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Topic: Putting together a "Magic Night" (Comedy Club type)
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Sep 6, 2006 11:18AM)
I hope this is the right place to discuss this.

I'm putting together a Magic Night. It'll be a comedy club type show with magicians. So far I've got John Sturk, Sean Bogunia, Joe Diamond and myself as performers but I'm waiting for the reply of a few others. With these performers it'll be a great show already.

I've got a place lined up. A friend of mine owns a building that has 3 bars in it. One of the is just a small hang out bar with pool tables and so forth.

Another huge room used to be bowling alley's but he took the alleys out and it's now one huge room. There actually use to be 2 floors of bowling alleys. Eventually this room will be an auditorium with a full size stage and a balcony. So in the future I'll be able to put on stage shows in this place. Right now this room is a rental hall.

Then in the back of the building there is a bar that seats about 250 people. This is the room I'll have the show in. It already has a nice looking platform stage with red curtains and all. The room is very elegant with gold and maroon walls. Fancy tables and chairs, Marble and brass bar. In the old days it was a lounge with a grand piano and lounge singers. The place looks like it was made to be a comedy club. Right now they rent it out for wedding receptions and corporate dinner type things.

So it's going to be a good show. Here's why I'm posting this here though. I've never put anything like this together before. I want to do it for a number of reasons. First of all a lot of people in my area have seen me perform. I'd like to give them the opportunity to see some of these other great performers in the area (there all with in a few hours drive). Secondly I have access to a place like this and I'd love to put this show together. I've always had this dream of having my own comedy club and this is kind of like that. Except I won't have to worry about the bar running part business (inventory, licenses, etc...LOL)

I'm hoping I can find some advice on this. As far as paying the performers I have some ideas. It helps that I won't have to pay to use the place. So he'll just take the money from the bar and I can share the ticket sales with the performers (If we don't make to much I'll forward my share). I'm sure I can sell at least 40 tickets just by telling people I know about it.

We can also have some 50/50 drawings and door prize drawings to raise more money for the performers.

There are quite a few magic clubs in my area. I'm thinking about putting on a lecture to raise money for the performers. I'll just take the lecture money and put it into the pot to pay the performers. Heck I can make the week end a mini nmagic convention and have the lecture and jam session the night before the show.

Earlier in the evening of the show the magicians can perform walk around magic to promote the night show. Maybe the flyer will say, "Strolling magic between 5 and 8pm. Come early to see the magicians stroll around the room and perform right at your table".

Then the night show can be at 9:00.

What do you think and do you have any advice or suggestions? Thanks.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Sep 6, 2006 11:37AM)
Get a juggler to be your MC for a change of pace. If they get tired of magic there will be more empty seats at the end of the show than there were at the beginning. I'm not availible, but I can help you get a list of juggling performer that lives in Michigan.

You need to advertise your show in advanced to fill the room in order to pay the entertainers. It is important for you to spread the word to the ticket buying public instead of just magicians and friends.
Al Angello
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Sep 8, 2006 11:09AM)
I thought about finding a juggler or a ventriloquist just to give a variety. I'm still looking to see if I can find them from not to far away. Money a big issue on this so I don't think I could raise enough to pay an out of the area performer. Luckily there are some great ones near by such as Sean Bogunia, John Sturk, Joe Diamond and a few others. Plus a few magic clubs.

I just thought I'd show these images of the place. The owner wasn't in when I took these so I didn't know where the light switches where. So the pictures where dark and I lightened them with photoshop. Also keep in mind that the place is being remodeled. So it'll be cleaner then these images.


I stood on the stage just to show a scale size.
[img]http://www.magicjax.com/stage1.jpg[/img]

The tables and bar is Marble like this. I really like the look of the place with the gold and maroon walls. A nice atmosphere.
[img]http://www.magicjax.com/tablechar.jpg[/img]

I hope you can see that it would be a waist not to put something together when I have free access to this place. I hope it all comes around. Any advice on putting something like this together would be greatly appreciated. Especially on the terms of raising the money to pay everyone. I don't have to worry about paying the employees (bartender/waitresses) so that's a huge help.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Sep 8, 2006 01:18PM)
Jaxon
I am a member of the International Jugglers Association and have acess to the IJA roster. If you PM me with your zip code I'll send you some phone numbers.
Al Angello
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Sep 8, 2006 05:13PM)
Good luck.

If you have never done this type of thing before, you may need it. It takes a LOT to fill a room.

Find a local promoter to help you.

You may have to "paper" the room the first few times.
Message: Posted by: Comedy Writer (Sep 9, 2006 01:10PM)
Jazon,

A couple of thoughts -- a project like this is 90% marketing. Getting people in the seats is much harder than producing a great show ( esp for a 250 seat house).

Also, card trick are the bane of magic shows -- can you emiminate them somehow? People will be happier.

Cw
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Sep 9, 2006 01:43PM)
Thanks guys.

I agree. Getting people there is the hardest part. I know I can personally get 40 or 50 people just by telling the people I know about it. Possibly more because there are 5 bars within a 3 mile area of the place and I'm known at all of them. I even have an owner of another bar planning on coming. That's pretty good since I'm asking him to go to a competition bar.

I'm shooting for Oct. 21. That's on sweetest day here and I figure a lot of couples will be looking for a place to go that evening together.

I'll advertise in the paper and post flyers around. I know someone who a DJ in a radio station so maybe I can get some radio adds too.

My line up so far is:
John Sturk (possibly)
Sean Bogunia (Definitely)
Alan Munro (Possibly)
Joe Diamond (Definitely)
Myself (Of course)
I might have a juggler too (might have found one Al)

The ones I put the (Possibly) next to are checking there schedules and I'm waiting for them to get back to me to see if it's open for them. Hopefully I can get some of the local magic club members to add some entertainment and do some walk around magic as people are arriving.

I'll have a DJ and I'll put on the flyer something about, "Stick around after the how for dancing and more close up magic".
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Sep 9, 2006 05:39PM)
Your trying to over do it my friend.

Stick to the show. Make the show worth the money, and forget the close up stuff.
The main reason for this is the "duplication of lines" that will happen. ESPECIALLY if you use magic club guys. This is a quick way to really make things go south quickly.

I would get the show right, and leave it alone. Don't forget, people do not like magic nearly as much as magicians do. Magicians don't seem to uderstand this.

Concentrate on filling the room. It is going to be a LOT tougher than you may think.
Message: Posted by: MrHyde (Sep 9, 2006 08:45PM)
[quote]
On 2006-09-09 18:39, Dannydoyle wrote:
Don't forget, people do not like magic nearly as much as magicians do. Magicians don't seem to uderstand this.
[/quote]

That's funny
and true.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Sep 10, 2006 06:47PM)
Jaxon,

I unfortunately do not have a lot of time to write as much as I want to right now but I promise to try and chime in with more information as soon as I can. I have some information that I think would and could be a HUGE benefit to you. My wife and I teamed up with another magic couple to do almost a very similar type of thing you are trying to do. We have performed the production show at 3 different venues over the past year and a half and each time we had amazing success with it.

The real key is not so much the show itself. Of course it has to be a good show. The key is marketing effectively. A great show does you no good if you can not fill those seats. I have methods I used and the last show we did we had to turn people away at the door. It was amazing to see the marketing really work.

I will try and give you more information when I can. In the mean time, if you want to e-mail me, please do so. I would be happy to help you out.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: RSD (Sep 11, 2006 02:34AM)
I have been producing "Friday Night Magic" along with James Biss here in Toronto. We have been going strong for over a year. You have to think what your goals are. Is it to make money? Have fun performing and network?

We charge the customers $20 to come watch a 70-90 minute carbaret stage show. Afterwards the local magicians who are hobbyists stick around and do close-up and table magic for a good two hours after the show. The after part is kind of like a magic jam. The cover charge revenue is divided equally by the performers and performers only. That is the pros who worked the stage that is. The close-up stuff afterwards is just people having fun on their own.

If you are packing the place I cant see any reason why the bar would charge you rent. They will make plenty on food and drinks.

As for the first few shows I would definately paper it as much as I can with friends and familly. Negotiate a honorarium with your scheduled performers. I wouldn't book too much for each show though. I find that 3 performers and an MC who performs in between sets.

After a period of sucess, you will find that magicians will start contacting you to get booked. Some looking to try new material, some looking to get a start, some visiting from out of town.

Best of luck - its not easy, but it can be very rewarding once its running smoothly. Don't give up on it - even in the slow periods.
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Sep 11, 2006 12:31PM)
Thanks everyone. You've given me a lot to think about.

What RSD just said about "The cover charge revenue is divided equally by the performers and performers only." really put my mind at ease in that matter. I felt so unprofessional about telling the magicians that. I felt odd saying I don't know how much it'll pay. Luckily two of the performers are good friends and said they'd do it for whatever they get.

Let me tell you what I just found out this week end when I went to that bar. A little over a week ago I made a flyer to show the owner what I had in mind. Nothing official. Just wanted to show him what I was working on. The flyer had pictures of the performers I hoped to have and some "advertisement" of the event. No date or anything on it. It was for his eyes only.

Anyway, he pinned it on the wall behind the bar just to remind himself about it. When I stopped in there this week end two waitresses and the bar tender asked me when it was because customers are asking where they can get tickets and what night it was. Judging by that alone some of them will come to the show. So basically what I'm saying is I seem to have some support right in that area.

For those who have experience with this kind of thing. Would newspaper advertisement be helpful? It think it would be.

Thanks again.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Sep 11, 2006 01:40PM)
Hi Ron,

First I apologize to everyone for the long post. However, as I started writing this I figured there was just so much information I could share that might help so I just kept on writing. I hope it is of some value to you and perhaps others as well.

It would be my pleasure to assist you in anyway that I can. I also think what you are trying to do is a great thing and you can make it work with the right approach and a very consistent and effective marketing campaign that does not have to cost you a lot of money.

With our production show, we did a full 1hr and a half show with music, lighting, illusions in a theater and sometimes a school auditorium, that could seat around 300-650+ people. We did everything ourselves from creating the show to marketing, to handling ticket sales to advertising and letting people know about it. There was nothing that we did not do entirely ourselves. At our last show, we had 1 single show at 7pm and we sold the place out. It was amazing because we did not know what to expect and the area was not in a major city but in the middle of the suburbs.

There is a lot I can share with you so I will start with a few things I did for myself to make things easier for me and I can share them with you and then add to the ideas I am giving to you over time. As I discuss stuff with you via the Café and or e-mail, if you have any questions at all, please let me know in your reply and I will cover off on answering those for you in detail. It would be my pleasure to assist you with this project.

The first thing to realize (as I am sure you know) is that you need to figure out what your initial overhead is going to be versus the ROI or Return on Investment. Basically in a nutshell this means figuring out how much money you have to put out for paying for rental, transportation, advertising etc. Anything that you can possibly think of that will cost you money up front to run this show and market it, needs to be figured out, written out and then calculated. This is so important to do first and get it as accurate as possible. Only with this list and numbers can you determine your break even number. The Break Even number is how much you would have to bring in from the performance to break even and get the money back that you initially put out.

It looks like so far you have started to do this already. It is great that you get the place without any rental fees. That will save you a ton of money right there at the start. Just start to figure out your additional expenses early on before doing anything and certainly before committing to the project. Find out:

- how much performers will want to get paid?
- Do you need to pay any travel cost or gas or hotel fees for anyone?
- do you or anyone need to rent or purchase any sound or lighting or additional equipment to run the show?
- Do you need to pay for any posters or materials for the promotion of the show itself and what is that cost to you?
- Is there any additional cost you need to pay the place you are performing at? Do they want or expect any money from the sales of the tickets or do you retain full 100% profits off all tickets sold? This is very important to find out soon.
- Do you need to pay any stage hands or tech people that you will need to run the show itself. if so, how many people and what will they be paid?

This is just an example and I can list more questions here later if you want me to. The idea is to really sit down and iron out every possible price or cost factor that you may have to consider for the success of running the show. Once this is down on paper then you can really start to calculate your break even point.

What I do is after I have my expenses figured out fairly close, I add the fees and figures together. I then take a look at the total number of seats that I have available to me for the show. Is it 250 seats or is it more etc.? Make sure to subtract any seats for those seats you are reserving for special folks not paying or seats you have to block off cause of angle problems. Once you have your total seat number, then you can take your expense fee and divide it by the number of seats available to you. This will give you a rough estimate on something I refer to as my break even number. This is the rough number I would have to charge for ticket prices to break even. It gives you an idea of how much you would have to charge per seat to even begin to make a profit.

