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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Canadian Talent Agencies (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Jay Are
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Who are they?
Who is good?
Who should I steer clear of?

Lets get a good discussion about canadian talent agents going!

Did a search and came up empty handed!
xxx
Bill Nuvo
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It depends exactly what you are looking for.

If you are looking for talent agents specializing in a small area, there are tonnes.

My friend Scott Rawling of Magic Enterprise Productions covers mostly the Southwestern Ontario and Detroit Michigan area including the casinos. http://magicentprod.com/

Continental Entertainment promotes all over (I think they are based out of the Niagara Falls area, but they cater mostly to those seeking tribute artists but do have magicians and jugglers.)
http://www.continentalentertainment.ca/

Every city has companies that hire out entertainers.

Brian Wilson (of the Cowguys) runs a talent pool out of Ottawa that caters to festivals and corporate clients. http://www.orbitalent.ca/entertainment/index.php http://www.cowguys.com

Each province has agricultural societies that list service members including agents. Here are some from Ontario.

http://www.dalylivemusic.on.ca (mostly music but also has stage shows and buskers)

Farco Entertainment (Toronto area) http://www.farcoentertainment.com/magicians.htm
(Timothy Drake is listed there so you can get his input)

Frontline Attractions (Kitchener/Waterloo area) frontllineattractions@aol.com

Paquin Entertainment http://www.paquinentertainment.com (Toronto Based)
Dannydoyle
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Cruise ships through Proship entertainment in Quebec
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
estone
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Any updated list of Agents in Ontario?
RJE
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As Bill said, there are hundreds of agencies across Canada.

Pat and I work with quite a few on a regular basis. They each provide us with different types of work. One does strictly fundraisers in soft seated theatres. One does work only in the Ottawa area. One handles summer resorts. One books comedy clubs. One handles strictly adult shows in corporate, resort, casinos etc... One does specialty events. One does northern Ontario etc.....

Most performers do not give out the information freely because they don't want the competition. A good performer/agent relationship can take years to develop. However, once you have one, it can pay great dividends.

Searching the web should turn up a number of agencies. Check their talent pool and their history. The good ones have been around for a while and have a deep bench of talent to draw from. (Newer ones may be fine too, but you won't know until you try them.)

Anyway, keep searching, they're out there.

All the best,

Rob
Bradacal
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I can tell you that ProShip Entertainment mainly caters to musical acts...they do accept kits from every entertainer, but my contact tells me that 95% of the acts they hire for cruises is music.

Give them a try thought, it doesn't hurt.
Jerskin
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I've never heard of an act geting booked through Pro Ship.
GrEg oTtO

MUNDUS VULT DECIPI
estone
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How do you approach these people? Do you need head shots, promo video, etc.
Doug Arden
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Estone:

I have been booking entertainers (including magicians), speakers and sports celebrities for the past seven years so I know a bit about this.

First of all, you are going to have to convince the talent agency to even look at any promo you might have. Good luck! The reality is, magicians are a dime a dozen and the agencies have more supply than demand. Unless you are bringing something exceptional to the table, you will likely be relegated to the filing cabinet in the back room, along with the five hundred pieces of promo other magicians have sent in.

The agencies that service the "price shopper" market will want a photo and your bio, which they may or may not use. They are selling you on price alone and that's all their clients are interested in as well. If you have pulse and you're cheap, they will book you. They have a hierarchy and you will be at the bottom of a long list.

If you are interested in working for the agencies that service the " high end" market, your promo is very important because they will actually use it. There are some excellent postings about what you will need in your promo packet, just do a search. Basically though, your promo material should be top notch and professionally done. Don't bother including that video that your brother-in-law took at little Fontleroy's birthday party. If your video is not exceptional and professionally done, it will hurt you rather than help you.

Also, if you have website, that can help. If it's well done, then the agency can and will use that to send prospective clients to. If you have an "agent friendly" website, that's even better.

Great promo material is very important and can really help an agency book shows for you. Lousy promo has the opposite effect.

Doug
RJE
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Very good advice Doug and very true analysis.

p.s. Since you're booking, I've sent you my promo package (just kidding Smile )

All the best,

Rob
Jay Mahon
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Doug do you have any other tips for things to have in a promo package? Things to avoid like the plague? Things that Agents Love??

Thanks,
Jay
Doug Arden
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Jay:

I think most agents appreciate a package with a high resolution photo, bio including any noteworthy credits such as film and TV, three current letters of reference, a DVD of all or part of your current show, and your technical requirements. There are of course other things but if you have this, it will suffice. Make sure the package looks as good as it can. You should also have all of your material in pdf format to send electronically.

What we don't want to see is a thrown together package with written material containing spelling errors and glaring grammatical errors. You wouldn't believe how much of this stuff Ive seen! If you are unable to spell and put together articulate sentences, then hire someone who can.

Your testinmonial letters need to be recent. Don't send the two you got in 1998.

If you're sending video of your performance, be sure that it's absolutely top quality and representative of what you actually do now. Poor quality video, both technically and content wise, can and will cost you work. Believe me, Ive seen it.

Unless you're a major headliner, agents prefer to work with acts that have minimal technical and hospitality requirements. I booked a comedian last week for an event coming up in June. His fee is $20,000. His rider says that he needs a mic stand with a round base. Guess what? He gets the mic stand with the round base. His technical requirements are very basic but he could have pretty much asked for whatever he wanted because of who he is.

If you want to be a prima donna and ask for all kinds of things, that's your business. I can tell you though, most agents don't want to work with acts that have a laundry list of things they need to perform. I booked a magician last year for a gig that paid $5500. When I sent the contract to the client it included the performer's rider. I told her it was fairly extensive but she wanted to go ahead with the booking anyway. She took one look at his rider and called me back to cancel. I put another act in there and he lost the show. I haven't booked him since.

I think the bottom line is, make your promo package, whatever it contains, as professional as you can. Don't be afraid to spend the necessary time and monetary resources either. Good promo doesn't cost, it pays!

Doug
Jay Mahon
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Doug,
Thanks for the great advice!
I am still working on putting the proper time and effort into a top notch package. Would you mind taking a look at it once the package is complete as an agent?

Thanks,
Jay
Doug Arden
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Jay:

I'd be happy to have a look at it.

One thing I previously neglected to mention about a promo pack is, don't have your contact information on the material. You can include a business card but everything else should be either blank where the contact information is supposed to be, or have the contact information of the agent you're sending it to.

Doug
Jay Mahon
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My package and such is still in the works but I will send a PM when it is ready to be considered!
Thanks,
Jay
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