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Topic: Giving up your day job?
Message: Posted by: davepb (Jan 5, 2012 02:25AM)
So, you've bought some magic, read the books, watched the videos, your family all say your amazing,in fact the next Copperfield. Done a few birthday parties and a couple of freeb's for some local charities? This would be a great way to earn your living. Kids are easy to entertain.

Stop right there! Kids are not easy to perform for, they can be the toughest audience, they will eat you alive if they spot even the smallest mistake. On the other hand, they can give you the greatest buzz of your life. As with all of your shows you should practise, practise, practise, the other thing is learning to keep control. Kids can soon take over. There are normaly at least one pain in the butt that can set the rest off. You can't get into a slanging match with him, or he has won. All he wants is attention, so, give him some. Bring him up on stage give him his two minutes of fame. Tell him how good he was, how he would make a good magician when he got a bit older. After that he will be on your side, in fact he will probably keep the rest in line.

If you are a card man or into coin magic forget about kids shows. Your market will be set by the type of magic you perform.

Becoming a full time magician you need to understand, you can't make a living on two or three birthday parties over the weekend.

Where can you perform on weekdays? Try Pre-Schools, Schools, Shopping Centres to name a few.

But the worry of where next weeks or next months money for the rent is coming from, can quickly kill the most enthusiastic performer.

Having just retired age 77, after near a life time as a full time magician. for 25 of those years under contract for all school holidays,to "Magic Mountain fun park" in New South Wales Australia. Outside that, performing over most of Australia, also overseas, places like Club Med, a couple of TV shows etc etc. Over these years I developed a system that saw me booked 12 months in advance with a waiting list of places wanting to get bookings. No, I'm not some super magician, in fact, I'm just a middle of the road performer, I did nothing you can't probably do, as far as the magic is concerned. But I have learned to give them what they want.

Over the years I have lectured at magic conventions about my booking methods. As a way to give back a little to magic, I will send free of charge, a copy of my lecture notes on this subject. Just email me at boyddp@hotmail.com Due to costs I cannot mail hard copies. They will be sent over the net, you can then print them off yourself. Feel free to hand on copies to other magical friends. I wave copy right, providing no fees are charged when reprinting them.

Dave Boyd
Magic Mountain's Mr Magic. Australia.
Message: Posted by: Lavey (Jan 5, 2012 02:40AM)
Wrote you a mail. Thanks!
Message: Posted by: Ekuth (Jan 5, 2012 08:41AM)
Message: Posted by: Big Sam (Jan 5, 2012 10:22AM)

When I started reading your post I was ready for the "I was successful and for only (insert price here) you can get my miracle system". So it was a wonderful surprise to read that you were freely offering your advice, not hawking a new product. Just to avoid criticism you may want to reassure folks that you're not just gathering up email addresses for a spam campaign.

Message: Posted by: Aus (Jan 6, 2012 05:45AM)
E-mail sent


Message: Posted by: whiteoakcanyon (Jan 6, 2012 06:25AM)
Just sent an e-mail. Thanks for sharing your experience.
Message: Posted by: Mowee (Jan 6, 2012 06:47AM)
Like Sam I was waiting for the ....for a mere 49.95....I sent you an email thank you so much.
Message: Posted by: solrak29 (Jan 6, 2012 08:39AM)
I actually thought this was going to be a discussion about making
a jump to attempting magic full time. Then as I started reading
the passage above I started thinking that it was post of warnning
about making such a jump. As I read further, I started saying,
"ah, I see his angle...".