Now do not let this scare you as there are ways to bring down this break even number and ways to keep your ticket prices reasonable and I can help you with that. One way to bring down your ticket price or break even number is by having multiple shows on the same day. What we did several times was to run an early show and then an evening show. We factors in any new expenses to make this happen and we realized we did not have to pay much more to do 2 shows in the same day. By doing so, we were able to bring our ticket prices down and maximize our profit margin.

Once you figure out if this is financially able to be done, then you can begin working on other key factors. Once of the next issues would be figuring out how much tickets should be and if you are going to be able to afford doing group rates, kid rates or if there is going to be a single flat fee for all tickets. keep in mind your break even number because you are going to want to make sure that at your ticket price, you can make your break even number easily and then see a profit as well.

After you figure out on your ticket fees, the next thing you really need to iron out is CONTRACTS for everyone. I can not stress this enough. I learned the hard way. With working on a show of this magnitude, and with working with so many people involved, you need to write contractual agreements for all artists involved, write one for each tech or stage hand and one for the place you are performing at. everyone involved in the production gets a contract that flat out tells them exactly what is agreed upon, what is expected of them and what they agree to be paid even if it is at a percentage base. This will save you so much hassle to get it out of the way early. This lets everyone know exactly what to expect and covers you as well.

Another thing to point out, which may not be a factor for you, is whether you need to have performer's insurance for where you are working at. We did because we were working with theaters and school auditoriums. We simply had to have it and so you will want to check that out also. I get mine every year through the S.A.M and it is very well worth it.

Now another issue that was huge for us was to figure out who was going to handle the ticket sales? This basically meant what number would people call and what was to be the single source for all ticket sales handling. I personally took on that role at the last show and I was glad I did. The more folks you have doing it, the harder it is to track ticket sales. The bottom line is you MUST track all tickets going out and all tickets being sold. the reason is that it is so easy to overbook and sell more tickets then you have seats. it happens and you want to avoid that at all cost.

What we did was to have every ticket numbered. Even though seating was general seating and first come first served, each ticket had a number on the back. This allowed me to track every ticket sold, every ticket I sent out, tickets being held at will call and any tickets I gave to anyone to try and sell for me. I tracked everything through an Excel spreadsheet and it worked really nice.

We allowed people to pay for the tickets and we would hold them at a will call area in the lobby on the evening of the performance. Each ticket was placed into envelopes with the person's of companies name and they were told to arrive there early to pick up their tickets already paid for. This made it easier for folks. I wanted to give people as many ways to pay for tickets as possible and also make it really easy for them to do so.

Another issue to figure out is if you can get permission to sell BOR (back of room sales) items during intermission, before and after each show. What we always did was to allow the place we were at to sell food items and take 100% profits from it as long as we got full permission to set up our BOR tables and take 100% profits from that as well. It worked great as we had another source of income stream from the show and it also helped market the other shows we were putting on.

These are all logistics needed to be figured out before any marketing is ever done or started. It is what I refer to as doing your background work to see how feasible it is to do what you want to do. Many folks fail miserably with doing this type of thing because they do not spend enough time doing the research ahead of time before diving right into it. Once you commit and start selling tickets, it is very hard to back away from it if you then realize it is not feasible to do.

I am going to leave it here for now and let you digest a lot of the pre-show logistics first and allow you to ask me any questions on it. Then I can and will go into some details on how you can work on marketing the show effectively with a little budget and maximize your advertising to really get people in the seats. I will also share with you some of my own personal secrets that worked amazingly well for me the last few times we have run our production show. It would be my pleasure to do so.

As always it would be my pleasure working with you to make your idea a success as it has been for myself. If I can be of any further help or answer any questions, please let me know. I hope this starts to help a little bit.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: BAH1313 (Sep 11, 2006 03:37PM)
Hey Ron,

Sorry I missed you this year in Colon!

Now for the advice...

If you are going to advertise in a News Paper, I would suggest asking the paper about their "stuffing" policies. In other words, see if they have a set rate for putting flyers in their paper. A lot of news papers do this and the best thing is you can decide where you would like to have the flyers circulated. Basically, you can have them placed in the papers going to certain areas as opposed to being circulated too far out of your area. They are called "zones" or something technical like that.
At any rate, this usually only costs pennies compared to actual adds. And you can place some sort of "special rate" or "discount" on the flyer that they can bring with them to redeem. Or even better, maybe a cool little "mental type" trick that they or their kids can do for their friends! This will have people doing a trick for their friends and TALKING about WHERE they learned it. They would be advertising for you!
I hope this helps!

Bobby
Message: Posted by: LeeDillingham (Sep 11, 2006 03:44PM)
I produced a show similar to this about five years ago in Las Vegas. One of the things that we did was have every performer do a Rotary Club meeting to promote the show. Vegas has about a dozen Rotary clubs and they are constantly looking for guest speakers. He would perfrom for fifteen minutes and spend another five minutes talking about the upcoming show. Using this method alone, we completely sold out the show with no other marketing.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Sep 11, 2006 05:41PM)
[quote]
On 2006-09-11 16:44, LeeDillingham wrote:
I produced a show similar to this about five years ago in Las Vegas. One of the things that we did was have every performer do a Rotary Club meeting to promote the show. Vegas has about a dozen Rotary clubs and they are constantly looking for guest speakers. He would perfrom for fifteen minutes and spend another five minutes talking about the upcoming show. Using this method alone, we completely sold out the show with no other marketing.
[/quote]

Best idea yet!
Message: Posted by: RSD (Sep 12, 2006 04:58AM)
Newspapers work but I never pay for it. Our local papers have event listings where you can list your event for free with a small blurb. Use that. Also send out pressers with a story attached to it. Get it covered, invite the press for a show and dinner. You might be suprised how easy this is.
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Sep 12, 2006 11:24AM)
I can't thank all of you enough for the advice, tips and ideas you've shared. Keep them coming for I'm sure others might put something like this together and your advice will help them too.

I've decided to move it up one month (November instead of October). I decided this for two reasons. One is so I won't have to rush so much to get everything together. The other reason is that Halloween time of the year tends to be busy for magicians so some of the ones I asked to be in the show said they'd love to but they are already booked.

I discovered a few neat things about the building. Imagine you're on stage facing your audience. To your left about 15 feet away is a doorway that leads to a room that'll be the dressing room/side stage to the performers. When they are introduced they'll come from this room and head to the stage through the audience (like some comedy clubs do). Here's the neat thing. In that dressing room there is a hall way that leads to the back of the room behind the bar. So it'll allow me to vanish from the stage and appear behind the audience. I sat in the room last night for a couple of hours thinking about my act and discovered a way to do this (vanish and appear behind audience). The illusion will cost me about 50 cents to make. :)

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: LeeDillingham (Sep 12, 2006 11:48AM)
Mac King vanishes in front of audience and reappears in the rear of the room crashing cymbals at every show – twice a day. This always gets great reactions. Imagine how much fun it would be to crash cymbals!
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Sep 12, 2006 11:51AM)
[quote]
On 2006-09-12 12:48, LeeDillingham wrote:
Mac King vanishes in front of audience and reappears in the rear of the room crashing cymbals at every show – twice a day. This always gets great reactions. Imagine how much fun it would be to crash cymbals!
[/quote]

Almost every magician in the stage show arena does it, sans the cymbals.

Brett Daniels does it at least 5 times in 2 hours!
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Sep 12, 2006 02:44PM)
Yes, it's a great trick to do because when done right it's very unexpected and memorable. I have this habit of observing rooms to see if the lay out would allow it to be done. You'd be amazed at how many places you can do it in.

For this show I'm going to do it with nothing but mouth coils. I sometimes to a bit where I eat a balloon then do the squeaker joke (Kind of popular trick). But I found these mouth coils that are white and very, very long. When they first come out they look like a tube. It's basically like a paper vanishing candle. So at first it looks like the balloon is coming back out.

How I'm going to appear behind the audience is I'll have my assistant dressed like me in the dressing room that's about 15 feet from the stage. When the performers are introduced they'll come from this room and walk through the audience to the stage. So the mouth coils will be coming out as I back into that room. For a moment I'll be out of site. I'll hand the paper to the girl and she'll return to the stage gathering the coils in such a way that they can't see her face. They'll still think it's me.

Mean while I'm heading down a hall that leads from the dressing room to behind the audience. So all that's left is for her to show she's no longer me. Then I appear in the back.

I just had a thought as I was writing this. Tell me what you think. I'm thinking some time misdirection would be good here or they might put together that I was out of site a moment ago. How about the girl (They think it's me) goes back to the stage. Remember her face is covered. She picks up a sheet and raises it over her as if she's going to do something with it and the paper coils. When the sheet drops she's wearing a white outfit with lots of fringes as if it's made from the white mouth coils.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Sep 12, 2006 06:21PM)
To do effective marketing leading up to a show, I have found I like at least around 2.5 to 3 months leading up to the actual show itself. This really gives me time to not only develop my marketing plan, but to execute it properly and get my materials ready to go. I think pushing your show till November is a smart move as it gives you more time to properly prepare for it.

When picking a date, just really check around to see what other events might be going on at that time that could possibly draw people away from attending your show. I always look into papers and do a bit of online research befopre picking and locking in on any one date. I want to be sure that the date I choose is as best a date as I can get without too many other conflicts.

Hope this also helps and I wish you much success.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Sep 20, 2006 11:31AM)
I want to thank everyone again for all the help and advice.

No real new news as of right now. I'm working to get everything together and start advertising it. I'll keep you posted.

I'm also happy to announce that I've received quite a few offers to come perform in the magic night on some future date if all works out. I've had offers from magicians, jugglers, Flair Bartender/magicians, Mentalist and ventriloquist. It's great to know that if all works out as I hope I'll be able to get some more talent in there for a future magic night. It seems that a lot of performers would like to get up on a comedy club stage. One that's made specifically for magic would be even funnier because we wouldn't get the comedian/magician debate (Some comedians hate magicians). So we wouldn't have to deal with that. People will be coming specifically to see magic.

Just to give you an idea of the potential of this place. Here's a picture of the building. Keep in mind it's being renovated right now.

[img]http://www.magicjax.com/taproomfront.jpg[/img]

There's a truck in the parking lot that'll help give scale (The truck is a good 50 feet from the building so the building is bigger then it looks). The large part on the right will be an auditorium with a full size stage when the renovation is complete. On the left is the small bar in front and behind that is the larger bar that'll be the magic night. Large parking lot in front and rear. So the place has a lot of potential and I hope to some day put on stage shows there as well.


Thanks again.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Sep 20, 2006 07:58PM)
Ron,

I wish you all the best my friend. If I can be of any further help to you in any way, please just let me know. My pleasure.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Sep 23, 2006 12:54PM)
Thanks Kyle. You've been a big help.

I'm working on the advertisements now. I'm making flyers to put around town and then I'll make the newspaper add.

I need advice on one issue. I don't mind if people bring kids to the show but I do want to stress to them that the show will not be geared toward kids. None of the performers will be using any blue comedy but the acts just won't be for kids. I think the hour of the show alone will prevent some of them (starts at 9pm on a Saturday). On top of that it is in a bar. I think if some teenagers show up they'll like the show though.

Any advice on how to handle and/or word this in the ad? OR should I just simple put something like "No one under the age of 18 admitted" and get rid of issue all together. My only concern is this preventing some from not coming.

Ron Jaxon

Posted: Sep 26, 2006 7:21pm
What do you all think of this idea. I know I need to worry more about getting people there then this kind of thing. But I had this idea and want to see what you all think.

Keep in mind that I'm pretty known in my area. I imagine at least half of the people who will be in the audience will have seen me before either doing a real show or just some close up magic in casual settings.

So one of the things I'll put on the flyer is that I have invited some of my friends from around the area (area of about 300 miles) who are great performers. I can honestly say that each one of them are "Award winning performers" because I know they have all won magic completions.

Anyway I have a friend in my area who owes me a favor. He has a limousine service. That's what gave me this idea.

There will be a movie screen pulled down over the stage and I'll use a video projector. So when it's show time the film will start to play. They'll see me out in the parking lot of the building. I talk to the camera welcoming them to "Magic Night". I'll talk about how I invited these performers here. Then I'll make a limousine appear in the parking lot (Not hard to do with a video camera). Then the performers will exit the limo one at a time as I introduce them to the camera. The camera will fallow us into the building. The movie screen will be removed but the background music will continue as we enter the room (From a door behind the audience) walk through the audience waving at them. We'll enter the dressing room at the side of the audience but the MC will go to the stage to start the show.

After the show is over and when people leave they'll see the limo parked out there.

