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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Marketing a stage act by word of mouth in a tourist town? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Robin4Kids
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Sounds more like Gatlinburg!
Mindpro
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Terry is a great guy that I've known and helped promote since he was just a kid. He is one of the nicest professionals you would ever meet. I would have some serious concerns about you getting into this prematurely but since you are committed I wish you the best of luck as I hope you are open-minded and a quick learner. Things happen fast, but you must take control of this situation, actually opportunity. There are many low and no-cost things you need to focus on to promote. You need to spend every waking hour when you are not on stage, while living there to promote, promote, promote. Just one word of caution - be sure everything is legal and compliant with local ordinances as many tourist areas including Gatlinburg as far as public promotion especially with fliers, coupons, cards or paper products.

You are establishing a foundation. You need to give some thought and perspective to the demographic you need (need not want) as it will make marketing and promotion easier and ultimately more cost-effective. Remember, it's not about the demo you want, but rather the area, venue, and who the theater is targeting.

This may be a very bumpy process and may not turn out so well but will surely be a learning experience for you. Just try to maintain good relationships, not burn any bridges, and treat your audiences with respect as they are your greatest form of advertising for future possibilities.

In reality you are only as good as your performance which I would be very concerned with having no stage experience. Having to create a stage show tat contains all of the crucial components AND marketing and promotion would be tough for even the longtime seasoned professional, so you have an uphill effort in front of you, but since you're committed just put your head down, LISTEN from those that are willing to help you, be appreciative to Terry and others, and learn, learn learn while you work, work work. Opportunity is a great thing, if you are ready and prepared for it. If not be careful as it can be damaging.

Good luck, I wish you the best.
Dannydoyle
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Good luck.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Siraldi
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Robin4kids: It is Gatlinburg. It's across the woods from Pigeon Forge and Terry Evanswood... but not far

Mindpro: I think he's a great guy in the least. I've only been able to meet with him once; but as soon as I'm able (hopefully next week) I'm going to try to talk to him whenever he gets the chance. I already appreciate him for talking what little I've been able to. Like I said he's good friend's with the man I consider my mentor; and he speaks HIGHLY of Terry... so I have nothing but the upmost respect for him... I mean... He's a Merlin Award winner... and just has the professional aura about him.

And I've already talked with some people about local ordinances... I'm working on finding a place to do that. You have to be on private property; so that is possibly in the works. But the magic shops there are willing to help; Doc Waddell is a great guy also.

And demmographs... I'm going for families. I would LOVE to have an adult show!... but I know in Appalachia that it would be nearly impossible; so kids are mainly where I'm marketing on the street... families.

And I'm planning on a bumpy process... but I'm willing to risk a few bumps and bruises for the experience I am going to have. I've done performances of different kinds my entire life... but before it was music. So I do have a lot to learn on stage... but I am dedicated. And I do treat my audience as good as possible... they're all I've got! And that's one reason I stay on here is to find your guys' advice... I talk very frequently to some important men in magic in this area... so I try to keep an open mind... right now I just hope I can find where to put my head! =]

And I really believe I'm ready for this. I mean... you guys don't know me... so it's hard to judge over text and reading... but I've worked hard. I would say "work work work" and with the promoting... it will be... but If I'm not out somewhere doing magic... I'm in front of my practice mirror practicing.

Mindpro: I really appreciate your advice! And thanks! I wish you the best also!
charliecheckers
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Quote:
On 2013-05-09 01:12, Siraldi wrote:
And what kind of interactive trick?

You will see several that Copperfield performed if you Google "Copperfield interactive magic". I also believe he did one with his live audience, but I do not recall the details.
dearwiseone
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Without a doubt the best thing you can do in a tourist town (if you're marketing a show to tourists) is win over the hotel staff. This comes from personal experience. Everyone and their dog asks the front desk staff at the hotel for recommendations on shows, dinner, attractions. They know the front desk staff are "locals" so they know the "inside scoop." People ask when they check in, people call all night on the phones..."Where's the best place to eat in town?"

