform your first show without the added pressure of being worth the money. Especially being a family member, why not just perform for free or have them agree to give you a testimonial that you can use in your marketing. The ‘one step at a time’ approach may have suited you better.

However, it looks like things worked out and you got a nice paying job.

Are you ready? Is anyone ready to start performing for kids? No matter how much preparation and study you have done there will be things that do not go the way you have planned. I say this to you because it sounds like you get discouraged easily. Kids have a way of discouraging you IF you let them. Don’t get discouraged no matter how it goes.

Think of it like this. The most valuable thing about this show is what happens AFTER the performance, when you sit down and make all the notes you can as to what went well, what went wrong, what needs improvement, etc. This is how you become a skilled children’s entertainer.

I wish you the best and please let us know how it goes.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:03 am 
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Luc,

I am always here to help in any way I can. As I previously stated, I consider ourselves to still be newbies in the art of magic however we have gained valuable learning experience over the past 5 years with the help of our friends. :D

One thing I would like to address is that you really should get insurance! Even if you are not giving away goodie bags every performer should have it. As a youth performer (I believe you are 15 or 16? -- Just guessing from the '92 in your name) it can be hard to find. We looked everywhere. There was one company that we found, they had great coverage, and they would insure minors. Their name is Performers of the US. Try giving them a call to find out this year's rate. I believe it will run you around $200.

If you ever have any questions please do not hesitate to ask. The only advice I can provide you with is what has worked for us--- but I am happy to share it!

~ Kristen


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 3:11 am 
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Hi everyone,
I was reading all the posts to get some ideas too as I'll be doing my second paid magic show next wed. It's for children and I've got the routines lined up, but was just looking at the forum to get more info and ideas.
It touched me to see some of our fellow magicians sharing about their families and lives. Congragulations Ted on the new members of your family. May all be well and great for you.

I consider myself very new to magic and this is only my second paid performance. So I too have some doubts or questions that I hope you guys can help me with. I'll be performing for a 1000-strong crowd. It's basically a school. One of the routines that I'll be performing is the c&b routine. The balls I use are 1-inch big in diameter. I know many of the kids right at the back of the hall may not be able to see. So I thought of wrapping the balls in aluminium foil. That would make it slightly bigger (with the folds of the foil wrapped around the ball) and hopefully with the light bouncing of the foil, it may make the ball look more visible. The routine ends with balls that are much bigger, about 3 inches in diameter. So that's not too much of a worry. My only worry are the smaller balls.
What do you think?

kamal


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:54 am 
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Kamal,

First, before I go any further, please just let me state that we have no school show experience. However, as a parent who is quite familiar with school settings and has some magic knowledge/experience these are my thoughts:

It seems to me you are trying to do a parlour act, in a stage show atmosphere. With around 1,000 students that is going to be one large audience. I am assuming this is an elementary school, which means you will probably be on a raised stage while the kids are sitting on the floor. This already puts them at a disadvantage because even the kids up close will not be able to see your tabletop and the whole presentation will be lost on them--- forget the kids in the back, they aren't going to see a thing!

If you have something else you could perform that is more stage suitable (even something as simple as ropes that you can hold up in front of you) I really think you would be better served-- as will you audience. Also, think BRIGHT colors!

Also, with an audience that large I hope you have a good sound system to use?

Are you sure you are going to have that many kids? That would have to be one awfully big auditorium! We recently did a theatre show that held 300 people and just multiplying the size of it in my mind x 3 just seems larger than most school auditoriums than I have been in.

Whatever happens, I wish you the very best performance. I hope that both the kids and school administrators are happy as this really is a stepping stone in building your reputation and making a name for yourself in this type of venue.

~ Kristen


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