The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Many questions in one. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
20Robert04
View Profile
Regular user
Midland, MI
152 Posts

Profile of 20Robert04
Hello everyone
First off let me say that I am wanting to go pro (make a full time living) and break into the feild of magic. I know that it is no easy task and few actually do it. I have back up plans in the works just in case this does not happen.

Just a few questions for everyone here, I know there are many great threads some I have found some I havnt.

I am trying to get my foot in the door at several local restaurants. I have gone to 5 so far, 4 chain one mom and pop. So far the chains have all said they are not interested at all or at this time. Each time I went I went as a cold call. I just went in and asked for the GM. My question is how do I convince them that I can be a good investment? Since I have not done previous restaurant shows I have no backing to say that I will be a sound investment. To them I could just be some person trying to make a quick buck or two.

The restaurant and along with a phone book ad, were going to be my big forms of advertisments. I also do shows for a local Kmart but I can not charge them anything for them. I guess the other question is how else do I go about getting out there? Everytime that there is a fair or a festival should I call and talk to them?

I appologize if these questions are stupid redundent questions, I'm just trying to get everything to fit together and there always seems to a peice or two missing or not just quit right.

Thank you for your time.
Paul
magic4u02
View Profile
Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

Profile of magic4u02
Paul,

The only stuopid question is the one not asked. These are valid and great questions and the first step to your own success is knowing that 1) you have to take direct action to get the success you want and 2) you have to be willing to be able to ASK for the things you want. You seem to be doing both and for that you should be commended.

I will let some others chime in on the restaurant work as I do not have much experience in that area myself. I am sure others can point you in a good direction for that market.

however, if you want information on getting into local festivals or fairs in your area, then I can surely help you out if you would like the help. It would be my pleasure to assist you in any way that I can.

If you have not donw so already, you may want to take a look at the festival and fair thread that is also in Tricky Business section. In there we have talked a lot about the festival and fair markets and you might gain some great information that may be of help to you.

If you have any specific questions regarding festivals or fairs, please just let me know.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

Entertainers Product Site

http://kpmagicproducts.com

Join Our Facebook Fan Page at

http://facebook.com/perondesign
Jim Snack
View Profile
Inner circle
1338 Posts

Profile of Jim Snack
Paul,

The "field of magic" is a rather large and varied field. A little background information would be helpful.

How old are you? How much experience do you have performing? What kind of act(s) do you have? What are you good at? What kinds of shows do you enjoy doing? Do you currently have a day job?

Give us a little more background and maybe we could provide more specific help.

Jim
Jim Snack

"Helping Magicians Succeed with Downloadable Resources"
www.success-in-magic.com
20Robert04
View Profile
Regular user
Midland, MI
152 Posts

Profile of 20Robert04
Mr. Peron
I just noticed that thread right under mine, I will take a look and any other questions I have I will ask. However anything you want to throw in will be more then appreciated.
Mr. Snack
My main area that I would prefer is a tough answer. I have always and will always enjoy performing for the children. Therefore a main market for me is birthday shows. I already have a show that I have used on a couple of occasions. I also prefer the close-up and strolling, because it lets me get on a more personal level with the audience. However, if I could I would like to develop my own parlor or stage show, since that has always been a dream of mine. I guess one thing to do is sort out the above mess.
I have been practicing magic for about 10 or 11 years now. All self taught out of books. Over the past 2 or 3 years I have been performing shows that I gained by word of mouth. But nothing more really. It was just a few here and there.
I am currently in my first year of schooling for an advanced certificate in Computer Technology with an emphasis in Networking and system design. As for a day job I am currently employed at a Local Target store.

I have another question to add to the previous ones, what was your initial start up cost? I am in college with bills and all that fun stuff, so money is scarse and tight. I don't plan on it stoping me, just somthing to keep an eye on.

Paul
lowphat
View Profile
Loyal user
Michigan
240 Posts

Profile of lowphat
Paul,

my suggestion to you is to purchase Jim's "Success-In-Magic" course. You can find the info at http://www.success-in-magic.com. It is worth it's weight in gold, and is a must have. I purchased the course back in June, and it helped tremendously. The majority of doing magic full time is in the business side of things with very little magic. You will spend the majority of your time in marketing and administrative work, but rather than ramble and rant on about it though, really, get Jim's course. You won't be sorry.
Jim Snack
View Profile
Inner circle
1338 Posts

Profile of Jim Snack
Paul,

If you are currently doing birthday party shows, that's great. There is always business for children's entertainers.