What do you think? I think it would be a neat way to start the show. It would certainly add to the experience in my opinion.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Sep 26, 2006 07:04PM)
It certainly could be a great way to start the show and get the audience really in the mood for a fun evening of magic. It looks like your cost would be minimal at best to do this. The only concern would be getting the screen out of the way fast enough so as to make sure everything flows really smooth from you guys entering to the actual start of the show with the MC on stage. I say go for it.

Then after you get this figured out then you can get back to getting people there hehehe. Sorry had to say it. =) I wish you much success my friend.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Destiny (Sep 27, 2006 12:09PM)
Hi Ron,

Always love your posts.

Having run a few venues I find advitorial (advertising dressed up as editorial) works much better than real ads - And of course - IT'S FREE! Someone touched on press releases up above. We all tend to skip ads unless we're looking for something in particular. The articles we read - that's why we pay money for the paper.

You have some really talented people appearing - could you swing an interview with a local paper and have the interviewee perform some dazzling closup for the journo. Journalists are people too and love getting attention lavished on them - if they are of the opinion that magic is kids stuff - but you astonish them - the resulting article will gush.

Also would a local shopping centre that spends a lot advertising on the local radio accept a deal where you perform a showstopping 'stunt'(maybe a spectacular appearance or disappearance - but just 1 simple to advertise newsworthy 'event' a routine isn't as newsworthy as 1 spectacle)) in the centre with the radio covering it (or local tv if you have).

About 10 years ago we brought an illusionist to town to work in a club and he 'appeared' on local breakfast radio. He performed totally visual gags that were in no way magic for the listeners except for the descriptions they were getting from the show hosts - and our small city talked of nothing else all day. Around every water cooler people were trying to work out how tricks were done they hadn't even seen - and of course the show hosts had exaggerated what they were seeing for comedy purposes - 'how'd you get that elephant in here?'

Wish you all the best - if you promise them entertainment they will come - I understand the posters who say lay people don't like magic, but I also know people love entertainment, fantasy and light relief from the troubles of the world - and I think that is what you are offering with your lineup.

I know I'm going on a lot - but 1 more thing - I agree with your idea of 18+. Any hint that it is going to be a night of kids entertainment will kill ticket sales - and who wants their kids out at that hour anyway?
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Sep 27, 2006 04:31PM)
Thanks so much for your support and all those suggestions.

Yes, I do feel the performers I was lucky enough to get will make a good entertaining show.

Joe Diamond won the Curly's Close up contest last year and performed his killer rope routine on the big stage at Abbott's a couple of years ago.

John Sturk won both Curly's close up and Abbotts close up this year. I'm sure you know that these "Close up" contest are really more like parlor contests. I know he'll amaze and get a lot of laughs. He has every time I've scene him perform.

Bear (username BearMage here on the Café but he's not very active in here) is a performer I've admired for a long time. He's a story teller and a magician. He's one of those guys who can hold an audience just by talking to them. He once did a show in a comedy club even though he had a body cast on him from a surgery (from chest to knee). He told the story about a petrified man and the only magic he did was to show his body was made of stone. The audience loved it and that gives a hint at how well he can entertain a group. For this reason and also because he MC'd the first magic contest I ever won. He'll make a great MC for this Magic Night.

Unfortunately Sean Bogunia won't be able to make it to this new date. But I hope to get him there if it all works out and we have another one.

The newest addition to the line up is Kenn Capman. He's from my home town and is also a member here on the Café. He does a variety of different types of magic acts. I'm not sure which he'll do in this show yet. He does a "psychic entertainment with a comedic slant" as he describes it. That might add a little variety to the evening.

Not sure about the juggler yet. He says he needs an 18-1/2 foot ceiling but the room is only about 14 feet tall. So we're not sure yet. Maybe he can just throw softer. :)

Then of course there's yours truly. A lot of people in the area mostly only see me perform walk around and private party's. It'll be nice to show them another side of what I do (Stage/Parlor). I don't do many of them locally.

Thanks again.

Ron Jaxon

Posted: Oct 6, 2006 2:20pm
I'm having some trouble putting together a flyer advertisement for this. I need to make one to put all over the walls of the building (front bar that is open nightly). And also hand out to people who are interested in going to the show.

I'm thinking of the flyers I see all over the town of Colon Michigan during the magic week. The posters have some pictures of the head liner acts and so forth. I'm just having a hard time making the flyer look appealing without looking cluttered. It of course needs to encourage people to come. I looked on line for templates to help guide me but all the ones I've found are more for business instead of entertainment.

Any suggestions?

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Destiny (Oct 6, 2006 03:17PM)
Hi Ron,

Serif have a program with templates for designing flyers - you can download a free trial and use it. I think it's called drawplus.

- sorry, just googled it - it's called Impactplus but they no longer have a free trial on the website - you can get the free trial with a lot of computer magazine cds though.
Message: Posted by: Destiny (Oct 6, 2006 03:34PM)
http://www.ideabook.com/freeinfo3.htm
http://www.hp.com/sbso/productivity/office/brochure.html
http://www.freeserifsoftware.com/designTemplates/catalog.asp?type=products&Cat=8&navProduct=pageplus

I had better luck this time.

The ideabook link is just good advice.

The hp link is templates for flyers using Microsoft Word if you don't have any graphics programs.

The freeserif link is what I was talking about first up - a trial program with templates.

Good Luck
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Oct 6, 2006 08:57PM)
Hi guys,

There are several programs that I use that are industry standards in the graphic design business and I would like to share them with you incase they may be of benefit to you in your pursuit of the ultimate solution for you. I hope these help.

- Adobe Illustrator: Mainly used for the creation of flat art and logo design creation

- Adobe Photosho: Used for any and all photo retouching, editing and photo montage work. I use this program a lot for creation of customized magic flyers and posters.

- Quark Express or Adove InDesign: These programs are your basic page layout programs used to compile all the pieces together.

these programs can be costly but they are the best programs out there. If you can get them, then they would serve anyone good for many years to come. I will also try and post a few samples of stuff I have done using these programs in hopes they may spark some ideas of your own.

Kyle

Posted: Oct 6, 2006 9:57pm
Flyer design I used for a local theater show. The bottom section was left white for me to add in the information form the different venues we were playing through out the tour. This kept cost down and allowe dus to really get the flyers out faster.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Oct 6, 2006 08:57PM)
Flyer design I used for a local theater show. The bottom section was left white for me to add in the information form the different venues we were playing through out the tour. This kept cost down and allowe dus to really get the flyers out faster.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Oct 6, 2006 09:04PM)
This is a 8 by 10 I use for my festivals. These I can print myself off of my photo printer and customize on the fly. Each of the shots are taking with my hi-res digital camera at the various festivals I work. What is nice about this is that I also send a few to the festival clients as gifts after the event is over.
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Oct 7, 2006 04:49PM)
Thanks so much for your help plasticdestiny and Kyle. I'm working on it and it's starting to come around.

Now for my next step. Tickets.

Guests will obviously be able to pay to get in at the door but it seems to me that if I can sell tickets ahead of time then it'll be more likely they'll show up. Not only that but selling the tickets to the show before hand will give me some idea of the turn out to expect. If I sell 50 or so tickets in advance then I'll know to expect at least that many to show up.

I remember Kyle mentioned putting numbers on the tickets so I can keep track of them. I'm sure that would also help prevent anyone from duplicating the tickets (I might notice I have two with the same number or the number on it isn't one I had made). What's the best way to make the tickets (keeping in mind the costs)? I expect to put some money in it of course but I do need to budget as best I can. Could I make them at home on business card stock? If not I'll check with the printers.

I went to the place last night because an event was going on in the room where my show will be. I wanted to take some pictures of the place when it's open for business to send to the performers. Just to give them an idea of where they'll be performing. It was kind of scary to because this was for a band they didn't get much of a turn out. They only had about 30 people show up. Now that I think of it though there are bands all over the place. A magic night will be a little more unusual and hopefully draw more people in. I also have an advantage of the many magic groups in the area. I'm sure many of them will come and hopefully bring people with them too.

I also might as well mention this here. If any of you will be in the area (Kalamazoo Michigan) on November 18 please stop in for the show. :)


Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Destiny (Oct 7, 2006 06:39PM)
Hi Ron,

I have printed tickets on the home computer - find it best to keep them simple and clean looking and hand number with a gold or other unusual colored metallic pen. This makes people aware the tickets are being kept track off. For some events I have even printed 'Authorised by ...' on the back and had the store or person who sold the ticket stamp or sign it.

If you print tickets it also gives you the opportunity to do a 'give away' as a promotion.

Sometimes it is better to give away 2 single tickets, rather than 1 double, as there is a good chance the person who receives the single ticket will bring someone else who will pay to get in. No chance of that if they get a double ticket.

Don't be too tempted to overly pad the room with freebies though - a mistake I've made over and over even though I should know better. It seems to be a law of nature in the entertainment business that the customer you give a freebie or discount is always your worst customer. Another variation of 'give them an inch and they'll take a mile'.

I also find giving tickets to 'prospects' - (operators of venues you want to get into) so they can see your work can often be a mistake. These people can someimes take the fun out of the night by being overly business like - 'I'm not here to have fun - I'm here to evaluate the nite.'

I just realised how negative I'm sounding but these things are not big deals - just little hints.

If you print tickets you have the opportunity to mention you have them for sale at every business you regularly make purchases from. I live in Cairns - a provincial tourist town of 100,000 people. In our store we make a point of supporting the people who support us. If we find out a regular customer, for example, has a local fruit shop - we make a point of shopping there. Hopefully some of the businesses you patronise have the same attitude and return your support.

Kalamazoo - how magical is that name - there would have to be magic in Kalamazoo.

I love the way you are approaching this - looking at the pros and cons along the way - and getting everything done in a timely manner - I am the worlds greatest procrastinator and live in awe of people who don't leave things till the last minute.

PS: I wonder if there are any free resources for 'event planners' on the web - probably worth googling - who knows what little hints you might find?

ONE LAST THING: With the timing of your event you have an opportunity to sell group bookings - workplace christmas parties etc - maybe you could offer a 10% discount for a group of 10 people and drop your flyer at workplaces around Kalamazoo.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Oct 7, 2006 07:27PM)
Hey Jaxon,

It is great to see you working so hard on this project and I can see that you are indeed taking direct action upon yourself to find your own success. That is the hardest thing to teach anyone is the ability to simply get up off your butt and go out there and do it. Let me see if I can shed some more light opn some of your issues.

In regards to tickets, what I always did was simply designed my own. I did a numbering system on the back of each ticket so that I could not only track the tickets that go out, come in etc,. but it did indeed help prevent anyone from duplicating tickets. The numbering was not for the actual seats and I made sure that every person calling for tickets knew that it wa sgeneral admission seating only and I told them when the doors opened. This made things a lot easier for us.

Numbering the tickets also allows you to make sure that you ONLY sell the amount of tickets that you actually have seats for. You never want to oversell as that would be one huge headache. Numbering them allowed me to track it all easily in an excel spreadsheet. I knew who had what number tickets at all times.

You will certainly ant to conduct and handle advance ticket sales. Now for our theater shows, wehandled all tickets sales from our home. This way we basically become the box office for advance sales. it was not as hard as it seems as long as you are organized.

We had one line of our answering machien just for the show. That meant any calls going tinot that line we new immediately that it was a show request for tickets. We accepted payment via check or money order and as soon as the we received it, we would place the tickets in an envelope along with directions to the place and other information we wanted them to have.

As it got to be about 2 weeks out from the show we stopped mailing tickets out as we knew folks would not tget them in time. In this case we told people we would reserve the tickets for them in an envelope marked with their name. At the show they would go to the advanced tickets line and just state their name and make payment there.

Make the tickets and just run them off on card stock. I set mine up so that I was printing up 8 tickets per 8.5 by 11 card stock. I kept them aligned and just cut them via my paper cutter. They looked professional with the show logo and my cost was next to nothing.

The one golden rule I will warn you about ahead of time is something I am sure you know. However it is so important I will say it again. It does not matter if your show is the best show in the world, if you can not get people filling those seats then it just doesn't matter. It all comes down to your ability to effectively market the show and market it as much as you possibly can.

Every theater show we have ever done, we spent close to 2.5 to 3 months out just marketing and conducting our marketing plan and getting the area saturated with the marketing for the show. I can give you some examples of what we did if you would like. We set a one night record for the last performance we did just from marketing alone.

Do not ever say to yourself I "hope" people show up. Say to yourself that you will do everything in your power to make sure people show up. If you do marketing the rigth way they will show up and they will come in groves to see the show. People just seem to get a mind set that as logn as the show is great and they put up flyers people will come out. There is so much more to it then that.

I hope this helps. Ron, if I was any where near there you can make sure I would be there.

