The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » 4 Walling (my epic fail) (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
Gcdnuan
View Profile
New user
20 Posts

Profile of Gcdnuan
Hi I'm wish to share with everyone my 4 walling experience.
Maybe it will help someone or at least give you a laugh.

Before I begin, here on youtube the is a channel talk tails where they interview headliners from Las Vegas. They give some advice.

So in Vegas they say you have to sell yourself every 4-5 days because the crowd changes.
So with that idea said to myself 2 weeks should be good enough for me right !?! (wrong...)
So I rented the venue (-300$)(bar/stage/comedy) capacity of about 300. Near the downtown area (like 15 mins walk from downtown) (second mistake)
The show was on a friday (+1) the same day Selena Gomez was giving her show (-1) and a big time standup comic was comming to town (-1).
But I believe that since I'm doing a comedy hypnosis show I would have apply to different crowd.
Bought about 1000 color flyers and 200 posters (standard sizes) (-200$)
Cover the downtown area (college - bars - coffee shop - subway exits - anywhere where it was legal).
Spam Facebook, twitter, craiglist and all the websites like event in you city and such alike....
Admission was 15$.
Printed Tickets but no ticket broker want to take me on (since none know me from a hole in a wall) even givan the commission of 10$ per ticket...
Also sumitted my event to the local news and did a press release. out of all the news paper I've sent my event only one journalist contacted me for an interview (she said that if she is not able to find anything intersiting to blog about by the end of the day, she'll contact me ....never got that callback.....)
Have a website built it look nice (I do have some web design skills _drupal-CSS-Html-ajax-javascript)

In all at the end only 20 peoples (out of that 8 weres people that I knew and 12 complete strangers) came to see the show. (still gave them a show and they loved it.

So I don't know on how many levels I went wrong , but that is my experience.

Cheers
Mindpro
View Profile
Inner circle
9674 Posts

Profile of Mindpro
Thanks for sharing your experience. This is the classic approach to Four-Walling and this is also the classic results. As I've written about and discussed here many times, thsi seems to be the standard approach from a performers perspective and it almost always fails.

Anytime someone is dependingon no-cost or low-cost promotion and one thre to four weeks promotion or less this unfortunately if often the result. It is a seup for failure.

Also unfortunately what happens often is it puts a bad taste in the performers mouth and prevenst them from trying to do it again. The second thing that always happens is the performer seeks excuses and justification as to why it doesn't work.

There are so many facets to producing a Four-Wall that must work in concert, and if any are lacking or weak, the entire thing collapses.

Most performers are not good business people, let alone the art or producing and promoting is a skill set in and of itself. Sorry for your loss, but thanks for sharing. Oddly enough, no matter how much is written or discussed on this topic most performers think they will be different. They are above the rest and that it won't happen to them.

I've been researching and working on a book on this topic and it is still a couple of years away and it just keeps getting bigger and bigger and actually overwhelming as I get into everything involved from many of those interviewed some who won big and those who've lost even bigger. Some amazing stories and experiences that I hope to release someday, so I appreciate your story. Was your event in Las Vegas?
Gcdnuan
View Profile
New user
20 Posts

Profile of Gcdnuan
Hi Mind pro,

no my events wasn't in vegas (4 walling in vegas is 15 K$/week just the venue on a minimum 3-6 month cotract.)

It did put a bad taste in my mouth, but I'll try again. Many with enough advice from people I can manage to make it work. I know it sounds like I was seeking excuse an in most times that would have been the case. However for having read some of your previous post, I knew what I was getting my self into. I apologize if it made it seem like I was seeking excuse, I wanted to give a clear picture to everyone. The only thing that when wrong in this is me, I'm resposible for eveything. I do have to carry my own weight and take responsibilities.

However, could you explain to me some point that I don't really understand.

"Anytime someone is dependingon no-cost or low-cost promotion and one thre to four weeks promotion or less this unfortunately if often the result. It is a seup for failure."

Say your doing your show in vegas, since the city changes every 5 days, what would be the point of a longer then 5 days promotions since the crowd changes so fast ?

Secondly on a limited budget say 500$ give or take, how can you manage to do a medium or high cost promotion ? (maybe publicity stunts ?! on lest there is a better Idea ?)

I did try to cut a great deal to the ticket broker 2/3 of the ticket value and they still would sell for me (thats what I believe a medium-cost promotion would be...then again what do I know)

Thanks again your input looking foward for your book !
Cheers
Gcdnuan
View Profile
New user
20 Posts

Profile of Gcdnuan
Quote:

they still would sell for me


*they still would NOT sell my ticket

/wrote too fast from my cell phone./
Dannydoyle
View Profile
Eternal Order
19854 Posts

Profile of Dannydoyle
First off it is never funny when someone loses money. It sucks.

Second of all I am glad you had the nerve to post about it here even if under a pseudonym. SO many only want to talk of minimal success or of big dreams and when this happens we never hear about it. Heck if you read all the literature and all the posts here mindpro and I are the only two who ever bomb a show! Good on you for owning it and wanting to learn.

As for what went wrong ? Well almost everything. As mindpro said it is what people think this is all about. In reality it is SO much more. If not then everyone would just do it right?

I won't overwhelm you with text but consider the following and PM me if interested in other thoughts. But before you do consider I will not blow any smoke. If you want answers they might not be the ones you are looking for.

Here is what I would like you to consider. Some VERY large names in comedy hypnosis who have relationships with the ticket sellers and ads in the taxi and print media and deals with major hotels are having some VERY large problems getting an audience as well. Don't believe everything you read or hear.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
magicofCurtis
View Profile
Inner circle
Los Angeles
2545 Posts

Profile of magicofCurtis
Sorry to hear such,,,,


Next time try selling group tickets to business, promote through facebook, get local insurance agent or relator broker to sponsor/promote the show with you.
Create a fund raiser with your tickets....
Give 20% to 50% of them out as promotions
Tie your show in with an event... the city Art walk night, the cities restaurant night, etc

and HIRE A PR person!

Cheers
Blair Marshall
View Profile
Inner circle
Montreal, Canada
3640 Posts

Profile of Blair Marshall
ACTUALLY based on what you have already learned, this venture was NOT an epic fail, but an EPIC learning experience. By exploring each area, and discussing it with folks (ie. here on the Café, and with other theatre minded folks in your town), the education you will recieve would have cost you actually more $$$$ had you taken courses.

There are so many things that could be done, and could have been done, there is a saying "fail forward", hopefully you will continue, and use the advice you are garnering from folks around you to build a great future!!

Best of luck!

Blair
David Thiel
View Profile
Inner circle
Western Canada...where all that oil is
3789 Posts

Profile of David Thiel
You didn't fail, pal,

You tried.

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


www.MindGemsBrainTrust.com
www.magicpendulums.com
www.MidnightMagicAndMentalism.com
magicofCurtis
View Profile
Inner circle
Los Angeles
2545 Posts

Profile of magicofCurtis
David Thiel

Well put! Smile
magicofCurtis
View Profile
Inner circle
Los Angeles
2545 Posts

Profile of magicofCurtis
David Thiel

Well put! Smile
magicofCurtis
View Profile
Inner circle
Los Angeles
2545 Posts

Profile of magicofCurtis
David Thiel

Well put! Smile
Mindpro
View Profile
Inner circle
9674 Posts

Profile of Mindpro
Quote:
On 2013-09-03 14:58, Gcdnuan wrote:
I know it sounds like I was seeking excuse an in most times that would have been the case. However for having read some of your previous post, I knew what I was getting my self into. I apologize if it made it seem like I was seeking excuse, I wanted to give a clear picture to everyone. The only thing that when wrong in this is me, I'm resposible for eveything. I do have to carry my own weight and take responsibilities.

However, could you explain to me some point that I don't really understand.

"Anytime someone is depending on no-cost or low-cost promotion and one three to four weeks promotion or less this unfortunately if often the result. It is a seup for failure."

Say your doing your show in vegas, since the city changes every 5 days, what would be the point of a longer then 5 days promotions since the crowd changes so fast ?

Secondly on a limited budget say 500$ give or take, how can you manage to do a medium or high cost promotion ? (maybe publicity stunts ?! on lest there is a better Idea ?)

