View Single Post
Old 01-04-2006, 02:15 AM
Sampiro is offline
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 36,260
Speaker's fees are outrageous. The University I work for, always on the brink of financial disaster, paid somewhere between $40,000-$60,000, depending on what they negotiated, for An Evening With Alice Walker. Now I'll grant she's a great writer (at her best), but Og Almighty- that's 10 full scholarships plus books plus stipends for a THREE HOUR engagement. They paid at least that much for William Shatner a few years ago. (The fee is in addition to "first class transportation and accomodations" I must add; if I'm paying somebody $40K for a day of their schedule, they can pay for their bus ticket and Econolodge their damned selves!).

I used to work for a large non-profit mental health agency that wanted Patty Duke to come speak at their annual state meeting. They were prepared to provide first class accomodations and travel and an honorarium and she told them that, mental health being a vital part of her life (she's bipolar), she'd be delighted to speak at a reduced rate. $17,500 to be precise. The people on the board honestly thought she was off her medications before they found out that she usually got $25K.

I recently watched an interview with Jonathan Winters on which his wife expressed her irritation that he only works when he feels like it and thinks it would be fun (paraphrasing her)- "so he'll go speak at some Fisherman's League in the midwest for $4,000 and turn down $100,000 to speak at a GM board meeting, and I tell him Jonathan! That would put our grandchildren through college and it's one day's work!' and he said 'yeah, but for the $4000 I get to go fishing'." It's a major way B List celebrities keep up their income.

Jimmy Carter has a Col. Tom Parker type agreement with his agent that forbids him to charge less than $50,000 for a speech to anybody but church groups. We tried getting him to speak at the two colleges I worked at in Georgia for years, pleading with him, but nope, even though one was 10 miles from his house in Plains, was Rosalind's alma mater, he had attended it before joining the Navy, he's worshipped as a god in the community and the school's a library is named for his father.
From that same site:

Anthony Robbins: starts at $100,000

Ken Burns- $30k to $50k

Danny Bonaduce- $10,000 to $20,000 to talk about HEALTH AND WELLNESS! (The case against?)