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DanielCoyne
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Western Massachussetts
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How many of you use stage names?

I'm thinking about it for a few reasons. One is that I have a professional marketing consultancy that I would like to keep separate from my entertainment clients/prospects.

Here's a name and tagline that I came up with...very much in the brainstorming stage:

Danny Wonders
magic, juggling, and inadvertent comedy
Charming entertainment for guests of all ages!

This is purposefully a little goofy, which is in character for my performance style (so far.) I'd love to hear people's reactions (and if this is too similar to any existing performers.)

I am also curious about your thoughts on stage names in general.

-Daniel
DanielGreenWolf
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Waterbury, CT
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I personally use a stage name for a variety of reasons, but also have had some troubles with a stage name over the years.

I currently, and probably until the end of time, go by Daniel GreenWolf. It's my real first name and a stage surname. I used to go by Malak GreenWolf. I stopped using Malak because people couldn't pronounce it when they read it, or spell it when they heard it... not exactly good from a marketing stand point. (And for the people who say "Well, Arnold Schwarzenegger did pretty well for himself" never remember that he had an agent doing the work for him after he got famous as a bodybuilder. It doesn't matter how your name is spelled if you're a sports star.)

Use a stage name because my real last name didn't quite match up with my character. I'm very Irish, I look very Irish, but my last name is a French-Canadian derivative that sounds Jewish. Also people constantly mispelled it my whole life.

There are many reasons for a stage name. I am, however, one of those people who do not believe in using things like "Amazing", "Incredible", "Wonder" (Unless you're related to Tommy) or any other things like that. But I am just one opinion.

In terms of your tag line, I actually like the magic, juggling, and inadvertent comedy part, but the second part doesn't do anything for you. "For all Ages" sounds too much like the horrible line "Magic for all occasions". "For the Whole Family" is better and still gets your point across, but I would personally drop that line all together.

There's my thoughts.
-Much love,
Daniel GreenWolf
Celtic Magician

www.GreenWolfMagic.com
DanielCoyne
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Western Massachussetts
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Thanks for the input. Good stuff.

God -- I actually forgot about Tommy Wonder. Even though I was kind of liking the idea that "Danny Wonders" is a complete sentence that has implications of being a little befuddled, it may sound too close to Tommy Wonder to use.

-Dan
Neale Bacon
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Burnaby BC Canada
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I thought about it quite a few years ago and thought I could either change my name or capitalize on it, so I went with the latter.

Neale Bacon and Friends - Just Bacon Up Some Fun
I am a ventriloquist and my main character is a pig etc.
Neale Bacon and his Crazy Critters
Burnaby BC
Canada's Favourite Family Ventriloquist
www.baconandfriends.com
montymagi
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Slidell La
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I don't so much use a stage name as I don't use my last name. Everything is Magic by Monty. I have a day job that I try very hard to keep from spilling over into the magic side. I am with Daniel when it comes to names that sound like cheesy promo. I hate when MCees try to get clever and add stuff like that so I always have something written up for them. Lets not forget Steeve Wonder!
Agent86
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This is has been a constant thought in my mind ever since I started performing. I've come up with some great names (at least I thought they were great) but always felt kind of bad for using them. Don't ask me why. I've recently been tinkering around with a single name. Like Prince, Madonna, etc. Of course I wouldn't be calling myself Prince Smile

I've actively used the names:

Christian Wolfe
Christopher Hunter
Gabriel Diamond
and now recently I've been tinkering around with simply - St.Clair (which is a family name and holds serious meaning to me. Even though it has a woman's name in it)

I'm still on the fence about a stage name. A lot of people said my current name sounds great but I don't know.

