Lesson 10 - Colleges & Universities (Back to Index)
The going rate these days for college bookings in the U.S. are approximately $1500 to $3500 per show. Colleges are keen to book magicians, mentalists and hypnotists, thanks to their success with some extraordinary entertainers that work a lot in this market.
In booking colleges, it has been recommended by a friend, who works this venue on a regular basis, that the performer not attempt to book directly with the colleges themselves. I agree, since it is difficult to contact the representatives that do the bookings, as they are usually students. Working through agents is much more effective.
Here is an email I just received last week regarding a college booking. It will give you an idea of what you can expect regarding accommodation and other considerations. It is not appropriate for me to provide the writer's details at this time, so I have omitted them.
From the agent I work with in Canada for college bookings:
I went back to the client with the information and they sent me the following e-mail. Can you give me a call and we'll go over things and then perhaps you could be in touch with her as well, so we can put this one to contract.
(The note from my agent's client): Subject: Re: Randy Charach
Thank you for the information. I do have a few questions:
1. The fees and travel expenses could be accommodated but it does concern me about his wife's condition and whether or not he would be available. You mention that he would guarantee a replacement at no additional cost. Who might that be and would the person be as qualified?
2. I also would like a few more details on what Randy would do for this fee? How long is the show? Would he be prepared to come to a "resident" barbecue on campus just to mix and prepare people for the upcoming show. Normally we have the "residence" barbeque at 6:00 pm and then the show around 7:30 pm.
3. Re: accommodation - I could book a hotel for him (is he the only person coming?) but for your consideration, we do have hotel rooms and/or conference suites in this residence. The hotel rooms are pretty standard with 2 twin beds, tv, small fridge, full washroom. The conference suites have a kitchen, living room area, 2 bathrooms and up to 7-8 bedrooms so he would have lots to choose from in terms of bedrooms but more room for general relaxing. Would Randy find this acceptable or would he want us to book a hotel?
4. I should also know how arrangements are made financially. I am certain you have some procedures in place re: deposit, etc.
5. Would I have an opportunity to speak to Randy directly to indicate type of function, what sort of things I am looking for, etc.? Generally to give some background to the type of event. This event happens during our orientation week activities and is usually the one big event of the year.
6. Also, I would like to know if Randy has done anything on this campus before?
7. Finally, I am wondering about advertising. To recover some costs (because it is higher than I originally budgeted for) I may have to open it up to other university staff and students. I am wondering if in the fee, I would receive posters, etc. of him and/or any other promotional material.
Okay, so let's see what we can learn from this. Just so you know, by the way, my wife's condition that Judy refers was that of being pregnant. She was due right around the time of the booking, so I told the agent that if the baby is not born prior to the event that I can provide another act in my place. The booking is in another province and requires plane travel. I called the agent regarding all the questions of her client and gladly accommodated all her requests.
So, work with agents in the college market. The fee range is lower in Canada than the U.S. (applies across the board, by the way). Expect requests for attending social functions and accepting campus accommodation.
There are three main ways that I suggest you contact the agencies, based on the on the information you have available:
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