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Topic: Higley's How-To now a PDF and a book...
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Aug 13, 2007 01:19PM)
Just a notice to all those who have the Grind Show Manual (and those who are yet to get them.) The 18 page Manual is now in PDF format to be eMailed rather than the problem prone regular html eMail I was sending out.
The How-To is still $25.

Also for all those who have asked for a real hard copy Manual, I have a printed 30 page book version 6x9 (same content as the PDF) so it is what it originally was supposed to be, a back pocket Manual. Nothing fancy but the info is solid as a rock. If you are a collector or serious show folk who is either doing this plan or wants to...well now you can get a real hard copy manual. Problem is it is pricey compared to the PDF, at $35 (Does include the postage). eMail me please to buy one.

For those who have already purchased the manual in regular eMail format and wish to have a PDF version, just email me and I'll get you one. If you don't already have it PLEASE don't say you do just to get a freebie.

If you already have the thing as an email, sorry but the Print version is a seperate order and costs real money. :) However the same goes for the Print version as the PDF in that if you place a Zibit order for this show I will take $25 of the price of the Zibit...you just have to remind me!

Thanks all.


BTW: As to the Manual in Print version, I must require that it not be sold by you on eBay or any other public place for the public...it is ONLY being offered by me here on the Café. Period. At least during my lifetime.

And yes the Print version will be signed.

Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Aug 13, 2007 02:11PM)
By the way...I don't give a hoot if I ever sell this info in print or the PDF for that matter. Not in the info biz, I make gaffs. Just a courtesy based on response.

If I sold a gaff with out the info then it would just be another Novelty art piece rather than a money maker for the buyer. The biz is such that most folks who will do well think they can't, that it's too difficult...thus the manual to show them otherwise. and why the manual is basically free to those who actually get a Zibit and get into the game. This Info is NOT for the casual reader or to sell info for entertainment.

I have another book for that. :)
Message: Posted by: jeremysweiss (Aug 15, 2007 07:40PM)
Read the manual.

Buy Higley or buy nothing.
Message: Posted by: reese (Aug 15, 2007 10:04PM)
On 2007-08-15 20:40, jeremysweiss wrote:

Buy Higley or buy nothing.


No offense but....

I prefer Juan Cabana and Sarina Brewer. Their pieces have delivered far greater impact. I find that strange things made from organic flesh have the most effect on the viewer. If you use clay, it looks to most people like it's made of... clay. Not to everybody, but yes, to most folks it's a sculpture instead of something real.
Doug's way of exhibiting strange things is defintely the tops though, I've learnt that from experience, the best way hands down.

I like getting screams and shouts of "What the f@%k is that!!?"
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Aug 15, 2007 10:42PM)
"Not to everybody, but yes, to most folks it's a sculpture instead of something real."

I don't know about 'most'...that's certainly not what I hear or have experienced. I rarely if ever (when I was out) or from what I hear from countless showmen, hear about 'sculpture'. What I did hear when I exhibit real Skin was the word Taxidermy a lot which folks automatically suspect. But to each his own and at least you're out there doin' it.
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Aug 16, 2007 02:39AM)
Never ever had the word sculpture crop up,,,,thinking about it that`s quite strange.

Taxidermy,,,,yes, but not with Dougs Crits,,,, My view is that the colouration stamps them as unique and gives the specky much food for thought.

Dr Deaths Freak Show and Victorian Chamber of Horrors had a huge range of Taxi gaffs,,,,among these he used to let his pet cat roam around in the subdued light,,,I could tell a host of stories about the public response to this,,,but to get back on line, to admit to Taxi gaffs will work but to show a Taxi gaff as a strange thing causes disbelief,,,,that`s no good.

Remember to make the ££££ you have to believe in your own lie.
Then sell that lie.

Message: Posted by: Freak Prodigy (Aug 16, 2007 02:45AM)
Brewer is amazing, if you want something that people will recognize as something they've heard about or seen.

Higley on the other hand makes people think, wonder what the heck they are looking at and keeps em' happy.