Kyle

PS: is your first show November 18th? if so then what marketing have you done for the show so far? I only ask as I can help you with ideas and because you really need to market a lot starting now to really get the name out there if you want to fill those seats.

If I can be of any mor ehelp, please let me know.
Message: Posted by: Jamie D. Grant (Oct 7, 2006 07:54PM)
Hiya Ron,

I remember going to someone's private house party and had to buy the ticket from Ticketmaster:

[url=http://www.ticketweb.com/sellwithus_tm.html]ticketmaster[/url]

Maybe someone here has some experience with that...

Good Luck!

jamie
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Oct 8, 2006 07:46PM)
Jamie. Thanks for the link. If all goes well with the Magic Night and we do another one, then another one.... I'll look into that.

Thanks again Kyle and plasticdestiny. I'm thinking that if you guys where right here in my town this event would almost be a guaranteed success. :)

I'm going to go ahead and print out the tickets myself. I'll use some kind of number system as suggested. Would just business card stock do or are is there tickets card stock readily available. I'll go to the office supply store tomorrow to check it out.

I'm just relieved right now that I got all the people who will need to be there set up. All the performers, DJ and wait staff. I even have a bouncer. Not that I think I'll need one and no one will know he's there for that. He'll just be helping work the door and such. He's a huge biker dude but he's the nicest guy you'll ever meet and he loves magic. In fact I've always thought it would be funny to get him on stage. The site of a guy my size (5'9" 140lb) picking on a guy his size (6'4" and about 260lb) would be funny. :)

[b]The rest of this post I'm just going to share some of my ideas and thoughts about this show. It's nice to have a place to share these things. Please let me know if you have any opinions or suggestions.[/b]

Because this is my home town and I'm guessing about a third of the people who will show up will be people who have seen me before or have heard about me. So I had this idea to start the show myself then introduce the MC for the night. That's the last they'll see of me until I perform my act. I'm thinking about putting myself last because it is my home town but I'm not sure on that yet. I think show structure is important so we'll (The performers) have to work that out.

Anyway, my idea is to put on a silly disguise of a kind of goofy stage hand. Not over board but enough so that many of them won't know it's me. During the other acts the "stage hand" will do little bits with each performer. Nothing much but little things like not doing something he needs to do until the performer gives him money. One of the performers will be doing a rope act. When the "Stage hand" gets the rope he can go into the comedy rope trick (Boxer shorts on the end). Another performer will be doing the vanishing bandana. The stage hand will give him the package and so forth.

At the end they'll introduce me and when the stage hand turns around (Because he's putting something on the stage for the next act) I turn around and they finally see that the stage hand is actually me in disguise.

I'm not saying I'm definitely going to do that. It's just something I'm thinking about. I sat in the room where the show's going to be for hours just visualizing different things happening.

I'm sure I'll share more of my ideas here later. Thanks for listening.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Oct 8, 2006 08:12PM)
Jaxon,

Thanks for the kind words my friend. If I lived closer I would be more then happy to help you with your marketing efforts to gaurentee a successful turnout. It would be my pleasure to do so.

I would just go and get card stock that you can run through a laser printer at home. Then just line them up, gang them up on one sheet and just use a paper cutter and cut them. It is easy and cheap and you can still make the tickets look good. This is what I do for our theater shows and it works out quite well. Certainly number each ticket with whatever number system works best for you. then track the tickets that go out through an excel speardsheet. You will be glad you did.

It is great that you got the show suf figured out and all set and ready to go. now you rreally need to go out there and ratget market the show like crazy. Saturate the market and make sure every single marketing angle is covered. A great show is nothing if people do not show up.

if you would like some of the ideas of what I use and do to market each of our theater shows, I would be happy to share them with you. Most of them are easy and low busget approaches that really work and get results.

Your idea could be a funny running gag for sure. It could work and add flavor between the set ups for the other acts, Just make sure you let the other performers and MC know this ahead of time. I am sure you would already do that any ways. It certainly could work and be fun for the shows flavor.

Are you going to have the show video taped ot at least take some still shots? I would love to see how things go for you. =)

If you need any assistance or advice PLEASE let me know. I have done exactly what you are trying to do and I know the work involved in doing it. If I can be of help, I will. My pleasure.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Oct 8, 2006 09:08PM)
Thanks so much. I'm getting so much information here I'll be coming back and rereading this entire discussion quite a bit. In fact I was just rereading and a new questions came to mind.

I'm about to get things ready to contact the newspaper. Come of you have given suggestions and they're very helpful. Those of you who know about this here's the link to my local newspaper. If you have a moment could you look and let me know if you suggest anything they offer there? I'm just researching so I'll know what to tell them when I stop in there to talk to them about it.

[url=http://www.kalamazoo-gazette.com/main.html]Here's the link[/url]

Thanks.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Destiny (Oct 9, 2006 04:52AM)
Hi Ron,

I like all your ideas for the show - and also agree with every word Kyle says.

I'm scared this thread will get deleted with everyone agreeing like this.

I like a running gag in this sort of show. It brings everything together - provides a constant. Otherwise unrelated acts are made cohesive.

If the other acts are properly keyed up they can add to the joke by using an occasional raised eyebrow shared with the audience; behind your back. A 'Who is this clown?' type look.

Re the newspaper I believe emphatically that an article with a good pic has 100 times the value of a paid ad. I provide my own pics. This saves the paper work and money and ensures you get the pic you want. My avatar is a pic I used a month ago in the local paper to publicise a show I was hosting. As it's the time of our local horse racing carnival and I was competing for space with all the 'fashions on the field' type pics, I made sure I was the most glamorous 'woman' pictured.

I also provide my own editorial. When being interviewed take along a press release. Then utilise the politicians trick of just repeating everything you have already written. But make sure what you provide will make an interesting story - not just an ad. I find your story interesting. A deaf person successfully working full time as an entertainer and marketing ebooks around the world from little old Kalamazoo - sounds inspiring and uplifting to me.

And lots of references to the wonderful entertainers joining you in this nite of FUN. While making sure the audience knows the entertainers perform magic - I avoid refering to them as 'magicians' so I don't deter magiphobic patrons. Preconceptions are terrible things.

I talk too much.

Kyle is so correct in his emphasis on the importance of getting out and selling tickets. Discreetly call in every favor owed - you don't need a profit this first time - but you need a good crowd who have the time of their lives.

AND you need to cover costs.

The are bills paid.

The patrons are telling the world what a great time they had.

Any profit is a bonus... and you are ready to steam ahead.
Message: Posted by: Destiny (Oct 9, 2006 05:07AM)
Another thought Ron,

The nite needs to be organised so trusted people are taking care of the money, the staging etc.

You are a performer - you need to be free to perform. You cannot be needed to verify something at the gate or put the money away. Carefully delegate to trusted people and make sure everyone knows who does what and who has what authority.

I ended up as General Manager of our largest local niteclub and remained as MC of the same clubs entertainment. I could not let the management of the club suffer so (and I only realised this with hindsight) I went downhill as an entertainer.

Now when I perform I am oblivious to everything but the show. (I almost typed 'deaf and blind' but I didn't want to slight any unsighted people)
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Oct 10, 2006 11:08AM)
[quote]Now when I perform I am oblivious to everything but the show. (I almost typed 'deaf and blind' but I didn't want to slight any unsighted people)[/quote]

LOL.. The line I always use to describe myself is "Deaf and Dumb". Espeially when I make a mistake..:)

I agree with that. In fact my girlfriend agreed to work the door (Tickets and payments). When I told her I need to find two more people to work the door she said, "I said I could do it". But then I explained to her that I know she's going to do it but she may run into some problem or have to answer some questions. I don't want them to have to find me every time something comes up so if there are a few people who know what's going on I won't have to deal with it as much and I'll be able to concentrate on the show. I'll want one person to be a sort of hostess. To great them with a smile and hand them the little program/brochure.

Right in front of a stage there is a dance floor but I'm going to have some seating there. If I didn't the audience would be to far away from the stage for my taste. So with some seats there it would be more like a VIP section (Some places would call a section like the "The pit". In the future I might have a special "VIP section" price but for this first night I think I'll just say, "Sit where you want".

I had another idea yesterday as far as the show itself goes. Again, thanks for reading and it's great to be able to just share these ideas.

Let me know what you think of this. A friend of mine named Johnny is very popular in the area. Not only because he's a great guy but also because he's got a singing voice that would rival with Luther Vandross. I've heard him sing back when I was profoundly hard of hearing (Back then I could her low pitch when loud enough). He's got the kind of voice that gives you goose bumps.

Anyway, during my act. Actually at the end of my act. I'll be doing a kind of romantic/comedy act. It'll have the floating rose (My version of it). It'll be great if there is a birthday or anniversary but if there isn't I'll just find a girl to perform it for. After that I'll sea the girl and tell them I'm going to sing a song for her. Now my act has a lot of humor about my deafness so a deaf person about to sing opens some new "deaf humor". The song begins and out of me comes this amazing voice. I'm just lip sinking but they'll think it's me and be amazed. "How can a deaf guy sing like that"? Then after a few lines in the song I'll walk to a door next to the stage and out comes Johnny and they'll now see that it's actually his voice.

Believe me. Half the crowd will know him or at least know of him and they'll start to applaud and hoot when he comes out and finishes the song. I'm actually thinking about ending the entire show with this. I'll discuss it with the other performers of course but I can see it playing very well here. Toward the end of the song all the performers come out onto the stage. Then when that kind of slow song finishes the upbeat music starts and I thank them for coming out and say our farewells.

I'm just sharing these things as they come up.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Destiny (Oct 10, 2006 12:43PM)
How many months rehearsal time left?

I've done more lip-synching than I care to admit. The most difficult thing to lipsynch is a recording of a person talking - there's no tune to get in synch with.

The impossible thing to lip-synch is a live voice. The idea would be great if you could pull it off - but boy oh boy.

Maybe if you recorded him doing two verses it would be easier to mime. You mime the first verse - then on the second verse he enters, without you seeing him, singing live over your miming. You don't see him till the audience laughter alerts you something is going on.

Done this way you get a double whammy 1/ That's funny - Rons mimng, and 2/ Hey Johnnys singing here!

Having tinnitus myself, I should forewarn you as a hearing impaired person to practice belting out that song with your girlfriend around so she can warn you of the noise you're making. It's so easy with the adrenalin pumping on stage to start singing along instead of miming - rather ruins the effect.

I wish Kalamazoo was a little nearer and I didn't have an appointment with the dental hygienist that day - I'd love to see the show.
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Oct 10, 2006 03:22PM)
ARGH!!!

One of the acts just had to pull out. I understand his situation so I'm not upset with him at all. I was just really looking forward to having him in this. And now unless I find another act I'll have to ask all the other performers to stretch their time up there.

So Now I'm looking for one more act. I'm contacting all that I know who are near enough to possibly do it. We'll see what happens.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: SoCalPro (Oct 10, 2006 03:54PM)
JAXON,
Just pay air fair and I'll be there. ;)

JIM
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Oct 10, 2006 07:28PM)
Thanks so much Jim. Although that's a very good offer. Now that I think about it the air fair would probably cost just about the same as I hope to be able to pay each performer (May be a little steep from CA though) but I can't guarantee what the outcome will be as far as attendance (No matter how much I'm working to book the house). So flying someone from across the country would be a gamble right now. But I hope I can keep you in mind for later dates if all goes well. Same goes for others in here who would be interested in attending someday.

I got two negative replies from possible replacement acts because they are already booked that day but they would like to come on another date. It's a tough situation but I think 4 or 5 acts would still fill the time.

LET THE HEADACHES BEGIN! :)

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: SoCalPro (Oct 10, 2006 08:14PM)
Jaxon,
I commend you for having the desire and the patients it takes to put something like this together. Plus, you are creating work for entertainers. Keep up the good work!! :)

JIM
Message: Posted by: Destiny (Oct 11, 2006 12:13AM)
Hi Ron,

It is 100% unheard of for a show not to have these things happen.

Luckily you've got a month to go - time to look around.

I have learnt through long and very bitter experience - when this happens at the last minute - and there is no other option - cheat.

In your case - one of your acts pulls out an hour before the show - Johnny is going to be singing a few more songs.

'Ladies and Gentlemen, on this night of magic, a special treat - the magical voice of Mr Johnny Vandross.'

Is a printed program of the nites line up expected by the audience in the US or at magic shows? It would be unusual here, I think. If you don't have to do it you save some dollars, and don't have to explain last minute changes.

(I have no idea what is 'de rigeur' for magic shows. I perform magic as an important component of my cabaret show and I've employed magicians. BUT, I have never been to a convention, a club or even a magic shop)

In 2 lines Jim has summed up exactly what is right about what you are doing. If I can second his motion, 'keep up the good work!'
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Oct 11, 2006 01:10PM)
Thanks guys.

