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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » "intimate theater" (no not THAT kind!) (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

seadog93
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Hey all,
I'm putting together a show that will be ready to play (hopefully) in april or may. It's a variant of Docc Hilford's "at the mountains of madness," sort of a bizarre seance/one act play.

My goal is to rent a room somewhere, like a hotel suite, or something more atmospheric if I can find it, and sell tickets for $20-$35. There will be a limit of 20 people per show, and if things go well there may be more than one show a night.

Any tips on marketing this? My thoughts are: flyers/posters/postcards, website and on-line calendars. Is there anything else that should definitely do? Keeping in mind the small number of seats, does anyone have any suggestions on how far in advance to start advertising?

Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Also any resources that anyone can point me to would deeply appreciated as well.

Thank you all
-Courntey
"Love is the magician who pulls man out of his own hat" - Ben Hecht

"Love says 'I am everything.' Wisdom says 'I am nothing'. Between the two, my life flows." -Nisargadatta Maharaj

Seadog=C-Dawg=C.ou.rtn.ey Kol.b
Mindpro
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Running that small of a show leaves you with only a very thin line between profit and loss. My concern would be can this leave you enough budget for public advertising and promotion and still be profitable?
Jim Snack
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I agree with Mindpro. I would try to get a room that can hold twice that number. Then budget your show for half. It will leave you room for a decent profit.

Jim
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Skip Way
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Courtney, You might check with a friend I admire greatly, Joshua Lozoff. He does exactly what you're talking about here in Chapel Hill, NC and it seems to be working for him. He may be willing to share his system outside of his market.

The Sienna Hotel's show site is http://www.parlormagic.net to give you an idea of what he does. ( PLEASE NOTE: This is the hotel's reservation site & email. Please don't pester them directly. If you try to contact Joshua, please do so through his personal website at http://www.deep-magic.com )

He's a great guy and a very gifted magician and performance artist.
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

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rossmacrae
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Quote:
On 2010-02-16 07:33, Jim Snack wrote:
I agree with Mindpro. I would try to get a room that can hold twice that number.


I'm not sure twice that number would work for a seance.

I'd position the event as special, "elite". And advertise only to those segments. Heck, why not ask Docc how and to whom he advertises such events?
seadog93
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Quote:
On 2010-02-16 14:48, rossmacrae wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-02-16 07:33, Jim Snack wrote:
I agree with Mindpro. I would try to get a room that can hold twice that number.


I'm not sure twice that number would work for a seance.

I'd position the event as special, "elite". And advertise only to those segments. Heck, why not ask Docc how and to whom he advertises such events?


He has some information like this in his book (just a bit), but he seems to have moved on from this kind of performance and doesn't seem to be interested in talking about it with me.


I was kind of hoping to do a bunch of advertising and have this be a long running show, every weekend for several months for example.

Quote:
On 2010-02-16 08:42, Skip Way wrote:
Courtney, You might check with a friend I admire greatly, Joshua Lozoff. He does exactly what you're talking about here in Chapel Hill, NC and it seems to be working for him. He may be willing to share his system outside of his market.

The Sienna Hotel's show site is http://www.parlormagic.net to give you an idea of what he does. ( PLEASE NOTE: This is the hotel's reservation site & email. Please don't pester them directly. If you try to contact Joshua, please do so through his personal website at http://www.deep-magic.com )

He's a great guy and a very gifted magician and performance artist.


Thanks. It's exciting to know that others are doing this.
"Love is the magician who pulls man out of his own hat" - Ben Hecht

"Love says 'I am everything.' Wisdom says 'I am nothing'. Between the two, my life flows." -Nisargadatta Maharaj

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trickychaz
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I say give it a go and don't let anyone tell you that it's not possible....any action beats inaction. How will you ever know how well it will go over unless you give it a shot. At least you have a plan and a vision to make it happen.

All the best

Charles
Donald Dunphy
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Are you trying to create something like Steve Cohen's "Chamber Magic"?

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
seadog93
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On 2010-02-17 18:02, Donald Dunphy wrote:
Are you trying to create something like Steve Cohen's "Chamber Magic"?

