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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Putting together a "Magic Night" (Comedy Club type) (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Dannydoyle
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Man I hate to write this post but consider this. You ARE in the "Tricky Business" forum.

Think of the amount of time invested and expence. If your doing it to do it then fine, but if your looking to make money, I am not sure your on the right path.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
magic4u02
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It is what I said before. Having a great show means nothing if you can not fill the seats. You simply MUST market the show and sell those tickets and get those seats filled. I can not say one way or the other if Ron is doing that or not but I will give him as much advice and help as I can and wish him much success on his endeavour.

Kyle
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Destiny
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Hi Danny,

I think Ron can make money here - room takes 250 pax by $10 a head = $2500 total. He has 4 acts other than himself to pay. This isn't the place to get into what each act will be paid - but that sounds to me like ok rates for a small provincial city.

Ron will not get paid for all his extra organisational work in cash, but he is amply compensated by what he has learnt. The only way we learn anything is by doing it - and he is doing it.

I don't know Kyle, other than by his posts, but I would guess he did a lot of unpaid work, and at the time, self funded study, early on, to be in the position he is in now. I would also guess that he's glad he did.

I have nothing but admiration for people like Ron who think outside the square, and see a life full of opportunity, not obstacle.

If at the end of the nite Ron has paid all the bills and given the audience a couple of hours of fun, fantasy and escape from the drudgery of everyday life, he'll have an ongoing venture. I'd say that's better than sitting at home wishing someone had booked him for a gig that nite.
Mr Amazeo
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I think he's on the right track also. Ten bucks is cheap for a show like this. A friend of mine did something similar to this with his http://www.themagiclonge.com show. The tickets were in neighborhood of fifty buck, which included dinner. There were only 2 performers per show doing about a 30 minute set each. Add in the emcee and the whole show was about 75 minutes. And the place was packed!

So I think five performers for $10 is a bargain and a great way to get the concept established in your area. It all hinges on the marketing, so keep at it.

Good Luck!! I hope it goes great for you!!
Jaxon
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Thanks guys.

My thoughts on this first Magic night is to get people in the audience. That's the reason for the low price. They won't know it's worth more until they see it. If I where in Vegas or something I would never put such a small price on it because a place like that are use to a show being a gamble.

Am I hoping to make money? Actually for this show no I don't expect to make much. That's a long term goal. My goal right now is to take care of the performers who are coming on faith that I'm doing everything I can to fill the house and give them enough to make it worth their time and effort. Some of them are making 3 hour drives to get here.

Another goal is to obviously give the guests a good time and a reason to come back to the next one. So they'll be able to share their experience and let others know about it. I also hope to show the owner the potential of having these shows and encourage him to help make it better. To make what ever changes or additions might be needed (The stage could be a little larger for example).

It all boils down to establishing the venue. Real money won't be made until that happens. Then the price of the seats can go up to a fair level for both performers and spectators and it'll be easier to book more acts knowing that the place is established and that we'll be bringing in the money to pay their fees.

The long term goal is to create a new venue for us to perform in and people to come enjoy. I just found out some good news the other day too. Well, good news for the show. There's only one comedy club in Kalamazoo. Well there was because I just found out they closed down. So if this works out it'll be the only comedy club type place in town. I don't know how much that'll effect us but it's good to know that competition is no longer there.

I wonder if the fact that the movie (The Prestige) just came out will effect us too. Smile

Ron Jaxon
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After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
Destiny
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Good Stuff Ron,

Speaking of the bar owner, I haven't noticed anything about any input from him.

Everything has been worthwhile to get your foot in the door, but if this nite works, you and your fellow performers are not the only ones to benefit.

A room that has been doing nothing suddenly has 250 drinkers in it.

A lot of venues go to a lot of trouble and expense to get that.

When you do the next night, assuming the success of the first, it will be time for him to contribute towards promotion etc.
Mr Amazeo
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Oops - I caught a typo.
The link should be http://www.themagiclounge.com/

sorry about that
Destiny
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Mr Amazeo

Thank You for that link - your friend has an excellent website.

I hope he finds another venue - he deserves it.
Jaxon
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I just thought I'd post this. I took some pictures for the performers so those who can't make it before the week end of the show will have some idea of what the place is like. There was a band playing when I took them so it was dark and I lightened the pictures with my computer.