Yea, at first when the act backed out I was thinking, "Oh man. Now what am I going to do". But then I realized the show will still be good and I know I can extend my show if I need to and there are plenty of things I can add to the night.

But some good news. I might have another act anyway. I wont' say who yet until I know for sure but he's only a couple hours drive from me. He's willing but he's making sure he can do it (Patiently waiting) :)

Right now I'm making a sign to put in front of the building (Magi Night - A night of magic and Comedy - November 18). The road get's a lot of traffic so I hope that'll draw some people in who see it as they drive by.

Last night I went to a bar for my Pool league (Plays in a different bar every other week). Someone came up to me and said they heard I was putting on some magic show and wanted to know more about it. So I went out to my car and grabbed a hand full of flyers. They where gone in about 10 minutes because everyone wanted one. Then I pulled out my "Seat reservations". What I did is I printed out a form so they can write their name, address, phone #, Email, etc... Then I check the box for "Paid" if they already paid me. So they can just show up that night and we can look for their name on the list to get in. Or, upon their request, I can mail their ticket to them. I sold 22 tickets that way last night. If this keeps up I'll have no problem filling the house by next month. (crossing my fingers).

Plus I'm contacting all the magic clubs in the area. I'm sure they'll support it with the possibility of a place to perform at on a later date. Or even just a place for them to go to a show.

Thanks again for the help everyone.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Oct 11, 2006 06:57PM)
If you do a sign make sure to have a call to action on the sign. This call to action could be a phone number to call or a website. Soemthing that allows the people driving by to react and take action upon what they are seeing as they drive by. We used this method for our theater shows and it works out nicely. We drove a lot of traffic to the website and got the phone calling a lot leading up to the show date.

If you contact the magic clubs ask them for 2 things 1) if they would except and put out your flyers for the show at the meeting and 2) if they have a newsletter where your show can be mentioned in. It works great and most clubs (both IBM and SAM) will support you and be glad to help you out. When we did our show in Nj we had clubs all over NJ and even into NYC willing to help us out and showing support to pass on the word about the show.

Your tracking sheet is exactly the right way to go about it and keep everything inline.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Destiny (Oct 11, 2006 11:05PM)
22 tickets in one night - that's wonderful - people do want entertainment,

Congratulations
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Oct 12, 2006 06:18AM)
They do indeed. Thr problem is it is up to YOU to actively go out there and make sure they know about your show taking place. That is why I can not stress enough the importance of not just having a good show, but the importance of marketing that show as actively as you can. The best show in the world does nothing if no one is silling the seats. =)

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Oct 12, 2006 11:11AM)
Thanks again. I'm so glad I started this discussion here. Not only because it's so much help to me but also because I'm sure someone else will need some advice on putting together an event like this and if they stumble upon this discussion the advice will be helpful to them too.

I'm happy to announce that the possible replacement act I mentioned in my last post is now official. Welcome Sylver & Gwydion to Magic Night in Kalamazoo Michigan. He's a meber here on the Café under the username "gsidhe" (Gwyp). I have to admit I've never seen them perform live but I've watched some videos of them at youtube and in speaking with him he's very knowledgable and helpful. I also love the fact that their act will be very different from all the other acts. In fact every act I have is different so I doubt there will be any repeat effects and the show will have a lot of variety. It also helps that they are from Grand Rapids Michigan which isn't very far away.

I hope you don't mind me doing this Gwyp but here's a video of them: :)
[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xs7XMN6tZsY&eurl=]Click here[/url] to see them perform "The Bed of Pain".

Now I have to get back to the sign. I'm going to make a web page for it. I'll also put something like "Enquire within for details) or put the phone number of the place the show will be in. The owner already said I can do that and the staff will be told all about it so they'll be able to help answer questions. I needed to find a route like that because I can't talk on the phone.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Oct 12, 2006 12:29PM)
Not a problem Ron, that's what the vids are up for!
Glad to be a part of what is going to be a great show!
Thanks again for having us,
Gwyd
Message: Posted by: sb (Oct 12, 2006 03:20PM)
Ron, your last post made me think of this... I had this happen at a show where I hired 4 acts, and I have seen it at magic club shows a few times in the past. Make sure you, and everyone else in the show, knows what effects each other is going to be doing. I have also found when you ask an act what effects they will be doing you will get an answer like "metamorphisis, my card manip routine, and a zig zag". Well they forgot to mention that between the zig zag and the metamorphisis, they are going to throw in a vanishing ketchup bottle.

But wait...act number two, also plans on throwing in a vanishing ketchup bottle. And guess what, they both are going to use some of the exact same stock type of lines.

And opps.... Act 3 is going to throw in a vanishing egg, and use some of the same little bits, and in the eyes of the audience all three routines will be very much the same...

This is of course just an example, but the point I am trying to make is that even when you ask someone what they plan on doing, you sometimes just get the highlights, and not the little "bits and pieces". And again, unfortunatly, a lot of acts' filler material may be somewhat "stock or off the magic shop shelf" - no matter how original and different their signature pieces may be.

Just my thoughts, hope someone finds them usefull.

BTW, good luck on the show. I live about 4 hours away and am trying to presuade my wife for us to take a weekend trip..... that just happens to be on the week of your show....I'll let ya know if we will be able to attend ;)

scott b
Message: Posted by: sb (Oct 12, 2006 03:23PM)
Ron, your last post made me think of this... I had this happen at a show where I hired 4 acts, and I have seen it at magic club shows a few times in the past. Make sure you, and everyone else in the show, knows what effects each other is going to be doing. I have also found when you ask an act what effects they will be doing you will get an answer like "metamorphisis, my card manip routine, and a zig zag". Well they forgot to mention that between the zig zag and the metamorphisis, they are going to throw in a vanishing ketchup bottle.

But wait...act number two, also plans on throwing in a vanishing ketchup bottle. And guess what, they both are going to use some of the exact same stock type of lines.

And opps.... Act 3 is going to throw in a vanishing egg, and use some of the same little bits, and in the eyes of the audience all three routines will be very much the same...

This is of course just an example, but the point I am trying to make is that even when you ask someone what they plan on doing, you sometimes just get the highlights, and not the little "bits and pieces". And again, unfortunatly, a lot of acts' filler material may be somewhat "stock or off the magic shop shelf" - no matter how original and different their signature pieces may be.

Just my thoughts, hope someone finds them usefull.

BTW, good luck on the show. I live about 4 hours away and am trying to presuade my wife for us to take a weekend trip..... that just happens to be on the week of your show....I'll let ya know if we will be able to attend ;)

scott b
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Oct 12, 2006 04:03PM)
I agree 100%. I am asking all the acts to tell me if they are going to be performing anything that's common or a marketed effect so I can make sure no one else is doing the same thing. Fortunately in this case I've seen just about all of the acts before and we're all very different. So I don't think that'll be much of an issue on this show. But I am looking into it.

This is kind of hard for me though because I'm a pretty spontaneous performer. I plan my shows but I always have extras lined up in case I need them for what ever reason. And sometimes I'll finish one routine and I know what I have planned next but I think of another one that would be better at that moment based on the audiences reactions and my own feeling. Quite often I end up performing things I didn't plan on performing. It just felt right while I was up there.

This brings to mind one of the funniest things I've ever seen on a magic stage. One act performed the Professors Night mare. A couple of acts later was Jay Marshall and he had also planned on performing the Professors Nightmare. Instead of changing his mind he performed it anyway. The entire time he was saying things like. "This trick usually gets a thunderous applaud but since (The other performer) already did it I'll just walk through it real quick".

Then after he made the ropes grow and counts them off as all being the same length. As he did the count he said out loud, "One -[b]switch[/b]- two, three equal pieces of rope". It was funny. Leave it to Jay for making it work to his advantage.

Thanks so much everyone.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Destiny (Oct 12, 2006 08:00PM)
So glad Gwyd is performing with you - love his performances on youtube - and he's got such a broad range of performance. Great humor - his Ren Faire stuff is reminiscent of those comedy gods - Monty Python.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Oct 12, 2006 09:28PM)
Oh while I was reading this just something you will want to make sure you do as soon as you can. get contracts out and signed by everyone involved. It sounds like such a task and chore but you will be glad you did. Every act should have a contract with you as well as you and the location that is hosting the event. This covers you and protects you and lets every act and person involved know exactly what is expected of them. It takes some effort to do, but you can usually use the same contract and just change the terms that apply to that person. Just something I do for all my theater shows and thought I would share with you.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Oct 13, 2006 03:27PM)
Thanks guys.

I'm only on for a minute here but I'd like to get some opinions on this flyer design. I'm not quite sure about the words in the middle of the page. I'm hoping to use that spot to say, "This is a reason to come". Let me know if you have any suggestions or advice. It might help if you zoom out so you can see the entire page at once. That'll tell you what they'd see when it's on the walls around town.

I had images of all the performers but it looked to cluttered. So I only used a few. The Program will have pictures of everyone though of course.

I made it into a PDF.

http://www.magicjax.com/colorflyer.pdf

Thanks.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Destiny (Oct 14, 2006 09:13AM)
Hi Ron

Good Images.

Just a couple of things struck me - generally it looks good - but you want to know what is wrong - not what is right.

The address and phone number distracted me - not a natural fit - I think that would go better down the bottom.

I feel a little bit as though I didn't get a real sense of what the nite is about, but Kyle would be better to comment on that - he knows the US market and we don't get many (any) nites of magic in my neck of the woods.

This will sound crass but, handsome as you and Gwyd are, I think the pic of Sylver should be more prominent. Terrible I know, but women are better selling images and you have a picture of a very attractive woman with nice cleavage performing a spectacular stunt. Her hair looks great and is the only color on the page.

Perhaps shrink some of the text down so you can enlarge her. I would definitely leave the pic of you where it is because that pic says 'magic' to me immediately.

I really think it's going to be a great nite - you're really pulling it together.
Message: Posted by: Kipp Sherry (Oct 14, 2006 12:03PM)
Ron,

After the price, I'd suggest replacing your appology with a simple statement about how old they have to be to attend (21 and older, or whatever your states liquer laws require).

Make the text about Vegas a smaller and less prominant.

Under "Featuring" you should put "Kalamazoo's Top Magicians" then leave out the sentence in your body text.

These two modifications would give you enough extra room to enlarge the pictures as Plasticdestiny suggest.

All in all it looks like your doing a great job. It's pretty fun, huh?
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Oct 14, 2006 02:08PM)
Thanks for the feedback and advice. I'm paying attenton and I just made some changes. What do you think of this one?

http://www.magicjax.com/magicnightc.pdf

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Oct 14, 2006 07:53PM)
Ron,

I am liking the improved version and I agree with Kipps suggestion of changing the language used at the bottom. You never need or want an aplogee at the end of a flyer or anywhere on it. It almost dters people away from it. I think simply saying 18 and older works the best for you. It is simply stated and gets the point across.

the only suggestion at this point is really allowing the person who gets this to take direct action to get tickets and get them now. Will they and can they order tickets in advance? if so I would mention that on there to drive folks to purchasing tickets ahead of time. Adavance sales gives you a good idea of where you are with the show and how you stand and every theater show I do, I make sure I am really pushing advance sales and giving people multiple easy ways to seek information or to obtain tickets.

With this in mind you could say something like:

Tickets are only $10. To obtain tickets in advance and ensure your seating, please contact (such and such) today.

For more information or to answer any questions please contact us directly at (number and or web page)

Just a suggestion. In this fashion you are really giving them a call to action and pushing the advance tickets a bit more.

Hope this helps. If I can be of any help at all, please let me know.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Kipp Sherry (Oct 15, 2006 02:00AM)
Ron,

I like the changes.
Along Kyle's statement you might want to consider:
Advance Ticket $10.00, Tickets at the door $12.00. Or some other type of early bird discount. Definately add "For tickets call 269-345-0511".

I had a question about the 2 hour wait between doors opening and show starting. Most venues open their doors 1 hour before show time. If the 2 hours is designed to give the close up magicians more time to do their thing, then you might want to promote that as part of the show, otherwise people will just show up about 8:30. You could say something like:
Close up magic begins as soon as the doors open at 7:00. Stage acts begin at 9:00.

Kipp Sherry
Message: Posted by: Destiny (Oct 15, 2006 05:49AM)
I like the new version too.

And agree with the points Kyle and Kipp have made.

Things are looking good.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Oct 15, 2006 08:09AM)
Great stuff guys. I think we all agree this is much better but you may want to just add a bit of wording at the bottom to really direct people to take action and to promote the various ways they can call to get tickets etc. Give them the options and give them incentive to call in advance for tickets.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Paul Jester (Oct 15, 2006 12:03PM)
Looks like I'm a bit late chipping in my 2pence worth!

