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Topic: Pitch @ entertainment event?
Message: Posted by: Mark Boody Illusionist (Sep 30, 2012 05:50PM)
Has anybody ever pitched Svengalis at event (pumpkin festival, kid fest, holiday craft fair or similar) where a magician was also performing? How would you handle the situation?

Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Sep 30, 2012 06:04PM)
Why do you think its a problem ? Just set up and pitch like always.The magician at this event can only help.I would start by saying" who has seen the magic show...who would like to learn do magic tricks and be a magician...well come on over and I'll show you how...."

Message: Posted by: LeoH (Sep 30, 2012 06:52PM)
The only "speed bump" I see is if the magician's contract allows "back of room" sales or if the magician assumes BOR is OK and starts pitching. If that happens, I'd have a problem with that if he was pitching decks.
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Sep 30, 2012 07:28PM)
I’ve never done a show where a real magician was in the same show. But I’ve had INNUMBERABLE people want to show me their fave trick.

It bugs me a little in that situation. I try to be nice but frankly, I’d rather he’d just buzz off. They RARELY, if ever, buy anything because they know, or think they know, all the moves I’m gonna make and think they can do ‘em better. And probably can.

Whenever one comes along, they inevitably say “Do you have a regular deck?” Of course, I do have 1-2 decks but I always say, “Nope, I’m not a magician. I just sell cards.”

Yesterday, an older guy watched my pitch, seemed interested, then called his 16-17 YO son over. To him: “Watch this— To me: “Show him some tricks.” I started the larceny bit but within a few seconds, the kid pulled out a regular deck and began showing a DL with it. Then he spun a card on the tip of his finger. Frankly, seemed to be a very good PRACTICED magician but I certainly wasn’t interested.

“Hey, you are truly a great magician—I’m not. I just sell cards” I said to him.”

He put his deck down on my table. “Lemmes see YOUR cards.”

I asked, “Do you know what a Svengali deck is?


“So buy a deck and do anything you want with them.”

“No, he just wants to feel ‘em”, his father said.

I held the deck out, tapped the front card with my finger. “Sure you can touch ‘em.” Instead of just touching them, he grabbed the deck out of my hand and began to shuffle.

“WAIT! STOP!! If you know Svengali cards, you know they are in a certain order. Can’t shuffle them.” Didn’t matter. He shuffled ‘em anyway, getting them completely messed up.

“Yep, it’s a Svengali deck, all right.” Put my deck back on the table, grabbed his deck, put it back in the box and he and his dad walked off, laughing.

Takes all kinds, huh?

Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Sep 30, 2012 07:51PM)
Jon,I have NEVER let a so called magician take the deck in his hands.When they ask "“Do you have a regular deck?” I say ..oh you do card tricks huh.yep is always the answer.Right away I give them directions to the office.They look at me a bit confussed...than I say " they still have some spots for rent (I really don't know if they do or not) go rent a spot and than you can do card tricks for the rest of the week end in your own spot...in the mean time buzz off because I'm busy working.

I get very rude and to the point right off.When I first started pitching I tried to be nice to these wannabe magicians and it never worked.So I started being rude so they knew what I thought of them.They leave kinda of fast when you aren't nice to them. Problem solved !

Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Sep 30, 2012 09:00PM)
I agree. I didn't actually LET him have the deck. I was so flabbergasted when he grabbed it, I was momentarily stunned. I grabbed for 'em, but, of course, I was behind my table and wasn't gonna jump over it and grab the cards back. After he shuffled them, he put 'em back on the table and I grabbed 'em then--but it was too late.

But the "point to the office" routine is great. Live and learn, huh?

Message: Posted by: Mark Boody Illusionist (Oct 1, 2012 02:37PM)
Thanks for the great advice, as well as a live & learn lesson!

Message: Posted by: WillRoya (Oct 2, 2012 08:51PM)
I give people two options before and after my demo?

Before - Would you like to see it? Yes; great. No; have a great day.

After - Would you like to buy it? Yes; great. No; have a great day.

Keeps it simple, polite and aggravations to a minimum. I do end up selling to a lot of "magicians" if they are willing to watch my demo.

I actually prefer it when a quality professional magician is working the same event so when people want to see more or see it again I'll refer them to the magic show. I can't say it has ever hurt sales but maybe has improved them (sometimes they will send people my way.) I've even been booked for entertainment at a show and booked a booth at the same event for someone else to sell my magic out of.