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Topic: Zoom Or Remote Online Performances
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Apr 13, 2020 09:11PM)
Ok, it's a topic that many magicians are thinking of or talking about, and to me, it really is a serious business concern or issue. Even more, it is a business issue that needs to really be looked at on a bit deeper and greater-picture level than I am seeing most magicians considering.

So, since no one seems to want to go there, I figured I would be the one to address it.

I've been talking to several of my coaching students and consulting clients, and many others that have contacted me for thoughts and insight that I don't even know about this over the past two weeks and there are really 2 issues pertaining to this I think need addressing.

Now also let me first say, I get why many are even considering this as they are looking at it as a way to make a few dollars and get some type of bookings and income in this otherwise unsettling time. So to put it clearly - for the money. None these guys considering it ever even had the thought before all of this and wouldn't have without the whole COVID-19 situation.

The other thing that made me reluctant to bring this issue up is the reality of this performing medium. I will try to say it as gently as possible, but it is what it is. I have discussed on here before how being the owner of several agencies and a production company I get hundreds of promo videos each year to view for consideration for bookings at mu venues, events, tours, and for representation at my agencies. As I have stated before most bare terrible, not market-ready, and either a simple cell phone video show vertically or the other extreme is a highly over-produced video that they couldn't possibly replicate or produce in their actual live performances. Some magicians are notorious for not having the proper video for such intents, and few are truly professional, market-appropriate, or purpose-appropriate for us to use for their intended purpose. Simply put, most magicians/performers are terrible on video.

So that leads to the two issues...

1. Most live performers do not perform well in the medium of video. Most simply just try to perform some of their "normal" material on camera. This is the first problem. Few, and I mean very few take the time or make the effort to learn the medium of performing on camera, video, or live broadcast. So most considering doing these Zoom shows have little or no experience performing for the camera or for live broadcast.

I discuss this greatly in my Press & Media For Entertainers book, about performing for the media and how performing for the camera in any format (live, t.v., video or Zoom broadcast) is actually it's own performance market, with its own set of dynamics and skills. Most never even consider this and almost always perform terribly like a deer in headlights in such mediums when they are given the opportunity.

Secondly is the business aspects of looking at it more than just the short-sided thoughts of "I need to do something now to make some kind of money." What about the effect or damage it can cause to your post-COVID-19 business? Many are charging a discounted price of $100-$140 for these shows. That now presents a slew of perceptions and concerns to your business as a performer when you go back to trying to charge normal pricing. Not to mention the clients or business you could lose forever by attempting to perform in a market/medium that you have little or no experience in and more than likely will come off poorly to your clients. Is it really worth then problems and potential damage it could cause? Does this devalue your positioning, price, and business? Is this how you want to be seen? This temporary situation can have lasting impact and effects and no one is talking about this at all. Over in Little Darings, you see the short-sidedness and the new "bandwagon" with wide-eyed consideration. Almost all are just seeing this on the surface level in what I feel are the wrong reasons.

Also, how about the industry? Magic is already looked at in a certain perspective so do you really want to see that drop even lower by a bunch of unqualified kids performer attempting to do and be something they are not? Let's face it, magic is a live performance medium unless solely created and performed for the camera-dynamic, and even then, audiences viewing the performance will not react or respond the way expected at a live performance. They are not used to responding to something they see on a screen that way. So it is not only the dynamic of the performers that is different, but also the dynamics of the audience that becomes completely different.

I think this is worthy of discussion and it seems few are looking at or considering the greater picture aftermath to this, their business, and the industry.

Performing/entertainment business owners let's discuss.
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Apr 13, 2020 10:46PM)
If you’re thinking of doing it, check out Matt Franco and Shawn Farquhars online shows. I think they are both excellent and give a good idea of how it can be done well. (They are also extremely talented performers, they make it look easy!).
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Apr 14, 2020 07:14AM)
[quote]On Apr 13, 2020, thomasR wrote:
If you’re thinking of doing it, check out Matt Franco and Shawn Farquhars online shows. I think they are both excellent and give a good idea of how it can be done well. (They are also extremely talented performers, they make it look easy!). [/quote]

Yeah, but as I said, and you specified to in your last line, they have experience performing for the camera and in the medium. They would be in the 5% I excluded in my post. I am talking about the rest of everyone - the majority that do not have such experience.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 14, 2020 08:40AM)
Ther huge percentage of these I've seen have been a disaster and seem more self indulgent than anything. I think they hurt more than help.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Apr 14, 2020 09:25AM)
Exactly!
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (Apr 14, 2020 02:41PM)
I'll admit that I don't understand a lot of the online product now. Yes, I know video very well and have worked on camera a lot but I don't get the YouTube thing. I know it can be a good promo tool and we can use zoom and other platforms to sell some version of lessons and an entertainment product as well. I worked for years with a very talented young variety artist that I used in a number of shows and events and helped her any way I could. She went on to do well in a televised series and that lead to performing around the country. She even did a little YouTube show from time to time and I always hoped that would promote more live shows. After a while the live performances seemed to dry up and I worried that her interest (or the market's interest) had peaked. She was still doing some things on YouTube and I always hoped that would spark more interest in either live shows or possibly something else on television. Her Dad called one day to inquire about me helping on another project and I asked how she was doing as I was worried about her lack of performing. He said it was hard for her to work live as much as she couldn't afford to. She was bringing in over $1 million a year just from YouTube alone. The live dates (where she was getting around $15,000 per show) meant that she lost time generating content for her YouTube channel. It's a new world and there are many people who have no desire to go on to what we think of as "Traditional Television" or live shows. Yeah, I'm an old school guy but I have to understand that times are changing in ways we could never have imagined.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 14, 2020 02:45PM)
I think there is a huge difference in generating YouTube content to earn money, and desperately trying to seem relevant to a customer.
Message: Posted by: Nash (Apr 14, 2020 03:02PM)
Good note on the concerns. Those are def. points we should look out for if we are to put on a live stream show
And for some 'rubber meet the road' knowledge, BOY oh BOY check out Scam School's (Scam Nation now I believe) recent interview with Michael Kent, who got some amazing tips on transitioning from a live show to live stream show, and tips on lighting/sound equipment/studio set-up.
[youtube]CH1DfRv1bLI[/youtube]

That was super kind of them to share their knowledge. Learned a lot. Going to help a lot when I put together my live stream show in the upcoming weeks. (I wasn't going to do it, but looks like a lot more events are cancelling into the October. But the deciding factor is that - demands are coming in.I'm getting inquiries from clients + event planners for live stream magic shows. Looks like there will be a market for it for the next few months as people are STARVING for any kind of entertainment other than netflix/TV)

As for pricing. TBH that was my initial concern as well. I wasn't sure if a 30 mins live stream show can command the same $$ range I do for live performances. And what happens after this? Will my clients balk at my live performance $$ after seeing my magic for less on live stream ... etc..
But after much thoughts, ultimately I think our clients will understand why a live in person performance will cost more. You can watch "Cats" on DVD for $11, but the same performance live will cost you hundreds more to get in the door. Not to mention the magic we do on live stream shows will be different than the ones we do in live performances.

Cheers y'all. :)
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 14, 2020 03:15PM)
How many will not hire you once they see the live stream?

Again I have said it over and over but "how can I miss you if you won't go away?"

The idea also in your equation is that somehow you equate to a Broadway production.

Why teach them that you are not a vital part of the equation for entertainment? I mean once you get them in to the groove of not having you in the room and once they KNOW you can do it for less money, well then why would things just change later?

It is about positioning and branding. You are showing them something that you may not want to show them with this idea.

Personally I take the approach that you simply have to experience me live. When this is indeed over, and it will be way sooner rather than later, they can see me live again.

Magic in particular is just so tough to do remotely. It suffers even when done one television on network specials. Doing the show shrunk down like this is a real step back.

It is not the right way to do things, certainly not the only way to do them. It is simply the way I CHOOSE to do them.
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Apr 14, 2020 03:31PM)
Something to consider (and I can hear the negatives already “not comparable” blah blah blah)...
Disney released Onward direct to Disney+. You could tell Disney that they have to consider their brand and they can’t let the customers expect to see the first run of a movie on a live streaming service etc.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Apr 14, 2020 03:36PM)
Yeah, one of my greatest concerns is the de-valuing of our live performances and what we do. Clients and customers do not think like we do so we must adapt their mentality. As an example lets just say a performer is $500 for their 45-minute live show. Now during these new times he offers a live stream show for $200, what becomes the perception? That the show itself is valued only at $200 and the other $300 is for traveling, moving equipment, and the physical things. Is that how you're breaking it down and justifying the price difference?

No thanks, that devalues everything for this temporary period and then when you try to go back you can't simply re-adjust your value to them, that's not how it works and not how they'll see it. The real danger is you were once valued as a $500 performance, and how it's a $200 performance. So when this passes, in their minds, you are still a $200 performer (value) anything more is for your efforts and they feel should just be your own costs of doing business.

Then, of course, comes the fact that your performance will be nowhere what your normal live show is so you are working in a dangerous, limited and reduced capacity (at the reduced value) - combined, this is a double hit on value and perception.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 14, 2020 03:49PM)
[quote]On Apr 14, 2020, thomasR wrote:
Something to consider (and I can hear the negatives already “not comparable” blah blah blah)...
Disney released Onward direct to Disney+. You could tell Disney that they have to consider their brand and they can’t let the customers expect to see the first run of a movie on a live streaming service etc. [/quote]

Disney already has video figured in as part of their income stream. Also being a billion dollar tech company helps. But you just want to blah blah blah it and somehow pretend guys who work gig to gig are somehow comparable to a billion dollar company. HILARIOUS comparison and it is about as accurate as apples to hand grenades.

Disney had no choice but to do so. They have movies in the pipeline and if you know the first thing about how major movie studios run you would not be shocked by this decision.

The product was made already. The NEXT product does not depend upon the perception of how this product is perceived. MANY ALREADY wait for movies to hit these mediums. Many don't go to movie theaters at all and wait for home formats. How many do that exactly with magic shows do you think? Oh wait that is part of the blah blah blah I guess huh?

Also it is NOT a live medium like magic almost HAS to be in order to be effective. More blah blah blah huh?
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Apr 14, 2020 04:00PM)
Honestly... yes. Blah blah blah. I knew exactly what the response would be before I typed it.

If I said the sky is blue you would have a reason why you can’t compare the sky to a color! :-p
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 14, 2020 04:07PM)
I know what someone is going to say if I say the world is flat. It in no way makes their response wrong now does it?

Not one single thing I said is wrong. But sure whatever.

Because naturally you are a multi billion dollar company or the equivalent. You should act exactly as they did, even though the comparison is not even CLOSE to doing live streaming magic shows. It was not taking a live event and making it a streaming show. It took a show designed to end up in the medium it ended up on. Go figure. All they did was speed its arrival.

Hey have at it. Do what you want man. If it is right for you it is right for you. Just don't make silly comparisons to Disney.
Message: Posted by: charliecheckers (Apr 14, 2020 06:38PM)
A lot of interesting discussion. No one size fits all, but I agree many are jumping in having not fully thought through the implications. These are times like no other, and there may be an opportunity to introduce novel solutions and create value in ways that previously would not have been given a chance to succeed. I think it takes a lot to accomplish that. I know my brother has been asked by some of his library clients if he offers a virtual show. He anticipates many more will follow, as the uncertainty of their summer programs loom. To date, he has let them know he is investigating various resolutions and will keep them informed of his approach to providing a desirable solution. He is buying some time.

The problem with doing nothing and waiting for live shows to return, is that clients have customers to satisfy and they are asking us if we can help out- given that we already had booked live shows. To simply say “no” risks disappointing the client and giving someone else a chance to step in and save the day. This is a reality, and more so for those who are not established for many, many years.

Many have said we will go back to a new normal. There will be winners and losers in every industry, regarding learning new capabilities from this disaster. Taking the time to contemplate new approaches and the necessary components to pull it off may have rewards. Implementing easy strategies with desire to maintain cash flow may have undesired long term consequences.
Message: Posted by: imgic (Apr 14, 2020 07:00PM)
I watched Shawn Farquhar's online show from his library. As much as I admire him, it was painful to watch. His skill of course is unparrellel. But he's a performer that feeds off the energy of the crowd. I've seen his interaction with audience, with volutneers, and it's a lot of what makes the show. But as he peformed for the camera, the energy is way off.

Recently the Portland Magic Jam also change to a virtual convention. Watching that, Shawn lectured, and same thing. And it wasn't only Shawn. John Shryock did an amazing cups and balls routine (with most beautiful set of silver cups!) But he, along with Max Maven and Stephen Bargatze...lacked energy and entertainment during performance of their routines. Plus many of us were very distracted by Max's library behind him.

As magicians we can appreciate the method, the skill, seen with online performances. But otherwise it isn't that entertaining, in my humble opinion.

Videos captured with live audience are great (Fool Us Clips are always enjoyable on YouTube). Bits that are highly produced can be fun (Wes Barker does great bit on facebook about Magicians working at Home) work for me. But I don't enjoy live streaming...and I consider myself pretty average.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 14, 2020 07:11PM)
[quote]On Apr 14, 2020, charliecheckers wrote:

The problem with doing nothing and waiting for live shows to return, is that clients have customers to satisfy and they are asking us if we can help out- given that we already had booked live shows. To simply say “no” risks disappointing the client and giving someone else a chance to step in and save the day. This is a reality, and more so for those who are not established for many, many years.

[/quote]

Saying no is the way life works. You can't always say yes just because they ask. If you don't do it, you don't do it
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Apr 14, 2020 07:23PM)
[quote]On Apr 14, 2020, imgic wrote:
I watched Shawn Farquhar's online show from his library. As much as I admire him, it was painful to watch. His skill of course is unparrellel. But he's a performer that feeds off the energy of the crowd. I've seen his interaction with audience, with volutneers, and it's a lot of what makes the show. But as he peformed for the camera, the energy is way off.

Recently the Portland Magic Jam also change to a virtual convention. Watching that, Shawn lectured, and same thing. And it wasn't only Shawn. John Shryock did an amazing cups and balls routine (with most beautiful set of silver cups!) But he, along with Max Maven and Stephen Bargatze...lacked energy and entertainment during performance of their routines. Plus many of us were very distracted by Max's library behind him.

As magicians we can appreciate the method, the skill, seen with online performances. But otherwise it isn't that entertaining, in my humble opinion.

Videos captured with live audience are great (Fool Us Clips are always enjoyable on YouTube). Bits that are highly produced can be fun (Wes Barker does great bit on facebook about Magicians working at Home) work for me. But I don't enjoy live streaming...and I consider myself pretty average. [/quote]

Wow... if Shawn’s performance was painful you have high standards. I thought it was great. I do agree with your comments regarding other presenters at the Portland Magic Jam. Max, who I highly respect.. seemed almost annoyed to have to be there.
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Apr 14, 2020 07:25PM)
[quote]On Apr 14, 2020, Dannydoyle wrote:
[quote]On Apr 14, 2020, charliecheckers wrote:

The problem with doing nothing and waiting for live shows to return, is that clients have customers to satisfy and they are asking us if we can help out- given that we already had booked live shows. To simply say “no” risks disappointing the client and giving someone else a chance to step in and save the day. This is a reality, and more so for those who are not established for many, many years.

[/quote]

Saying no is the way life works. You can't always say yes just because they ask. If you don't it you don't do it [/quote]

And if you don’t do it. Others will. You can stay stuck In the past or you can evolve and adapt.


This thought goes with my above post (sorry for 2 in a row) - Obviously the energy is different. People know that. I watched a live stream of Dave Matthews from his living room. Naturally it’s a different energy than seeing Dave Matthews in an arena. Now again, Dave Mathews is crazy talented.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 14, 2020 07:36PM)
[quote]On Apr 14, 2020, thomasR wrote:
[quote]On Apr 14, 2020, Dannydoyle wrote:
[quote]On Apr 14, 2020, charliecheckers wrote:

The problem with doing nothing and waiting for live shows to return, is that clients have customers to satisfy and they are asking us if we can help out- given that we already had booked live shows. To simply say “no” risks disappointing the client and giving someone else a chance to step in and save the day. This is a reality, and more so for those who are not established for many, many years.

[/quote]

Saying no is the way life works. You can't always say yes just because they ask. If you don't it you don't do it [/quote]

And if you don’t do it. Others will. You can stay stuck In the past or you can evolve and adapt.
[/quote]

SO WHAT? Others do LOTS of things I don't do. What is it about that which somehow makes me stuck in the past? Are you so self absorbed that you can't see what is happening?

Most of these performances of magic online are about the performer and not the audience.

Do you REALLY think the live streaming show is going to be here to stay? And no I will NOT evolve like that. As I said if you remove the live from live entertainment I will simply not evolve. How silly.

May as well close all theaters right? I mean if you think this is adapting and evolving then so be it. SO MANY of these shows are painful to watch and they devalue the performer. If you define that as adapting and evolving then go ahead and do so. I am not going to evolve like that at all.
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Apr 14, 2020 08:52PM)
I REALLY think it might be here to stay for a while. Of course none of us know. I’ve got shows and events booked starting in August. I’m sure hoping it’s back to normal by then but I also know that it might not be.

Here’s the thing... jo-jo the clown doesn’t care what danny or mindpro thinks. He’s entertaining a kid who’s birthday was just cancelled.

Shawn Farquhar isn’t worried that imgic thought he was boring. He gave a great show that his fans, like me, enjoyed.

And for the record... the concerns are real. You should want to do a good show, represent yourself and Magic well. Represent the variety arts well!
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 14, 2020 09:10PM)
[quote]On Apr 14, 2020, Dannydoyle wrote:

Hey have at it. Do what you want man. If it is right for you it is right for you. [/quote]

Not in the habit of quoting myself but did you MISS the part where I said if it is right for you it is right for you and just do it? Go ahead do it. Develop your circus on the internet show! Go ahead. I never said anyone had to agree with me at all. If you want to devalue your product have at it.

But why would I pay for a magic show from a clown, when I have all the streaming devices on the planet that have this very medium covered? What is going to make a birthday party mom sit the kids in front of the TV and watch that over the billion dollar company offerings?

You miss the point entirely. If you think this is here to stay then good for you. I bet you're right. Disney will probably close ALL theme parks, all live restaurants will stay closed, Broadway will not reopen, Vegas is a thing of the past and all will be done via the internet now. Nobody will go to movies any more. It is over for any form of live entertainment in our world.

OR it could be that after the 1918 Spanish Flu in which 675,000 Americans died Vaudeville THRIVED. It was a time like no other for live entertainment and the variety arts. It could be that after Pearl Harbor and 9/11 the country moved on. It could be that the American public moves on. But I doubt it. You are right. This is here to stay. Unlike every other time in history THIS is the thing that will change the way America lives.

I suggest less TV.

And who said that you shouldn't do a good show? Where did you get that from?
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (Apr 14, 2020 09:54PM)
For me, it's just a different medium with different needs and requirements. I know people that do amazingly well in a close up or strolling environment but can't deliver in front of 2,500 people. Yes, I know that those are both live mediums and this online stuff isn't but it still requires understanding that particular medium as its own market which I'll admit I do not. On the other hand I am fortunate to get to work with many who do and it amazes me just how much I don't know about it! YouTube has a huge studio complex here in LA where their artists (That meet certain minimum viewer requirements) can go in for free and use the studios, lighting, gear... everything to produce new content. In fact, even for traditional television, casting people are starting to ask how many "followers" you have as a prerequisite for being considered for certain projects. Now, traditional television is trying to leverage viewers from other mediums to build their own base. That being said, the largest part of the bell curve for performance medium is the mediocre artist. When desktop publishing came out, everyone was crying about how it would end books as we knew them because EVERYONE would be able to put one out. Well, it did create a deluge of really bad product but the cream always rises and there were many people with great thoughts that came out as they might not have been able to earlier. The same thing happened when consumer video became widely available. Likewise with online video, YouTube and streaming. It has made exposure available to anyone and everyone and most people are really mediocre and not worthy of any time. On the other hand there are those few who are creative and leverage the medium in better ways. Danny Cole has created a lot of amazing content as have many others. You just have to search more for them. Again, it's not giving away the farm, it's learning a new medium and is hard to compare in traditional terms... something I'm having to come to grips with as well!
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Apr 14, 2020 11:54PM)
[quote]On Apr 14, 2020, Dannydoyle wrote:
You miss the point entirely. If you think this is here to stay then good for you. I bet you're right. Disney will probably close ALL theme parks, all live restaurants will stay closed, Broadway will not reopen, Vegas is a thing of the past and all will be done via the internet now. Nobody will go to movies any more. It is over for any form of live entertainment in our world.

OR it could be that after the 1918 Spanish Flu in which 675,000 Americans died Vaudeville THRIVED. It was a time like no other for live entertainment and the variety arts. It could be that after Pearl Harbor and 9/11 the country moved on. It could be that the American public moves on. But I doubt it. You are right. This is here to stay. Unlike every other time in history THIS is the thing that will change the way America lives. [/quote]


Exactly! To me, this time is very telling on a much bigger picture of how magicians and performers tend to think and operate. Everything is simply based on personal opinion and knee-jerk, short-term reactions. As I regularly express here, few performers these days operate from an industry perspective or what is best and in the greater picture for the industry. This is a great example of it and soooo telling.

All of this is temporary at best. The performance dynamics for anything streaming is simply NOT the same as actual live performances - period. This needs to be understood and accepted first and foremost. This single fact is all one needs to know of why this will not be here to stay or any kind of lasting format for live performances. Those that work, operate, and exist from an industry perspective quickly and easily realize this, only "me-based performers" would even begin to think otherwise. These are also the ones panicking and hanging on everything they pick and choose to listen to in the media.

As Danny said, live entertainment has survived much worse than this and always makes a strong return or comeback. I have already been getting indicators of this at even this early point. The second half of this year will bounce back and I am confident that 2021 will be one of the strongest live entertainment years in recent history.

With that said, there is a way for live stream entertainment to be produced and performed during this temporary period but it must be different than regular conventional performing. It must be a different format than just doing your regular performance for the camera. This is the answer for everyone acting out of desperation or thinking it is the need of customers and clients (or the "if we don't do it someone else will-mentality) are currently thinking. It must not affect the value of their normal live performance, so a different format can offer a different value without affecting their current or future value for once this passes. It takes some thought, effort, creativity and industry understanding, but this is the answer for those thinking they "have" to offer streaming services for temporary survival.

So many are just doing very limited, only on the surface level, to end of their nose level thinking. This needs to be something different and something that will not be seen or confused with their regular performances. It can't be offering "the same" in a different format (streaming).
Message: Posted by: charliecheckers (Apr 15, 2020 08:43AM)
[quote]On Apr 14, 2020, Mindpro wrote:
With that said, there is a way for live stream entertainment to be produced and performed during this temporary period but it must be different than regular conventional performing. It must be a different format than just doing your regular performance for the camera. This is the answer for everyone acting out of desperation or thinking it is the need of customers and clients (or the "if we don't do it someone else will-mentality) are currently thinking. It must not affect the value of their normal live performance, so a different format can offer a different value without affecting their current or future value for once this passes. It takes some thought, effort, creativity and industry understanding, but this is the answer for those thinking they "have" to offer streaming services for temporary survival.

So many are just doing very limited, only on the surface level, to end of their nose level thinking. This needs to be something different and something that will not be seen or confused with their regular performances. It can't be offering "the same" in a different format (streaming). [/quote]

So well said! For those who contend that Mindpro never offers “real” advice here, reread his post. People should feel great that they spent the time and effort to come to Tricky Business to read this type of advice. It is this type of thinking that can separate performers and avoid mediocrity. Ray pointed out the advantage of studio quality production. This is what we need to be thinking about and where our conversations should be going if we are serious about producing content consistent with our brands. These are the conversations my brother has been having with Mindpro for the past month. Not streaming his live performance, that’s crazy. He has been considering options to meet his customers needs in a different way. Those who are able to do so successfully, may discover new or improved ways to offer value to their market. For many, it may be best just to wait it out until live shows return.
Message: Posted by: imgic (Apr 15, 2020 10:42AM)
For the record, I never said Shawn was boring. I enjoyed his stream from a technical standpoint. But without an audience, the interaction is gone, the energy is missing, and I did not find it enjoyable to watch from entertainment viewpoint.

That's why Mindpro's advice is spot on. There are acts that could do well in a live stream...Stuart MacDonald's Haunted Mirror Act, Shin Lim's doing cards, and others. But just doing same audience based acts...with the energy missing, it's not that enjoyable.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 15, 2020 10:55AM)
Bingo.
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Apr 15, 2020 10:59AM)
[quote]On Apr 15, 2020, imgic wrote:
For the record, I never said Shawn was boring. I enjoyed his stream from a technical standpoint. But without an audience, the interaction is gone, the energy is missing, and I did not find it enjoyable to watch from entertainment viewpoint.

That's why Mindpro's advice is spot on. There are acts that could do well in a live stream...Stuart MacDonald's Haunted Mirror Act, Shin Lim's doing cards, and others. But just doing same audience based acts...with the energy missing, it's not that enjoyable. [/quote]

Sorry about that... You said “painful” and I remembered it as “boring” - my mistake. I thought it was very entertaining but I’m also watching ragtime piano players doing live streams so who’s to say? :)
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 15, 2020 11:21AM)
Who is his market? Magicians sit through magic lectures for God sake. So if the market is them great. If this as you say is the future I'm going to go ahead and doubt it replaces live entertainment. Come back in August and show me how wrong I am.
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Apr 15, 2020 11:32AM)
[quote]On Apr 15, 2020, Dannydoyle wrote:
Who is his market? Magicians sit through magic lectures for God sake. So if the market is them great. If this as you say is the future I'm going to go ahead and doubt it replaces live entertainment. Come back in August and show me how wrong I am. [/quote]

Since it was on Facebook it was his 7,000 Facebook fans. I have no idea how those numbers break down.... I’m sure it’s a lot of magicians.
Now Matt Franco with 120k!!! Wow.

Danny I’m not saying it’s the future... I’m saying it might be. I want to be wrong! I have gigs booked in August and I want them to happen!
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 15, 2020 11:41AM)
Why might it be? Again turn off your tv and computer just for a few days.

And there is ZERO chance this is the future. It is temporary and if it lasts through June that will be a long time.

But again come back and prove me wrong.

You have NO CLUE how many fans watched it. Facebook has always been a fake representation of popularity.
Message: Posted by: charliecheckers (Apr 15, 2020 12:10PM)
I think when live audience shows “comes back” may differ for us based on a few variables such as where we are located, who our state leaders are, and what markets we serve. More affected areas may be more conservative.
In markets that are governed by the government, such as schools and libraries, there may be more stringent guidance to preserving social distancing for a longer period of time than commercial entities. Also, this is such a highly emotionally charged time right now, we really need to see how long it remains that way. Obviously, how the numbers of hospitalized patients and deaths continue to play out will be a huge factor as well.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 15, 2020 12:15PM)
The number fudging is becoming obvious.

The speed with which it comes back will vary. But once it is happening it will happen quickly as possible.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Apr 15, 2020 03:00PM)
[quote]On Apr 15, 2020, charliecheckers wrote:
So well said! For those who contend that Mindpro never offers “real” advice here, reread his post. People should feel great that they spent the time and effort to come to Tricky Business to read this type of advice. It is this type of thinking that can separate performers and avoid mediocrity. [/quote]

Thanks, for the kind words. However, there will still be some here that will read the exact same thing that you did and will still fail to understand, see the real point, value or information I offered and will still claim I didn't say anything, lol.

Unfortunately, the reality is I provide such great, "real" advice here quite regularly in many of my posts but some here fail to understand and digest it (and it's proper context as intended) as you have charliecheckers.

I haven't connected with you in a while, so I know you are an M.D. and on the front lines (hospital) of things in New York. I hope you are well and staying safe!
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Apr 15, 2020 03:00PM)
[quote]On Apr 14, 2020, thomasR wrote:
And if you don’t do it. Others will. You can stay stuck In the past or you can evolve and adapt. [/quote]

This is bothering me greatly and keeps resonating through my head because this is how consumer market, basic level magicians/business owners think and operate.

Danny's response was exactly the same as mine - So What?

The ones that will be doing this will:

1. Be bandwagon jumpers thinking they are "serving their customers" and almost always will accept this BEFORE knowing, thinking or creating the product

2. Almost likely will be doing a poorly produced and received product. Then they will only base the success of it on the feedback they receive for the hiring clients - again, a terrible, unreal perception for performers to follow. An unreal, untrue means or basis.

So What? So what if someone else is the one to do this first and to do this poorly or be disappointing?
So what if someone is asking for something like this? I know how these conversations are going which is something like "could you do any kind of online (streaming, digital, etc.) performance?" They don't know what they are asking or talking about, simply just grasping for some ideas or possibilities. They are doing this without much real thought of the realities of this, without really thinking or understanding the differences, without any knowledge about the difference in dynamics, and the worst part of this is they will not have any different expectations toward your digital performance. They will expect the same as they were for your live event.

These all stack up against the performer. I have had several students this week and last week decline these ideas if (really only one or two) someone were to ask such type of questions. Thye took the time to create a well-crafted response to point out these such differences, not to mention the differences of how their audience would perceive and accept such performances and all immediately understood and were gracious and appreciative for such insight which they would have never thought of. In both cases, that actually thanked the performer for such wisdom and insight, rather than being sold something which would likely disappoint and fall far short of expectations.

So why set yourself up for failure?

LET someone else do it - they will likely do it poorly anyhow, which is also better for you.

I can't really think of many reasons TO DO this. Yes, I have been working with several who are doing this, but they have been working in this market long before this and are not just throwing something together for during this strained time.

This is a business move that could have serious ramifications. So why would you change not only your whole business model, bit now performance model "just because someone has asked" or because of this CVIS-19 temporary period? Even for the money, it is not worth it in the bigger picture.

We should never try to "serve" someone with something we are not qualified to do. This, to me, is exactly the same a someone that has no experience in working a certain type of market or performance, yet is asked, so they accept a gig and come to the Magic Café with a post saying "I am a closeup card magician, but I had someone inquire about booking me for a stage performance for 200 guests next Friday Night. After some thought, it paid good money, so I accepted it. I would appreciate any help from anyone to steer me toward some tricks I could learn that would be good for this..." It's really the same thing.

I in no way see this as evolving or being a "stuck in the past" issue. Who controls your business, you or the uninformed, uneducated client and their requests? Thousands of live performers will not turn to any type of digital performance an dit in no way makes them "stuck in the past" - this is ridiculous.

As for the Dave Matthews thing, you are comparing kumquats and watermelons. Music and magic are in no way the same thing or even from similar families. Music is meant to be enjoyed and consumed privately and personally. Sure there are concerts, but the same music can be enjoyed one on one personally - hence live albums. Not even close to magic or other live variety performers
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Apr 15, 2020 03:14PM)
Awesome. We see things differently. :)
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 15, 2020 03:37PM)
[quote]On Apr 15, 2020, thomasR wrote:
Awesome. We see things differently. :) [/quote]

Come back and show us your amazing success. Come back in August and show us how wrong we are. I'll happily admit it if I am.

Will you do the same?
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Apr 15, 2020 04:10PM)
Danny.... I already said I’ve got shows booked for August. If those happen I’ll buy you a latte next time I’m in Hoboken!
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 15, 2020 04:17PM)
I am talking about this being permanent. I am talking about this staying the way it is.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Apr 15, 2020 04:39PM)
I wouldn't be surprised if many of these guys that are jumping into the digital performances will be back here later in the year or next year complaining about how they are having trouble getting full-price bookings or being seen as they wish to be and at their proper value.

Also thomasR - your comment "Awesome. We see things differently" is my exact point. That would be fine if we were comparing opinions, but this is the difference between industry perspectives and operations (factual, real) and personal opinion. That was my earlier point that most are operating from a "me "or opinion position.
Message: Posted by: imgic (Apr 18, 2020 12:16AM)
Pop Hadyn. Posted link to this video on Facebook. Seems appropriate for this thread.

Make sure you have captions turn on

https://captiongenerator.com/1771422/Virtual-magic-shows
Message: Posted by: Nash (Apr 18, 2020 02:57AM)
Going back to the OP's post: The concerns for producing a live stream magic show are valid. There are 3 camps of beliefs:
A) Let's do it, B)Not for me, C)debating.
First and foremost, whatever camp you are in, I 100% support & respect your decision.
I was in camp C when this all started, now I'm in camp A and am loving every moment learning about the technical and artistic aspects of it :)

Honestly I have no idea how long will this pandemic last. I don't think anyone knows with 100% certainty.
Speaking from a personal perspective, I just got a convention in October cancelled flat out.
Worst case scenario is this will last way longer than we imagine. If you have a giant cash flow that you can withstand having 0 income for months on end, that's wonderful. I'm not that lucky, so now is the time to put some thoughts into how to produce an amazing live-stream show.

When live events are back, I have no doubt our industry will bounce back STRONGER than ever and live-stream shows will be an afterthought. People need live entertainment. But in a scenario where all meetings are held virtually until god knows when? I can only speak for myself, but boy I'll hate to be unprepared if doomsday happens.

So far the concerns for doing a live-stream show is it will devalue what you do.
Here's a solution: DO A GOOD SHOW THEN LOL.
Creating a live-stream show is difficult, it will be uncharted territory, but not impossible.

Secondly: Do I fear that I won't be able to command the same price after having offered a live-stream show?
That crossed my mind in the beginning, but ultimately I think it depends on whether you believe your clients will be able to understand the difference between a live-stream show vs a live show.
For me, I think everyone had facetime/video chat before and understand seeing someone through the screen vs interacting with someone LIVE are two completely different experiences.
Live is always better. Live will always cost more $$ because it brings a humanistic value that cannot be replaced by a live-stream show.
Not to mention a live show will bring a wider variety of materials too. These are easily understandable values that our clients will, well, understand.

IMHO, that's the reason why I ultimately let go of my concerns that people won't hire me my regular rate after seeing my live-stream shows.


Cheers gang. Hope everyone is safe and well :dancing:
Message: Posted by: charliecheckers (Apr 18, 2020 09:04AM)
Hey Nash- thanks for sharing your perspectives. I too believe there is uncertainty regarding when live shows return. We are seeing festival events throughout the summer months being cancelled, galas in the fall being cancelled, and our own bookings through August being cancelled. It is possible there will be other events created with shorter notice to replace these cancelled events once the emotions of today settle down, but that has no certainty to it. So, what each of us do will somewhat be determined by our individual situations as well as our ability to diversify in what we offer.

I think there has to be a lot of credence given to what has been shared by those with experience and perspectives on this forum regarding venturing off and selling performances that were created with no expertise or experience in the medium being used to present ones show. Where does the confidence or belief that it is market ready come from? How does your offering provide solutions in a compelling way? What competitive advantage are you offering over and above other products the client can choose to use to address their needs? What image are you creating in the clients mind?

I believe these need to be carefully considered when taking on any new idea or concept. Moving to virtual performances is an extreme example of this. Are there examples of those who have implemented this successfully? What market do they serve? Does this translate well with the market you serve? How is this being presented and sold (I believe this too, is something that needs to be thought out for longer term branding considerations)?

I am all for taking smart risks and moving outside of my comfort zone, but I am not convinced yet that what we have to offer currently would constitute a SMART risk.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 18, 2020 09:31AM)
One also needs to consider the recession and inflation that will be caused by this. Yes we may come out of this strong, but with all the money being printed it will cause inflation and a recession WILL follow. (All those "Trump lumps" don't pay for themselves you know.)

Once this goes away no matter if it was overblown or not there are ft going to be very long long term economic consequences. Might want to set your calendar for those.

Meaning it might devalue your product even further.
Message: Posted by: FrankFindley (Apr 18, 2020 02:23PM)
It has been a very busy few weeks consulting with major brand owners on the effect of the pandemic. I strongly believe that individual performers can utilize the same marketing knowledge to not only help the public and themselves during this time but also position themselves for the pent up demand following. Here is a summary I wrote to give a basic grounding: [url]https://themasb.org/marketings-vital-role-in-tackling-the-covid-19-pandemic/[/url].

So how can performers help? One is by doing virtual shows, free or paid. A lot of people are depressed and we can bring them some joy. Here is example news coverage from a member of our local IBM Ring, Norris Priest:

[url]https://www.14news.com/2020/04/03/local-magician-does-facebook-live-magic-show/[/url]

This is not "devaluing" the brand. Rather, the audience of the show and the many multiples who will not see the show but hear about it on the news and in social media will have a very positive sentiment towards the performer. We've seen this in previous years with performers who, forcexample, worked USO and saving bond drives during war times. They didn't do their typical shows but scaled back vesions with different effects. Like then, people will be very forgiving knowing it isn't under best circumstances. Afterwards, they became the most sought out performers as people appreciated what they did.

The same goes for paid engagements. As an example I know a face painter who has shifted to virtual during this time. She is having parents submit their kids photos and is using her skills to photoshop them into the animals of their choice before virtual parties. The kids love seeing their friends photos unveiled during the party. Then they keep these virtual party favors afterwards as avatars. Her bookings are now running ahead of last year!

One of the worst things we can do is "go dark" during this time. We could lose ground both personally and collectively as an art. Magic needs to be kept in the public awareness. We have a lot to offer and the performers who continue to sling the spells will have an advantage in both the short and long term.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 18, 2020 02:59PM)
Just because you say it doesn't devalue the product in no way makes it true.

Just because we say it does has no bearing on if it is true.
Message: Posted by: FrankFindley (Apr 18, 2020 03:28PM)
[quote]On Apr 18, 2020, Dannydoyle wrote:
Just because you say it doesn't devalue the product in no way makes it true.

Just because we say it does has no bearing on if it is true. [/quote]

Nor does saying that it does devalue it, make it so. It isn't the "saying" which matters. It is the actual outcomes that matter. And we are seeing plenty of positive outcomes. Just saw another positive story posted by Cody Clark:

[url]https://www.instagram.com/p/B-2VyzalTtD/?igshid=1td84pup4m1sp[/url]
"I had the absolute pleasure of spending this morning with Marlee & her family/friends over @zoom_video_communications for her 8th birthday! Having seen my show at @bcplinsta in Feb., once she knew her party would have to be virtual, she had the bright idea of requesting a virtual magic show. I’m SO glad she did! We all had so much fun and was so amazed by my virtual magic that it felt like we were all together! Thanks again and happy 8th birthday Marlee 🎂"

Audiences are happy. Clients are happy. Performers are happy. Seems like a win-win-win to me.
Message: Posted by: FrankFindley (Apr 18, 2020 04:01PM)
Here's Kostya Kimlat sharing his experience with virtual shows:

[url]https://www.wogx.com/video/675031[/url]

Great example with his "quarantined card trick" bringing some needed levity.
Message: Posted by: FrankFindley (Apr 18, 2020 09:01PM)
Good article with positive perspectives.

[url]https://chicago.suntimes.com/platform/amp/entertainment-and-culture/2020/4/15/21219787/chicago-magicians-magic-coronavirus-pandemic-jibrizy-dennis-watkins-paige-thompson-palmer-house[/url]
[b]Chicago magicians adjust to ‘virtual magic’ amid coronavirus pandemic
Performing online shows is the new normal for Chicago’s magicians.[/b]

[i]“It sucks,” said Jibrizy. “In my profession, I need people; an audience. Doing a magic video online, rather than [in front of a live] audience isn’t like the same killing, so I’ve been going live on Instagram. There’s no edit; it’s all one continuous thing so people love it … I really do appreciate the support of the fans. And, in fact, [b]when I go live, my numbers have tripled.[/b]”
...
The folks at Chicago Magic Lounge have made a similar pivot to performing online shows, through Zoom, an online conference service that has capitalized on the social distancing COVID-19 has created.

“We spent a lot of time looking at what to do right so [b]immediately we knew that the world needs magic more than ever[/b]; the world needs misdirection,” said Joey Cranford, Chicago Magic Lounge’s CEO and co-owner. “We have a gift to provide to people sitting at home right now. It’s just been really cool. And the other really fun part about Zoom is that it’s as close to a show as you can imagine, so we send out the emails, [b]we announce that tickets have gone on sale and we sell out the spots within about 45 minutes.[/b]
...
“It’s been really refreshing to hear the comments,” said Thompson. “The excitement and people are just happy to have something different to do, but it’s still interactive. That way they’re not just watching Netflix for 40 hours, so it’s nice that there is a change of pace. [b]I think for people who like to dress up and make a fancy cocktail and watch a magic show; people want something unique to do at this time.[/b]”[/i]
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 18, 2020 09:06PM)
I wish them the best.
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Apr 18, 2020 09:10PM)
Magic Bar in LA has also been going Live weekly on Instagram.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Apr 18, 2020 09:34PM)
Well said FrankFindley.

Those who sit around and wait for things to get back to ‘normal’ may be sitting for a long time. Then once it does get back to normal they will have lost their clients to those who have been helpful during the bad times. Good deeds (and some will see it as that) are not forgotten so easily.


Tom
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 18, 2020 09:41PM)
Neither are bad shows.

Hey I am probably the wrong guy to talk with about it anyhow. I don't do the one night gig stuff. I just can't imagine if I did that somehow the 21 card trick is the answer to the question is all.

Have at it! If it works for you and you don't think it devalues you then go for it.
Message: Posted by: FrankFindley (Apr 19, 2020 07:31AM)
Haven't seen Kostya Kimlat's full virtual act. But we can see the positive reactions people have in this screen capture from the video.

[Img]http://libertyassociate.com/TheMagicCafe/Kimlat%20Virtual.png[/img]

From one scene it looks like he is doing the Okito box routine he developed as a teen. I've done that simple routine and it gets great response. To me, repurposing the Twenty-One Card trick to discuss quarantine is clever. Having people mentally select a card is one way to get around them not being able to physically select one. Of course, there are lots of fun routines possible. John Carey's Destiny has been getting a great response for me.

[YouTube]AfoLtTho3JY[/YouTube]

Another fun one to use virtually is Diamond Jack. A dribble select at the beginning, a few good cuts and shuffles and you are off to the races with a fun, heartwarming piece.

A key point is that during the transition from stay-at-home to live physical shows, there will most likely be a "no-touch" phase. McBride and others have been doing a lot of thinking on this at his school. This is not a trivial change for many of us. Doing virtual interactions is one way to get some practice for that. That is why I am using Diamond Jack, it is preparation for parlor act replacing another "touch" routine.

Here are a couple more creative examples of magicians reaching out to people during this time

David Blaine is performing live on call for hospital workers. This is very reminiscent of the USO tours.

[Url]https://talentrecap.com/watch-david-blaine-perform-virtual-magic-for-hospital-workers-during-coronavirus-pandemic/amp[/url]

[I]Medical workers on the frontlines are all working hard to try and care for an overwhelming number of coronavirus patients. They all deserve to have smiles on their faces and to have their days brightened. Magician David Blaine is doing just that. He is performing magic tricks remotely via FaceTime for medical workers to give them something to smile about.[/I]

Penn & Teller and friends' silly ambitious card montage video is nearing 100 thousand views with 99% positive ratio.

[YouTube]xy6rfq3oC-Q[/YouTube]
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Apr 20, 2020 03:53AM)
Jeff McBride is going to start doing “Wonder Zoom” - an on line version of his wonderground variety show.
Message: Posted by: imgic (Apr 20, 2020 08:39AM)
[quote]On Apr 18, 2020, FrankFindley wrote:
[i]“It sucks,” said Jibrizy. “In my profession, I need people; an audience. Doing a magic video online, rather than [in front of a live] audience isn’t like the same killing, so I’ve been going live on Instagram. There’s no edit; it’s all one continuous thing so people love it … I really do appreciate the support of the fans. And, in fact, [b]when I go live, my numbers have tripled.[/b]” [/quote]

Wonder if he coaches his spectators on Private Message during the act...
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 20, 2020 11:43AM)
[quote]On Apr 20, 2020, imgic wrote:
[quote]On Apr 18, 2020, FrankFindley wrote:
[i]“It sucks,” said Jibrizy. “In my profession, I need people; an audience. Doing a magic video online, rather than [in front of a live] audience isn’t like the same killing, so I’ve been going live on Instagram. There’s no edit; it’s all one continuous thing so people love it … I really do appreciate the support of the fans. And, in fact, [b]when I go live, my numbers have tripled.[/b]” [/quote]

Wonder if he coaches his spectators on Private Message during the act... [/quote]

Nice.
Message: Posted by: FrankFindley (Apr 20, 2020 04:54PM)
Another interesting article, this time on St. Louis kid entertainers:

[url]https://www.stltoday.com/entertainment/arts-and-theatre/make-em-laugh-but-from-a-distance-kid-entertainers-adapt-in-the-coronavirus-age/article_3539390a-4c6a-5b32-a652-f6248f811574.amp.html[/url]
[b]Make 'em laugh, but from a distance: Kid entertainers adapt in the coronavirus age[/b]

One of the entertainers highlighted in the article is magician Chef Bannanas. Chad is the premium kid entertainer in that area. He did an interview with the Kids Entertainer Academy which now has a course on virtual shows. In addition to sharing his technical setup for kids shows (green screen, lighting, camera, sound) he went into some business aspects including maintaining his price point. His switch in marketing assets is also quite impressive: [url]https://www.chefbananas.com/[/url].
Message: Posted by: FrankFindley (Apr 20, 2020 05:37PM)
Oops, put link to his main page. Here is direct link to his virtual magic show page including video: [url]https://www.chefbananas.com/social-distancing-events[/url]
Message: Posted by: FrankFindley (Apr 29, 2020 09:57AM)
A group of prominent Indian magicians hosted a question and answer session with David Copperfield. Several of the questions regarded the virtusl format opportunity both for performing and teaching magic.

[youtube]aKfyjZggbW4[/youtube]
Message: Posted by: imgic (Apr 29, 2020 02:19PM)
Got an email other day from Murphy's Magic promoting "Top Tricks for Virtual Magic Shows"

Great marketing on their part...
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Apr 30, 2020 09:07AM)
Since this topic has gotten terribly derailed and somehow become a place to post bad video and try to pass off and attempt to adapt general business as entertainment business advice, it would be nice to see this topic get back on track. There are other forums for posting "look at me" videos. Few posted here really have to do with or further the topic.

Several weeks have gone by and I have now viewed 110 of these virtual performances, some by some very high-profile and top names in the industry, and most are hideous and completely miss the point. I am embarrassed for the performer just watching them myself.

Of the 110 that I have watched that were either submitted to us for representation or asked to evaluate, only 5 made my cut as good enough for market.

There were some consistent traits with almost all of them...

