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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Do The Material On Your Video Demo! (10 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Ed_Millis
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On Apr 12, 2016, Dannydoyle wrote:
I don't care what causes the expectation. For example if you are a balloon twister and show a specific balloon in a video that makes a mom hire you, it is best to meet that expectation by making that balloon.

How would you feel as a customer if you went into a movie theater to see Star Wars and ended up seeing Rocky?

If you want repeat customers meet expectations. Better yet exceed them. It is that simple.

The biggest question I have here is: how are you supposed to know what balloon or routine made them want to hire you? If you have one set, one show, one-size-fits-all performance, you're good to go. But if you are adjusting major portions to fit the individual situation, then you get on shaky ground. Or you build a rapport with the customer and find out what they're expecting, and then deliver it. At least, that's how it looks in my head (which may need some adjustments!).

Then again, the reason I am so very confident that I will see the movie I just bought the ticket for is because the theater has gone to great lengths to make sure they've set up my expectations properly. I ordered a new sandwich at a shop the other day - didn't look a thing like the picture and didn't meet expectations, so I'll never order that one again.

I guess in my mind, what I and many others offer is like a fast-food joint with a hundred options, because you have to cater to everyone. It would be nice to be somewhere that I could set up one show with very few options and that would work because there was enough people wanting just that very thing. But I just can't wrap my head around doing that (and I suspect thomasR as well). So I then need a demo of just about everything I do with excellent qualifying descriptions of needs and suitability, so they can pick and choose off the menu.

Does this go back to the previous discussions about how people purchase entertainment? Or maybe, how they *should* purchase entertainment, but don't because they don't know any better? And I'm meeting them at their position of non-understanding, which is not raising the bar for any of us??

Ed
Dannydoyle
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Tom made a point about not doing whole routines and showing people having fun. Not a bad idea.
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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One of the reason I always enjoy Ed's posts is his ability to understand and break down the elements. He asks questions, seem to truly invite answers and realizes he doesn't know it all or that maybe his perceptions may be different than perhaps what is required or expected, what others respond to (or how they respond) and his ability to evolve and learn.


Much of this comes down to what you choose to represent you. Too may guys try to be "all things to everyone." They believe more is better. More can be confusing and more can create unrealistic expectations. It also depends on what type of video you are choosing to create to represent you. A Sample video, a demo video, and promotional video. They are not all the same.

For someone like you at your level Ed, your video may be speaking in generalizations. Other prefer to demonstrate specifics of their performance. The video reflects this. Do people want a Mr. Fix It (I can do most anything) or a someone specified or specialized (I am a plumber)? Are you positioning yourself as a general magician, or as a specific type of magician (illusionist, kids party magician, walk-around, etc.)

Your movie and sandwich analogy is spot on from both perceptions. You are also correct that most magicians, especially kids magicians are fast-food magicians. Same for what magicians see as related that many laymen (consumers) do not. Magicians regularly think I can do closeup, strolling, walkaround, stage/platform/parlour, balloon creations, and even a bit of juggling. To magicians these are all related arts. To many of your customers, especially in consumer markets they may see these as separate things and unrelated. While the magician is offering this info from the position of "look at all I have to offer and can do and the many different performance skills I have", many clients may look at this as a jack of all trades, master of none.

This also ties in with our videos and what we choose to represent us. Videos that show a bit of everything can send the same mixed or confusing message. More often lack of clarity. Now is this to say all of these things can't be done and offered? No, that is not what is meant or not what I am saying, but rather how it is packaged and presented to the customer in the proper content that is based on how they recieve, perceive and psychologically approach this.

Again, you are 100% correct it DOES EXACTLY go back to how people purchase entertainment. How we as entertainers (of all levels) present our entertainment. This includes their default settings and how to tailor to them, but more importantly how to change and educate them to the desired and proper perspectives and "settings." Trust me when done right, you win them over and they thank you for it. In the process you are positioning yourself as helpful, professional (which is expected) and the best choice for their needs. It is and can be a beautiful thing - big company or small independent performer. I love stopping into my companies office and just listening to my reps during this process. It is also the basis for relationship bookings, which in my opinion are the absolute best type, bar none.

