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Amazing Magic Co
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I've never used an agent before and was interested in how I might identify some in my area? I have worked with other magic colleagues in my area covering some gigs and have no problem sharing the fee so long as it comfortably covers us both. I am curious and thought this might be worth exploring ... Any suggestions are appreciated.

Thanks!
Dan.
Dannydoyle
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None of us knows enough about you personally to help guide you at all in reality.

A simple Google search of your area or where you want to work will help you find agencies. Whether you are a fit or not is entirely up to them and to you.

Without knowing what level your show is at, what sort of environment you wish to work and so forth, there is no real way to answer your question in a meaningful way unfortunately.
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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Dan -
Before you approach an agent, there is a lot to consider. So many variety acts have the wrong impression when it comes to working with agents. That is why I sat down and interviewed agent Terry Gehman for Entertainment Experts. Terry specializes in fairs and festivals with some small corporate dates. His advice however applies to every market on some level. You can see clips of the interviews at:
http://entertainment-experts.com/an-agents-goal/ (which covers working with talent agents)
http://entertainment-experts.com/exclusive-representation/
http://entertainment-experts.com/sometim......ard-way/
and on YouTube at:
http://youtu.be/iWPC7RPIn6c

There will be more clips released - but these should give you things to think about.

As for finding agencies - Google is your friend. Keep in mind, agents get tons of submissions and emails every day from acts looking for work. Your contact needs to be respectful of their time and stand out.

Tom
Tom Crowl - Comedy Ventriloquist

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Dannydoyle
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Also keep in mind you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Posted: Jun 8, 2013 8:39pm
Another interesting thing is generally once they will need you...you probably won't need them.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Al Angello
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Collegeville, Pa. USA
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Dan
Are you looking for someone to set up with a six month coast to coast college tour, or are you simply looking for more paying jobs locally? They are two totally different questions.

Your local party planner is not the same as the William Morris agency.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Bob Sanders
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Remember that the most important thing an agent has to offer is his contacts, not yours! The best of agents can get about any act they want. Successful agents stick with the talent buyers, not the talent.

My lecture at the Cavalcade of Magic was about personal managers, agents, promoters and talent buyers. Perhaps you can catch the lecture sometime.

I certainly recommend having a personal manager who represents you to agents and talent buyers. (That comes from 55 years in the professional entertainment industry plus having owned American Artists Enterprises a personal management and booking agency.)

What do you really know about professional entertainment managers, booking agents, talent buyers and promoters from experience? Who do you know that really does?
Bob Sanders

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Amazing Magic Co
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I mostly book birthdays, schools and family/corporate events and looking to stay relatively local. I have no interest in a world tour nor do I have aspirations to be the next Copperfield. I'm mostly looking to stay busy and pick up some extra gigs.

Dan.
magicofCurtis
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Amazing Magic Co,

Find your local party planning agents/planners. Google search in your area and look in family magazines etc.
Also, contact the local country clubs, preschools, elementary schools, libraries and venues that host kids parties. Introduce them with your services and keep in contact with them about 3-6 times a year by fax, mailing and brief phone calls.
Any special events you see around town contact them. They can use you the following year maybe, plus usually the board of directors uses entertainment for other programs that they might plan for the city/public.

Best luck....
David Thiel
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Western Canada...where all that oil is
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I'm not sure that AN agent is the way to go. There's a significant difference between agents and personal managers. I think you may be talking about a personal manager -- someone who has the task of specifically getting you work...and getting you to and from the show. They handle far fewer clients but take a bigger chunk of the earnings...which is understandable.

Most agents handle a huge raft of acts. They'll have a number of variety performers (cause that's what we are to them) on their roster. It's true that they can turn work your way -- but the change may not be as significant as you think. I work with six agents and, while they throw work my way (and I appreciate it), most of my bookings still come through me, my contacts or my repeat clients.

You need to keep yourself in the agent's face all the time to remind them you're out there. This isn't a bad thing and agents are a worthwhile source of work -- but it's more important to work your local market first. There's some great advice here.

David
Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Except bears. Bears will kill you.


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Dannydoyle
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Finding an agent is a process better thought of in terms of what you can do for them as opposed to what you think they can do for you.

Maybe find one who does not have any magicians under their flag. The more you can do for them, the more they will do for you.
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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Quote:
You need to keep yourself in the agent's face all the time to remind them you're out there. This isn't a bad thing and agents are a worthwhile source of work -- but it's more important to work your local market first. There's some great advice here.

David

David offers some wise advice, but there is also another side of the coin very rarely talked about with regard to agents and agencies.

Yes, it is important to "keep and stay in front of an agent", I agree, but be careful with this as there is such a thing as doing so too much. To offer an example, one of my agencies books magicians pretty regularly since the late 70's. Like most agencies we have many on our roster (for a variety of reasons), but have our preferred favorites that are mostly used, again for a variety of reasons.

One of these preferred acts after working with us for maybe 15 years, all of a sudden in the late 80's or early 90's started to get into direct mailing/marketing. I've always suspected he took a Dee or Kennedy course that preaches doing regular and continuous mailing to "stay in front of them". All of a sudden it seemed like every week (more than likely once or twice a month) we were getting bombarded with promo, newsletters, post cards, ideas and tip sheets of how to use his act and shows, etc.