A better idea for your limo favour would be to have it as a prize. Tell people that if they book in advance (before such and such a date) they will be put into a free prize draw. Prize being to be picked up from their home and driven to the venue and home again. Great advertisement and people will book in advance.

Also with regards to papering your first few shows, remember to invite the concierge's of all your local hotels, because tourists will ask them where they can go to see shows. Also your local magic shop (magicians love magic!). Even invite journalists, any one who will enjoy your show who works in a place where people look to find entertainment.

I've always thought the key to variety nights was variety, don't book all magic acts!

Paul
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Oct 17, 2006 02:52PM)
Thanks again everyone. I'm taking it all in. If this night is successful you're all a part of that. On the other hand if it bombs then it's all your fault.. :) (kidding).

I have something else I need help with. I mean major help. And that's music. My DJ said he'd help out and I'm sure he'll do everything he can. But I'm asking all of you for any suggestions on this.

I want to have some background music to play at the beginning and end of the show. Nothing with words. I'm thinking of something to hear as at the beginning while no one is on stage yet but the show is about to begin. Then you'd hear a voice say something like, "The Lamplighter Inn would like to thank you for joining us for MAGIC NIGHT. And now here's you host _______!"

Wouldn't it be good to have some dramatic music in the background during this? AS you know I'm deaf now but I remember back when I could hear there usually is some music during this. Any suggestions? I can ask my DJ if he has it or I can find it.

At the end of the show as well. A few posts up I mentioned that Johnny will sing. I think this will be a great ending. It's a slow song but at the end of the song all performers will be on stage and give their final bow. So I'm thinking the slow song ends and an upbeat finish starts as we say our "Thanks you and good night".

I'm just looking for suggestions or advice on this. I'll obviously have to have the DJ help a lot.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: sb (Oct 17, 2006 04:54PM)
Why not let the DJ put it together? Express your thoughts to him/her and let him put it together. My sound person really likes that I give him control over this part of the show, he doesn't get to choose any of the music for the show itself (well, actually he does play a part in music selection when I am developing something new....) and it keeps him interested in the whole thing knowing I really do trust him... I let him choose the pre and post show music and then I basically do a final approval. He likes music more than me and puts a lot of time into the whole thing.

I usually choose the last song of the pre show music, and the lights start to dim during this song, and currently I have chosen the first song of the post show music. There are a few songs that I may express an interest in having included, and he will put them in.

Besides, I (and you!) have too much other stuff to deal with, like hiring acts, advertising, selling, advertising, selling, advertising, selli....you get the point!

Sorry if I really didn't answer your question by giving you any actual songs, but hope it helps a little anyway....


good luck again

scott
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Oct 17, 2006 07:18PM)
In our theater show, we compiled a song list burned to Cd and also my ipod that had enough music to cover the time people were coming in and being seated. In our case doors to seating opened 1 hour prior to the show. I then chose music to last for that duration of time. The music was all non lyrical and we intended it to start off as nice jazz style music and smooth and then start to build up in intensity as the show draws closer.

Because I could tell the tracking times of the music as I compiled it, I also placed in announcements at periodic times. these were things like, "Ladies and gentlemen the show will begin in just 15 mins, please locate your seats at this time for the show is about to begin." then more music would play. Then another announcement 5 minutes before show time for final taking of your seats and also a small announcement about cell phones, cameras, fog etc.

Then we went right into the show build up sequence. This was a song that was very poweful and builds in excitement but lasts about maybe 2 minutes. During this time the lights and spot light is moving across the front curtain.

After this we have a short and powerful intro to the show and then the show msuic started with our first illusion music.

Because this was all on one cd, it made it very easy for us and our sound man to be able to handle. when people started seating, we let the preshow cd just play and run. We knew it was an hour in length and that allowed us time to concentrate on last minute things.

Hope this helps.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Kipp Sherry (Oct 18, 2006 05:01PM)
Ron,

What do you like to listen to? Just kidding. :)

You might consider sound track music from movies. "Lord Of The Rings" comes to mind. It has some magical and yet emotional elements that could set the mood nicely.

Until we appear again,
Kipp Sherry
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Oct 18, 2006 05:34PM)
LOL Kipp. That reminds me of one night I was at a bar and they where collecting money to put in the juke box. The guy asked me, "What kind of music do you like?" I immediately said "POLKA". He gave me a funny look for a moment then he goes, "OMG I can't believe I asked you that!" fallowed by, "I'm sorry, Oh man I feel terrible". I just laughed because that's not offending at all. It means it's easy for people to forget I'm deaf. I must be doing okay in dealing with it. :)

I talked to the DJ and he said he's got just the thing. I'll have it play when the other performers are around to ask their opinion.

Thanks everyone.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Oct 18, 2006 07:31PM)
Ron,

I can totally relate as you know I am also partially deaf myself and wear hearing aids. I find that most people feel more odd about it then I do myself. I try to let them know that I am totally cool with it and they should be as well. this usually comes out in jokes I say and the way I act when asked about it etc.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Oct 21, 2006 01:18PM)
Thanks to all of your help things are really coming together. I'm selling tickets and have a complete line up with a good variety of styles. No to acts will be alike. As you'll see by this list the line up has made a lot of changes. Mostly because of things that no was able to prevent.

The Line up:
Mike McNee (Cafe name "The Magic Ref") is the MC.
John Sturk (Won Abbott's stage and Close up this year)
[url=http://www.isawscott.com]Scott Raymond[/url] (Not-so-serious Mind Reading)
[url=http://www.myspace.com/knottybits]Knotty Bits[/url] (Gwydion & Sylver)
Ron Jaxon (Me :) ) Comedy magic

Now I'm thinking about the order of the show. Obviously this is something I have to discuss with all the performers and I am doing that. But I just thought I'd bring it up here because of how helpful you've all been.

I think I'll be the last performer. Not because I feel I'm better then everyone else or anything. But mainly because probably half the people there will know me because it's in my home town and quite a few of them will be coming just because I told them about it. So I felt that would be smart to put me last. Those who came mainly to see me will see the entire show before I get up there.

All the acts are good but some types of acts make better openers in my opinion. For instance a mentalism act (While very entertaining and funny) doesn't have as much visual appeal. So I think the opening act should grab their attention. For that reason I'm thinking either John Sturk or Knotty bits (Again I am talking to them about this but just sharing my thoughts here to see if anyone has any input I haven't thought about yet). Knotty bits will have the visual appeal of the fire and all that (Not to mention an attractive woman). John will be doing a lot of the things you'd expect to see in a magic act such as linking rings and rope magic and he's very good at getting a crowd going. He had the entire bar at Abbott's on their feet with just cups and balls this year.

It really depends on how they feel. I, for example, don't like to be an opening act. I think it has a lot to do with my deafness. I feel better when I can observe a crowd and get a feel for the atmosphere.

Any thoughts?

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Kipp Sherry (Oct 21, 2006 06:24PM)
Ron,

Open strong! Close strong!
Message: Posted by: Destiny (Oct 21, 2006 06:42PM)
Hi Ron,

I agree with a visual act as an opener, but find fire a bit overwhelming as a starter. I usually use fire towards the end. That said, I think your gut instinct and talking to the performers will serve you better here.

You know the performers and the room. You have a good idea of the people who are coming. This makes you the best qualified to make the call.

I'm so glad all your hard work is paying off and tickets are selling.

While I rarely use my psychic abilities I will second what Kyle is about to say -'Keep those tickets selling.'

And what is it about this thread and hearing - I've just had flu so my tinnitus is in full swing - a thousand bells ringing in my right ear.
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Oct 21, 2006 07:29PM)
[quote]
On 2006-10-21 19:42, plasticdestiny wrote:

And what is it about this thread and hearing - I've just had flu so my tinnitus is in full swing - a thousand bells ringing in my right ear.

[/quote]

I've mentioned hearing a few times in this discussion because I'm deaf and Kyle is almost deaf (I believe he'd be termed profoundly Hard of hearing now am I right Kyle?).

I'll just mentioned one more thing I did. On the part of the tickets that you can tear off I put, "To be notified of future show" fallowed by a place to put their name, address and Email. So if they fill it out I'll be able to mail them a post card or something to let them know about future shows.

Just to let you know the kind of support I'm fortune enough to have around here. I just bumped into a family friend at a gas station and he told me my sister called him telling him about the show. This friend isn't someone my family talks to very often anymore (No reason just different crowd). That tells me my sister is calling everyone she knows. :) (Nothing like family)

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Oct 21, 2006 08:26PM)
Ron,

Yes, you would be right in that assumption. Without my hearing aids in both ears my hearing probably drops a good 60% or more. As Ron has stated before, hearing is never really measured in percentages but I would have to say that is about my range if I had to guess. My problem is that without my hearing aids my higher frequency range drops and is non exsistent. I simply can not hear the sounds.

This is why when I do not have my heairng aids in or if they malfunction, then womens' voices become very hard for me to understand. I can hear sound but the sound is not clear to me. It is not focused sound.

Plastic Destiny:

You know me all to well. I would indeed say keep those tickets selling. cintinue to market even all the way up to the last week of the show. Keep on getting the word out cause any great show is nothing if the seats are not filled up.

Ron:
Use your family, friends, enemies and anyone and everyone you can. When I am marketing our theater show EVERYONE gets tapped into. hehehe I make sure that everyone person that can possibly help me is helping me in some way to get the word out.

I wish you all the success in the world my friend.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Oct 22, 2006 12:27AM)
Man I hate to write this post but consider this. You ARE in the "Tricky Business" forum.

Think of the amount of time invested and expence. If your doing it to do it then fine, but if your looking to make money, I am not sure your on the right path.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Oct 22, 2006 08:22AM)
It is what I said before. Having a great show means nothing if you can not fill the seats. You simply MUST market the show and sell those tickets and get those seats filled. I can not say one way or the other if Ron is doing that or not but I will give him as much advice and help as I can and wish him much success on his endeavour.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Destiny (Oct 22, 2006 08:35AM)
Hi Danny,

I think Ron can make money here - room takes 250 pax by $10 a head = $2500 total. He has 4 acts other than himself to pay. This isn't the place to get into what each act will be paid - but that sounds to me like ok rates for a small provincial city.

Ron will not get paid for all his extra organisational work in cash, but he is amply compensated by what he has learnt. The only way we learn anything is by doing it - and he is doing it.

I don't know Kyle, other than by his posts, but I would guess he did a lot of unpaid work, and at the time, self funded study, early on, to be in the position he is in now. I would also guess that he's glad he did.

I have nothing but admiration for people like Ron who think outside the square, and see a life full of opportunity, not obstacle.

If at the end of the nite Ron has paid all the bills and given the audience a couple of hours of fun, fantasy and escape from the drudgery of everyday life, he'll have an ongoing venture. I'd say that's better than sitting at home wishing someone had booked him for a gig that nite.
Message: Posted by: Mr Amazeo (Oct 22, 2006 12:49PM)
I think he's on the right track also. Ten bucks is cheap for a show like this. A friend of mine did something similar to this with his http://www.themagiclonge.com show. The tickets were in neighborhood of fifty buck, which included dinner. There were only 2 performers per show doing about a 30 minute set each. Add in the emcee and the whole show was about 75 minutes. And the place was packed!

So I think five performers for $10 is a bargain and a great way to get the concept established in your area. It all hinges on the marketing, so keep at it.

Good Luck!! I hope it goes great for you!!
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Oct 22, 2006 04:44PM)
Thanks guys.

My thoughts on this first Magic night is to get people in the audience. That's the reason for the low price. They won't know it's worth more until they see it. If I where in Vegas or something I would never put such a small price on it because a place like that are use to a show being a gamble.

Am I hoping to make money? Actually for this show no I don't expect to make much. That's a long term goal. My goal right now is to take care of the performers who are coming on faith that I'm doing everything I can to fill the house and give them enough to make it worth their time and effort. Some of them are making 3 hour drives to get here.

Another goal is to obviously give the guests a good time and a reason to come back to the next one. So they'll be able to share their experience and let others know about it. I also hope to show the owner the potential of having these shows and encourage him to help make it better. To make what ever changes or additions might be needed (The stage could be a little larger for example).

It all boils down to establishing the venue. Real money won't be made until that happens. Then the price of the seats can go up to a fair level for both performers and spectators and it'll be easier to book more acts knowing that the place is established and that we'll be bringing in the money to pay their fees.