When I worked front desk, we had businesses bring in gift baskets, free VIP tickets to shows. One of our favorite was a guy who would bring in cash each month. When we recommended his business to a tourist, we signed the back of one of our business cards and told them it would get them a 10% discount. Each month, the business owner came in with $5 attached to each business card he had received. Cash talks! He had one of the most successful businesses in town.

In the tourist town I worked in, I saw my fair share of businesses fail. Some never bothered to introduce themselves or provide tickets for a free show. When people asked about it, I just had to say I didn't know, I had never been. It was the truth.

Front desk staff and hotels have more power over your show than any billboard or magazine ad ever could. Treat them like gold. Go to each hotel individually, introduce yourself, the show, etc. This is maybe the greatest "secret" of success in a tourist town most people don't seem to ever address.

Just my thoughts!
Best Wishes!
Kevin

P.S. - oh yes...this is all IF you have a good show, run a good business, etc. Even hotel front desk staff can't save a bad show, poor management, etc.!
Dannydoyle
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Out of curiosity how many offering advice have done long term gigs in tourist towns and been successful?
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
charliemartin
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Contact Duane Laflin, he has a show in a touristy town in South Dakota. He might be able to give you some survivor ideas.
charliecheckers
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Quote:
On 2013-05-10 05:27, Dannydoyle wrote:
Out of curiosity how many offering advice have done long term gigs in tourist towns and been successful?

Out of curiosity, why are you curious?
Dannydoyle
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Just wondering. It is a different world I never would have imagined till we did it. Almost nothing I thought I knew translated.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Mindpro
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True, most that think they know what it takes and what is involved ends up finding it's much more than they realize and nothing as expected. Funny how often the show is the least factor of the equation. (But if the shows not right on, the rest doesn't have a chance). I would be curious too. I think also helps the original poster to determine who is offering real insight rather than just opinion or theory.

I do hope he keeps us posted on his thoughts and progress and I think it would be helpful to others to realize the realities of such a possibility.
Dannydoyle
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I am not trying to discourage anyone from having an opinion. I am not trying to discourage him from doing the show. Lord knows another poster here would call us jealous if we did.

But I do believe that in this case the guy deserves to know what he is dealing with. I have lived in such a town for a decade and watched and helped many shows. Even in the very town the OP speaks of. I will say only the next few thoughts and then the usual wizards of smart can take over.

This is not like Any market you have ever been in. People come for an average of 3.5 days or so and go to an average of 1.9 shows. Those numbers in every drive to destination in America have seen a steep and disturbing decline in recent years. Now with not a dime for a budget you want buts in seats.

It is called "intercept marketing". They come for the destination or another show and you want to steer them into your show while they are there. With no budget to tell them who you are. Or for that matter WHERE you are.

Oh and you have a lot of other people trying to do the exact same thing only some with a considerable budget. Most of whom have been in town for years and have given free tickets to all the servers and hotel people in town already during something they call "area appreciation". Plus most in the service industry go to shows for free anyhow.

Hard work won't cut it. Plan on doing shows for single digits for a while unless the theater gets behind you. Douhle digits if they do.

I am only properly defining what you need to accomplish so you are not run off. It will take perservierence to plow through. I wish you the best. Everyone started that way.

Oh and in between the show must be done.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Siraldi
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Dearwiseone: I have recently been told something similar by someone. There are a few time shares near me that I plan on meeting with next week and talking to the activities coordinator about my show. I'm considering trying to do a free show for them a week in kind of a close up way to introduce myself to the people in the town. But I planned on that; but hotels didn't even register in my mind! Thank you for that! I say I've only done magic for about 2 years because that's when I got on at the restaurants I work. I'm thinking of trying to take a day and go through the restaurants (if the managers let me) and do a little magic and promote my show. But I will DEFINITELY be sure to check with the hotels! Thank you!

Dannydoyle: I am planning on doing very small shows for a while. I'm not one to get discouraged easily... this is what I want and I realize I have to pay my dues like everyone else. There are 2 tourist towns disconnected by apx. 15 minute drive. Terry Evanswood is in the other town (Again... I must say... GREAT guy and a FANTASTIC show!) and I am the other magic show. There are other shows; but I'm the only magician that I know of in this town.

And I do believe my show is par. It's not greatly above par... but it is a decent show.

Again... I want to show my gratitude to you all. Those of you with experience in a town like this.. THANK YOU! Those of you with out experience in a town like this... THANK YOU TOO! I'm just looking for ideas. I start next week and want to hit the ground running. I will be keeping you all posted anytime I have time. Thank you guys... SO MUCH!
Dannydoyle
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You are already missing the point. The other shows are competing with you for the same tourist dollars. Along with big slides and so forth. People do not have magic show money and other show money. They have moeny to do things. Understanding the difference is fairly important.

Again I turn you over to the usual wizards of smart.

I wish the best for you. I hope this turns into many years of a great job!
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
charliecheckers
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Quote:
On 2013-05-10 11:27, Dannydoyle wrote:
But I do believe that in this case the guy deserves to know what he is dealing with.

Point well made, because he has not a moment to lose traveling down the wrong paths. I shared my disclaimer in my first post on this thread, but I do see others have posted without a point of refrence as to if they have been successful with their advice. It would be interesting to hear what those with success in this environment would do if they woke up tommorow and found themselves in his shoes, with his skills, and lack of money - with a season of shows booked at the same location he does. What would your top priorities be? How would you structure your show? How would you scramble to build an audience? What would be things you would avoid because of the low return on your time investment? If you look up Siraldi you will see where he is performing, the other acts, as well as his show time and prices. Would you focus on one marquee effect that you could promote? Obviously an entire book could be written on this topic, but a few more insights would be awesome to see - just out of interest.
Mindpro
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This is not meant towards the original poster, but I (based on my own experience with this) would not accept this no matter how badly I wanted it if my show wasn't already stage-ready. There's too much at risk for you, the venue, promoter, the public and all parties involved. In this current economy the last thing a tourist area needs is a poor show, the damage can be staggering in the bigger picture.

There is so much to do and so many aspects of this type of event, venue and production, you almost literally have no time for the show part at this point. That's why under normal circumstances you work on the show during a rehearsal period. When it's ready to go into production there is so much business that needs to be done it's literally all-consuming.

Secondly, there is no money in this deal thrown together so quickly. The only real hope for income is in other and alternate streams and resources separate from ticket sales. Third, you have to have money and resources to promote and market. Of course there are the givens, the traditional ticket brokers and discount outlets, card racks (can be big money), local media, tourist directories and magazines, local t.v. and radio, papering shows, greasing concierges and taxi drivers, billboards, mobile advertising, NTR advertising exclusive to the area, coop ventures, and a few that I'm purposefully leaving since this is a public forum, but you get the idea. By the time the show is here you last thing you should be thinking about is the content of the show.

Performing a stage show in a tourist area is much different than most types of performing. Performers often think "Oh I've done corporate or I've done banquets" but hosting a stage show is much different. Your personality must be fully developed, your method to appeal to and win the audience over before you ever do any magic is crucial. It's about you, not your magic.

As I said earlier this would be hard if you had a stage-ready show already in place. Without any workable budget it us not going to be easy. You'd better be like a politician and start kissin' babies and as*&s.

Most entertainers have a support system of those in the show, family and friends. This is where you need to put them yo work with you, but have a structured plan, that as I mentioned before is compliant with local ordinances. You do not want to p-off the town or area as your first impression. As they sat - "hit the pavement running. Vest source of advertising is happy customers recommending the great show to others. That helps create the ever so important buzz. Danny's advice was priceless above and something many do not learn until well into this and deeply in the hole. Very generous of Danny.

he greatest low-cost resource is in-house promotion to customers that have already found the venue.
charliecheckers
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Siraldi - FYI David Garrity is putting together a listing of those who are performing shows for the summer season to inform fellow magicians where they can catch magic shows while on vacations. The thread is in Grand Illusion section. http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......rum=7&11
Mindpro
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So any updates on how the Summer and this deal went. I know many here offered you support and input and I was hoping you could update us to how it went, what you learned and your thoughts now in hindsight? Thanks!
charliecheckers
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I just sent him a PM. I have not seen a post from him here in a while, so I hope he responds.
Mindpro
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I know the show ended after just a few weeks, but would like to hear more about it from his experience.
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