I did try to cut a great deal to the ticket broker 2/3 of the ticket value and they still would sell for me (thats what I believe a medium-cost promotion would be...then again what do I know)

Thanks again your input looking foward for your book !
Cheers



I was referring more to most in general that have problems or fail with Four-Walling as far as often making excuses.

To answer your question could take pages of text which I'm not really up for. Four-Walling happens on many different levels all at the same time. Most try to tend to over simplify it, or put their concentrated efforts on the show itself. The show is really the easy part, it's all others that require proper handling, attention, execution and the budget. Simply put you not going to have any chance of success with only a $500 budget. It's rarely possible with a $3,500 budget.

Any low-cost or now-cost efforts should only be used as enhancements to your main promotional efforts. Too many just do posters, flyers, email blasts, press releases and free listings and expect it to work. It rarely does, When and if it does it's the exception to the rule. As Danny said, if it were that easy everyone would be doing it. Same for publicity stunts, it can help, but will rarely be effective in selling any serious amount of tickets. Same for the charity tie-in. While it does have some benefits and opportunities, it is another thing that many think all they have to do is get a charity affiliate and they are set. It doesn't mean that at all. Nor do press releases. Is your event really newsworthy? Why is it? Why would a newspaper do a story on you? Just because you sent them a press release? So many resources say just send the media press releases, they are always looking for stories, etc. Again not necessarily true. Just doing a press release is not enough. You must have an angle or reason for a feature.

I've also seen guys finally land a radio segment and they blow the opportunity by not properly preparing and understanding the medium and how to capitalize on it. They blow it.

All of these add up to thinking and executing from other perspectives other than just the entertainers'.

As far as "in Las Vegas the city changes every 5 days", this is a misconception as well as a laymen's perception. As someone who lives and works in Vegas, people come and go every day. Figuring out audiences and how the city works is quite complicated and with many layers all of which need to be understood. Many people purchase tickets before arriving, others it's a day of impulse, yet others plan their trip out diligently. You must reach these people in ways that targets all of these. That is why shows are regularly advertised in the airport in the baggage claim area, some on the in-flight magazine they read before even getting here, they are promoted on tops of taxicabs, billboards," 5-7 times before deciding to take action (buy the ticker or at least consider attending the show). They don't go out of their way to see your ads or promotions, so you must be in their face and penetrate them both consciously and subconsciously. As I say there are many layers of this physically and psychologically.

Entertainers often say, "well that is for Las Vegas", but in reality it is the same whether it's Vegas or in a town of $15,00 people in the middle of Nebraska. It may be scaled differently but the exact same rules apply.

I hope this helps address your questions.
Mindpro
View Profile
Inner circle
9674 Posts

Profile of Mindpro
Wow, I must have been tired when I posted that last night. An entire chunk of text is missing from what I had written between the word "billboards" and discussing how the average consumer for entertainment must see or hear advertising or ad/promotional impressions 5-7 times before taking action (the difference in numbers is males vs. females, we respond differently, which also must be taken into consideration as part of your promotional efforts).

Also I meant to say a town of 15,000 people (I don't know what the heck came out there). As I said I think and talk entertainment business even in my sleep, as I guess is shown in the above post. Sorry for the errors.
magicofCurtis
View Profile
Inner circle
Los Angeles
2545 Posts

Profile of magicofCurtis
The key to get the press involved you have to create a story that they would bite into... Usually create a good why and back history and they show up.

This has been a proven method for me.
For one of my media stunts on Halloween a few years ago, I was able to get tons of local and national press to arrive!
Proud to say, I was the only Halloween event covered on Kcal9 news and the local cbs 2 news in Los angeles including the West Hollywood Parade/festival wasn't mentioned (which is usually a lead story for halloween events in LA)

So it is possible to create good media attention. AGain, It is the why and the back story that draws them in. Just not because you are doing a show.