- All had terribly low production value
- All were typical performance-only, with their regular performance material
- Most just turned a single camera on and attempted to do their regular performance
- Of those that tried to use some"TV-magic" most were terrible and hack presentations
- 11 also offer a "magic lesson" usually at the end, mixing terrible formats in the same effort
- Almost all had terrible audio
- Only about 18% has any live interaction/participation
- Most had terrible engagement and eye contact
- Some were shot with the performer at full-length making 7/8s of the screen empty or void
- Almost all were missing beats and would be stepping over responses and reactions on the viewer's end
- Only 5 even attempted to use a different presentation created for the medium
- Only 4 of these five were actually produced well
- 85% of these were one-shot, unedited, with no post-production at all
- Nearly all of the performers looked like a deer in headlights and relied solely on their performance material, no personality or engagement or utilization of the digital format
- Nearly all performers looked like your cheesy "Uncle Joe" that poorly attempts to do cheesy magic tricks at family get-togethers and holiday gatherings
- Every single one of the 110 were charging far less than their normal performance. The typical price was $150, often less than 1/2 or 1/4 of their regular supposed performance rates.

I could go on, but really this is enough and plenty to see the results and a larger scale.

So I have seen enough using the "wait and see" mentalities mentioned earlier in this thread. Yes, if you don't adapt and do it someone else will. They have and the results are screamingly clear. To those that chose to do nothing at all, may have come out the winners.

The other real winners were the few that took the time to learn the medium, made the investment into what was needed to meet the needs of the medium and industry and put in the time and effort including pre-production and actual serious post-production to do it right.

I see these last 30 days has spawned two terrible "courses" on how t be a "virtual Magician" or "how to do virtual shows." Save your money as most only describe some of the mechanics of using Skype, Zoom, and the new Google Meet. Of course, they offered "virtual performance" material, which was just telling how to adapt regular performance material to a virtual format - "simply perform as you normally would, but have your camera zoomed in tight on your mat, performance area, and hands." These are quickly thrown together in a pdf and offer no real useful beneficial content.

Rpierce, Danny, David Copperfield, Charliecheckers, and myself have all said the same thing - there could be an opportunity for those that learn the medium/market first. The other bandwagon jumpers will soon create an image and stereotype that will likely be associated with "virtual magic shows" as we are already seeing.
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (Apr 30, 2020 02:07PM)
I'll admit that I've spent a lot of my life in technical production and preaching for the advancement of better production values in all aspects of online work. That being said, we were just shooting some footage for an online live streaming event... all professionally yet responsibly shot with the crew maintaining social distancing guidelines with everyone in masks, etc. and we were all discussing the content currently on the air... and I don't mean YouTube of FB but the currently being produced content for network night time shows. The Tonight Show, SNL along with many others are frequently being filmed on iPhones. Basically ANYONE could now have the same production value as a network show. There is a current trend for "authenticity" and a distinct lack of production values. Singers are recording with nothing other than a small fixed camera on them, shows either using zoom or creating the illusion of it by a fixed single camera shot. Some that do have better quality are actually being downgraded to suggest that it is from an onboard laptop camera. Now, taking that into account, these situations are typically coming from those who are already very well known in the industry and are using the contrast of professional production values being dropped in favor of the more relatable "zoom" type qualities as an example of their accessibility and ability to relate to the rest of us. If you are already a star, there is something humanizing and authentic about being able to show your abilities with the least of technological accessories. It brings out a very desirable quality of your work. I'm just not sure that works for the rest of us. I've seen people trying to produce a professional quality product from home and some are quite good while ultimately still having the quality of a public access cable show. It's leading me to the thought that it is important to provide clear and clean content but it is even more important to be able to connect with the viewer in a meaningful way. Unfortunately, magic in particular will always suffer in 2 dimensions. It will NEVER be as good as witnessing it live so we're already in a negative state online. Yes, make sure you have clean audio and a good visual signal, try to mix up the shot to keep visual interest but more than anything... move your audience, create content that transforms them. Charisma, nuance and subtlety are even more critical on the small screen and we can see it when it's there and even more when it isn't. The lack of acting and communication skills are exposed the closer the camera gets. That's the reason that real stars don't suffer with the lack of technology, it reveals their true talent. Before you do a show, just keep asking if there is real value in what you have to say and can you say it in a way that connects with and moves people. I feel that is the single greatest difference between good and simply mediocre content in today's online market. I'll be interested to hear from others.
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Apr 30, 2020 04:00PM)
Excellent points Ray. I’m looking forward to seeing you on Franz’s quarantine talk tomorrow night. Franz has often mentioned on his interviews that everyone is on an even playing field now.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 30, 2020 04:59PM)
Magic on any telecommunication device is 180 degrees different from performing magic live. Working on Broadway is different from TV and film. It is just different.

Most magicians don't do magic well in front of an audience. Without one it is really strange to watch.

But so much of the theory simply does not apply. I remember talking to Charlie Schilien about why he never wanted to be on TV. Eugene Burger made the same sort of point on one of his videos.

In real life the magician is in control of SO much, and if done right everything the audience perceives is under our control. Life is little boxes of pictures that we control where and when and for how long people may look. Think Thurston and the ducks. More contemporaneous Derren Brown and the banana.

On television, or YouTube or whatever streaming thingie you want to name it is ONE box. ONE picture. ONE thing. The misdirection to do something that will blow people's minds such as a card under their drink can NOT be done on TV without generous editing. Once you do that editing people know SOMETHING happened and they know exactly WHEN it happened. It removes SO much of the mystery.

So you are left with more mechanical means to accomplish effects. Not entirely, but more often.

Ray has pointed out the shortcomings of personality and such.

To be fair I simply have not watched many of the offerings. The first attempts, including some of the stuff offered here are just so sad. It is heart breaking. I am just not a fan of what is being offered. It is like watching guys try to come up with promo videos. Bill Maher is having trouble doing his monologues for God sake. Watch Wrestling for 2 minutes with the empty arena shows and tell me an audience doesn't matter.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Apr 30, 2020 05:34PM)
Great points Ray, I agree. There is a huge difference between an established celebrity or star as this appears more intimate and personal rather than cheap and desperate. Even many of the late-night shows still have intros, outros, bumpers and other production elements making them much different than magicians trying to do this on the quick and cheap.

Also another key point is the audience is getting these television productions for free at their leisure, whereas magicians are selling this for a price to the consumer, and that consumer also has expectations for the price they pay. Expectations are many and extremely different when pay and entertaining value come into play.

Now...

with all that said the poor virtual shows problem will subside shortly. In the next 2 - 4 weeks many states will be allowing other types of non-essential businesses to open with curbside business, much like many restaurants have been allowed up to this point. You will still not be able to gather in crowds but will be able to remain in your vehicles. My prediction is this will lead to live curbside, sidewalk, drive-up magician performances. Magicians will perform on the sidewalk or curb and mini-vans full of birthday party kids will pull up and watch as the magician will perform his show for the kids enclosed in the van/vehicle. This will also lead to drive-up busking too.

Get ready, here it comes...
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Apr 30, 2020 11:05PM)
Mindoro... regarding the drive up entertainment. One of my variety friends (he’s an equity actor and a stand up comedian) has been doing drive up entertainment in his neighborhood. He stays in the car, rolls down his window and sings a favorite song or 2, tells some jokes etc. It’s something I guess!
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (May 1, 2020 03:05PM)
[quote]On Apr 30, 2020, thomasR wrote:
I’m looking forward to seeing you on Franz’s quarantine talk tomorrow night. Franz has often mentioned on his interviews that everyone is on an even playing field now. [/quote]

lol... Yeah, We've been friends for many years, I can't wait to see what comes out!
Message: Posted by: FrankFindley (May 1, 2020 07:49PM)
On the topic of improving the act, I love this quote from the "The Birth of Virtual Magic" article in the latest issue of Vanish magazine:

"I’ll share with you a surprising element of virtual shows that I did not expect: the opportunity to get visual feedback from each member of your audience.

I can imagine how amazing this offer would have been to any of us five
or ten years ago:

Ok, Magician: We’re going to put a camera on the face of EVERY
audience member while they watch your show. We’ll record their
reactions to every trick. Afterward you’ll get to watch it and see their
reactions to every word you say and every move you make. You’ll see
when they’re interested and when they’re bored. You’ll see when they
are surprised, amused or astonished. You’ll be able to fine tune each
moment of each trick to create optimum engagement. And then you’ll
do another show, we’ll record the face of every person again, and you
can review the footage and make your show better.

How much? $10, $50, $100 per person to study their reactions? Sold!" - Kostya Kimlat

This is a very interesting point. Another factor which may drive the continuation of virtual live magic is the sales process. If one can do some knock out magic virtually live with prospects, it could significantly boost bookings. Net, any time spent perfecting virtual live magic format now could be well leveraged later.

And of course there is the PR potential many performers have already been leveraging. I wonder who will be the first magician to perform from space? Quick, someone call Elon Musk!
Message: Posted by: thomasR (May 1, 2020 11:13PM)
Thanks for posting frank. Interesting thoughts!
Message: Posted by: Gerry Walkowski (May 2, 2020 06:54AM)
It's probably just me :), but I can't see myself doing any of this stuff.

I'd almost rather giving up performing altogether if this is the future of entertainment.

Gerry
Message: Posted by: FrankFindley (May 2, 2020 01:41PM)
Just a few more thoughts.

As Copperfield noted, this is a new media form for magic that we are slowly learning how to best use. There are a lot of interesting nuances with which magicians are experimenting. One is that the face tends to be much more prominent in the framing. Each audience member feels that the magician is looking directly at them. Another is that there is only one angle. Ryan Hayashi has been working a lot with these two points on his channel and getting feedback to refine his act. Note the expressiveness of his face in his billiard ball routine.

[youtube]3nIrOeQJrlQ[/youtube]

Another reality is that the performer controls their relative size which is fixed for each audience member. So effects which are impractical for stage, because some audience members would be too far away, work excellent in this format. And more standard production items easily "fill the stage" by the magician coming closer to the camera. In this highlight reel from Mat Franco's facebook virtual show, he and Jeff McBride take advantage of the aspect control. Mat performs the rarely seen nowadays diminishing cards while Jeff fills the screen with a beautiful Hughes Magic bouquet ala Patrick Page style production.

[url]https://facebook.com/matfrancomagic/video_grid/?playlist_id=612286992967988[/url]

Another type of magic making a comeback online is fire magic. While many of us have cut back on fire use because of inherent risks at locating , this is less of an issue streaming from a controlled set. As an example, Jay Mattioli makes good use of it in his trailer.

[youtube]Kta4oM78DXk[/youtube]
Message: Posted by: thomasR (May 2, 2020 03:00PM)
Thanks for posting Frank! In my opinion Matt Franco and Jeff McBride’s performances in particular are ones to watch for good ideas.

Our very own Café friend Ray Pierce did a really nice routine with Mental Photography last night on Franz’s show! That’s always been one of my favorite tricks, and his routine was so much fun!
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (May 2, 2020 03:27PM)
[quote]On May 2, 2020, Gerry Walkowski wrote:
It's probably just me :), but I can't see myself doing any of this stuff.

I'd almost rather giving up performing altogether if this is the future of entertainment.

Gerry [/quote]

This most likely is the future of entertainment. Or for some anyway.

This could very well be your competition when things get back to ‘normal.’

Tom
Message: Posted by: Nash (May 4, 2020 05:31PM)
Hi gang

So the time has came, my virtual show is up and running: http://www.NashFung.com/virtual-magic-show
I also see a lot of back and forth between people about this. So first and foremost, I'm not here trying to change anyone's minds.
If you don't think a virtual show is the way to go for your business. Totally understand.
But if you are interested in doing so, I'll be happy to be your guinea pig and share my developing knowledge to help each other.
Disclaimer: No lies, I'm still learning as it goes, but here's what I have learned so far:

Materials: I've been doing this virtual show for about 2.5 weeks now, and from personal experience I can tell you the concerns that it won't be as interactive as a live show is largely overblown. That truly depends on your choice of materials and how well you present yourself on screen. Allow me to brag for a second as I usually don't: in my live stage show I take a very brain science approach in crafting a truly interactive experience. One thing I had learned is the more we trigger our audiences' senses (touch, smell, taste, sight, hearing), the more engaged they'll be. In my live shows I have devised many materials that will literally get the entire audience up and moving, or effects that tap into their taste + tactile senses. If you are doing a virtual show, this is going to be even more important. I'll let your creativity take charge, but when it comes to choosing materials, I suggest magic that not only tap into their vision + hearing, but other sense as well. And generally I try not to do any "instagram" style magic. I find that quick snappy visual tricks don't go over as well on virtual land as people might disregard them as "you are just moving faster than the camera can pick up". But I can be wrong since I also know a lot peers are using those materials primarily :)

Technical: The most help I've gotten so far is from my friend Chris Ruggeiro who had been doing podcasts way before this pandemic. I think when it comes to learning this medium, we need to learn from those who had been at it. If you haven't a DSLR camera with a decent lens yet, I'll highly recommend you getting one. Pick up an Elgato HD60 S so you can hook up your camera to your streaming platform.
Get some softbox lights, it will make a night and day difference in your video quality. I got these from Amazon for less than $200 (https://www.amazon.com/Fovitec-Photography-Continuous-Equivalent-Softboxes/dp/B00KC5Z9P4)
Chris also has great point about your studio setting. How you decorate your set creates a huge difference in the viewer's experience. The studio set up depends largely on the performer's style. I'm more a "laid back let's kick it in my home studio" vibe kinda guy, so I try not to set up my banners or glamorous backdrops. Not to mention I literally only have a 8 x 4 area in my house since my 1 yr old girl run around like she own this b!&^H HAHA. Personally I feel strange looking at banners + backdrops when I know it is someone's home. I just feel more connected with the performer and ... more authentic? But then again, that's just me.

Also, I try to do magic where the camera can focus on my torso and head instead of doing effects where I'll be standing a few steps away from the camera. This is something Michael Kent had covered and its true, it just looks weird visually, and a little disconnected when we stand away as we are use to seeing people up close on video chat.

Platform: I'll suggest using Zoom or Microsoft Teams or other platform where the audiences' faces + voices can be heard. That is what adds to the overall experience. I've seen some virtual shows where the audiences interact via chat (ex. YouTubeLive, Streamyard, etc...). To me, that really hinders the human experience and interactivity between audiences.

As with any new medium, it will have its pros and cons. The feedback has been tremendous though and the demands are coming in. In my state, we forecast that events with 50+ attendees will be banned until mid-july at the most optimistic prediction, gloomy view is it will last into the Fall. There's no way I can withstand 0 gigs between now and then. So if you are in a similar boat, I hope this help giving you some perspectives on how to produce a virtual show.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (May 4, 2020 06:19PM)
[quote]On May 2, 2020, Gerry Walkowski wrote:
It's probably just me :), but I can't see myself doing any of this stuff.

I'd almost rather giving up performing altogether if this is the future of entertainment. Gerry [/quote]


[quote]On May 2, 2020, TomBoleware wrote:
This most likely is the future of entertainment. Or for some anyway. Tom [/quote]

Why would this somehow be "the future of entertainment?" Did theater stop when movies came out or television? Did live sports stop when broadcast t.v. came on the scene to broadcast games?

No, not at all. Live entertainment is a live medium and experience and always will be. People will be jumping at the thought of getting back to this, sooner rather than later. Virtual shows will be gone or remain only for bottom-feeders.

How could anyone possibly think this?
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (May 4, 2020 06:34PM)
Oh I agree Live entertainment will always be around. But I wouldn't count on it being in demand no time soon.

But yes one day in the future it will come back, but by then people will understand that they now have
other options. Those who have done good with it now may very well be the new competetion.

Tom
Message: Posted by: thomasR (May 4, 2020 06:46PM)
Thanks Nash, great information and great tips. The podcasters have been doing the home studio thing for a while and I agree they can be very good resources to see what works for that setting.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (May 4, 2020 07:02PM)
Well said Nash.

Tom
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (May 4, 2020 08:42PM)
I see more and more doing it every day. I admire their determination to stay in touch.

Tom
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (May 4, 2020 08:45PM)
I agree. No one here seems interested in the business aspects and how it can pertain to our business, operations and offerings, and the pros and cons, but rather just posting a bunch of links and videos to some poor performances and opinions of others.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (May 4, 2020 09:05PM)
It is ABSOLUTELY not the next best thing. Here is why. It may be the next WORST thing if you think it all the way through past the next 30 days.

First of all the offerings I have seen have been very bad. I mean worse than a promo reel that most would have accepted as a good quality as little as 60 days ago! Think about that for just a second and let it sink all the way in. A promo reel to get work, to represent yourself to clients would be better than the video show you are doing online streaming. Seriously let it sink in and let the ramifications of that sink it deep.

What I am saying is that when this is over customers are going to REMEMBER what guys do online! And when it is over, and they have stepped away from the stay at home stuff and what not then they will STILL REMEMBER guys and how bad the shows from their home were. It is a frame of reference for people to have that puts you the performer in such a bad light. God FORBID this is their FIRST exposure to the guy, then oh lord it is bad!

My point about a promo reel was that the standards used to be SO high, but take away some income for a couple months and guys throw standards out the window? So stupid. I mean the people will associate you with what you associate yourself with.

Now from the business point of view I have said it many times. WHY let them know you being in the room is not an essential part of the equation?

Now juxtapose that theory with the last time someone saw a person who did NOT desperately in 2 weeks try to throw together a show. What is the last thought in their mind about that guy? The LAST SHOW THEY SAW HIM DO is the last recollection they can muster. And guess what? It is a positive recollection. PLUS the fee is not different. The positioning of the act is not different.

Nobody thinks of this sort of thing. I mean really if after a couple months of a pandemic you are worried that nobody is going to remember you, or if you need the money SO badly you must do this stuff I can't really respond. It is up to each to do what they want. I just hate to see that guys are just jumping on a bandwagon and have NO CLUE what the repercussions will be. I also hate to see them encouraged on the basis of more guys doing it every day. I mean really don't we try to teach children to be free thinkers?

Mind you if you are David Blaine or what not I am not speaking about that sort of thing. But rah rah more guys are doing it every day. Rah rah. Cheer guys into bad decisions.
Message: Posted by: thomasR (May 4, 2020 09:32PM)
Here is a link to a Forbes article about performing magic via zoom.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/abrambrown/2020/05/01/zoom-parties-dont-have-to-be-boring-try-hiring-comedians-magicians-or-petting-zoos/#7c1c5ccf5d5e
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (May 5, 2020 08:58AM)
Danny I don’t think you and Mindpro understand what’s really going on here. You may need to step out into the real world and see for yourself that things have changed and it’s not going to be the same for awhile now. For many it’s like having to start all over again. Sad to say but some businesses will not reopen, some people will lose their job, and some magicians will not work again for a long time. That’s not being negative it’s being honest.

There is no quick fix for the situation. But most don’t want to hear, ‘just sit and wait’ and I personally don’t see any harm with trying the Zoom thing. I remember when some on here said Facebook would never catch on and was a complete waste of time for magicians. It’s turned out Facebook is now doing more good than harm.

I can afford to sit and wait but for those that can’t or just don’t want too, I say go for it. Use this down time to plan and don’t be afraid to take baby steps with new ideas.

Tom
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (May 5, 2020 09:17AM)
[quote]On May 4, 2020, Dannydoyle wrote:
What I am saying is that when this is over customers are going to REMEMBER what guys do online! And when it is over, and they have stepped away from the stay at home stuff and what not then they will STILL REMEMBER guys and how bad the shows from their home were. It is a frame of reference for people to have that puts you the performer in such a bad light. God FORBID this is their FIRST exposure to the guy, then oh lord it is bad! [/quote]

This is something I discuss with every serious coaching student of mine and it always proves to be a very eye-opening experience. I often talk about how most performers operate from a "me-based" mindset and mentality. Their entire performance and business operations is from what THEY think, feel, and believe. I always explain that this is the worst way to operate a business. I always recommend operating from an industry perspective and I always discuss completely and thoroughly understanding the client's views, mindset, defaults, and perspectives at all times. I truly believe you can't have a successful business without these in place first.

As part of this, I discuss a principle I created and share and it proves itself correct time and time again. That is that people ONLY see you in the way they know you. In their own very limited perspective. Using myself for the example, I am a comedy stage hypnotist, a mentalist, a speaker, an author of decades of published works, a producer, a promoter, an agency(s) owner, a talent broker, an entertainment business coach, consultant, and trainer, and in the past was a radio and television personality, not to mention my longtime work with ABC TVs daytime shows (soap operas). So let's say someone books me to perform at their Grad Night at their kid's high school. They know me as an entertainer. They do not know about all of the other things, and will not unless I make an intentional and deliberate effort for it to be known.

For all the years I was in radio I never performed my hypnosis show within my radio market due to conflict of interest concerns with my radio contract. So on the weekends and occasional weeknights, I would work downstate, another state or two over, or if I did rare work within my radio market it was under a different name. Those people that attended my shows had no idea I was the guy on the radio every morning.

The point is people will only know you as they have experienced or seen you. This also goes for how they will remember you. So all of these guys doing the virtual shows, Zoom shows or whatever they're doing, seriously run the risk of being only remembered as that once this current TEMPORARY situation subsides. Then what remains is a perception, mindset, and of course pricing remembrance of what you have established during this time. Nothing else. Not the additional things you have in your mind.

Very few are thinking of this and such ramifications. The only possible way to avoid this is by what most are not doing, or which I haven't seen yet from anyone other than those I have consulted. This is huge and will be the reality for most. You will be remembered for this, even if you have decades of previous perforing, it is this they will remember of you, unless specifically dealth with in advance.
Message: Posted by: thomasR (May 5, 2020 10:05AM)
So do you think Franz is hurting his brand with the quarantine talks on Facebook?
Do you think Ray was hurting his brand by going on there?
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (May 5, 2020 10:08AM)
Danny, your points are your ‘opinion’ Why can't we let others share theirs without insisting that my way is the only way?

We all could learn from these new times. I know you think tomorrow we will all get up and things will be back to the way
they were before. I'm simply saying it may not be that way. And yes I could be wrong, lets hope I am.

Tom
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (May 5, 2020 10:14AM)
[quote]On May 5, 2020, thomasR wrote:
So do you think Franz is hurting his brand with the quarantine talks on Facebook?
Do you think Ray was hurting his brand by going on there? [/quote]


Good Point, no I don't....and I've seen several reaching out in new ways. It's called making the best of a bad sitution.

Tom
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (May 5, 2020 11:44AM)
[quote]On May 5, 2020, thomasR wrote:
So do you think Franz is hurting his brand with the quarantine talks on Facebook?
Do you think Ray was hurting his brand by going on there? [/quote]


I know the question wasn't directed at me and I didn’t mean to stop others from answering, but apparently they do think that way, since I was the only one to respond.


Tom
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (May 5, 2020 12:54PM)
Yes. I watched it.

Tom
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (May 5, 2020 01:03PM)
I'm not one to tell pepole they can't do something they're already doing. It seems to be working for those two.
I respect both of them and the many other professioanls out there staying in touch using zoom or whatever.

Tom
Message: Posted by: imgic (May 5, 2020 04:45PM)
I have noticed the "novelty" of Zoom shows waning. About a month ago, seemed like there were daily emails and Facebook posts about somebody doing some show online. Now, I rarely see them. I guess it's a version of Adam Smith's invisible hand...people are seeing without high production, and with limited audience interaction, it's not worthwhile.

Forgive me as I'm going on very little sleep, so not sure if this simile is appropriate. But I think watching magic online is like watching juggling on line. You can appreciate the skill involved, but it loses so much not being live. You miss the interaction, the spectacle, and the amazement of being live.

The exception for me has been Wes Barker who put together clip about "When Magicians work from home." But he's not performing for the 4th wall of the camera.


https://youtu.be/5MSB7n44VTE
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (May 5, 2020 04:45PM)
Danny, many of the links provided here by others are pointing to PROFESSIONALS.

They’re not pointing to my show. Lol

Tom
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (May 5, 2020 04:57PM)
There do seem to be some apples and oranges examples going on at the same time. Yes, I do know people trying to do paid shows online. That’s not really for me and I agree that in my case it would seem to devalue the product. There are also a lot of people creating internal industry product that isn’t necessarily intended for public consumption. Akshay Laxman is doing a really well-done interview program with some of the top names in mentalism in India. Franz is having a lot of friends hang out online together as a part of his “Quarantine Talks”. I do enjoy watching them and have been on there as well. I’m sure these provides some promotional component to the industry but I don’t really view them as a public product. I do know many people in the birthday party range market that are trying an online show concept. I do understand they are simply trying to get by and do whatever they can to bring in a little money but as to the long-term consequences of their brand, I have no idea what will happen when things open up. I’m sure that if someone purchases an online show that both they and the provider understand it is a substandard product compared to a live show. As to the value? Time will tell.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (May 5, 2020 05:24PM)
Ray, I agree that the expectation wouldn’t be the same with a online show.

A Parent hiring a magician to do something online would never expect it to be the same as a live show.

I personally believe and with many years of experience dealing with parents, that they would see it as the magician lending a helping hand in a time of need.
A good deed not easily forgotten in the future.

Tom
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (May 5, 2020 05:56PM)
[quote]On May 5, 2020, TomBoleware wrote:
A Parent hiring a magician to do something online would never expect it to be the same as a live show.

Tom [/quote]

This is NOT what most I know have been experiencing. Not at all. Their expectations are the same, including ta a greatly reduced price.

"I personally believe and with many years of experience dealing with parents, that they would see it as the magician lending a helping hand in a time of need." - I have not experienced this once at all. You are once again offering your personal opinion related to something you know nothing about. You are just assuming based again in your own opinion. This is a great example of the point Danny had made. A Greta example.

If anything many are having greater expectations than in a normal live performance.
Message: Posted by: FrankFindley (May 5, 2020 07:29PM)
What is missing from this back and forth is what clients and audience are actually saying. There is still a constant stream of news articles and reviews and I have not seen a single negative comment from a client yet. All have been highly appreciative. Here is one example from the newsfeed today:

[url]https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/uk-news/girl-leukaemia-celebrates-eighth-birthday-18161033.amp[/url]
[b]Girl with leukaemia celebrates eighth birthday in lockdown complete with virtual magic show
'It was not how we expected to celebrate, but we didn’t have any other option and we had a lovely time'[/b]

[i]“And Spread a Smile, a children’s charity that provides entertainment for seriously ill kids in London, even found us a magician, who performed some tricks for Maia on a video call.”
...
“It’s great that they’re still finding ways of helping kids during lockdown, too, and the magician made her birthday really special."[/i]

And it isn't just kids shows. Many magicians are being called upon to break up the monotony of the workday and entertain adults for special moments. Look at this feedback for Mentalist Jon Finch:

[youtube]yXuKDUc0ilE[/youtube]

[i]“This is my favorite thing that’s happened in quarantine so far.
A mentalist meeting? This is insane! I like the fact that it brought us all together. We were doing something that we would only do socially and made it feel like a social experience. It was a very cool way to celebrate a birthday.”[/i]

Refering to these talented and professional performers as bottomfeeders is horrible. They are doing some heavy lifting to keep the magic alive during these tough times; understanding new technologies, reinventing acts, changing marketing.

Max Maven was recently on stream with Jeff McBride discussing this topic and the need for out of box thinking. Max gave a history of remote interactive magic including his contributuons and work with Copperfield. He noted how much of that prior work was pseudo-interactive because of technological limitations. As Nash describes above, what is happening now is the birth of a new form of true interactive magic. It is foolish to dismiss these experiences. As Dennis Watkins of The Magic Parlour frames it, this is an amazing experiment where magicians are stretching their creativity.

[url]https://www.fox32chicago.com/video/672244[/url]

[url]https://abc7chicago.com/entertainment/free-magic-lessons-shows-streaming-online/6120856/[/url]

These are real experiences, not hypothetical armchair quarterbacking.

And the reality is that this experiment doesn't end here. There are going to be several phases. Right now it is focussed on remote interactive magic. Then there will likely be phases of no-touch and low-touch magic shows before we can get back to full-touch. And in some settings like restaurants it may never get back to full-touch. But one thing is for sure, most magicians love the art too much to not take on these challenges.
Message: Posted by: thomasR (May 5, 2020 08:15PM)
I agree with you Frank, great points.

Thanks for the post with Dennis Watkins - I’ve seen Dennis many times in Chicago over the years. He’s a fantastic performer.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (May 5, 2020 08:19PM)
Frank,

I agree that most magicians love the art too much to not take on these challenges. And from what I’m seeing on Facebook clients are well satisfied with it. I see where a couple of big name kidshow performers are having an online show this Saturday night.

And the reason I say this may not be just a passing fad for today, birthday party prospects can hire top names for an online show, and not just shop local for the birthday party guy. It’s going to be interesting for sure to see how far this goes.

Yes I can see where Mentalist could make it work too. Thanks for sharing the links.

Tom
Message: Posted by: Shawn Farquhar (May 8, 2020 04:18AM)
David Blaine is doing a virtual magic show for one family and the current bid is $22,000.00 as of May 8, 2020. The only artist with a higher bid is a virtual studio recording session with Sting. So maybe there's a market for high-end shows. https://www.sothebys.com/en/buy/auction/2020/mayday-covid-19-charity-auction
Message: Posted by: FrankFindley (May 10, 2020 02:12PM)
[quote]On May 5, 2020, TomBoleware wrote:
Yes I can see where Mentalist could make it work too. Thanks for sharing the links.[/quote]

The opportunity for mentalists is great. That is what Max Maven saw over 30 years ago.

As an example, Indian mentalist Karan Singh has really used this time to establish himself internationally. Once his stage act was closed down, he spent several weeks doing free 15-minute acts for his fans 12 hours a day. During this time he finely honed his zoom act and people started asking if he would do longer live shows for private parties for pay. And now he is doing sold out online ticketed shows.

He has also built his online following incredibly, now reaching 238K likes on facebook. To put this in perspective, this is getting in the territory of major illusionists like Penn & Teller (437k), David Blaine (730k), David Copperfield (1.1m). He is now near the top of search engine searches for magicians in India; which will be a big marketing asset going forward.

Last week his career got a major PR boost being the subject of a main entertainment feature in the New York Times.

[url]https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/05/business/karan-singh-magic.html[/url]
[b]For His Next Trick, This Magician Will Amaze an Anxious World[/b]

This is equivalent to over $100k in paid advertising. So now he is able to enter into the US market for the first time.

[img]http://libertyassociate.com/TheMagicCafe/KaranSingh.jpg[/img]

Net, there are opportunities out there for those with the vision and enthusiasm to pursue them. One of the interesting parts of this is more magicians are getting comfortable performing on camera, a very useful skill. Speaking of which, Penn Jillette mentioned on his podcast that they are experimenting with ways to film next season of [i]Fool Us[/i] virtually.
Message: Posted by: Comedy Writer (May 12, 2020 02:59PM)
...there is always a market for high end shows.
Message: Posted by: FrankFindley (May 13, 2020 12:26PM)
Food for thought, here is an example of an outstanding mentalist in action. Lior Suchard remotely joins Nicholos Hoult on The Late Late Show with James Corden. That is another emerging trend, performers inviting celebrities to join them for online performances.

[youtube]1nCLhziVSDc[/youtube]

The Kids Entertainer Hub continues to hold webinars on helping entertainers improve their remote appearances. Robert Baxt is presenting one this afternoon (May 13) and Amir Lustig (who is one of the creators of the magic in the above video) will be hosting one tommorrow. So a lot of talented people are joining in to continue to up the quality of this new format.
Message: Posted by: bonesly (May 14, 2020 10:28AM)
I’ve got to be honest when I first heard about the virtual shows I thought the idea wasn’t good. However, one of my friends told me how much he had made within a week and I quickly changed my mind. 😂
I’ve been performing virtual shows for the last 2 weeks and I’ve managed to make some pretty good money.
From my experience doing virtual shows it is a bit like busking ( if you’re doing the pay what you want/ afford model)

The better your show is as well the more shows you do, is what will get you paid. It’s a numbers game.

I have a separate price for groups over 10 or corporate bookings, which seems to be working well. I’ve noticed I’ve had a lot of bookings from the US.

I asked one of my clients how come she booked me and she said that she couldn’t find anyone in the US doing this.

So there is a market for it
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (May 14, 2020 11:31AM)
Only time will tell how much demand it has created, but it’s important to understand that a demand has to be created first, a few creates the demand and then the rest follows. In the business world you can be a leader or you can be a follower. It’s understandable that most are followers because there is a risk to being first. Also, The Fear of Loss Is Always Greater Than The Desire For Gain.

I don't think Zoom and Remote Online shows is just for kids anymore. The world is a different place now, some will adapt and some will fail.

Tom
Message: Posted by: Nash (May 15, 2020 03:35PM)
Something to think about:
I don't believe virtual magic shows will 'replace' live shows. No way, live is always king. But I also think there will be inquiries for virtual magic performances after this. Heck, I have friends who had done this before, I had performed for conventions where the performance is broadcast livestream to employees in another continent (semi-virtual).
With this new spike in video conferencing, more and more people are aware that they can add a quick 10-15 mins act before/after/during breaks to keep everyone engaged and energized. The vast majority of inquiries I've received these past few weeks are precisely that: meeting planners needing an interactive and fun element to keep their viewers engaged and give them a much needed break.

Video conferencing has been around for years, and they will continue to exist in the future. If you tell me after this pandemic, there will be an additional income avenue where you don't have to leave the house? Sign me up :righton:
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (May 15, 2020 04:31PM)
[quote]On May 15, 2020, Nash wrote:
The vast majority of inquiries I've received these past few weeks are precisely that: meeting planners needing an interactive and fun element to keep their viewers engaged and give them a much needed break.

Video conferencing has been around for years, and they will continue to exist in the future. If you tell me after this pandemic, there will be an additional income avenue where you don't have to leave the house? Sign me up :righton: [/quote]

You are offeri g asuface view ofnthis but are assuming much and notlooking atthe view beneath the surface.

Yes, video conferencing has been around for years, but only with minimal use and success. It, like this, will never become mainstream, the norm, or a primary feature.

Next, the key to what you said is "meeting planners needing an interactive and fun element to keep their viewers engaged" - yes, this is what they may think, or think they want, but they will soon find most of the virtual performers are not what they have in their mind or are expecting and not delivering to their expectations.

I have now seen over 200 of these types of performances now and have yet to make it beyond the digits on my two hands to what I would consider good, professional, or corporate-appropriate to the needs of such planners. I have now had over 80 performers pay for me to review and critique there virtual online performances.

So there is much flawed with your surface perceptions.
Message: Posted by: thomasR (May 15, 2020 05:25PM)
Nash, it’s grest to hear from a real working international professional like yourself!
Hearing from you, Ray, and Shawn in this thread is a welcome change.

Live shows will come back eventually. But I personally believe the world has forever changed. There will be more work from home, more zoom meetings and online conferences and yes more “virtual” and live stream entertainment options. Virtual shows are not new, they have just been pushed into the spotlight. They are here to stay for a while.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (May 15, 2020 06:32PM)
The question is not will it replace live performances? It already has.
The question is for how long. My guess is that will be awhile yet.

And when live performances do come back it will have a new competitor.

Like I said, some will adapt and some will fail.

Tom
Message: Posted by: Nash (May 15, 2020 07:11PM)
[quote]On May 15, 2020, Mindpro wrote:
[quote]Yes, video conferencing has been around for years, but only with minimal use and success. It, like this, will never become mainstream, the norm, or a primary feature.[/quote]

I never said it'll become a norm, but it certainly will be around. Twitter CEO just announced their employees can work from home for life.
I have no idea how many virtual gigs will be in demand after this, but hey even if it only represents a small % of inquiries, I'm not going to say 'no' to creating a new product to gain an additional income stream. And if they evaporate altogether, cool, back to what I had been doing before the pandemic :)

As for the vast majority of virtual shows out there being subpar - I'll take your word for it.
But subpar performers have always been a 'problem' no matter the market you work (corporate / colleges/ school assemblies/ restaurants, you name it). There will always be magicians who offer a bad show, charge at a cut-throat rate, and give clients bad experiences.
That's why personally speaking, I can only focus on the product that I produce. I can't decide which market to attack base on how many bad performers there are.

In a way, I agree with the outcome you want: Less people offering subpar shows = more work for the qualified folks. More $$ for serious working pros? Sign me up. I just don't know about recommending folks to take the 'wait-and-see' approach without knowing A) How long this pandemic will last, B) Their financial situation. Look y'all, I gain absolutely nothing from sharing my experience on the positives of creating a virtual show. HELL I might have shot myself in the foot in creating more competition. But at the end of the day I don't pay your bills, so if you want to do a virtual show, go for it, just study all aspects of it, talk to people who had been doing podcast, talk to people who knows A/V, etc...

Cheers everyone :dancing:
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (May 15, 2020 07:49PM)
[quote]On May 15, 2020, TomBoleware wrote:
The question is not will it replace live performances? It already has.
The question is for how long. My guess is that will be awhile yet.

And when live performances do come back it will have a new competitor.

Like I said, some will adapt and some will fail.

Tom [/quote]

You should call Branson and tell all the live shows they have been replaced. Those idiots are actually doing them.

And show me exactly HOW a streaming show is a competitor for a live experience. It has never been.

The fact is as the internet was just starting those of us in the business at the time heard this exact same nonsense. Never happened. Never will happen.

But it really says more about those making the claim than the claim they are making. If your show can be so easily replaced then so be it. Just do not make grand pronouncements about the business in general.

Shows like Frozen are shuttering for good, or for a while not because of competition from live streams. Rather is is an economic decision.

If one wants to relegate themselves to internet shows them go for it. This sort of reminds me of what has happened to close up magic. Magic bars, restaurants and such were not so uncommon. Guys worked AFTER dinner and were anticipated. Now they have been relegated to the dust bin of history because out of desperation they started working before the meal. Before salad gets there and doing 3 tricks on family night with balloons. Now THAT is what is common. All because they didn't have the vision to see the long term consequences of the decisions they were making.

So if you want to teach people you are not really necessary for the equation go for it. Just remember you can EASILY be replaced now by a guy with an I phone and some editing skills. Then he undercuts you even FURTHER. Yea go ahead and call this adapting all you want. It is not adapt or die it is adapt and die.

It is a choice and I respect everyone's right to make it. It is simply jot for me. I prefer to think longer term.

And anyone who thinks this is competition for live shows just turn on a wrestling show with no audience and see the incredible trouble they are having with no audience. WWE AND AEW are bleeding viewers every week. Magic performance is no different. But again if you just have not been in the business long or at all it is not something you see.
Message: Posted by: Nash (May 15, 2020 08:27PM)
[quote]On May 15, 2020, thomasR wrote:
Live shows will come back eventually. But I personally believe the world has forever changed. There will be more work from home, more zoom meetings and online conferences and yes more “virtual” and live stream entertainment options. Virtual shows are not new, they have just been pushed into the spotlight. They are here to stay for a while. [/quote]

Yup. Virtual shows aren't new. There had been inquiries for this type of show before the pandemic.
I have no idea what type of demands there will be after this; truthfully nobody knows.
Heck, I have companies who had either booked me in December or were in negotiation tells me their company has decided to cancel ALL EVENTS until 2021.
I have no idea what type of demands we will see for live entertainment neither. Scary times y'all.

Therefore, the best we can do now is to be prepared. It's never a bad idea to learn new skills IMO.
But like I said, I don't pay your bills. So the same logic applies: If virtual show isn't something you are comfortable with, don't do it then :)

Good luck gang :wavey:
Message: Posted by: bonesly (May 16, 2020 02:22AM)
Virtual shows won’t replace live entertainment but it is another platform for magic which I think is a good thing. It’s fairly new for majority of people so everything is still being ironed out.

People have been performing magic remotely for decades now. Blaine’s last special had tons of virtual magic. If it’s done well it can be perceived as even more powerful than in person. There are some really incredible effects out in the market.

Right now we are all going through the learning process, and there is a lot of great resources available on how to perform virtually.

Personally, I think Lior Manor, Guy Bavil , Haim Goldenberg are really leading the way forward and Gideon Livnah’s pdf is the best resource out there imo.

Some shows involve 4-5 camera set ups/ backdrops and tons tech equipment. That’s a bit too much for me- again Gideon’s pdf has the best advice on this imo.

The biggest challenge I have found is pricing the show. The pay what you want model seems to be the most preferable for me and the most lucrative. Private birthday parties/ Coporates (10 or more screens ) is a little more tricky.

Managing 10 or more screens is different to managing 8 friends for a birthday party. However, I don’t think you need to spend £1,000’s of pounds on equipment even if your managing 100 screens. I did a gig yesterday with 78 screens with just a simple setup laptop which was just my laptop 💻 - no obs/ ecamn etc.

The only additional ‘tech’ equipment I have is a laptop stand. I don’t have a fancy backdrop either, just good lighting and a clean and tidy space with nothing too distracting in the background.

Anyway I’m just rambling on, but I think there is enough evidence now to prove they are a legitimate source of income, so that side of the debate has won- I feel there is so much more to discuss and dig into regarding virtual shows
Message: Posted by: bonesly (May 16, 2020 06:40PM)
[quote]On May 16, 2020, Dannydoyle wrote:
Actually there is very little evidence you suggest. [/quote]

I’m speaking from my own experience and the professional magicians I personally know. Most of us are all making a pretty decent amount of money from it.
Although doing this ‘pay what you want/afford’ model has its own issues.

But yes there is quite a lot of serious magicians/ mentalists doing this, so that’s what I mean by evidence.

There are still issues I feel with virtual shows, mainly pricing and promotional material. Apart from Lior Surchad I’m yet to see a decent virtual promo- and I mean that with no disrespect because I know it’s hard to make a slick promotional video, that features shots of you doing card tricks in your bedroom or in front of a funny backdrop
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (May 16, 2020 07:30PM)
I think we have to remember that there are many different "tiers" in our online community. Sometimes it's easy to focus on the needs and demands of the top tier without accepting that there are others tiers in the larger part of the bell curve that have different expectations and rules. I likewise know MANY in the LA market who are doing zoom shows. Are they "successful"? They seem to say so and it's not for me to judge where they need to draw that line... only where I choose to. Just because it's not for me, I let them draw that line where they choose as ultimately, everything in life is about choices.
Message: Posted by: bonesly (May 17, 2020 12:17AM)
[quote]On May 16, 2020, Ray Pierce wrote:
I think we have to remember that there are many different "tiers" in our online community. Sometimes it's easy to focus on the needs and demands of the top tier without accepting that there are others tiers in the larger part of the bell curve that have different expectations and rules. I likewise know MANY in the LA market who are doing zoom shows. Are they "successful"? They seem to say so and it's not for me to judge where they need to draw that line... only where I choose to. Just because it's not for me, I let them draw that line where they choose as ultimately, everything in life is about choices. [/quote]

Your absolutely right and I like I said I mean no disrespect about my comment about video promo’s for zoom shows.

I understand eveyone isn’t David Blaine or Lior Surchad who can both perform for Ellen or James Corden. If you get on those TV shows it will make your video promo a lot slicker.

However, I do think promotional material is one the key components to distinguishing yourself from the competition, regardless of which level you are.

All the video promos I have seen so far just don’t do it for me. Its hard to justify charging several £hundred ‘more’ than the next magician, when you feature clips of you performing in you bedroom-
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (May 17, 2020 12:29AM)
I'll admit that I must amend my last post. I just noticed where Erika Larsen just asked on FB, "Who's doing Zoom shows for hire?" and there was a long list of top level pros that seem to be in the game in a very serious way. Kostya Kimlat and Lior Manor as well as many very well known and respected names on the West coast appear to have taken up this new form. We can have our opinions on here but it seems that other pros aren't listening to us. At this point we can only sit back on our front porch swing and yell at them to keep off of our lawn!
Message: Posted by: FrankFindley (May 17, 2020 01:31AM)
[quote]On May 17, 2020, Ray Pierce wrote:
I'll admit that I must amend my last post. I just noticed where Erika Larsen just asked on FB, "Who's doing Zoom shows for hire?" and there was a long list of top level pros that seem to be in the game in a very serious way. Kostya Kimlat and Lior Manor as well as many very well known and respected names on the West coast appear to have taken up this new form.[/quote]

By chance have you heard anything about Helder Guimarães' show/play, [i]The Present[/i]? Lots of buzz that he has "done it right". He sends a box through mail to each audience member. It is sold out through Fourth of July. Would like to hear more of what he is doing. Maintaining an $85 per ticket price is impressive.

[url]https://www.geffenplayhouse.org/shows/the-present/[/url]
Message: Posted by: bonesly (May 17, 2020 04:11AM)
[quote]On May 17, 2020, FrankFindley wrote:
[quote]On May 17, 2020, Ray Pierce wrote:
I'll admit that I must amend my last post. I just noticed where Erika Larsen just asked on FB, "Who's doing Zoom shows for hire?" and there was a long list of top level pros that seem to be in the game in a very serious way. Kostya Kimlat and Lior Manor as well as many very well known and respected names on the West coast appear to have taken up this new form.[/quote]

By chance have you heard anything about Helder Guimarães' show/play, [i]The Present[/i]? Lots of buzz that he has "done it right". He sends a box through mail to each audience member. It is sold out through Fourth of July. Would like to hear more of what he is doing. Maintaining an $85 per ticket price is impressive.

[url]https://www.geffenplayhouse.org/shows/the-present/[/url] [/quote]

Oh nice! Very clever and by the looks of it he is getting very good reviews 👍
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (May 17, 2020 07:47AM)
Thanks again for the links/info guys.

Seems like my ‘opinion’ has been right all along. And I will say it again, I admire
those who are stepping up to the plate and making the best of a bad situation.

Tom
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (May 17, 2020 09:32AM)
Well since you two don’t do online shows, anything you say would just be an opinion.
Why do you refuse to listen to those that are actually doing it?


I agree its not for everybody, but atleast I give them credit for trying.


Tom
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (May 17, 2020 09:50AM)
What I do know is that many top professionals are having success with online performing. Not only is that my opinion it is a Fact.

Tom
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (May 17, 2020 06:07PM)
[quote]On May 17, 2020, TomBoleware wrote:
Well since you two don’t do online shows, anything you say would just be an opinion.
Why do you refuse to listen to those that are actually doing it?
Tom [/quote]

Once again you are incorrect, as I have been quite active on online and virtual performances both for myself as well as assisting others. Please stop passing off incorrect information you know nothing about.

I started this thread. Do you think I would be speaking about something I have no experience in and know nothing about? I deal in reality as most that come here do and are seeking real facts, information, knowledge, and expereince.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (May 17, 2020 06:26PM)
[quote]On May 17, 2020, Mindpro wrote:


Once again you are incorrect, as I have been quite active on online and virtual performances both for myself as well as assisting others. Please stop passing off incorrect information you know nothing about.

