The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Not Only Trade Show Information! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
AntonZ
View Profile
New user
Canton, GA
52 Posts

Profile of AntonZ
I am so happy and proud that Steve has accepted me as a Banner supporter of the Magic Café. If you look at my number of posts you will quickly see that I am a Newbie here. But if you take time to read some of my posts you'll see that I am far from a Newbie to the business world of earning a living as a Magician and Mentalist in almost every venue where a guy/lady can earn a terrific living as a performer or magic and mentalism.... and I do mean way better than average!

So here's my offer. Please take this opportunity to ask me anything you wish about our business of "Show Business" and I will provide my best advice, information and guidance.... totally candid and honest.

Of course I am aware that there are many other Pro's here who know what I know and even more. I am only in position to share my experiences of how I was able to leave my day job of ten years at age 36 and earn a better than modest living for more than 30 years doing what I loved to do. I know hands down how to make a deal, create a show and entertain audiences with my magic and the mental skills.

I'm not sure if this suggested thread is possible on the Magic Café, but if it is here's my wish. Please allow this thread to let me answer questions that are asked by folks who sincerely want to know what "I" think "I" know and not become a place for me and other Pro's to debate our positions. Seems as though there are plenty of threads for this to occur if needed.

And if this experiment does not work then I will be delighted to answer questions off line at my email address which is listed in my profile.

Again thank you Steve for allowing me to place my advertising banner along with the great Magicians who have been at this far longer than me.
inhumaninferno
View Profile
Elite user
450 Posts

Profile of inhumaninferno
Mr. Zellman,

My question has to do with image, specifically appearance for a performer who wishes to work corporate events, trade shows, etc.

I wear my hair slicked back in a short pony tail. Now, I have and do successfully perform in schools, some theaters, events and a few other venues. However, would my hairstyle negatively impact my moving into trade show/corporate entertainment?
Would this be "baggage" that would be better left behind? Do you see resistance to someone who is well groomed, but not with a "corporate conservative" look?

Please, bear in mind that I am not some kid but rather a man in my 40's who is an experience performer and speaker.

Your input is valued. Thank you.

John Johnson
joshlondon17
View Profile
Special user
San Diego, CA
685 Posts

Profile of joshlondon17
Can you talk about how you left your day job at age 36? I, too, and getting quite burned out at my job as a paramedic. Believe it or not there's nothing that challenges me about paramedicine anymore and I'm thinking about getting back into corporate work and possible trade show work.

Thanks!
Josh London
AntonZ
View Profile
New user
Canton, GA
52 Posts

Profile of AntonZ
Hi Guys. I've had one of those whirlwind days with business and opening up a new Boys & Girls Club in my City of Canton.

Thanks for the great questions. I'll answer them properly in the morning after some needed rest.

Until then enjoy the attached photo. Keep in mind this was in the seventies when long facial hair on a corporate guy was not in fashion.

Click here to view attached image.
TheDean
View Profile
Inner circle
Reno, Nevada
2164 Posts

Profile of TheDean
Funny stuff Anton... I have BIG HAIR pictures too that would make a comedy writer LAUGH Out Loud! (Hehehehehehehe!)
Dean Hankey, *M.D. - The Dean of Success Solutions!
Serving & Supporting YOU and Your Success!
"Book More Shows... Make More Money... SERVE MORE PEOPLE! - Not Necessarily In That Order…"

(*Marketing Doctor) Smile
aussiemagic
View Profile
Special user
937 Posts

Profile of aussiemagic
Im also in the same position as inhumaninferno, so I am keen to hear Antons opinion on this.
How to become a professional magician:
Click here
Tom Riddle
View Profile
Special user
Chelsea, UK
507 Posts

Profile of Tom Riddle
I have a question for you, Anton. Why do so many corporate magicians have a superior attitude to children's entertainers? The money may generally be better in the corporate world, but getting the lucrative gigs can be few and far between, whereas a good children's entertainer can make over 6 figures, and have shows every day of the year. I am curious if you ever did children's parties?
"Yes, Virginia, there really are people named Riddle...isn't that AMAZING! And to think of all the royalties I'm missing out on! SCANDALOUS!"

