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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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Destiny
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Hi Ron,

I like all your ideas for the show - and also agree with every word Kyle says.

I'm scared this thread will get deleted with everyone agreeing like this.

I like a running gag in this sort of show. It brings everything together - provides a constant. Otherwise unrelated acts are made cohesive.

If the other acts are properly keyed up they can add to the joke by using an occasional raised eyebrow shared with the audience; behind your back. A 'Who is this clown?' type look.

Re the newspaper I believe emphatically that an article with a good pic has 100 times the value of a paid ad. I provide my own pics. This saves the paper work and money and ensures you get the pic you want. My avatar is a pic I used a month ago in the local paper to publicise a show I was hosting. As it's the time of our local horse racing carnival and I was competing for space with all the 'fashions on the field' type pics, I made sure I was the most glamorous 'woman' pictured.

I also provide my own editorial. When being interviewed take along a press release. Then utilise the politicians trick of just repeating everything you have already written. But make sure what you provide will make an interesting story - not just an ad. I find your story interesting. A deaf person successfully working full time as an entertainer and marketing ebooks around the world from little old Kalamazoo - sounds inspiring and uplifting to me.

And lots of references to the wonderful entertainers joining you in this nite of FUN. While making sure the audience knows the entertainers perform magic - I avoid refering to them as 'magicians' so I don't deter magiphobic patrons. Preconceptions are terrible things.

I talk too much.

Kyle is so correct in his emphasis on the importance of getting out and selling tickets. Discreetly call in every favor owed - you don't need a profit this first time - but you need a good crowd who have the time of their lives.

AND you need to cover costs.

The are bills paid.

The patrons are telling the world what a great time they had.

Any profit is a bonus... and you are ready to steam ahead.
Destiny
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Another thought Ron,

The nite needs to be organised so trusted people are taking care of the money, the staging etc.

You are a performer - you need to be free to perform. You cannot be needed to verify something at the gate or put the money away. Carefully delegate to trusted people and make sure everyone knows who does what and who has what authority.

I ended up as General Manager of our largest local niteclub and remained as MC of the same clubs entertainment. I could not let the management of the club suffer so (and I only realised this with hindsight) I went downhill as an entertainer.

Now when I perform I am oblivious to everything but the show. (I almost typed 'deaf and blind' but I didn't want to slight any unsighted people)
Jaxon
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Quote:
Now when I perform I am oblivious to everything but the show. (I almost typed 'deaf and blind' but I didn't want to slight any unsighted people)


LOL.. The line I always use to describe myself is "Deaf and Dumb". Espeially when I make a mistake..Smile

I agree with that. In fact my girlfriend agreed to work the door (Tickets and payments). When I told her I need to find two more people to work the door she said, "I said I could do it". But then I explained to her that I know she's going to do it but she may run into some problem or have to answer some questions. I don't want them to have to find me every time something comes up so if there are a few people who know what's going on I won't have to deal with it as much and I'll be able to concentrate on the show. I'll want one person to be a sort of hostess. To great them with a smile and hand them the little program/brochure.

Right in front of a stage there is a dance floor but I'm going to have some seating there. If I didn't the audience would be to far away from the stage for my taste. So with some seats there it would be more like a VIP section (Some places would call a section like the "The pit". In the future I might have a special "VIP section" price but for this first night I think I'll just say, "Sit where you want".

I had another idea yesterday as far as the show itself goes. Again, thanks for reading and it's great to be able to just share these ideas.

Let me know what you think of this. A friend of mine named Johnny is very popular in the area. Not only because he's a great guy but also because he's got a singing voice that would rival with Luther Vandross. I've heard him sing back when I was profoundly hard of hearing (Back then I could her low pitch when loud enough). He's got the kind of voice that gives you goose bumps.

Anyway, during my act. Actually at the end of my act. I'll be doing a kind of romantic/comedy act. It'll have the floating rose (My version of it). It'll be great if there is a birthday or anniversary but if there isn't I'll just find a girl to perform it for. After that I'll sea the girl and tell them I'm going to sing a song for her. Now my act has a lot of humor about my deafness so a deaf person about to sing opens some new "deaf humor". The song begins and out of me comes this amazing voice. I'm just lip sinking but they'll think it's me and be amazed. "How can a deaf guy sing like that"? Then after a few lines in the song I'll walk to a door next to the stage and out comes Johnny and they'll now see that it's actually his voice.

Believe me. Half the crowd will know him or at least know of him and they'll start to applaud and hoot when he comes out and finishes the song. I'm actually thinking about ending the entire show with this. I'll discuss it with the other performers of course but I can see it playing very well here. Toward the end of the song all the performers come out onto the stage. Then when that kind of slow song finishes the upbeat music starts and I thank them for coming out and say our farewells.

I'm just sharing these things as they 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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How many months rehearsal time left?

I've done more lip-synching than I care to admit. The most difficult thing to lipsynch is a recording of a person talking - there's no tune to get in synch with.

The impossible thing to lip-synch is a live voice. The idea would be great if you could pull it off - but boy oh boy.

Maybe if you recorded him doing two verses it would be easier to mime. You mime the first verse - then on the second verse he enters, without you seeing him, singing live over your miming. You don't see him till the audience laughter alerts you something is going on.

Done this way you get a double whammy 1/ That's funny - Rons mimng, and 2/ Hey Johnnys singing here!

Having tinnitus myself, I should forewarn you as a hearing impaired person to practice belting out that song with your girlfriend around so she can warn you of the noise you're making. It's so easy with the adrenalin pumping on stage to start singing along instead of miming - rather ruins the effect.

I wish Kalamazoo was a little nearer and I didn't have an appointment with the dental hygienist that day - I'd love to see the show.
Jaxon
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ARGH!!!

One of the acts just had to pull out. I understand his situation so I'm not upset with him at all. I was just really looking forward to having him in this. And now unless I find another act I'll have to ask all the other performers to stretch their time up there.

So Now I'm looking for one more act. I'm contacting all that I know who are near enough to possibly do it. We'll see what happens.

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.
SoCalPro
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JAXON,
Just pay air fair and I'll be there. Smile

JIM
Jaxon
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Thanks so much Jim. Although that's a very good offer. Now that I think about it the air fair would probably cost just about the same as I hope to be able to pay each performer (May be a little steep from CA though) but I can't guarantee what the outcome will be as far as attendance (No matter how much I'm working to book the house). So flying someone from across the country would be a gamble right now. But I hope I can keep you in mind for later dates if all goes well. Same goes for others in here who would be interested in attending someday.

I got two negative replies from possible replacement acts because they are already booked that day but they would like to come on another date. It's a tough situation but I think 4 or 5 acts would still fill the time.

LET THE HEADACHES BEGIN! 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.
SoCalPro
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Jaxon,
I commend you for having the desire and the patients it takes to put something like this together. Plus, you are creating work for entertainers. Keep up the good work!! Smile

JIM
Destiny
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Hi Ron,

It is 100% unheard of for a show not to have these things happen.

Luckily you've got a month to go - time to look around.

I have learnt through long and very bitter experience - when this happens at the last minute - and there is no other option - cheat.

In your case - one of your acts pulls out an hour before the show - Johnny is going to be singing a few more songs.

'Ladies and Gentlemen, on this night of magic, a special treat - the magical voice of Mr Johnny Vandross.'

Is a printed program of the nites line up expected by the audience in the US or at magic shows? It would be unusual here, I think. If you don't have to do it you save some dollars, and don't have to explain last minute changes.

(I have no idea what is 'de rigeur' for magic shows. I perform magic as an important component of my cabaret show and I've employed magicians. BUT, I have never been to a convention, a club or even a magic shop)

In 2 lines Jim has summed up exactly what is right about what you are doing. If I can second his motion, 'keep up the good work!'
Jaxon
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Thanks guys.

Yea, at first when the act backed out I was thinking, "Oh man. Now what am I going to do". But then I realized the show will still be good and I know I can extend my show if I need to and there are plenty of things I can add to the night.

But some good news. I might have another act anyway. I wont' say who yet until I know for sure but he's only a couple hours drive from me. He's willing but he's making sure he can do it (Patiently waiting) Smile

Right now I'm making a sign to put in front of the building (Magi Night - A night of magic and Comedy - November 18). The road get's a lot of traffic so I hope that'll draw some people in who see it as they drive by.

Last night I went to a bar for my Pool league (Plays in a different bar every other week). Someone came up to me and said they heard I was putting on some magic show and wanted to know more about it. So I went out to my car and grabbed a hand full of flyers. They where gone in about 10 minutes because everyone wanted one. Then I pulled out my "Seat reservations". What I did is I printed out a form so they can write their name, address, phone #, Email, etc... Then I check the box for "Paid" if they already paid me. So they can just show up that night and we can look for their name on the list to get in. Or, upon their request, I can mail their ticket to them. I sold 22 tickets that way last night. If this keeps up I'll have no problem filling the house by next month. (crossing my fingers).

Plus I'm contacting all the magic clubs in the area. I'm sure they'll support it with the possibility of a place to perform at on a later date. Or even just a place for them to go to a show.

Thanks again for the help 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.
magic4u02
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If you do a sign make sure to have a call to action on the sign. This call to action could be a phone number to call or a website. Soemthing that allows the people driving by to react and take action upon what they are seeing as they drive by. We used this method for our theater shows and it works out nicely. We drove a lot of traffic to the website and got the phone calling a lot leading up to the show date.

If you contact the magic clubs ask them for 2 things 1) if they would except and put out your flyers for the show at the meeting and 2) if they have a newsletter where your show can be mentioned in. It works great and most clubs (both IBM and SAM) will support you and be glad to help you out. When we did our show in Nj we had clubs all over NJ and even into NYC willing to help us out and showing support to pass on the word about the show.

Your tracking sheet is exactly the right way to go about it and keep everything inline.

Kyle
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Destiny
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22 tickets in one night - that's wonderful - people do want entertainment,

Congratulations
magic4u02
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They do indeed. Thr problem is it is up to YOU to actively go out there and make sure they know about your show taking place. That is why I can not stress enough the importance of not just having a good show, but the importance of marketing that show as actively as you can. The best show in the world does nothing if no one is silling the seats. =)

Kyle
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Jaxon
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Thanks again. I'm so glad I started this discussion here. Not only because it's so much help to me but also because I'm sure someone else will need some advice on putting together an event like this and if they stumble upon this discussion the advice will be helpful to them too.

I'm happy to announce that the possible replacement act I mentioned in my last post is now official. Welcome Sylver & Gwydion to Magic Night in Kalamazoo Michigan. He's a meber here on the Café under the username "gsidhe" (Gwyp). I have to admit I've never seen them perform live but I've watched some videos of them at youtube and in speaking with him he's very knowledgable and helpful. I also love the fact that their act will be very different from all the other acts. In fact every act I have is different so I doubt there will be any repeat effects and the show will have a lot of variety. It also helps that they are from Grand Rapids Michigan which isn't very far away.

I hope you don't mind me doing this Gwyp but here's a video of them: Smile
Click here to see them perform "The Bed of Pain".

Now I have to get back to the sign. I'm going to make a web page for it. I'll also put something like "Enquire within for details) or put the phone number of the place the show will be in. The owner already said I can do that and the staff will be told all about it so they'll be able to help answer questions. I needed to find a route like that because I can't talk on the phone.

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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Not a problem Ron, that's what the vids are up for!
Glad to be a part of what is going to be a great show!
Thanks again for having us,
Gwyd
sb
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Ron, your last post made me think of this... I had this happen at a show where I hired 4 acts, and I have seen it at magic club shows a few times in the past. Make sure you, and everyone else in the show, knows what effects each other is going to be doing. I have also found when you ask an act what effects they will be doing you will get an answer like "metamorphisis, my card manip routine, and a zig zag". Well they forgot to mention that between the zig zag and the metamorphisis, they are going to throw in a vanishing ketchup bottle.

But wait...act number two, also plans on throwing in a vanishing ketchup bottle. And guess what, they both are going to use some of the exact same stock type of lines.

And opps.... Act 3 is going to throw in a vanishing egg, and use some of the same little bits, and in the eyes of the audience all three routines will be very much the same...

This is of course just an example, but the point I am trying to make is that even when you ask someone what they plan on doing, you sometimes just get the highlights, and not the little "bits and pieces". And again, unfortunatly, a lot of acts' filler material may be somewhat "stock or off the magic shop shelf" - no matter how original and different their signature pieces may be.

Just my thoughts, hope someone finds them usefull.

BTW, good luck on the show. I live about 4 hours away and am trying to presuade my wife for us to take a weekend trip..... that just happens to be on the week of your show....I'll let ya know if we will be able to attend Smile

scott b
sb
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Ron, your last post made me think of this... I had this happen at a show where I hired 4 acts, and I have seen it at magic club shows a few times in the past. Make sure you, and everyone else in the show, knows what effects each other is going to be doing. I have also found when you ask an act what effects they will be doing you will get an answer like "metamorphisis, my card manip routine, and a zig zag". Well they forgot to mention that between the zig zag and the metamorphisis, they are going to throw in a vanishing ketchup bottle.

But wait...act number two, also plans on throwing in a vanishing ketchup bottle. And guess what, they both are going to use some of the exact same stock type of lines.

And opps.... Act 3 is going to throw in a vanishing egg, and use some of the same little bits, and in the eyes of the audience all three routines will be very much the same...

This is of course just an example, but the point I am trying to make is that even when you ask someone what they plan on doing, you sometimes just get the highlights, and not the little "bits and pieces". And again, unfortunatly, a lot of acts' filler material may be somewhat "stock or off the magic shop shelf" - no matter how original and different their signature pieces may be.

Just my thoughts, hope someone finds them usefull.

BTW, good luck on the show. I live about 4 hours away and am trying to presuade my wife for us to take a weekend trip..... that just happens to be on the week of your show....I'll let ya know if we will be able to attend Smile

scott b
Jaxon
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I agree 100%. I am asking all the acts to tell me if they are going to be performing anything that's common or a marketed effect so I can make sure no one else is doing the same thing. Fortunately in this case I've seen just about all of the acts before and we're all very different. So I don't think that'll be much of an issue on this show. But I am looking into it.

This is kind of hard for me though because I'm a pretty spontaneous performer. I plan my shows but I always have extras lined up in case I need them for what ever reason. And sometimes I'll finish one routine and I know what I have planned next but I think of another one that would be better at that moment based on the audiences reactions and my own feeling. Quite often I end up performing things I didn't plan on performing. It just felt right while I was up there.

This brings to mind one of the funniest things I've ever seen on a magic stage. One act performed the Professors Night mare. A couple of acts later was Jay Marshall and he had also planned on performing the Professors Nightmare. Instead of changing his mind he performed it anyway. The entire time he was saying things like. "This trick usually gets a thunderous applaud but since (The other performer) already did it I'll just walk through it real quick".

Then after he made the ropes grow and counts them off as all being the same length. As he did the count he said out loud, "One -switch- two, three equal pieces of rope". It was funny. Leave it to Jay for making it work to his advantage.

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.
Destiny
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So glad Gwyd is performing with you - love his performances on youtube - and he's got such a broad range of performance. Great humor - his Ren Faire stuff is reminiscent of those comedy gods - Monty Python.
magic4u02
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Oh while I was reading this just something you will want to make sure you do as soon as you can. get contracts out and signed by everyone involved. It sounds like such a task and chore but you will be glad you did. Every act should have a contract with you as well as you and the location that is hosting the event. This covers you and protects you and lets every act and person involved know exactly what is expected of them. It takes some effort to do, but you can usually use the same contract and just change the terms that apply to that person. Just something I do for all my theater shows and thought I would share with you.

Kyle
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