Just meeting them at the initial point they are at accomplishes little and sets both of you up for potential and likely problematic outcomes, either along the way or in the end, if not both.
Bairefoot
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Man I love this place it makes me money all time. Thanks fellows now if you ever want to know how to make Big Money at restaurants just let me know



Bairefoot
Keith Raygor
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It sounds like the suggestion is to make sure one performs everything on your videos that are sent to clients - UNLESS we know from the client what routines convinced them to purchase the entertainer.

In an agency situation, it is very rare for the entertainer to have conversations with, or access to the client. So it falls to the agency to make sure the client's needs are met. If an agent knows what questions to ask the client and the performer, these types of problems are mitigated. After all, the communication necessary to correctly match both the client AND the entertainer, is the responsibility of the agent. They are the only one that's speaking to both parties. And they are the only one with the experience in the field to match the entertainer to the client's expectations.

Mindpro said, "The the bottom line is perform what is on your video! You are creating expectations with your video, you must take the responsibility to live up to this expectation you've created." If the expectation of the client is to perform everything on the demo video, then the agent must take responsibility for educating them.

It is not the responsibility of the performer to make sure everything on their videos finds their way into each of their shows. That borders on the ridiculous. As just one example, comedians are constantly in a state of changing, rewriting, adding, deleting, improving, and working towards a better show tomorrow. In the case of a comedian's demo, if a client expects that every joke in the demo will be in the show they're buying, then no one has educated them on the product. Same with other types of entertainers.

Mindpro's statement "If you change material in your show, update your video. If you have performance material on your video demo, be sure its part of your show." would present a challenge for almost every professional entertainer with a demo reel, since the pros are always in a state of improvement. Sure, you should be updating your video(s) at appropriate times. But I'd like to meet the guy that updated his video every time he changed some of his show.

Managing the expectations of the client IS the agent's job. And as Mindpro said, "This is the reason most choose to use an agency, is this additional layer of service, experience, professionalism, protection and peace of mind."
It's not unreasonable to suggest that the only person speaking to both parties would know what questions to ask so expectations are met. Especially one with years of experience.

In the OP, Mindpro said the entertainer received rave reviews from the audience, and the contact at the venue said he did excellent from what they observed. That only serves to highlight the agent's part in the miscommunication.
thomasR
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Keith,

Thanks so much for adding your thoughts on this thread. They are excellent. Many of the points you made were my thoughts exactly.
RobertSmith
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The only act I ever had to terminate a contract on was for this exact reason.

They gave me a video that was fanulous. Amazing fire poi and high energy fire appartus.

When they showed up for the first night of a contract they were wearing aluminum foil fo costumes, and did NOTHING that was in the video. They started with about 250-300 people in the audince. Within 10 minutes they were down to about 75.

They were terminated and replaced with a compitent act.

I now have a standing policy that I will never recommend an act based off their video alone. If I haven't seen them live, I won't recommend them.
Ray Pierce
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Quote:
On Apr 19, 2016, RobertSmith wrote:

I now have a standing policy that I will never recommend an act based off their video alone. If I haven't seen them live, I won't recommend them.


Smart move. I rigged a large after party at Coachella last year that Paris Hilton DJ'd (If you could call it that) I've never seen anyone actually clear the floor before but it sure happened with her!
Ray Pierce
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RobertSmith
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Quote:
On Apr 20, 2016, Ray Pierce wrote:
Quote:
On Apr 19, 2016, RobertSmith wrote:

I now have a standing policy that I will never recommend an act based off their video alone. If I haven't seen them live, I won't recommend them.


Smart move. I rigged a large after party at Coachella last year that Paris Hilton DJ'd (If you could call it that) I've never seen anyone actually clear the floor before but it sure happened with her!