Thomas Williamson Riddle III
Chelsea, UK
AntonZ
View Profile
New user
Canton, GA
52 Posts

Profile of AntonZ
Quote:
On 2007-11-29 22:47, inhumaninferno wrote:
Mr. Zellman,

My question has to do with image, specifically appearance for a performer who wishes to work corporate events, trade shows, etc.

I wear my hair slicked back in a short pony tail. Now, I have and do successfully perform in schools, some theaters, events and a few other venues. However, would my hairstyle negatively impact my moving into trade show/corporate entertainment?
Would this be "baggage" that would be better left behind? Do you see resistance to someone who is well groomed, but not with a "corporate conservative" look?

Please, bear in mind that I am not some kid but rather a man in my 40's who is an experience performer and speaker.

Your input is valued. Thank you.

John Johnson


John,

The short answer is "GO FOR IT!" I know that you can make it as a performer in corporate America with a ponytail, especially today! Hell man, guys are wearing earring(s) and nose rings and body paint and piercing on places all over their bodies... places I don't even want to think about... ouch.

As I think about your question I have to smile because “I really did it my way”

I sort of tipped my reply with the photo I attached last evening. I have worn my hair long (not long enough for a pony tail) and have worn facial hair since 1973.

I started with a mustache when as a salesman with the Bulova Watch Company I attended sales meeting. No one wore facial hair in that company. And Bulova was as corporate as it could get. There were lots of rules and standards.

So here I am about to show up at a sales meeting wearing a mustache. Now I had a reason, you see I was asked to play the roll of Chaplin in a brief spoof during one of our Banquet nights.

The attached photo says it all. No one said a word to me about the hair on my face and I lasted another four years (mustache and all) until I left Bulova to make my living as a "Magician" in 1977.

Frankly my reason for wearing a long beard and lots of hair as a performer stemmed from my own esteem issues. Around 1980 I decided Mentalism was my niche and I didn't think I looked the part... I thought I was way too young looking to be believable. Maybe I could look older with a beard! So I let it and my hair to grow and grow. I thought I looked groomed and clean and "older." Well I lasted at the medical shows for ,ore than 20 years and only one client ever asked me to shave. I did not and still performed for that company for 14 years.

John, I truly believe that if you appear clean and groomed, then it does not matter AS LONG AS you are not stuck with an esteem issue about it and you have the performing skills and presence to demonstrate that YOU are OK with YOU!

Will some potential client, possibly wearing a Buzz cut, decide not to hire you because he does not like your appearance? Sure, but there will also be plenty who will accept you without blinking an eye.

Clients are all interested in the same thing when they engage us... will he be worth the dough he's asking for and will he give my audience a really GREAT time? And if you are GREAT and confidant about your performance skills then all of the other stuff really does not count.

There are lots of examples out there of both clean cut looking and bazaar looking men making a great living as Magicians and Mentalists in corporate America.

Let's see... Wilson & Copperfield and Oh yeah... Doug Henning & Penn Jillete and that new guy who thinks he’s an Angel… ☺

Hey there was even an American magician who gained fame as the "Cowboy Magician" in the late 1800's. Known for his flowing long hair and elaborate Buffalo Bill-type costumes.

So I hope you go for it... Ponytail and all.

Click here to view attached image.
inhumaninferno
View Profile
Elite user
450 Posts

Profile of inhumaninferno
Anton,

What a reply! Now, that is the good stuff with great examples. Positive and action oriented.

Only once have I had a negative comment about my "hairppearance" and that was from a cruise ship passenger---who I politely thanked and promptly ignored.

Looking forward to conquering new territory. I'll be in touch Anton.

John (maybe I'll get a mohawk) Johnson
inhumaninferno
View Profile
Elite user
450 Posts

Profile of inhumaninferno
Anton,

Allow me to add this request.