My ramblings.
Father Photius
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El Paso, TX (Formerly Amarillo)
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I've used many stage names. Sometimes in my early career to get work I had to change it after every show, even in a few shows I had to change it between tricks. I tried all sorts of strange and "timely" things. I onced used my Maternal Grandfather's middle name (Omyn) and probably used it for a few years successfully. Once I became a preist I started using my baptismal name (Photius) with Fr. in front of it. Since that is how I'm known to church members and have stayed with that. Seldom use my last name (Bouton) had a relative (Harry Bouton) who tried using the last name with little success, he also use a lot of different stage names, finally settled on Blackstone. Worked for him, even though his brother who worked with him kept the family name.
Stage names seem to work best if you have a very difficult to pronounce or read last name. I know many who simply have used their first and middle names successfully.
Others used their middle name and last name instead. Have you ever heard of James Wilson as a magician, or Arla Blackstone? Those are their first and last names. But bet you have heard of Mark Wilson and Gay Blackstone, using middle and last names.
Try one out, if it doesn't work you can always change it. Many actors change their names not so much because it is better on the marquee, but because the Union will not register two actors with the same name, and somebody with the same name as their's already had joined the Union.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
Police Magician
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Georgia
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My first stage name was given to me by an audience member. I am from the South, but was living in New York state at the time. My style was to show respect to the audience and not make fun of them. Being that I was contracted to do weekly shows at a hotel, I was known to many people who returned time and time again. My billing was "The Magic of Glenn Hester".

One of the ladies in the audience remarked to me how much she liked the style I had with the people. She called me a "Southern Gentleman". Hence, the name "Glenn Hester, The Southern Gentleman" was added.

After I got into law enforcement and started doing Police Magic shows, I was billed as a Police Magician. Nowadays, I am known just as a Police Magician since most of my shows and lectures revolve around crime prevention themes. I do regular magic entertainment but am known only by my first and last name, nothing fancy about that.

I did try and put my last name similar to Houdini's when I called myself "Hesteni", but I use a puppet with that name now. I did a character using the name Hesteni once. Since I wanted to educate people on con games, I was known as "Hesteni, The Honest Charlatan". But, as mentioned, I gave tne name to one of my puppets that I use in regular magic shows with no themes.

Reinventing one's self is good, but I am not going to try to do it again. With the moniker I now hold, they can get regular magic shows or shows with themes in crime prevention. I am satisfied with the moniker I use on this forum and will stick with it, even when I retire from my chosen profession.

Good luck with your moniker. It may take some doing, but I am sure you will find one to your likeing.

Glenn

Click here to view attached image.
Glenn Hester

P.O. Box 3095

Brunswick, Ga. 31521

912-571-8071

www.policemagic.com

https://www.facebook.com/PoliceMagic
montymagi
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Slidell La
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I think St.Clair would be a great one name. If the google you it is not very common so they won't tag a buch of them in your area. It sounds classy and easy to pronounce. The fact that it has meaning to you will help you identify with the name and really feel like it is you.
Jay Mahon
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Danny Coyne sounds just fine to me. Also, when people start cutting checks to your stage name you need a way to cash them. When that comes about what do you do? Start a business with your stage name as the company name, that's what I decided. Danny Coyne Entertainment, that was a check for Danny Coyne or Coyne Entertainment can be cashed.

Just some things to consider.

J
Matthew W
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New York
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I used a sort of formula I found. It does not work for everyone but it worked for me.

Take your short first name (Daniel becomes Dan, etc) and your middle name with an 's' added to the end.

I became Matt Stevens.
-Matt
DanielCoyne
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Western Massachussetts
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Great input everyone -- thank you.

I like my first and middle name: Danny Russell, but alas, there is another great performer from my state, who uses Danny Hustle. Maybe I could do Daniel Russeell?

I'll keep thinking about it. I will most likely keep my real name, but I might think of a character name for a stage show. We'll see.

DANIEL COYNE
magic, juggling, and inadvertent comedy

Charming entertainment!
Scott Burton
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I may not have the pronounciation correct here (and forgive me if I am wrong) but does "Coyne" sound like "coin"? If so, Danny Coin might be cool if you do coin/money/gaming type effects or theme.
Big Daddy Cool
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The Houdini Room at The Casa de Cool
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I obviously use a character stage name, but everyone still calls me "Pyka."
Swing hard, swing often, and we'll catch ya on the Flip-Side!
John Pyka
www.johnpyka.com
jackturk
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I actually wrestle with this a lot.
My family show moniker for over 20 years has been

"Turk the Magic Genie"

It's worked very well for me. However, the magic
genie isn't necessarily optimal for performing a
mental-magic gig for grownups and businesses. So
I just go by Jack Turk on those occasions.