It became too much. Too overbearing, to repetitive. It got to the point where after fifteen years most of my agents as well as myself had had enough. We called him and asked his stop and to be removed from his mailing and marketing list. We also felt insulted. We were well aware of him, we know his various acts, and we most certainly didn't need his "tips & advice" on how best to book his acts. He understood.

However the mailings (thank gosh it was before e-mail) continued. I'm guessing he, through his marketing gurus", had several mailing lists for several different purposes and probably used auto-responders, but for whatever reason they continued. About a month later we dropped him from our roster permanently. He probably booked $12-15,000 of booking from us per year, for about 15 years. He ruined it for himself and lost a solid stream of income.

Truth be told, it created an opportunity for several other magician's who while on our roster hadn't been booked as much, as they were too similar to this guy, but after dropping him, we turned to them and didn't miss a beat in our bookings.

So the point is yes, stay in front of them, but know and understand limits. Agencies get bombarded with promo on a daily basis. Know what is proper, professional and what is overbearing and too much. If they are not responding to you after a significant period of time, there is more than likely a reason.
Al Angello
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If you want to stay local go to your local yellow pages and call every agent in your local entertainment section that doesn't offer female companionship, or DJ's everybody else deserves a phone call, a promo package, and you have begun to contact your local agents.

Do a google search for entertainment agencies in your area code. Call and send a promo package to all of them unless they provide DJ's or female companionship.

Check with other performers that you meet at gigs, give them a card ask them who they use.

Circulate, mingle, schmooze, network, carry business cards everywhere you go.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
magicofCurtis
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Al I agree with you, but I would also recommend getting to know local Dj's too! They can refer you out. They often get lots of calls and asked about other acts.
Al Angello
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Good things come to those who wait providing they work like hell while they are waiting.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Jesse Lewis
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So Mindpro what do you personally thinkn is an appropriate amount of contact? Schedule updates once per month? once per year? I have agents that have actually asked for weekly updates and others that would rather just call. It is a very difficult nut to crack what is just right.
Jesse
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Dannydoyle
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Find itnout from each one personally. For me the less contact the better.
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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Exactly. Especially if it is someone you already have a relationship with. Giving your avails to an agent you are already listed with is much different than sending your promotional info to an agency or agent unsolicited. Most agencies have a specific time, period or process in which they prefer to accept promotional materials for consideration. Follow these guidelines or procedures. If we receive materials other than as we have specified on our web site, it tells us you haven't done your homework and even learned our submission process or done your due diligence, but rather we are simply receiving something from a mass mailing/emailing.

Also we don't want artists or acts that are on every other agency's roster (especially for local or regional acts). This comes greatly into play as well. There is much more to working with an agency than meets the eye, and most performers fail in this area.

While I can't answer for each agency, our personal preference is once every six months or perhaps three times a year. At absolute most quarterly, but even that is pushing it. It also depends on what you are sending or submitting - this makes a huge difference too. Also one of the greatest things we see CONSISTENTLY along with not adhering to our submission process, is entertainers that do not look like their photos. I can not tell you how many times we will arrange for a meeting with an entertainer, model or other artist, and when they arrive they look nothing like therr photos. They've gained weight, aged, changed their look, image or style. When we submit your materials to our client, they expect it to be an exact, most recent representation of yourself.

This is why I've said repeatedly here, your marketing efforts (when it comes to agencies) has little or nothing to do with youtube videos, social media web sites, etc. When we get an email asking or directing us to an entertainers web site...it goes right into the garbage. We are not in the business of chasing after and visiting an performer's web site. Unless you have an "agency web site" we do not go to web sites to see someones promotional materials. If we went to everyone's site that send us materials we'd be doing this 8 hours per day. Plus this actually works against you as most performers web sites are not created, designed or appropriate for agents or agencies. Most entertainers design their web sites poorly, unprofessionally and from their own perspective, often what we call "ego-based" web sites, but not with what an agency needs or requires for representation. Many things popular gurus teach you about your site works against you when pertaining to agencies.

I hope this helps.
Dannydoyle
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I tell you what can be too much for me. I don't like feeling like I am on a list. Drives me nuts. I once got an update from an act telling me he was in Cancun. Onky problem was I sent him to Cancun. To me it felt disingenuous.

So that is the line with me personally. That is the exact way to deal with me. Now the next guy kight be 180 degrees opposite.

I don't want constant or even weekly updates from 100 different acts plus people wanting to be considered. Think just for a moment how much time that alone is.

So don't think hard and fast rules apply. They don't.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
magicofCurtis
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Also,

There are different type of personalities of agents.
I find that agents that are not and were not entertainers are the best ones to work with.
They are kind, they return calls and they encourage receiving promo packets and they often meet with you once-twice a year for lunch to catch up. Plus, when you send something to their office they notify you receipt of such. Also, a good agent meets you or sends someone to the event to introduce you to the client and gets the show going. Smile

Entertainers that are agents, I found that they tend to not respond to emails, phone calls and complain about receiving promo packets.
I am sure there are a few exception, just sharing my experience.
Mindpro
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I have found just the opposite, but it's a matter of personal preference and experience. One of the things I hear continuously from many of the artists and acts we've rep'd is that they love dealing with an agent that is an entertainer or has an performer background as they tend to think from the artists perspective and better understand the artist's needs and means of execution.

In my personal experience with the many agencies and promoters around the country that I'm listed with or have worked with, I find the very same to be true as well.
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