The long term goal is to create a new venue for us to perform in and people to come enjoy. I just found out some good news the other day too. Well, good news for the show. There's only one comedy club in Kalamazoo. Well there was because I just found out they closed down. So if this works out it'll be the only comedy club type place in town. I don't know how much that'll effect us but it's good to know that competition is no longer there.

I wonder if the fact that the movie (The Prestige) just came out will effect us too. :)

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Destiny (Oct 23, 2006 10:08AM)
Good Stuff Ron,

Speaking of the bar owner, I haven't noticed anything about any input from him.

Everything has been worthwhile to get your foot in the door, but if this nite works, you and your fellow performers are not the only ones to benefit.

A room that has been doing nothing suddenly has 250 drinkers in it.

A lot of venues go to a lot of trouble and expense to get that.

When you do the next night, assuming the success of the first, it will be time for him to contribute towards promotion etc.
Message: Posted by: Mr Amazeo (Oct 23, 2006 11:14AM)
Oops - I caught a typo.
The link should be http://www.themagiclounge.com/

sorry about that
Message: Posted by: Destiny (Oct 23, 2006 11:46AM)
Mr Amazeo

Thank You for that link - your friend has an excellent website.

I hope he finds another venue - he deserves it.
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Oct 23, 2006 07:15PM)
I just thought I'd post this. I took some pictures for the performers so those who can't make it before the week end of the show will have some idea of what the place is like. There was a band playing when I took them so it was dark and I lightened the pictures with my computer.

I put them on a web page:
http://www.magicjax.com/magicnight/pics.html

You'll be able to see it's not perfect but very nice. I like the lay out and look. Just a few things I hope to change for future shows.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Sylver Fyre (Oct 25, 2006 03:26PM)
I just caught up to this thread-

Plasticdestiny- you made me blush- thanks for the compliments

I agree with the suggestions about doing tickets at the door for $12 and $10 in advance. It really does help get people to buy ahead. And also include how they can get the tickets in advance. These are both good suggestions that have been made.

I know you are working on getting advertising through the Gazette but did you think about advertisement through the colleges? The college newspapers may be interested in doing an article on the show.
There are three in Kzoo and WMU has great resources for advertisement. The population in Kzoo is largely made up of college students looking for something cool to do. I know, cause I lived there for 7 years before moving to the GR area and was involved on campus quite a bit.
You might be able to get support from student organizations and book a few group rates. Just some thoughts.

I'm very excited to be a part of this. Gwyd and I are very much looking forward to the 18th!
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Oct 26, 2006 04:17PM)
I'm looking forward to it too and I so look forward to you and Gwyd's act. Although I have to admit I'm getting the little pre-show jitters. My mind keep wondering, "Will people show up? Am I ready? Will the lighting, DJ, microphones, bar tenders and waitresses all work out"?

In other words the pressure is coming on. I'm sure in some ways that's a good thing because it'll force me to work out those issues. Better to think ahead then not think enough. :)

I talked to one of the bar tenders the other day. I'm worried because I said I think they should have at least 2 bar tenders and 3 waitresses. They only scheduled one bartender and 2 waitresses. They said they can handle it and my reply was, "I know you're good but I'd rather have more then enough then not enough. I don't want complaints about service". When I talk to the owner this week end I'll bring that up.

Which reminds me. Should I talk to the waitresses about how to operate during the show? They are good servers during bands and things like that but I don't know if they know how to handle a show like this where it's "An Audience" rather then people hanging out and dancing. I'm sure they'll adjust if they need because they are good but I was just wondering if there are any tips on that I should share with them. I'll be sure to have a meeting with the staff either on the day of the show or before just to let them know anything they might need to know. Some people might have questions about the show itself so I'm going to keep the staff on the loop of things.

Thanks so much for everything on this discussion. Man, this could be turned into a book. And a special thanks to Al Angello for moving this discussion to this section of the board where it's gotten so much more attention. IT was up for a week in another section with not one reply. And look. We're on page 4. Thanks Al.

Ron Jaxon

Posted: Oct 31, 2006 2:09pm
Latest News.

I had a meeting last night with the owner and some staff members. We're getting a lot of attention for the show. They're getting calls and people are stopping in to ask about it and picking up tickets. In fact the owner said he's sure he'll be able to get about 200 people to come himself. So we had to make a decision because the room holds approximately 200 people (Could have held up to 250 with enough extra tables brought in).

So we decided to move the show to another room in the building. This room as is seats Approx. 350 people. The room at one time had 10 bowling alleys in it plus a lounge area and bar. That'll give you an idea of the room size. It also has a larger platform stage (About 20' x 30').

The larger stage will allow larger stage props yet the room is still good for a platform/parlor show. So I'm excited about the move. I won't have to change anything as far as the advertisements because it's in the same building. In fact it's better because the old entrance was in the back of the building. This one is in the front so with a sign above the door they'll see it as soon as they enter the parking lot (See image of building on the first page of this discussion. The new room is the large section on the far right).

My Newspaper adds start this Friday. So things are looking good right now. We've had some glitches of course and I'm sure there will be more. But I'm taking it day by day. I sure hope any magicians who read this who are close enough to come will be there. I'd love it if you showed up.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Nov 1, 2006 06:19PM)
Ron,

This sounds great and congrats on the move to a larger area in the building. More seats will mean more potential to fill those seats and that equals more income and ROI for you and your group as well.

The jitters are natural and man they sure hit my wife and I 2 weeks out from our last theater show. You can only do the best you can to market the show in as many ways as possible. Then you have to sit back and relax a bit knowing you have done all you can do. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Nov 6, 2006 06:40PM)
Thanks so much. Man, I wish some of you where closer and could come. Not just to get more people there but you'd definitely have tickets waiting for you. A small way of saying thank you for all the help. If this night works out it'll have a lot to do with all the help you've been sharing so you've definitely earned it.

The new room is great in the way that the stage and room is larger. But it created things to work out (understandably). For instance there are these poles running down the middle of the room. I'm not sure what they are called. The poles that many large rooms have that help support the ceiling. There's even one right in the middle of the stage. I didn't like this at all but I think I've found a solution. Because the poles are already painted white I'm going to cover the middle of them with black. So they'll look like giant magic wands. I wanted to avoid the magic wand/rabbit from hat/ fan of cards look. But in this case it seems like a good solution to the pole problem. Now I just need to figure out a low cost way to do it that doesn't look like a garage sale decoration (Low cost because it'll only be used this one night then removed).

Just sharing my current situation. I'm sure that someday someone else will be putting something like this together and find this discussion. So I think my sharing my ups and downs will tell them that it's normal and to expect things to come up.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Destiny (Nov 6, 2006 10:55PM)
Hi Ron,

Congratulations on the bigger room.

With decorating you can usually just go for the lowest cost solution like black cardboard. Check out some shop window displays - the professionals accomplish miracles with next to no expense.

(There's also some crinkly black flexible plastic used in packing boxes - I imagine anything used for packing would be cheap)
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Nov 12, 2006 05:49PM)
Thanks.

I talked to the owner and he just said, "Paint them if you want to". Kind of shows how he's being supportive doesn't it?

Whew! You know that pressure we talked about Kyle? Man am I feeling it now. :)

The show is 6 days away. At night I can't get the show out of my mind. I keep going over everything that I've done and mostly what still needs to be done. Some things I won't be able to do until the day before the show. The show is on a Saturday and the room will be used for another event on the Thursday before. So Friday will be a busy day of decorating, setting tables, rehearsing some more, talking to the staff to tell them all they'll need to know (I figured they should know some things in case guests ask questions). I've got two guys who will basically serve as bouncers (not that I plan to need them but it's nice to know they are there to take care in case an event arises. Especially with drinking crowds). They're good guys and know how to do that job. They'll also help at the door with checking ID's (Must be 18 to enter and have to know who's under the drinking age of 21).

Man, there's a lot to producing a show. I knew there was before I started this but there's even more then I had anticipated. But I'm lucky to have a lot of help on this one.

After the show I'm sure the first thing I'll do is finally get a good night sleep. Then I'll post some pictures and maybe videos on line to share with you all.

Thanks so much everyone.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Nov 12, 2006 07:39PM)
You gotta figure out how you are gonna get people on and off stage and their props and such.

Bigger places sometimes equal nightmare of blocking and on and off. Just hope you work it out prior to an audience.
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Nov 14, 2006 06:11PM)
Thanks Danny and I agree. Luckily only two acts will need much of a set up (And I'm one of them). So we got that worked out and even have some back up plans just in case more time is needed. But neither of us that need any preparation will need more then a couple of minutes.

Thanks for pointing it out though. It's definitely something that could bring a lot of hassle to a show if it's not thought of before hand.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Nov 15, 2006 08:24PM)
Oh man. I just found out I made a major mistake for this show. On the advice given in this discussion I checked around the area to make sure there was nothing else major going on the night of the show. I have no idea how I missed it but on the same night as my show there's a Jerry Seinfeld concert going on at Western Michigan University.

But we might be okay because the concert has been sold out for over a month. So maybe those who couldn't get them will find my show.

Argh!

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Nov 16, 2006 08:15AM)
Aw heck Ron...
We wouldn't want Seinfeld fans at the show anyway!

They're kinda whiney.

It's a Saturday night, we have to be up against someone! Better Seinfeld than say...The Blue Collar Comedy guys.
There are no "empty" weekends.
This will have little to no effect.
Coming down to see the venue tonight!
Gwyd
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Nov 16, 2006 10:43AM)
Oh yea. If it was the Blue Collar Comedy guys even I would probably cancel the show to be there. Those guys are hilarious.. :)

Yea, I don't think it'll effect us too much. It's on the other side of town and I'd imagine the college students picked up most of the ticket as soon as they became available.

Look forward to fianlly meeting you guys in peson tonight Gwyd. I'll probably have a broom in my hand or something when you arrive. Still working on the place every day.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Destiny (Nov 16, 2006 01:53PM)
All the best folks - Kill 'Em
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Nov 16, 2006 03:17PM)
I am confused as I thought tickets were already selling and you kind of knew who and how big your crowd was going to be.

I HOPE you are not counting on everyone who expressed a passing interest actually showing up. If so you may be in line for a major disappointment.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Nov 16, 2006 07:22PM)
This is why I track each and every sale and only handle all the advance tickets as well. it really gives me an idea of how many folks I know will be there ahead of time and can help me know what marjeting avenues worked the best.

Jaxon: I wish you all very much success in your show this weekend. I know you put a lot of sweat and tears into this and I wish you all the best. Please keep us all posted. I have been in your shoes and it can be nerve racking for sure. But I also know that each time out I learned so much and every show I did I got better and better and was successful with it.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Nov 18, 2006 10:45AM)
Thanks guys.

The show is tonight. I had the strangest dream last night about it. I dreamed my friends and family gave me a surprise and redecorated the place for me. It looked awesome but it totally messed up my entire act. LOL It was a very strange dream.

I'll let you know how it went tomorrow. Thanks everyone for all your advice.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Nov 18, 2006 11:20AM)
Jaxon,

Go out there and have the night of your dreams my friend. You put a lot of hard work into this and I look forward to hearing all the details. Sure it will be hectic and crazy today, but good things usually are. Here is to your success.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Jamie D. Grant (Nov 18, 2006 07:28PM)
Break a leg!
Message: Posted by: magicman04971 (Nov 18, 2006 11:54PM)
Wow! I just found this thread and read the whole thing!! I started reading about 11:00pm on Saturday, November 18th----SHOWDATE!!! Now it is a bit after midnite, and I can't WAIT to read about how the show went.... Retroactive Best Wishes, and BREAK A THREAD!!!

Wes
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Nov 19, 2006 06:38AM)
I will be dealing at a magic convention all day but look forward to hearing how it went for you when I get back in tonight. Hope all went well.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Nov 19, 2006 12:58PM)
Whew! I made it through it. It's a little after 1:00 pm the day after the show and I slept in until noon.. :)

Kyle, you where right. I was pleasantly surprised by how many people showed up. When 7pm rolled around (The time we opened the doors to let people in). There only a few people there. Mainly friends of mine. All of them must have had it in mind that they'd come early to see if I'd need any help with anything. That made me feel good but of course my mind was thinking (I hope more then just my friends show up!).

7:30 rolled around and there where about 10 - 15 people there.

8:00 about 50 people.

By 9:00 (Show time) all the seats we had set up where filled.

About 9:30 so many people where there we had to add more tables to the room. Groups where moving smaller tables together to accommodate fitting more tables and chairs in. Half way through the show many people where there standing around the room. So I'm very happy with the turn out. You wouldn't believe how much pressure was lifted off me when I saw all this. So the night was very successful.

Mike McNee did a great job as Emcee. He was really prepared. He spent a lot of time talking to all the acts before the show and making sure he got everything right. Thanks so much Mike.