Before going full-time, build your part-time business to the point where you are working 50-75 dates a year. Birthday parties, libraries, day care centers, scout functions are great for this type of business. You won't get rich, but you will build your performing and business skills, and it won't interfere with your current schedule. Plus, you will make more than your job at Target.

You don't need much to start up, just a solid 30-45 minute act. Business cards, photos, and promotional flyers will get you started, and they can be done on a shoe string at this level.

As your schedule allows and your act develops, you can start moving up to school show, fairs and festivals. These are great markets for earning higher fees and building a bigger show. At that level you will need better promotional materials, but they still don't have to cost a fortune.

If you like close-up, get a job one night a week in a busy restaurant. It's great for visibility and getting referral work.

At the full-time level you will probably be booking about 150 dates a year, possibly with multiple shows on many dates. And your fees will be higher than you can get in the birthday party market. Plan on investing 3-5 years to get to that level. Beyond that is a topic for another discussion.

Of course, you may decide to work in the information technology field and keep magic as a part-time business, and that may be the right decision for you.

Jim
Jim Snack

"Helping Magicians Succeed with Downloadable Resources"
www.success-in-magic.com
Lyndel
View Profile
Inner circle
wrote the theme to the TV show COPS!
1623 Posts

Profile of Lyndel
I'll second Lowphat's suggestion on getting Jim's course.

If I had it when I first started out, it would have saved me a lot of money and wasted effort. No need to reinvent the wheel when someone else has done it for you. Jim puts all of the answers to your questions into an easy to understand and chronological format!

Lyndel
Image
20Robert04
View Profile
Regular user
Midland, MI
152 Posts

Profile of 20Robert04
Again many thanks to everyone.
I will take both Lyndels & Lowphats advice on your book Mr. Snack.
Mr. Snack
Your advice is most helpful as always. that's kind of what I am currently working at attempting to do. I just keep the door shut every time I try opening one. I am not giving up, its just getting harder. It might be covered in your book, but what else is possible for advertisment other then Phone book and classified ads?
Everyones input is always greatly appreciated and most welcomed.

Paul
keithmagic
View Profile
Veteran user
375 Posts

Profile of keithmagic
Robert,

You also have some killer resources right in your back yard you may not know about. If you are in Midland, it may be a good 1.5 hours away, but there is a great group of guys that meet in Lake Orion on Monday nights. It may be a hike, but every month or two it could be a very wise investment. There are a few very talented workers up there that may help you (Ron Bauer often makes an appearance there). PM me if you need more information.

Keith Stickley
http://www.howtobookfestivals.com
Author of "The Festival Entertainer" The Professional Entertainer's Guide to Booking and Working Outdoor Fairs, Festivals, and Events.
Available at http://www.howtobookfestivals.com
icentertainment
View Profile
Inner circle
1429 Posts

Profile of icentertainment
Forget restaurants. I would suggest going for bars and hotels. The reason is your best way of getting a gig is by the Manager seeing you perform.

It is easier in hotels than in restaurants as restaurants are too busy when customers are in. But bars and hotels are good because the managers are not always working

Here is a trick I have used in the past.

I called up a prominent nite club and asked for the manager on duty.

Tell him/her that you a a professional magician and have had a cancellation of a corporate gig tonight - The problem is that you are all reved up to perform and ask if you could perform at his venue at no charge.

He'll want more info - say I don't take up any table space, I don't need any stage lighting or audio and if you have any friends or vip at the bar I could do a special piece straight out of my professinal routine that I only do on TV

In essence it has been paid for already by the client that booked and cancelled on me.

Bang you have an entrance, you have given him an idea of "Special show for friends"

If he says, "Yes", do some tricks for the bar staff - get them on your side and get them talking about you.

Buy a drink and do a trick with the change to get their attention then say something along the lines of I'm a magician.

This works for me

The TV trick? Any really good one - your job is to get your foot in the door and perform for the boss

Also you may want to bring in some friends to applaud when you perform right next to the boss.

The boss will hear it and think you are better than you probably are - who cares?

Mind you you should have some great material. You can do this several times a night,
say from 5-7 at one place and then 9-11 at another call up the boss of each and say the same line. As for the Job that cancelled - Lie through your teeth- they don't really care.

Then he may give you his card and you've got to take action. Ask him on the spot when the best time to call is and then if he asks what you charge after seeing a performance - don't go for the cheapest possible price just to get the gig but you will want to quote there and then so before you do a gig work out how much it costs to get there and all additional charges.

Say your corporate work gets you $600 but for you on a week to week basis it's between $150 and $200 for 2 hours, which are available in 4 week sets.

As an ex bar manager I saw talent and I wanted to know prices there and then so you have to be prepared - also you must have a business card.