- Donald


To be honest, I hadn't thought that would be possible; but, yes something like that. I would (ideally) like to have a somewhat long running show and if possible (this is a ways off and assuming things go well) have several follow up shows: bizarre, seance, mentalism, maybe even family shows, but I really like the idea of intimate settings with a theatre type set up.
Right now to save on cost I'm looking into other, non-hotel, rooms that have a strong atmosphere. There is a fireside room at alocal church that would be perfect, but I don't think I would br allowed to sell tickets.
"Love is the magician who pulls man out of his own hat" - Ben Hecht

"Love says 'I am everything.' Wisdom says 'I am nothing'. Between the two, my life flows." -Nisargadatta Maharaj

Seadog=C-Dawg=C.ou.rtn.ey Kol.b
Donald Dunphy
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From the surface, your approach seems to be quite different from his.

Have you considered all of the elements that he seems to have in place to make his show the success it is?

Performance location(s), powerful word of mouth (because of his great show), priced / positioned for the wealthy (both the show and his whole business), etc. He is also in demand doing his show for private customers.

I'm not speaking on his behalf. This can all be observed with a little basic google research.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Ed_Millis
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Quote:
On 2010-02-17 17:02, trickychaz wrote:
I say give it a go and don't let anyone tell you that it's not possible....any action beats inaction. How will you ever know how well it will go over unless you give it a shot. At least you have a plan and a vision to make it happen.


In my experiences ("experience is what you get when you didn't get what you expected"), "any action" can get you in very deep trouble if you're not adequately prepared. And preparation usually looks like asking a bunch of questions that everyone but you knows the answers to.

A plan and a vision are wonderful things to have, especially when paired with the "experiences" of those who've travelled the road before you and know where the potholes are.

-- If it doesn't go over, can you recover financially?
-- Do you have some kind of experience at this kind of magic in this kind of setting?
-- Can you handle someone freaking out in this kind of setting? (A spooky seance type setting is more likely to draw those closer to the edge than your average kid-centric or whole-family show.)
-- Do you know how to narrowly target your marketing? Or do you have the resources available and affordable to assist you in getting into this market?
-- A show aimed at "elite" upper-echelon clients with the money to spend on your show may take a hefty intial investment in setting - room, costuming, atmosphere, props, music, etc. Do you have that?

Not saying don't do it. Just throwing out stuff you might want to think about.
Ed
seadog93
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Quote:
On 2010-02-17 18:44, Donald Dunphy wrote:

Have you considered all of the elements that he seems to have in place to make his show the success it is?

- Donald


No, I don't know much about his show. It may be that I am not trying to do what he is doing. I am thinking of this as a theatre show, just a very small theatre that involves the audience.

Posted: Feb 17, 2010 7:10pm
-- If it doesn't go over, can you recover financially?

Yes, at this point in my career I just invest my personal money into projects that I want to do anyways. Although I would be sad if I didn't at least break even, I'd get over it.

-- Do you have some kind of experience at this kind of magic in this kind of setting?

Yes a little, so far they have been received well. I also plan on doing at least 3 or 4 test shows before I begin marketing this, to make sure it will be worth it.

-- Can you handle someone freaking out in this kind of setting? (A spooky seance type setting is more likely to draw those closer to the edge than your average kid-centric or whole-family show.)

That's a good point. I think I am fairly well prepared, but I'll look more into it. DO you have any resources you could point me to?

-- Do you know how to narrowly target your marketing? Or do you have the resources available and affordable to assist you in getting into this market?

No. I can invest a little money into marketing, but I was thinking that would be focused on getting flyers designed and the like. Do you have any suggestions either on how to do this, or how to find out how to do this?

-- A show aimed at "elite" upper-echelon clients with the money to spend on your show may take a hefty intial investment in setting - room, costuming, atmosphere, props, music, etc. Do you have that?

Very good point. I think the show will look pretty good, but I probably don't have enough to really play to that market. I was thinking of the younger theatre and art gallery crowd and comic book fans (it's a Lovecraft themed show).

---Not saying don't do it. Just throwing out stuff you might want to think about.

I appreciate it. I want to make sure I do it right, or at least as right as I can on my first try. I figure if I learn enough to do this succesfully in the future then I've done OK; If I can learn enough and not loose money, then it's a success; and if I can make money then that's about as good as it gets.
"Love is the magician who pulls man out of his own hat" - Ben Hecht

"Love says 'I am everything.' Wisdom says 'I am nothing'. Between the two, my life flows." -Nisargadatta Maharaj

Seadog=C-Dawg=C.ou.rtn.ey Kol.b
Donald Dunphy
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One thing that might work against you is having a kids show website. They will assume that your theatre show reflects that show / character in some way. They might even think your theatre show is a kids show, because you are doing it.

Unless you establish a different character / different name.