I started this thread. Do you think I would be speaking about something I have no experience in and know nothing about? I deal in reality as most that come here do and are seeking real facts, information, knowledge, and expereince. [/quote]

Oh I’m sorry, your post read like you were against it. My bad.

So do you think it’s a good idea, since you’re doing it too?

Would you mind sharing a link to your virtual performance?

Tom
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (May 17, 2020 06:55PM)
I'm under the impression that posting shows of your own is not necessary.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (May 17, 2020 07:00PM)
Of course not, why so others can take my hard work, concepts, and understanding?

Like so many things you put your own context to what I say. I am against magicians doing it for then wrong or incorrect reasons, and jumping on a bandwagon that has arrived in town, without putting any real thought or effort into learning the medium, and putting a priority emphasis on creating a good product to properly serve the market, not just simply performing their regular to slightly altered show for the camera and proclaim they are doing virtual entertainment. Copperfield has said the same thing, but mine gets chastised.

As I said, of the nearly 300 shows of this type that have been submitted and I have seen less than 10 are truly market-ready by professional or industry standards. Then posting other online stuff from others isn't the same at all either.

As I said on page one of this thread, IF, and only if it can be done to meet all the criteria whereas not to devalue a performer's actual live shows, their overall business, the market, or the industry, only then it can be quite possible, I have yet to see but a few that have even attempted to do this.

For the last to weeks we've been getting dozens of calls from disappointed clients who are experiencing these predicted problems and are turning to us (agencies) to us for new solutions. These performers aren't concerned about their market, their industry, or anything, just making a quick buck. The ultimate in me-based mentalities.

Yes, I am against poor virtual performances, just as I am against poor live performances. No difference.
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (May 17, 2020 09:22PM)
Many years ago we produced a high end dinner show in Hollywood that brought together some top tier performers in a very intimate setting. The show got rave reviews and ran for over a year based on what I called the "Sinatra in Your Living Room" concept. The goal was to get performers you would normally see in a large venue and have them work in a close up setting which blew people away. As I was thinking about this recently in relationship to the current situation, I realized an interesting dichotomy.

I believe most people would rather see a truly amazing performer with little production value ("MTV's Unplugged or even less) as opposed to seeing a mediocre performer with excellent production values. I know our goal is to provide a "professional quality product" but I feel that some performers will never be able to compete no matter how well produced they are online. That could be the main mitigating factor in online/zoom shows. A really great artist can transcend virtually any medium. A really lousy one can't reach that level no matter how much equipment and gear they bring to the table.
Message: Posted by: Comedy Writer (May 19, 2020 04:54PM)
I am working on both the marketing for studio shows and the technical end...cameras, lights, sound, etc
Message: Posted by: thomasR (May 19, 2020 09:09PM)
[quote]On May 19, 2020, Comedy Writer wrote:
I am working on both the marketing for studio shows and the technical end...cameras, lights, sound, etc [/quote]

Technical side of things is quite important. Especially if the show is live.
As silly as it sounds practicing turning your camera on and off can make some awkward moments go much smoother.

Any tips or suggestions that you have so far?
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (May 20, 2020 03:53AM)
I do know that some are using foot switches to trigger some version of Qlab but that seems a little restrictive for me as you are usually locked into a specific sequence. For most traditional live streaming I've used OBS which allows for assigning keyboard shortcuts for each scene/preset. I just got a wireless keypad which allows me to keep that close to me and trigger any scene, graphic or camera I want at any time just out of frame. It gives me about 21 presets I can program and trigger at will including different scenes, lower 3rd or other graphics as well as opening and closing bumpers. Just find out what works best for you!
Message: Posted by: thomasR (May 20, 2020 01:08PM)
That’s really cool Ray, I hadn’t heard of OBS, looks pretty amazing for Free! Great tip about using a wireless keyboard as well.
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (May 20, 2020 03:47PM)
In my case I use the Enter key for a switch/dissolve and all the other keys to send the next scene to "Preview". To make it easier to remember, I add the scene number cues to my prompter (in parenthesis) which makes it a lot less stressful to remember where I am. All of this was just for traditional online presentations but could possibly be adapted for online performances now.
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (May 20, 2020 11:36PM)
I thought this was an interesting post from Lior Manor. Again, not to measure his "success"... only his participation.

"I am doing Zoom shows for money like many other professionals
and the value here is amazing.
I think that Zoom shows will stay here for a long time
together with real shows.

Lior"
Message: Posted by: bonesly (May 21, 2020 04:37AM)
Good on everyone that has given this a go. The more people that do this the better we will get at it and then the better value we can offer our customers. I am now confident enough to have raised my asking price for private bookings. Considering I haven’t spent thousands on tech equipment, and I am working from home, this platform has been a blessing
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (May 21, 2020 08:22AM)
Trends are a tough and expensive thing to follow.

When you read the stories of "success" defined as making 10% of a live booking it is scary.

The real issue is going back, and it will. Devaluing yourself short term to hurt yourself long term seems to not to the sole purview of magicians.

Here is the thing that everyone misses and I get shouted down when I post. Using this medium makes you less special. It puts it is the wheelhouse for more guys. Great that is a choice. But tech will replace magic in this situation almost instantly and you will be replaced by an 11 year old with mad editing skills. They don't need the live interactive stuff, they need simple entertainment. Oops.

Much like when I mentioned how "reality tv" was going to put people out of work because it was so much less expensive to produce this will be the same thing if magicians let it happen.

It makes me sad to watch guys "innovate" themselves out of jobs.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (May 21, 2020 09:00AM)
YES! But apparently no one wants to discuss this but would rather just play show and tell by posting a bunch of other's videos, most of which are not at all applicable to what we're discussing.

I think the problem here was this thread was intended to be about performers who are doing or are considering doing some kind of their magic show in a virtual format as a source of income and service offerings during this self-isolation time, and the impact, benefits or detriments it can have on your performing business both now and later in the aftermath.

Not all types of the other things that can be done (virtual magic lessons or classes, virtual magic tricks or effects, not interviews, not other types of virtual magic) and not to promote courses, pdfs, and thrown together for a quick buck product. It really was not about if you are a fanboy of online magic either. It was a discussion about the logistics, pros, and cons of doing this for those that are doing it or those that were considering it and had questions.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (May 21, 2020 09:05AM)
[quote]On May 21, 2020, bonesly wrote:
Good on everyone that has given this a go. The more people that do this the better we will get at it and then the better value we can offer our customers.[/quote]

I question this bandwagon-jumping mentality without looking at the greater effect of it on our business and how it affects the value of our business in the greater picture. More is not better, and in no way assures the progress and a better product or offering.

Combine this with how magic has waned over the past decade(s) and we must really ask, is this how we want today's (and new) generation to experience magic? Much at risk in this greater picture (of the industry).
Message: Posted by: BrianMillerMagic (May 21, 2020 02:26PM)
I haven't posted on the Café in years, since transitioning out of full-time magic. Having said that, I've been asked a handful of times in the past two months by VIP clients from my past if I'm willing to do a virtual magic show. I've done them, and been in close, regular contact with the handful of magicians who are absolutely killing at them, and I can tell you this:

"They don't need the live interactive stuff, they need simple entertainment. Oops."

☝️This is 100% wrong. The entire key to virtual magic shows, and commanding your regular in-person fee, is the ability to engage and connect with a live audience in real-time. If you're unable to do that, you will end up charging the previously mentioned 10% of your regular rates, and most likely lose out long term to hyper-edited videos by 11 year olds.

But if you can truly make people feel connected while apart? You can charge your regular fee. I have. My colleagues have. And if you're not working in this space right now, you couldn't possibly understand that.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (May 21, 2020 02:34PM)
[quote]On May 20, 2020, Ray Pierce wrote:
I thought this was an interesting post from Lior Manor. Again, not to measure his "success"... only his participation.

"I am doing Zoom shows for money like many other professionals
and the value here is amazing.
I think that Zoom shows will stay here for a long time
together with real shows.

Lior" [/quote]



I agree with Lior Manor. I’ve said since the beginning that it would not only be around for awhile but would become the new competition. No not competition to Vegas or Branson type shows but competition to the average magician. And sometimes we forget that the vast majority of paid magic performances are done by the kid and family type performers, not by the superstars. Those Schools, Libraries, Daycares, Colleges etc, clients can now choose between live and online shows. For the rest of this year online shows will probably be their choice.

I just can’t see things being back to normal until sometimes next year. Sad to say but the media is just not going to allow it.

Tom
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (May 21, 2020 02:49PM)
[quote]On May 21, 2020, BrianMillerMagic wrote:
I haven't posted on the Café in years, since transitioning out of full-time magic. Having said that, I've been asked a handful of times in the past two months by VIP clients from my past if I'm willing to do a virtual magic show. I've done them, and been in close, regular contact with the handful of magicians who are absolutely killing at them, and I can tell you this:

"They don't need the live interactive stuff, they need simple entertainment. Oops."

☝️This is 100% wrong. The entire key to virtual magic shows, and commanding your regular in-person fee, is the ability to engage and connect with a live audience in real-time. If you're unable to do that, you will end up charging the previously mentioned 10% of your regular rates, and most likely lose out long term to hyper-edited videos by 11 year olds.

But if you can truly make people feel connected while apart? You can charge your regular fee. I have. My colleagues have. And if you're not working in this space right now, you couldn't possibly understand that. [/quote]

Funny it's wrong huh? Why not explain the 10% of the regular fee?

You have done a HANDFUL of these.

I KNOW of guys who have mind into this space with a virtual show (not magic) DESIGNED to take business away ferrin magicians trying to catch up. All they need to do is undercut the magicians and have an entertaining presentation, mostly comedy centric, and BAM magicians are no longer killing it as you claim. Once this is over they don't need to worry about perception in the least.

So please do not breeze back in here with claims that you are not able to back up. YOU are not regularly working in this space and you admit it. So I guess you don't understand if we use your logic.

But again let me say if anyone thinks it is good for them then do it. I've said it time and again. Go for it. Do what toy think is best. Don't let some guy on the internet discourage you from something you think you should be doing.
Message: Posted by: BrianMillerMagic (May 21, 2020 02:58PM)
100% of my work shifted from in-person to virtual two months ago, and I'm as busy as ever. I stopped working as a full-time magician years ago, which is why I'm not in this space right now apart from requests.

And my colleagues who are magicians in this space? They're not catching up. They've been ahead of this from the moment it started, just like I was in my own industry. They're charging their normal rates. The best and brightest are building entire new packages around virtual that are even higher than their in-person rates due to the value-adds that were previously impossible (or at least not worth the effort) to achieve for touring acts.

I knew you were going to try to shut me down simply because I haven't posted on the Café in years, which is why I established that fact first. I never left the live event industry, just the Café. I didn't even leave Internet magic/entertainment forums! Just the Café.

Yes, most of the free livestream magic shows have been absolutely terrible. And I've been vocal since the beginning that magicians should not be doing free livestreams if they intend to make it a part of their business. It's the folks you're not hearing about that are killing it, because they aren't doing crappy free livestreams. They're doing high paid, private work just like always.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (May 21, 2020 03:11PM)
Hey Brian. Welcome back

It's good to see your Tedx Talk is doing so well.

Tom
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (May 21, 2020 04:06PM)
[quote]On May 21, 2020, BrianMillerMagic wrote:
And my colleagues who are magicians in this space? They're not catching up. They've been ahead of this from the moment it started, just like I was in my own industry. They're charging their normal rates. The best and brightest are building entire new packages around virtual that are even higher than their in-person rates due to the value-adds that were previously impossible (or at least not worth the effort) to achieve for touring acts.[/quote]

This is what I am talking about. We too have nearly doubled our rates (along with everyone I've been working with on this) with the new virtual offerings. Sadly, unlike the colleagues of yours that you mentioned, most magicians aren't and really aren't even close. They aren't even realizing there are several and new business models available for this, and it really isn't about the magic (what tricks to do) at all.

Great hearing from you Brian.
Message: Posted by: BrianMillerMagic (May 21, 2020 04:28PM)
[quote]On May 21, 2020, Mindpro wrote:
Great hearing from you Brian. [/quote]

You as well!
Message: Posted by: bonesly (May 21, 2020 05:03PM)
I’ve learnt so much from this new platform. I have designed a whole 30 minute show specifically for Zoom, and the best bit it has cost me £14! The only tech equipment I bought was a laptop stand. I don’t even use a second camera, I’m using the web camera on my Mac- that’s it

As a magician/mentalist the shows have to be interactive, it’s not a lecture. The audience have to be engaged.

In terms of money I think it is pretty good, especially when you consider that your working from home
Message: Posted by: BrianMillerMagic (May 21, 2020 05:06PM)
[quote]On May 21, 2020, TomBoleware wrote:
Hey Brian. Welcome back

It's good to see your Tedx Talk is doing so well.

Tom [/quote]

Thanks, Tom! Hope you're well.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (May 21, 2020 07:09PM)
[quote]On May 21, 2020, BrianMillerMagic wrote:
100% of my work shifted from in-person to virtual two months ago, and I'm as busy as ever. I stopped working as a full-time magician years ago, which is why I'm not in this space right now apart from requests.

And my colleagues who are magicians in this space? They're not catching up. They've been ahead of this from the moment it started, just like I was in my own industry. They're charging their normal rates. The best and brightest are building entire new packages around virtual that are even higher than their in-person rates due to the value-adds that were previously impossible (or at least not worth the effort) to achieve for touring acts.

I knew you were going to try to shut me down simply because I haven't posted on the Café in years, which is why I established that fact first. I never left the live event industry, just the Café. I didn't even leave Internet magic/entertainment forums! Just the Café.

Yes, most of the free livestream magic shows have been absolutely terrible. And I've been vocal since the beginning that magicians should not be doing free livestreams if they intend to make it a part of their business. It's the folks you're not hearing about that are killing it, because they aren't doing crappy free livestreams. They're doing high paid, private work just like always. [/quote]

I shut you down because you admitted you only did a few of the shows, not because you don't post here. Last I heard from you here you were going to V-Log all your stunning success from the USO shows and we heard nothing.

Teaching clients that "live" is not an essential part of "live entertainment" is what is being done. Fine. This is a choice, and it is a valid one and anyone who thinks it is smart go ahead and do so.

BUT there is a counter point and just because it is shouted down does not make it less valid.

ONCE it happens, and it happens fast, that clients know that having a live magician is not needed then you are replaced with the next dancing zebra that is funny for their meeting. You can come in and jump up and down and scream and say no no no all you like but it won't change the facts. It is not much different than what Kareoke did for the hotel circuit that used to exist. I doubt you remember that there actually WAS a hotel CIRCUIT that was quite lucrative but there was. Kareoke killed it in one fell swoop and it happened almost overnight. Those of us smart enough to see it coming were not shocked.

The decline of comedy clubs was another fine example of EXACTLY what you are heralding as the next big thing. (Yea at one time in the 80's and 90's guys were making over $3,000 a week. LOTS of guys were.) When the overexposure of comics started to happen with WAY too many clubs, and then being able to see stand up 24/7 with the advent of huge cable systems and dish and such comedy became less "special". Once a thing is EASILY ACCESSIBLE and readily available it is less valuable. If you don't believe this I recommend a basic econ course at the nearest Learning Annex.

Doing these things as a sort of special event or what not is not the worst thing in the world. Doing them regularly as an offering opens up a HUGE can of worms that you are not even looking at. First of all you use terms that are different for everyone. "Killing it" is one of them. Without actual numbers to back up something like that, and without us knowing what you personally are impressed with the term is meaningless. Also what someones "regular fee" is means nothing. Don't fill in the blank with numbers please. I'm just pointing out that it is silly to say such things.

AND AGAIN I say please do these shows if you think it is good to do so. Go ahead. Do them do them do them and then do them more. I would not discourage ANYONE from doing so. I am simply pointing out the HUGE flaws in the thinking is all.

And also the 11 year old with mad editing skills point. Magic is not a medium that translates well to small computer screen boxes. Half the point of magic as a live medium is "I WAS RIGHT THERE WATCHING" and you just can't get that with computer screens. What you CAN get however is an 11 year old who has mad editing skills that can string together a wonderfully entertaining montage of things for just this sort of event. Things built and designed to be on computers, and can be interactive for EVERYONE involved. This is where the space is going and should go. I only say this because I am working with such an 11 year old. We put it together before this ever started. He is taking work away from some of the big time workers you are talking about. He is signing contracts with corporations for virtual meetings, and has for almost 6 months now.

Yea a few will prosper at this, like any form of entertainment. BUT online streaming entertainment won't stay on magic for long. It simply is not the right medium for such an art form. Now if you can find an 11 year old with mad editing skills and an understanding of how computers work and can combine a little bit of magic with those skills you probably have a heck of an idea.

(And for the record the thing that I was responding to was the arrogance of the statement "This is 100% wrong".)
Message: Posted by: BrianMillerMagic (May 21, 2020 10:29PM)
[quote]On May 21, 2020, Dannydoyle wrote:
Last I heard from you here you were going to V-Log all your stunning success from the USO shows and we heard nothing.

...

(And for the record the thing that I was responding to was the arrogance of the statement "This is 100% wrong".) [/quote]

I did three tours for Navy Entertainment, visiting 11 countries across Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. They were a stunning success, and I documented all three tours on YouTube, with accompanying blogs on my website, for an entire year. They are all public.

I've since keynoted conferences and delivered workshops on 5 continents. I've published over 300 videos on YouTube across multiple channels. I wrote a book that marketing legend Seth Godin endorsed and Publishers Weekly raved about. I run a podcast in its third season that recently cracked the Top 200 under Careers on Apple. I write a weekly blog and never miss. I publish five times per week on Instagram, three times per week on LinkedIn, and was recently personally invited by Arianna Huffington to be a contributing author on Thrive Global.

So, I'm doing fine. And I'm the most public person you could possibly find. Not one aspect of my career is hidden. It's well documented, for all to see.

If you'd wanted to know what I was up to, you'd have found it in seconds. But you didn't, and that's fine. Just don't pretend like you were waiting to hear from me and disappointed that you didn't.

As for my "This is 100% wrong" statement, I stand by it. What you're describing about your 11-year-old computer wiz sounds super cool. But the whole idea that he's "taking away gigs from the big time workers" though? Nonsense. There is, as there has always been, plenty of work for everyone. Lots of ways to thrive in the virtual world. But "I refuse to do anything that isn't the way it used to be" isn't one of them.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (May 22, 2020 05:44AM)
Nonsense? Um why do you keep making statements you just can't back up? He bids for the jobs AGAINST THESE GUYS. It is a fact Brian. Yet again you just jump in saying stuff you don't even know the first thing about and are just wrong.

You know what else he has going for him? HE IS 11! Companies love that and that won't go away until he is about 16.

This is the way online meeting entertainment is going to go.

And not participating in the virtual entertainment world IS a choice no matter what you claim.

Also I want disappointed that I didn't hear from you and didn't pretend I was. Please stop putting words in my mouth.
Message: Posted by: SteveFromSpokane (May 22, 2020 07:55AM)
Can we get you guys some Snicker bars?
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (May 22, 2020 08:34AM)
There part that is interesting was just pointed out to me by this child.

He was laughing because everyone seems to claim "adapt or die" applies to everyone bit them. The guys shouting the loudest don't see what is happening right in front of them even as it is being shown to them. Ironic huh?
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (May 22, 2020 09:34AM)
And I can't say enough if you want to do these shows have at it. Seriously go for it.

If you are convinced this is the future then go for it.

Things are already beginning to change. It will be interesting to see what happens as life moves along. There is a possibility, a VERY real one, that as we move back to life this is just an opening act and things become much worse. In that instance those prepared for this type of future are ahead of the game.
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (May 23, 2020 09:27PM)
I just found this.



https://www.geffenplayhouse.org/shows/the-present/

Interactive Zoom theater/Magic show $100/family, 25 people max

Right now it’s sold out through August.
Message: Posted by: FrankFindley (May 23, 2020 10:09PM)
[quote]On May 23, 2020, Ray Pierce wrote:
I just found this.


https://www.geffenplayhouse.org/shows/the-present/

Interactive Zoom theater/Magic show $100/family, 25 people max

Right now it’s sold out through August. [/quote]

Hi Ray. I actually asked if you had seen it in the thread above.

[quote]On May 17, 2020, FrankFindley wrote:
[quote]On May 17, 2020, Ray Pierce wrote:
I'll admit that I must amend my last post. I just noticed where Erika Larsen just asked on FB, "Who's doing Zoom shows for hire?" and there was a long list of top level pros that seem to be in the game in a very serious way. Kostya Kimlat and Lior Manor as well as many very well known and respected names on the West coast appear to have taken up this new form.[/quote]

By chance have you heard anything about Helder Guimarães' show/play, [i]The Present[/i]? Lots of buzz that he has "done it right". He sends a box through mail to each audience member. It is sold out through Fourth of July. Would like to hear more of what he is doing. Maintaining an $85 per ticket price is impressive.

[url]https://www.geffenplayhouse.org/shows/the-present/[/url] [/quote]

A lot can potentially be learned from his experiences. He actually created quite an emotional narrative around being in quarantine when a child. Perfect timing to bring this idea forward. The $17K box office take each week is deserved. He gave an interview here discussing his approach:

[url]https://www.hollywoodsoapbox.com/interview-diving-deep-into-the-secrets-of-the-geffens-hit-magic-show-the-present/[/url]

Since that time of the post, the reviews have rolled in, all very positive:

LA Times:
[url]https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2020-05-22/geffen-playhouse-present-zoom-magic-show[/url]
[b]Geffen Playhouse has a hit Zoom magic show. How its star makes social distance vanish[/b]

Theater Mania:
[url]https://www.theatermania.com/los-angeles-theater/reviews/review-the-present-_91013.html[/url]
[b]Review: Quarantine Magic Show The Present by Helder Guimarães Is a Confounding Thrill[/b]

New York Times:
[url]https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/15/theater/magic-shows-online-helder-guimares-coronavirus.amp.html[/url]
[b]Is the Hand Quicker Than the Zoom Window?[/b]

Variety:
[url]https://variety.com/2020/legit/reviews/the-present-review-helder-guimaraes-geffen-stayhouse-1234608463/amp/[/url]
[b]‘The Present’: L.A. Theater Review
Helder Guimarães’ modest Zoom-based magic show, conjured specially for the Geffen Stayhouse program, brings audiences together nightly during lockdown.[/b]

South Pasadean:
[url]https://southpasadenan.com/the-present-is-a-gift/[/url]
[b]“The Present” is a Gift[/b]
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (May 24, 2020 01:58AM)
[quote]On May 23, 2020, FrankFindley wrote:
Hi Ray. I actually asked if you had seen it in the thread above.
[/quote]

lol... That's too funny. I try to get on here regularly but I must have missed it, sorry!
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (May 24, 2020 07:50AM)
I love how he mails them the mysterious package.

Tom
Message: Posted by: FrankFindley (May 24, 2020 02:14PM)
[quote]On May 24, 2020, Ray Pierce wrote:
[quote]On May 23, 2020, FrankFindley wrote:
Hi Ray. I actually asked if you had seen it in the thread above.
[/quote]

lol... That's too funny. I try to get on here regularly but I must have missed it, sorry! [/quote]

Oh, no worries. Was just pointing out that that was the one which a lot of magicians had been watching with great interest.