You may want to work out special deals for Corporate & Private events offering them a discount off the $600 so they can make a commission- (which they want to)
Skip Way
View Profile
Inner circle
3771 Posts

Profile of Skip Way
Paul, I also highly recommend Jim Snack's Success-in-Magic series. There are many wonderful ideas and tips in these books. Worth every cent!

I worked my way through college with magic & comedy in the early 70's. It wasn't always easy but it beat the heck out of working for minimum wage at Campus Pizza! I focused on the bars, coffee houses and clubs that surrounded the campus. I personally started by going in with friends and showing them my latest tricks. If you're good, the wait staff will notice and pull others over to see. Invite folks at the bar and nearby tables to watch. Get the staff on your side and you may be invited back.

Check with the local distributors. The largest beer distributor in the area paid me to go to bars & clubs throughout the city performing tricks that promoted their products. They even provided transportation for me since I was expected to drink their product while performing. Cigarette distributors, cellphone marketers, calling card sales, liquor distributors, resorts, recreation centers, local sports teams, car dealers, computer sales...all are prime companies to approach because they target the college market...and THEY do all the booking for you.

Think outside the box. Attack this as an entertainer rather than a magician. Jim's course will give you countless other ideas.

:o) Skip
Hope this helps.
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
lowphat
View Profile
Loyal user
Michigan
240 Posts

Profile of lowphat
Paul,

I recommend that above all else, that you be honest in your business dealings. This will help you go further than anything else.
20Robert04
View Profile
Regular user
Midland, MI
152 Posts

Profile of 20Robert04
Mr. Way, I will look into those areas. As soon as a few more dollars come my way I plan on purchasing Mr. Snack's series. I'm hopping that the reveiws don't come even as close to what it actually is like.

iceentertainment, that is an interesting idea, however I could never do that. To me that is just wrong. I would never lie to get a gig. I can see were you are coming from, however I could never do that. Thank you for the suggestion however.

Mr. HIllard, that is sound advice. I am an honest man and will be an honest man.

Paul
Skip Way
View Profile
Inner circle
3771 Posts

Profile of Skip Way
Paul, please call me Skip. My mother was Mr. Way. I came from a rather convoluted family.

:o) Skip
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
James Munton
View Profile
Inner circle
Dallas, TX
1199 Posts

Profile of James Munton
Paul,

You've received some great advice here.

If there are any restaurants within driving distance that currently have a magician, go make friends with him/her and offer to sub from time to time.

Keith's advice to seek out other magicians is great advice. You sound like an honest and earnest chap and I'm sure they will give you the time of day.

Otherwise, I've mentioned this before on a separate thread, but I've found by far the best way to get a restaurant gig is to follow a simple four step plan:

1. Call the restaurant and find out the name of the General Manager.
2. Mail a letter to the GM introducing yourself and offering a free hour of tableside magic so he can see the response of the customers.
3. Call a couple of days later to arrange a date and time.
4. Do a great hour of magic and ask for the gig.

If you tried cold calling and it hasn't worked, you might find the above approach better for you.

Jim's advice about building up your magic business before going full-time is also spot on. I would add that the knowledge and skills you'll learn from a year or two working in a "regular" job will be a huge benefit as you build up your magic business.

And read everything!

Good luck,
James
Paddy
View Profile
Inner circle
Milford OH
1571 Posts

Profile of Paddy
Paul, Jim Snack's book, Keith Stickley's book, and Bro Paul West's CD called "X marks the Spot" are REQUIRED READING. aT LEAST THEY SHOULD BE IF YOU WANT TO BE A FULL TIME PROFESSIONAL. IOf you follow their advice you can not fail in this business.

Mazel tov in your future career.

Peter
Non Impediti Ratione Cogitationis

I reject your reality & substitute my own

http://www.Scho-Lan.com
Bob Sanders
View Profile
Grammar Supervisor
Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
20495 Posts

Profile of Bob Sanders
IceEntertainment,

I cannot support your advice to lie to the talent buyer.

Granted that you are in an isolated part of the world and things may be some different there. However, I have been a professional entertainer (beginning with a personal manager and agent) since age 13 in the USA. (That's 47 years.) During that time I have worked about every venue imaginable. I also owned the largest entertainment personal management and booking agency in the USA that sold variety acts to shopping centers and malls (542 of them). Of course, the company did all the services offered by real licensed booking agencies. Alabama and Tennessee have been the financial centers for entertainment in the USA most of my life. (Also I had a New York office mostly for the advertising industry.) It follows that I have personally worked plenty of hotels and hotel chains, country clubs, nightclubs and even some bars.