I put them on a web page:
http://www.magicjax.com/magicnight/pics.html

You'll be able to see it's not perfect but very nice. I like the lay out and look. Just a few things I hope to change for future shows.

Ron Jaxon
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After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
Sylver Fyre
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I just caught up to this thread-

Plasticdestiny- you made me blush- thanks for the compliments

I agree with the suggestions about doing tickets at the door for $12 and $10 in advance. It really does help get people to buy ahead. And also include how they can get the tickets in advance. These are both good suggestions that have been made.

I know you are working on getting advertising through the Gazette but did you think about advertisement through the colleges? The college newspapers may be interested in doing an article on the show.
There are three in Kzoo and WMU has great resources for advertisement. The population in Kzoo is largely made up of college students looking for something cool to do. I know, cause I lived there for 7 years before moving to the GR area and was involved on campus quite a bit.
You might be able to get support from student organizations and book a few group rates. Just some thoughts.

I'm very excited to be a part of this. Gwyd and I are very much looking forward to the 18th!
Sylver Fyre

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Jaxon
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I'm looking forward to it too and I so look forward to you and Gwyd's act. Although I have to admit I'm getting the little pre-show jitters. My mind keep wondering, "Will people show up? Am I ready? Will the lighting, DJ, microphones, bar tenders and waitresses all work out"?

In other words the pressure is coming on. I'm sure in some ways that's a good thing because it'll force me to work out those issues. Better to think ahead then not think enough. Smile

I talked to one of the bar tenders the other day. I'm worried because I said I think they should have at least 2 bar tenders and 3 waitresses. They only scheduled one bartender and 2 waitresses. They said they can handle it and my reply was, "I know you're good but I'd rather have more then enough then not enough. I don't want complaints about service". When I talk to the owner this week end I'll bring that up.

Which reminds me. Should I talk to the waitresses about how to operate during the show? They are good servers during bands and things like that but I don't know if they know how to handle a show like this where it's "An Audience" rather then people hanging out and dancing. I'm sure they'll adjust if they need because they are good but I was just wondering if there are any tips on that I should share with them. I'll be sure to have a meeting with the staff either on the day of the show or before just to let them know anything they might need to know. Some people might have questions about the show itself so I'm going to keep the staff on the loop of things.

Thanks so much for everything on this discussion. Man, this could be turned into a book. And a special thanks to Al Angello for moving this discussion to this section of the board where it's gotten so much more attention. IT was up for a week in another section with not one reply. And look. We're on page 4. Thanks Al.

Ron Jaxon

Posted: Oct 31, 2006 2:09pm
Latest News.

I had a meeting last night with the owner and some staff members. We're getting a lot of attention for the show. They're getting calls and people are stopping in to ask about it and picking up tickets. In fact the owner said he's sure he'll be able to get about 200 people to come himself. So we had to make a decision because the room holds approximately 200 people (Could have held up to 250 with enough extra tables brought in).

So we decided to move the show to another room in the building. This room as is seats Approx. 350 people. The room at one time had 10 bowling alleys in it plus a lounge area and bar. That'll give you an idea of the room size. It also has a larger platform stage (About 20' x 30').

The larger stage will allow larger stage props yet the room is still good for a platform/parlor show. So I'm excited about the move. I won't have to change anything as far as the advertisements because it's in the same building. In fact it's better because the old entrance was in the back of the building. This one is in the front so with a sign above the door they'll see it as soon as they enter the parking lot (See image of building on the first page of this discussion. The new room is the large section on the far right).

My Newspaper adds start this Friday. So things are looking good right now. We've had some glitches of course and I'm sure there will be more. But I'm taking it day by day. I sure hope any magicians who read this who are close enough to come will be there. I'd love it if you showed up.

Ron Jaxon
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After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
magic4u02
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Ron,

This sounds great and congrats on the move to a larger area in the building. More seats will mean more potential to fill those seats and that equals more income and ROI for you and your group as well.

The jitters are natural and man they sure hit my wife and I 2 weeks out from our last theater show. You can only do the best you can to market the show in as many ways as possible. Then you have to sit back and relax a bit knowing you have done all you can do. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

Kyle
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Jaxon
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Thanks so much. Man, I wish some of you where closer and could come. Not just to get more people there but you'd definitely have tickets waiting for you. A small way of saying thank you for all the help. If this night works out it'll have a lot to do with all the help you've been sharing so you've definitely earned it.

The new room is great in the way that the stage and room is larger. But it created things to work out (understandably). For instance there are these poles running down the middle of the room. I'm not sure what they are called. The poles that many large rooms have that help support the ceiling. There's even one right in the middle of the stage. I didn't like this at all but I think I've found a solution. Because the poles are already painted white I'm going to cover the middle of them with black. So they'll look like giant magic wands. I wanted to avoid the magic wand/rabbit from hat/ fan of cards look. But in this case it seems like a good solution to the pole problem. Now I just need to figure out a low cost way to do it that doesn't look like a garage sale decoration (Low cost because it'll only be used this one night then removed).

Just sharing my current situation. I'm sure that someday someone else will be putting something like this together and find this discussion. So I think my sharing my ups and downs will tell them that it's normal and to expect things to come up.

Ron Jaxon
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After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
Destiny
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Hi Ron,

Congratulations on the bigger room.

With decorating you can usually just go for the lowest cost solution like black cardboard. Check out some shop window displays - the professionals accomplish miracles with next to no expense.

(There's also some crinkly black flexible plastic used in packing boxes - I imagine anything used for packing would be cheap)
Jaxon
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Thanks.

I talked to the owner and he just said, "Paint them if you want to". Kind of shows how he's being supportive doesn't it?

Whew! You know that pressure we talked about Kyle? Man am I feeling it now. Smile

The show is 6 days away. At night I can't get the show out of my mind. I keep going over everything that I've done and mostly what still needs to be done. Some things I won't be able to do until the day before the show. The show is on a Saturday and the room will be used for another event on the Thursday before. So Friday will be a busy day of decorating, setting tables, rehearsing some more, talking to the staff to tell them all they'll need to know (I figured they should know some things in case guests ask questions). I've got two guys who will basically serve as bouncers (not that I plan to need them but it's nice to know they are there to take care in case an event arises. Especially with drinking crowds). They're good guys and know how to do that job. They'll also help at the door with checking ID's (Must be 18 to enter and have to know who's under the drinking age of 21).

Man, there's a lot to producing a show. I knew there was before I started this but there's even more then I had anticipated. But I'm lucky to have a lot of help on this one.

After the show I'm sure the first thing I'll do is finally get a good night sleep. Then I'll post some pictures and maybe videos on line to share with you all.

Thanks so much everyone.

Ron Jaxon
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After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
Dannydoyle
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You gotta figure out how you are gonna get people on and off stage and their props and such.

Bigger places sometimes equal nightmare of blocking and on and off. Just hope you work it out prior to an audience.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Jaxon
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Thanks Danny and I agree. Luckily only two acts will need much of a set up (And I'm one of them). So we got that worked out and even have some back up plans just in case more time is needed. But neither of us that need any preparation will need more then a couple of minutes.

Thanks for pointing it out though. It's definitely something that could bring a lot of hassle to a show if it's not thought of before hand.

Ron Jaxon
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After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
Jaxon
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Oh man. I just found out I made a major mistake for this show. On the advice given in this discussion I checked around the area to make sure there was nothing else major going on the night of the show. I have no idea how I missed it but on the same night as my show there's a Jerry Seinfeld concert going on at Western Michigan University.

But we might be okay because the concert has been sold out for over a month. So maybe those who couldn't get them will find my show.

Argh!

Ron Jaxon
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After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
gsidhe
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Aw heck Ron...
We wouldn't want Seinfeld fans at the show anyway!

They're kinda whiney.

It's a Saturday night, we have to be up against someone! Better Seinfeld than say...The Blue Collar Comedy guys.
There are no "empty" weekends.
This will have little to no effect.
Coming down to see the venue tonight!
Gwyd
Jaxon
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Oh yea. If it was the Blue Collar Comedy guys even I would probably cancel the show to be there. Those guys are hilarious.. Smile

Yea, I don't think it'll effect us too much. It's on the other side of town and I'd imagine the college students picked up most of the ticket as soon as they became available.

Look forward to fianlly meeting you guys in peson tonight Gwyd. I'll probably have a broom in my hand or something when you arrive. Still working on the place every day.

Ron Jaxon
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After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
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