The ticket price was $85 for the sold out shows through sometime in July. Shortly after the reviews came out, it rose to $125. This shows the power of such reviews in sustaining demand. $25K a week establishes an interesting benchmark upper point.

[quote]On May 24, 2020, TomBoleware wrote:
I love how he mails them the mysterious package.
[/quote]

Yes. This serves several purposes. It gives a branding touch and creates an impression of quality. It establishes the narrative, builds suspense/excitement, and brings the show to top of mind ensuring attendence. It acts as a reminder for them to be technologically prepared by show time. It provides props to ensure full participation, supports the method (e.g. having a full deck of cards at hand for interactive finale), and gives a lasting momento. Very classy and practical idea.

I've discussed this topic with about three dozen other active magicians and participated in several working sessions. It reminds me a lot of the 1980s when we were pioneering mall magic. There were several similar concerns regarding overexposure, perceived lower quality (doing magic surrounded is very different), pricing, and business model (e.g. doing mall runs took you off market for Saturday private shows). But, those who worked the space figured that all out and added another venue type for magicians. The big demand only lasted about four years, but the magicians involved were rewarded well for their efforts and were able to leverage the techniques for other purposes afterwards.

The biggest change magicians have faced with remote magic has not been technical but marketing related. For most magicians marketing is either geographically focussed (i.e. concentrating on their region) or niche focussed (e.g. trade, corporate, education where magician travels or tours). But being successful in remote seems to require national (even multinational), non-niche marketing. Many have turned to search engine key word marketing like is done regionally. But because so many are trying this, the cost per conversion is high relative to locally targeted impressions.

Pricing hasn't been too much of an issue. Most are using a rate lower than their physical performances, generally 40% to 50%. But given the ability to do more shows and having much lower costs, the take at the end works out fine.

Regarding value added, several kid show magicians are offering "learn magic" add-on modules. Who knows how many future magicians will get their start this way. Another idea I greenhatted was virtual face painting. One performer's spouse did face painting as an add on to their clown show. I suggested they do this virtually, taking pictures of kids and creating avatars with them painted up as a form of party favor. They expanded on the idea and started putting their faces on animals, super hero bodies, etc. They do a 7-minute bit where they reveal them at end of the show. Kids love to see the funny picures of their friends. It has been very well reveived.

There are a lot of ingenious ideas being tried. This includes creation of Zoom only effects which take full advantage of the format. The underground BM Project is a good example. The mentalism techniques they developed are amazing.

Will this displace traditional in-person magic? I personally don't think so. But I also don't think it will go away. In one of the workshops the question was asked if participants expected this type of magic to go away. They all said 'no', with the ability to do magic interactively cited as a major sales tool for the long hall.

Hope everyone is safe, your friendly neighborhood fanboy. ;)
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (May 24, 2020 02:57PM)
Great post.

I too look for it to be around even after the live shows come back. I can certainly see some of those doing the summer library reading programs offering a choice of live or online.

Tom
Message: Posted by: thomasR (May 24, 2020 03:47PM)
Frank, your latest post is the most valuable one in this entire thread in my opinion.

I’m so glad that Ray brought up this show again, I remember Frank mentioning it but to see the success that he’s had and taking it up to $125 per ticket - that’s extremely eye opening. Not just for magicians, but for performing arts in general.

Last week I watched an online play, live. It was 2 broadway actors doing a 2 person play that worked really well...
Message: Posted by: Christophercarter (May 27, 2020 08:47AM)
In the fields I work in, virtual programs are not going away any time soon, and I doubt they're going away at all. Many meetings are looking at moving to a part live/part virtual format in the future, because they've already discovered they can dramatically broaden participation through virtual events while simultaneously reducing costs. Others are considering alternating between live and virtual going into the future.

Nobody can say exactly what the future holds, but there's no reason to believe it's either live or virtual when evidence points to the probability of it being both. Imo live events will return because people crave that direct interaction, it's fundamental to being human. But the benefits of working from home and the ability to create connections across great distances means there will continue to be additional opportunities in virtual.
Message: Posted by: thomasR (May 31, 2020 02:42PM)
Interesting things going on in the online show world. Bill Blagg did an illusion show where you paid about $10 to watch the live stream. He presented the show in his warehouse with full lighting and production.

David Davinci performed a live illusion show from a warehouse as well as part of a fundraiser project that he usually performs for.

Mario the Maker Magician offered one of his shows online for the first time in order to help raise funds for a theatre in Portland Oregon that he enjoys performing at.

Lots of creative ways to use these platforms.
Message: Posted by: gbavli (Jun 6, 2020 11:15AM)
If you are NOT familiar with the BM project (Haim Goldenberg - Amir Lustig - Guy Bavli) it is one of the most practical and dynamic yet easy to perform virtual mentalism! https://bakoremagic.com/collections/frontpage/products/bm-project
We are doing a live workshop on the BM-PROJECT tomorrow Sunday June 7th. 3pm. It is FREE for those who purchased the BM-PROJECT on www.BakoreMAGIC.com and once you have your order number you can gain access to our BM facebook group where we share with the other professional many routines and effects based on this concept. Also our workshop will be LIVE on that group. here is a video explaining about the workshop: https://vimeo.com/426555914/f98571b1b8
Message: Posted by: Nathan Horne (Jun 9, 2020 04:13AM)
Have you seen this from Theory 11 - it's a series of illusions designed for Zoom / Instagram etc.

https://store.theory11.com/products/optical-deceptions
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (Jun 11, 2020 02:04AM)
They are both interesting illusions to do online. Both require carefully set up perspectives to do correctly. They are both currently filmed from the performers POV which isn't how anyone normally works on Zoom... but with a little practice, both can be done on a traditional zoom/webcam format with no problems.
Message: Posted by: SteveFromSpokane (Jun 11, 2020 09:55AM)
[quote]On Jun 11, 2020, Ray Pierce wrote:
They are both interesting illusions to do online. Both require carefully set up perspectives to do correctly. They are both currently filmed from the performers POV which isn't how anyone normally works on Zoom... but with a little practice, both can be done on a traditional zoom/webcam format with no problems. [/quote]

The key words are "require carefully set up perspectives". I have downloaded the Melting Card.
A little trial and error in the construction but I will accomplish this. Just may take me more than 30 minutes.
Message: Posted by: Nathan Horne (Jun 12, 2020 09:37AM)
[quote]On Jun 11, 2020, SteveFromSpokane wrote:
[quote]On Jun 11, 2020, Ray Pierce wrote:
They are both interesting illusions to do online. Both require carefully set up perspectives to do correctly. They are both currently filmed from the performers POV which isn't how anyone normally works on Zoom... but with a little practice, both can be done on a traditional zoom/webcam format with no problems. [/quote]

The key words are "require carefully set up perspectives". I have downloaded the Melting Card.
A little trial and error in the construction but I will accomplish this. Just may take me more than 30 minutes. [/quote]

I also purchased the melting card - I wanted it for instagram. The illusion and understanding how it works is very good. Maybe not $12 good, but good!
Message: Posted by: FrankFindley (Jun 17, 2020 08:36PM)
Wow. So I wanted to attend [i]The Present[/i] and was on the email notification list for the next release of tickets (show extended through October 10). Went out that night and they were already sold out! Congrats to Helder Guimarães for a runaway success!

I hope sometime in the future he will be willing to lecture on his experiences. It would be amazing to hear his thinking on constructing this show.
Message: Posted by: Frosty (Jul 2, 2020 10:28PM)
I haven't read the entire post.. too long LOL! But here's a YouTube video on this topic. don't know how I found it but..

Hope yall enjoy it!

https://youtu.be/d-EMd8Qmahg
Message: Posted by: Bernice (Jul 4, 2020 09:22AM)
[quote]On Jul 3, 2020, Frosty wrote:
I haven't read the entire post.. too long LOL! But here's a YouTube video on this topic. don't know how I found it but..

Hope yall enjoy it!

https://youtu.be/d-EMd8Qmahg [/quote]

Both heartening and saddening at the same time. Thank you for the link.

P.S. Some of the comments are brutal.
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Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jul 10, 2020 08:55PM)
If it has Paul Drapers on it I'd suggest muting it for just that.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jul 10, 2020 11:41PM)
[quote]On Jul 10, 2020, Dannydoyle wrote:
If it has Paul Drapers on it I'd suggest muting it for just that. [/quote]
BUYING, not muting! Oh wow. Auto correct my expletive.
Message: Posted by: SteveFromSpokane (Jul 11, 2020 09:31AM)
[quote]On Jul 10, 2020, Dannydoyle wrote:
[quote]On Jul 10, 2020, Dannydoyle wrote:
If it has Paul Drapers on it I'd suggest muting it for just that. [/quote]
BUYING, not muting! Oh wow. Auto correct my expletive. [/quote]

I wondered what that original post meant. lol
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Jul 11, 2020 10:02AM)
Danny now posts in a top-secret code intended only for those in his special secret club. Apply today!
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jul 11, 2020 10:12AM)
Well with the pandemic and all not much room left in the club, but I have a limited number of spaces going fast! When they are gone.... I'll have some more limited spaces going fast.
Message: Posted by: imgic (Jul 21, 2020 09:35AM)
Just saw (on Linkedin of all places) that Stuart McDonald is going to have an interactive online show on Zoom. Limited tickets to help keep it interactive. This looks interesting.

https://croswell.org/cocktailcapers
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Jul 21, 2020 01:06PM)
[quote]On Jul 21, 2020, imgic wrote:
Just saw (on Linkedin of all places) that Stuart McDonald is going to have an interactive online show on Zoom. Limited tickets to help keep it interactive. This looks interesting.

https://croswell.org/cocktailcapers [/quote]

The interactive zoom shows are an interesting idea.
Some broadway performers are putting together an interactive murder mystery theatre.

I’m grateful for online content. Podcasts, YouTube live streams, etc. but I miss live entertainment so much.
Message: Posted by: imgic (Jul 24, 2020 09:37AM)
Shawn Farquhar has started doing online lectures: limited audiences and has been selling out.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Jul 24, 2020 10:10AM)
What is the purpose or point of posting about all these people who have online shows? Is there supposed to be a benefit to this?

I could probably list a couple of hundred magicians now doing this but what would be the point or benefit?

Also back on page 1, you stressed your disappointment with Shawn's online content, now you're promoting it?

I'm trying to understand this mindset and how it supposed to be a business topic or help one's business?
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (Jul 24, 2020 01:57PM)
I don't pretend to know the reasoning behind each person's post. I would suggest that in studying the effectiveness of a new medium, the larger the sample size, the greater the potential understanding and ability to formulate a fair assessment. I'll admit that my initial feelings were that this was a stupid way of connecting for magic. I'll also admit that I've seen some very effective examples of ways creative people have leveraged this new medium in new ways. Yes, I know that most aren't that great but that follows the same part of the bell curve as other arts so there's no real surprise there. MOST people in any subset are mediocre. That's just the way it is. I continue to study and be impressed with those that transcend the rest as has happened here.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Jul 24, 2020 02:10PM)
Sure, I can see that but that is more about performance and presentation though. I see little being attached or discussed from these from a business perspective, which is what TB is about. There are many other forums where the performance and presentation, I would think, would be better suited.

Perhaps the time has come to have a Zoom performance forum?

I just see 9 pages of how this thread got way off track to its original intent.

Also, most of these Zoom performers are not discussing the business behind these performances.

Many here also fail to realize many of these are not as they appear to be or want to believe them to be.
Message: Posted by: imgic (Jul 24, 2020 06:14PM)
Mindpro, good call out. I should have expanded on my recent post. I was dismayed at the things I was seeing on Zoom when the Pandemic first hit. It was a combination of factors:
- Planned events, such as conventions, were hastily converted to online formats. Folks were just doing what they'd planned to do live, but on cam. In many instances it didn't work well.
- Folks weren't experienced in what works best on Zoom. People are now putting thought into what works on webcam...creating new routines, reformatting existing work.
- Initially I think a lot of online performances were attempts to keep a sense of community...of trying to keep connected, and not so much a new business opportunity. Performers weren't necessarily looking to monetize their work. Partly because...
- Folks weren't sure how long this was going to last. So much misunderstanding, misinformation, and lack of leadership caused a lot of speculation, with many thinking it would be over quickly, or at least with higher temperatures of summer. With realization it's not going away, folks are adapting and seeking to monetize online work.

Just as with shows, the better performances will command more demand. Not only new and reformatted routines, but performers are upgrading camera and microphones. Early performances were clearly on laptop cams.

Also, Innovation will drive higher views and revenue. For me, it was painful to watch Shawn in the zoom convention. But a chance to be in a Zoom lecture with him and a small limited group? Yes, that's worth $25 ticket. And others think so too....he's sold out 2 and is looking to add third session. Very smart of him to move to a lecture format.

I've no idea how Stuarts MacDonald's online show will be, but I'm willing to bet it'll be great. Having heard him talk how he prepared his routine for "Fool Us" he uses tenets of Process Improvement to refine and constantly improve his show. He's got great attention to detail. Just look at the photoshop work done in the trailer for his show. It's like something out of Forest Gump.

So yes, the thread got a bit derailed. Yes, I was critical of what I saw online as lockdowns hit. But it's endearing to see performers adapting to "the new normal."
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jul 24, 2020 08:28PM)
I will say that I have LONG BEFORE this hit thought the "lecture" circuit would come to online and never leave. I have never thought that it was worthwhile for the lecturer to go to each group, when it could EASILY be done online.

The difference is OBVIOUSLY that nobody cares if the lecture is that entertaining. I can prove that by just suggesting you attend a lecture live. They are usually the furthest thing from entertaining.

So now that it can be interactive, and small groups it really seems like a great play for them. Mind you I have NOT seen what Shawn is doing, but would assume he would adapt to it pretty well.

I do not believe this is a departure to far from the intent of this thread as it is a business trying to do lectures.

My stance on live performance streamed has not changed though.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Jul 24, 2020 08:34PM)
Like I said in the beginning of this topic, “When there is no demand you can create one” And it looks like some have done a good job of creating the demand. No its not as good as a live show, but there is not much demand for live right now. I think things will get better sometimes next year, but that’s not as bad as it sounds because we’re more than half way there already.

Tom
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jul 24, 2020 09:09PM)
As usual you completely miss the point I do admire your commitment to the bit.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Jul 24, 2020 10:11PM)
[quote]On Jul 24, 2020, Dannydoyle wrote:
As usual you completely miss the point I do admire your commitment to the bit. [/quote]


Danny, I wasn’t responding to anything you said. Just making a point in general, so I don't think I missed my own point. :)

Tom
Message: Posted by: Jed Maxwell (Jul 30, 2020 11:13AM)
[quote]On Jul 24, 2020, Mindpro wrote:
Perhaps the time has come to have a Zoom performance forum?[/quote]

There is: https://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewforum.php?forum=12&4055
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Jul 30, 2020 11:53AM)
Thanks Jed. While that is not necessarily a Zoom forum, that was my exact point when I said "There are many other forums where the performance and presentation, I would think, would be better suited." The discussion here could be more productive if it was more about the business aspects behind these types of performances, which is what the thread was intended to be about. For the months of April and May, I received more of these types of questions and inquiries than anything else.

Enough performers are now doing or have tried these types of shows to be able to have decent conversations about the pros and cons, problems, obstacles, setbacks, and techniques that they've used to overcome such concerns. Also, marketing, promotion, pricing, formats, performance lengths, receptions, problems, complaints, and so much more could be helpful to these guys. Since this now seems to be carrying on longer than many originally thought, it seems even more of interest than ever to delve into.
Message: Posted by: Lior (Aug 1, 2020 01:00PM)
WE have a facebook group with more than 1345 members.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/667053387393373/
(you just need to know: how many steps.
It's very easy to mentalists to answer)

there are many great threads about anything you want to know about
Zoom shows on the technical aspects and the magical aspects

Me and many more are doing a lot of shows and looks it will
continue a part of our offering for few years

Using OBS you can overcome many of the problems that
we have with Zoom and make it looks like an interactive
magic show.

See you there

Lior
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Aug 1, 2020 02:29PM)
Actually no you can't overcome them all.
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Aug 6, 2020 02:52PM)
[quote]On Aug 1, 2020, Lior wrote:
Me and many more are doing a lot of shows and looks it will
continue a part of our offering for few years

Using OBS you can overcome many of the problems that
we have with Zoom and make it looks like an interactive
magic show.
[/quote]

If you are a Mac user - “ecamm live” is worth checking out as well.
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (Aug 7, 2020 02:32PM)
[quote]On Aug 1, 2020, Dannydoyle wrote:
Actually no you can't overcome them all. [/quote]

To be fair, he said overcome "many", not all. My personal feeling is that outside of doing an effect for a single person where you can modify and sculpt as you go to meet their specific needs and reactions, every other type of performance medium has some compromises. I personally LOVE doing larger shows but at the same time, I accept that the more viewers I have, the more I have to water down certain elements to compensate as I'm constantly "averaging" for their reactions. I am not a fan of magic on Television nor online but I will accept that it allows for certain methodology that is not open to me as a stage performer. On the other hand, I can do certain misdirection elements on a larger stage that would never work in the more intimate environment of a "zoom" show. It also requires a totally different performance style more like film technique rather then a theater style.

Great performers can always transcend any medium. The goal is to be a great performer!
Message: Posted by: Bairefoot (Aug 7, 2020 09:27PM)
I did not have to do not one zoom show or Facebook live show. I am very fortunate. But nothing against anyone who did to try and make some money.
Message: Posted by: imgic (Aug 9, 2020 11:17AM)
My daughter bought me “tickets” to Piffs online show Friday night. Show went a little over an hour.

The production value were great. Good camera and mics. He was creative in use of Zoom rooms to bring volunteers “into” the show. Good use of prerecorded bits (mainly Mr Piffles). Only issue was technical issues with some of volunteers. Some poor mics. One volunteer turned her cam off. But Puff just rolled with it and used as fodder for jokes.

Overall we were happy with show and had a good time.
Message: Posted by: Stephen Thompson (Aug 11, 2020 05:27PM)
If you're interested in Zoom shows, check out www.VideoChatMagic.com

It's a rich collection of over 35 tricks, tools, and essays all specifically addressing the challenges and opportunities of magic over video chat. Contributors include Max Maven, Jim Steinmeyer, Luke Jermay, Pete McCabe and Richard Wiseman (and many more).

Luis de Matos said: "As magicians reinvent their performances for remote environments Video Chat Magic is unveiling the most effective ways to succeed in this new medium".

Jon Armstrong "Required reading for anyone who wants to do strong magic in this new medium".
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Aug 26, 2020 09:29PM)
I was listening to a non-magic business podcast, they are a marketing company that makes most of their money with live workshops and in-person coaching. The CEO mentioned that what saved the company was their quick decision to immediately create a digital version of both the live workshops and coaching.

Of note.. they cut the prices and made a big deal about how you could get their workshop and coaching services cheaper than usual because it was digital.

Some may question what this has to do with magic... maybe nothing. But I thought it was an interesting note to add.
Message: Posted by: Bairefoot (Aug 26, 2020 11:58PM)
ThomasR that is what my improv friend did. She made a killing.
Message: Posted by: imgic (Aug 28, 2020 09:25AM)
On Linkedin I see that Stuart McDonald is marketing to perform for businesses online meetings to liven things up for them...another interesting approach.
Message: Posted by: FrankFindley (Aug 28, 2020 01:48PM)
FYI. If you are interested in benchmarking Helder Guimarães' The Present, he is doing a grand finale performance on October 17. Tickets are $25 with the option of getting a present envelope for an additional $15. Given this is one of the most successful virtual shows, not just for magic but all genre, it may be worth the watch. Wish I could attend but have a gig at that time.

Details: [url]https://www.geffenplayhouse.org/shows/the-present/[/url]
Message: Posted by: FrankFindley (Sep 8, 2020 09:29PM)
Carisa Hendrix is taking an interesting promotional approach:

[youtube]tiAXauTqYcs[/youtube]

With thousands of youtube followers who love her persona and her improv skills, it will be interesting to see how well she converts that into attendence. She has already had a sold out run of performances. Also, given her style I bet the interaction is off the charts for a zoom show. Definitely worth keeping an eye on.

[url]https://www.thelucydarling.com/lucy-at-home/[/url]
Message: Posted by: FrankFindley (Oct 12, 2020 01:48PM)
LA Times gives attendence and financial breakdown of [i]The Present[/i]. Good structure/staff benchmarking.

[url]https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2020-10-12/geffen-playhouse-magic-show-covid-theater-helder-guimaraes[/url]
[b]Is this how theater gets saved? Geffen magic show mines virtual box-office gold[/b]

[i]“The Present,” which had its first performance on May 7, quickly achieved local phenom status and was extended three times. By the grand finale Saturday, Guimaraes will have logged 251 sold-out shows. He has performed up to 13 times per week, and more than 70 shows have been buyouts, meaning a single group or entity bought all 25 Zoom slots for a specific performance. Famous faces have been logging on, including Laura Dern, Mark Hamill, Patton Oswalt, Billy Crystal and Laurie Metcalf.

“At the end of the day, the thing that is so satisfying is that it has kept the staff engaged, kept our audience engaged and enhanced the Geffen stage brand,” Geffen Executive Director Gil Cates Jr. said. “It’s great in terms of energy.”

When all is said and done, Cates said, “The Present” will have grossed more than $700,000, an astronomical figure for regional theaters scrambling, often blindly, to devise entertainment for a virtual audience. Cates compared that number to what a typical show in the Geffen’s 500-seat mainstage auditorium might gross during a nonpandemic five-week run — if heavily promoted and highly successful.

Tickets for “The Present” averaged $95 per household. The cost included a “mystery box,” mailed to homes before the performance, that contained props for Guimarães’ story and allowed audience members to participate in his tricks.

The grand finale Saturday, which has no audience cap, will allow people to watch (but not participate in the interactive portions of the show) for $25. With 6,000 households signed up so far, that’s $150,000 for a single performance. For an additional $15, viewers can receive a “mystery envelope” that contains a limited number of items in the mystery box.

“We’re running a wartime-level production workshop at the Geffen, rolling out boxes instead of tanks,” artistic director Matt Shakman told The Times in an interview about the transition from in-person to virtual productions back in May.

The mystery boxes — mailed to audience members in 30 countries including Denmark, Poland, Singapore and Ukraine, the Geffen said — have been key to the magic, turning a solo viewing experience into a communal interactive activity.

Guimaraes performs the show from a corner of his apartment. His fiancée, Catarina Marques, operates the camera, and producer Frank Marshall of the “Jurassic Park” and “Indiana Jones” franchises directs remotely.

The show, experienced by viewers wherever they choose (Cates said one participant watched from a Jacuzzi), somehow manages to erase the social distance that has defined many people’s experience of the world during the pandemic.

Times theater critic Charles McNulty called the viewing experience “the closest approximation I’ve had to being in a theater since the pandemic closed the venues. The show contains a slew of card tricks, but the real sleight-of-hand is the transformation of digital into theatrical space.”[/i]
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Oct 29, 2020 08:46AM)
There is about to be at least one more entry into the fray of online/streamed shows that I am going to dare say will be unique and will be of great value.
Message: Posted by: landmark (Oct 29, 2020 01:40PM)
If Mr Doyle is referring to himself, I'd pay money for that.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Oct 29, 2020 04:51PM)
Nope, but a show I'd pay money to watch.
Message: Posted by: The Unmasked Magician (Nov 1, 2020 01:19PM)
I bought tickets to The Future, the sequel to Helder's The Present. It was practically sold out within 3 hours. Grossing 2500 US per show. 6 or 7 shows a week. For about 8 weeks. Looks like good business.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Nov 1, 2020 01:54PM)
While I still think the idea of a magic show itself is sort of ridiculous online I guess it is what it is. I doubt it will be with us long, but it has been with us longer than I thought!