Message: Posted by: martini (Aug 16, 2007 05:50PM)
I would have to go with a Higley Zibit. I have had one that Doug made for me a long time back, and it never fails, ever.
I took a look at the others mentioned just a few minutes ago....Nah! I'll stay with Doug. Anybody can take a fish or a carcass and create something out of it that looks like a fish or a carcass, but to have something that really makes people think and really throws them for a loop...you need a real artist, and Doug Higley is the Michaelangelo of this business hands down.
I would also believe that if you are counting the income here, that Dougs Zibits are going to bring you in more bang for the buck than anything else out there. An investment into a Doug Higley Zibit is better than putting your money in the bank, and that's a fact, Jack!
All the Best
Message: Posted by: jeremysweiss (Aug 17, 2007 01:46AM)
Juan Cabana and Sarina Brewer and Frierson are all masters. When I said "but Higley or buy nothing" It was not meant to detract from these other great gaff makers. I should have left it as, "Buy Higley..or not, I don't care." But his stuff is great and he is great too. Honest. Sharing. Forthcoming. However, I suspect that he is really Kondini with a toupe and glasses. Actually, one of those two is a gaff. Can you tell which one?.
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Aug 17, 2007 07:27AM)
Martini thanks for that...most proud to be in your awesome collection and show. Talk about a curator mentality! You definately have it goin' on...I mean the ring of Vlad Teps! Dracula's freakin' ring with papers to prove it!

Jeremy...you were right the first time. "Buy Higley or buy nothing." :)

BTW: 2 of those are 'rogue' Taxidermists and were mostly geared to Collectors with Brewer being the best I know of for fantasy pieces and being original...the other one is eBay.

Frierson is pure sideshow background (and ebay occasionally) and does crossover between taxidermy and scratch created gaffs at which he is terrific, creative and a good friend, I consider him a peer.

For the show I created and is in the How-To Manual, if you understand it properly, Taxidermy is not the way to go. In my opinion yes...and we are talking about MY show ideas in this thread. What ever I say will be tainted with prejudice and nearly 40 years experience of not only myself but countless shoman and showwomen who follow my plan...but THIS show relies on the exhibit (ZIBIT which is my word for what I do) to be OUT of the realm of what the viewer can link into in their experience...so weird and FUBAR and not thought of as something sewed up or put together as a piece of this and a piece of that but unrecognizable. A stuffed duck with two heads is still a duck...but then you would need to know the full plan to know WHY that's not what it's all about in THIS show. If you take my show plan and put a stuffed animal in it you just don't get it and I'd rather you did something else, like create a Museum show or something, a Single-O that works in this day and age is not for you...They are all good for other things but not this show...nor two headed babies or Dracula's Ring for that matter. Apples and oranges. The only way I can put it and not tip the whole concept and show PLAN is to say, it would be like framing a Disney show and featuring a Pokemon character inside. Disconnect. SOME might not know the difference or care but I do. I wrote this plan and make the things I do the way I do to work as a unit...I made my name on it. It's really not in competition with anybody else. The value is how it's all put together on the road and those that do it right reap the rewards. To beat a dead horse...my How-To is NOT for any old thing you find on eBay or hit with your car...it's for a 'Higley' Zibit.

The How-To Manual is for owners and potential owners of MY stuff and the only reason I make it available BEFORE buying one of my works is so that a buyer can see what they are geting into and know the ropes before investing a few hundred bucks. It's not there as general information for me to sell and make money off or for a curiosity buy or entertainment...it is specifically for those who go out and do the deed with my pieces. I have an obligation to those who do so on weekends and who make a living with the 'plan' to not offer it free or to have everybody with a $39 oddity out there as competition. I onl;y offer it on the Café. Do you have any idea how many I could sell on ebay? trust me...I could retire...so that's not the goal for this.

My other option is to pull the How-To all together and just send it to the buyer with the Zibit. That may be the way to go to keep it's integrity and serve my show folk out there. This show is a loaded gun to make money for you...best in the hands of those who understand it.

If you don't 'get it'...well...you don't 'get it'. The How-To requires one of my pieces. Simple as that.
Message: Posted by: jeremysweiss (Aug 17, 2007 08:22PM)
Well, I came home today and got a GEN-U-INE Higley 'Zibit in the mail and, you are right Doug....I stick to my first statement...."Buy Higley or buy nothing".

It really was an incredible site.
Message: Posted by: reese (Aug 18, 2007 12:19AM)
I still don't think it's "Buy Higley or buy nothing." There ARE other options, It's not up to my own personal taste. It's what "thing" has recieved the greatest reaction. That's the bottom line, nothing else.

My own experience, only (and always) talking just for myself. You gotta find out for your own self what works.

I'm not selling anything, have no stake in anybody's product. It's good to see a different opinion though, keeps it real... right?

Also... I disagree that the idea behind Doug's how-to "requires" one of his specific custom-made pieces to make it work. It does require the right kind of piece, but the idea WILL play with pieces from other makers, the RIGHT piece...It's a presentation idea after all.
Message: Posted by: reese (Aug 18, 2007 03:08AM)
On 2007-08-16 18:50, martini wrote:

I took a look at the others mentioned just a few minutes ago....Nah! I'll stay with Doug. Anybody can take a fish or a carcass and create something out of it that looks like a fish or a carcass...

"Anybody can take a fish or a carcass and create something out of it..."

No, they can't. Only artists can do that. ( It's easier and less time-consuming to work with clay than organic flesh)

Have you seen all these things in the flesh? Not pictures on a computer screen, but before your own eyes?

If you're showing a "thing" and it's not moving around... it's dead.

If you're showing a dead thing, it's either mummified or a taxidermy piece, it's not a bleeding corpse.
Message: Posted by: mota (Aug 18, 2007 08:52AM)
I've played a couple of my Higley's. I played my mer up north and my masterpiece since I got it. During that time I have seen other sideshows on the road with different pieces and different formats.

I'll take my Higley zbits over anything else I have seen on the road. There is no other way to put it...they just play better. Taxidermied pieces look like taxidermied pieces. Once they think it was made like a jackalope is made the mystery is gone. This is why Doug's pieces are the best for his presentation. If they say, "That's like a jackalope" you are dead.

You can still play taxidermy, many do and make money. I really don't understand the point of this arguing...you can buy from other sources, but except to argue that you can why would you want to?

Show me a specific piece I would rather have than what I got and I'll listen. Every sideshow performer who has seen my "thing" from Doug has wanted to buy it. (I almost sold it recently but Doug talked me out of it...thank you).

As far as format goes I just had a talk with a performer returning from a state fair. He has one of Doug's pieces but changed the presentation to more traditional side-show. After a state fair he hardly had gas to get home. A presentation that can play in the south bombed in the north. Doug's presentation is universal.

My buddy also talked to someone who saw a zbit at his fair. He described the top sign, it was Doug's set-up. He said it did real good.

Right now my friend is heading out to one of my spots (with permission). He is broke primarily because he didn't follow the plan Doug made.

I've looked at other pieces. I probably could get any sideshow piece I want from another show if I offered my masterpiece from Doug. I've never been tempted.
Message: Posted by: jeremysweiss (Aug 18, 2007 10:37AM)
On 2007-08-17 21:22, jeremysweiss wrote:
Well, I came home today and got a GEN-U-INE Higley 'Zibit in the mail and, you are right Doug....I stick to my first statement...."Buy Higley or buy nothing".

It really was an incredible site.

Uhhh...my point is (again but this time more explicitly) not to denegrade anyone else's work. As artwork, people have different tastes and that is fine. My point was that Higley's work is stellar. "Buy Higley or buy nothing" is a hyperbole--an overstatement specifically meant to be overstated in an effort to underscore how thrilled I am by his work and how much I support it and how much I think that others should strongly consider buying it if they ever decide to shell out the dough for such a piece. That is all.
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Aug 18, 2007 11:01AM)
Reese you are most welcome to your opinion. Fortunately for me it is very rare. :)
But also thank you for the compliment as well.

I don't know what of mine you own or have seen. There is one in the Bay Area that was not my idea to do it that way so maybe you saw an 'off' piece or one that was let go abit. (I do offer life time repair and refurb though to original owners.)

Anyway as to my How-To, of course it will play with OTHER pieces than mine...it will play with a piece of Fried Chicken but it will not play to it's maximum potential for various reasons. And frankly I don't care if it does or doesn't. I wrote it for MY stuff...I say very clearly on the page (many times) and elsewhere it is for MY Zibits...I did not set out to write information to sell and enlighten the world but to accompany my pieces and help the showman who buy my stuff to do the best they can with info I know works. I appreciate that you can see the value of it but to me it's Ford putting out free info on how to make the most of your Chevy. I don't care to do that. Simple as that.

I have caught some heat over the years from my showmen for making it available to someone truley intersted in doing the show and seing the info first before they buy, because it is for a select group and I like it that way...I make a living (of sorts) making Zibits not selling info for others to succeed with somebody elses stuff they buy from them. Here Chevy Owners...here's some free Wheels from Ford for your New Silverado? Kind of a Duh when you look at it from my perspective.
I wrote a Dark Ride Book for EVERYBODY so I could sell it to EVERYBODY...I wrote the How-To for a special group of buyers.

