How Much To Charge For A Performance by Ferret


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First off I’m not sure where to begin because you have given me Very little data to work with…. But I’ll give it a shot.

You say you are a beginner… in, how new?…what can you do?…how comfortable are you in performing?…not just how many tricks can you do…and do well…but how are you around people?

You’ve got some real soul searching to do on that alone.

Next, you have to realize that you are going to be paid for your performance. And the people paying you are watching closely.

If you don’t impress them, to the level they are paying could end up with a bad rep right off the get-go..and seriously stagnate your selling ability before you even get started. Start off small and slow... You really can’t just walk into it…you have to test the waters first.

There really is a Huge amount of variables involved in selling yourself…..

I learned the hard and slow I’m sure many others here, did as well. I climbed the ladder over the course of many years… It took me two years of perfomances…20 or more a which I didn’t get paid a dime..before I was considered a solid enough performer to even be given an offer.

Now, after 15 years of practice.. Very comfortable with working a stage and an audience, And a rather Big name In the Bizz…I still sell myself at about $150…to…$250 an hour…depending on the Gig.

Some gigs I wrangle for more..depending…but as I said…there is a Huge amount of variables.

I’ve worked for friend's parties, for entry and a beer, doing high quality work ..and have also been paid $200 for a single 4 min show.

Yes...You read that correctly...$200 for 4 mins. in and out cash....and they asked me back the following week for the same price.

On Top of all this you say you are working with kids…..Little ones. This can both help and hurt you. But personally..I don’t like working around, or entertaining children.

I have done it from day one of my performance career… in the Medieval Faires. But there was always a safe zone…and most of the adult to keep those kids in said’ safe zone.

If you are gon’a start working as a performer…I HIGHLY suggest you get Performer’s Insurance. Will only cost you about $150 a year and cover you for about a Million.

Think about that…if you accidentally blow a trick, and send a hard acrylic flying across the room into an expensive lamp..or worse some kids head….you’re covered. And the fact that you have it..makes you a better selling point, when you are negotiating a price.

My career has been a long and intricate process… I have learned many things during the course of such. Your mileage may vary.

My first two years of performing were ‘free…with only tips as a supplement. I have occasionally worked for talent agencies….(although I personally dislike them)… They will teach you a Lot…

I prefer to be my own agent…..but that too takes time and negotiation skill, as well as an aggressive and flamboyant personality to do it well.

So in a nutshell…having Very little Data to go by…I’ll give you this recommendation.

You say you are a beginner.. but you perform a unique Art.

Ask for $20 an hour…calculate your drive time…gas…whether or not they will feed you while you are there. If it’s a long drive…tell them that you want Shipping and Handling’ as well… (in other words….give them a gas receipt….saying “look…It cost me 30 bucks in gas to get here and back, and I need to be recouped”) Add that to the bill…ALWAYS….add that to the Bill! It doesn’t do you any good to spend 30 bucks getting there and back….only to be paid 20.

And you have to eat as well. Packing a sandwich and a can of soda doesn’t cut it in my book. If they feed you Great! If you have to hit a restaurant, to fuel your body and ultimately your ability to perform well.. Than someone needs to pay the piper.

Calculate all of this in.

Best of luck to you Natellia....and 'break a leg.

Honestly….I don’t mean to be so negative, but you asked a very difficult question…with very little info.

Perhaps…in my old age I should consider being a Contact Juggling Agent…

Hey!….I got Ian, Lance, Chico, and Myself to perform on the stages of Las Vegas! For the BBC no less… And there had Never been a Contact Juggling Team’ on Those…(or any stage that I’m aware of) before that.

And to think, they asked MM first..and he was Too expensive!


P.S. Nat.......I Highly recommend that you go into the ‘Essays’ section..and read my essay on Creating a Routine’ as well as Dealing with Pre-Performance Stress, prior to doing this.

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