I'll let you know more about the projects I am talking about. I would seriously pay money to see them. One is a magic project that I HOPE comes through. It is a different way to do it and it really does look promising. NOTHING TO DO WITH ME, but friends of mine.
Message: Posted by: imgic (Nov 1, 2020 05:04PM)
As I've been listening to a lot of podcasts lately, many have been talking about virtual shows. Discourse in Magic and The Penguin Magic Podcast boths have had several episodes talking about it...as performers adapt, learn more, and put more effort there are increasingly improved shows. Carisa Hednrix (aka Lucy Darling) has talked about her virtual show and how it's been selling out. I was not a fan when all this first hit and people were just getting online with a webcam, but seeing more production value and better shows.
Message: Posted by: snm (Nov 1, 2020 06:29PM)
I hate the online shows. Never seen a good one. I find the medium quite boring.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Nov 1, 2020 06:48PM)
I have yet to see a good one. I have yet to be impressed. BUT I am still saying that the one I am talking about is different than just a guy in his living room. There are serious production values, and an effort to make it a better experience. I am hopeful. I respect all those involved with it and really want it to succeed.
Message: Posted by: Mike ODonnell (Nov 6, 2020 01:09PM)
I'd recommend Ben Seidman's show. Professionally done, great pace, interactive, and strong magic.
Message: Posted by: FrankFindley (Nov 20, 2020 12:20PM)
The emergence of successful long shows (over an hour) was not something that seemed likely. Yet they are finding quite an audience. People are used to paying $100+ to take family to movies and plays of that length. So that price point may seem reasonable for a live (though remote) show where they will be part of the action. The sending of props through the mail is both a nice marketing touch and supports a smoother show. It is really stressing the importance of good marketing.


[url]https://www.buzzfeednews.com/amphtml/scaachikoul/magic-shows-going-virtual-zoom[/url]
[b] Forgive Me, But I Love Magic!!!!!

I know it’s embarrassing, but I love magic and I think it’s time you all got on board. Trust me. It’ll help.[/b]

[I]Last week, on another depressing Friday night with no plans because, well, you should know why by now, I stayed home and logged on to another Zoom call. But this wasn’t a Zoom like the countless others I’ve done — no one tried to get me to play Pictionary, there was no unbearable lull after I stupidly ask, “So, how’s everyone doing?” as if the answer won’t be, “Fine, other than the fact that I am afraid of the air.” Rather, this was a virtual magic show hosted by New York magician Dan White — live, interactive, and exactly what I needed.

White usually performs at the NoMad Hotel in Manhattan but has had to rethink his act since crowding together in a hotel bar is an unlikely outing these days. His digital act — called “The Magician Online” — is a 90-minute show that costs around $130 per household. If you’re looking for Thanksgiving plans, you’re out of luck: He’s completely sold out of his Friday and Saturday evening shows through to Dec. 18.

If you do manage to get a ticket, you’ll receive a package in the mail a few days before the show. You don’t open it until showtime, but inside is a sleek black box with gold Gatsby font, filled with all the little props and devices you’ll need to participate. On the night of the show, I prepared my bedroom according to White’s instructions: I brought the black box, a pen, a lighter, and a very large glass of red wine. I dimmed my lights so that I felt spooky but was still visible on the Zoom. The show started at 9 p.m., and since most of the pleasure that comes from a magic show is derived from the unknown, [b]I can’t really tell you anything more aside from the fact that it was the best day of my life.[/b][/I]
Message: Posted by: The Unmasked Magician (Nov 20, 2020 01:01PM)
That's great to see.
Message: Posted by: Anthony Asimov (Dec 8, 2020 11:32PM)
Hey all, I haven't been to the Magic Café in a long time. It's great to be back! I have been doing a virtual magic show since May that it's going over really well. It's one-hour and I offer a variety of magic, and I spent a lot of time on the production value (5 cameras, Twilight Zone type of set, lighting, etc.) I have experienced almost every technical glitch you could imagine, and I have learned a lot about what works and what DOESN'T work in a virtual magic experience. If anyone wants to join in on an upcoming show, just let me know and I'll be happy to let you watch! Just email me at anthony@anthonyasimov.com and I'll let you know if there are any shows that I can get you into. The website is www.wineandtricks.com
Message: Posted by: FrankFindley (Dec 24, 2020 01:39AM)
The below article is worth a full read for all it covers. One fascinating point is how much the public is interested in how magicians are adapting. We havent seen such growth in lay fans since the magic TV specials of the 1980s. Then it was focussed on the major Illusionists. Now the interest appears more broad. People really want to know what it's like to be a magician now.

[url]https://www.wsj.com/amp/articles/alacazoom-magic-acts-disappear-from-theaters-reappear-online-11608482754[/url]
[b]Alacazoom! Magic Acts Disappear from Theaters, Reappear Online
Magicians have gone virtual, presenting new challenges; ‘They need to believe it’s exactly what they would see if we were together in person’[/b]

[i]Zoom has its benefits. Props can be placed at arm’s length just out of shot, which means transitions between tricks are quicker than they would be on stage, said Mr. Cox. He pins cue cards and scripts to the border of his computer screen when performing new material, and uses a second camera to give the audience a better view of his close-up magic, he said.

Another bonus: Audience members are better behaved on Zoom and magicians can mute hecklers, Mr. Cox said.

“And it’s never been easier to find a test audience for a trick,” he said. “A quick social media post and I’ve instant access to an audience who just have to turn their computers on for me to try something out.”
...
The Bash, a booking platform for entertainment vendors, said [b]'magicians and mentalists' has been the most popular category for virtual corporate events on its site since May[/b]. Pre-Covid, magicians were the fifth most-requested, behind mariachi bands, cover bands, DJs and caricaturists, the company said.

Mr. Chan said the nature of virtual magic means he is saving on expenses such as gasoline and meals in restaurants, and has time to perform more shows. In one recent week, he put on 12 in one day, he said. Before the pandemic, six was the most he could manage.

“Back then I felt so burnt out I swore to myself I would never do that many shows in one day again,” he said. “Now I’m doing that easily, and I’m not even breaking a sweat because I can take a nap in between.”[/i]
Message: Posted by: Nash (Dec 27, 2020 02:55PM)
If you do virtual shows, this video is a must watch
[youtube]TmxJkQNK4Rc[/youtube]
I wasn't technologically savvy, this video explained so much.

Year in review: I'm down 18% revenue from last year; but thank god I started doing virtual shows back in May.
It did take awhile before traffic started coming in, from March -> early September I was barely making ay $$ from virtual shows and I was staring at a 48% decrease in revenue compare to 2019 (The ah oh, holy $hit moment was real). Thank god demands for virtual shows picked way up and Oct-Dec were gangbuster. In fact, this December is my highest grossing December in my career (totally surprised me).

Looking back, going virtual is def. the best decision I've made. Something I had reservation about in the beginning but came to fully embrace it now. phheewwww....
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Dec 27, 2020 05:54PM)
Nash it is fantastic to hear about the relatively small shortfall. Congrats on taking action!

It is wonderful to hear not rah rah nonsense and have a guy who embraced it PERSONALLY speak about it honestly. Not posting silly crap about what others did but tells us what he did.

Great post and again Great work and congrats!
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Dec 27, 2020 11:14PM)
[quote]On Dec 27, 2020, Dannydoyle wrote:
It is wonderful to hear not rah rah nonsense... Not posting silly crap about what others did but tells us what he did.
[/quote]

I agree it's nice to see someone post here with real numbers and percentages as it applies directly to them, not a bunch of others who don't participate here or apply to the topic of the thread.
Message: Posted by: BrianMillerMagic (Jan 1, 2021 01:14PM)
[quote]On Dec 27, 2020, Dannydoyle wrote:
Nash it is fantastic to hear about the relatively small shortfall. Congrats on taking action!

It is wonderful to hear not rah rah nonsense and have a guy who embraced it PERSONALLY speak about it honestly. Not posting silly crap about what others did but tells us what he did.

Great post and again Great work and congrats! [/quote]

Nash deserves to be congratulated. He worked his butt off his year. In fact, so did hundreds if not thousands of magicians and variety artists.

Danny, I’m pleased to see you coming around, although I am still shocked at how much pushback virtual events are getting in this thread and others throughout the Café. In the last 8 months magicians across every market have adapted, innovated, and in many cases, been wildly successful.

It’s not “rah rah.”

As I posted back in May, when you accused me of not knowing what I was talking about or no longer being in the industry, despite the fact that I’d been doing virtual events since March 18th, virtual is an incredibly rewarding medium that audiences absolutely love.

Virtual magic shows are *not* in-person magic shows with a camera in front of them. If that’s all you’ve seen, then you’re rightly disappointed and pessimistic.

But to judge all virtual magic shows based on the handful of bad ones you’ve seen, especially after so many months of learning and invention across the magic industry, strikes me as silly and awfully closed-minded for someone as learned and experienced as you are.

I performed 60 virtual events this year plus hosted and facilitated dozens more, 30 of which were straightforward magic shows, and nearly all between 1.5 and 3x my in-person rates. On the year I’m down 10% revenue from last year, which was my best year ever in business by a massive 20% leap.

But I also made way more per gig, created and performed the most interesting magic in years, healed my body from a decade of constantly being on the road, and spent the entire year with my pregnant wife and subsequently all 3 months with my firstborn son, never missing a single moment.

Taking that into consideration, I made out like a bandit.

It was incredibly hard to pivot on both the business and creative sides. Those who did it should be commended, applauded, and respected.

My friends and colleagues through the entertainment industry worked unbelievable hard to acquire, learn, and master broadcast media production skills. Their families endured hundreds of hours of tinkering, trial and error, late or all-nighters, and cycling through gear in an effort to find what works. They rebuilt their shows from the ground up and designed magic to enchant and engage in an entirely new medium with no notice or preparation. They overhauled their entire marketing suite to address the new needs and concerns of an equally anxious prospect-base.

And they did it all having no idea if the time, energy, and financial investment would pay off in the end.

It is incredibly easy to sit on the sidelines, wag your finger at virtual events and say, “That’s not really magic. It’s not good. It’s not here to stay. And I’m not interested in doing it.”

To those who were actually in the arena getting beaten down and standing back up over and over this year - the Nash’s of the world - congratulations and my hat’s off to you.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Jan 1, 2021 02:33PM)
Brain, well said.

I too said it many times back in the beginning:



[quote]On May 17, 2020, TomBoleware wrote:

Seems like my ‘opinion’ has been right all along. And I will say it again, I admire
those who are stepping up to the plate and making the best of a bad situation.

Tom [/quote]

And Rah Rah Again for all those that didn't just sit down and cry.
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Jan 1, 2021 03:00PM)
Uh oh... Danny and Robinn are gonna have to scold you 2 now! :-p

I’ll make the popcorn...
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jan 1, 2021 03:51PM)
Hey do what you want. I don't care. But don't portray this as me somehow coming around. I stand by my belief that taking the live out of live entertainment is a huge mistake FOR ME. If you want to claim that since prior to the pandemic you were moving in this direction good for you. If you don't have to be in the room good for you. If the audience prefers you not being there fantastic.

I have in no way changed my mind. I have been totally shocked at how long this lasted. I am happy to discuss with guys like Nash who are being real, not preachy. I to date have turned down about 2 dozen online shows because I would not do them. I for one simply will not do it. And no Tom nobody is crying, just looking to the future.

I have not needed to do this. I live where we can still do shows so it never came up in any real way. I still think it is a HUGE positioning mistake to charge less for online shows. Also "how can I miss you if you won't go away" applies. These are the points I was making Brian and I have not changed them one bit.

Tom as far as I know you have done the same number of virtual shows as live and that is zero recently so your opinion is less than useful.

None of this says anything about just how bad most of the online shows are.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Jan 1, 2021 04:27PM)
True I have done zero virtual magic shows, but in the beginning, nobody here had done any either. Still, I had confidence that some here could make it work. I learned a long time ago that if you really want to HELP people you cheer them on. You don’t plant seeds of doubt in order to brag on yourself.



Tom
Message: Posted by: BrianMillerMagic (Jan 1, 2021 04:37PM)
[quote]On Jan 1, 2021, Dannydoyle wrote:
If you want to claim that since prior to the pandemic you were moving in this direction good for you.[/quote]

I never claimed that, anywhere. I wasn’t. Of course I wasn’t. I pivoted in one week in March and got to work. I had a baby on the way and a household to support. It was a choice made out of necessity. But as long as you’re going to do something, you may as well do it to the best of your ability, and enjoy it as best you can. Turns out you can decide to love your work, you don’t have to only do work you think you’ll love.


[quote]If you don't have to be in the room good for you. If the audience prefers you not being there fantastic.[/quote]

I am in the room, and I am there. I’m right on their computer, laptop, or phone.

And might I add, what a privilege and honor it is to have thousands of people around the world want to watch your show listen to your talk, participate in your workshop, regardless of the medium.

You had two dozen clients trust you enough to come to you, ask you to provide an escape and a connection in the darkest of times, and you turned them away because you simply didn't feel like it?

To me, that's such a strange way to treat the lucky position you're in.

[quote]I to date have turned down about 2 dozen online shows because I would not do them. I for one simply will not do it.[/quote]

What good fortune to be able to sit on your hands and wait out a pandemic that wiped out the entire global entertainment and events industry. But spending 8 months telling others that what they’re doing isn’t worth doing, isn’t good enough, isn’t ‘real’ or ‘right’? That’s silly. Sit it out if you’re lucky enough to be able to do that, and also completely uninterested in evolving your craft to a new medium. Just don’t tell others they’re doing it wrong or making a mistake.

[quote]I still think it is a HUGE positioning mistake to charge less for online shows.[/quote]

Most of us aren’t charging less. We’re charging more in all cases. In some cases much more. I wrote that back in May, and I wrote it again today. You must have missed it.

[quote]None of this says anything about just how bad most of the online shows are. [/quote]

Most in-person magic shows are bad too. Even from professionals, and even from full-timers. Many virtual shows are quite good. Some are excellent. A few are works of art. Just like always.

Lastly, you keep saying “live shows” as a way to distinguish from virtual. Virtual shows are live. You know that, right? They’re live, real-time, and interactive. They’re just not in-person.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jan 1, 2021 05:23PM)
Blah blah blah just like your posts have all seemed to become. Your world only seems to involve your little point of view doesn't it?

But OK you are simply NOT charging more, much more, for a virtual show. It is not happening. Not regularly.

As for the reasons I don't do them you can't see the forest because all those stupid trees are in your way as usual. No you are NOT in the room and it is NOT live no matter how you want to pretend and spin it. You are in your living room and they are in another room. PERIOD. No more than seeing a live taped SNL show is the same as being in the audience. The fact that somehow you want to dispute this undisputable FACT shows just how far you are willing to bend into mental pretzels to justify your position. It is NOT THE SAME as being in a live in person audience. Get over it. When you have to debate semantics to try to justify a position it might be time to think about that position a bit.

And work on comprehension please. I did NOT sit on my hands. I was canceled on Broadway and moved back to our house in Branson and I am doing live in person shows with audiences. We do them according to CDC guidelines and local ordinances. What is so hard for you to comprehend about this Brian? I have NO INTENTION of what you call "evolving my my craft" because I believe it is "DEVOLVING my craft". And I absolutely CAN tell others I think it is wrong and why. Get over yourself you are not a magic moderator of some sort. You can think it is right, and believe it or not others can have an opposing viewpoint. That was how life worked prior to millennials.

As for why I would not do them it is multi fold. I would be at best mediocre at it. That is about as high a level as I could achieve. I know my skill set, I know what I can and can not realistically do so part of my disinterest is participating in mediocrity. You don't mind doing so great, I do. Interesting in that most of what is posted here is as examples of greatness. I think it is examples of the problem. and again let me mention I HAVE BEEN DOING LIVE SHOWS IN PERSON. Can't stress that enough. Why would I do virtual shows when I do live shows? You see the world only through your own lenses. It is foolish to think the entire world was affected the way that the East Coast was. You hide behind the fact that most magic shows are bad as a way to justify putting out other bad magic shows. Certainly you see the ludicrous nature of that don't you?

While we don't work in Mexico or on Broadway any more, here in Branson shows are happening. One magician here in town did a land office business this year. Should we both just pivot to virtual shows because you say so and to "evolve our craft"? How ridiculous.

And again the idea that you teach them that it is OK if you are simply not there to me is ridiculous. I won't change that position ever. It is silly. I KNOW why guys are doing it and I can respect that decision. But you have NO CLUE what it will do in the future to the positioning of each guy. If your history is any indication it will be just the best thing you ever did. Just like EVERYTHING you ever do it will turn out that is is just the best thing ever. In reality a lot of guys will be tarnished with the bad shows and lower prices and not having to be in the room.
Message: Posted by: BrianMillerMagic (Jan 1, 2021 05:32PM)
[quote]On Jan 1, 2021, Dannydoyle wrote:
Blah blah blah just like your posts have all seemed to become. Your world only seems to involve your little point of view doesn't it?

But OK you are simply NOT charging more, much more, for a virtual show. It is not happening. Not regularly. [/quote]


I mean, we are. For every one. Since the beginning. The price has been either the same as it used to be or more. In many cases, much more. So, I’m not sure what else to say about that. So are nearly all of my colleagues in the college and corporate markets.

The fact you find this impossible to believe, when I almost exclusively know magicians who have succeeded in regularly charging the same or higher fees than they used to, seems to indicate we have a completely different group of people around us.

And I’m not arguing that you should be doing virtual. I’m saying your relentless negativity about virtual since March is unnecessary, off-base, and damaging to those who want to make the leap but haven’t yet, because they believe people like you who, in fact, have a very narrow view of what’s possible in the virtual space because, by your own admission, you aren’t doing it.

To what end do you choose to be negative and dismissive rather than encouraging and optimistic? Why not build people up?
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Jan 1, 2021 05:40PM)
[quote]On Jan 1, 2021, BrianMillerMagic wrote:

To what end do you choose to be negative and dismissive rather than encouraging and optimistic? Why not build people up? [/quote]

That’s all that Danny and Mindpro know how to do. It’s a shame that they have taken over trickybusiness and bully people the way that they do.

One look at Brian’s website and it’s clear he’s the real deal. I wish he could post more often without getting instantly attacked. He could be a huge help to so many.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jan 1, 2021 06:24PM)
So having a different point of view is bullying? "

If someone is about to jump off a cliff do you build them up so they can do it? How about running into traffic? Just build them up and let them have at it? Why isn't anyone allowed to disagree? Why is disagreement automatically negative?

To what end? Oh I don't know, how about to help people see all sides prior to investing time and money and standing in something that they may not understand all the downstream consequences of their actions?

Why be encouraging and optimistic for a poor idea. Take this idea off the table. Thomas wants to run his mouth about this whole section. So is it "helping" to let people implement bad ideas that are going to cost them time, money and standing. ESPECIALLY when they are suggested by those NOT IN THE BUSINESS?

Because here is the deal. In life, in BUSINESS, NOBODY is just going to encourage you and coddle you and make sure your feelings are not hurt and whatever millennial nonsense you seem to want. In the real world you are going to lose real money real fast. I believe it is better to help someone avoid those pitfalls. Even if they are ego bruised at the start. You may believe differently but that is OK isn't it? Or is it that you are just tolerant of viewpoints that agree with you, encourage you and build you up? Only hearing things that make you feel better and such is more important than results right?

It is bullying to you when someone disagrees? It is bullying when someone has a different experience and the share it?
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jan 1, 2021 06:26PM)
[quote]On Jan 1, 2021, BrianMillerMagic wrote:
[quote]On Jan 1, 2021, Dannydoyle wrote:
Blah blah blah just like your posts have all seemed to become. Your world only seems to involve your little point of view doesn't it?

But OK you are simply NOT charging more, much more, for a virtual show. It is not happening. Not regularly. [/quote]

The fact you find this impossible to believe, when I almost exclusively know magicians who have succeeded in regularly charging the same or higher fees than they used to, seems to indicate we have a completely different group of people around us.

[/quote]

Actually it seems to indicate something else. You have left out at least one thing I can think of that this can indicate. Seems as if it is the far more likely scenario.
Message: Posted by: BrianMillerMagic (Jan 1, 2021 06:41PM)
[quote]On Jan 1, 2021, Dannydoyle wrote:
Because here is the deal. In life, in BUSINESS, NOBODY is just going to encourage you and coddle you and make sure your feelings are not hurt and whatever millennial nonsense you seem to want. In the real world you are going to lose real money real fast.[/quote]

Maybe in your world, and in your business, nobody encourages you or has any empathy for you as a fellow human being. And maybe that’s why you’re so dismissive and negative, because that’s all you know.

In my world and in my business people are encouraging, optimistic, and open to exploring new ideas. We build each other up, give each other the courage to take risks, and catch each other when our leaps of faith don’t turn out quite the way we’d hoped.

Not every idea is a good one, granted. But that’s all part of it, isn’t it?

This particular idea, virtual, was born out of necessity for everyone. And, again, if all you’re doing is sticking a webcam in front of the show you used to do in-person, then you’ve missed the opportunity this medium offers. That was fine in March and April, but by January 2021, most professionals figured out how to embrace the technology available and meet our audiences, and clients, where they’re at.

Your “charging less is bad positioning that’s going to hurt you in the long term” strawman has been blown down over and over again. Sure, the same magicians who were undercharging in-person events are still undercharging virtual. In pro B2B markets, rates have increased across the board, for so many reasons. And clients are really quite happy to pay them because of the way we’ve positioned the new rates, and the way their budgets have been adjusted.

Mindpro tried to talk about this back in May but it fell on deaf ears. He knows what’s really going on in the industry. You seem to respect him, so I’m not sure why you find this so difficult to believe?

Oh, and to your earlier comment today, when you snarked, “Everything you do is the best thing ever.”

That’s exactly the negative attitude I’m talking about. Why on earth do you find it prudent to dismiss a growth mindset? I built a sustainable career, one that it turns out could even survive the great pivot to virtual of 2020.

In your mind, that’s something to be ashamed of? To be looked down upon? That I’m proud of my decisions, have learned from my mistakes in life and business, and grown a successful career from the ground up, is somehow not worthy because I have a positive outlook?
Message: Posted by: BrianMillerMagic (Jan 1, 2021 06:44PM)
[quote]On Jan 1, 2021, Dannydoyle wrote:
[quote]On Jan 1, 2021, BrianMillerMagic wrote:
[quote]On Jan 1, 2021, Dannydoyle wrote:
Blah blah blah just like your posts have all seemed to become. Your world only seems to involve your little point of view doesn't it?

But OK you are simply NOT charging more, much more, for a virtual show. It is not happening. Not regularly. [/quote]

The fact you find this impossible to believe, when I almost exclusively know magicians who have succeeded in regularly charging the same or higher fees than they used to, seems to indicate we have a completely different group of people around us.

