Typically, a celebrity who charges $300,000 for a public performance can bill a private client $400,000, often demanding a jet and accommodations for his entourage -- plus lighting, food and instrument rental costs, according to booking agencies.
There are still some bargains, according to Star Link's executive producer Katrina Berg Sussmeier. "Michael Buble has asked for $10,000 forever," she said. "I tell my clients, please book him now. His price will soon soar to $400,000 or more."
Celeb appearances can be pricey, but that hasn't stopped the average McMansion owner from calling Sussmeier. Television shows like "My Fabulous Sweet 16" have convinced some that they can indeed hire a big name for a teen party.
Though the hoi polloi sometimes overreach a bit.
"Stop calling me with crap you cannot afford," Sussmeier said. "I had one call from a woman who said if Madonna comes to my party, I'll pay half the airfare. But why would she want to come to your damn party in Ohio in your living room?"
Many celebrities won't even consider a party unless MTV is there, according to Sussmeier. Others, like Robert De Niro and Woody Allen, "just won't do it," she said.
Millionaires Concierge, which books stars for product placement, luxury services and publicity events, recently arranged for crooner Chris Issak to sing at the 40th birthday party of a top executive's wife in Mexico. For a 30-minute appearance, the bill topped $150,000.
"It's the wow, wow thing to do when your friends hear that Elton John or Seal is coming to your backyard to sing," Millionaires Concierge owner Doug Turner said.
Turner also sells the "meet and greet." Recently, he arranged a five-minute face-to-face with Donald Trump for a New Zealand couple for $15,000. "They ended up being buddies and doing business together," he said.
Another couple wanted a private dinner with Eric Roberts, brother of actress Julia Roberts, which cost them $25,000.
It doesn't take much to be a celebrity these days with reality television in vogue. Turner said even the runners-up on "American Idol" make the B-list.
Old favorites can still open up wallets. Any cast member from the 1960s "Leave it to Beaver" show can still get a gig, said Star Link's Sussmeier. Rue McClanahan from "Golden Girls" commands $25,000 to $35,000, "but she's worth it," she said.
Bad behavior can kill demand as quickly as a bad movie. "Somebody like O.J. is not bookable anymore," according to Sussmeier.
Star Link stopped booking Alec Baldwin, who had commanded $30,000 for an appearance, after he called his daughter a "pig" in a famous incident in which the recording telephone message by the actor turned up all over the Web.
Charlie Sheen was also dropped after he threatened his wife. "When they totally fall from grace, they cannot find work" on the party circuit, she said.
Sometimes an agency won't touch a celeb because of bad form. Sussmeier said she will never again handle an appearance by Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani.
"He almost took us out of business," said Sussmeier, who booked Giuliani to speak at the Earl of Harewood's Castle in England just before Giuliani's marriage to Judith Nathan. She claims the company lost $30,000 over the airfare arrangements after Giuliani added 20 to 30 guests, which hadn't been authorized.
"He pretty much had his honeymoon on us," she said.
A call to the Giuliani campaign seeking comment was not returned.