What to Charge?

What to Charge?

Suzie
Suzie

March 20th, 2012, 9:20 pm #1

I was looking at "Free Shows" email from back in October, as I was checking out the older emails. Being a new Vent, I am always looking for ideas and help where I can get it.
Would it be okay to ask what is reasonable to charge for doing a program or show? Since I am a beginner I have primarily been doing Children Messages at Church, during the Church Service. I volunteer my time there of course, cause I did before I had started using the puppets. I was primarily a Storyteller. But, now that my Puppet Ministry is starting to draw some attention, I have been invited to come and do other programs out of our Church. So far, no one has offered me anything other than a thank you. But then again, I haven't asked for anything. I just check my calendar. If I am free I go. Plus I have volunteered for a few programs on my own behalf just to get known that I do the Venting with Puppets. Again...my idea...to use me...so there was no way I was going to ask for money. I am trying to get my foot in the door. Now that people are starting to work their way into asking me to come different places. Is there a standard you all go by? I thought about donations only at one point, but was not sure if that is okay or a good idea....??? With gas prices going up, and of course me wanting more Axtell Puppets. I probably should think very seriously about charging, but then again, I am not sure. {:->
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Joined: May 17th, 2009, 9:27 pm

March 20th, 2012, 11:07 pm #2

I guess a little depends on the market, where you live. How much would a magician or ventriloquist charge in your area?

Then I would suggest that you charge less. Not because I want you to undercut them, but that you do not have the experience yet. As your act improves and you get positive feedback, then you can charge more.

If you were the client, how much would you want to pay for your act?

The last thing I would want if I were you, is for the client to think you ripped them off.



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Tony Borders
Tony Borders

March 20th, 2012, 11:27 pm #3

I was looking at "Free Shows" email from back in October, as I was checking out the older emails. Being a new Vent, I am always looking for ideas and help where I can get it.
Would it be okay to ask what is reasonable to charge for doing a program or show? Since I am a beginner I have primarily been doing Children Messages at Church, during the Church Service. I volunteer my time there of course, cause I did before I had started using the puppets. I was primarily a Storyteller. But, now that my Puppet Ministry is starting to draw some attention, I have been invited to come and do other programs out of our Church. So far, no one has offered me anything other than a thank you. But then again, I haven't asked for anything. I just check my calendar. If I am free I go. Plus I have volunteered for a few programs on my own behalf just to get known that I do the Venting with Puppets. Again...my idea...to use me...so there was no way I was going to ask for money. I am trying to get my foot in the door. Now that people are starting to work their way into asking me to come different places. Is there a standard you all go by? I thought about donations only at one point, but was not sure if that is okay or a good idea....??? With gas prices going up, and of course me wanting more Axtell Puppets. I probably should think very seriously about charging, but then again, I am not sure. {:->
Chris has good advice. You could state it in a way that lets them choose:
Let them know: Although I have done this many times at my home church I am just now beginning to go to other places. Do you have an honorarium in mind?
or I would love to come! I do ask for help with mileage and props and have a suggested honorarium of $_____, but it is just a suggestion. Please do the whatever you feel comfortable with.

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Suzie
Suzie

March 21st, 2012, 1:22 am #4

I was looking at "Free Shows" email from back in October, as I was checking out the older emails. Being a new Vent, I am always looking for ideas and help where I can get it.
Would it be okay to ask what is reasonable to charge for doing a program or show? Since I am a beginner I have primarily been doing Children Messages at Church, during the Church Service. I volunteer my time there of course, cause I did before I had started using the puppets. I was primarily a Storyteller. But, now that my Puppet Ministry is starting to draw some attention, I have been invited to come and do other programs out of our Church. So far, no one has offered me anything other than a thank you. But then again, I haven't asked for anything. I just check my calendar. If I am free I go. Plus I have volunteered for a few programs on my own behalf just to get known that I do the Venting with Puppets. Again...my idea...to use me...so there was no way I was going to ask for money. I am trying to get my foot in the door. Now that people are starting to work their way into asking me to come different places. Is there a standard you all go by? I thought about donations only at one point, but was not sure if that is okay or a good idea....??? With gas prices going up, and of course me wanting more Axtell Puppets. I probably should think very seriously about charging, but then again, I am not sure. {:->
Thanks guys. Your help is always welcomed. I have one possible program a good three hours from our house that was mentioned to me a couple of months ago, it would not be until October, should they decide to use me... They told me right away that they would pay me. I told the person that approached me at that time that I would have no idea what to even charge. At that time I hadn't even begin to think about charging for putting on a skit/skits. They said I should, and gave me some ideas on what they felt was fair. I still don't know. Like you said, I am new. I am getting a lot of positive feed back from everything I have done so far, but it is new to this area, so they are sucking it up like a sponge. I surprised a good 100% of them, cause no one knew I had a secret...{:-> That I could Vent. That is part of the fun, seeing the reactions, and getting the positive feed back. Have to remind myself to keep grounded. I try and make sure that I mention that God has the reins, I am just along for the ride, and having a blast doing it. {:->
I do want to add, my new Axtell Family (that's you all and Ax) are fantastic! I love how honest you are, and it is nice to have the support of others that do this daily or at least often.
My other concern with doing that program in October is...it will be outdoors in a tent. It may be too warm for the latex. I found out summer before last if it is hot outdoors...the latex can get sticky. I took my Beck Er Bird to safety right away when I noticed. He wasn't harmed that I could tell, but he did not like the heat of the day either. There may be a trick to that as well. But I will save that question for another topic some time.
The other programs I have been invited to so far are only about a 30 minute drive. Big difference...30 minutes...3 hours.
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Tony Borders
Tony Borders

