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Topic: A suggestion for magicians looking for an assistant
Message: Posted by: Steven Steele (Aug 18, 2006 07:51PM)
Having used assistants in the past, I know how difficult the search can be. Since I don't do stage illusions every night, I only need an assistant occasionally. And therein lies the rub. I have scoured colleges, dance schools, churches and other venues for help. I usually get somebody who wants large sums of money for every practice and then heaps more for a performance, not to mention all expenses (including insurance sometimes). That has caused me to just forget about using assistants and just do a smaller show unless I can use my daughter, which she is usually willing to do. It's just not worth the headache. I know many of you are in the same boat.

Well, a couple of weeks ago I stumbled onto a solution. I was talking to Bob Brown of 'Bob Brown and Brenda' fame and he told me what he did. He hires women that are all grown up and have their own businesses. They have a strong work ethic, already have an income stream, and are looking to have fun and make a few extra bucks.

So now I have something else to look out for while I'm out and about.... :)
Message: Posted by: Bill Nuvo (Aug 21, 2006 04:22PM)
What an excellent idea. I am in this boat right now, searching for an assistant.

But the only problem is that I want an assistant (male or female) who can also perform a talent. A juggling partner would be cool. And they only have to be able to juggle three items.

So I guess I am limiting myself.

Hey son and daughter....
Message: Posted by: boppies2 (Aug 27, 2006 10:44AM)
Steven
Great idea. I am in a similar position. Although I am realy looking for someone to help me 'backstage', at least for now. I was thinking of contacating the fine arts/drama department at various high schools in our area?
Max
Message: Posted by: JohnWolf (Oct 11, 2006 01:00PM)
When I started out I used my Cousin who wanted to be come an actress as my assistant. It worked out well for both of us she got the experience she needed and I got a free assistant. As it turned out she moved to California getting a job from using me as a recomendation. When she first got on stage she had stage freight but as we workd more gigs she was able to overcome it. Funny thing is she now is a author of childern's books and I found out I am the basis for one of the charaters. No it's not Harry P ;)

John
Message: Posted by: alexa (Dec 4, 2006 06:33PM)
I think high schoolers would be game, the problem I have is that I am a high schooler, so it's hard to use a peer, can't use someone younger, and someone older makes me look like the apprentice.
Message: Posted by: Autumn Morning Star (Mar 8, 2007 02:54PM)
I have tried high schoolers and they are only good for a short time before they move on to college, which is often out of state. Plus, with high schoolers there are minimum age issues if I work in a casino. I have scoured college acting departments, put out flyers and talked to teachers with absolutely no luck. Finding good assistants is tough.

FYI: If you use a minor who is not your own kid you NEED to get a written authorization from the custodial parent allowing for medical care in case something happens to them on the road. And bring that form with you at all times. :)
Autumn
Message: Posted by: Big Daddy Cool (Mar 10, 2007 06:08PM)
Here's another idea - Ask another magician to help you. OR form your own supergroup to draw talent from. In Nashville, the Music City Magic gang all pitch in and help each other out. Krista "Miss Direction" Chilton has been an assistant to Lonny Divine, Jason Michaels and myself. And Scott Cantrell's assistant Wanda doubles as one of my swing kittens, and two of my swing kittens, Monika and Reisha have served as assistants for Jason Michaels. Angela Funovits is an amazing magician, but she has also served as an assistant! Further, we serve as each other's tech crew and stage crew! It has been a very good relationship!
Message: Posted by: fefe_fontane (May 18, 2007 03:27PM)
Hey, if anyone needs an assistant, please contact me. I have worked with some amazing individuals and learned from the best of the best. Email me for more detailed information and to talk more about potential shows.

-C
Message: Posted by: vj022 (May 18, 2007 03:33PM)
I've Dealt with FEFE before and she is a great assistant. SHe has a great mind when it comes toward magic and would be a great asset (in more ways than one) to anyone's act.