But it is a generous gesture and offering. Thanks and I can't
wait to read the notes.
Message: Posted by: metaljohn (Jan 9, 2012 09:34AM)
That's really cool. I'll send you an email. Although, I highly doubt I'd quick my job to be a full time magician since I don't think I'd make as much money (a mortage in the city is expensive), but I am curious. If anything, I could use some extra cash on weekends doing something I love.
Message: Posted by: Keith Brock (Jan 9, 2012 09:38AM)
Thank you for this chance!
Message: Posted by: MGCF (Jan 10, 2012 01:26PM)
It sounds like you have some very valuable insight into what it takes to become a full time magician. Thank you for offering your notes free. Like many I thought this would be an advert with a price.
Message: Posted by: Mipple (Jan 10, 2012 04:35PM)
That's extremely generous of you. I'm looking forward to reading what you've got to say on the subject.

Message: Posted by: *double-A-magic* (Jan 10, 2012 11:29PM)
I echo the others thanking you and apreciating your generosity. What a lovely gesture.

E-mail sent :)

Message: Posted by: EXTREMENINJA1 (Jan 11, 2012 01:15PM)
Sent an email by magic :D
Message: Posted by: Brad Burt (Jan 11, 2012 10:17PM)
Working for children is hard and it's not hard. The thing is that it has a lot to do with the performer. Some guys are just NOT good with children of any age. Some are. The trick is not so much getting busted, but what you DO with the situation. They can only eat you alive if you let them.

You can't argue with two different types of audience members: Drunks and children. They say they caught you? Ok, just agree. It's all about control, focus, attention, etc. Children like movement, color, situation, noise. Are you a slooooooow performer? Don't work for children. You HAVE to be in control of the PACE of the show without LOSING your audience because you are in a panic.

Message: Posted by: davidandstuff (Jan 12, 2012 03:23PM)
Thanks for the offer. This is great
Message: Posted by: satellite23 (Jan 12, 2012 03:44PM)
Has someone received these notes yet? Are they worthwhile?
Message: Posted by: Aus (Jan 12, 2012 05:18PM)
I got an e-mail saying that he is in Sydney at the moment and will send the notes once he returns home.


Message: Posted by: Vick (Jan 14, 2012 09:03PM)
Nice offer, when someone gets their copy could you please post here.

Even though I've been preforming professionally for 12 years am always interested in what experienced performers have to say.
Message: Posted by: Pedranti Magic (Jan 16, 2012 02:14PM)
I sent you an e-mail. Thank you so much Dave.
Message: Posted by: DWRackley (Jan 17, 2012 02:51PM)
Received an email on Sunday directing me to a link on his website “due to the high number of requests”.


The site itself wasn’t what I’d call high quality, but it could just be starting up. The material linked to will disappoint many. The info is good and shows some sound thought, there’s just very little of it. It could actually be posted here on the Café as a single post. Some will probably find it useful.

Perhaps there’s more coming, but so far I’m not terribly impressed.

(Hate doing a pan on someone both new to Café and apparently trying to be helpful, but this is my honest reaction. I hope there’s more!)
Message: Posted by: davepb (Jan 18, 2012 03:39PM)
Hi all

As in the last post above by DWRackley. The notes are only a small part of my actual lecture that I have given at conventions. The actual hand out contained many of the actual questionaires and lots more. As I no longer have those compleate notes, they were tossed out with the many other files when I sold up and went traveling. I have made up the abridge notes. The intention was to give fellow magicians a starting point, to give them a few ideas on getting advanced bookings. (My best year using the system, I gave 403 performances,that was at times giving up to three performances a day) The lecture was a hour long talk. What I have posted is to try to give people a few ideas and a starting point. As I said, I am happy to answer questions that it will bring up, and go into more details on points that directly interest them, and the section of magic they perform. boyddp@hotmail.com

As for the quality of my web site, hey guys! I'm 77 and don't profess to being a Tech Head and it's a bit late now to become one. It is a work in progress. I'm on a steep learning curve and it will never be a Wiz Bang site, Of course if DWRackley is offering to build me a free Pro site, I will willingly accept his kind offer.

The responce was miles above what I expected, taking far more time than I had to spare, as a result I have posted them om my web site (As poor as it is) You can go to http://www.mountainmagicperform.com then click on the Lecture Notes button.