I agree Mindpro, PR, marketing and performing are separate beast and most entertainers don't grab onto this...
Mindpro
View Profile
Inner circle
9674 Posts

Profile of Mindpro
Gcdnuan, based on your experience so far what have you learned and what would you do differently next time?
Vick
View Profile
Inner circle
It's taken me 10+ years to make
1120 Posts

Profile of Vick
Thank you all very much for sharing your stories and knowledge
If anyone would like to get into more detail please feel free to PM me
Please be well

Best wishes,
Vick
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
magicofCurtis
View Profile
Inner circle
Los Angeles
2545 Posts

Profile of magicofCurtis
Quote:
On 2013-09-07 10:39, Vick wrote:
Thank you all very much for sharing your stories and knowledge
If anyone would like to get into more detail please feel free to PM me
Please be well

Best wishes,
Vick


Mindpro, care to share some personal stories and experiences in greater detail? Whens, whats and the how's? Smile
Mindpro
View Profile
Inner circle
9674 Posts

Profile of Mindpro
Quote:
On 2013-09-04 12:07, magicofCurtis wrote:
For one of my media stunts on Halloween a few years ago, I was able to get tons of local and national press to arrive!
Proud to say, I was the only Halloween event covered on Kcal9 news and the local cbs 2 news in Los angeles including the West Hollywood Parade/festival wasn't mentioned (which is usually a lead story for halloween events in LA)

So it is possible to create good media attention. AGain, It is the why and the back story that draws them in. Just not because you are doing a show.


Yes but this is exactly my point. Nice that you got some press coverage, great. Then what? Every single source I've read on sending press releases, media stunts and getting the media involve stop there. You scored some media, so what? Then what? What about how to use this as far as business and profitability?

You see the component they never address or tell you is how to monetize this. Just getting press does not mean tickets will be sold. I will give a personal story since you asked. The first time I was on The Oprah Winfrey Show by myself I was excited, thrilled. Even though I'd been on t.v., radio and newspapers over three hundred times, this was the absolutely the biggest opportunity I had. I rarely get nervous, but this whole aura was at a much higher level than I typically experience. Once there I had several producers and p.a.'s tell me that some of the biggest names in Hollywood and the music business get nervous and freaked out about being on Oprah. I wasn't freaked out, just nervous because I was well aware of the magnitude of "Oprah" and everything affiliated with it.

To be seen in I think it was 34 countries by over 20 million people was huge. But as always I was just myself and was ready. I knew what I needed to do to get my desired results. Within 24 hours of being on that show I was getting calls and offers from six different counties and many, many more form here in the states. I instantly became an international artist. I was recognized on the streets, in restaurants even at the urinal in the men's room. While it was cool and thrilled my ego, I was not prepared or educated on how to monetize it long-term. How to make it work to my advantage to it's best ability. Yes, I gained exposure, notoriety, tons of bookings and higher prices, but that is an initial wave. I didn't know how to monetize it for long-term benefits.

My point is that getting press is not enough, it's learning and knowing what to do with it and how to monetize it to best serve your needs and interests. In reality most do not know how to write a seriously good press release that is written for the sole purpose to get your desired results (most are mistaken as to what their true desired result is). Secondly, if you somehow generated interest from your press release, most do not know how or what to do next. If they score an interview (precursor to a feature actually being written) most performers do not know how to conduct a successful and productive interview. They simply wait for the writer or host to ask questions and provide answers. (This is the wrong way to do interviews). They don't understand how to turn that interview into gold - into the unique feature you are ultimately seeking. That's another thing - to most just being in the newspaper or on radio or t.v. is enough. It really isn't, again you must know how and what to do to monetize this and get the maximum benefits and advantages out of it you are truly seeking.

None of this is meant to slam Curtis, his post just reminded me of this so common misperception. Most media outlets do not have the power and draw of Oprah. Just being in the paper or on the air is definitely not enough. It's what you do with it and how you control it before, during and after the media. Most that Four-Wall mistakenly try to score some press then just sit back and wait as if magically tickets will start being sold by the dozens. It rarely happens this way. Another common misconception. Unless you are on The Tonight Show or some other popular talk show and as part of your intro they specifically say - "he will be appearing Friday Night at The Spectrum Theater in St. Louis" I wouldn't expect great results (even then, if your segment with Leno is not strong, that intro will do nothing to sell tickets).

