How many of you are Full Time in Children's Entertainment

Discuss the art of Children's Entertainment with your fellow performers.

Postby Guest » 09/17/07 06:05 PM

I'm completely curious. I will also not judge those who do it full, part or for fun (and extra cash) only.
I myself am full-time and support a family of 4 on magic, pay a mortgage, two cars and lots of bills...it is a business like any other...unless you of course adore it as I do.
So, who will jump in first....
Also, what got you in in the first place into this predicament we call "magic"?
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Postby Guest » 09/17/07 06:53 PM

I have been performing for kids, or better stated, families with elementary aged kids, since 1983 full time. I love it.

I've always wondered about the folks that comment, "I don't do shows for kids. They're too scary." Honestly, I think kids are the best audience for general magic. They are old enough to be amazed, yet young enough to still feel a sense of wonder.

It's true that not ALL kid audiences are "good audiences", but for every 1 show that I have a troublesome kid at, I have 30 or 40 others that go exactly the way they should.

I don't make $150,000/year, but with what I do make, I provide for a family of 4, have two paid for vehicles, a 2500 square foot ouse with a huge back yard, and am able to take my family on (usually) two trips/year around the United States. I'm very satisfied with the life that performing full time for kids has provided. I have the best "job" in the world, and would not trade it for anything....that I can think of right now!

Let's hear from others on this topic.

DonB! :rolleyes:
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Postby Guest » 09/18/07 08:10 AM

I am a full time children's entertainer. My background is in theatre, which I believe is the best training of all in this profession. I trained for the Stage in Birmingham and London, England. My career as an actor was short lived. Not that I wasn't any good........it was just so competative, and it truly was a question of being in the right place at the right time, just like the book says! I was offered a job as a compere(MC) for three summer seasons in Italy, and this gave me the opportunity to work in my magic. I decided to become a full time magician. I did this for about 10 years, working on cruise ships, in the northern British clubs, hotels, touring Australia etc. However, there were gaps. There were many days I did not have shows. Then, in the mid 1980's, I turned to doing children's shows full time. I have never looked back. When I lived in London, I supported my wife and three young children, and on my income I was able to send them to private schools. I moved to Arizona in 1992, and still make a comfortable living doing children's shows. I earn well above the average income, and I love every moment of every day! It is the greatest, most wonderful, and most lucrative branch of our profession(unless, ofcourse, your name is Angel or Blaine!) JR
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Postby Aldo Romano » 03/25/08 10:52 PM

The above poster is quite correct when he says that children's entertainment is the most lucrative branch of the profession. I have found this to be quite true by and large.

Surprising but true. There are hypnotists, trade show magicians, corporate performers etc; but in many cases they don't make what the humble children's entertainer makes when you add it up at the end of the year.

Why? Quantity. The sheer volume of children's work available soon mounts up and a busy kids entertainer can make more money than someone who now and then does a trade show.

There are exceptions of course and I am probably overstating the case but I don't think by much.
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Postby Jolly Roger » 03/30/08 11:53 AM

Just for the record, Aldo, I am the "Anonomous" above. I have recently re-incarnated, and am delighted to be back on the GF as JR!! JR
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Postby Christopher » 04/05/08 06:52 PM

I have also been "re-incarnated", apparently.
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Postby 000 » 08/24/08 11:22 AM

I know this is a tricky subject, but what seems to be the going rate ( if there is such a thing) to perform at a kids private birthday party? ( not school assembly etc.private kids party.)
Thanks. I ve read Silly Billy charges $500,(upmarket New York clientele) Ive heard others say 'I dont do $100 shows. Somewhere in between?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/24/08 02:08 PM

You should charge what the market will bear for your talent.
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Postby Jolly Roger » 08/24/08 04:17 PM

Richard Kaufman wrote:You should charge what the market will bear for your talent.


Richard is, ofcourse, absolutely correct. I think the key is not to be influenced by what other entertainers are charging in your market. I have a good friend who recently moved to a large American city. He was told by other entertainers that you could get $175 tops for a kids show in that city. He went straight in with a fee of $375 for a one hour show, and is busy all the time. Charge what the market will bear, and ignore the competition. To find out what the market will bear, do a test market. You may be pleasantly surprised. By the way.........I have noticed no sign of a recession in the kids show market; nor had most of the colleages I met at Kidabra! JR
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Postby John Iacono » 09/26/08 10:44 AM

I was a full time kid show magicing from around 1970-1985, it was a lot of work and I just got tired of it.
I was giving thought to doing kid shows again, but then I dedcide to try the Unveristy experiance, kind of like Rodney Dangerfield in Back to School.
Kid shows area way easier than getting edimacated.

One thing I have noticed with performing magicians in general is that there are lots of magicians that should learn about the craft of theatre.
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Postby John Iacono » 09/26/08 10:52 AM

One thing I learned from spending lots of time in the retail market place. It is eaier to lower a price than it is to raise a price. Start high in the price scale, if the show booking are not rolling in fast enough, offer a promotional price, performing magic should be approached as a bussiness, performing for money magic is a bussiness, just like selling cars,some times you just may need to offer a sale price to get them to call.
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