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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Skipping the Bottom Rungs and Going Straight for High-Paying Corporate Gigs (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Dannydoyle
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What you charge one client has nothing to do with what you charge another.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
BrianMillerMagic
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Manchester, CT
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I'm kind of offended that someone even believes there's a way to skip the painful learning process, developing an act, materials, making connections, getting repeat clients, and gradually growing the business.

I'm still in the early stage of my career, and the very guys in this thread have been helping me do it for almost 8 years. They watched and helped me transition from a teen with ambition to a young adult with potential to a full time pro traveling and doing 250+ dates/year. Many of my dates are at the price range you're describing (and higher), but still lots of them aren't. They've watched me succeed tremendously and fail equally so. All of it was crucial.

If you've got a way to skip all that (and everything that lies ahead), you let me know.
Dannydoyle
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I have always learned more from failure than success.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
JoshLondonMagic
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Quote:
On 2013-10-12 13:48, BrianMillerMagic wrote:
I'm kind of offended that someone even believes there's a way to skip the painful learning process, developing an act, materials, making connections, getting repeat clients, and gradually growing the business.

I'm still in the early stage of my career, and the very guys in this thread have been helping me do it for almost 8 years. They watched and helped me transition from a teen with ambition to a young adult with potential to a full time pro traveling and doing 250+ dates/year. Many of my dates are at the price range you're describing (and higher), but still lots of them aren't. They've watched me succeed tremendously and fail equally so. All of it was crucial.

If you've got a way to skip all that (and everything that lies ahead), you let me know.


Totally agree. Years ago I was doing a lot of corporate work then I got burned out and quit altogether. Now I'm back at it, but since things have changed for me (wife, kid, etc.) I am trying to stay local and not travel as much and I do a lot of family events and birthdays. And boy, can I tell you that was a learning experience! At first I was struggling to get the $150 shows, now I'm in the $300 range for kid shows.

The point is, you cannot expect to go from zero to $1500 corporate events for 2 reasons (well more, but 2 big ones I see):

1. You will not be as good as an act like Tom Crowl who has many years of experience and you can tell.

2. Your promotional material will lack. When I visited the website on your signature line I was not impressed at all. Today are the times when getting found and being impressive online is very important (pressing palms is also very important) and you will need a website that is fantastic and if that website you're showing now is your best work, think again.

Another thought is, why would you want to skip the learning process? I understand the knee-jerk answer is "so I can make more money" but what you are really losing is the ability to see bad decisions before they even present themselves, the bits of business that a show/routine goes through after YEARS of performances and so much more.

What if you went to the doctor and he said that he just skipped medical school because he didn't want to put the time or effort in? Would you use him?

Josh
Josh
Close.Up.Dave
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Quote:
On 2013-10-12 13:48, BrianMillerMagic wrote:
I'm kind of offended that someone even believes there's a way to skip the painful learning process, developing an act, materials, making connections, getting repeat clients, and gradually growing the business.

I'm still in the early stage of my career, and the very guys in this thread have been helping me do it for almost 8 years. They watched and helped me transition from a teen with ambition to a young adult with potential to a full time pro traveling and doing 250+ dates/year. Many of my dates are at the price range you're describing (and higher), but still lots of them aren't. They've watched me succeed tremendously and fail equally so. All of it was crucial.

If you've got a way to skip all that (and everything that lies ahead), you let me know.


:applause:
inhumaninferno
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Not really trying to "thread jack"...okay, well just a little. This "ain't" corporate work, but it is high end so here goes...

I have been referred to a high end adult resort. The entertainment director has just emailed me and wants to talk about hiring me for an event coming up in a couple days (she apologized for the short notice). She also has said they have a number events yearly that they would like me to perform at. This initial inquiry focuses on performing during band breaks which indicates I would be at the resort for a number of hours.

I know some of you have much experience with resorts. Any thing you would be willing to share, resort specific, regarding fees, negotiations, etc would be appreciated. This resort is within 2 hours of where I live.

For any input anyone offers, I thank you.

If you prefer, you can pm me or email me at: johnjohnsonmagic@msn.com
Al Angello
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Have you asked her what they usually pay for this kind of work? I'm sure she has a ball park figure in mind.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Blair Marshall
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Montreal, Canada
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And sometimes that ballpark figure may be higher than you were expecting!

B
Al Angello
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I'm sure she know exactly what they are prepared to offer you too.
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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Maryland
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Asking for their budget isn't a call back option. It should be discussed in the initial call.
Tom Crowl - Comedy Ventriloquist

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Al Angello
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What they expect from me, and what they are prepared to offer are the two things that I would talk about first.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
RMoreland
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Orlando, Florida
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Quote:
On 2013-09-28 09:43, Mindpro wrote:
There is typically not just a progression as Scott mentioned but also the experience and education that goes along with the level of progression and growth that serve a purpose that will be skipped if doing it in the way you described.

We once had a very young performer, I think maybe 23-24 years old who was seeking representation from our agency. His family was very wealthy and well-known in our state. Very nice people. The father had spent tens of thousands of dollars for some of the best promotional materials I've ever seen - a five camera studio and location shoot, promotional photos from Paul Natkin and Anne Leibowicz (of Rolling Stone fame), beautifully printed and gold embossed printing on deep burgundy gloss folder, a fantastic business card and the excellent promotional pages. Absolutely stunning for the time period in the early 1980's. He had testimonials from Chicago's Mayor Richard Daly, comedian Steve Allen and two U.S. Presidents (Carter & Ford). This thing couldn't help but get my attention. He also had two versions of his promo materials including an a completely separate AF set as well.

It came accompanied with a letter offering a willingness to pay a 30% booking commission which was far above the standard 15-20% at the time. They wanted to target only Fortune 200 companies. They had one of the best business plans and marketing strategies I'd ever seen at that time. It too skipped the normal progression.

We were both very excited. We met the kid and his father in our office. We were able to book the kid on five bookings in the first month. About six weeks later the first booking arrived from one of our very top clients. It was terrible. Embarrassing. He was a nice kid, carried himself well, but just simply didn't have the performing experience, no literal experience in any aspects of performing (staging, blocking, stagecraft, audience management, relatability, believability, no performer's persona which comes from regular and continuous performance experience, and just an unnatural and inexperienced aspect in almost every area of his performance and persona on and off stage.

He became one of the very first people I was ever asked to coach. I was paid handsomely. While the money was nice, the real reason I accepted the task was because I had him booked for four other of our best corporate clients over the next three months and I could see how this kid could cost me tens of thousands to maybe even hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost business if he caused us to lose these top clients. While we were able to help him improve, I would by no means say he was ever a good performer. It just created a terrible situation with horrible ramification (stories for another day).

The bottom line is "paying your dues" is not a bad thing like many people want to think. There are MANY benefits that come from this, only one being experience - a place to fail, be bad, learn, grow, evolve, etc. To demand high fees has to be warranted and substantiated.

Can your idea be done? Probably. Is it a wise choice and a choice without consequence? No not at all. Performers have a hard enough time working the natural progression, your idea would become even harder. There are levels of expectation from an artist performing on the upper levels. These expectations usually come as a result of the progression, experience and evolvment.

I guess if you had a lot of money, hired a coach, mentor and great creative team, it could be done. You would learn the "hows" but you can't teach the "whys" - levels of experience that get one to that level. Very difficult indeed.


Great story and even greater advice. Thanks for the read.
David Thiel
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Band break entertainment can be very tough. Here are the two key issues:

1) The people aren't there to see you. They're there to see the band. Maybe they're there to dance. When the band breaks -- so do they...bathrooms, fresh drinks, sitting, smoking, socializing. You need to get their attention immediately and continue to hold it tight with a kung-fu grip.

2) Bands play a variety of venues. (At least mine did.) Halls, stages etc....and, while it's nice to see the band, people don't NEED to see them. They NEED to see the performer. Each venue brings a fresh set of challenges to the show...as does the size of the audience.

Here's some advice:

Befriend the band. Yup. You want them to like you enough to pull their heads out of their butts and have some form of empathy for you. This means that they don't announce they're going off on a BREAK -- they introduce YOU. Very important. This allows you to be seen as an extension of the performance instead of an interruption to it. You're going to need to come up with a way to tie into the band or the resort or both.

Make one of your sets an OPENER for the band. You're their warm-up act. This establishes you in the minds of the audience and conditions them to pay attention when you show up again later.

Try to build aspects of your performance around the thread that drew the audience together in the first place: music (or the band, if they're big enough).

When your set starts, work where the people are...usually in front of the stage. Your first effect has to be fast and VERY strong. You want people to applaud -- make noise. This draws other people. And other people draw more people, etc.

Unless there's no possible alternative, don't try to perform on the stage...because there's band equipment and wires and lights etc...and the road manager will gnaw off your left arm if you mess anything up. Be close enough to the stage that people can see you (which means that the tech crew ALSO have to be your best friends).

I learned more about hard-nosed performing, the importance of getting people to help me out in that contract than many of the other easier shows I've done. It's challenging and talent stretching. I grew a lot as a performer in those two months.

Good luck to you. Hope this was helpful.

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


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