I can't recall ever working for someone who would re-employ anyone who lied to him or her. Nor would I have been back to work for them if they lied to me. Having repeat contracts is precisely how I raised my prices over the years. Satisfied customers are frequently very agreeable to paying more. It's been over thirty years since I did an audition. I don't even have an audition tape. Dealing with honest and credible people who know the entertainment business has been the key. Lies would put me out of that loop with the speed of light. Lies would put me out of corporate magic forever.

No thanks! We apparently serve a very different market. My children have trust funds to live on. I think I'll stick to mine.

Bob
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com
Starry
View Profile
Loyal user
New York
219 Posts

Profile of Starry
Quote:
On 2005-11-06 10:55, Bob Sanders wrote:
IceEntertainment,

I cannot support your advice to lie to the talent buyer.


I agree with Bob Sanders on this one. I too, have done all kinds of magic during the course of the last 30+ years. I worked in restaurants and bars for about five. The first was a Pizza parlor, that I didn't pitch because I sort of inherited the job from a magician who was leaving town. I worked there for two years while I was in college. After college I learned to cold call and I worked several restaurants. At one of the bars, the guy we know as Banachek was the entertainment director. I never had to lie, I just had to audition, perform and entertain.

I couple of years ago I wrote a little article for Ellusionist.com.

Here is the link:
http://www.ellusionist.com/ezines/ezine11.htm

It may have some advice for you.

Best of luck,

Ace
Ace Starry - Author or THE MAGIC LIFE - A NOVEL PHILOSOPHY
http://www.starry.com/
icentertainment
View Profile
Inner circle
1429 Posts

Profile of icentertainment
Are we talking about the mind reader banachek

if not I appologise in advance for the following

selling to a magician is easy- they know better than anyone the benefits of magic- they are already sold on the idea

as for your first gig- you inherited it.

Now my advice if for a guy who hasn't got your experience, he dosn't have a client list he is a new guy.

I am not really lying your showing your self in your best light.

As for Mr Sanders- am I read it right that you had an agent and a persoanl manager from the age of 13

so they did the selling and not you. all you did was the performance.

what I am talking about is a guy by himself doing it all by himself.

There has been talk by other top magicians about getting work from agencies

about getting a friend to book you through an agecy and paying the commsiion and then giving a good testimonial

This is very similar.

Mr Sanders- I'm not saying that you are wrong- but 99% of people (I think) don't have personal managers at age of 13. we have to do it all our selves and when you are one man you gotta do what gets you the gig. and you have to work twice as hard as the agency magicians


Keeping the gig is another story- obviously you gotta be good.

as an old bar manager- I feel that bar managers over here are very different to the stories I hear about bar managers in the UK and USA.

in fact I would go as far as saying that (and I am not aiming this at you Mr Sanders) a lot of guys in the USA wouldn't survive over here.

it is a very different market over here.
yes their are some similarities especially in High end corporate but low end so to speak is very different.

and this is by simply watching the lecturers that come over , the DVD's and reading the books.

but this is my thoughts and not those of other aussies.

One question tho Mr Sanders.

If someone doesn't have an agent and no contacts- how would you get work at a retaurant or bar?
Bob Sanders
View Profile
Grammar Supervisor
Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
20495 Posts

Profile of Bob Sanders
icentertainment,

I began paying income taxes at age twelve. I did not have an agent or manager until I got out, performed and got seen. Then they came to me. In 1969, Roy Orbison gave me some good advice and I switched over to a stage name. Over the years people have died, retired, sold out, etc. But life goes on.

Perhaps the most important part is having something that is commercially valuable in the entertainment industry.

Your question about how to get a restaurant gig is not one I'm qualified to answer as the performer. Even after all this time, every performance I ever did in a restaurant was paid for by an external sponsor (corporate, fashion show modeling agency, hotel chain, food/beverage supplier, ad agency, professional association, media, etc.). As an agent, I would still go that route because otherwise you have invested all your effort in developing a client with very limited capacity to employ an entertainer. Professionals would rather build long-term relationships with clients that have the capacity to consume the services that we offer for years to come in larger quantities. (Four to six years has been a pretty standard run in my life. Anything 90 days or less is an essentially a one-nighter. They exist but they are not the "main thing".)

Using an agent as you described to fake good reviews is totally unnecessary and not really productive. I really doubt it would fool a good agent. They want to hear from established talent buyers, not audiences. Don't confuse a successful agent with a fan club. They have virtually nothing in common. Given a choice, a good agent will always stay with the talent buyer rather than the act. There are plenty of acts. At American Artists Enterprises we had about 700 acts to choose from. We looked for good fit.

Bob
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Many questions in one. (0 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2020 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.28 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL