Not another thing on going pro!!

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Not another thing on going pro!!

Postby Markdini » Fri Oct 20, 2006 5:21 pm



With a bit of luck a kind mod will make this sticky ....


So you want to become a pro magician , a paid pressidigator a money taking mage…ok I stop
I am not a pro , yet like a lot of us on the boards I have been thinking about doing it for some while now. And next year I decided to bite the bullet and go pro. I have practiced my slights I have my favourite routines , I worked out my stage show, my table hoping and my strolling, I got 12 tricks for restaurants where I do 6 tricks at each table I got a 45 minute cabaret show and I got 12 tricks for my strolling/street magic, yes folks I am ready to go. Show me the money show me the money!

Since I started with the Collins gem book on card tricks and a Chad valley deck from Woolworth’s I wanted to be paid to show magic. Lot has changed in my life but I still wanted to be paid magician I got my head set on this its not a whim, I have been practicing every day , I have all so got a shed load of information on becoming pro some of this from people on the talkmagic boards and I am lucky to know a working pro who I can call upon when I need some information (I wont name drop , but they are quite well known). Plus some books on the subject.


First of you must get a test audience , parents , friends , brother , sister, My mum is very unforgiving when she see my magic if she see something there you go she says I saw that you done such and such. At first it use to annoy me but now I can see it from her view she is a layman and getting magic for free. What if she was a paying customer? Not going get a call back are you. So soon as she see something I am of in front of the camera or mirror practicing , remember its not all ways the best course of action to have a magician in your test audience because they know what to look for. Although handling tips from another magician is very handy indeed because they will pick up on that flash etc So the test audience is happy. Of we go got my cards ready go hit the big time. Oh no we are not. Your not the next big thing yet ready to charge £1000 for ten minutes work.


Step two. Do some non paid gigs go down to the local shop, fate, kebab house. And beg ask if you could do something and you don’t want any payment what so ever. Sell your self say as a magician you can increase customers coming in to the shop, café or house or ill repute. Tell them this is the best thing for the business and its not costing them owt. Every one wants something for nothing don’t they? What you don’t do is say while I am here I am going to increase your profits 100 fold. Just ask them if you can use there name or business in your promotional material. Remember they are getting free advertising from your material now. And you are getting recommendations. I am lucky enough to have some family members who are heavily involved in charities and the likes so when ever they got a function on I am down there performing for free. Take your business card don’t forget your business card !!! So we are getting recommendations and getting your business card out there, exposure is a good thing. Lets take a minute to explore business cards.

The humble business card…quite boring really, your name and phone number and what you do. Snore. What you do is go to a designer and ask them to jot down ideas for a card. Try to keep away from rabbits , top hats and the like, get a very professional looking card. The better it looks the more chance some one will keep it and remember do a trick with the card then hand it out, even if they didn’t want your card they got it now. Sneaky eh?

The cards are out business and playing cards. Lets go and make some money.
“how much do you charge”
“10,000.000 an hour but this dose include a card on the ceiling effect”
“CLICK”
How much to charge? How little to charge, why charge? (oh ok we know why to charge). This question gets asked a lot on the this board and I have come to the dissection that you don’t want to charge to little because A) that cheapens you and the art B) too much and your not getting the gig. I looked round all the magician sites and come up with an average price of £75 an hour plus what ever travel expenses etc. and you probably will be booked for 2 hours any how so that at least £150 pretty good eh? That’s not a bad price really to begin with, your not famous yet and or that well known so the big bucks isn’t coming yet. And remember you don’t need to be doing the illusion show etc , that will cost a lot of money and time and you want to be making money as quickly as possible .

