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Dannydoyle
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Eternal Order
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I recently had dinner with several "agents" and talent coordinators from every venue from comedy clubs, to colleges, to resorts and cruise ships. We were talking about some serious common mistakes made by talent that automatically gets a NO from them.

I have to admit most of them fall into the catagory of "pet peeve" and are fairly individual, but the thought process is interesting none the less.

First off WORDS MEAN THINGS. While I can't spell worth a hoot, when I send promo to someone email or otherwise it is spellchecked. Most figure if you don't have the time to spend on spelling, what will the act be like.

Also it would be a good idea to find another word for "unique". One lady every time she saw the word unique and then saw something less than unique immediatly threw it out. I would not go that far, but the word had a meaning. With the internet today especially, it REALLY matters what you write as many shop online with hundreds of choices.

Also just because you buy the trick in the "comedy magic" section, does NOT make you hilarious or side splittingly funny. When you make claims like that it puts you up against actual comedy acts, and makes it tougher.

I have to say ONE area of concensus was the vaunted "letters of recomendation". Wow I have to say that the HUGE percentage never did more than glance at them. If you had a pile of them, it was universally not a great thing. One or two recent ones really does make a difference, but ten did not help, but hurt. Too much to read and past one or two, nobody really cared.

Keep in mind that the propegation of the "success peddlers" is not always a good thing. I mean they can tell who you have been reading, just by the way your package looks. They get hundreds of these things a week! When yours is "unique" and 20 others look almost the same, something is up.

One UNIVERSAL cool good thing was this, and it is the point of my post. SOMETHING has to make them want to pop the DVD in the player. What will do that? The idea of sending a "gift" of some sort REALLY works. Something cool, something a bit unique. This is NOT MY IDEA, but it is something that shows a bit of extra thought. The legendary "Bowling Ball" idea for example.

Actually the KISS idea REALLY took the day. As far as that goes they wanted to know what you could do as fast as you could communiate that fact. They are in a hurry too LOL.

None of these are actually UNIVERSAL except to the small group with which I was having a meal. None is an absolute truth but should be taken with a grain of salt, and simply be used to stimulate thought process with which a promo package is put together with. NOT as an attack by me, or as a LAW to which you should adhere. Simply passing along interesting tid bits.

Good luck, because the promo package is what many of us live or die by. It may as well be as good as possible.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Rory Raven
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Providence, RI
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Thanks, Danny. This is good info to bear in mind.

R
"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." -- Groucho Marx
visit www.roryraven.com today!
Al Angello
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Collegeville, Pa. USA
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Danny
It is very unmagician like to offer valuable advise for free. Why don't you write a book, and become a magic guru who sells advise to gullible magicians for big bucks? Are you buying that concept of magicians helping magicians?
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Bob Sanders
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Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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Danny,

Having been an agent and agency owner, nothing has changed! The most valued commodity to an agent is a talent buyer. Acts are the easy part to fill.

Simply put, agents aren't looking for solutions to problems they don't have.

Finding talent is rarely one of them.

What I really find is that too many entertainers do not know the difference between a personal manager and an agent. Often that is the difference between having agents and not having agents.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com
Al Angello
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Collegeville, Pa. USA
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OK Bob
Does a small time performer like me really want a manager? I have lots of agencies that call me from time to time, but they all have just their own interest at heart. I realize that the kind of shows that you do you may need a manager, but us little guys can beat the bushes ourselves. What is your advise on that subject?
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
The Village Idiots
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Danny,

Is my bowling ball "legendary?" I have started with some new things but I don't want them to become legendary so I will share one that I have recently heard of. A guy mailed a shoe with it inscribed, "Trying to get my foot in the door." It sits next to my bowling ball in the Carnival office.

Good tips. Thanks for sharing.

Will
Some are born idiots.

Some are made idiots.

Some have idiocy thrust upon them.
jl1717
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Danny,

It seems like someone has stolen your password and logged in as you! LOL, just kidding, I really enjoyed that post and would love to hear more about some of the specific pieces agents/talent buyers pick out first in a promo kit.

My kit includes a DVD, one sheeter (I only offer 3 different programs), fee schedule (which is actually a bookmark type thing), a one-sheeter that has a client list and testimonials, and a photo page.

All professionally done and produced mind you. Is there any one piece that will help set one's promotional material apart from anyone else? I am thinking about making my promo pack into a folder type thing, the only examply I can think of as to what I'm talking about is like if you go to a car dealership and look at all the brochures (but they really aren't brochures) for each specific car. They are about 8.5" X 11" and stapled. Know what I'm talking about?

I always thought that would be a good idea instead of the normal white paper.

One thing I always liked to do was to send the package via Priority Mail. I always thought it showed the agent that they were that special and that they neeeded this right now!
Al Angello
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If you really want to be special you can get photo stamps from the post office. What can be more impressive than a first class stamp with your picture on it?

Photo stamps can be bought from the US postal service at http://www.stamps.com/
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
jl1717
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Al,

That might be a bit overboard, but that would be kind of cool. I wonder what someone would actually think of when they see that. The first thought that popped into my mind when I saw your post was, "How egotistical."
Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On 2008-05-25 12:52, The Village Idiots wrote:
Danny,

Is my bowling ball "legendary?" Will


Yes sorry but it is.

Oh let me add some things.

Just because you see "money" involved in a venue does not mean you should charge out the yin yang for the show.

Know what you are worth yes but let me tell you the list of guys sitting at home who have priced themselvs out of too many markets is pretty long.

What I mean is for example most resort work. They in general have no need to have a $1500 a night act. They have people sitting facing a stage and need an act which can entertain them. They have no need to draw a crowd, no need to have a huge name and no need for "solutions" as Bob has said. They have a crowd which needs to have a good time for the next 45 to 60 minutes. The cruise ship industry is reaching this same conclusion.

So is $1500 for the show a good price? Yep. Is it a price you are going to get? Well probably not and certainly not for the long term. Just want everyone to think long term.

Wanting to do theater work now for example. Is your show worth $25 when gas costs so darn much? It is something to consider.

Lastly this is something that really is annoying. There is this new wave of agents hitting the scene. The type who are NOT out to screw anyone because they see how long term that is not good. So you may want to be on the lookout so you spot them. They are really fun to deal with.

I think they saw the Saturn comercials and saw the "no haggle" thing and went with it. They offer a price for a show, and it is a good price, but performers INSIST on posing with fictitious prices, and with things like that. They simply move on to the next name on the list believe me. Agents know EXACTLY what others pay, so when you pose, try to use a name they are not familiar with LOL.

See to me if you want to "haggle" it "implies" that you think I am trying to screw you with the lowest possible price, and take the rest and pocket the difference. This is absolutly NOT the way I, or anyone I know and deal with operates. This sets a HORRID tone for the "relationship".

Now I have to admit when I started, I did things like this, and I was guilty of things I have said above and really as I see 20 years later made a fool of myself. Also it is no shocker why the phone didn't ring nearly as much as I had hoped it would.

(As for that little shot about hacking in, I am going to let it pass for now. I am sure in your world that actually passes for wit. Have fun. This was intended to help)

I gotta say there HAS to be a way to bridge the gap between performer, and people who provide performers. This will make things easier on both sides!
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
magicofCurtis
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I got two major event planner/agents just by a simple postcard... Smile
Al Angello
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Jl1717
I can tell you exactly what people say when they get a first class stamp with your picture on it. I sent my niece a birthday card with my stamp on it, she took it to school to show her teacher that her uncle has a stamp with his picture on it, and he is still alive.

When I send a promotional package, or a contract out I find that most people will call you up with lots of questions.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
jl1717
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Al,

Then that sounds like something that I'd be interested in. I got booked for a show in Vegas for a welding !@#ociation at the Flamingo because the lady googled magician and vegas and somehow I came up, she saw my client list and saw that I performed at her old high school. We talked for about 10 minutes and 7 of them was about how much she liked the school.

Weird things like that happen, so that leads me to believe that a simple stamp with a picture of my would generate some form of interest. Thanks Al!
Al Angello
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My magic Café avatar is the face of my stamp. They cost about $.75 to $1 each.

PS- I just sent you a PM about that rope trick you asked me about.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
TomBoleware
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Just remember, not everyone will automatically notice the stamp.

However, including an extra “My Stamp” for them to use will get attention.

Tom
Do What Others Do And You Will Become Average

The Daycare Magician Book
www.amazekids.com/magic-downloads/childrens-magic-ebooks/the-daycare-magician/

Tom Boleware
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Christopher Starr
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Heart of America
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Thanks for the post Danny. Great inside perspective.
The Village Idiots
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When I mail a client anything I put a stamp on every side of the box or envelope so that when they see it they know it's from me. I use a big stamp that says "DO NOT BOUNCE" on it. It sets my packages apart from all the others they get everyday. I just had a custom stamp made to do this, before I printed them on clear contact paper. I was talking to a friend that is a hypnotist and I suggested he have a bunch of hypno wheels printed as stickers to do the same with. Especially any client that gets 15 or more promo packs every day, and I have seen them, this makes yours noticed and helps establish you in their mind.
Some are born idiots.

Some are made idiots.

Some have idiocy thrust upon them.
Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On 2008-05-25 17:07, The Village Idiots wrote:
When I mail a client anything I put a stamp on every side of the box or envelope so that when they see it they know it's from me. I use a big stamp that says "DO NOT BOUNCE" on it. It sets my packages apart from all the others they get everyday. I just had a custom stamp made to do this, before I printed them on clear contact paper. I was talking to a friend that is a hypnotist and I suggested he have a bunch of hypno wheels printed as stickers to do the same with. Especially any client that gets 15 or more promo packs every day, and I have seen them, this makes yours noticed and helps establish you in their mind.


EXACTLY my point.

Give them a reason to pick up the package.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Dannydoyle
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After they DO pick up the package it is back to basics. Well we never really left basics I guess LOL.

BUT the video must be strong.

One thing that everyone must try to keep up with. The DVD rules the day. If you have a VHS, send it to the Smithsonian or however it is spelled.

BEST thing you can do with the DVD is a few things. Some points which had almost complete agreement again were the following.

The DVD should have not only a few snippits of the show, 12 minutes at MOST, but also a FULL SHOW IN FRONT OF AN AUDIENCE. It is not a film school submission but rather they want to see how the audience is reacting to you. The edited version should be lit well and edited nice, but the full show you have some extra leeway with. It STILL should look as good as possible because it is easy and inexpensive to do so.

The thing that almost universally again got bad mentions, was the "testimonial in the middle of the video" nonsense that SO many seem to think is cool now. It is crazy, you are showcasting YOU and you have plenty of letters of recomendation, no need to do this. Heck just when they get behind you as a charector, and start to like what they are seeing, then you interupt it with some person in the hallway saying something you obviously told them to say.

Leave that nonsense to the letters. As I said the are HARDLY EVER READ anyhow! Let them SEE how great you are. Let them SEE how funny you are. I would be FAR MORE impressed with the audience doubled over laughing than with any number of hallway testimonials.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
jl1717
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I love the stamp ideas. I might have to invest in them.

Danny, what is the first thing talent buyers/agents pick up when they open a "traditional" promo kit? I ask this simply because you have extensive knowledge in this field and I would like some help...if you don't mind.
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