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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The tricks are on me! » » Charity Gigs on the More Glamorous Side (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

jmathai1
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Alexandria, Virginia
72 Posts

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I wanted to know if anyone here has some insight and experience when it comes to getting volunteer gigs that are a bit more on the glamorous side than nursing homes and such? I am not at all trying to put down those environments; they of course have their place and importance but seems like there is already plenty of discussion on this board about performing for nursing homes, hospitals, etc.

My thoughts are that I know charitable organizations have dinners and other events to raise money and/or recognize individuals and that seems like a market that would be perfect for a magician to volunteer. Are there any methods that have worked for getting a foot in the door for such events?

Any thoughts are appreciated – many thanks.
John
John Mathai
Alexandria, Virginia
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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I did more of these in my younger days. Things like museums, art galleries, jazz hall of fame.....
The last was about a year ago. It was a black tie affair for a charities foundation as a FUNdraiser
My connection to the event was the namesake had gone through our school system.
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
B.W. McCarron
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Seattle, WA USA
191 Posts

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A band I manage was asked to provide a performance for a charity fundraiser event. The event was well publicized and emceed by a reporter from the local CBS affiliate. The band needed an opportunity to test and sync their new lighting system, so they agreed to perform if the organizer would include a pair of event tickets for each of the band members.

The band did the show, the MIDI controlled lighting system worked great, and the enthusiastic audience danced the night away which gave the band some great still pics and video to use in their promo package and website.

When the next year's event rolled around, of course I was asked if the band could perform again for the same price (free). I said no, but the band *was* available for the show date. We "compromised" by allowing the band to receive their full fee for the performance, so long as the band would allow their sound and lighting system to be used for the live auction event. Everyone agreed. Problem solved!
friend2cptsolo
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Spent all this time on the Cafe' and all I have to show for it is
445 Posts

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Some one mentioned to me to try to give a breif talk with magic at a Auxiallry group or local meetings around your area. I have never tried this but sounds like a great way to get out there.
I also feel hesitant about going to nursing homes.
Dick Oslund
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6975 Posts

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Quote:
On Jul 28, 2016, B.W. McCarron wrote:
A band I manage was asked to provide a performance for a charity fundraiser event. The event was well publicized and emceed by a reporter from the local CBS affiliate. The band needed an opportunity to test and sync their new lighting system, so they agreed to perform if the organizer would include a pair of event tickets for each of the band members.

The band did the show, the MIDI controlled lighting system worked great, and the enthusiastic audience danced the night away which gave the band some great still pics and video to use in their promo package and website.

When the next year's event rolled around, of course I was asked if the band could perform again for the same price (free). I said no, but the band *was* available for the show date. We "compromised" by allowing the band to receive their full fee for the performance, so long as the band would allow their sound and lighting system to be used for the live auction event. Everyone agreed. Problem solved!


"Youse done" a good job of managing!

IMO, everyone benefited!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Russo
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458 Posts

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Reminds me of a Show we did for a Church group at 1/2 price- when breaking down the show I heard one member say to another 'cheap price-cheap show'-- next year they asked us again to do a show- We did the exact same show BUT charged FULL price- -after the show they came up and exclaimed '" GREAT SHOW" -- lesson !! people get what they PAY for. Ralph(russo)Rousseau
roningramii
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Van Buren, Arkansas
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Isn't it amazing the difference in perception of a show or magician based on the price paid!
Ron Ingramii
Doc Willie
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The Red Cross does a fundraising event, and a volunteer recognition night at each chapter. They also (at least where I am) have training weekends and welcome entertainment for the overnights. All you need to do is call and ask for an appointment with the Director or the person in charge of fundraising. Do a couple of tricks for the receptionist while you are waiting. You can offer either walk around magic at the cocktail hour for the fundraisers, or a parlor/stage show for the training sessions.

Have your business cards ready, and maybe a way to magically produce them at the fundraisers. The folks involved there will also be likely to be involved in other charities, maybe even businesses.

Also, during disasters, call the local chapter and offer your services for the people in the shelters.

PM me if you are more interested in following this route. Becoming a volunteer and taking some of the disaster training courses would benefit you entry, and possibly in other ways.
mentalboy
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One friend has given magic classes to young people. He then contacted the school's PTO and suggested a show as a fund-raiser for the school, using these students as entertainment. Of course, he offered his services as the final act. He just performed one trick. People were impressed and he was able to pass out his business cards after the performance to audience members who came up to him, telling him what a good job he did both as a performer and how well he trained the children in magic. That little publicity led to a ton of (paid!) shows. But even if it didn't, it was appreciated by the PTO board who got a ready-made fund raiser.
mentalboy
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For a few years, I performed a short (1/2 hour) mentalism show on New Years' Day for a Board of Trustees meeting for a large local charitable organization that funds most of the health and social services organizations in town. A wonderful dinner was included and I was certainly treated as a guest, not the "help." It was an informal annual event at a board member's home with spouses invited. These people were the "movers and shakers" of my community. I am strictly an amateur so I never charge when I perform but I have been asked, over the years, by these board members, their spouses, friends, and colleagues to suggest paid performers for their private affairs. It was simply a personal contact that got me the show.

Similarly, local women's organizations such as The Council of Jewish Women or the Junior League are comprised of the community leaders. They have regular meetings and they would love to have unpaid entertainment at their membership meetings or their board meetings. Just ask. If they like you, they will remember you when they have social events throughout the year for which they want entertainment, and they can well afford your fees. This sort of group is particularly good for mentalists who will be invited to perform at large dinner parties or get-together's in private homes.
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