Of course you are entitled to your opinion and I suppose there is a point if not an agenda to make an issue out of it but it is entirely subjective based on your tastes and experience as you said and has little to do with what others have already found to be true for them. If your purpose is to warn others away...well...ok. Whatever. I don't say people need to buy my art work or Zibits. Sure there are options, who doesn't know that? Some are worthy some are crap and people can see for themselves easily. I know this, my stuff is in 24 countries world wide and never EVER got a single negative, complaint, gripe or anything but Happy camper Kudos. EVER. Now maybe a few of them thought my stuff was so bad they were too embarassed to reply...haha but I'm not aware of that. :)

Reese I don't know you or your background, but thank you for your opinion and 'keepin' it real' in your perspective. Yes, Brewer does wonderful work. Absolutely. (So does Barbara Streisand...I didn't write the How-To for either of them. :) ) But agree or not the How-To Manual is my idea for my showmen/women and I intend to protect it and them as best I can.

I'll probably change th distribution as has been suggested then it's not an issue.
Message: Posted by: reese (Aug 19, 2007 12:56AM)
Alright, what's the point to my posts on this thread?

Is it...

1) Drinking and computers don't mix?

2) All or nothing absolute statements almost always have another perspective to consider?

3) I forget the third point

4) Higley's How-To is the Sh!T ? ( That's a compliment! )

3) Math was never my forte

6) Threads that are ads for products are ads for products, (Do YOU like comercials?)
Hey, yeah! Sometimes I do!!

7) ( I had to make it to seven... it's my lucky number and I wanted to end my list on an odd one.)

Doug, you are a character with an interesting voice that's fun to read. My intention is not to warn any potential customers away from purchasing product from you. I guess I could not help but respond to the hyperbole and point out that there is a whole ocean out there beyond any one fish bowl. You got the voice of a preacher and I couldn't help but step in front of your choir and say.... you might wanna try Buddhism. At least just know you have a choice, you got freedom of religion.

I have pieces from you, Frierson, Cabana and Brewer. I have seen a mer-creature of yours exhibited locally.... Which is the best? Best? What the f@ck does that mean? It's just a matter of taste. Not my taste though (I could care less about my personal feelings, that's not where it's at ) It's the taste/impact on the viewer that's numero uno. (Uh oh. Better quit with the number sh!t while I *think* I'm one ahead)

Hey, while I got your attention... you might want to scrub the pics (on another site) of someone's front doing your How-To... it pretty much gives it all away. The idea is too good to give it out for free.
Message: Posted by: takeachance (Aug 19, 2007 05:37AM)
Yeah Doug, I have to agree with reese, your "how to" should only be given to those who buy YOUR product, it really is THAT GOOD!. To sell it for $25 is too much of an unbelieveable steal. It should be a complete package only. It does go hand in hand. I collect gaffs because I'm into that sort of thing, and they send out a "How To" as well, and theirs really does pale into insignificance to the information you provide so cheaply, and I believe its only a matter of time before its copied by others. I know the work of all those mentioned on this thread, and they are probably (including yourslf)the best, or at the very least, the top few artist in the feild as reese has mentioned. Your edge is your knowledge on how to market the gaff and what it should be. Saying that, nobody comes close to the psychological package that you offer. Again, I have to agree with reese, once you know the secret for marketing a gaff to the general public the Higley way, these other people are more than skillful enough to produce a product that fits the requirements of your philosophy. I've carefully studied all the gaffs from these and other makers and must admit, I keep coming back to a Higleys, as I have a certain concept in mind that Dougs work fits, and sooo perfectly with his "How To". However, I did look at the others with your "How To" in mind Doug, so I'm sure others, as reese discusses, do as well. All in all, I think your information in this field is invaluable, and as interllectual property should be perhaps guarded a little more jealously. I look forward to owning a Higleys soon as I do think Dougs package to be very professionally complete, something no one else comes close to. Food for thought Doug! Oh yeah, I'd scrub the pics as well someone smart may put one and one together.
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Aug 19, 2007 09:59AM)
I never said mine was the Best. Others have though. 'The Best Gaffs On Earth' is from Bobby Reynolds. Over the years hundreds of Pro Showmen and collectors have choesen 'mine' for whatever reason. If they think they are the best, I should argue?