March 21st, 2012, 3:49 am #5

I was looking at "Free Shows" email from back in October, as I was checking out the older emails. Being a new Vent, I am always looking for ideas and help where I can get it.
Would it be okay to ask what is reasonable to charge for doing a program or show? Since I am a beginner I have primarily been doing Children Messages at Church, during the Church Service. I volunteer my time there of course, cause I did before I had started using the puppets. I was primarily a Storyteller. But, now that my Puppet Ministry is starting to draw some attention, I have been invited to come and do other programs out of our Church. So far, no one has offered me anything other than a thank you. But then again, I haven't asked for anything. I just check my calendar. If I am free I go. Plus I have volunteered for a few programs on my own behalf just to get known that I do the Venting with Puppets. Again...my idea...to use me...so there was no way I was going to ask for money. I am trying to get my foot in the door. Now that people are starting to work their way into asking me to come different places. Is there a standard you all go by? I thought about donations only at one point, but was not sure if that is okay or a good idea....??? With gas prices going up, and of course me wanting more Axtell Puppets. I probably should think very seriously about charging, but then again, I am not sure. {:->
October in Indiana shouldn't be a problem. I try not to keep them where they will get over 90 degrees, just to be on the safe side, but I do have some days where it is 100 in the shade. At a 4th of July I put the duffle bag with my bear near the swamp cooler they had set up in an outdoor tent. That was a HOT day!
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Rick
Rick

March 21st, 2012, 6:35 am #6

I was looking at "Free Shows" email from back in October, as I was checking out the older emails. Being a new Vent, I am always looking for ideas and help where I can get it.
Would it be okay to ask what is reasonable to charge for doing a program or show? Since I am a beginner I have primarily been doing Children Messages at Church, during the Church Service. I volunteer my time there of course, cause I did before I had started using the puppets. I was primarily a Storyteller. But, now that my Puppet Ministry is starting to draw some attention, I have been invited to come and do other programs out of our Church. So far, no one has offered me anything other than a thank you. But then again, I haven't asked for anything. I just check my calendar. If I am free I go. Plus I have volunteered for a few programs on my own behalf just to get known that I do the Venting with Puppets. Again...my idea...to use me...so there was no way I was going to ask for money. I am trying to get my foot in the door. Now that people are starting to work their way into asking me to come different places. Is there a standard you all go by? I thought about donations only at one point, but was not sure if that is okay or a good idea....??? With gas prices going up, and of course me wanting more Axtell Puppets. I probably should think very seriously about charging, but then again, I am not sure. {:->
Any way you guys could display some actual numbers?

I'm in the same boat, as I'm an amateur but I've been asked to do two shows in the next few months, one for a special needs crowd (40 or 50), and the other a library show (again, 40 or 50 kids). What range does an amateur who does 4 or 5 evening shows a year on the side charge?

Not planning on this being a money-maker, but considering I've spent thousands on Axtell puppets and other materials (I make my own puppets too out of latex and carved foam), it would be nice to get a little something in return.
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Suzie
Suzie

March 21st, 2012, 9:44 am #7

I was looking at "Free Shows" email from back in October, as I was checking out the older emails. Being a new Vent, I am always looking for ideas and help where I can get it.
Would it be okay to ask what is reasonable to charge for doing a program or show? Since I am a beginner I have primarily been doing Children Messages at Church, during the Church Service. I volunteer my time there of course, cause I did before I had started using the puppets. I was primarily a Storyteller. But, now that my Puppet Ministry is starting to draw some attention, I have been invited to come and do other programs out of our Church. So far, no one has offered me anything other than a thank you. But then again, I haven't asked for anything. I just check my calendar. If I am free I go. Plus I have volunteered for a few programs on my own behalf just to get known that I do the Venting with Puppets. Again...my idea...to use me...so there was no way I was going to ask for money. I am trying to get my foot in the door. Now that people are starting to work their way into asking me to come different places. Is there a standard you all go by? I thought about donations only at one point, but was not sure if that is okay or a good idea....??? With gas prices going up, and of course me wanting more Axtell Puppets. I probably should think very seriously about charging, but then again, I am not sure. {:->
Thanks Tony
Temp range is helpful to know. I will pass that info along to my friend and see if they are still interested in me showing.
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Joined: May 17th, 2009, 9:27 pm

