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bishthemagish
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Is there anyone else like me? I don't book through agents and I book myself.

I have four successful shows.

1, I perform a full evening magic show with illusions.

2, I perform a comedy stage hypnotic show.

3, I perform a show where I do magic and illusions in the first half and in the second half I do comedy hypnotism.

4, I also do formal close up shows and walk around at privet parties. And I do a few birthday parties.

These shows have had thirty years of success and I have had over thirty years of success as a working performer. All of these shows could make any agent money. But my choice is that I book myself as a "show owner". I own my show business world. I mail out my own advertising. I do not advertise on in the yellow pages or on craig's list. I mail and have a web site.

Please understand that I have done shows for agents in the past. And did so for years. I would pass out only their business cards if I did a gig for them. However some agents think in my opinion that they own the client and the performer. I have had many of them think that they owned me even if they booked me on one show. To give an example I got a call for a show at Christmas time several years ago and I did the show and I never got a call from that agent - then a few years later I got a call from a person and booked a Christmas party. An agent was there and he came over to me and said I stoled his client - It was quite a few years since I worked for that agent and it was only one gig. And it has been so long I did not even remember who the agent was. He ranted on and said I would never work for him again and how I will be losing money as he would never book me.

I said fine - walked away did my job and I was booked back the next year by the client. And I never heard from that agent again.

I was always on the square when I was booked by an agent. I would pass out their business cards. Show up on time, do the job.

As for myself I have no problem with sending out my own mailings and booking on my own. By not working with agents in my opinion it gives me the freedom to book the markets I like and do a show that helps my clients needs - and I am better because I talk with the client and know the performing situation in each venue and I don't make statements about my act or show to a client that I know is not true - or a can do situation when I know my show won't fit a performing situation - like doing a hypnotic show for 10 people. - It can be done and I have done it and was successful - however the show is better with more than 10 people in the audience.

Or showing up for a close up show in my contract and then the audience expecting a stand up show. When this happened I did a close up stand up show. And it was successful - however when I book myself these kind of problems just don't happen.

I have time to tell one more story. I was performing magic and punch and judy as a ground attraction on the festival market. I sent out big packets of promo to my own mailing list in those days. And it was March and I sent out the promo and was booking the summer. I got a call from an agent I never worked for and he asked me to put a hold on a date. I told him I was not sure if I was booked and ended the call with no booking. Later on in the day I got a call from a client and booked the date. I did not think much of it at the time. Later on in the day I got a call from the same agent and he was upset - the client booked me on the same festival that he had called me about and he said I had stoled his client.

Now understand I have never worked for this agent before - and I did not even book this show through him. The client went to my mailing package - called me up and booked me. As I found out later he took some of my info that I sent the client - and knowing that the client wanted to book me - tried to book me ahead of the client - and cut in on the deal.

I got the same stuff from the agent that I get every time a booking doesn't go the agents way. I will never work for them, I am unprofessional, I will be losing money, bla, bla, bla. I was polite and ended the call and went back to booking the summer.

I don't fault the agent - but this goes to show that show business is a cut throat business.

Just a few thoughts and opinion.
Glenn Bishop Cardician

Producer of the DVD Punch Deal Pro

Publisher of Glenn Bishop's Ace Cutting And Block Transfer Triumphs
misterillusion
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I have had several agency bookings in the past and maybe the ones I had experience with were not representative of their industry, but they all seem to be fickle and flakey at best. One agency booked me for many gigs up and down the state at numerous retail venues. It was easy work and paid well. This went well until one year I was unable to commit to the dates they wanted due to other gigs I had scheduled and they never ever booked me again.

I much prefer to do my own booking where I have much more control

Charlie
May every day be magic!

http://www.misterillusion.com
charliecheckers
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I have booked a few through agents. They have been simple to deal with and even shared their commission up front (which I did not really care). They are just a minor source of shows for me now, but some venues I aspire to perform in only book through agents, so I am mindful of their potential value. In general, I have read here that agents are not as prominent due to the internet and other changes in the industry. Never the less, I try not to loose sight of how to use their service to my advantage.
MAV
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I am going to sound like a grumpy old man here (well....heck, I am one). But the constant barrage of new technologies seem to be taking us away from one-on-one, face-to-face communication. This past Spring I met a recent college grad that decided he wanted to pursue a career as a magician, to be his own boss. I asked him how he planned to promote himself and drive his business. He explained that he was working on his website, has plans on how to utilize all of his social media connections like Facebook, Twitter and one I had never heard of, plus he would be interviewing agents. Not once did he mention his own personal, face-to-face networking.

These 20+ year olds need to understand that just because you have all that new technology working for you, people are not going to come rushing to your door. Today that entertainer is only working part-time as a magician because he had to get a full-time salaried job to pay his bills. Wonder why??? Yes you should use the technology to your advantage, but just don't depend upon it to get you where you wanna get!

Personally I can't imagine using an agent because there is not one of them that will ever work harder than me for bookings. Whatever loss there may be from not using an agent does not even come close to what I can gain by working things myself!!

There you go younger generation! You just heard from a grumpy old man with years of real life experience.
Mindpro
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Putz or Schmuck?
charliecheckers
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Quote:
On 2013-12-17 20:42, MAV wrote:
There you go younger generation! You just heard from a grumpy old man with years of real life experience.


