Forums > Help! > Pricing - the cost of the show

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kithGOLD Member
Object Manipulation Student
20 posts
Location: Pennsylvania, USA


Posted:
Yo-

I've spent the morning crawling over the forums, and haven't been able to find anything to really answer this Q -

Last night, for the fourth of july, my fellow spinners and i put on a fire show as a calm-down event right after the fireworks finale...to kinda bring the show from the sky back down to earth.

After the event (local party at a friends house, mostly our friends and his family), we were asked to put on a show for an upcoming 40th birthday party, by the person who's party it is. She wants to go all out and have a huge festival-like party, and asked my crew if we would come and spin at her party. She absolutely insists that we must be paid for the event, and this brings me to the impass i am presented with.

so the question:
What is a fair price to charge for putting on a fire show?

This simplistic question is more complicated then it seems, so heres where my headspace is at the moment:

the final price is determined by:
-how many actaul burns take place in the evening
-how many people will be participating(the spinners)

(we use ultra-pure lamp oil for clean burning, and it costs just under $4 usd for a 64oz bottle.)

and thats what i got so far - what other factors am i missing?

for those willing to help answer the question:
-there will only be two of us actually spinning, and we'll split whatever we make from it evenly. (but small possibility of a third changing his mind and joining us)

-only minor choreaography, the decision was worked out for a free-spin event, so there is no effort to actually work out a routine. The person/people i spin with have some minor works choreographed, but nothing i would consider to be 'professionally paid event' worthy.

-if geography matters (given the worldwide exposure of this forum) my location is in the united states, on the east coast in the state of pennsylvania

This will be the first event in which there is a cash exchange for performing that i will be involved in, and honestly, i haven't a clue as to what would be a fair amount for the show - i'd be very grateful for any help that can be provided on this subject

FearpigSILVER Member
member - tee hee "member"
279 posts
Location: Bethnal Green, London, England (UK)


Posted:
There is loads more to consider!

- fuel / travel expenses
- practise / rehearsal time
- practise / rehearsal room
- costuming
- insurance (you MUST have insurance)
- waiting time (how long are you going to have to wait between sets)
- equipment rental (are you providing and manning the PA)
- safety person (you need your own trained spotter / marshal)
- fuel
- wear and tear on kit (this includes barriers, first-aid kits, burns kits, banners, extinguishers, scenery, and props)
- tax!

Start thinking in the hundreds of dollars if you are going to do it professionally!! I'll have missed some things but I'm sure there be some American spinners on here who can help!

Hope thats a good start for you.

"Whats wrong with the cat?" - Mrs Schrdinger


DurbsBRONZE Member
Classically British
5,688 posts
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England


Posted:
As Fearpig said, there's loads more to conisider than just your fuel use and the number of people to pay...

And, without meaning to sound mercenary, even these need to be thought about.

e.g. We pay about 5 for 4-litres of paraffin, I don't break down my costs to customers, but you'd actually charge about 10 for this, as you have to consider the time and expense in going to get it.

Transport shouldn't just be the cost of your petrol - it needs to include wear & tear on the car, take into account your car insurance etc.

Then there's loads of minor costs, which again you don't need to document - telephone calls to arrange the thing, internet use, going out to perform a site survey...

Consider it as a one-off gig, and go through every single thing you do to arrange it - all that should be charged for.
If you're doing it full time, you even need to consider things like the PC you use to write your documents on, the postage for sending out quotes... They're all costs which need to be recouped, other wise they're just eating into your profit.

So in terms of pricing a show up, you'd need to look at:
~ Your pay
~ Your specific costs (transport, fuel, disposables)
~ Overheads

Just to chuck some vague numbers at you (made up to keep it simple)
~ Pay each performer $100 (i.e. $200)
~ $10 on fuel, $40 on travel to and from the gig
~ Overheads - 20% of the above @ $50
Total quote = $300

In terms of sending this to the customer - I'd have performance @ 250, costs @ $50.

This way you still get your $100 pay, and with money left to pay for all costs incurred, and extra money to re-invest back into it (e.g. buy new props, renew insurance)

Burner of Toast
Spinner of poi
Slacker of enormous magnitude


Fire_MooseSILVER Member
Elusive and Bearded
3,597 posts
Location: Scottsdale, AZ, USA


Posted:
I would ask for about 175-225 for 2 spinners, 300-350 for 3.

O.B.E.S.E.

Owned by Mynci!


NifeliumGOLD Member
journeyman
52 posts
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


Posted:
it is hard.

im prolly never going to go further then street perfroming with a busking licence. i once made $60
in a night and i was happy with that. coz i got tanked off that money the same night!

LEAK SPIN


CharlesBRONZE Member
Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
3,989 posts
Location: Auckland, New Zealand


Posted:
Think of what you would be happy with, and then treble it!

Seriously, if you don't charge enough, after the fact, you are far more likely to feel used and suddenly the fun in fire spinning seems to lose its edge.

