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Topic: Need some advice about getting a gig!
Message: Posted by: MichaelOzMagic (Jul 25, 2010 07:53PM)
I wasnt for sure where I was supposed to put this, so here is my problem. I am a 14 year old magician and have been doing magic since I was 4. For the past year I have been trying to get a regular gig/preforming shows on a regular basis. I have done a lot to try to get shows. I have called about 20 or so daycares in my area and they seem interested untill I tell them that I am 14 years old. I have also tryed a few family owned resturants in my area done a few tricks for them they really really enjoyed them but then they asked how old I was and I told them and they seemed like they didn't want to hire me after that. Lastly I have also done a lot of free shows to get my name out there and I put a nice buisness card on everyones seat and still no luck getting shows. So I was just wondering how I could get some gigs or shows. I really would like the money becuase I am working on a act that I would like to compete in magic compitions with.

Thanks Everyone,
Message: Posted by: magicians (Jul 25, 2010 08:15PM)
If you buy from a local magic shop, and he wants your business, they will get you work. shops constantly get calls they won't take cause there is not enough money. They turn down small or low paying jobs like birthdays.
Daycares, do not have money but the parents do.
Arrange for an ad to be sent out to the daycare clients and give the daycare a commission for each show they get you. You can also do a free show for the daycare but make sure you give each kid a prize during the show. That should be a jumbo dollar bill with your contact info.

You can also approach the daycare to charge admission for the show as a fundraiser for the daycare, 50/50 split. They advertise, do the tickets and you do the show.
Call the local paper and tell them you are the youngest magician in your county or town.
There are more ideas..
Message: Posted by: tabman (Jul 25, 2010 08:19PM)
On 2010-07-25 21:15, magicians wrote:...Call the local paper and tell them you are the youngest magician in your county or town...[/quote]

This is a great idea. The object is to get them to do a story about you.
Message: Posted by: magicians (Jul 25, 2010 08:21PM)
You can be a seller, or be a partner.
Money is tight everywhere. Show them what you can do for them, not what they can do for you. As a shop owner, I used to give Rudy Coby all of my excess Birthday and Holiday shows I couldn't handle.
If you do free shows for anyone, make a condition that they MUST advertise it with your name. Call yourself " "Des Moines'" youngest magician.
Restaurants, let them pay you with meals and an ad.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jul 25, 2010 11:49PM)
When I was a teenager I performed my magic at school for the classes I liked. I was good in Algerbra and always got a the teacher interested in magic. I would usually do a trick a week in front of the class. The other teachers heard about it and I got to do birthday parties for a few of the teachers families. Then as the word got around, I was being refered to Boy Scout banquets and other church socials all from doing magic at school. It started to grow even after I graduated. Unfortunitely, I was drafted into the surface and that is when my name no longer got around as I was in the Viet Nam War.

I would say, stop doing free shows, always charge something. When they have to pay what they think is a lot of money, they will respect you more and treat you differently. If someone want you to do free shows, just tell them you give your charity to "such and such" and it would be better if someone in their organization would donate your fee, and that person should be noted in the program.

You of course 1st have to have at least a 45 minute act to offer. It should be comedy and [b]not[/b] an act that would be for a magic competition, with some audience participation. You must rehearse and practice the act until you know every move, because once you start selling your service, you will have no time to practice or learn new tricks. Now you will become a salesman and agent for yourself. No one will do it for you, you have to do it yourself.

Yes, there is age laws, but I do not think doing magic for an hour or 2 in a resturant is the problem. It may be your selling method and skills. Anyway, this would be close-up and you can make more money performing a stand-up act in front of large groups.

I suggest you get the word out that you do Birthday Parties and see if you can get shows that way. The Birthday Party business can be very lucrative.

I would think that there is not much opportunity to do street magic in Iowa, unless you have a lot of local fairs and such during the year.

Besides your business card, I would design a brochure or flyer that will answer the questions Who, What, Where, and How.

Who you are?
What you do?
Where do you perform?
How do we find and contact you?

I wish you luck!
Message: Posted by: Jestnjoker (Jul 26, 2010 01:31PM)

Are they always asking your age or are you offering it unsolicited? How old do you look? Perhaps you can work on your sale a bit. Would it suit your persona to have a wise-crack answer to the question that would take the pressure off? Also, when you have a captive audience (at these free shows you are giving) take a moment to plug yourself. Sometimes the parents need a reminder that you'd be a great addition to the upcoming birthday party. Good luck.
Message: Posted by: TheDean (Jul 26, 2010 01:43PM)
Just about ANYTHING can be a ‘positive’ as Ian pointed out… YES it takes a specific effort, but that des NOT mean it is difficult to do. As a matter of fact, in this case it can be quite simple!

When I was 12 I had my first theme park production… pitched, produced and performed. For me; the position that “Youth Is Power” was the only position I could take.

It was BECAUSE I was so young that they wanted and needed to hire me…

The same is true for you… change you perspective, change you offer and kill the market with your unique perspective!

