what do you think?

Post topics about the business side of magic.

Postby Guest » 02/22/03 08:06 PM


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Joined: 18-November 02

My twin brother and I want to get a restuarent gig over the summer. We are thinking of working at the same restuarent because there will be two of us and we can do twice the magic. He will cover one area and I will cover another so that everyone in the restaurent can enjoy the magic. Do you guys think this is a good idea? Or should we work at separate restuarents? ANother thing is that everyone has talked about how to approach a restuarent and how to approach a table, but on one has talked about how much to charge? My friend who worked at carrows charge $25 dollars an hour? does that seem reasonable or is it too much or too little? I already know about how to approach a restaurent and talk about what the benefits of having a magician at the restuarent would be. Also I read somewhere about a good way to approach a table. I would give the host some cards and when people come in the host would tell them that there is a magician working tonight, and if they would like to see some magic they should leave the playing card face up on the table, if they dont want to see some magic and dont want to be bother they should leave the card face down. So when am working i see a table has a card face up i can easily approach them and not worry about if they dont want to be bothered. if a table has a card face down, i would skip that table and go on to the next. Good idea, isnt it,


Postby Bill Duncan » 02/22/03 08:32 PM

The idea of twin brother magicians I think would great be a selling and advertising point. Once you are settled in you could have the restaurant issue a press release announcing that they have the areas (city's, state's?) only pair of "magical brothers" performing. They could invite the entertainment editor of the local papers to dinner and recommend they bring the photographer.

As for the playing card idea I think it would be better to simply have table cards announcing your presence with a note to put the table card on the edge of the table if they would like a visit. That way those who are not interested don't have any work to do and the table cards can inform people that there is no charge for the entertainment, which will get you past that awkward moment where the customers wonder what your visit will cost them without you having to say anything.

Good luck!
Bill Duncan
Posts: 1385
Joined: 03/13/08 11:33 PM

Postby Guest » 02/23/03 02:59 PM

Personally, I never ask audiences at restaurants if they WANT to see magic. I did once I got alot of nos.

Now, I don't ask and I never get turned away and all of my audiences enjoy themselves. People don't really understand magic and often turn it down because they are afraid of new things.

Just rock up and say "Hi My name is Amir and I have been paid by the restaurant to interupt your conversation and do some magic....."

Postby Guest » 02/23/03 04:01 PM

It seems a serviceable approach to me and I note that a number of performers do it this way.
I don't do much in the way of restaurant work so I don't really know.
However, I predict that you will upset Scott L Guinn of the magic cafe( I think that is his name-I don't know if he posts here).
I saw him state that he was so furious with a lecturer advocating this approach that he stormed out of the lecture dragging his friends with him.
Some people do get a little excited.
I hope you weren't the lecturer.
Actually, I would be interested to hear what people think of this method. Scott likened it to force feeding.
An interesting thing for debate anyway.

Postby Guest » 02/24/03 05:25 PM

ANother thing is that everyone has talked about how to approach a restuarent and how to approach a table, but no one has talked about how much to charge? My friend who worked at carrows charge $25 dollars an hour? does that seem reasonable or is it too much or too little?


My opinion is that the guy charging $25 per hour is undercutting the market. Although, charging too much could mean a short stay at that particular restaurant.
I know plenty of people who work for 2 hours and get $100 plus a meal. One guy sells the 2 hours and then says you can have a 3rd hour for only $35 more. The reasoning is that he can hand out more business cards for prospecting but at least that is still $45 per hour.(if you prefer an hourly rate) $50 per hour if they only take the 2 hours.
Bottom line, charge too much and you will not last at one place very long. Charge too little and you are digging into the pocket of others.


Postby Guest » 02/25/03 02:51 AM

I used to get $150AUS for ninety minutes at a restaurant. Of course, $150AUS doesn't but a cup of coffee in the US but in Australia in real terms, I could buy about 50 cups of GOOD coffee.


Postby Guest » 02/26/03 10:01 PM

I am intrigued with the face up face down card thing, but I like the suggestion given about printed table cards. If I were doing it these cards would be printed pretty much the same on both sides exept in different colors. For example one side red one side black. Also I would have my picture printed along with my name and contact info and instructions as to wich side means they would like to see magic and wich side not.Either side you win they get to look at you and your advertisement, and they would be good for autographs. As for what to charge for restraunt work... I have made it a habit of using contracts with all commercial clients. (once bitten twice shy) I book these engagements at 85.00 per hour with a two hour minimum. After the first two hours additional time may be purchased for 50.00 an hour. Now here is where the contract thing really works nice. If the restraunt signs a contract for 10 hours wwich may be broken into 2-3 engagements they get a price of 500.00
Now I do believe you could possibly charge more than this depending on the economic status of your geographic location, and your popularity in your area.

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