Last night I was at an awards dinners for Aerospace Media. It took place at the Aeronautical Society or, as it is better known, 4 Hamilton Place. This is a wonderful venue with an amazing roof terrace overlooking Hyde Park. The venue can cater for many different types of events: awards dinners, cocktail receptions, barbecues, social parties, Christmas parties and weddings. The venue is actually licensed to hold weddings or civil partnerships so you can have everything for your big day all in one venue…. [Read More]
Last night was the NAPFM Conference dinner. This is the one of the largest conferences for emergency service fleets in Europe. With just over 200 delegates, the evening entertainment was provided by The Eventertainers. It was great to be working with the other principle artistes – silhouette cutter extraordinaire Charles Burns and caricaturist extraordinaire Sara-Louise Harper…. [Read More]
I saw this video online and while it is aimed at photographers it can easily apply to any event service: caterer, live band, musician, florist, table decorator and of course, magician, silhouette cutter, caricaturist or any entertainer.
It very nicely sums up the situation when it comes to being asked to work for free. The key word is ‘work’ because that is what it is for me. Being a magician is a job and at every private party or corporate event that I work, I give 100% (If I were on a talent show or doing sport it it would be 110%).
While I do not work for free, here is what I do for different events:
Charity Event – If you would like to book me to entertain guests at a charity event, I will charge a slightly reduced fee. What I also do is raise money at the event. In my contract I will state the minimum amount that I will raise. If I do not make it up in donations, I will write a cheque to the charity for the balance. In this way, the charity gets top quality entertainment at a vastly reduced rate and I get a sensible fee at which I am happy to work. It’s a win/win situation.
No budget but lots more work – Sometimes I am told by a potential client they have no budget for entertainment at their event but their guests have lots of parties and I can give my card out to them.
It is strange how there is a budget for catering, decor, music and venue but not the entertainment. Also, I give out my card at events for which I do receive my fee. My priority though is not self-promotion at events in order to get paid work but to provide an amazing atmosphere and present thrilling magic to the guests. That is what clients pay me to do. If I do that for free, it undermines those who receive the same experience but have paid my fee.
If I am asked to do an event for free because the guests are “wealthy and have lots of parties”, here is what I do. I tell the client what my fee is for their event. I will write into my contract that if I get another 10 events from the guests at their party, I will return their fee as commission on those 10 other events.
My time, effort, rehearsals, education, purchases, knowledge, performance skills and impact on the guests have a value.
That value is not zero.