March 21st, 2012, 11:22 am #8

I was looking at "Free Shows" email from back in October, as I was checking out the older emails. Being a new Vent, I am always looking for ideas and help where I can get it.
Would it be okay to ask what is reasonable to charge for doing a program or show? Since I am a beginner I have primarily been doing Children Messages at Church, during the Church Service. I volunteer my time there of course, cause I did before I had started using the puppets. I was primarily a Storyteller. But, now that my Puppet Ministry is starting to draw some attention, I have been invited to come and do other programs out of our Church. So far, no one has offered me anything other than a thank you. But then again, I haven't asked for anything. I just check my calendar. If I am free I go. Plus I have volunteered for a few programs on my own behalf just to get known that I do the Venting with Puppets. Again...my idea...to use me...so there was no way I was going to ask for money. I am trying to get my foot in the door. Now that people are starting to work their way into asking me to come different places. Is there a standard you all go by? I thought about donations only at one point, but was not sure if that is okay or a good idea....??? With gas prices going up, and of course me wanting more Axtell Puppets. I probably should think very seriously about charging, but then again, I am not sure. {:->
I perform around the New Orleans area. I think this area is a little depressed,
with people for the most part not wanting to spend as much as other larger areas of the country.

Anyway, for a solid 45 minute show filled with magic and ventriloquism I'm charging right now $135 plus travel.

I hope this gives you a starting point.
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Tony Borders
Tony Borders

March 21st, 2012, 2:38 pm #9

I was looking at "Free Shows" email from back in October, as I was checking out the older emails. Being a new Vent, I am always looking for ideas and help where I can get it.
Would it be okay to ask what is reasonable to charge for doing a program or show? Since I am a beginner I have primarily been doing Children Messages at Church, during the Church Service. I volunteer my time there of course, cause I did before I had started using the puppets. I was primarily a Storyteller. But, now that my Puppet Ministry is starting to draw some attention, I have been invited to come and do other programs out of our Church. So far, no one has offered me anything other than a thank you. But then again, I haven't asked for anything. I just check my calendar. If I am free I go. Plus I have volunteered for a few programs on my own behalf just to get known that I do the Venting with Puppets. Again...my idea...to use me...so there was no way I was going to ask for money. I am trying to get my foot in the door. Now that people are starting to work their way into asking me to come different places. Is there a standard you all go by? I thought about donations only at one point, but was not sure if that is okay or a good idea....??? With gas prices going up, and of course me wanting more Axtell Puppets. I probably should think very seriously about charging, but then again, I am not sure. {:->
Hard to say. Start low, then keep increasing until you start getting no's. Some will say no if you are too low. Chris had good advise above. Call other performers in your area as if you were a potential client and see what they would charge.

Since this is full-time for me I need each show to pay at least as much as I would make at a regular job. (including health benefits costs, etc.) For bigger events I charge two days salary, and for smaller I charge one. My range is $175 to $400. I ask for mileage if it is over 60 miles away. I round mileage to 50 cents per mile.
Breakdown:
Birthdays $175
Daycares/Preschools $200 (most want to pay less)
Libraries $225 local $275 plus mileage elsewhere (took awhile to get up to that price and many won't pay it, so start lower. I just lost an 8 library contract because they are used to paying $200 per and I quoted $250. Ouch!)
Schools $300 for one $425 for two local. $500 for two litte further out. (They expect to pay more, but California has NO money left in schools.)
Churches: Suggested honorarium $400 plus mileage but I'll work with them if budget is a problem. Churches vary in size so much. What you'll find is that a children's church has their own budget so even in a huge church the budget may be small for a children's speaker.

The above are maximums I've been able to ask after getting known in the area. I wish I could do like others and ask more, but I can't. I get several no's each year as there are a LOT of other entertainers. I know a local magician who does over 300 birthdays each year, but doesn't charge much. I know I would rather cut that down by charging more and still coming out with the same salary.
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Joined: January 26th, 2012, 7:56 pm

March 21st, 2012, 5:28 pm #10

I was looking at "Free Shows" email from back in October, as I was checking out the older emails. Being a new Vent, I am always looking for ideas and help where I can get it.
Would it be okay to ask what is reasonable to charge for doing a program or show? Since I am a beginner I have primarily been doing Children Messages at Church, during the Church Service. I volunteer my time there of course, cause I did before I had started using the puppets. I was primarily a Storyteller. But, now that my Puppet Ministry is starting to draw some attention, I have been invited to come and do other programs out of our Church. So far, no one has offered me anything other than a thank you. But then again, I haven't asked for anything. I just check my calendar. If I am free I go. Plus I have volunteered for a few programs on my own behalf just to get known that I do the Venting with Puppets. Again...my idea...to use me...so there was no way I was going to ask for money. I am trying to get my foot in the door. Now that people are starting to work their way into asking me to come different places. Is there a standard you all go by? I thought about donations only at one point, but was not sure if that is okay or a good idea....??? With gas prices going up, and of course me wanting more Axtell Puppets. I probably should think very seriously about charging, but then again, I am not sure. {:->
I range between $150 to $250 -- depending on group -- and 50 cents per mile. I'd love to get to the point of my idol, Buddy Big Martin, who gets thousands per show (even school assemblies). Then I'd only have to work once or twice a year.
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