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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » How Do I Get Gigs In A Highly Competitive Market? (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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mgsmagic
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Torrance CA
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I live in Los Angeles where I've been attempting to build my magic biz to no avail. I get only sporadic work and even when I give away my work I get nothing (I stopped doing that--the exchanges for "free publicity" to do a show don't work). I have bought marketing material and have what I think is a fair to decent web site. I've been trying for over 5 years and no growth in business at all. I just want one party or event a week...that's it I don't plan to be f/t pro...just enough to continue to refine my act and provide quality entertainment (If I can get more than great!). Help!
Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
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Mgsmagic
I recommend the James Munton "Zero to booked solid in 30 days". He did it in Dallas, and you can do it in LA.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Mindpro
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Have a top notch well-rehearsed show, select your specific desired market(s), and then market, market, market, promote, promote, promote!

That's a pretty vague question without knowing a bit about you, your act and where you're trying to head. Usually vague plans produce vague results. What have you been doing for the five years that hasn't worked? Why hasn't it worked. What were your goals? Did you achieve (any, some) your goals?

Even your web site says nothing. What type of events do you do, what do you specialize in, what experiences. Then you have only three pictures repeated over and over again. Why should people book you? What are your features and what are the benefits to booking you for their event?

Many questions need to be asked to begin to create an answer.
Ray Pierce
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Los Angeles, CA
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2 Things:

#1 - Be the best

#2 - Go to where the work is!

LA is a saturated market for magic (and many other things as well.) When I first moved here someone layed it all out. They told me...There are dozens of people who are better than you, have more credits, are better looking with more money and contacts.... and most of them are out of work!

In other words, why try and dig into this pie? Go to where the work is. Everyone wants to do what they want where they want to do it. It just doesn't work as well that way as you're fighting a HUGE uphill battle. Can you make a living here? Sure it's theoretically possible but a lot more work for less rewards. If that's what you want, then plan on topping everyne else out here in some way and expect to make less money than many other markets. If that's ok with you, then go for it and good luck!
Ray Pierce
Dannydoyle
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Go to where the work is you say hmmmm????? You mean nobody will come to see me in my back yard while I await the inevetable ringing sound from my phone?

That is just crazy enough to work!

Be the best you say? Hmm sounds like a lot of work. I prefer a magic bullet of some sort thank you very much.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Benji Bruce
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He isn't asking for a magic bullet. He is asking how to book gigs.

If you don't want to answer his question then don't...but there is no reason to belittle anyone.

Marty...I sent you a pm

Basically, the amount of gigs you book determine the amount of work you put in. You can start by calling up companies or sending emails telling them about your services and asking permission to send them more material. If you're a kid magician then google adwords works well.

You can contact event planners/agencies but don't waste your time doing this (I won't go into detail here)

You can also produce your own show. Instead of waiting for gigs to come to you, create your own gig. Rent out a theater/venue and sell tickets to a show.

Join gigmasters/gigsalad and that can be another way of booking gigs.

Those are a couple of ways you can book gigs but you have to constantly work. The activities you engage in determine the results you produce.
Howie Diddot
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San Francisco & Los Angeles California
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Mgsmagic
I was in L.A. for years and did very well; are you using promo pictures? Are the pictures and website looking exciting?

When I took my photos, I piled very flashy and colorful props that looked up to date and fresh.

Do you look as if your successful? Successful people want to associate with other successful people and if you can’t convey to the client that you have always come through and can come through for him, he may not want to take a chance
Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On 2011-07-02 19:17, Benji Bruce wrote:
He isn't asking for a magic bullet. He is asking how to book gigs.

If you don't want to answer his question then don't...but there is no reason to belittle anyone.

Marty...I sent you a pm

Basically, the amount of gigs you book determine the amount of work you put in. You can start by calling up companies or sending emails telling them about your services and asking permission to send them more material. If you're a kid magician then google adwords works well.

You can contact event planners/agencies but don't waste your time doing this (I won't go into detail here)

You can also produce your own show. Instead of waiting for gigs to come to you, create your own gig. Rent out a theater/venue and sell tickets to a show.

Join gigmasters/gigsalad and that can be another way of booking gigs.

Those are a couple of ways you can book gigs but you have to constantly work. The activities you engage in determine the results you produce.

I didn't belittle anyone, I emphasised Rays points. Simple. I know it was not like I suggested crashing a hotel party and taking footage and getting fake testimonials. Sorry.

I also must say that the idea of renting a theater in the current economic climate is a pretty fast way to lose money. Though you could make a small fortune doing it. Problem is you have to start with a large one.

Though your posts are often hilarious and do make me laugh out loud, you truly have no sense of humor.
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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I think that you need to provide a little more info on the particular market you want to jump into. I am not in LA, though I would imagine it is pretty thick with performers.

If you are looking to be a kids performer, then the path is much different than trade shows. As Mindpro suggests your question is quite vague. It is one reason I was more funny than spacific. Contrary to what Benji seems to think there are different strategy points to different markets.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
tacrowl
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Maryland
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Quote:
On 2011-07-02 19:17, Benji Bruce wrote:
You can contact event planners/agencies but don't waste your time doing this (I won't go into detail here)


Benji,

I'm confused. Didn't you do a video on how to get event planners and agencies to work with you? Surely your technique of having a friend call them with a fake event, asking for you and not be willing to book anyone else when you were unavailable, must have worked wonders for you. Event planners and agencies can provide a flow of work if you have the show, personality and build a relationship that makes them want to do business with you.
Tom Crowl - Comedy Ventriloquist

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Howie Diddot
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Quote:
On 2011-07-02 23:56, tacrowl wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-07-02 19:17, Benji Bruce wrote:
You can contact event planners/agencies but don't waste your time doing this (I won't go into detail here)


Benji,

I'm confused. Didn't you do a video on how to get event planners and agencies to work with you? Surely your technique of having a friend call them with a fake event, asking for you and not be willing to book anyone else when you were unavailable, must have worked wonders for you. Event planners and agencies can provide a flow of work if you have the show, personality and build a relationship that makes them want to do business with you.


Tom;

Benji did what???

I was eating when I read your post and laughed so hard, I almost choked and food came out of my nose.
Benji Bruce
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Working with agencies/event planners and marketing to them is two different things. I work with event planners but I don't market to them. There is a huge difference.
Paddy
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Milford OH
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Benji, you sound like a lawyer parsing words like that. (remember Clinton's famous "depends what the meaning of "is" is.") With your suggestion to crash parties at hotels you certainly have the (lack of) ethics of one.
Non Impediti Ratione Cogitationis

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*Mark Lewis*
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As an expert on all things evil and wicked I don't see anything particularly unethical about "crashing parties". It just sounds a mite desperate and not very practical for probably 90% of people on this site. I can see someone with a very brash personality getting away with it perhaps but I am afraid it makes me shudder. I am a very shy, retiring person myself.

I don't see what's "unethical" about it though. Daft, perhaps yes. Unethical no.
tacrowl
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Benji,
Seriously? You didn't mention marketing and neither did I - you said:
Quote:
On 2011-07-02 19:17, Benji Bruce wrote:
You can contact event planners/agencies but don't waste your time doing this (I won't go into detail here)

I questioned your view and pointed out why it wasn't. A month ago, I "marketed" to an established agency and landed a corporate date out of the contact. You're telling me that wasn't worth it - one marketing effort that will build into a relationship that nets me work for years? Explain yourself!

Mark - Benji has advocated creating fake testimonials and misleading agencies and event planners by wasting their time with friends posing as fake clients looking to book his services. I disapprove of those tactics and find those instances very unethical. His advice on those topics could hurt or hinder the potential career of someone just starting out.
Tom Crowl - Comedy Ventriloquist

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Howie Diddot
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Quote:
On 2011-07-03 08:27, Mark Lewis wrote:
As an expert on all things evil and wicked I don't see anything particularly unethical about "crashing parties". It just sounds a mite desperate and not very practical for probably 90% of people on this site. I can see someone with a very brash personality getting away with it perhaps but I am afraid it makes me shudder. I am a very shy, retiring person myself.

I don't see what's "unethical" about it though. Daft, perhaps yes. Unethical no.



Mark, how would you like to complete a show and have everyone excited about how you performed, then see some guy in a corner performing tricks and giving out business cards?
*Mark Lewis*
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I must be getting a bit confused here. I have read Joel Bauer's and Paul Diamond's techniques about "crashing parties". I assume that this is where Benji got this daft idea. But it didn't say anything about giving out business cards when someone else is working. Is Benji advocating that?

As for that getting friends to phone up pretending they only want you that is actually a variation on a very old and little known technique that is described in John Booth's excellent "Forging Ahead in Magic". I heard decades ago that this was how Robert Harbin got started. However, there is a little more to it than Benji has probably described. If I ever get the energy I will describe the technique in more detail. I have never used it but I can see it working but it would have to be done very carefully indeed. The agent actually gets some money out of it and the act loses money initially. It sounds like it is a variation of Benji's method but a little more sophisticated.

You have to be very careful doing stuff like this because agents are intelligent animals and can spot deception fairly quickly. After all you have to be pretty sharp to be an agent in the first place. As for fake testimonials they are pretty common and I have used them myself. In fact there is one on my website even now. See if you can find it. Again you have to be very careful because agents are liable to spot them.

You must remember I am a scam artist Svengali pitchman and doing unethical things is a reflex action for me and comes perfectly naturally. I don't think I would be able to sleep at night if I had to do everything by the book. So alas preaching ethics to me isn't going to be very helpful. I am far more concerned with the practicality of it all. And I am not convinced Benji's methods are that practical.
Dannydoyle
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Mark has oddly enough hit the nail on the head when it comes to business! Seriously Mark you claim not to know business so that shocked me.

Fact is that agents are not stupid. At least not ones you want to deal with.

The problem Benji suffers from is thinking that at maybe 22 he is the smartest guy in the room. Problem is that he is not nearly as smart as he thinks. The problem is that people have been doing things like he advocates for decades and it has not really worked.

Fake testimonials, fake this fake that, havn't worked because he claims how much work they get him and this and that, and yet he still crashes parties and does these daft things. Go figure. Your results speak for themselves.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Benji Bruce
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Quote:
On 2011-07-03 10:58, Mark Lewis wrote:
But it didn't say anything about giving out business cards when someone else is working. Is Benji advocating that?



Not at all
Howie Diddot
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When I was in my 20’s I would put on a tux and go to the Beverly Hills Hotel and after a dinner was completed at a private event, I would go in and find a seat to watch the entertainment and then meet the women; no one ever questioned me; so in my past I have crashed parties Not risky, it was a different time.

I never attempted to disrupt the event by drawing attention to myself in any way.

Benji has posted different confusing information.

In one post he claimed to not give out business cards to everyone to “keep up his conversion rate”

If you’re going to crash a party to gain clients and perform tricks for small groups and not give out your business card, what’s the point?

How can you gain name recognition if you don’t give out your name?
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