Again, it comes back to positioning in the customer's minds.

Remember, it's not just about what people see about you / hear about you in public. It's also about what they can find out about you on the internet. Some people will do research, because it's very easy.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
seadog93
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Quote:
On 2010-02-17 19:39, Donald Dunphy wrote:
One thing that might work against you is having a kids show website. They will assume that your theatre show reflects that show / character in some way. They might even think your theatre show is a kids show, because you are doing it.

Unless you establish a different character / different name.

Again, it comes back to positioning in the customer's minds.

Remember, it's not just about what people see about you / hear about you in public. It's also about what they can find out about you on the internet. Some people will do research, because it's very easy.

- Donald


Absolutely. I'm actually changing my website soon, so that it is not so strictly children's (it will have a childrens and an adults section with different pictures in both).

For this show I plan on having a completely separate website just for the show, designed along the same lines as the flyers (or with the flyers if I can afford that). I also plan on having a character that is different than myself, an visiting assistant professor of archeology at Miskatonic U.
"Love is the magician who pulls man out of his own hat" - Ben Hecht

"Love says 'I am everything.' Wisdom says 'I am nothing'. Between the two, my life flows." -Nisargadatta Maharaj

Seadog=C-Dawg=C.ou.rtn.ey Kol.b
trickychaz
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Quote:
On 2010-02-17 18:53, Ed_Millis wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-02-17 17:02, trickychaz wrote:
I say give it a go and don't let anyone tell you that it's not possible....any action beats inaction. How will you ever know how well it will go over unless you give it a shot. At least you have a plan and a vision to make it happen.


In my experiences ("experience is what you get when you didn't get what you expected"), "any action" can get you in very deep trouble if you're not adequately prepared. And preparation usually looks like asking a bunch of questions that everyone but you knows the answers to.

A plan and a vision are wonderful things to have, especially when paired with the "experiences" of those who've travelled the road before you and know where the potholes are.

-- If it doesn't go over, can you recover financially?
-- Do you have some kind of experience at this kind of magic in this kind of setting?
-- Can you handle someone freaking out in this kind of setting? (A spooky seance type setting is more likely to draw those closer to the edge than your average kid-centric or whole-family show.)
-- Do you know how to narrowly target your marketing? Or do you have the resources available and affordable to assist you in getting into this market?
-- A show aimed at "elite" upper-echelon clients with the money to spend on your show may take a hefty intial investment in setting - room, costuming, atmosphere, props, music, etc. Do you have that?

Not saying don't do it. Just throwing out stuff you might want to think about.
Ed


Just trying to encourage the guy to do it since he sounds so passionate about it. About a year ago I had some ideas that I was very passionate about, but never went though with them. Yes, you need to prepare, but some people get caught up on the preparation stages and end up accomplishing absolutely nothing.

I have nothing to share on putting it together, but I do know from experience that if you're passionate about it...then just do it! If you constantly look for perfect before putting a plan into action...it will never get completed. Instead, give it a shot and then learn and grow from that point onwards.
Donald Dunphy
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Quote:
On 2010-02-17 19:54, seadog93 wrote:
I'm actually changing my website soon, so that it is not so strictly children's (it will have a childrens and an adults section with different pictures in both).


A very popular opinion among marketing gurus and professional performers is to have a different website for your kids / family shows, than for your adult-only / corporate shows. Separate your markets.

Some have even more websites, so there is one for each of their various markets.

I'm just mentioning that in case you didn't know.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
seadog93
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Quote:
On 2010-02-17 20:01, Donald Dunphy wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-02-17 19:54, seadog93 wrote:
I'm actually changing my website soon, so that it is not so strictly children's (it will have a childrens and an adults section with different pictures in both).


A very popular opinion among marketing gurus and professional performers is to have a different website for your kids / family shows, than for your adult-only / corporate shows. Separate your markets.

Some have even more websites, so there is one for each of their various markets.

I'm just mentioning that in case you didn't know.

- Donald


I appreciate the mention. I have heard that and I'm starting to see the point of it, but I've heard convincing arguments both ways so I just don't know. My career being what it is I think just one is fine for me at the moment and I'll change/upgrade when I can.
"Love is the magician who pulls man out of his own hat" - Ben Hecht

"Love says 'I am everything.' Wisdom says 'I am nothing'. Between the two, my life flows." -Nisargadatta Maharaj

Seadog=C-Dawg=C.ou.rtn.ey Kol.b
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