No matter what you feel before hand, it has to be a lot more money than you think to make you feel worthwhile.


This happens to hundreds of people the world over, and that loss of complete fun is never worth the one gig or the low rate.

Does that make sense?

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NifeliumGOLD Member
journeyman
52 posts
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


Posted:
yep wich is why busking is way better in my eyes, its more fun with people comming to see you rather than you going to them with numbers and safty and quotes.

it just kills your buz after the day is done.

LEAK SPIN


ElectricBlueGOLD Member
Now with extra strawberries
810 posts
Location: Canberra, Australia


Posted:
Hmmm... I'm sure Melbourne city council loves the fact that you think that safety is not applicable in a busking situation.

Please be safe when you are busking and get insurance. One stuff up and court case because of an unprepared, unsafe or uninsured busker will ruin the busking opportunities for those who do it for their sole source of income.

Safety is as, if not more important when performing on the street due to the unpredictable nature of the environment in which you are performing.

Now can we go back to the original topic which has nothing to do with your busking.

I {Heart} hand me downs and spinning in the snow.<br /><br />


Bender_the_OffenderGOLD Member
still can't believe it's not butter
6,978 posts
Location: Melbourne, Australia


Posted:
"we all like having fun, but its even more fun, when we can have safe fun."
-Howard Moon

Laugh Often, Smile Much, Post lolcats Always


FireTomStargazer
6,650 posts

Posted:
Durbs and Fearpig are scaringly right... when it comes to a professional approach.

As I read it, it is the 40st birthday party of a *scrolls up* remote friend of a friend (if at all), so I would take the numbers as suggested by Durbs, present them and ask: "You still insist to fully pay us?" umm wink

Part of the business is to sell yourself (in the right way). If you just scribble on a piece of napkin and hand it over it is quite different than (far say) have a proper letter with company header and all.

People do not necessarily "buy" a fire-performance... they do "buy" YOU... performing with fire. It is way more about 'personality' and 'appearance' than it is about 'skills'. If I'd were to scout for a show and ... okay, all puns set aside ... were to come across a "techie" - I would never spend money on her/him unless the event is for professional fire performers - for a party I would hire a crazy (yet responsible and professional) dancer, with an outgoing personality and an appearance. After all it's about a show, not a tech reel.

Some people can easily get 500 bucks for a private party, just because they sell themselves, others have a hard time to collect 50 buck, just because they *try* to sell a "fire performance"...

the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink


DurbsBRONZE Member
Classically British
5,688 posts
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England


Posted:
Indeed, my post is costing up a fully "professional" show - by which i mean a show for some someone you don't know involving more than just free-spinning in jeans and t-shirt.
What defines a "show" is a whole other subject smile

There's always flexibilty within all of this, and the numbers i stuck up in the example were picked out of the air (to some extent).

It's an odd one - say you charge $100 for an hour of spinning (again, a random number). This doesn't mean you're charging $200 per hour of fire spinning, it means you're charging $200 for an hour of fire spinning and all the time that went into organising it.
For this reason, we (Burnt Toast) and others, charge an sliding rate - e.g. $200 for the first hour, $50 for every hour afterwards. As to some extent the amount of work that goes into a 1-4 hour show is the same. (Not that we've ever done a full hour show, let alone 4 hours).

THis is all based around "freespinning" shows - carnivals, large-scale crowd entertainment (pre/post show stuff), continual presence.

For choreographed shows - you're looking at doubling costs to account for all the rehearsal time (including cost of hiring rooms to rehearse in).

Burner of Toast
Spinner of poi
Slacker of enormous magnitude


LazyAngelGOLD Member
Carpal \'Tunnel
2,895 posts
Location: Cambridge UK


Posted:
also be aware that with private parties, they may end up having you waiting for hours before you actually get to perform: And you will still have to perform even if you don't feel like it (for whatever reason of headache, cold etc)

Because ActiveAngel sounds like a feminine deodorant

Like sex, I'm much more interesting in real life than online.

'Be the change you want to see in the world around you' - Ghandi


LazyAngelGOLD Member
Carpal \'Tunnel
2,895 posts
Location: Cambridge UK


Posted:
and your client may try to be sleazy with members of your troupe: in your case though I doubt it

Because ActiveAngel sounds like a feminine deodorant

Like sex, I'm much more interesting in real life than online.

'Be the change you want to see in the world around you' - Ghandi


DurbsBRONZE Member
Classically British
5,688 posts
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England


Posted:
umm I don't think you can really quote for "potential sleazing" wink

Had issues recently?

Burner of Toast
Spinner of poi
Slacker of enormous magnitude


LazyAngelGOLD Member
Carpal \'Tunnel
2,895 posts
Location: Cambridge UK


Posted:
nothing I'd like to talk about on a public forum:

god that makes it sound worse than it was! eek

if you're really interested, PM me

Because ActiveAngel sounds like a feminine deodorant

Like sex, I'm much more interesting in real life than online.

'Be the change you want to see in the world around you' - Ghandi


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