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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Entertainment Resume' (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
22515 Posts

Profile of Bill Hegbli
When I was in my late 30's I tried out for Cedar Point Amusement Park. They wanted a resume' so I made one up highlighting my magic performances.

At the audition, they looked at me and said "What do you do for a living" I told them Magic performances. They looked like they did not believe me. Of the 3 judges I had 2 but the 3 was very negative. Needless to say I did not get the gig.

So my question is what should be in a professional resume. I am considering applying to the cruise lines for a performer position and would appreciate any real life imput on this.

Bill
Michael Messing
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Inner circle
Knoxville, TN
1813 Posts

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Bill,

I performed for Carnival Cruise Lines in the early 90s. The entertainment directors don't look at resumes much. What they are interested in is a live performance tape (not edited) so that they can see what you do. Please understand they are very educated about magicians and recognize the major illusions. Most of them are looking for "something different." If they see standard illusions, like Zig-Zag and Metamorphosis, they aren't going to be overly impressed. They already work with many magicians and they are very cautious about bringing someone new in.

If they see something really different on your video, then they might give you a tryout. The truth is they get video tapes sent to them daily. (In 1992, the entertainment director at Carnival Cruise Lines told me he got an average of 15-20 video tapes per week from magicians. At the time, he only had 11 ships to work with. Considering all the regulars he used, he didn't really need many magicians!)

The absolute best way to get booked on a ship: get a referral from someone the entertainment director trusts. Despite having sent videos to Carnival twice before, I wasn't hired until a friend referred me to the entertainment director. Then, I was hired site unseen. My friend had worked for Carnival for about 10 years at that time and they really trusted his judgement.

Some cruise lines only hire through entertainment agents specializing in cruise acts. This is basically the same thing. They get a referral from someone they trust - the agent.

If you decide to submit your material directly, keep the following in mind. One entertainment director I approached told me, "send me your tape. It will take about 3 months before I'll look at it. If you do the same old stuff, I'll send your tape back with a simple note that I'm not interested.

"If I see something really different on your tape, I'll give you a one week tryout when I have an opening. That could take another 3 to 6 months. If it works out, I'll give you an extended contract." That's about as honest a response as I ever got. (By the way, I didn't send her a tape because I do standard illusions and I told her so.)

That's the real deal with cruise ships.
Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
22515 Posts

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Well I can't afford to make a tape. But I was hopeing to fill in for someone on vacation. Vacations are the way, I heard they test people.

I realize it will take a long time. What is Standard may be overcome with a good personality. What they call standard is not what Magicians call standard. I do believe they "THINK" they know everything in magic but you and I know they really don't.

Secondly, If you have done cruise ships before why didn't you use that referal for your next attempt? I think you should have sent the tape anyway. $4 postage is a good price for something you like to do.

Bill
Michael Messing
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Inner circle
Knoxville, TN
1813 Posts

Profile of Michael Messing
Bill,

I don't want to burst your bubble but, without a referral from a trusted source or a high quality video tape, you're not likely to get very far with the cruise industry.

For one thing, it is extremely hard to get to talk to an entertainment director. They rarely take calls from entertainers they don't know. Even after I was hired by Carnival, I had to leave messages for the director because he was too busy to come to the phone.

As for my "second attempt," it was actually way past my second attempt. I had submitted video tapes to every major cruise line, prior to working for Carnival.

After my year with Carnival, I was interested in performing for Holland America, which is owned by Carnival Cruise Lines.
They pay better because it is a more upscale line and their ships have a different market.

The entertainment director from Holland America was fully aware that I had worked for Carnival Cruise lines for a year. She had a stable of regular performers she used and only three ships to work with. You have to be realistic. If an entertainment director will actually speak with you, as she did me, and she says she's not interested in someone doing standard illusions, then you have to accept that because she was being very upfront. (Boy, is that unusual!)

I didn't send my tape because she was very specific about her needs. I did not want to waste her time when she was kind enough to actually return my call. (Believe me, that is very rare!) I understood what she was saying and knew that my act was not what she was looking for. (Why would she use me if she already had proven acts available who she had worked with already? Using a new performer is taking a risk and she would have to have a good reason to undertake that risk!)

As for standard illusions, while my presentations may be very different, Zig-Zag and Metamorphosis are still Zig-Zag and Metamorphosis and are, indeed, standard illusions. She knew what she was talking about. To have not been considered a "standard" illusionist, I would have to have been performing illusions that were more cutting edge - possibly Modern Art and Origami (although those were becoming more common, at that time.)

As for my referral, he would have no influence with her because he didn't know her. His word would not have carried any weight. Now, if I had known one of her regular entertainers and was referred by him, that would be different.

Bill, you can try what you like but this is my experience. I have several friends who work with or have worked with cruise lines. Two of them are former cruise directors and they agree with my assessment of how entertainment directors go about hiring acts.
afun14u
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Loyal user
Tennessee
250 Posts

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Bill,

I'll second what Mike is saying. I worked with Premire Cruise lines for a while and even though the Entertainment Director had my Promo and I even showed it to him in his office...under a huge pile of other entertainers trying to get on the ship. He ONLY booked me through an agent (Someone he trusted). And YES!!! you really have to have something that is eye catching and different, and on Video. If not, don't waste your time or theirs. You would do better focusing your sales in a different directions. Good luck and I hope you the best.

Robert Jones


PS. Bill, do you have a friend with a video camera? If so ask them to come to a show and record it, the audience, and some outside comments after the show of people that saw the program. You can edit this yourself and have a semi-decent promo video. Entertainment directors aren't looking for the best edited videos; they just want to see what you do. You really can't afford NOT to have a tape done. Here's another idea: go to your local TV station and offer a news worthy story and have them tape you doing some of what you do best and voila! a FREE demo. Have fun!
Empowering Kingdom Growth through Evangelistic Entertainment!
Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
22515 Posts

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Thanks guys, I just put all my magic 12 foot lockers full in the dumpster. I give up on becoming a real magician after 50 years.

No, no friends with cameras.

Bill
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

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If you want anything from life you really must be willing to work hard at it. Nothing is impossible if you're willing to put forth the effort. No one knocks down your door begging you to work for them unless they know who you are. They will not know who you are unless you TAKE ACTION and do something about it. Only you have the power to make change happen.

Yes, some things look nearly impossible to do and many things will take time to get where you want to go. But, the professional is the one that makes his/her dream a reality through the course of learning, research, taking action, testing and perserverance.

Some things also take an initial investment to make happen. You said you do not have the money for a video tape. Have you really looked into this? Have you called places and asked around? Have you even considered the possibility of a barter agreement with someone? Sometimes bartering can give you a quality product with no money out of your own pocket.

Even allowing your clients to video tape your show in exchange for a copy of the tape, is a way to start getting some nice video coverage.

My point is, do not give up so quickly. If you want it badly enough, there are ways to make it happen.

Just my humble opinion.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

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Michael Messing
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Inner circle
Knoxville, TN
1813 Posts

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Bill,

I'm a little confused. You asked for advice. You got it from guys who "have been there, done that" and, if I'm not mistaken, you've decided to be sarcastic about our recommendations. If I'm wrong about that, I apologize, but the fact is you've been given straight advice and, if you really want to work on a cruise ship, you need to start working on what we discussed.

Please understand, even if you do standard magic and illusions, you can get hired. (I did. Robert did. [He's a buddy of mine!] And we both do pretty standard stuff.) It just has to come through a good referral. You have to find an agent who works with cruises or another performer that works with cruises and work on becoming an act they trust.

Have you read Fred Becker's "The Cruise Magician's Handbook?" If not, you should if you're serious. Fred's book covers it all. Here's a description: http://www.fredbecker.com/page19.html

If you want it bad enough, research what it takes and get going on it.

Michael
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

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Research, knowledge and then ACTION, ACTION ACTION!!!

Kyle
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

Entertainers Product Site

http://kpmagicproducts.com

Join Our Facebook Fan Page at

http://facebook.com/perondesign
Paul Romhany
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V.I.P.
New Zealand
798 Posts

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MagicMikey said it like it is. I have been performing on cruise lines for the past 5 years (Princess, NCL, Orient Lines etc) and they really are looking for something fresh and different. You have to also remember that many people have been cruising for years and so they have seen magicians many times over. It took me many years to develop my original act and even more time to get on ships. We are on a few months break right now which is nice. I am hoping to put together a book on cruise ship work and contacts etc.
"life is like a movie ... you write your own ending" - Kermit the Frog

http://extrememagicmakeover.com

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Adam Grace
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LA, CA
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Bill,
There is no harm in trying your idea. You really never know. There is always a possiblity and you won't know unless you try. I say GO FOR IT!
Good Luck.
PM me if you want a good magic resume format.
amshake
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Regular user
164 Posts

Profile of amshake
A quick sugestion regarding a tape.
Call up the local rental shops. Even ones that you think only rent large equipment like tractors and augers and the such.. I have rented decent video equipment for a full 48 hours for around 20 dollars. Rent one for your next show, do the editing and POOF, a tape.
_________________________________________
Adam Shake
Vice President of the Peoria Magicians Assembly
IBM and SAM Member
Magic Geek
Jim Snack
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Inner circle
1338 Posts

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Bill,

So you just dumped you 12 foot lockers full of magic props...good? They would never fit on a ship anyway.

Now work on putting together a commercial act that can be performed under any conditions and still fit in the overhead compartment of an airplane. If it's any good, you'll get work.

Don't be discouraged. If you want something, go for it.
Jim Snack

"Helping Magicians Succeed with Downloadable Resources"
www.success-in-magic.com
Paul Romhany
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V.I.P.
New Zealand
798 Posts

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Another idea that I have used and had great results for a promo video is to go to a local film school and see if they are interested in a project. You'll find, as I did, that a magician is quite a good subject for them to film because it's so different.
I have ended up with some quite good material including good quality film. Something to think about.

Another site for looking at cruise ship work is at
http://www.cruiseshipentertainment.com
"life is like a movie ... you write your own ending" - Kermit the Frog

http://extrememagicmakeover.com

http://www.paulromhany.com
shawn popp
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Veteran user
Denver
313 Posts

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Bill,

Where was that dumpster? I would like to look over your 50 year collection...
mysticalmike
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Special user
Saratoga Springs, NY
513 Posts

Profile of mysticalmike
I have a 2 friend that do awsome work. One is just open his bussiness but has done for along time before. the other one does it and he is awsome and I think he is real cheap..his work is awsome. so if anyone would like to get ahold of him let me know.
thanks
mike
captainmagic
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New user
2 Posts

Profile of captainmagic
To all that have answered,
I believe everyone is right on with their advice! I've been in the "Biz" for almost 50 years. I've accomplished most verything I sought. Believe, blood, sweat and tears is mild to say the least. Work is hard and disappointments are plentiful! But now after 8 years in Alabama, I have the souths only Magic Theatre,Game Room and party room and Magic Shop. I didn't have the money to do it all at once so I slowly
accomplished everything I wanted over that period of time. Now we are doing very well and I am thinking persuing the Ship lines part time. The Illusions I build and design are both different and unique (http://www.houseofmagicillusions.com) and most important time tested in our theatre for audience reaction. If I could get paid for time invested Id be extremely rich, but it doesn't work that way. My point to Bill
who supposely threw his 50 years of Magic in the dumpster, your heart was never in it 50 years ago or today! So,maybe you should learn to respect the business for what it really is! An extremely small percentage of magicians never make a comfortable living let alone get rich. I never looked to become rich, my main job is to entertain all who would come to see me perform and helped me to hone my skills
and become the Magician I am today! I never look at any advice as either good or bad
learn from what others who have been there and how they can become the audience that guides you to hone and shape your skills to be a better Magician.

P.S."Bill" don't take this or anyones advice as a bashing towards you. You should be old enough to hear and receive what opinions can do for you. Grow my good fellow,
grow and learn. Now dig those things out of the dumpster and start over. Become a
performer for the audience not yourself.
Have a Magical Day!

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ufo
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Inner circle
Phoenix, Arizona
1185 Posts

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Bill!
Brother! Come back to the light! Come back to the light!
Please get a cup of hot tea and sit down and digest these ideas one at a time without feeling overwhelmed. There are many rooms in the house of magic, one of them for you. don't give up...magic is about the unexpected and making the impossible possible by knowledge and skill. Apply the same concepts to your career as an entertainer. We are all cheering for you.

Ed
"What's your drug?" she asked. "Hope" he said, "The most addicting one of all."
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