I am not so sure this is a generational problem as it is just a problem in general. Back in the day, I am sure many relied on mailings, phone book listings and such. One of the things I did early on was to introduce myself to nearly every librarian within about an hour and a half radius and filled in my days introducing myself to country club banquet managers. I have introduced myself and my show to daycare centers and elementary schools as well. I am sure others are doing this too, but there are those who choose less direct ways as well.
magicofCurtis
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Use agents as extra jobs and opportunities that you wouldn't be able to bring yourself. Be nice and fair.

Work with the ones you like and avoid the ones you don't...
Close.Up.Dave
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Quote:
On 2013-12-17 22:55, magicofCurtis wrote:
Use agents as extra jobs and opportunities that you wouldn't be able to bring yourself. Be nice and fair.

Work with the ones you like and avoid the ones you don't...




How are we supposed to create a heated & long ranting discussion when you put it so logically Curtis? Think of the children
eatonmagic
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Quote:
On 2013-12-17 20:42, MAV wrote:
He explained that he was working on his website, has plans on how to utilize all of his social media connections like Facebook, Twitter and one I had never heard of, plus he would be interviewing agents. Not once did he mention his own personal, face-to-face networking.

These 20+ year olds need to understand that just because you have all that new technology working for you, people are not going to come rushing to your door.




I would agree that the art of personal negotiations is a dying art.I am also a believer that a sale stands a higher rate of closing when you can meet face to face. However, we shouldn't confuse lead generation via social media with meaningless marketing.

I actually run a design/marketing business and the ones that use social media correctly use it to funnel business to their website. Targeting and pre-qualifying leads through Facebook, Twitter or Google+ is just working smarter, not harder.

I usually go through a step by step process with my clients and teach them how to connect emotionally with their target audience by using various mental "triggers". Infographics, psycho-graphics and well scripted copy will certainly help deliver your message.

Regardless of what means you use to gain attention, in the end, the ultimate goal is for them to reach out to you. Technology just makes it easier to connect.
MAV
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Very well put eatonmagic. I do agree that today you need to carefully pick through all the various types of promotional options out there. A magician has an advantage in that when they communicate they can do so creatively......magically. It is a natural. For instance, when doing a mailing they can include a small trick or prediction. When I call them in follow-up they certainly remember the mailing and it gives us an opening line for discussion.
Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On 2013-12-17 22:55, magicofCurtis wrote:
Use agents as extra jobs and opportunities that you wouldn't be able to bring yourself. Be nice and fair.

Work with the ones you like and avoid the ones you don't...




This goes for people as well. If you are an agent, it goes for acts. It is just a smart way to go through life over all Curtis. Well said.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Bazinga
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This isn't another "The sky is falling!" thread, is it?

;)

Bazinga!
bishthemagish
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Here is an opinion that many agents wouldn't agree with. Almost all of the agents I have met in my life time in magic and show business told me that magicians are a dime a dozen. In my opinion "only" the average magician is a dime a dozen. The really good magicians and I am talking about entertainers - are not a dime a dozen.

The thing is in my opinion these good magicians can make a living (so to speak) without an agent. In other words they don't really need an agent as much as an agent needs them in my opinion.

I remember only one agent that loved his acts and his business.
Glenn Bishop Cardician

Producer of the DVD Punch Deal Pro

Publisher of Glenn Bishop's Ace Cutting And Block Transfer Triumphs
Dannydoyle
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You are not an agent yet you speak for them validating your own position. Convenient.
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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Hmmm....

Agents are a dime a dozen and magicians are a dime a dozen.

The key is finding the dozen you want to work with!
bishthemagish
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And if I may add - in my opinion the best part of not being booked by an agent is that I don't have any agent having that "attitude of ownership" over me, my shows or any market that I decide to go after. I have the freedom (as in our Free Market System) to mail to any state, and any market and build up business in any city and any market in that city that I decide to market.

And I can do that in any city or state in any time.

It is just business - some magicians may like having an agent represent them. Over the years I have found that what works best for me is to represent myself.
Glenn Bishop Cardician

Producer of the DVD Punch Deal Pro

Publisher of Glenn Bishop's Ace Cutting And Block Transfer Triumphs
Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On 2013-12-20 17:41, magicofCurtis wrote:
Hmmm....

Agents are a dime a dozen and magicians are a dime a dozen.

The key is finding the dozen you want to work with!


You keep speaking truth. Stop it. It is not going to help further any agenda.
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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Bishthemagish,

I think many entertainers get the duties of agents and managers mixed up....

Most agents are simple to work with by usually strict to business, tell them you will please and you will not talk $$$ with their client and will be flexible with their client needs. WALLA you get the job.

Also, in our industry and our level, usually event planners will book us more than "agents."
Agents usually go after deals that they are going to make 5k to 100k on.

I just booked a gig with an event planner today and one yesterday with a different planner. Also, I just had dinner and drinks with an event designer who books me 3-5 times a year and sometimes just refers me out...

All these people are easy to work with and eager for me to be the right fit for their client.
magicofCurtis
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Quote:
On 2013-12-20 20:34, Dannydoyle wrote:
Quote:
On 2013-12-20 17:41, magicofCurtis wrote:
Hmmm....

Agents are a dime a dozen and magicians are a dime a dozen.

The key is finding the dozen you want to work with!


You keep speaking truth. Stop it. It is not going to help further any agenda.


:banana: Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile
Dannydoyle
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There you go again.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
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