What do I think? Mine pays MY rent somebody elses doesn't. A 'Higley' is a Higley, I do MY best...it's getting to the point where people are asking me to sign the darn things. Whatever. To me they are a 'Tool'. Who's tool is better? Well like 'Craftsman' I have a Lifetime Guarantee! haha :) If somebody chooses one of my tools they get the instructions I devised...this helps them pay their rent. But they also get a 'Higley' which after all these years has become a little something more than an object to many. I'm grateful for that to be sure.

What's the secret to a 'Higley'?

Mine have a certain attitude and persona rather than "Hey look at me! I'm dead! I'm not fake I'm real!"

I'm not really attempting to recreate Nature...like I said a Duck is a Duck and I couldn't care less about that stuff. I try to create Characters. The way the show is devised it's the 'character' that wins over the viewing customer not whether is smells bad or not. That's my view.

Frierson and I got into this about the same time I think, though I think I have a few years head start on him, ( :) ) (made my first gaff in '71' but it doesn't matter... at the time I stepped it up, we were IT. The biz was DEAD except for a few random showmen. Mark was doing Banners and Gaffs and I chose the Single-O route because at the time a Single-O was considered a spectacular unattainable thing that could stand alone and knock their socks off. I couldn't afford something like that (still can't) like a cow with 32 legs or whatever. So I came up with a way to have a less than spectacular object (cheaper) do the work of a bigger much more expensive piece. Take something like the worn out Mermaid concept that was over hundreds of years proven a fake and now used just as a background piece or an extra exhibit among many other exhibits in a show...take one and bring it to the forfront. Only it wouldn't be a Feegee Mermaid because we wouldn't SAY it was..in fact, we wouldn't SAY it was ANYTHING. We would put the Mystery back into IT...and the MYSTERY is what they pay the dollar for. (this concept of mine was just proven in a legit University (Michigan) Scientific study using one of my Mers!)

The concept and the ideas and the show became hugely successful and the Single-O was back on the road in many states and now also many countries! While many in the biz and the media were saying a Sideshow was dead or near death, we (me and my showmen) were quietly proving otherwise...I say quietly because that use of the 'understatement' on the front is what makes the show as I concieved it sucessful. It worked. It works...and if the exhibit is not a Higley ZIBIT there is an element missing.

Naturally, I hope if people use my ideas they use one of my Zibits...personally I consider it shoplifting if they don't!

Are mine the best? I couldn't care less. I take pride in my output of course and I take pleasure in being one of the catalysts to get the entire Grindshow biz back on the lots and making money. I just raise an eyebrow at all the wanabees that came along...many because they saw my stuff and figured they could do it too. I take more pride in that I try as best I can to keep it all within the fold and not availablle to the public on eBay. Hell yes I could use the sales! But I just wont do it. Integrity? You bet.

My 'edge' is a lot more I think than the How-To info as stated above by 'takachance'. The edge, if any is the Name...Higley's. I made it into something that stands for something...the edge is followup...the edge is taking care of mistakes...offering Lifetime repair or refurb (at no charge)...of being available 7 days a week to consult free, keeping a Toll Free number JUST for that...the edge of coming up with new custom ideas or advice on a personal level for 'my' showmen/women who need something extra etc etc...I think the biggest edge is knowing what the hell I'm talking about (at least that's been proven over and over) and not just some wannabe trying to give the impression they are 'with it'.

So who's the BEST artist? Who cares...that's High School crap when it comes down to business. (Some REALLY suck though at this...hahaha.) There are Art afficionados who think Picasso sucks! So I don't care for Art competitions...it's ALL in the eye of the beholder...OR if you can't tell one from the other or know the difference, go with the NAME. (I also don't like Actor competitions either...the Academy Awards are disgusting, slighting one excellent artistic performance over another for political reasons? BS)

So whatever is whatever...I hope folks get one of my Zibits so I can pay the rent.
Simple as that. Choose Wisely...and if you can't decide, go with the name! haha.

As to Hyperbole, hell Reese that's what this biz is all about. I try to rely on the good words of others though and not toot my horn TOO loud...but I DID learn from old PT. (he and Confusious.)

I live by the Confusious' Golden Rule 24/7 and add a bit of Barnum BS...hopefully I get to the next month's rent check, have a lot of fun with the showmen/women I have helped and get to eat some donuts and go to Disneyland.