VJ
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Sep 21, 2007 07:33PM)
I'm Looking for an an assistant. Has anyone Found a Decent oney Yet? I can possibly get a gig in October if I can get one. Otherwise if I can't, its not worth the time for me to do so. For the stuff I do I need someone to watch out for me on stage.
Message: Posted by: fefe_fontane (Oct 13, 2007 04:42PM)
Like I have said before - contact me for assistant work:-) I'm not VERY free and wanting to perform some amazing magic. Can't wait to hear from someone!
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Oct 17, 2007 01:20AM)
Fefe, I already pmed you. Just waiting for a reply. I have a gig Oct 28th. and probably will need you in the future if possible.
Message: Posted by: Jason Johnson (Jan 30, 2012 11:46PM)
The trouble with High Schoolers I've had is their parents have to be in on rehearsal since some of them can't drive. Plus, they have loads of extra stuff like band, soccer, things of that nature. In college, they study like crazy. By the time they're out of college, they're married with kids and have lives that have no time for magic.
Message: Posted by: griffindance (Feb 2, 2014 08:45AM)
Im not sure what you are looking for but please remember that unless you can offer employees a level of work that needs fulltime concentration and offers an appropriate renumeration, you are not going to get dedicated workers.

Dancers begin their training very young, they are paid the lowest of all the artists, many of them bleed because of the training (ask any professional female dancer about 'pointe work'), they have the shortest careers in the arts and in order to give the production the best they will be rehearsing the longest hours.

Ive never met a young student dancer wishing and hoping to become a floosy for an unknown magician after fifteen years of study. If you want a professional show you need to hire professionals. therefore you need to be able to pay a competitive fee.
Message: Posted by: Jack H (Feb 5, 2014 03:22PM)
Interesting that there is still an assumption that all magicians assistants have to be female...
Message: Posted by: griffindance (Feb 7, 2014 05:24AM)
[quote]
On 2014-02-05 16:22, Jack H wrote:
Interesting that there is still an assumption that all magicians assistants have to be female...
[/quote]

Well yes and no. Whenever I used an assistant it was a woman so I suppose I have been guilty in propogating the cliché.

The magician should always dominate the stage.
Using a younger female assistant more easily helps with the dramaturgy of the performance.
Depending on how a magician communicates with the audience depends on how and why they need an assistant.
A male assistant can be seen as being competition with the magician therefore degrading his/her gravitas.
If the magician needs an assistant as eye-candy a woman works better. Look at any advertising for proof of concept.

Im not saying its right or even that it is a hard and fast rule of magic but, human(audience) psychology is as it is and we need to build our shows with our audience in mind.
Message: Posted by: QuailCreek (Feb 16, 2014 04:15PM)
I would like to find an assistant/partner too. I've gotten around this so far by having tricks and illusion in my act the can be done either alone or with an audience member. I've tried modeling websites and other places but most of them want to get paid too much to make it feasible. Quite a dilemma.
Message: Posted by: griffindance (Feb 17, 2014 07:34PM)
Ive mentioned this in other threads elsewhere on MC but if you're uncertain of what a competitive(fair) fee should be then search for the Actors Equity websites for your region. Some have their wage agreements published online.

Then it becomes a matter of deciding whether you will be paying 10% above or below that rate.

If you believe you need regular rehearsals then your cast/crew need to be compensated. If the show generally runs well and you only need an occasional 'top up' rehearsal then a) they may not mind giving an hour to keep things tight, b) take it on the chin because its only an occasional cost to keep things tight.

If you still cant afford assistants then you should be charging your clients more. If they want a full Vegas Magic Show experience then your show should be worth every penny.

..and as for modelling agencies. don't bother. Although Ive worked with some talented people who do work as models, the majority of the industry arent the hardcore professionals you'll want in your act.
Message: Posted by: jugglestruck (Feb 19, 2014 02:33AM)
[quote]
On 2014-02-17 20:34, griffindance wrote:
Ive mentioned this in other threads elsewhere on MC but if you're uncertain of what a competitive(fair) fee should be then search for the Actors Equity websites for your region. Some have their wage agreements published online.

Then it becomes a matter of deciding whether you will be paying 10% above or below that rate.

If you believe you need regular rehearsals then your cast/crew need to be compensated. If the show generally runs well and you only need an occasional 'top up' rehearsal then a) they may not mind giving an hour to keep things tight, b) take it on the chin because its only an occasional cost to keep things tight.

If you still cant afford assistants then you should be charging your clients more. If they want a full Vegas Magic Show experience then your show should be worth every penny.

..and as for modelling agencies. don't bother. Although Ive worked with some talented people who do work as models, the majority of the industry arent the hardcore professionals you'll want in your act.
[/quote]

Well said.