John Sturk opened the show with an amazing act as usual. He did a great job getting the crowd warmed up. They turned out to be a great crowd too. Very responsive with their laughter and applaud.

Scott Raymond was the next act. Now, you'd probably all read my thoughts on mentalism magic. Not that I don't like it but that I can't experience it as well as most because of my hearing limitation. But as Scott was up there I was scanning the crowd and he was getting a lot of laughs. Way to go Scott. Thanks so much for showing me and all of them how much fun and entertaining it can be.

Next up was Keith Stickly from Vegas. He had the audience rolling with a strait jacket escape act. A true professional and it showed in the audiences reaction to it. Thanks so much for taking the time to come and perform for us all.

Knotty bits (cafe names: gsidhe & Sylver Fyre) Where up next. Their act was very unique. Sylver never talks but she's very good at talking with just facial expressions. All the while Gwydian is talking and Sylver is torturing him in humorous ways. They really added an unusual style of magic to the show. Unfortunately we had an issue with the fire Marshall. The end of their act includes fire eating and painting. Even though they are very professional about the use of fire in their act and take every precaution imaginable. The fire marshall wouldn't allow the use of fire in the building because it's an old building and no sprinkler system. They found a way around it though and as there where doing this part of the act (In a very unusual way) I saw a lot of ooo's and Aaah's around the room. Thanks so much guys. It was a pleasure meeting you and having you in the show.

I was up next but I brought Chuck Strout up to do his juggling act at the beginning of my performance. I was back stage so I didn't get to see much of it. But I had some people comment on it after the show. So thanks so much for coming Chuck.

Now for my own act. To be honest I wasn't very happy with myself. Many things went wrong but I seem to have gotten a lot of positive feedback. I had a few issues with the microphone and one of the things I had set up to perform went wrong so I had to exclude it. It's funny. I rarely get so nervous that it effects my act. It's usually before the show I feel it a little but while up there it goes away. But I felt it more this time. Maybe it was because it was my home town and I see a bunch of familiar faces instead of strangers. Or maybe it was because it was the end of this show I've been planning for so long. But it went okay. I just don't feel I did my best performance. My Sheet Morph seemed to have been the hit of my act. I can't wait to see the video of that.


So the show was a hit and I'm very happy with the way it turned out. Some glitches along the way of course but that's expected. IT couldn't have happened without all these great performers taking a risk and coming all the way here to perform not knowing how much they'd be making. Then they all gave top notch performances.

It also couldn't have happened with out all of your help and advice shared in this discussion. I learned a lot and I'm sure the next one will be even better as far as my approach to putting it together. Now I have this experience behind me and lessons to learn from it. But I'm giving serious thought to either producing a show or performing in a show. Not both at the same time.. LOL

I'll get some pictures and possibly some videos up to show you all as soon as I get them.

Now I'm going to relax for a day or two.. :)

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: keithmagic (Nov 19, 2006 06:37PM)
Ron –

Congratulations on putting together such a fun event! I think it was a success far beyond anyone’s expectations!

I also want to thank you very much for your kind words about my act. I have worked hard on it, and it was an absolute pleasure to share it with you and your guests. You brought out a GREAT crowd – no easy task!

You really worked hard putting the event together, and I am lucky I was only 2 hours away and able to participate.

Hopefully you will have many more successful events like last night! If I am close by I hope I can participate again.

Keith
Message: Posted by: scottr (Nov 19, 2006 07:51PM)
Hey Ron,

I too wanted to say congratulations and thanks for the kind words you had about my part in the show.

Your hard work really paid off, it was a great night for your guests and performers

Thanks again for inviting me to be a part!

Scott
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Nov 19, 2006 09:04PM)
Thanks guys. I was so lucky that you where there to help make it all work. In this discussion it's been mentioned quite a few times that no matter how good the show is it won't matter if people don't show up to see it. That's very true but if the show isn't good no one will be coming back to the next one. I'm sure there will be a lot of positive word of mouth advertising for the next event thanks to all of you who gave great performances.

By the way. Sorry I didn't make it to eat with you guys after words. I didn't leave the place until about 1:30. The staff had a lot of stories to tell me about. I warned them that they should have extra servers available but they felt they could handle it. I'd imagine their feet are still hurting. :)

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Destiny (Nov 19, 2006 11:14PM)
Congratulations Ron,

It was so rewarding participating in this discussion watching you consider all the issues and then take decisions. Having spent years, first appearing in, then directing and producing nights like this, I learnt the hard way NOTHING can be left to chance.

You are a rarity in having made it work the first time and you have your dedication, persistance and work ethic to credit for that. I also suspect that you have a very good reputation in your local area - first time crowds don't rock in like that unless people 'know' they are going to have a good night.

You also obviously chose good acts - the most basic requirement. Good that Gwyd and Sylver could construe a 'work around' - true professionals.

PRODUCING AND PERFORMING
Sometimes we have to produce the show ourself to get the work we want. BUT - we are first performers. You performance will suffer at first, no matter how prepared you are - the weight of responsibility is heavy. This is the unseen genius of entertainers like Copperfield - that they can arrange such vast and intricate entertainments and then be able to take their hands off, become detached and step away and perform, apparently without a care in the world.

My personal opinion, from reading your posts on The Café, is that you have the dedication and work ethic to do both, and while your own performance will inevitably suffer the first few times (and this will be demoralising) you will quickly learn from it and organise for it.

I think you have to do it again for all of us, because when Kyle puts his thinking cap on we all learn so much.

This has been an excellent adventure.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Nov 20, 2006 06:38AM)
Plastic,

Thanks for the kind words. I do appreciate it. I will write more later for sure when I get the time. However I just want to say this.

The hardest thing anyone can ever do is simply the art of taking action. The art of DOING is so hard that many simply don't do anything. They have big dreams, big wishes, big ideas but these things never come about. why? Because they never DO anything.

Jaxon... you DID it. You took the action upon yourself not to sit there and DREAM about doing this, but actually taking action to try it and do it, and see what happens. That to me is very rewarding. You will never ever know just how much you can accomplish if you are too afraid to try.

You my friend have earned so much respect from me because I know how much work you put into this. Sometimes just getting up and taking action is the hardest part of the process.

Congratulations. You did it as I knew you could.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Nov 20, 2006 01:55PM)
Hi All!
What a night it was!
Ron...I realize you were not happy with certain aspects of your performance, but you have to trust me, you had a great act and it went over well. Yeah, there were mic problems, but you covered and everything still looked great! It was brilliant the way you worked out effects specific to the venue, and those went over incredibly well. You could feel the vaccuum created by dropping jaws all through the place.
Not only did you have a really good personal act, you pulled the whole thing together. It was amazing how many people showed up (So many having to stand because we ran out of chairs??? Sweet!!) I was just watching the seats, getting more and more giddy as they filled up!
Mike did a great job with the MC work (Sylver was very pleased that she did not have to do him bodily harm for calling her an assisstant) He was great, communicating with the acts, asking the right questions, he should be proud of the work he did that night.
The line up itself was very very cool. You brought in acts with varying performance styles and looks covering almost every type of magic. Opening with John Sturk, a classic magician with Rings ropes and silks (technically flawless, beautiful to watch and funny!), then into a fun and upbeat mentalist act with a lot of visual stuff that is missing from so many performers in that genre(Scott...I now know that a mentalist act can be done with a real sense of humor!! Thanks for that!), followed by an absolutely frenetic escape (Keith...Got the audience completely wired!), then us with the sideshow stuff (We had one small struggle with the fire performance, but the rest went pretty well I think...), then the juggling (Chuck...I never saw a juggling act quite like it), and then you with Grand Illusion to finish off the night (I know the audience was not expecting what happened, and it really freaked them out!!)
It was well rounded, balanced and a lot of fun.

You pulled a great show together Ron.
Sylver and I would be glad to work with you again anytime.

Gwyd
Message: Posted by: Sylver Fyre (Nov 21, 2006 08:14PM)
Yes thank you Ron for a wonderful experience! It was a real pleasure to be a part of your event. Everyone was friendly and supportive. It was a real treat to work with so many talented individuals and to have the opportunity to get to know them better. The night was a huge success and it couldn't have happened without everyone who helped make it happen. So thank yous all around to those who contributed to the night.
Message: Posted by: CDS (Nov 22, 2006 10:43PM)
I just found this post ...
and would like to thank everyone for their kind words and a big thank you to Ron for having the event ... and I would love to do it again... I had a ball.

Chuck (juggler)

(P.S. it gave me a chance to work a new bit out.. some thing out of my normal juggling)
Message: Posted by: Rocketeer (Nov 25, 2006 06:56AM)
Wow! I just came across this thread and read it all the way through. What a great adventure! It was thrilling to follow another artist's success. I've been thinking of promoting a show myself and this thread has inspired me to more fully investigate the possibilities. It it comes off it would be about this time next year. I'll be sure to let you all know how it turns out.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Nov 25, 2006 10:36AM)
Just keep in mind that anyone wanting to do what I myself have done, and what jaxon has done here.. remeber it takes a LOT of hard work. In fact I bet jaxon can back me up when I say, you will spend more time organizing and marketing the event wel, then you will with the actual show itself.

This is not to discourage anyone doing this, it is just a big reality check for anyone and everyone. If you want to do this you will have to remember one key thing I told jaxon at the start of this project.

"having a great show means NOTHING unless you can get people into those seats."

Jaxon has managed to do just that and has done an amazing job in the process. I am sure he will tell you he spent a lot of time working on this and putting this entire evening together. It is not easy, but when it comes togteher like it has, it can be a wonderful thing.

Way 2 go.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: scottr (Nov 28, 2006 10:59AM)
Hey Ron,

Any pictures frm the event to share?

Best!
Scott
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Nov 30, 2006 12:30AM)
I'll have the pictures soon. I have a few that some freinds gave me but the lady that was there just to take pictures for me hasn't gotten them to me yet. She said she'd get them to me in a day or two though. I'm looking forward to seeing them myself.

When I have them I'll post them here to show everyone.

I understand a few people shot some video too so I might have them to share as well.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Nov 30, 2006 10:26AM)
Well Ron
Now that you are a sucessful promoter, what's your next project? If you arn't ready for another large production perhaps you could write a book based on your personal experiences, and the over 120 posts that have been made on your topic.
HAVE FUN
Al Angello
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Nov 30, 2006 01:17PM)
Here's one picture from the show. This is of all the performers and it was taken after the show. We stood up there for a good 5 minutes while pictures where taken. I think this one shows that we where having a good time.

[img]http://www.magicjax.com/actionshot.jpg[/img]

I'll get more up later.

Ron Jaxon

PS - Did John Sturk just jump before the shot was taken or was he using a pop-up tie? I'll let you try and figure it out. :)
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Nov 30, 2006 07:31PM)
Nice photos Jaxon. I would love to see more of them as well as any video footage if you ever feel like sharing. It looks like you had a great time. I am so glad that you had a success with this. I to know how very hard it is to put together a show like this and handle most everything yourself. You have done an amazing job and it has been a pleasure working with you leading up to the show itself.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: The Magic Ref (Dec 5, 2006 01:51PM)
Hey all... I just found this post... I'd like to throw my 2 cents in...
WHAT A GREAT NIGHT! The line up of performers, with the different style acts I thought was just perfect. Ron... You say you were nervous... You seemed very calm on the outside. It was fun performing some walk-a-round before the performance started... Next time I need to satrt doing that earlier... Ron it's takes so much effort to pull off a show, and it seemed like it went so smooth.. I tip my hat to you... I had just a wonderful time as the Emcee... Thanks!
Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Dec 5, 2006 02:06PM)
I'll be talking to my video guy to see where he is with editing and such tonight! Hopefully we'll have some video up soon!
Gwyd
Message: Posted by: scottr (Dec 5, 2006 06:39PM)
Video guy?

Oh man, please tell me he didn't get video of my last volunteer!

Scott

p.s. hey ref, you did a great job by the way!
Message: Posted by: The Magic Ref (Dec 6, 2006 09:00AM)
Scott... That was one of the strangest if not the strangest volunteer I have even seen... LOL... What a hoot!
Message: Posted by: scottr (Dec 6, 2006 02:50PM)
Strange indeed.

After the show, he pulled me aside and went on and on how was going to take those dollar store sunglasses I gave him during the act, to Vegas with him.

His plan was to use them to gamble with as he thought they were lucky. (I can't believe he didn't want the straw hat!)

I supose that's what you get when you employ a "hit tech. randomizer" to select a volunteer, eh?

Scott
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Dec 9, 2006 06:54AM)
I enjoyed reading this thread. Very positive, englighting and thought provoking.

Thanks,
Dennis