The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » Approaching a Fair. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Blindside785
View Profile
Inner circle
Olympia, WA
4279 Posts

Profile of Blindside785
So I work full time at a Drug and Alcohol Rehab, I am getting a stroke of luck! I'm moving to work days instead of nights, so this is opening my mind to a world of possibilities. My late afternoon and evenings will be open so I am more driven to reprint those business cards and make an attempt at getting some gigs.

In my area I have around two fairs that pop up in the summer at separate times. Has anyone here approached a fair for strolling before? I am looking for advice on the best way to approach this.
Gary T.
View Profile
Veteran user
375 Posts

Profile of Gary T.
You mean strolling fairs as a paid gig? idk dude, seems like there would just be so much chaos that it would make things difficult, I would set up a pitch and do your magic there, you don't have to ask for tips or even have a table, and you could do your same strolling style effects, but rather than running around all over the place, trying to perform for people who are also running around all over the place, I feel like since they're already moving all over, you should just set up and let them come to you, adds a little bit of order to all the chaos.
S2000magician
View Profile
Inner circle
Yorba Linda, CA
3469 Posts

Profile of S2000magician
There are some people here - critter, perhaps - who've worked fairs (mostly Ren Fairs, if I recall); they might be able to give you some useful pointers.
Blindside785
View Profile
Inner circle
Olympia, WA
4279 Posts

Profile of Blindside785
I got my eye on strolling because I've seen it done at a few fairs where there are a few strolling magicians, they seemed to fair well, and I seem to love the hit and run feel. I don't have a complete 40 minute set (I"m working on it) just yet so I could see somebody standing there and seeing another magic trick over again if I set up a specific location.
Gary T.
View Profile
Veteran user
375 Posts

Profile of Gary T.
Oh yeah, p.s. I've never done strolling magic at a fair, I've done busking at festivals but I feel there may be a decent amount of difference, so I speak not from experience but just from my own thoughts, accept nothing I say as fact, but I have an opinion on EVERYTHING.
Blindside785
View Profile
Inner circle
Olympia, WA
4279 Posts

Profile of Blindside785
I truly appreciate your opinion, Gary. You do have festival experience, which in my case is relevant enough. So any advice is good edvice and does make me think things through.
bobn3
View Profile
Special user
Wichita, KS
718 Posts

Profile of bobn3
Strolling at a fair is similar to strolling at a festival, but they are harder to get into. Festivals are less formal, and you are usually paid by sponsorships from the businesses in the town where the festivals are held. Fairs are more formal, and more well known entertainment is hired well ahead of time, as well as scheduling midway rides, more vendors, and other events as well. Given that fairs are more formal and harder to get into is the reason that "busking" type performances will be a literal guarantee of getting you thrown out. Vendors have to pay hefty vendor fees to be represented at these. Since there are more vendors at a fair than a festival, they are more likely to complain to the management when they see you "ambushing" and potentially taking dollars out of their pocket. Given the economy, the pie is only so large, and you are viewed as stealing their pieces that they paid for and you did not. There is nothing wrong with this perception as it is accurate.

Make the extra effort and find out well ahead of time where the fairs are in the area that you want to work and do things right (if you ambush, they will remember you, and you won't be able to go back, plus you could screw it up for others in the future...first impressions are everything). The rest is sales 101. Find out who is in charge of hiring entertainment...you are wasting their time and yours if you are talking to the wrong person. Give them your pitch, and state benefits as opposed to features. Also, you are competing against a higher level of competition of entertainment, so testimonials are important...these people don't know you, and everyone has been burned before.

Bob Phillips
AndyLuka
View Profile
Elite user
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
440 Posts

Profile of AndyLuka
I have been lucky enough to work at Summerfest this past summer. Summerfest is the world’s largest music festival in Milwaukee. I got the gig from a friend and fellow magician of mine. I recommend you do not stroll at a fair for festival. Your best bet is to get permission to Busk the event. You can learn all about Busking and street performing in the sidewalk shuffle section of the Café. Before the gig I did a crash course and everyone there was super helpful.

When you busk you don’t walk around. You set up a pitch, draw in a crowd, you do your act (10-20min long 3-4 effects) you then pass the hat, and do it all over again.

Busking is no joke. It is much more difficult than strolling, but you can make a nice chunk of change. I was making a weeks’ worth of pay from my day job in one day. But I worked my ass off for it.

Also, Summerfest did not compensate me for my busking; the only way I got paid was from tips from those who watched my show, so I did my best to put on a good show. I must have done something right because I was invited back next year to perform on one of the stages. And I have the Magic Café to thank for that success story.
Making Magic and Fantasy a reality in a world where our reality can sometimes be rather cruel



Http://www.lukamagic.com -That's Me



Http://www.bigguysmagic.com -The Best Magic Shop
imgic
View Profile
Inner circle
Moved to Seattle to see
1124 Posts

Profile of imgic
Also check out the next forum down, "the sidewalk shuffle". That's where many buskers and strollers post.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
MagicJim
View Profile
Regular user
151 Posts

Profile of MagicJim
Here is my big piece of advice....

Let them know why it is important to you have strolling at a fair....in particular if there is a business/booth exhibition hall and an intercom system throughputs the festival/fair grounds.

These businesses pay money to rent a space. Tell fair organizers to market your talent to their pitch to bring in businesses to fill the spots. Fair organizers should announce that you will be performing close-up magic or mini-magic shows in the business area of the fair...it will be a fun time to check out local businesses at the same time...

Fair planners can guarantee entertainment in the business area to bring additional foot traffic in this sector. Fairs will make money on this offer.
MagicJim
View Profile
Regular user
151 Posts

Profile of MagicJim
Blindside 785...

might I recommend the following...
3 Valuable CD's to the performer

Michael Ammar's Negotiating Higher Performance Fees

Michael Ammar's Making Magic Memorable

Restaurant Magic Business: Charles Green III

They are great! They are for sale in the tricks for sale section right now...
Blindside785
View Profile
Inner circle
Olympia, WA
4279 Posts

Profile of Blindside785
Thanks a lot guys, I love the advice I'm getting here.

I prefer strolling just because it's what I've been doing, but busking is alright with me and I don't fear looking into it. It makes a lot of sense to me more as to the "why", busking is something I'll take more of a look into. I don't mind putting in the time and effort to learn that area of magic, time to start learning.

Thank you for the recommendation, I don't have the funds to purchase those right away but i"m adding them to my list.
ldl1017
View Profile
Elite user
478 Posts

Profile of ldl1017
Blindside,
As an individual that has been performing at fairs for quite awhile, I would suggest contacting the Washington State Fairs Association. I wouldn't just show up at a fair and start busking. The fair wouldn't take kindly to that type of initiative. Many fairs will hire strolling acts, though they prefer that the performer can also do stage work...two birds with one stone philosophy. Shoot me a PM if you want further clarification on fairs. Good luck
Lou
“I am, as I've said, merely competent. But in an age of incompetence, that makes me extraordinary.”
Billy Joel
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » Approaching a Fair. (0 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2020 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.14 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL