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Memory-Jah
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Mülheim an der Ruhr / Germany
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Hello fellow magicians.

My name is Markus for those who do not know me so far. I am from Germany and I have decided to go be a professional magician and earn money with it. I am doing magic for about 8 or 9 years now and I am quite experienced when it comes to magic and sleight of hand. Many people asked me why I don’t do it for money so far. I have a couple of questions and I need some big help to get properly started. The topics vary, but I don’t want to start five different threads discussing different topics. So I will structure it by subitems. Since the topics have a wide range, do not feel that you have to answer every single topic. Maybe just the ones you are experienced with or where you have an idea for. Just point out which subitem you are answering, so I can quickly find the suiting question of mine to it. Makes things easier for us  I am really looking forward and I hope to get some help here.



1. name
2. website adress
3. business cards
4. repeating effects
5. How to get clients
6. How much to ask for



1. NAME

I have big troubles finding a name for myself, or even getting to know if I need one at all! I have some thoughts on this. A good artists name might be good for business so people can remember and advertise me. “Hey man, there is this awesome magician Markus you should hire for your next party.” I am not sure if a less frequent (artists)name might be better. This might help when they have to remember me, and when they are searching for me on the internet.

So questions to the pros: How are you handling the name thing?

The name topic, whether to get a nick name or not is very important to me, because I cannot get my business cards printed without it. Also a website needs to be created, etc.
What is PRO and what is CONTRA a nickname/ using the real name.

My full name is Markus Gartzke. I think there are a lot of Markuses out there, and my last name has proven to be too difficult to handle for others. Over the course of my life dozens and dozens of letters failed to have the correct spelling of my last name. So I figured that’s a point AGAINST using my real (full name).
On the other hand I also like using my real name, because people who I will meet again might call me with a artists name otherwise, which is a bit awkward, isn’t it? “Hey honey, come over. May I introduce: This is Markus, he did a magic show last night for our office.” Vs “Hey honey, come over. May I introduce: This is *insert cheesy magician’s name*, he did a magic show last night for our office.” I think you will get my point here. I am not sure, though.

If, however I take an artists name (I wouldn’t mind actually) can you help me finding one? I have been pondering since months….and I just don’t know which one I should/could use.
First of all, how should it look like?
- 1. *real name*, artist name, last name -> e.g. Markus, “the magician”, Gartzke
- 2. or without my last name: Markus, “the magician”
- 3. or just the artist name on its own: The Magician


Now that we have decided on one thing, do you have any ideas for a name? I have only one in mind since I started thinking about it. “Magus” it short, easy memorable, is extremely similar to my real name AND it means magician. It is kind of perfect from that perspective…but sounds a bit cheesy doesn’t it? Especially of I put them in the above options: 1. Markus, Magus, Gartzke // 2. Markus (the) Magus // 3. Magus

I am a bit afraid to use an artist name. I really don’t want it to be cheesy, especially if I have to introduce myself.





2. WEBSITE

I do not have an own website yet. And problem is I don’t know how to create one, and I certainly do not have enough money to pay someone to do this for me. I am a student and have a small job besides it and I have almost no money left at the end of every month, which makes it a bit frustrating to advertise myself properly. Nonetheless, I should think positive and start figuring out how a website should look like and how it should be named.

It connects obviously with my name-problem. Since the majority will not be able to keep my last name in their head stuff like: Markus-Gartzke.com will certainly not work. They also won’t be able to use google for it as my name is too much of a hassle. So how should a website’s name be? An artist name + -magic: xxx-magic.com for example? Or do you recommend anything else? Also: Using my real name (full or not full?) or an artist name in the first place?

What content should a website have?




3. BUSINESS CARDS


As soon as I figured out what name I will be using, I will print business cards. What layout would you suggest?

I thought about front page with a logo out of my initials (whatever I will be using), or a nice spade symbol. And on the back all relevant information. However, I thought having a blank back is better to do magic with it. So I am not sure which way to go.





4. REPEATING EFFECTS


I always wondered how you professionals avoid this problem. It should always occur though. You are doing magic tricks and giving out your business card to someone who asks for it. This guy is going to hire you for the next party or even introducing you to his/her friends and now you cannot really do the same routine again, or can you? Isn’t the major difference between amateurs and pros that amateurs have 100 tricks they do because their peer is somewhat small. And pros will have only 10 tricks they do over and over again with perfection because of changing customers.
But that changing customers thing wont get into my head, since you build on reputation. On a party even if you are hired I would know my way around this problem I guess. The more important thing however is how to magicians in restaurants, etc handle this?
You are hired to get people come BACK to the restaurant. That’s why you have been hired in the first place. The owner wants the customers to come back the next day, because of the local magician.
I mean, you have to do the same routine for them next ime. You won’t be able to memorize all customers you have had in the last 200 performances. So once a family returns to the bar or restaurant and you start your professional routine….I see a problem here.





5. HOW TO GET CLIENTS

This is a very important topic for me. I know one thing already: Magic business is a snowball effect. Once you get started, it will spread around (business cards, your reputation grows, and you can even tell bigger companies you DID already stuff for other bigger companies, etc).
Problem is, I am at the very beginning. How do I start???
I first thought sending a video of Prohibition by Charlie Justice, Dresscode by Calen Morelli & Sinful by Wayne Houchin to big drinking companies. Plain simle and drect. Filing the full routine of all three tricks, and adding the comment: “each can, t-shirt and bottle could be one of yours. If you are interested, here are my details…”
Then a friend of mine told me that big companies only work though agencies and I will most probably not be able to call their attention to me.
In addition, when it comes to bars or restaurants I feel really awkward to walk to the ceo and ask them if they want a magician around. Most probably they will have not enough money for this, or it sounds cheesy…. So how to convince possible clients to hire me?
How can I spread reputation for me? Is a amateur promo video a good idea? Do I want just do magic tricks to everyone, give away business cards and hope that some manager gets ahold of one of my cards?

What kind of magic would I like to do, you ask me?

I would love to work for a big companie like Beck’s, Coca-Cola or so for their events like festivals, or so. And there walking around and entertaining random folks. Like a big party where I can do magic for all guests by walking around and looking for people. This walk around stuff I like a lot. I can also imagine myself doing some beautiful table routines with people sitting around. I can imagine myself for stage shows but not like Copperfield with big illusions or like McBride with big manipulations, but rather a close-up brought to stage. Like doing card’s across, invisible deck, and stuff like this.

So in short:
- Walk around magic on events like parties, birthdays, etc
- Bar & restaurant magic ( I prefer restaurant over bar I think, because after finishing 1 routine I move to the next table. At the bar I have to stay at one place the whole time,making it hard to no repeat effects I think)
- Stage without illusions or manipulations
- Close-up on a table

How do I get started?


p.s. I could possibly imagine myself doing magic for kids, like kids birthdays, though I never did that before and I am not experienced with that.




7. How much to charge?

I have absolutely NO idea how to figure this out. Per hour, per full night, and how much for each? What do I have to watch out for? Or what do you pros suggest on that topic? How did you get started and how did you find a price tag for yourself?


Ok that’s it. I hope I get many many answers ideas and posts here!

All the best,
Markus
"Dropping your pants while you set off flash paper may allow your pass to go undetected, but it's still not invisible." - Count Elmsley
Devious
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The book mentioned in the following thread is an excellent place to start.
http://themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic......um=44&32
Devious Deceptions
"Gadol Elohai!"
L'Chaim!
Medifro
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I'm not a full time pro but the best tip I can give, which makes a lot of sense, is to get a college degree to back you up.
themagicguy
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1. Use your own name, be yourself don't be somebody you're not. In time after lots of performing you will decide if you want another name. Don't worry about not having a catchy name, worry about your act and people skills, this wont come from sitting in your room thinking of a name.

2. I have been performing for 3 years and get regular gigs without a website> I do agree with having one though, but again don't jump the gun.

3. Obviously your name, contacted details and list a few points for types of events you do, otherwise people will pigeon hole you and you will miss out on work!

4. Don't worry about repeating effects too much, people come back to see you not your magic and when people do return and some time has past they will hardly remember the effect. One thing I do is bring in material I am working on to show to regulars. Just remember they are not coming back for the tricks though its because they like you.

5. Find a gig in a Family restaurant so you will get to experience performing for all age groups. Like you said when you get better people will take your business cards and word of mouth will help you and you will hopefully get some good contacts and you can go from there. Don't jump the gun trying to find big companies to work for where you will be demanding big fee's, when you are inexperienced, it just wont turn out well.

6. Charge what you feel comfortable with, if you enjoy magic and want to be a good performer than find a restaurant and work for free. Just make sure you have a day job!
Memory-Jah
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Mülheim an der Ruhr / Germany
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Hi magic guy,

5. so you actually suggesting that I should not try to contact big companies?

@devious: Thank you very much for pointing out that book! Much appriciated

@ medifro: currently doing so, studying japanese studies and philosophie.
"Dropping your pants while you set off flash paper may allow your pass to go undetected, but it's still not invisible." - Count Elmsley
Paddy
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Markus. When I started years ago the first thing I did was perform PART TIME in restaurants and doing busking in parks and on the streets working for tips. When I got fairly good (OK when I got better than lousy) and I had a vacation due me, I took my 2 weeks and we (My wife & I) went to Orlando Florida and I worked the streets busking there. Well it turned out that when we got home, I had made enough in those 2 weeks that I paid for the whole vacation and still had money to deposit in the bank. I walked into work and gave my notice that Monday and have never worked again for anybody but myself.

Had some interesting times since then with health but we have always made it. My wife is a full time busker doing face paainting and I do balloons & magic. Mazel Tov
Non Impediti Ratione Cogitationis

I reject your reality & substitute my own

http://www.Scho-Lan.com
scottds80
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I recommend getting Jim Snacks ebook "success in magic".
That answers ALL your questions in great detail. A response from us here will only be a fraction of this ebook.

One thing that stood out to me was that you try all different markets, usually kids parties, and branch out to different things such as schools, or corporate, or mentalist but then you focus solely on that. Try not to be a jack of all trades.

Posted: Oct 29, 2012 7:47am
A quick idea on setting a price for yourself, you should start cheaper than if you were very experienced. You charge by the show on a quote basis, unless its restaurant work which is hourly.

As you get more work and demand, your confidence increases, and so should your price, until you are experienced enough to match the going rate by other professionals.
This took me 8 years.
I started at $30 for a kids birthday party then went to $50, then $100, then $150, $200 and now it's $250 to $450 depending on their choice of package.

Some higher end professionals go to $500 or $600 plus for the same type of show. Go with your comfort zone.
"Great Scott the Magician", Gippsland
TeslaTao
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You say you can't afford a website - learn to use social media effectively. People are much more likely to stay engaged with you through facebook than they are a static webpage. Post videos, interesting links, funny comments, give people a reason to want to keep you in their newsfeed. And how often do you hear people say "oh yeah just look me up on facebook" today? It's much easier to look up someone you met on facebook and send them a friend requeest than it is to get their e-mail to send them a link to your site.

I'm not saying a website can't be an effective tool, but don't underestimate what someone with 300-400 friends clicking "share" on that video you posted of a nice trick can do for you.

I mean, I'm not a professional magician or anything, but I know a little bit about social media and marketing. I think in your situation, it could be really helpful.
Howie Diddot
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Memory-Jah; are you doing children's or adult shows, I use Howie Didit for children's shows and my real name for adult shows that I recently started performing
Memory-Jah
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So much great advice here guys. keep them coming please. I really feel encouraged and engergized Smile Thanks a lot so far.

I like the facebook idea. Really nice. That is definately a good alternatie.

@ howie: I have never done children's magic before. But I know I could do it. SOme magicians wouldnt even consider this. As for what I am comfortable with so far is doing walk arounds for adults. Like on a party or so, to entertain groups of people.

Posted: Oct 30, 2012 4:48pm
More thoughts on my problems? I am currently thinking about starting an individual thread just about pros and cons magician's nick names...
"Dropping your pants while you set off flash paper may allow your pass to go undetected, but it's still not invisible." - Count Elmsley
TomBoleware
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Learn all you can about salesmanship. Regardless of how good you are with the magic,
unless you can sell your show, you will fail as a business. Sales are the backbone of
your business. If you are in business to make a living, you have to be out there selling.

Stay inspired.

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
www.tomboleware.com
Close.Up.Dave
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You might be over thinking the name thing. If you are a confident person, and can package your show well (which takes time), you won't necessarily need to transform what you go by. However, I do happen to like the idea of dropping the ke, and going by Markus Gartz. It's easier to remember, without being too big of a transformation. Also, I agree with people above who recommended social media. A facebook page is VERY easy to customize and integrate with the needs of the average performer.
Paddy
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Scottds80, Thanks. I bought his course years ago and it was the best thing I ever bought. Forgot about him till you brought Success In Magic up. Jim tells you like it is. No bull crap that he read about and it sounded good. If Jim says something, he has done it and it worked. Not like some who read about it so they pass it on without first hand knowledge.
Non Impediti Ratione Cogitationis

I reject your reality & substitute my own

http://www.Scho-Lan.com
Howie Diddot
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Memory-Jah;

As soon as you can, you need to buy a bus

Image


Then get a rabbit and display him in a window

Image
Ed_Millis
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Learn the basics of accounting.
Learn about contracts.
Be familiar with your local business licensing laws.

Even a small failure in any one of these can kill your business quickly.

learn all you can about your local market.
Learn all you can about marketing.
Gain the confidence to ask boldly.

It doesn't always matter how good your magic is if no one knows you're available!

Ed
Al Angello
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Thirty years ago I got a 30 minute birthday party show together, put an add in the local parents magazine, and once I figured how to sell myself over the phone I was getting work. You can learn all the advise everyone here gave you but I'm just telling how I got started.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
tacrowl
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Quote:
On 2012-10-29 10:58, Memory-Jah wrote:
As for what I am comfortable with so far is doing walk arounds for adults.

Prepare to go outside of your comfort zone and get there as often as possible.
Tom Crowl - Comedy Ventriloquist

ComedyVentriloquist.com

Learn-Ventriloquism.com

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Close.Up.Dave
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Obviously, I was going to recommend getting a bus, but Howie beat me to it.
Vick
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Forget websites and business cards and get to work

Find somewhere to perform often, like 20 - 30 times a day if you can!! For live audiences. That will be your Hamburg, Germany (See the Beatles).
Find somewhere to be bad live ... and dare to be bad. Don't try to be bad but ... we all have to start. Almost every good magician working today had a situation where they performed multiple times a day for tough audiences (Mac King, Lance Burton & Whit Hyden all did Tombstone Gulch which was an amusement park where they grinded out show after show all summer).

Practice and practice, write out all your scripts. Then rehearse. Never stop

Pay doesn't matter, flight time does (live time on stage) over and over and over.
When starting I played the toughest audiences, it made me better quickly. Don't undercut existing performers just to get work or flight time, they are who might help you on the way up

Then learn to run a business, you are a business if you plan on a career in magic. Once you have flight time under your belt and become ok on stage/live performance you will spend more time marketing your show than you will practicing, rehearsing and performing combined ... but first you must have a show. Show first, stage skills, them market

Show business = 10% show + 90% business ... but you must have a show to be in business

I didn't answer what you were asking in your post but I did answer what you asked in the title. Your questions helped lead me to where I think you might be on the path.

Good luck, it's hard, VERY HARD (but can be rewarding)! Especially given our current global economy but ... not to jinx it but my business grows every year, small growth but better and more prestigious gigs, good deal of returning clients every year.

Posted: Nov 9, 2012 10:34am
And the name does matter, try to be memorable and easy to pronounce. Sometime that sticks in the mind but rolls off the tongue

Using "Illusions by Vick" was one of my worst decisions, but 12 years later I'm pretty much stuck with it ;-(

Listen to tacrowl, you grow the quickest when outside your comfort zone,
Unique, Thought Provoking & Amazing Magical Entertainment Experiences
Illusions By Vick
Blog of a real world working magician
Magic would be great, if not for magicians
Howie Diddot
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Thanks Dave, next time this question is asked in a thread, I’ll wait for you to post the bus idea before I do.

Vick is 100% correct do exactly as he posted. In addition to practicing the tricks, practice the prop management; my first show took over an hour to set up, my props were laid out perfectly on a table overflowing with tricks; I performed a trick and laid the trick on the same table, half way through the show, I was not able to figure out the tricks I finished from the tricks I had not performed; so practice the tricks AND practice the show; use a video camera if you have one to watch yourself.
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