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dlcmagic
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Do you think a small Illusion show would be profitable right now?
I have made a living for years doing strolling, banquet, and stage shows with the occasional Illusion show. I have the Illusions to do it but I just wondered if it would be sellable in todays
market. Any input would be appreciated.
Dannydoyle
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It comes down to if you can do it and if you can sell it. Nobody knows how well you do it, nobody knows where you want to do it. What "market" do you speak of?
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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Aimed at what market(s)?
dlcmagic
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I was thinking fund raising.
Mindpro
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I personally, based on your answer would say no. Remember, fundraising is not about your show, but rather how it can achieve the results (raising money) for the client. It's all about presenting and selling the concept and the market, the show is the least of the elements in most circumstances (there are a few possible exceptions). Based on your very brief answer, my initial thoughts would be to say no. Between the expectations, the amount of the equation (90% business and promotional, 10% show), and the competitiveness in the fundraising market and your lack of explaining and selling the concept here leads me to say no. A show in any market is only as good as the business behind it. The performance rarely is the leading factor.
Cliffg37
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What Mindpro just said is the sad truth, but the truth.

Now here are my experiences....Since 2005 I have been doing fundraising stage shows for non-profit groups. Fist let's remember that this is not what I do for a living, it is a side business. That means when a show does not live up to my expectation, I do not cry, I move on the the next. If you are doing this for a living, it would be very different.

Here is my experience, and I hope you find it helpful.

The success or failure of the fund raising show comes down to one person, and it is NOT you. You will sell the show to whomever you will and that may be tough, but it is not the hard part. What you need is one person, who is high ranking in what ever group you have approached, and is a high energy, high charisma person. That one person will get on the phone and call out all the people involved, "Come tot he show!" if they say no? "Buy a ticket or two to donate, it is a fundraiser!" If you have a board of directors, they need to all get on the phone, but you will need one leader. You do not have access to all the people you need to in order to sell out the event.

Lets say you do a show for a church, or a school. Make sure you get a few tickets to give out for free. Put this in your contract. You give those tickets to other church's administrators, or other PTA presidents etc. Let others see your show who might want to make some money.

What I am saying comes from experience. When I have that one go getter on my side, I make good money for doing the show, and the venue gets good money which gets me invited back next year. With out the go getter, we make some money. If someone likes the show I might get asked back.

Lastly, DO NOT FORGET your BOR sales. You can make a lot of money that way, especially if you end the show on a high energy moment with everyone feeling good about it.

I wish you the best, let me know if I can help you with any more experience.
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
Dannydoyle
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Yea it seems as if no would be the answer.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
dlcmagic
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Quote:
On Mar 28, 2014, Mindpro wrote:
I personally, based on your answer would say no. Remember, fundraising is not about your show, but rather how it can achieve the results (raising money) for the client. It's all about presenting and selling the concept and the market, the show is the least of the elements in most circumstances (there are a few possible exceptions). Based on your very brief answer, my initial thoughts would be to say no. Between the expectations, the amount of the equation (90% business and promotional, 10% show), and the competitiveness in the fundraising market and your lack of explaining and selling the concept here leads me to say no. A show in any market is only as good as the business behind it. The performance rarely is the leading factor.

Based on my very brief answer? My lack of explaining and selling the concept here???
Mind pro, I have a sales and marketing background. I wasn't trying to sell the idea to you. I don't need to.
If you were a prospect I would sell it completely. I didn't think I needed to explain to you what a fundraiser was to you. You're a magician, you probably have a good idea how a fundraiser magic show works.
I knew if I told you it was for fundraising you would hopefully be able to fill in the blanks.
dlcmagic
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Quote:
On Mar 28, 2014, Cliffg37 wrote:
What Mindpro just said is the sad truth, but the truth.

Now here are my experiences....Since 2005 I have been doing fundraising stage shows for non-profit groups. Fist let's remember that this is not what I do for a living, it is a side business. That means when a show does not live up to my expectation, I do not cry, I move on the the next. If you are doing this for a living, it would be very different.

Here is my experience, and I hope you find it helpful.

The success or failure of the fund raising show comes down to one person, and it is NOT you. You will sell the show to whomever you will and that may be tough, but it is not the hard part. What you need is one person, who is high ranking in what ever group you have approached, and is a high energy, high charisma person. That one person will get on the phone and call out all the people involved, "Come tot he show!" if they say no? "Buy a ticket or two to donate, it is a fundraiser!" If you have a board of directors, they need to all get on the phone, but you will need one leader. You do not have access to all the people you need to in order to sell out the event.

Lets say you do a show for a church, or a school. Make sure you get a few tickets to give out for free. Put this in your contract. You give those tickets to other church's administrators, or other PTA presidents etc. Let others see your show who might want to make some money.

What I am saying comes from experience. When I have that one go getter on my side, I make good money for doing the show, and the venue gets good money which gets me invited back next year. With out the go getter, we make some money. If someone likes the show I might get asked back.

Lastly, DO NOT FORGET your BOR sales. You can make a lot of money that way, especially if you end the show on a high energy moment with everyone feeling good about it.

I wish you the best, let me know if I can help you with any more experience.


Thank you for your very helpful input !
dlcmagic
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Quote:
On Mar 28, 2014, Dannydoyle wrote:
Yea it seems as if no would be the answer.


Hey Danny, what has been your experience with fund raisers?
Dannydoyle
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20 years of doing fund raiser shows. Not much.

I say this because you seem to want advice or opinions and yet don't really want to bother to give enough information in order for people to give you informed advice and opinions.

No offense but if you want opinions that are worthwhile, or advice that is helpful information from you is essential. That is why my short answer was no.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Donald Dunphy
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Hi David -

From Magician Leif David's blog, an interview with John Kaplan ("How to produce a touring illusion show"):

http://partshowpartbusiness.com/2013/02/......-kaplan/

Also, do a Café search for posts about "John Kaplan" in the Tricky Business area. He sells a course on how he does Fundraiser Magic and Illusion Shows here in Canada.

I haven't seen his course, but I constantly hear great things about it. I have seen John's show live a few times, and he does a great job.

You've also mentioned that you own and like the Jim Snack course, on other older threads. Have you tried his Ice Cream Social approach with doing a show for schools?

- Donald

P.S. Just a comment. From the sounds of Cliffg37's post, it sounds like he is working a fundraiser as a split. That's not the only approach to working a fundraiser, and having it be successful for both the customer and the performer.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Mar 28, 2014, dlcmagic wrote:
Quote:
On Mar 28, 2014, Mindpro wrote:
I personally, based on your answer would say no. Remember, fundraising is not about your show, but rather how it can achieve the results (raising money) for the client. It's all about presenting and selling the concept and the market, the show is the least of the elements in most circumstances (there are a few possible exceptions). Based on your very brief answer, my initial thoughts would be to say no. Between the expectations, the amount of the equation (90% business and promotional, 10% show), and the competitiveness in the fundraising market and your lack of explaining and selling the concept here leads me to say no. A show in any market is only as good as the business behind it. The performance rarely is the leading factor.


Based on my very brief answer? My lack of explaining and selling the concept here???
Mind pro, I have a sales and marketing background. I wasn't trying to sell the idea to you. I don't need to.
If you were a prospect I would sell it completely. I didn't think I needed to explain to you what a fundraiser was to you. You're a magician, you probably have a good idea how a fundraiser magic show works.
I knew if I told you it was for fundraising you would hopefully be able to fill in the blanks.


I was just basing my answer on the information (or lack thereof) you offer. This is the business section and you were asking a business related question. Typically when people ask questions here they provide details and backing info for their interest. When they don't it's usually because of lack of knowledge and experience which is why they're asking.

Obviously you would present or "sell" this to a client differently than you would to us seeking info. But to truly answer your question one would need more information and specifics. At a glance your lack of emotion, details, background and information makes it unclear of what "blanks" you're looking to fill in and teh actual questio you're asking.

A "fundraiser" is a blanket statement. That's like saying I'm a "magician". Markets are very important to the question you asked. The answer might be one way for one performance market and completely different for another. So to address your question we were only trying to better understand the question, your interest and reasons for asking.

If you came here and said "I am a professional working magician and I am interested in your thoughts on creating an illusion stage show as a fundraiser for church groups, area charities or some other specified market, it would be easier to offer our input and specific answers. Also by the vagueness of your question there is no way to know your level of experience and if you have any sales and marketing background.

So no, you don't need to "sell teh idea" to me or anyone, but if you want useful, practical and perhaps valuable information is that the best way to ask your question? You received the answers typical of the question.

And btw, I am not a magician, I'm an entertainer thank you.
Cliffg37
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Donald, right you are, I am running most of my shows on a split basis. And yes, there are other ways of doing it. This is just the way I am comfortable and what works for me. Again, if I was doing the shows for a living I would probably be taking a VERY different approach.
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
Dannydoyle
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Cliff this is NOT directed at you. This is a general observation.

The whole "ticket split" thing sounds very alluring. You start doing all the fake math, projecting ticket sales and you have it where you make a million dollars a year part time.

In reality it is the "illusion of money". It does not take too many failure nights to really start to add up quickly. It is easy to point to the success. It is easy to forget the failure. Fact is that they all add up. Depending on OTHERS to sell your tickets is NOT easy and often not profitable. It can be done for sure. It is being done by many without question.

I think with a show such as an illusion show it is tough because there are costs involved. The hypnosis show has quite little production costs so it is a more effective tool for this type of thing.

This area is VERY tough to be competitive in. Don't forget you are competing with candy bar companies and every other fund raising idea that comes down the pipe. Not easy. Selling the idea to organizations is not so tough. Doing well is not easy.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Cliffg37
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Danny, You bring up an excellent point.

Overhead.

My shows cost me next to nothing to produce. A little bit of printing cost to be sure, but sometimes I solicit ads from local businesses to put in my programs to offset those costs. Sometimes the venue does my printing. I do have some cost in producing my BOR sales, but those usually cover themselves. But your point is well taken. An illusion show, if nothing else has the cost of carting the illusions around. If you don't have a huge basement or attic, then there is a storage cost to be offset as well.

A good way to go with this is to see to setting up a show you can carry easily. I can do most shows with a folding table that becomes a suitcase, and one good sized suitcase with wheels. If I do an illusion or large escape, (electric chair, cage etc. it comes apart to pieces that set up fast and fit nicely in the back of my van. My first show in 2005 was a disaster as far as that went. I had five or six boxes to haul in, and back out after. I learned.

I wonder how many amateur or part time magicians forget to include their overhead in their budget.

BTW: I have never had a show in which I did not make some money. I have had shows in which I made less than I hoped for. The simple reason for this is that I always push my own publicity whether the venue helps or not.
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
Dannydoyle
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Pushing your own publicity works well, when you only do a few shows. Try doing more than one a week and it gets cumbersome. It is not easy to push your own publicity and it IS a cost involved with doing so. Again do more than one a week, and you are putting out money hoping it is going to come back in.

This is the stuff that gets confusing. How much do you spend hoping it is going to get a rate of return? I have done fund raising shows in farm communities where the vast majority of people were out getting in the fall harvest. Not a good night. Sure you make some money, but opportunity cost needs to be factored in.

You learn. It is a tough way to get it done I will say that.
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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DLCmagic,

Good thing about show biz, you can always create a market with the right act!

Making a big life change is pretty scary. But, know whats even scarier? Regret!

Study it, become it and be a master at your craft. You don't need permission from anyone to achieve your goals and to be successful!

Cheers


Smile Smile Smile Smile
Mindpro
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Also, opinions are jaded around here because this is a magician's forum for magicians, but to the lay public, how appealing is an illusion show? Now before every magician here gives me grief, understand my point. How many regular ordinary people (your target audience for public shows) have been to see a magic or illusion show in the last year? In the last five years? Ten years?

The point is magic and illusion shows from non-established name performers is a hard sell in general in this day and age. Forget the perspective of the fundraising client and you the magician, but what about those you are targeting to buy tickets?

In my opinion magic is simply not that much or a draw in today's society to the masses. Especially an illusion show with all it entails and the incurred overhead and expenses. Other than locally, road expenses can kill a show/production before it ever gets out of the gate. Forget trying to make a living locally, as even the largest cities can't usually support it well enough to be profitable, let alone consistently profitable.

As Danny said, a stage hypnosis show has marketability, the rarity factor and the "cool" factor (that magic once had to previous generations) that can be more possible but even then it is a great deal of effort and risk.


Cliff37 said - "Here is my experience, and I hope you find it helpful.

The success or failure of the fund raising show comes down to one person, and it is NOT you. You will sell the show to whomever you will and that may be tough, but it is not the hard part. What you need is one person, who is high ranking in what ever group you have approached, and is a high energy, high charisma person. That one person will get on the phone and call out all the people involved, "Come tot he show!" if they say no? "Buy a ticket or two to donate, it is a fundraiser!" If you have a board of directors, they need to all get on the phone, but you will need one leader. You do not have access to all the people you need to in order to sell out the event."


While this is true, you are putting your success in the hands of an outside person or committee. In any type of business deal like this you want to maintain as much control over the equation, formula and execution as possible. No one can sell you better than you. I long ago stopped putting this major and crucial factor in the hands of others and only even attempt this if I have this control. I simply will not put the success of my show or the entire production (which includes your reputation and public and business perception) in the hands of others.
magicofCurtis
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Mindoro,
When you state that people are not interested in illusion shows, my experience is a bit different.
At least 6-10 a month I get email request from laymen asking where they can find a public magic show and if I have any public shows. Keep in mind I do not market public type of shows usually. These are totally random people searching for such!

Also, when you do a fundraiser for a group, you have a group of people who is more likely to buy tickets to support a group that they are involved in. Just my observation in this market as well for other type of fundraiser groups.

Smile
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