Now this (press releases and media) is just one single small component in the process of Four-Walling. Every component and element each have the same level of understanding and execution that must be understood to truly maximize your potetial and help you to reach your desired results and expectations. As I said earlier, there are many levels and elements at work together at once.

Just some more perspective.
magicofCurtis
View Profile
Inner circle
Los Angeles
2545 Posts

Profile of magicofCurtis
Quote:
On 2013-09-07 13:30, Mindpro wrote:
Quote:
On 2013-09-04 12:07, magicofCurtis wrote:
For one of my media stunts on Halloween a few years ago, I was able to get tons of local and national press to arrive!
Proud to say, I was the only Halloween event covered on Kcal9 news and the local cbs 2 news in Los angeles including the West Hollywood Parade/festival wasn't mentioned (which is usually a lead story for halloween events in LA)

So it is possible to create good media attention. AGain, It is the why and the back story that draws them in. Just not because you are doing a show.


Yes but this is exactly my point. Nice that you got some press coverage, great. Then what? Every single source I've read on sending press releases, media stunts and getting the media involve stop there. You scored some media, so what? Then what? What about how to use this as far as business and profitability?

You see the component they never address or tell you is how to monetize this. Just getting press does not mean tickets will be sold. I will give a personal story since you asked. The first time I was on The Oprah Winfrey Show by myself I was excited, thrilled. Even though I'd been on t.v., radio and newspapers over three hundred times, this was the absolutely the biggest opportunity I had. I rarely get nervous, but this whole aura was at a much higher level than I typically experience. Once there I had several producers and p.a.'s tell me that some of the biggest names in Hollywood and the music business get nervous and freaked out about being on Oprah. I wasn't freaked out, just nervous because I was well aware of the magnitude of "Oprah" and everything affiliated with it.

Just some more perspective.


Good point Mindpro.
Depending on your objective of drawing them in you need a call to action, a few examples:
Buy a ticket
Like on FB
Visit website
Join the event
join our mailing list
or what other objective you may have

Also, the press has brought me in sponsors and well as previous clients calling me again including agents and bookers after seeing me on a news station or reading an article.
I have personally addressed this this issue you have mentioned. I utilize quotes from media and major accomplishments in marketing materials such as print, video, social networks and website.

First impressions are everything so I try to create an impact:

Here is one example of copy that is used in email.... Better usage of the accomplishments is on my website http://www.CurtisLovell.com and print promo material.

FOR HIS CLIENTS, LOVELL HAS: 

Attracted over 45,000 visitors and 5 media outlets for an entertainment complex in Singapore 

Attracted CBS News, Casey Kasem, NBC, About.com and others for a City Event in California 

Convinced Paris Hilton to be cut in half for a television show

Got the U.S. Military to challenge him to an escape for a publicity event

Attracted over 4,000 visitor per day over 45 days at shopping plaza in the Philippines 

Gotten the attention of Larry King and Tony Curtis

Was the only featured Halloween event on Kcal9 news and CBS news in Hollywood California 

Made many bosses and CEOs disappear (magically)......

IMAGINE THE ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES  WITH YOUR BRAND, CURTIS LOVELL AND A HOUDINI PUBLICITY ESCAPE!

Also, I totally agree with you lots of people do not now how to do an interview properly. Through the years I have developed a pretty good skill at doing such. I often have to end the interview because the reporter is so involved and wants to keep going... Some interviews has lasted 2-3 hours.

Another important factor you didn't mention, that one needs to keep getting press on a regular bases. Unless if you goal is to gain a few good headlines for promo material than no need to seek it out.

But, what I have switched to the concept of an event with in event. Hire us for your sporting game, product launch or event venue and we can be an event with in your own event that attract media and spectators.
magicofCurtis
View Profile
Inner circle
Los Angeles
2545 Posts

Profile of magicofCurtis
The best way to sum or what I posted regarding the usage of media:

Is to create creditability to your buyer of your act

also:

To create interest in your act from a buyers prospective (oh he is cool he did xxxx and xxx)
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » 4 Walling (my epic fail) (0 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2020 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.3 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