Just my two cents worth.

“Success isn't a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire… so Book More Shows, Make More Money and Help More People! …‘not’ necessarily in that order!"

Find Your Passion… DO Your Purpose… Make It Profitable!

Live “L.O.V.E.” Everyday!
Life Of Vibrant Expression!

I am at your service and in HIS Service,
Deano (Helping You Succeed) in Reno

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Message: Posted by: MichaelOzMagic (Jul 26, 2010 04:23PM)
Wow thank you everyone for your responses, I really appreciate them!!!
First Ian, You have some great ideas! If I had a local magic shop I would go down and talk to them about your idea but sadly I don't. I also think your idea about calling that local paper is a great idea. I am thinking about trying that idea! Also I think it is a great idea to call myself Des Moines Youngest Magician!

Wmhegbli, Thanks for sharing that story, that sounds a lot like me in the way that everyone in my school know I do magic. I have won the school talent show the past 3 years, and becuase of that my vice principal suggested me to do a talent show that she was the host of. I then did that won that and then got to compete in the big talent show at the Iowa State Fair and I was runner up at that won. But anyway I have done that a little bit.
Also I offer a 45 minute stage show already. Acctually 2 different 45 minute shows! I have practiced my shows a lot! I do close up a little bit but I deffinatly prefer stage magic over it.
A flyer or brochure is a great idea, I think I will have to make up a good flyer a post them around town! Thanks Wmhegbli a bunch!

Jestnjoker, Mainly people ask me my age when I'm doing live shows because they think I'm older then what I acctually am. But then when I'm on the phone I usally tell them my age so then when I show up to do a show they wouldnt be surprized.

TheDean, Wow thanks you just gave me a great idea when you started talking about theme parks! There is a local theme park here right by Des Moines and there is already a good magician working there but then you gave me the idea of either seeing if he has a few days he has to miss then I could talk to him about preforming there, or I could talk to him about him needing an opening act! Thanks for mentioning that! Also I am going to have to check out your links! Thanks Dean!

Thanks everyone for responding to this it really helped!
Message: Posted by: LVMagicAL (Jul 26, 2010 07:41PM)
Michael: Check your PM's. I sent you some information about a fellow who can be a BIG help to you in your endeavors there in Des Moines. Best wishes!

Message: Posted by: MichaelOzMagic (Jul 26, 2010 09:32PM)
Thanks I just sent you a PM back and he already has been a giant help!

Message: Posted by: Bob1Dog (Jul 27, 2010 12:00AM)
On 2010-07-26 00:49, wmhegbli wrote:
I was good in Algerbra and always got a the teacher interested in magic.

Hey Bill,

Great at algebra, but not at spelling...it fits; the math folks are far superior at magic than the literary ones, like me!

Seriously though, thanks for your service to country my friend, whether voluntary or not; there were many alternative choices back then. Vietnam era vet here too, though not combat experienced.

Your magical advice is always "right on" and rarely requires "Is that right?" despite that the "whole nine yards" doesn't usually measure up. And Victor Charley is more than just a few words of the military phonetic alphabet. Peace! Best, Bob
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Jul 27, 2010 01:16PM)
Tough times. Good luck trying to sell to them right now. They are counting pennies these days. JIMO
Message: Posted by: Jay Mahon (Jul 28, 2010 11:44AM)
If you are serious about magic and getting shows send me a PM. I'll pass on some priceless information and recommendations.

Message: Posted by: Scott Burton (Jul 29, 2010 07:33PM)
Your youth can be your advantage! My Dad used to sell me (when I was 8-14 years old) to day cares and libraries as a "kid who does magic" who the children in the audience will connect with and be inspired by.

I'm wondering how you present the topic of your age to your prospects.

Approach 1: "Well...I also need to tell you something. You see, I'm only 14 years old. Is that still OK?"

This approach will instantly worry potential clients as, if you are not confident about your age, they certainly won't be! People can sense lack of confidence.

Approach 2: "And, not only that, I am young myself and I will instantly connect with the children. They will comment on how cool it is that a kid can do magic so well. They will love watching me and I'll even inspire some to pursue their own dreams."

This approach changes things completely. I know so many paying clients who would LOVE to hire you if you present yourself confidently and clearly as in the second approach.

I suspect that the objections you get has something to do with your level of confidence and how you present yourself. Remember: your youth has value! Internalize it and express it!

Good luck!
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Jul 31, 2010 10:14PM)
If your parents already have a camcorder and photo camera, ask them to start using it during your performances. The material can be used for future promotions.
Message: Posted by: MichaelDouglas (Sep 6, 2010 07:30PM)
If you've not purchased some already, get some free business cards at vistaprint.com. Maybe even create a free web site at wordpress.com to post some of the pics of your performances.

Scott is oh so right in making sure that you present yourself with confidence. If you believe in yourself and your ability, then it is much easier for others to believe in you also.

Go out and have fun and get paid for doing it.