Free Shows

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Bill Mullins
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Free Shows

Postby Bill Mullins » December 9th, 2012, 11:33 pm

Sometimes magicians get asked to do free shows. When that occurs, the thinking behind this might be useful.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Free Shows

Postby Richard Kaufman » December 9th, 2012, 11:45 pm

The thinking is helpful, but the language probably isn't unless you want to get socked in the hooter.
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Jeff Haas
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Re: Free Shows

Postby Jeff Haas » December 12th, 2012, 3:06 am

Just tell the people asking for free shows that you only do two a year, and they're for a charity you are connected with. So sorry, your donated shows are spoken for.

Optional step: Find a charity that you like and donate your shows.

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Gordon Meyer
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Re: Free Shows

Postby Gordon Meyer » December 12th, 2012, 11:30 pm

Tell them they must pay you, and you will cash their check but then write them a check of your own, donating the full amount back to the organization. Tell them this is for charitable accounting purposes and will all be spelled out in your contract. Weeds out the folks looking for a freebie very quickly.

fredreisz
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Re: Free Shows

Postby fredreisz » December 13th, 2012, 2:29 am

Unfortunately, under that strategy, what they pay you is "income" to you. If you write the check back to them you will be out. You have to pay income taxes(perhaps federal and state) and Social Security (self-employed???) on that amount. This easily can add up to 20% plus of the totsl depending on your tax bracket. I know people do this, pay back the full amount, but it is a trap for you. Peace...Fred (Reisz)
"The art of magic is the magic of art."

brianarudolph
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Re: Free Shows

Postby brianarudolph » December 13th, 2012, 12:41 pm

I've long since forgotten where I read it/heard it/who told it to me eons ago, but there were two pieces of advice I've always remembered regarding free shows and not doing them especially for organizations that *could* afford to pay you:

Them: But we've spent all our money on the dinner and the decorations!
You: Then I hope you'll be quite entertained by the dinner and the decorations.

Them: How about you just do your show and we'll have you join us for a nice big dinner?
You: Thanks, but I charge extra if I have to eat with you.

magicrobharv
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Re: Free Shows

Postby magicrobharv » December 13th, 2012, 2:32 pm

I like Michael Ammar's advice. I can't remember where he said it, but it's something like this. (I'm paraphrasing it)

Them: You'll get lots of free publicity for doing the charity show.

You: The only thing I will be promoting is that I do free shows for anyone that asks for a free show.

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Tom Stone
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Re: Free Shows

Postby Tom Stone » December 14th, 2012, 12:34 am

I still laugh over David Thorne's response to requests for free artwork:
http://www.27bslash6.com/p2p2.html
http://www.27bslash6.com/missy.html

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Free Shows

Postby Richard Kaufman » December 14th, 2012, 1:19 am

That's entertaining.
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Q. Kumber
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Re: Free Shows

Postby Q. Kumber » December 14th, 2012, 3:07 pm

Dick Ryan published a novel idea in one of his Confidential Booking Reports back in the 90's.

"Yes, I'd be delighted to come and perform at your show and I'm equally delighted that I will get so much publicity from it. However to ensure I do, I will need to have my photo taken with each of the celebrities present before my performance. I will also require the name and address of every guest so I may write to them after the event with my contact details and enclose my brochure."

Most will respond that they couldn't possibly do that but the odd one might agree.

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Gordon Meyer
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Re: Free Shows

Postby Gordon Meyer » December 14th, 2012, 3:58 pm

And then after they agree, you can decide if you're already booked. :) But yes, I am operating from the premise that you wouldn't mind, for the right circumstances and organization, making a legitimate, accountable charitable donation. If you're not interested in screening out freeloaders, you don't need any of this advice. Follow Nancy Reagan's advice and "just say no."


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