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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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Jaxon
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Yes, it's a great trick to do because when done right it's very unexpected and memorable. I have this habit of observing rooms to see if the lay out would allow it to be done. You'd be amazed at how many places you can do it in.

For this show I'm going to do it with nothing but mouth coils. I sometimes to a bit where I eat a balloon then do the squeaker joke (Kind of popular trick). But I found these mouth coils that are white and very, very long. When they first come out they look like a tube. It's basically like a paper vanishing candle. So at first it looks like the balloon is coming back out.

How I'm going to appear behind the audience is I'll have my assistant dressed like me in the dressing room that's about 15 feet from the stage. When the performers are introduced they'll come from this room and walk through the audience to the stage. So the mouth coils will be coming out as I back into that room. For a moment I'll be out of site. I'll hand the paper to the girl and she'll return to the stage gathering the coils in such a way that they can't see her face. They'll still think it's me.

Mean while I'm heading down a hall that leads from the dressing room to behind the audience. So all that's left is for her to show she's no longer me. Then I appear in the back.

I just had a thought as I was writing this. Tell me what you think. I'm thinking some time misdirection would be good here or they might put together that I was out of site a moment ago. How about the girl (They think it's me) goes back to the stage. Remember her face is covered. She picks up a sheet and raises it over her as if she's going to do something with it and the paper coils. When the sheet drops she's wearing a white outfit with lots of fringes as if it's made from the white mouth coils.

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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To do effective marketing leading up to a show, I have found I like at least around 2.5 to 3 months leading up to the actual show itself. This really gives me time to not only develop my marketing plan, but to execute it properly and get my materials ready to go. I think pushing your show till November is a smart move as it gives you more time to properly prepare for it.

When picking a date, just really check around to see what other events might be going on at that time that could possibly draw people away from attending your show. I always look into papers and do a bit of online research befopre picking and locking in on any one date. I want to be sure that the date I choose is as best a date as I can get without too many other conflicts.

Hope this also helps and I wish you much success.

Kyle
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Jaxon
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I want to thank everyone again for all the help and advice.

No real new news as of right now. I'm working to get everything together and start advertising it. I'll keep you posted.

I'm also happy to announce that I've received quite a few offers to come perform in the magic night on some future date if all works out. I've had offers from magicians, jugglers, Flair Bartender/magicians, Mentalist and ventriloquist. It's great to know that if all works out as I hope I'll be able to get some more talent in there for a future magic night. It seems that a lot of performers would like to get up on a comedy club stage. One that's made specifically for magic would be even funnier because we wouldn't get the comedian/magician debate (Some comedians hate magicians). So we wouldn't have to deal with that. People will be coming specifically to see magic.

Just to give you an idea of the potential of this place. Here's a picture of the building. Keep in mind it's being renovated right now.

Image


There's a truck in the parking lot that'll help give scale (The truck is a good 50 feet from the building so the building is bigger then it looks). The large part on the right will be an auditorium with a full size stage when the renovation is complete. On the left is the small bar in front and behind that is the larger bar that'll be the magic night. Large parking lot in front and rear. So the place has a lot of potential and I hope to some day put on stage shows there as well.


Thanks again.

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,

I wish you all the best my friend. If I can be of any further help to you in any way, please just let me know. My pleasure.

Kyle
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Jaxon
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Thanks Kyle. You've been a big help.

I'm working on the advertisements now. I'm making flyers to put around town and then I'll make the newspaper add.

I need advice on one issue. I don't mind if people bring kids to the show but I do want to stress to them that the show will not be geared toward kids. None of the performers will be using any blue comedy but the acts just won't be for kids. I think the hour of the show alone will prevent some of them (starts at 9pm on a Saturday). On top of that it is in a bar. I think if some teenagers show up they'll like the show though.

Any advice on how to handle and/or word this in the ad? OR should I just simple put something like "No one under the age of 18 admitted" and get rid of issue all together. My only concern is this preventing some from not coming.

Ron Jaxon

Posted: Sep 26, 2006 7:21pm
What do you all think of this idea. I know I need to worry more about getting people there then this kind of thing. But I had this idea and want to see what you all think.

Keep in mind that I'm pretty known in my area. I imagine at least half of the people who will be in the audience will have seen me before either doing a real show or just some close up magic in casual settings.

So one of the things I'll put on the flyer is that I have invited some of my friends from around the area (area of about 300 miles) who are great performers. I can honestly say that each one of them are "Award winning performers" because I know they have all won magic completions.