Could you tell us about your "anatomy of the deal". Not needing basic business info nor wanting you to give away goods that are covered in your course.

Rather, your take/advice/experience doing the walk on putting together a deal after initial contact has been made with a potential client.

Thanks again.

John
AntonZ
View Profile
New user
Canton, GA
52 Posts

Profile of AntonZ
Quote:
On 2007-11-30 10:59, joshlondon17 wrote:
Can you talk about how you left your day job at age 36? I, too, and getting quite burned out at my job as a paramedic. Believe it or not there's nothing that challenges me about paramedicine anymore and I'm thinking about getting back into corporate work and possible trade show work.

Thanks!
Josh London


Hi Josh,

A couple of things I'd mention before sharing my story of letting go of my day job to work full time as a Magician or as any other type of performer.

Taking care of yourself and family is "JOB ONE." So in no way would I ever suggest to anyone to put yourself or your family at risk or to trade in a steady paycheck for the life of a performer... that is UNLESS… a few things are already in place.

1. You are finically in position to work the business of show for at least two... maybe even three years without concern for how much you earn during that time.

2. You are truly experienced at performing. That means you are skilled as a magician, you have several great acts that you can perform in almost any setting, you are confident, comfortable and skillful on stage, your audiences love your show and personality and you are capable of dealing with rejection when it comes your way... and it will.

3. You have good to great business, marketing and self-management skills. I mean that you know how to attract clients to you; you know how to create and follow through with a business and marketing plan. You understand how to approach clients and to close the deal. You know how to write a script, create support materials and write proposals, estimates, contracts and invoices. You know the worth of your service and have no fear about asking for higher fees. You know how to deal with your taxes and other government related issues. And you have the dicipline to get up every day and work your plan, do the preperation and follow through with all of the business aspects of making a living as a Magician/Entertainer.

And that’s just for openers! And Josh, I’m only touching the surface here. But wait… don’t give up help is on its way!

I don’t know anyone who wakes up one day and has it all together. I certainly didn’t. It took me many years to resolve all of those issues and to put components in place. In many ways I was forced to learn on the job. But I knew what I wanted from the day I made up my mind to leave the Bulova Watch Company after ten years and work as a Magician. I wanted this since I was a little kid and saw how adults reacted to my performing a trick. There’s nothing like it. The attention, the wonderment, the respect, atta-boys and warm fuzzies that come with the territory.

I strongly believe that there is no really good reason for anyone in this country, with the opportunities that we all have or can make for ourselves to remain in a job that is unsatisfying and does not bring us joy along with a great living.

I believe the question is not “how do I give up my job” but what do I really want to do? How much am I willing to work and what am I willing to do to make it happen.

This is getting way too long so I’ll make a second post after a short while expressing how I did it and perhaps I'll be able to provide you with some motivation as to how you can too.
TheDean
View Profile
Inner circle
Reno, Nevada
2164 Posts

Profile of TheDean
Truly sage advice from an established professional! Good news guys, Anton promised to be HONEST, and what he just wrote is some of the best information offered! Thanks Anton!

With all my coaching students, I always insist on the same advice... I have said it here before as well.

THANKS for sharing the TRUTH...

Will everyone head the advice? No... though we wish they would for their OWN sake!

Thinking of YOU and Your Success!

I am at your service and In HIS Service,
Deano (listening to experts like Anton) in Reno
<><
Dean Hankey, *M.D. - The Dean of Success Solutions!
Serving & Supporting YOU and Your Success!
"Book More Shows... Make More Money... SERVE MORE PEOPLE! - Not Necessarily In That Order…"

(*Marketing Doctor) Smile
AntonZ
View Profile
New user
Canton, GA
52 Posts

Profile of AntonZ
Quote:
On 2007-12-01 10:16, Tom Riddle wrote:
I have a question for you, Anton. Why do so many corporate magicians have a superior attitude to children's entertainers? The money may generally be better in the corporate world, but getting the lucrative gigs can be few and far between, whereas a good children's entertainer can make over 6 figures, and have shows every day of the year. I am curious if you ever did children's parties?


Hi Tom,

Thanks for the question. I'm not at all familiar with how other guys who work corporate shows feel towards their peers working other venues. Until I retired in 2001 I really did not know too many guys or ladies doing what I was doing for a living. I met a few on the trade show floor and always attempted to share what I knew with them. I figure sharing my knowledge is like sharing my love. After I do it I still have a whole lot left and who knows maybe I'll receive some of theirs as well.

I think I did notice that some folks who are doing well in a specific venue have a fear of others encroaching on what they think is their exclusive territory. They seem to think that they will loose out on jobs if others come along. Maybe that's what's behind the attitude you describe? I'm clear that there is always work available and there aren't enough guys doing what we do going after it. And when they do there seems to be a lack of originality so there's always room for someone who does it differently.

Anyone who knows me knows that I have the greatest respect for every occupation and every fee level. We all serve each other. No one is better or more important than anyone else. Maybe a specific occupation requires more or different skill sets, more or different knowledge and different approaches to getting and working the business.

At this stage in my life I have an attitude that allows me to be OK with who I am and who you are. I have no need to compare me with others. Besides, I'm beginning to understand that how I view others is all a mirror reflection of who I am and has little to do with anyone else and their worldly experience.

Yes I worked kid parties. I think many of us have started out doing kids parties. I did my share along with any other work that I could come up with. Fact was that I loved doing the kids shows and was earning some good paychecks and that was almost 35 years ago.

What I did learn after about five years of always looking for new clients was that I really did not want to literally have two jobs. One job finding the work and the second was to prepare for, get to the event, perform and make it safely back home.

I think I was up to 125 plus jobs a year when I made the decision that I wanted to figure out how to earn a great living without doing so many jobs a year. It was about 1984 when I decided that Trade Shows was what I would focus on. Up until then I had only about 6 or 8 Trade Shows under my belt. What I did see clearly was that I could book a trade show or sales meeting and get paid for 2-5 days of work. That meant that I did not have to look for so many jobs and that I could stay in one place and earn more than I was doing by performing at 15 to 20 events a month. And fewer set ups and tear downs and overall travel to boot.

So Tom... I guess it really comes down to a matter of preference. For me I like looking for and working fewer jobs and earning more pay. That's not to say your way is not just as good. Again thanks for asking.

Click here to view attached image.
joshlondon17
View Profile
Special user
San Diego, CA
685 Posts

Profile of joshlondon17
Anton,

Also wondering if you could touch on how you stopped trade show attendees?

Thanks!
Josh London
TheDean
View Profile
Inner circle
Reno, Nevada
2164 Posts

Profile of TheDean
Trip wire?

;)
Dean Hankey, *M.D. - The Dean of Success Solutions!
Serving & Supporting YOU and Your Success!
"Book More Shows... Make More Money... SERVE MORE PEOPLE! - Not Necessarily In That Order…"

(*Marketing Doctor) Smile
Jim Snack
View Profile
Inner circle
1338 Posts

Profile of Jim Snack
Anton is sharing some wonderful insights in this post and I want to add a few thoughts.

First, I concur with the point about appearance and facial hair. I've had my beard since the 1970's and it has not been a problem in the corporate world. Certainly you need be be neatly groomed and well-attired, but your act is what matters. Do you have a solid professional quality act that delivers what you promise?

Also, your personality matters. Are you easy and pleasant to work with? Are you good at building relationships? Can you offer a solution to people's problems? If you can, a pony tail could be an asset. It could make you more memorable!

Regarding performing full-time, I think something that people often overlook as they are pondering jumping into the business full-time is that one should try building a part-time business first. Assuming a performer is booking single dates, a full time performer will probably book 100-150 dates per year. That number will be different for trade show performers who usually book multiple dates per engagement, but it is a good estimate to work with.