This kind of boils down to branding and how far
do you think a certain brand can take you in the
direction you want to go.

Would it be best to identify a single stage name
and run with it as far and as fast as you can?

Or is it potentially more profitable to establish
multiple identities, each targeted to a specific
entertainment niche?

I'm not sure there is a right or wrong answer. But
it is definitely something I've pondered.

--J
"59 Ways To Recession Proof Your Entertainment Business -- FREE!"
http://www.GetLeadsLikeCrazy.com

"How To Make $25,000 a Year Doing Birthday Parties Part-Time"
http://www.magicmarketingcenter.com/birthdayPT
DanielGreenWolf
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I agree with you there may not be a correct answer to this question Turk, but definitely one worth thinking about.

I think if someone can stay away from the cutesy names, its much easier to play to multiple markets. As you said, "Turk the Magic Genie" works very well for younger audiences, but it gets tough to sell it to older crowds.

I think if a name is more about a character than a description, then it becomes easier to change venues. Luckily for me, Daniel GreenWolf plays equally well for younger audiences as it does for corporate events. To be honest, I'm not entirely sure why. I think it sounds just enough like it could be a real last name that it slides by... I don't know.

But, on another level, using different names is a good way separating two totally different markets. I just like keeping things simple for myself. Smile
-Much love,
Daniel GreenWolf
Celtic Magician

www.GreenWolfMagic.com
jlevey
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Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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Dear Daniel,

The search for the "right" stage name is an intersting one.

Although it is a relatively "old" thread (2004), and relates mainly (though not exclusively) to Mentalists choosing their name, I believe that you might find some more very valuable insights by clicking on the link below:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......um=15&16

Best wishes.

Jonathan
Jonathan
Max & Maxine Entertainment
Magicians with a touch of comedy!
___________________________________
www.maxmagician.com
www.mindreadershow.com
www.monsieurmagic.com
Steve_Mollett
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Eh, so I've made
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My real name, Mollett, can be mispronounced a dozen different ways, the worst implying a wooden hammer.

I went by Dr. Stephen Midnight for a number of years, but retired it after deciding it was too corny.

I've been entertaining a new stage name, along with updating my show, and may begin promoting under it this Spring.
Author of: GARROTE ESCAPES
The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.
- Albert Camus
Steve_Mollett
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Quote:
On 2009-02-06 13:10, DanielCoyne wrote:
Great input everyone -- thank you.

I like my first and middle name: Danny Russell, but alas, there is another great performer from my state, who uses Danny Hustle. Maybe I could do Daniel Russeell?

I'll keep thinking about it. I will most likely keep my real name, but I might think of a character name for a stage show. We'll see.

DANIEL COYNE
magic, juggling, and inadvertent comedy

Charming entertainment!


How about "Russell Dane?"
Author of: GARROTE ESCAPES
The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.
- Albert Camus
jlevey
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Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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Quote:
On 2009-02-06 17:31, jackturk wrote:
I actually wrestle with this a lot...

...Would it be best to identify a single stage name
and run with it as far and as fast as you can?

Or is it potentially more profitable to establish
multiple identities, each targeted to a specific
entertainment niche?...

--J


IMHO, Jack, it makes strong business sense to create multiple names (and personas) aligned with each of your multiple target markets.

Your name should hit the target (capture the interest) of the market you are aiming to engage. Turk the Magic Genie should work very well for kids (and their parents looking for "kid" entertainers), but not (IMHO) for corporate adult shows.

Just my 2 cents.

Best wishes.

Jonathan
Jonathan
Max & Maxine Entertainment
Magicians with a touch of comedy!
___________________________________
www.maxmagician.com
www.mindreadershow.com
www.monsieurmagic.com
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