Anyway I have a friend in my area who owes me a favor. He has a limousine service. That's what gave me this idea.

There will be a movie screen pulled down over the stage and I'll use a video projector. So when it's show time the film will start to play. They'll see me out in the parking lot of the building. I talk to the camera welcoming them to "Magic Night". I'll talk about how I invited these performers here. Then I'll make a limousine appear in the parking lot (Not hard to do with a video camera). Then the performers will exit the limo one at a time as I introduce them to the camera. The camera will fallow us into the building. The movie screen will be removed but the background music will continue as we enter the room (From a door behind the audience) walk through the audience waving at them. We'll enter the dressing room at the side of the audience but the MC will go to the stage to start the show.

After the show is over and when people leave they'll see the limo parked out there.

What do you think? I think it would be a neat way to start the show. It would certainly add to the experience in my opinion.

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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It certainly could be a great way to start the show and get the audience really in the mood for a fun evening of magic. It looks like your cost would be minimal at best to do this. The only concern would be getting the screen out of the way fast enough so as to make sure everything flows really smooth from you guys entering to the actual start of the show with the MC on stage. I say go for it.

Then after you get this figured out then you can get back to getting people there hehehe. Sorry had to say it. =) I wish you much success my friend.

Kyle
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Destiny
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Hi Ron,

Always love your posts.

Having run a few venues I find advitorial (advertising dressed up as editorial) works much better than real ads - And of course - IT'S FREE! Someone touched on press releases up above. We all tend to skip ads unless we're looking for something in particular. The articles we read - that's why we pay money for the paper.

You have some really talented people appearing - could you swing an interview with a local paper and have the interviewee perform some dazzling closup for the journo. Journalists are people too and love getting attention lavished on them - if they are of the opinion that magic is kids stuff - but you astonish them - the resulting article will gush.

Also would a local shopping centre that spends a lot advertising on the local radio accept a deal where you perform a showstopping 'stunt'(maybe a spectacular appearance or disappearance - but just 1 simple to advertise newsworthy 'event' a routine isn't as newsworthy as 1 spectacle)) in the centre with the radio covering it (or local tv if you have).

About 10 years ago we brought an illusionist to town to work in a club and he 'appeared' on local breakfast radio. He performed totally visual gags that were in no way magic for the listeners except for the descriptions they were getting from the show hosts - and our small city talked of nothing else all day. Around every water cooler people were trying to work out how tricks were done they hadn't even seen - and of course the show hosts had exaggerated what they were seeing for comedy purposes - 'how'd you get that elephant in here?'

Wish you all the best - if you promise them entertainment they will come - I understand the posters who say lay people don't like magic, but I also know people love entertainment, fantasy and light relief from the troubles of the world - and I think that is what you are offering with your lineup.

I know I'm going on a lot - but 1 more thing - I agree with your idea of 18+. Any hint that it is going to be a night of kids entertainment will kill ticket sales - and who wants their kids out at that hour anyway?
Jaxon
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Thanks so much for your support and all those suggestions.

Yes, I do feel the performers I was lucky enough to get will make a good entertaining show.

Joe Diamond won the Curly's Close up contest last year and performed his killer rope routine on the big stage at Abbott's a couple of years ago.

John Sturk won both Curly's close up and Abbotts close up this year. I'm sure you know that these "Close up" contest are really more like parlor contests. I know he'll amaze and get a lot of laughs. He has every time I've scene him perform.

Bear (username BearMage here on the Café but he's not very active in here) is a performer I've admired for a long time. He's a story teller and a magician. He's one of those guys who can hold an audience just by talking to them. He once did a show in a comedy club even though he had a body cast on him from a surgery (from chest to knee). He told the story about a petrified man and the only magic he did was to show his body was made of stone. The audience loved it and that gives a hint at how well he can entertain a group. For this reason and also because he MC'd the first magic contest I ever won. He'll make a great MC for this Magic Night.

Unfortunately Sean Bogunia won't be able to make it to this new date. But I hope to get him there if it all works out and we have another one.

The newest addition to the line up is Kenn Capman. He's from my home town and is also a member here on the Café. He does a variety of different types of magic acts. I'm not sure which he'll do in this show yet. He does a "psychic entertainment with a comedic slant" as he describes it. That might add a little variety to the evening.

Not sure about the juggler yet. He says he needs an 18-1/2 foot ceiling but the room is only about 14 feet tall. So we're not sure yet. Maybe he can just throw softer. Smile

Then of course there's yours truly. A lot of people in the area mostly only see me perform walk around and private party's. It'll be nice to show them another side of what I do (Stage/Parlor). I don't do many of them locally.

Thanks again.

Ron Jaxon

Posted: Oct 6, 2006 2:20pm
I'm having some trouble putting together a flyer advertisement for this. I need to make one to put all over the walls of the building (front bar that is open nightly). And also hand out to people who are interested in going to the show.

I'm thinking of the flyers I see all over the town of Colon Michigan during the magic week. The posters have some pictures of the head liner acts and so forth. I'm just having a hard time making the flyer look appealing without looking cluttered. It of course needs to encourage people to come. I looked on line for templates to help guide me but all the ones I've found are more for business instead of entertainment.

Any suggestions?

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,

Serif have a program with templates for designing flyers - you can download a free trial and use it. I think it's called drawplus.

- sorry, just googled it - it's called Impactplus but they no longer have a free trial on the website - you can get the free trial with a lot of computer magazine cds though.
Destiny
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http://www.ideabook.com/freeinfo3.htm
http://www.hp.com/sbso/productivity/office/brochure.html
http://www.freeserifsoftware.com/designT......pageplus

I had better luck this time.

The ideabook link is just good advice.

The hp link is templates for flyers using Microsoft Word if you don't have any graphics programs.

The freeserif link is what I was talking about first up - a trial program with templates.

Good Luck
magic4u02
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Hi guys,

There are several programs that I use that are industry standards in the graphic design business and I would like to share them with you incase they may be of benefit to you in your pursuit of the ultimate solution for you. I hope these help.

- Adobe Illustrator: Mainly used for the creation of flat art and logo design creation

- Adobe Photosho: Used for any and all photo retouching, editing and photo montage work. I use this program a lot for creation of customized magic flyers and posters.

- Quark Express or Adove InDesign: These programs are your basic page layout programs used to compile all the pieces together.

these programs can be costly but they are the best programs out there. If you can get them, then they would serve anyone good for many years to come. I will also try and post a few samples of stuff I have done using these programs in hopes they may spark some ideas of your own.

Kyle

Posted: Oct 6, 2006 9:57pm
Flyer design I used for a local theater show. The bottom section was left white for me to add in the information form the different venues we were playing through out the tour. This kept cost down and allowe dus to really get the flyers out faster.
Kyle Peron

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magic4u02
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Flyer design I used for a local theater show. The bottom section was left white for me to add in the information form the different venues we were playing through out the tour. This kept cost down and allowe dus to really get the flyers out faster.

Click here to view attached image.
Kyle Peron

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magic4u02
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This is a 8 by 10 I use for my festivals. These I can print myself off of my photo printer and customize on the fly. Each of the shots are taking with my hi-res digital camera at the various festivals I work. What is nice about this is that I also send a few to the festival clients as gifts after the event is over.

Click here to view attached image.
Kyle Peron

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Jaxon
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Thanks so much for your help plasticdestiny and Kyle. I'm working on it and it's starting to come around.

Now for my next step. Tickets.

Guests will obviously be able to pay to get in at the door but it seems to me that if I can sell tickets ahead of time then it'll be more likely they'll show up. Not only that but selling the tickets to the show before hand will give me some idea of the turn out to expect. If I sell 50 or so tickets in advance then I'll know to expect at least that many to show up.

I remember Kyle mentioned putting numbers on the tickets so I can keep track of them. I'm sure that would also help prevent anyone from duplicating the tickets (I might notice I have two with the same number or the number on it isn't one I had made). What's the best way to make the tickets (keeping in mind the costs)? I expect to put some money in it of course but I do need to budget as best I can. Could I make them at home on business card stock? If not I'll check with the printers.

I went to the place last night because an event was going on in the room where my show will be. I wanted to take some pictures of the place when it's open for business to send to the performers. Just to give them an idea of where they'll be performing. It was kind of scary to because this was for a band they didn't get much of a turn out. They only had about 30 people show up. Now that I think of it though there are bands all over the place. A magic night will be a little more unusual and hopefully draw more people in. I also have an advantage of the many magic groups in the area. I'm sure many of them will come and hopefully bring people with them too.

I also might as well mention this here. If any of you will be in the area (Kalamazoo Michigan) on November 18 please stop in for the show. 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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Hi Ron,

I have printed tickets on the home computer - find it best to keep them simple and clean looking and hand number with a gold or other unusual colored metallic pen. This makes people aware the tickets are being kept track off. For some events I have even printed 'Authorised by ...' on the back and had the store or person who sold the ticket stamp or sign it.

If you print tickets it also gives you the opportunity to do a 'give away' as a promotion.

Sometimes it is better to give away 2 single tickets, rather than 1 double, as there is a good chance the person who receives the single ticket will bring someone else who will pay to get in. No chance of that if they get a double ticket.

Don't be too tempted to overly pad the room with freebies though - a mistake I've made over and over even though I should know better. It seems to be a law of nature in the entertainment business that the customer you give a freebie or discount is always your worst customer. Another variation of 'give them an inch and they'll take a mile'.

I also find giving tickets to 'prospects' - (operators of venues you want to get into) so they can see your work can often be a mistake. These people can someimes take the fun out of the night by being overly business like - 'I'm not here to have fun - I'm here to evaluate the nite.'

I just realised how negative I'm sounding but these things are not big deals - just little hints.

If you print tickets you have the opportunity to mention you have them for sale at every business you regularly make purchases from. I live in Cairns - a provincial tourist town of 100,000 people. In our store we make a point of supporting the people who support us. If we find out a regular customer, for example, has a local fruit shop - we make a point of shopping there. Hopefully some of the businesses you patronise have the same attitude and return your support.

Kalamazoo - how magical is that name - there would have to be magic in Kalamazoo.

I love the way you are approaching this - looking at the pros and cons along the way - and getting everything done in a timely manner - I am the worlds greatest procrastinator and live in awe of people who don't leave things till the last minute.

PS: I wonder if there are any free resources for 'event planners' on the web - probably worth googling - who knows what little hints you might find?

ONE LAST THING: With the timing of your event you have an opportunity to sell group bookings - workplace christmas parties etc - maybe you could offer a 10% discount for a group of 10 people and drop your flyer at workplaces around Kalamazoo.
magic4u02
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Hey Jaxon,

It is great to see you working so hard on this project and I can see that you are indeed taking direct action upon yourself to find your own success. That is the hardest thing to teach anyone is the ability to simply get up off your butt and go out there and do it. Let me see if I can shed some more light opn some of your issues.

In regards to tickets, what I always did was simply designed my own. I did a numbering system on the back of each ticket so that I could not only track the tickets that go out, come in etc,. but it did indeed help prevent anyone from duplicating tickets. The numbering was not for the actual seats and I made sure that every person calling for tickets knew that it wa sgeneral admission seating only and I told them when the doors opened. This made things a lot easier for us.

Numbering the tickets also allows you to make sure that you ONLY sell the amount of tickets that you actually have seats for. You never want to oversell as that would be one huge headache. Numbering them allowed me to track it all easily in an excel spreadsheet. I knew who had what number tickets at all times.

You will certainly ant to conduct and handle advance ticket sales. Now for our theater shows, wehandled all tickets sales from our home. This way we basically become the box office for advance sales. it was not as hard as it seems as long as you are organized.

We had one line of our answering machien just for the show. That meant any calls going tinot that line we new immediately that it was a show request for tickets. We accepted payment via check or money order and as soon as the we received it, we would place the tickets in an envelope along with directions to the place and other information we wanted them to have.

As it got to be about 2 weeks out from the show we stopped mailing tickets out as we knew folks would not tget them in time. In this case we told people we would reserve the tickets for them in an envelope marked with their name. At the show they would go to the advanced tickets line and just state their name and make payment there.

Make the tickets and just run them off on card stock. I set mine up so that I was printing up 8 tickets per 8.5 by 11 card stock. I kept them aligned and just cut them via my paper cutter. They looked professional with the show logo and my cost was next to nothing.

The one golden rule I will warn you about ahead of time is something I am sure you know. However it is so important I will say it again. It does not matter if your show is the best show in the world, if you can not get people filling those seats then it just doesn't matter. It all comes down to your ability to effectively market the show and market it as much as you possibly can.

Every theater show we have ever done, we spent close to 2.5 to 3 months out just marketing and conducting our marketing plan and getting the area saturated with the marketing for the show. I can give you some examples of what we did if you would like. We set a one night record for the last performance we did just from marketing alone.

Do not ever say to yourself I "hope" people show up. Say to yourself that you will do everything in your power to make sure people show up. If you do marketing the rigth way they will show up and they will come in groves to see the show. People just seem to get a mind set that as logn as the show is great and they put up flyers people will come out. There is so much more to it then that.

I hope this helps. Ron, if I was any where near there you can make sure I would be there.

Kyle

PS: is your first show November 18th? if so then what marketing have you done for the show so far? I only ask as I can help you with ideas and because you really need to market a lot starting now to really get the name out there if you want to fill those seats.