I don't think someone should consider jumping into performing full time until they have built their business to a level where they are booking 50-75 dates a year. That's only one night a week and perhaps a week end booking every two weeks, something anyone can do while holding down another full-time job.

If you are struggling to get 50 dates a year, it is only going to be more difficult getting 100-150 bookings. Building a part-time business is a great way to gain the business and marketing skills needed to run a full-time venture.

And you can learn those skills performing for children's parties as well as in any other market. I did primarily children and family shows for two decades before making the corporate and association markets my primary markets. Running a business requires more than performance skills, as Anton mentioned above, and you can polish those skills at any level.

Finally, I haven't met many corporate performers who look down on children's performers. In fact, most that I know are just like Anton, open and respectful to anyone who is acts professionally at what they do. Personally, I love watching a performer who is a master at handling any type of audience, whether that audience is a group of hard-nosed salespeople in a trade show situation or a group of excited children at a community event. I can appreciate what it takes to do a great show and I'm in the wings cheering on the performer to do a great job. And if I keep an open mind, I may even learn something from either performer.

Jim
Jim Snack

"Helping Magicians Succeed with Downloadable Resources"
www.success-in-magic.com
joshlondon17
View Profile
Special user
San Diego, CA
685 Posts

Profile of joshlondon17
Jim,

Every time I read your posts I'm constantly saying you're spot on. I really do like what you have to say and you're in no way condecending or rude. I thank you for that.

My problem isn't keeping busy as a full-timer performer (I did that for over 4 years and had enough shows to keep busy every week of the month for corporate show), and my show was top notch. My friend and artist, Chris Wilson are actually putting together a motivational show for corporate audiences that will combine magic/mentalism, live painting, music and motivational messages. We'll be ready to launch a campaign with website, brochures, video, etc. in Jan or Feb.

But, I think my problem is the stress of getting back into it. I've become so comfortable (and quite good if I don't say so) being a paramedic. I enjoy the challenge of the job, but how many times can I go on a cardiac arrest call without it becoming mundane and routine? I've learned a few years worth.

I do think that your advice about starting part time is right on and that's what I was planning on doing. So it's nice to see someone thinking the same lines as me.

Josh London
AntonZ
View Profile
New user
Canton, GA
52 Posts

Profile of AntonZ
First let me thank Jim Snack for adding his awesome words of wisdom to this thread. Like I said early on.... this Magic Café is one heck of a place to share and receive knowledge from people who have been in the trenches and have years of experience and a desire to help anyone who cares to read and apply what they learn.

I want to also note that I found the same level of knowledge and desire to share when I previously spent time talking about Trade Shows on “Buskers Café American”, especially when conversing with Danny Doyle, Danny Hustle, Mark Green and that old curmudgeon who I enjoy and appreciate so much, Mark “Mr. Optimism” Lewis and others.

I got a bit side tracked with all of the problems I’ve encountered as I had my websites and sales letters built so I could begin marketing my Course that I’ve been a bit tardy about getting back there and talking about trade shows. But without a doubt they are in good hands until I return with Mark at the posting helm.

Now to get back on track, here's the second installment that I promised to post about how I made the leap from my day job to full-time performer.

How exactly did I make the transition from my day job as Bulova Watch Company salesman to a full-time working performer-Magician/Mentalist?

Actually I did exactly what Jim Snack so eloquently expressed in his post above. One step at a time over a period of five years!

I performed for dough part time from 1973 until I left Bulova in June of 1977.

I performed at as many events and jobs as I could book. I created a PR campaign in the city in which I lived, Toledo Ohio. I got my name and photo in the newspaper as often as I could. I did free work for the city, for hospitals, senior citizens homes, Orphanages, Rotary, Kiwanis and Optimist Clubs and when appropriate for some companies.

I got myself booked as a guest on the morning TV shows and then on the PM Magazine show that was very popular in the late nineties and early eighties.

I worked the Buildings looking for work rather than working the City or County… a concept that I will describe in the near future and in greater detail, in my next Trade Show Secrets Report.

So to sum this up for now, let me add two more important thoughts for anyone interested in leaving their day job to work full-time as a Magician or Mentalist or for that matter any other type of performer, speaker, presenter.

1. It’s OK to be eager to get it going right now while the excitement flows through your veins. But please, for your families and your own sake… ease into the transition. Take it a step at a time. Hey you waited this long... what’s the hurry? Even if you feel that you are getting older and are dissatisfied with your current occupation you can still have the best of both worlds. Continue to make a living while building your foundation. Consider the monies you will earn with your second job as a performer as investment money in your future.

2. Which brings me to my second point. Today you guys have something that most of us working at this craft 50, 40 & 30 years ago did not know about or had easy access to. The knowledge of all of the Pro’s who have achieved what you are wishing to accomplish. Take advantage of us, ask us questions and yes invest in some of our products. With the advantage of technology and the sharing of information here and on other forums you can easily know whose information and offerings you can trust to help you along. Sure you’ll have to share some of your cash but you’ll shave years off your learning curves. One caveat!!! Please don’t purchase our stuff thinking there is some magic pill in what we say. There is none. If you invest in you performing career with our information as books, DVD's, reports, Courses, consulting sessions… whatever… then do the right thing… Make use of the information… reality test it… stay the course. The rewards for some of you will be astonishing and can come to you more quickly than you may otherwise imagine.

I just realized that it would make sense to mention that when I decided to make the leap from day-job to full time performing there were specific events taking place that you would want to know about.

a) I was leaving a job that grossed me $38,000 a year (pretty Big Bucks in 1977) because I was tired and bored with the job after 10 plus years.

b) I was divorced from my first wife and had both child support for two daughters and alimony to pay to a wife who had no skills for earning a living. I'll add that I never regretted for a moment that I had this obligation and duty to take care of them for the following 11 years.

c) I had more than $32,000 in past debts not counting the mortgage on the house I left to my wife and kids to pay off.

d) I had no savings.

e) I was now also supporting my sweetheart Lois who would become my second wife (together now for 32 years)

f) What I did have was a burning desire to earn my living as magician.

g) I had the business and marketing savvy in place.

h) I had built a positive reputation with two companies in Toledo, OH.

i) I had conceived of an idea of using themes in my shows. I still use these themes today.

j) I had 4 trade shows and a few hundred other performances under my belt

k) I absolutely loved what I was doing and was willing to work the business almost 24/7

l) Lois and I lived in rented houses for 10 years with mostly milk crates and used furniture and we loved every moment of it.

And by the way, I didn't begin to focus on the trade show business until seven years after I left Bulova. At that time I had paid off all of my debts and had $5,000 in the bank with the prospect of college and weddings for our two daughters.

This business has been so great to us. We have been debt free and have lived on a beautiful five acre property for the past 20 years where my two neighbors allow their horses to graze. Life is good!
Jerskin
View Profile
Inner circle
2482 Posts

Profile of Jerskin
Hi Anton. May I ask what the average day rate is for a major trade show? Not for someone like you but an average magician working a booth. Thanks!
GrEg oTtO

MUNDUS VULT DECIPI
AntonZ
View Profile
New user
Canton, GA
52 Posts

Profile of AntonZ
Quote:
On 2007-12-01 17:02, joshlondon17 wrote:
Anton,

Also wondering if you could touch on how you stopped trade show attendees?

Thanks!
Josh London


Josh,

Thanks for asking

I incorporated a series of methods to attract an audience both to and into my clients exhibit.

A quick list would be:

1. Signage
2. Give-aways
3. Gifts to volunteers
4. The staging
5. Proper use of Audio
6. Visuals like slides
7. A confident manner
8. Laughter
9. Applause
10. Interactive devices
11. Attitude and enthusiasm
12. Assistants

I detail these and more in my Trade Show Secrets report you can find on my site by clicking on my banner ad here at the Magic Café.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Not Only Trade Show Information! (0 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2019 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.34 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL