- Darren Whichello
Updated: Feb 4
I really don't know what the correct protocol is regarding tips? Last week at Katie & Frederik's wedding over at MC Motors in Hackney (a really cool venue by the way!) I was offered a £20 tip by one of the guests and very politely declined it. This happens from time to time and I think I have had a similar thing happen in three of my last four gigs. I do not want to offend anyone and must say I am flattered but it does feel a little wrong to take any extra money so I always say no. Is this the right thing to do?
I do not have any agent so hardly any of my bookings are from bars or restaurants but instead usually by the person or persons who's wedding or party it is. Maybe if those tips came whilst I was doing the rounds at a restaurant or bar it would feel different but taking extra money at a paid gig? No not for me!
Another thing I am still a little unsure of - and I have been a busy Professional Magician for many years now - is pricing! I list my prices on my website but am certain I am the only London Magician or possibly Professional Magician anywhere who does! I feel it is best to be completely upfront about pricing from the very start as it saves the clients and me a lot of time and possibly embarrassment. The down side of this is I probably get fewer enquires but hopefully the ones I do get turn into bookings.
My prices are the same whenever a client wants me. I do not put them up when it is busy or down when it might be quiet as I have another job I can be doing when I'm not performing magic. (Although being a Close-Up Magician for hire is my first love!)
I have recently put my prices up slightly but still feel I am on the cheaper end of what you would pay for anyone who is any good! (Although who knows what the other Close-Up Magicians are charging at the moment!) As a busy Party Magician I am always happy performing for the times the client wants. So although a two hour booking is the norm, one hour or even four hours is fine. I am always honest with prospective customers and if anything I tend to undersell as I would always rather leave the audience wanting more than wondering if I am ever going to leave!
I have been told that a lot of other Close-Up Magicians only offer wedding packages and will not be flexible with bookings. I on the other hand am always happy doing just what the client wants so I suppose you could say I am a completely bespoke wedding Magician! I have had a couple of clients recently book me nice and early in the event, in fact straight after the service and then also perform for the evening guests too! As long as the booking is for three or more hours and the waiting around is not too long, I do not charge for the possibly couple of hours where I sort of disappear!
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