[/quote]

Actually it seems to indicate something else. You have left out at least one thing I can think of that this can indicate. Seems as if it is the far more likely scenario. [/quote]

If you want to know what I’m charging, because you think the only way we could have increased our fees is if we were charging too little or undercutting in the first place, just send me a private message and I’ll screenshot you invoices.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jan 1, 2021 06:52PM)
Please don't. You have NOTHING to prove to me. Please do not do such a thing.

This does not need to become this. The heat needs to be backed off here. Please let's both not be at the point where screenshots of invoices are needed.

Let's all take a breath. This is an important subject at an important time. Let's not make it something not worth reading. Fair? (That applies to me also!)

Having a different point of view is not unhealthy.
Message: Posted by: BrianMillerMagic (Jan 1, 2021 06:59PM)
[quote]On Jan 1, 2021, Dannydoyle wrote:
Fair? (That applies to me also!) [/quote]

Fair.

You don’t believe virtual is a good idea, for your own reasons, and that’s fine.

To any magician reading this who has been on the fence about virtual events all year, who may have been hoping the world would come back to normal a bit sooner, and is now either regretting not getting into the game sooner or simply doesn’t know where to start, reach out to me. I’ve been taking calls with magicians all over the world all year, helping folks get their virtual shows in shape in terms of tech, content, and some marketing fundamentals for what’s changed in buying habits since COVID.

No charge, no sales pitch, no email list. Just magicians helping magicians.

And if I can’t help you, I can point you to the guy who will.

To quote my mentor, all of us are stronger than any of us. I’m here if you need it.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jan 1, 2021 07:06PM)
I am actually NOT optimistic about how quickly entertainment venues will be back in the game.

I would also add that if you are debating doing this, my considerations aside, it my not be the dumbest thing ever to get in the game. There are guys who pioneered the medium to learn from. (You can always spot a pioneer because he is the guy with all the arrows in his back.) If your choices are zero income or some income, well if I am any judge of which number is bigger than the other I would go with some income. I would only caution that as things DO come back to be mindful of positioning and such. (If you are like me and will offer little more than mediocre maybe staying out of it might be the best thing for you and the audience.)

I don't know if in many parts of the country restaurant magic will be a thing within even THIS year. No joke it is not ONLY because of virus concerns but so many have taken SUCH huge hits that it might be tough to justify the expense. Comedy clubs are based on lots of people in really small areas. Cruise ships unfortunately took bad PR at the start of this thing for NO REASON. Touring shows will face different rules in different places. I look at all this and just think how fortunate we really are here.
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Jan 1, 2021 08:09PM)
[quote]On Jan 1, 2021, BrianMillerMagic wrote:
[quote]On Jan 1, 2021, Dannydoyle wrote:
Because here is the deal. In life, in BUSINESS, NOBODY is just going to encourage you and coddle you and make sure your feelings are not hurt and whatever millennial nonsense you seem to want. In the real world you are going to lose real money real fast.[/quote]

Maybe in your world, and in your business, nobody encourages you or has any empathy for you as a fellow human being. And maybe that’s why you’re so dismissive and negative, because that’s all you know.
[/quote]

That’s the thing, I truly feel sorry for Danny. If he thinks that’s life and that’s business... man what a sad life to have lived.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jan 1, 2021 08:51PM)
Oh lord you children are just hard to deal with.

So you're telling me that being mediocre is just fine? That you pick a company based on that?

I'm telling you that once you are in business the job is to get that job done. Clients don't care or want to know. Competition is going to try to be the best at whatever particular field you are in. I have never completely bombed a task and had a client say "oh well you tried I'm going to make sure we use you next time." Grow up.

A sad life? It is the life of one who runs successful businesses. (Brian I'm assuming you do.) Thomas you WORK FOR people who do. And maybe that is why. You are around the fringes of show business but you don't have to meet a payroll, and do the thousands of things that need to be done to run one successfully for 25 plus years.

Show me the books on how to be mediocre. I know you're just getting in digs where you can and this is something you want to jump on so that is what it is. Go for it but it makes you look really silly to anyone who runs businesses.

In business it is not the customer's job to worry about your feelings. It is your job to do your job. Period. Go ahead and be mediocre and worry about how you feel. But it is a customer service business we have in the end. I'm not really sure how you and your feelings enter into the picture.

But go ahead and keep pretending if that is what it takes
Message: Posted by: BrianMillerMagic (Jan 1, 2021 09:22PM)
[quote]On Jan 1, 2021, Dannydoyle wrote:
Oh lord you children are just hard to deal with.

Show me the books on how to be mediocre. I know you're just getting in digs where you can and this is something you want to jump on so that is what it is. Go for it but it makes you look really silly to anyone who runs businesses.
[/quote]

Calling fully grown adults ‘children’ is an example of why people think you’re a bully. And the irony is that you think “millennials” are too soft.

And again, here’s a strawman. You keep making an argument against mediocrity. But no one is talking about being mediocre except you. My virtual show isn’t mediocre. Nor are the shows of the professionals in my circle and markets.

In March and April? Sure, they were the best they could be with no planning or preparation. And you know what? Clients and audiences were THRILLED back then, because they had no solution and a desperate need for something uplifting.

Now, 8+ months later, these shows have been workshopped and rehearsed like none of us have ever done before, and in an incredibly short time frame. The shows are top notch, professional pieces.

Virtual magic is new. It’s not a new version of the old thing. It’s a new thing. And with that comes a completely different set of expectations. Those of us on the front lines of virtual entertainment since day one have been crafting those expectations and writing the new rules. It’s exhilarating and creatively fulfilling.

You’ve openly admitted you would be mediocre at virtual events. I don’t actually believe that, but you do, so you stayed out. That’s fine. But to put that on the rest of us, to simply wave your hand and say “all virtual events are mediocre and therefore bad for business in the long run” is absurd.

The medium doesn’t work for you, you don’t need it, you’re not willing to put in the work to be exceptional at virtual events, or whatever. You do you.

Telling everyone else it also doesn’t or shouldn’t work for them, that the best they can hope for is to be mediocre, is baseless and flat out untrue.

We’re at a standstill. I respect your perspective on virtual, for YOU. Where we disagree is putting that perspective on everyone else.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jan 1, 2021 10:06PM)
Finally. You got my point. I have said FOR ME all along and still everyone insists the other way.

And by the way when Thomas jumps back in to stir the pot and act like a child, calling that behavior out is simply descriptive, not being a bully.

And no it is not a strawman at all to point out that the HUGE majority of online shows are mediocre. Intentional or not they ARE. While maybe people strive for more they simply do not get more.

Here is what is being missed by us all. Magic itself is not a great vehicle for streaming shows. It is best experienced live. We are in a time, for who knows how long, where for much of the world this is just not going to be realistic.

I was wrong, and I hope you're reading still, when I said I hadn't changed my mind. Had I suspected for a second that this would last, much less how long it WILL LAST, I would rethink if this was a good idea FOR OTHERS. For me it would simply not work and that does not change.

Bottom line is if there is an audience subdue should try to provide that service.

The main problem as I see it is most do not know their limitations and often even refuse to think they have any. This is often a recipe for disaster. We have seen plenty of examples of just that online.

And by the way just to be clear yes being in a position to be able to absorb this hit without having to worry about online shows is indeed fortunate. It comes from hard work for decades and running a successful business. It is not a coincidence.
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Jan 1, 2021 10:14PM)
Lol. I’m not the one calling people names.
What a sad life you must live if this is how you spend your time.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jan 1, 2021 11:51PM)
And yet ironically enough you make such a judgement, when it is EXACTLY how you are spending your own time. Hmmm. Just stirring the pot and nothing more. I guess that is even more sad isn't it?
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Jan 2, 2021 09:05AM)
Pride is the problem, humility is the answer.

Humility need not be viewed as a weakness or a sign of insecurity, it's quite the opposite. I have always said magic needs more team players. We should welcome working magicians like Brain here and not insist their success is wrong because they reached it in a different way.

Tom
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Jan 2, 2021 09:46AM)
BRIAN Not Brain. Sorry bout that. :)

Tom
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jan 2, 2021 10:16AM)
Werev you really THAT wrong? I mean if you do get it wrong "brain" isn't the worst way to misspell it.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jan 2, 2021 11:32AM)
[quote]On Jan 2, 2021, TomBoleware wrote:
Pride is the problem, humility is the answer.

Humility need not be viewed as a weakness or a sign of insecurity, it's quite the opposite. I have always said magic needs more team players. We should welcome working magicians like Brain here and not insist their success is wrong because they reached it in a different way.

Tom [/quote]
Well Brian if you want to spot strawmen I think there are a few in this post you may want to look at.

The problem is indeed pride. YOU Tom can NOT accept there is more than one way to look at things, more than one way to do things. Having NEVER BEEN much more than on the fringes of the business end of magic by your own admission you have to extrapolate this stuff. A little humility of knowing that you don't know the answer would probably go a long way, but that is just what you preach at others isn't it? That is not for the World's Foremost Authority"... you.

Who insisted anyone's success was wrong Tom?

You make up this nonsense NOBODY says AFTER Brian and I decided to take all the heat out of the situation. I said basically hey let's back off and discuss a very important topic so it won't be lost in the usual nonsense. Thomas and YOU come back in just to stir the pot and call names. Look at what Brian did. THE VERY NEXT POST he simply said "fair" and we moved to being PRODUCTIVE. Why? Because he is a PROFESSIONAL in the business. We can disagree agreeably. The TWO GUYS WHO ARE NOT PROFESSIONALS are the two guys who stir the pot. Seriously go back and look at that and tell me this is not what happened Tom. Maybe a little bit of that "humility" would help in this situation so you can admit you are wrong and maybe stop doing it? This is your chance to show us all how humble you can be and admit when you are not doing something right. It could be inspiring for everyone Tom. I won't hold my breath as I think it would be a very long time before you or Thomas ever admitted doing this but I will HAPPILY admit I am wrong if either of you does. It is not a sign of weakness Tom or Thomas. It is quite the opposite.

How is it being a "team player" when you act like this Tom? Really I ask this seriously. This was YOU and THOMAS putting the heat back in the situation when Brian and I simply wanted to remove it and took steps to do just that. How is it helpful?

I know you will have a zillion excuses and all that is fine. But in reality Brian and I were speaking to each other and Thomas and you jump in just to stir up nonsense because you are hurt from previous posts and want to get in as many digs as possible so you jump in. Neither of you are working magicians prior to or after the pandemic but want to jump in with advice or bs just because you want to.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Jan 2, 2021 01:52PM)
You right we are just a nobody.

Really Danny, do you have to be a jerk all the time. Can you even act like a real person?
I don’t think you can. I agree with Thomas that it is sad you are like this.

Tom
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jan 2, 2021 03:37PM)
Yea humility is for others and not the great Tom Boleware!

OTHERS must examine themselves, NOT The World's Foremost Authority!

You brought this Tom. Brian and I moved on. YOU acted like a child and could not let it go. This is 100% you and Thomas who have brought this here. Brian is 100% professional. Again the irony is two guys not in the business dragging down another thread. This is about the two of you and personal animosity and pushing a personal agenda. Show some humility and admit it and move on like Brian and I did. WE did that BEFORE YOU SAID ANYTHING!

Try humility Tom. Take your own advice here. It might lift you up in the eyes of others.

Did you read where I actually said I WAS WRONG? Hmmmm. Have YOU EVER DONE THAT HERE? Try humility Tom. It does a soul good
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Jan 3, 2021 11:31AM)
LOL

Danny this topic is about online performing and you have ZERO experience in the subject, So all your rambling on and on about how you are a ‘Professional’ and that I am not has nothing to do with the topic here. Truth is you are not a ‘Professional’ and the reason I know that is, you don’t act like one. A real professional doesn’t call adults who they disagree with children and act the way you do. A real ‘professional’ cares about how others see them. A real ‘professional’ doesn’t act like a jerk. Your shouting ‘look at me, I’m the smartest person here’ means nothing. It just shows how un-professional you are. If you really want to be a professional you need to start acting like one. Look at the other professionals here, you don’t see a single one of them ranting and raving the way you do. You know why? Because they are ‘Real Professionals’ and they act like one. Truth is Danny; you’re the only child here. Grow up, shut up, and stop derailing every thread with your nonsense.

Yes, you were wrong from the beginning about the online performances, I and some others were right. There is no need for us to say we were wrong. We don’t hate you for being wrong, there is no need to be mad about it, we don’t care that you were wrong; we understand that it’s not for you, we've heard you say over and over that you don’t want to do online shows, there is nothing wrong with that, so please just get over it and move on. I doubt that you can, but you should at least try. Start the New Year right.

Happy New Year
Tom
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jan 3, 2021 01:16PM)
Oh no. Tom doesn't think I'm a professional what will I do? How can I go on?

And I wasn't wrong about online shows. My point was about the future and we are not there yet. You don't just get to declare you're right lol.

Tom YOU have no experience with online shows yet you comment. Hmmm. Irony much? Matter of fact you have no experience in 90% of what you do comment on yet you do it. So now suddenly there is a rule about not commenting without experience? I hope e can hold you to this moving forward.

And Tom YOU DID THIS AGAIN. Brian and I said to move forward being positive at my suggestion and WE DID. YOU AND THOMAS are stirring the pot. So who is the child? Did anyone call you a jerk? Tom it is all on you. If you stop having to be the last word and name calling and move on none of this would happen.

Nice way trying to spin with pop psychology that may work at the daycare but not with adults.
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Jan 22, 2021 12:04PM)
Its 2021 and yesterday I just received my second dose of the Operation Warp Speed Corona vaccine. I have a refreshed look at the magical business world. Only problem is the world is now virtual. So much for getting back on stage. Lets please all get along and get our remote world business going (if not already). I am a bit behind because even though live shows were coming in, the latest spike has closed those doors again.

My latest live performance has now turned into virtual and since I already have been paid, its time to reinvent the wheel. I have been taking a sabbatical for a while from the Café but now I am back and need Team Café to rise above our differences and help one another in our virtual performing world. Especially me. Thanks.

Decomposing Virtuals
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Jan 22, 2021 12:12PM)
Welcome back! We knew you'd take to doing the virtual shows, lol. What differences are there to rise above specifically?
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Jan 22, 2021 12:22PM)
Ha Thanks MP. Yeah its been unreal. What a ride. Anyway, I was paid last year for a live college presentation which I worked a year on. Its a talk but with interactive mentalism. They just contacted me and its now virtual. I was paid already last year and no one saw this pandemic lasting this long. At first I thought about giving the money back but its a nonprofit and through donations. I am not tech savy but after sleeping on it I have to meet the challenge. I like Danny am not sold on virtual. One main reason is I know it will not last. I hate to put all my effort into this for one show but since it is in April, I still have time. Most of the material I can still use but cutting out the interactive nature will hurt, especially with filling one hour. I plan on renting a hotel room using their wifi (home will not work). I will buy another lap top if necessary. I figure since they paid me well, whatever I have to spend will be worth it. I am fortunate to be able to wait on live gigs and have much respect for performers who went the full virtual route. Now I am looking for some virtual effects to use. I bought a great board (lottery) all set up from John tailor made for this and no way to use it now.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jan 22, 2021 12:34PM)
I have to say I still think it will not last. BUT then again it HAS lasted WAY longer than I had ever imagined it could have possibly lasted.

Look back. I don't have the time BUT I think my original thoughts were June of 2020. Looks like June of 2021 might not be the outside edge of this thing.

Put aside an political or conspiracy theories about anything. Those don't matter really for how it affects us.

I PERSONALLY would still not get involved in the virtual space for performance. Just not for me and no way I could do it.

Figuring out a way to try to capitalize on this, or in SOME way utilize it seems to be a pretty good idea. I thought originally it was a few months at most. Don't look to me for any predictions LOL.
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Jan 22, 2021 01:34PM)
Yeah June seems like a good estimate. I agree about virtual but have to make this work. I would not take another one for sure. They obviously know the original plan was live and it was postponed. They will not postpone it again. Hope they will have a little mercy. I know there are some advantages to virtual of course but I am not made for this, especially when its temporary. A scary thought if this was permanent. So many things can go wrong with depending on modern technology. Heck, look at sound systems. I could write a book on those nightmares.

I have powerpoint slides that I can add to. Now to figure out how to use them over Zoom or whatever new invention they will use. :whatthe:
Message: Posted by: Nash (Jan 25, 2021 02:43PM)
[quote]On Jan 22, 2021, Decomposed wrote:
I plan on renting a hotel room using their wifi (home will not work). I will buy another lap top if necessary.. [/quote]

I'll highly recommend against using hotel wifi. I posted a youtube video on page.11 from Xavier Spade who is doing an amazing tutorial on the tech side of doing virtual performance. Highly recommend you check it out as it breaks down the internet speed you need and also the type of computers you'll need. Here's a new episode on the type of cameras you'll need:
[youtube]UI7Lz9LrCwI[/youtube]

Get a Cat-7 Ethernet Cable my friend. Last thing you'll want is to have a weak wifi internet connection which makes your video looks laggy.
Here's one I picked up from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Outdoor-Ethernet-Waterproof-Gold-Plated-Connector/dp/B07P5GMM52/ref=pd_cart_vw_crc_2_1/147-2954233-2359328?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B07P5GMM52&pd_rd_r=977b9a5f-d0b5-4d8b-9f6a-b64e2de0c018&pd_rd_w=JDuua&pd_rd_wg=mX1nt&pf_rd_p=01004c92-8f40-4f1a-bee8-08cb36dccac2&pf_rd_r=VT2YSGXQXN9ZEXJVGYF7&psc=1&refRID=VT2YSGXQXN9ZEXJVGYF7

good luck yo
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jan 25, 2021 05:33PM)
Exactly. Public wifi of any sort is not the best option.
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Jan 26, 2021 11:17AM)
Thanks a bunch. That option off the table for sure. Already all over this. Nash that is very helpful. Going to dissect and absorb.
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Feb 3, 2021 01:04AM)
Well my big zoom gig finally bit the dust. I have to refund the full amount unfortunately. Getting use to it and its the last refund I have to do. Its not their fault. It started as a live gig and tickets were sold. No one willing to pay for virtual when most are free according to the firm marketing person.

Lessons learned, zoom is ready and will be so when future bookings come in. I learned a lot and purchases I made will be a great help. PowerPoint ready as well. Webcams have come a long way. May the virus end soon and everyone back to somewhat normalcy.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Feb 3, 2021 10:48AM)
Sorry to hear you had to issue a refund. It makes me wonder has anyone else here had to actually issue refunds?

Out of all of the bookings I had (tour dates and individual dates), as well as all of my agency's bookings, not one required a refund. There are many steps that could be taken before having to resort to a refund, so I'm curious - has anyone else here had to issue refunds?
Message: Posted by: hypblake (Feb 4, 2021 12:39AM)
I had to do one refund. I technically didn’t have to, but it was for a grad night in a really small town and my deposit being returned did a lot for the students. I feel really bad for the kids last year and the seniors this year. Bad situation for everyone, but it seems unfair all these students didn’t get a normal senior year.
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Feb 9, 2021 11:40AM)
Yeah I had one refund for the Bash corporate and a nonprofit one because donors now. I think after the second postponement and uncertainty. Still not final final but they cannot wait another year.
Message: Posted by: FrankFindley (Feb 25, 2021 08:15PM)
The Magic Soiree was just recognized by their Chamber of Commerce for pivoting their operations. Nice to see Sarah and Keith be recognized for their efforts. They did an uplifting Zoom lecture for our IBM Ring during the height of the pandemic. That is another area of magic that had to be fleet of foot.

[youtube]Qix3ftN-dfc[/youtube]
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 25, 2021 09:42PM)
My lord that was the most boring woman I have ever seen! I had to stop watching after 10 seconds.
Message: Posted by: vincentmusician (Mar 19, 2021 07:46PM)
I am not a big fan of Virtual Magic Shows. Nothing can replace live in person performance. People need to realize you can do more than just Magic Shows. What about getting a job as a Cashier, or something other than a Magician?
Luckily, I have another profession, so I can wait it out until the in person shows come back.
So for those who are not jumping on the Gotta Do Virtual Shows Bandwagon, Good For You. I am one of you!
I have spoken to a few who tested the waters and gave up. Not their cup of tea.
Different strokes for different folks!
Message: Posted by: CurtWaltermire (Apr 20, 2021 11:59AM)
I know I'm late to the party here, but I've been quite busy doing what this thread is discussing--producing and performing virtual shows. I've had a similar experience to Nash; in fact, quite similar. Like many, all of my bookings for 2020 cancelled back mid-March 2020, and I had to refund a considerable amount of pre-paid fees. However, many of my clients simply rescheduled for this year and some moved their events to virtual so I embraced it sometime in May.

I learned early on that public virtual shows and selling tickets wasn't really the way to go (for me anyway) so I started optimizing my web presence for corporate and private virtual shows and the gigs started rolling in. While my income overall dropped right around 50% for last year, it would have been much lower than that if it weren't for virtual shows. September through December snowballed quickly with December alone being right at about $3,000 dollars shy of my average previous Decembers in the "normal" world. December has always been a stellar month for me. Even today I'm getting daily requests for virtual shows and booking about 1/3 to 1/2 of them.

Of course like many I absolutely didn't want to do it at all and knew it would never replace real, LIVE, entertainment. However, in my experience I've discovered that it really isn't replacing anything at all, but has--in fact--become it's own new market for which there is a demand and I'm there to fill it as needed. Fortunately for me, some of my comedy club shows started up again back in August on a monthly basis, with the occasional odd in-person gig now and then throughout the Midwest so I've been juggling a bit of virtual and "real" gigs.

I decided early on that if I was to do virtual shows that I would invest in creating a show with very high-production value; something like an interactive television show with ever changing screens, professional lighting, high-quality audio, at least three different camera angles, sets, backgrounds, music, etc. I also knew that I would have to create a very strong organic web presence as I knew people would be searching there primarily for such entertainment. I've enjoyed the challenge and learning all of the tech, but even with some of the best audio/video/computer equipment and software available, it has it's problems. I knew as long as I presented a well-produced show, and promoted it with authority and professionalism, that I could command the type of fees I would need. I have been receiving close to my regular corporate fees for shows for months now, minus any travel, lodging and other expenses that normal in-person gigs would incur. I've even received as much as $1,500 for just a small, 15-minute virtual presentation, though an average show for me is right around 60 minutes.

Virtual shows have kept me working very frequently over the last year, and it has all paid for the financial investment several times over. How long this wave will last I have no idea and don't really care, but I'll ride it as long as it will carry me.
Message: Posted by: cameronb (Apr 26, 2021 03:10AM)
[quote]On Apr 14, 2020, Mindpro wrote:
I am confident that 2021 will be one of the strongest live entertainment years in recent history.
[/quote]

[quote]On Apr 15, 2020, Dannydoyle wrote:
Why might it be? Again turn off your tv and computer just for a few days.

And there is ZERO chance this is the future. It is temporary and if it lasts through June that will be a long time.

[/quote]


This aged like milk. Nice self-evisceration, fellas. Couldn't name a more iconic duo.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 26, 2021 09:43AM)
Did you also put up the MANY posts where I said that I got it WAY WRONG? I have said many times in this very thread how wrong I got this. But since you never ever make a mistake of any kind I look forward to your perfection in every post. (Though this is not really a strong start.)

And I stand by there being ZERO chance this is the future. While it lasted a heck of a lot longer than I ever imagined, it is simply not the future of performance.

And by the way for the record Branson Missouri is right now since spring break having tourist numbers that are like have not been seen in decades. I guess 2021 who indeed be a very strong year for entertainment here.

Strong start on your perfection.