If I can be of any mor ehelp, please let me know.
Kyle Peron

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Jamie D. Grant
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Hiya Ron,

I remember going to someone's private house party and had to buy the ticket from Ticketmaster:

ticketmaster

Maybe someone here has some experience with that...

Good Luck!

jamie
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Jaxon
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Jamie. Thanks for the link. If all goes well with the Magic Night and we do another one, then another one.... I'll look into that.

Thanks again Kyle and plasticdestiny. I'm thinking that if you guys where right here in my town this event would almost be a guaranteed success. Smile

I'm going to go ahead and print out the tickets myself. I'll use some kind of number system as suggested. Would just business card stock do or are is there tickets card stock readily available. I'll go to the office supply store tomorrow to check it out.

I'm just relieved right now that I got all the people who will need to be there set up. All the performers, DJ and wait staff. I even have a bouncer. Not that I think I'll need one and no one will know he's there for that. He'll just be helping work the door and such. He's a huge biker dude but he's the nicest guy you'll ever meet and he loves magic. In fact I've always thought it would be funny to get him on stage. The site of a guy my size (5'9" 140lb) picking on a guy his size (6'4" and about 260lb) would be funny. Smile

The rest of this post I'm just going to share some of my ideas and thoughts about this show. It's nice to have a place to share these things. Please let me know if you have any opinions or suggestions.

Because this is my home town and I'm guessing about a third of the people who will show up will be people who have seen me before or have heard about me. So I had this idea to start the show myself then introduce the MC for the night. That's the last they'll see of me until I perform my act. I'm thinking about putting myself last because it is my home town but I'm not sure on that yet. I think show structure is important so we'll (The performers) have to work that out.

Anyway, my idea is to put on a silly disguise of a kind of goofy stage hand. Not over board but enough so that many of them won't know it's me. During the other acts the "stage hand" will do little bits with each performer. Nothing much but little things like not doing something he needs to do until the performer gives him money. One of the performers will be doing a rope act. When the "Stage hand" gets the rope he can go into the comedy rope trick (Boxer shorts on the end). Another performer will be doing the vanishing bandana. The stage hand will give him the package and so forth.

At the end they'll introduce me and when the stage hand turns around (Because he's putting something on the stage for the next act) I turn around and they finally see that the stage hand is actually me in disguise.

I'm not saying I'm definitely going to do that. It's just something I'm thinking about. I sat in the room where the show's going to be for hours just visualizing different things happening.

I'm sure I'll share more of my ideas here later. Thanks for listening.

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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Jaxon,

Thanks for the kind words my friend. If I lived closer I would be more then happy to help you with your marketing efforts to gaurentee a successful turnout. It would be my pleasure to do so.

I would just go and get card stock that you can run through a laser printer at home. Then just line them up, gang them up on one sheet and just use a paper cutter and cut them. It is easy and cheap and you can still make the tickets look good. This is what I do for our theater shows and it works out quite well. Certainly number each ticket with whatever number system works best for you. then track the tickets that go out through an excel speardsheet. You will be glad you did.

It is great that you got the show suf figured out and all set and ready to go. now you rreally need to go out there and ratget market the show like crazy. Saturate the market and make sure every single marketing angle is covered. A great show is nothing if people do not show up.

if you would like some of the ideas of what I use and do to market each of our theater shows, I would be happy to share them with you. Most of them are easy and low busget approaches that really work and get results.

Your idea could be a funny running gag for sure. It could work and add flavor between the set ups for the other acts, Just make sure you let the other performers and MC know this ahead of time. I am sure you would already do that any ways. It certainly could work and be fun for the shows flavor.

Are you going to have the show video taped ot at least take some still shots? I would love to see how things go for you. =)

If you need any assistance or advice PLEASE let me know. I have done exactly what you are trying to do and I know the work involved in doing it. If I can be of help, I will. My pleasure.

Kyle
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Jaxon
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Kalamazoo, Mi.
2537 Posts

Profile of Jaxon
Thanks so much. I'm getting so much information here I'll be coming back and rereading this entire discussion quite a bit. In fact I was just rereading and a new questions came to mind.

I'm about to get things ready to contact the newspaper. Come of you have given suggestions and they're very helpful. Those of you who know about this here's the link to my local newspaper. If you have a moment could you look and let me know if you suggest anything they offer there? I'm just researching so I'll know what to tell them when I stop in there to talk to them about it.

Here's the link

Thanks.

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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