“I have given out my business cards now what” I suggest a website with a show reel contact info etc. if you cant program I would ask someone or go to web designer to make you one (more money I know). Remember starting up any business will cost money before your established. So the emails will come flooding and the phone will ring of the hook you got bookings left right and centre. On the telephone have a script prepared and once you know the persons name use it, don’t over use it so you sound like a stuck record but use it enough people like the sound of there own name.
“Can you perform in Zanzibar on the 8 of November ?”
“One moment please Sarah while I see if I am free on that day”
What we have done here is planted a seed in there mind you must be good if you have to check if you got booking on that day. A little white lie maybe but a psychological tool to use. When I worked in a call centre for vodafone we was taught little tactics like . All ways be polite. And why not offer some extras they want table hoping try to sell them a cabaret show at a special price for both. Be Felix able.
And don’t forget them business cards you don’t know who will be your next booking.


Turning up at the gig I read on stephenmagic’s web site “Stephen always turns up smartly dressed to venues” and I cant agree with that more , don’t turn up in your dirty Nike your curry from last week stained t-shirt and your tracksuit around the knees. Look professional at all times, sow that seed that you are., Don’t forget clean nails. Your are showing your hands to people so be clean especially when table hopping , you are near food after all. Look the part. The old magicians on stage did in there top hat and tails after all and people expect a magician to be like that still.

Ok got that gig I am going to the order men of noble tree cutters annual diner I have a case load of miracles and hands of lighting. On the way mentally prepare your self you are the best magician in the world these people will see. Positive thinking here folks the trick will go right every time. What to pack……shorts, suntan. Opps that’s my holiday list. I suggest you take in your case , nail clippers, bottled water hand towels and a sewing kit, a spare sharpie etc, pack the case and then double check it, make sure everything is in good working order, each table or group is going be a new audience you will be making a first impression on , and hopefully giving business cards to.

Turn up call your contact on the phone don’t go looking for them and get there early I say about 15 minutes so If something goes wrong at there end. You are ready to entertain more business cards out there and also maybe if your clever when invoicing them you can add a little extra, only do this if your working the people though don’t charge for what you haven’t done. Also I would try to get 25% of the booking fee as a deposit before the gig. Because you don’t want turn up do what you have to and find when you send the invoice that’s you are getting nowt.

All been paid up?! Good don’t forget the tax man, I keep this detail brief. But you will be working for your self your liable to pay tax on what you earn over £7000 a year (don’t quote me verbatim on that) so you need an accountant to A save you some money B) to make sure your not going have knock on the door by HM customs and excise. And I have been told an accountant wont cost you the earth. Keep basic accounts yourself on what you buy for the business. You can also claim 22% back for business expenditure. So its not all bad really

Well basically in a nut shell this is what I am going to do about become a pro my self. You don’t have to follow my advice. I like to thank Stephen Ward for help on the tax issue and recommending me some of the black hart effects. And David Lancaster all so for help with the tax issue. I hope you enjoyed reading this post.

I am master of misdirection, look over there.

We are not falling out young Welshy, we are debating, I think farlsy is an idiot he thinks I am one. We are just talking about who is the bigger idiot.

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Postby yoshi » Fri Oct 20, 2006 5:59 pm

The going rate is actually 200 quid per hour.

I think a fair price is about 150-175 quid per hour.

This is roughly what people charge in UK and the US.

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Postby Markdini » Fri Oct 20, 2006 6:05 pm

I d think you would have to undercut people first just to get into the market, then hike your prices up once you got some names of people to recomend you,

I am master of misdirection, look over there.

We are not falling out young Welshy, we are debating, I think farlsy is an idiot he thinks I am one. We are just talking about who is the bigger idiot.

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Postby Tony Hyams » Sat Oct 21, 2006 2:23 am

Markdini wrote:I d think you would have to undercut people first just to get into the market, then hike your prices up once you got some names of people to recomend you,


Bad idea if you charge less to start with, Word of mouth spreads quickly and if you do a gig for someone that saw you at a party before, they will expect it for the same price. Speaking of price, I think it varies throughout the country so I would suggest phoning some magicians in you area just to find out how much they charge.

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Postby mark lewis » Sat Oct 21, 2006 6:26 am

Here is some good advice on setting a price for your services. First decide what you think you are worth. Be honest here and objective about your talents. Once you have decided on a figure then go to the next step.

Now you decide what is the minimum you will accept. A price beyond which you will go no cheaper no matter how broke you are.

Your final fee will be somewhere in the middle of the two. Once you have it stick to it.

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Postby S. Lea » Sat Oct 21, 2006 7:58 pm

Simply work out what salary is reasonable to expect considering the amount of time and effort put into getting the skills (compare the salaries of other jobs requiring similar effort). Now work out what that fiqure translates to for a 40 hour week, then find the price by the hour.

£30K a year = £2500 a month

A month's work (160 hours) = £15.63 a hour

You need to be earning the equivalent of £15.63 an hour for all your practice, promotion, travelling and performance work. You only get paid for the performance. So if you do 5 performances a month you need to charge £2500/5 = £500 per show. If you do 10 performances a month then you can charge half, that is £250 a show.

You need to find the fee that will get you enough bookings to make sure you are making your desired hourly rate. If you spend 12hrs a day, 7 days a week constantly working to market yourself and your act then you are doing 372 hrs a month (12x31= 372). At £15.63 an hour you should be earning £5852 a month. If you are still doing 5 performances a month then you ought to charge £1170 a show. If you still charge £500 you are doing 372hrs a month for £2500 which is £6.72 an hour.

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Postby yoshi » Sat Oct 21, 2006 9:32 pm

You need to budget for other stuff too out of your profit :

- new tricks
- clothing
- transportation, maybe a GPS device to get to gigs
- advertising
- tax
- accountants fees
- times where you are not earning

It seems for the few hours magicians work = high hourly rate. As most gigs 1-2 hours and not 5 days a week, you'll need to be paid well for the selective work you do.

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Postby Michael Raven » Sun Oct 22, 2006 7:11 pm

for your restaurant work , you shouldn't stay for more than 5-7 minutes . Remember to leave them wanting more . 6 Tricks is a lot for a laymen who did not ask you to perform . I recommend you try 2-3 tricks wich will fill your 5 minutes . Good luck with your magic my friend

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Postby Barnabas » Tue Oct 24, 2006 12:51 am

Might I add that you probably have the longest single post of any thread on TalkMagic. You broke the record! 8)

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Postby yoshi » Tue Oct 24, 2006 9:13 am

Michael Raven wrote:for your restaurant work , you shouldn't stay for more than 5-7 minutes . Remember to leave them wanting more . 6 Tricks is a lot for a laymen who did not ask you to perform . I recommend you try 2-3 tricks wich will fill your 5 minutes . Good luck with your magic my friend


Good point! Little is better than too much!

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Postby themagicwand » Tue Oct 24, 2006 4:01 pm

I will normally spend around 10 minutes on each table at a restaurant but will only perform 3 "tricks". There's nothing worse than a magician doing a dozen tricks and speaking at a hundred miles an hour. A sure sign of nerves.

At wedding receptions where there are more people per table I'm prepared to stay a bit longer, but the old cliche is very true - leave 'em wanting more.

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Postby ace of kev » Sun Jul 17, 2011 5:47 pm

Excellent post, so I thought I'd bump it up.

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Postby Lady of Mystery » Sun Jul 17, 2011 6:48 pm

How really odd, me and Mark spoke about the possibilities of going pro earlier on this afternoon.

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Postby ace of kev » Sun Jul 17, 2011 9:46 pm

I have a question: How do you advise approaching restaurants for work?

Phone them, or phone and arrange an appointment, or just go door to door?

Thanks

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Postby Beardy » Sun Jul 17, 2011 9:55 pm

ace of kev wrote:I have a question: How do you advise approaching restaurants for work?

Phone them, or phone and arrange an appointment, or just go door to door?

Thanks


I went in a non-busy time, spoke to the manager, did a demo, said I was insured when they said they didn;t have the insurance for entertainers, and went from there :)

Love

Chris
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