Other magicians have reported this happening to them, but until you get the call yourself, it's pretty hard to believe.
Last night I got a call from an agent because their client had just called them requesting a show for tonight. Now I know some performers will put their fee up or charge a premium for last minute bookings, and that is their perogative, but "due to the economic situation" this client wanted a big show for a small price.
They had already decided how much they wanted to pay for my show!
Their figure was half what I usually charge for my most inexpensive show, but their budget was set and it was "take it or leave it."
I left it.
As I said, quite a few other performers have told me of similar situations where companies have decided that "due to the economic situation" they would slash their Christmas party budget, but still expected to get the same entertainment at a much lower price.
In a similar vein, I had another agent call last week with a client who wanted me to entertain at her company Christmas party. She'd had me before, for her son's 6th birthday party... he was now 21.
A long time between drinks but it's nice to know they still remember me!
Unfortunately, she was shocked at my price. Apparently she thought she would still get me for what she paid 15 years ago for a kids party.
They didn't want to spend any more than $200 on the entertainment, and they were a Diamond Company.
I guess the diamond business isn't crash hot right now!