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Cheshire Cat
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Wilmslow, UK
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You know, in 1978 when we first started, Christmas seemed like an annual paradise of going to parties, spending little time there, and every few days taking wads of cash and cheques to the bank! Now in 2002 to be quite honest I wish we'd gone off on a cheap pre-Christmas break to the Canaries, or Palma. Customers at Christmas by and large would never ever phone an entertainer the rest of the year! You never know what you are arriving to or how close you can get the car for loading. You walk in and even though there is 15 mins. set-up they say "sit down for the man" boys and girls. You have to witness 100s of pre-school children eating ice-cream at 10 in the morning with the contents of their noses mingling with the goodies! You go to golf clubs where the parents consume 500 cigarettes, 100 cigars, and 20 ounces of pipe tobacco during your performance! The mornings are bleak and dark (well here in Brit.) and you feel you are joining the 'rat race' you always sought to not be part of! I could go on and on! Do any of you feel the same and long to get back to birthdays in January, or am I just being a miserable sod? (even though I do maintain a magnificent corpse-like smile through it all). (Happy Christmas by the way!) Smile
p.b.jones
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Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
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Hi,
Do you still do your 2 hour parties in Dec?
I do not do full parties in Dec myself just 40 mins spots. That said other times of the year when I do full parties I refuse to do any where the party is longer than 2 hours unless I am at the begining of the party this helps reduce parking problems as I arrive before the guests. Also I do not have to deal with kids that have run riot for an hour before I arrive!
over 95 % of my December shows are Block booked(I do the same places every year) so although I have a busy schedule I normally do not have too many Hasstles. Also as most of my ducks are already lined up I can be choosy about the other 5% I am familiar with most pary venues in the area and if I think parking will be awkward I will refuse it (say I am booked) or use an agreement letter with Parking arangements.
Phillip
Andy Wonder
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Auckland, New Zealand
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It is summer time here in New Zealand now and I can do more parties in a day at this time simpily because there are more daylight hours. I have been doing a lot of evening BBQ birthday parties at times like 6:30pm to 7:30pm.
I don't go out chaseing a lot of work doing Christmas parties. I let the other entertainers in my market do that. I pick up the birthdays left over.
You have parents call you 'The Man' as well. I hate that
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
Adam V
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Better than being called 'The Woman'
Adam V - 9 out of 10 dentists recommend him.
Peter Marucci
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While most would say that Christmas is the busiest time of the year, there are many, many other times that are far busier for me.
Many of the social groups that would book a magician for a Christmas party have someone who can do a few dumb tricks.
I leave Christmas to them.
I'd sooner enjoy myself (and let the others shoot themselves in the foot).
Then, comes the nice weather, and I'm back in demand again!
Just the way I want it!
Smile
Jewls
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Michigan-USA
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Hey! I would rather be called the woman!
Sounds like you are suffering burn out!!! I have had it bad this year as I have been fighting a cold and running from show to show. Yesterday was my last show of the Holiday season. This is the first New Years Eve I have had off in years!
Now it's the end of the year paper work for my USA Taxes!!! YUCK!!!
Then right back to work on for another new year!
Smile
p.b.jones
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Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
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Hi Peter,
I have to say that Christmas is not my biggest financial return either. It is the month when I do the most individual shows. But for me the summer is financialy better. I do a lot of Holiday camps, Hotels and full day events
Full day events pay better than doing 5 shows a day and you have an easier time of it
less travel ext.
Phillip
Peter Marucci
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Phillip,
You're absolutely right. I would sooner do a full-day event than race after three or four individual jobs.
The packing and re-packing alone will do you in!
Smile
Harry Murphy
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Maryland
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The holiday season (from late November to New Years) is very busy for me. However, I don’t do any kid shows. I seemed to get booked for adult parties. That is there are a number of small businesses that put on a holiday party and look for entertainment.

Mainly this is strolling and table hopping magic. So there is no problem lugging a ton of props. Everything I need and will use is on me (in my pockets). I travel fairly light when doing table hopping/strolling magic.

One small company (manufactures cement products) puts on an evening of Cabaret for its employees each year. They do a sit down dinner, the cabaret, and end the evening with dancing. It is almost like working in a nightclub of old. I have been booked three years in a row to MC and finish with a stand-up magic show. This year the producer of the event hired a juggler, a dance act (couple doing a killer tango!), a ventriloquist, and me as the anchor act. In all we play under 90 minutes.

About the only kid oriented show I do is a turn at a shopping mall. This is platform work for mixed age audiences so not really kid in a pure sense. I arrive early, set up my props in the backstage area, go have breakfast, shop a little then do my turn. I do the act three times a day for each day of the weekend. The contract was for each weekend in December until the weekend before Christmas (this very weekend!).

Almost all my business this year was repeat business.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Cheshire Cat
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Wilmslow, UK
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Jewls, - I could not agree more. Since I posted this subject I have had two days of the most awful influenza bug imaginable! Yet there is no way round it - you just drug yourself up and get on with it. I do not normally succumb to bugs off kids, but when you are working in overheated schools with 3 and 4 year olds (I do 45 mins. Phil) I think illness is inevitable. We also have to pay our biggest tax bill ever Jewls, by Jan. 31 in the UK. We always insist upon having the money ready though before December otherwise you feel every party at Christmas is being done for HM Government. We try and keep birthdays going during December as they are SO important, plus up until now cramming in the schools. Next year all being well will be just returning home from Gran Canaria or maybe a few days living it up in the Big Apple! Maybe we should all meet up in Dec. in the Afro/Spanish sunshine and leave some of these awful Christmas jobs to some of the the pathetic entertainers that seem to come out of the woodwork at Christmas. (Would you believe we had 8 calls this week from people being let down by these characters?) Smile Off now to do the last party before a break, at a Liberal Club where every parent smokes cigarettes from every orifice (well it seems that way. Liberal? That's the 3rd UK political party!).
Dynamike
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I do a lot of Chrismas shows. But I perfer summer shows. I get more calls and the weather is a lot better.

I hope you all a great Chrismas and a wonderful New Year. Smile
p.b.jones
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"We also have to pay our biggest tax bill ever Jewls, by Jan. 31 in the UK."

HI,
The Inland revenue must be having a good year from magicians then Because I am in the same boat as you. though I do have a separate bank account into which I pay a set amount each month to pay the bill.

I got my last 3 shows today 2 kidshows and an adult cabaret tonight, that's it then until Friday.

MERRY CHRISTMAS to you all or perhaps I should say HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
Phillip
Billy Whizz
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Plymouth, UK
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I know the felling well. Looking forward to January myself, to get back to good old Birthday Parties, and the occasional day off. Smile
Cheshire Cat
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Wilmslow, UK
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It seems incredible that it is 8 years since I made this thread. Wow!

If you've not seen it I hope you enjoy it. Smile

So what's happened? Well we did start going away to Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura in December. But guess what? We got sick and tired of doing so and are booking December full steam ahead this year. We are both working together now (since 2006) and it's so much easier when there are two of you. We also seem to have had a revival of love for the business - it's 1978 all over again!

Other funny observations: smoking ban now in effect all over Europe practically and the US. The British Liberal Party I referred to as the 3rd Party, are now, well . . . in Government! Phillip Jones mentioned UK Holiday Camps (do any still book live entertainment?)

But enough of talking about us . . . how do you, the present faithful in The Little Darlings feel about Christmas work? and do you have as much of it as you used to?

Tony
MagicalDuda
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Ontario, Canada
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This is my first year doing Magic shows... I've practiced and learned for the last 3 years, and this summer I finally put advertising out to get real paid gigs who are not family and friends...

I put out advertising in May... and in June July and August I had at least one show a weekend... sometimes two...

September and October were very slow for me... I had 3 shows each month...

November and December have been knocking me off my feet... and I hope that I can keep up with it... taking 3 or 4 calls a day, sending out emails every day... and have my weekends booking up fast.

for a first time... it's exciting.to me... I can only see it getting better. I don't have much competition in my area either... one day I'd like this to be my full time career, but as of right now, I work full time midnight shift... Sunday - Thursday. and magic shows on the weekends.

it'll be interesting to see next summer the difference between this year and last.... since I'm just getting out there and known now.
>>Magical Duda<<
www.magicalduda.com
Cheshire Cat
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Wilmslow, UK
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MagicalDuda: Wish you a great December. We remember our first (1979) as though it were yesterday.

Telephone ringing cycles are odd at the moment. We have now more December parties than we've had for years, and have even decided to take a big Boxing Day Function.

But now it's gone quiet again apart from last minute "silly calls". 2011 is now in our minds as the bite on people's incomes continues (even though the UK is supposed to be well over the worst part). But we've seen hard times and good times before.

The thing is to never sit back, never take anything for granted and keep pushing at selling parties all the while.

Tony.
Starrpower
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I am experiencing my slowest Christmas season ever. Here's hoping that 2011 improves!
Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
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The bookings that I have for 2010 are far more than I had for 2009.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Starrpower
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Al, glad to hear things are picking up for you!
Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
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I have had many better years than 2010, but it is getting better.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
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