As most all my show folk know, I don't take this stuff all that seriously...except the part where folks need to know to make money at it they need to pay attention! But the gaffs? Silly characters that are nothing more than 'Higley's. You have one or you don't.
Wannabees can copy...but My Atomic Fish and The Atomic Death Worm are my Originals.
You want one of those?...you don't go to eBay.

I don't know if anything I wrote above makes any sence. It does to me at this time of the morning. :)

Pm your questions. haha. (I don't have time for this explaination stuff though)
Bottom line...I make dopey creatures and sell them with an excellent business plan that makes people a lot of money. Since my phone rings all day FROM the road...I'm pretty satisfied it's working for everyone.

See ya down the road.
Message: Posted by: martini (Aug 19, 2007 11:28AM)
Ahmen to that Brother Doug! Those of us who are making money with your Zibits know who to thank....and from the Bottom of the Heart (and the pocket) this is a GREAT BIG THANK YOU! You are one of a kind...by the way Doug, have you made arrangements as to what show you will be displayed on down the road? lol. (thought that might get a laugh out of ya.)
Lots of Love & all the Best
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Aug 19, 2007 12:00PM)
Haha thanks...lately that road seems a bit shorter than I'd care for...

Hmmm...If I can wear Dracula's Ring your show might be a candidate! But on the other hand (no pun intended) Marty you have a full Museum Show...I kinda have my druthers set for a Single-O...I mean if I am only one of a kind it would be only natural. You'll need a BIG case though...not just an upturned fishtank. :)
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Aug 19, 2007 12:23PM)
Having shown both taxi and higgi from a UK standpoint the taxi falls a poor second,,,why, cos public opinion in the UK shies away from the stuffed critters that`s why.

Now the higgi is a different proposition,,,not a twist on anything that once lived, not an aborted thing that could have lived but a one off,,,could be anything, an unknown, not comparable. That`s it in a crux.

The NON OFFENSIVE what is it HUMBUG is translated into the Higg.....you form your own conclusions as to what,,,if,,,,maybe etc etc.

OK get the how to,,,but if it`s not in your heart to show as a showman then even with the how to you will fail.
Its all there in black and white, the secrets to the showing,,,but read between the lines, then get off your ass and do it.

Doing it will show the real way,,,,but the how to cuts a hell of a lot of the work down for you.

I can only comment from a UK showing point of view.

Note:- Dr Deaths Taxi show, is no more.
We are still showing and several poachers are trying to cream their way in,,,good luck to them,,,for we have scored heavily and taken the cream,,,they who follow are welcome to our leftovers!!!!

Message: Posted by: takeachance (Aug 19, 2007 03:00PM)
It certainly does make a lot of sense Doug, and I didn't mean to imply that the "How To" was the only edge you have. Your miles ahead with the complete package, not to mention your generousity in helping those who need help getting it all to happen.
Message: Posted by: jeremysweiss (Aug 19, 2007 06:15PM)
Honestly, I might keep the how-to manual reserved for 'zibit buyers. It is intellectual property that is really worth more than what you are selling it for without the 'zibits.

Or I would probably make the manual free for 'zibit buyers and price the manual just short of the cost of a 'zibit. Why? Because it is the information in the manual (not the 'zibit itself) that will make the purchaser the money. Hence it is almost the most valuable portion of the purchase.

The actual 'zibit is great, but as you alluded to in the manual (and your posts above), you could just as well use the infomation and make (nearly) as much money by putting a $5 mirror in the box (true people will get p***ed, and the 'zibit will probably make you more when other people hear about it.)

So, the manual is almost equally valuable in my mind.

As for being a preacher of Higley (or a choir for Higley)...well, I don't know Doug. I have never actually met him. I only know about him through this forum. He doesn't pay me anything. From what I have seen he does great work and is a stand-up guy and I wuld be sharing with everyone on this (and other) forums if I thought he was otherwise. (I would indeed welcome the opportunity to meet him in person.)

As for there being other options by other artists. There are. Buy what suits you, your needs and your situation. I made my choice and I am telling you all how I feel about it and how it worked out for me. I also bought a Meah banner, which is an item in my collection that is LOVED by me--it couldn't have been more perfect! Frierson does great banner work. So does Dr. Wilson and Ses. So does Marie and a host of others. I don't think anyone on this forum is really unaware that other options exist.
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Aug 19, 2007 08:06PM)
Thanks Jeremy...but I need to correct you on that point about the mirror in the box. I never alluded to such a thing as an exhibit using a Mirror. Nor would I even consider it! It would be a lame and frankly stupid prank to pull on your customer. What I DID say was you might want to put a small sign outside the front that says "NO It is NOT a Mirror!" The reason is you will have (everybody does) some know it all walk by and tell their group "Oh that's just Mirror!"
Here are the exact words from the How-To:
"The only other sign you might consider is this:

NO! It's Not A Mirror!

Lots of folks will think that! You'll hear them tell others "It's only a mirror." This always happens! So eliminate it."
So NO it will not nearly suffice, it would be a disaster!

The main thing you want to do is have the customer SATISFIED and you get no gripes, no heat, no stupid looks that they feel taken. When you use one of my Zibits it's almost a guarantee because you have delivered EXACTLY what you advertised (You know, those special words I give you) and EXACTLY no less. (many cases MORE.)

I and Kondini and others can't keep beating this horse here as if it is not yet understood. The exhibit MUST be an UNKNOWN AFTER they see it even!! Because of the WORDS on the front, they are coming in as a BLANK SLATE with NO mental images to fulfill...so what you display MUST be something they can't immediately call up from some mental file...it will surprize them...THEN and ONLY THEN will you have a customer who is prone to leave your little show and tell somebody else or bring in the rest of the group. It is the freakin' KEY to the whole thing. It is why I no longer recommend Chupacabras or even the Atomic Fish for the main Single-O, even some of my best stuff doesn't work as well!

If you don't get this then read it again or phone me or something. NO, a Witch's Hand will not work nearly as well. Not even CLOSE. Why? It's a Hand. If it was a real Witches hand or the freakin' hand of Lincoln, it is still a hand. Big Wow.
Everybody understands this so far who really understand the plan...so far anyway.

My Zibits are made to be Perfect for the Plan. The Plan is perfect for the Zibits.
They are fingers in a glove. The words that NEED to be used are specific and Perfect the Zibit is specific and PERFECT to the words. It's not really your taste that counts IF you are doing this for money. If you are doing this to show your taste in ugly creatures then have at it. 12 years of field testing by countless show folk coast to coast have proved it EVERY word. Years of countless reports from the field ( and I mean countless) have been 100% positive. You are buying a set, an idea and the Tool. Break up the set and use a different tool and it's NOT what I teach. Simple as that. Not a Paper Mache Hand. Not a Mirror. Not a two headed cat. Not a Feegee Mermaid monkey head and fish tail. Not Hitler's weeny...Not any of that stuff. They may work in a different situation but NOT with my plan which should be followed for maximum impact.

You will make the cost back the first weekend usually. The first time out! If after that you think you know better and have better ideas then do it that way. This is not a brainer. But if nobody else over the 12 years is arguing the point then maybe it just might work as I say it does and there are reasons for that no?

For maximum sucess this show requires it be done this way. If you have it and want to add another show next to it with other stuff be my guest...but this show...this specific show is the way it is for a reason. To me it would be like having a Freak Animal show and showing a Tea Cup with two Handles. Huh? Unless you don't understand the key points.

Since no one here is stupid then it just means a re-read...or a phone call. I have Toll Free number just for that. The show has been SIMPLIFIED down to bare bones for sucess...easy simple and doable unless you like to embelish...then it becomes a different show.

I'm tired.

Have a good one. :)

Lets simplify even more...For $399 here on the Café you can have a method to disappear a Lemon. OR for $375 you can have the basic elements of a Business that can bring in thousands to tens of thousands. You want to be a player in the grindshow biz? This is ONE way to do it...it's not a big deal it just works.
If you buy $2 packet tricks and that's your speed, cool...but you wont have a horse in this race without the investment. I'm talking here to folks with a horse...
I'm taking the time to emphasize certain things here for those who already have the plan and to clarify some misconceptions that MAY be out there.
Message: Posted by: jeremysweiss (Aug 19, 2007 09:52PM)
Yes, Doug is right. He does essentially state that using a mirror is a stupid prank and does not recommend it. In fact he recommends methods to eliminate that fear from the customer.

My point was that the method you share is so powerfult that it would even work effectively with something as lame as a mirror. However, a mirror in a box only has fair money making potential (b/c you aren't going to get repeat business or generate a buzz amnongst the customers friends that will make them want to see it too. Instead they will just mock their friends for getting suckered.) Therefore a mirror has only a fair money making potential and an even higher "black eye" quotient.

However, the Higley method combined with a Higley 'zibit will eliminate beefs by delivering what it promises--a mystery WHILE. This will increase repeat biz b/c friends will want to see what their friends saw (so they can make a guess of their own). Now you have powerful money-making potential with a low "black-eye" quotient.

Therefore, I think they should be sold as a set. Why let yahoos (who put mirrors in boxes or otherwise lame gaffs) use your intellectual property and make it tougher for those who have bought quality?

That being said, there is always a place in my heart for "The Man-eating Chicken" and "The Man Who Breathes Under Water" (a great one from Dr. Wilson).
Message: Posted by: Big Jeff (Aug 19, 2007 10:03PM)

I am very close to placing an order with you. I have your Dark Musuem set and know the quality of your work. In a post above you said that you don't recommend a chup or the atomic fish and that some of your best stuff doesn't work as well.

What would you recommend?

I will call you to place the order and talk about some ideas I have about where to show it. I will follow your notes to the letter because I know the plan will make money.


Big Jeff
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Aug 19, 2007 11:00PM)
I recommend OTHER THINGS I make. haha. Those that do not have an identifyer attached. So when somebody outside the enlosure hollars in what is it? I don't want the person INSIDE to yell out "It's a Fish!" Get it? I want them to yell out "Hell I don't know!"

ie: The Atomic Fish is cool and a great 2nd Zibit or Blow-off...but as the Main thing that relates to the signage, I feel stronger about something else. My versions of the Mer because it is an unknown for sure... The other item, I'll let you know when you contact me. :)

This is all real easy when you have the Plan so these 'sound bites' may be confusing.

The Chupacabra...well it's a great Zibit and I was the first to make them...PLUS I get more money for that Zibit so why don't I recommend it for this show? Am I stupid?
Well...it works that's for sure BUT showmen have the tendency to tell or advertise what it is thereby defeating the whole concept! In affect Lying which I do not ever recommend. When you do the show as outlined you are telling NO lies. None. Zero. You will NEVER get called on it or get the management ticked off because of complaints. It's the beauty of the show.

If you say the gaff is a Chupacabra that's not true and sonmebody WILL call you on it! If you hint that it could be that's one thing but the tendency is to tell them you have one because you think it will get you more money...it wont. Those with the plan should know why, if not call me. If you can't advertise it as such then why bother? Get a Mer, it costs less and works better in the long run.

If I went out these days I would use a...well...it's on the page on the site...find it or eMail me or call. :) Aint I a stinker?

And Big Jeff you'll be most welcome to the clan. :)
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Aug 29, 2007 02:52PM)
Just got back from Hampton Court Palace.
Friday we had the Mer as a singlo.
Saturday the Chup
Sunday the Mer
Monday the Chup.
The Chup wins hands down (Maybe due to the blurb outside and my spiel,,,not sure!!).

The Mer took in between 450 to 780 punters each day.
The Chup 570 to 1000 each day.

Don`t know if this proves anything,,,just thought you would care to share.
Set up in 8x8 Popup single zibb on table,
Traded from 10am till 6:30pm each day, no close.


BTW No beefs at all. Just lots of laughs.
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Aug 29, 2007 03:14PM)
Your spiel no doubt.

This show gets no beefs. Besides you are really scary. :)
Message: Posted by: airship (Sep 7, 2007 01:38PM)
I've got the Dark Museum walk-around and it plays GREAT! I never thought my health would allow me to even consider showing a Zib, but I'm getting better day by day, and think in a year or two I might be up to it. What a fun 'retirement' that would be! :)

Anyway, without spilling the beans, is the development of a good pitch 'character' essential to the process? Is it just 'frosting on the cake'? Is it indifferent, or does it actually detract from the method? I mean, I can see how Ken makes a living with it, looking like he does, and with a lifetime of carny experience. But what about a broken-down old amateur magician like me?
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Sep 7, 2007 06:06PM)
Not a challenge my friend. You'ld get the 'sympathy' change. :)

Actually, looking the part of a character wouldn't hurt and depending on the venue might add to it. Not at a Flea Market but if you were doing a 'walk around' at a fair or ren it would help...especially if you were the 'tent' they had to notice.