Magic Mountain'sMr. magic
Message: Posted by: davepb (Jan 22, 2012 05:24PM)
Since my post I have been asked many questions, I have answered these to the best of my ability privately. Some are possibly of interest to others in simlar situations. I will post some of these over the comming months. To protect the privacy of the questioners I will give a abreviated version of their question. Then my answer.


I have just gone through a break up of my marridge, I now have custody of my 7 year old child and had to move interstate. instead of looking for a new job, I wish to try my hand at magic. I am looking at performing an Anti Bullying show at schools. Do you have any advice?


You have had a rough trot, I myself when experiencing these set backs, and like most I have experienced mine. For example being comfortably off, a Million plus going down to a few thousand by a bad investment. But what I can't change I dismiss. I firmly believe in the old saying, Use your problems as a stepping stone, not as a stumbling block. Easy to say, but hard to do.

Your idea of the anti bullying magic show is a good one, you might consider including boys/girls groups in this, Scouts, and the like, also the holiday camps you have in the U.S. they are always looking for entertainment, if it is motivational that would be a bonus. The advantage of this would be they are during school holidays, so it would be no problem taking you son with you.

Over here in Australia our libraries put on things for kids during the school holidays, if yours do the same, this would be another outlet.

Many churches have youth organisations attached to them, also Sunday schools, worth approaching, again they operate of an evening or weekends. To me, your biggest problem as far as full time performing is concerned, is having a seven year old as a sole parent that would be a problem touring. Not knowing what your show contains, but assuming it is aimed at the primary school aged group, it would well be worth considering having shows (Different Magic) suitable for different age groups from kindergarten through to University ages. Bullying is not limited to any age group, this would open up the number of venues open to you. Shopping centres here also book entertainment during the school holidays. Give this a thought as ways of working without having to tour too far from home.

If you wish to give me an insight into your show and magic used, I may be able to suggest other magic that would fit into the show.

Just one example the professors nightmare/equal unequal ropes. You could show the three ropes saying something like. "We are all different, not just in size, big, little or in between. Inside we are all the same (Equalise) we all laugh, cry and can be hurt by cruel or unthinking words. or worse still bullying, just because they are different to us. Think next time before picking on some one, just because they are not the same as you, as you are saying this, you return the ropes back to small, medium and large. Just an example of using well known, easy magic and theming it to your message.

Just a though,

Dave Boyd
Magic Mountain's Mr. Magic. boyddp@hotmail.com
Message: Posted by: Magic Rik (Jan 22, 2012 05:59PM)
Just sent an e-mail. Thanks again so much for offering to share your experiences.

Message: Posted by: bowers (Jan 24, 2012 12:28AM)
For me I wouldn't want to go full time magician.
I enjoy my main job also.being a part time magician
takes a lot of time too.i believe for me doing it
full time would turn it from fun to work.and I do like a
steady paycheck coming in knowing there will be at least
the same amount of money coming in every week.plus benifits
payed holidays vaction time 401k and most important insurance.
unless you can make it big.you will have to do a lot of shows
every week to bring in what you need to have a comfortable living.
Message: Posted by: DWRackley (Jan 24, 2012 03:33PM)
My initial complaint wasn’t about the material; it’s good stuff. I’d love see more of it!

I’m working on becoming “more time”. Too much else going on to drop it all. Magic has been in the background for thirty years, and now I have time to develop it.

When I can net $200 in one night, close to home, for about 3 hour’s work, AND it’s something that I really enjoy, man, I’m there! Not traveling at all, and every show is in the same venue. I have no interest in going to people’s home, or visiting their schools. I’d consider corporate gigs (done that YEARS ago :) ) because a banquet hall wouldn’t be too different from what’s happening now (private restaurant room).

I think what I’d like is a second (or third or fourth) restaurant for nights when I don’t have something else going on.