Oooooh, that just, wow.
Mindpro
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That's exactly what happens when young people with no developed and honed skills pretend that they're entertainers. We see it everyday unfortunately.
Sealegs
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I started a thread back in January in the 'Penny for your Thoughts' section of the Café with the following post and thought that maybe it 's worth reposting it here.....

Back in 2006 I had an prickly exchange in a thread in Inner Thoughts with another Café member. (Vince Mendoza)

It's quite usual for such exchanges to quickly, if not instantly, turn into something unpleasant here on the Café, especially it seems, in this section which is why I'm posting here rather than in Inner Thoughts. In fact it seems to be the norm for people to take umbrage or pot shots at the slightest provocation, real or imagined.

The exchanges I and Vince had were both robust and pointed but we still both managed (just) to keep our exchanges in the discussion civil... and as a way to try and cement this, or at least leave it on that footing, I suggested that if we were ever to meet face to face I'd be happy to buy us both a beer with the hope that we'd both get on despite our obvious current friction.

At the 'Event and Session Convention' this weekend (Jan 8-10) I saw someone doing some lovely ring and rope magic. When they'd finished I went across to tell them how much I'd enjoyed watching what they'd just performed. The chap thanked me for the compliment and asked me if I'd like a drink. It was at this point that I caught his name on his Convention name badge and realised that it was the guy who I'd had the pointedly sharp exchange with back in 2006.

I told Vince that actually I would be getting the drinks as I had promised him one on a previous occasion... and then explained why and who I was.

We then had the first of quite a few beers together and over the weekend of the convention we got to hang out a fair bit. Vince turned out to be one of the most gentle and pleasant people I've ever met. He also does some great magic which he performs with a disarmingly light touch. It was great to get to hang out with him and a joy to see him doing stuff in the chill out areas.

Had our 2006 exchange got out of hand in the way that many in the mentalism sections of the Café do, I might have lost the opportunity, before I'd even met him, of the friendship of someone that I feel better for knowing,

So... I urge you to think twice about what you post and try an keep in mind that we all benefit from keeping our interactions, civil at the very least.
Neal Austin

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules." G.B. Shaw
Ray Pierce
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Quote:
On Apr 21, 2016, Dannydoyle wrote:

If you create more work for an agent, you move down his list. It is that simple.

...Do you want to be the guy causing this problem or solving it? Really that is the point.


Wow... this is such valuable advice. Yes, I worked as an act for many years and have also booked a lot of people in other shows and events. My job as an act is to give the agents representing me the best tools to do their jobs and then to make it as easy on them as I can. I've often said that my first job is to make the person who hired me look good to their superiors. That also applies to the agent as well. I want them to look good by my having the very best product possible and being the easiest to work with.

This comes to the second quote. I feel that a professional (in any field) is there to solve a problem for the client. If it's a plumber, he is there to fix your problem with the sink... not to complain that the sink is in a difficult position or that he needs different tools or he has to go look something up. No, he fixes the sink with a smile and goes on to the next job because he's been doing it for years and knows the solutions and has all the correct tools for any problem he will encounter. Why can't we as magicians be the same? I try and do my homework on the job, as the right questions and then deliver a product that exceeds their expectations without causing problems. That comes from experience and having the right knowledge, tools and attitude. That in my mind is what makes someone a professional.
Ray Pierce
<BR>www.HollywoodAerialArts.com
thomasR
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I expect communication. I expect the agency to communicate with the client to understand the full expectations of the talent. I expect the agency to communicate with the artist the full expectations of the client. This should not be considered "extra work." It should be the very basics of what an agency does.

When I watch the demo video of a singer that I am going to hire for an event. I don't expect every song on the demo to be performed unless I request those specific songs. The demo shows way more than that. It shows the singers voice, the way they appear on stage, and their stage presence. Should it be up to date? Absolutely! But the specific songs should not be what sells the client, and that's not what the agent should be selling. - Just my opinion.
55Hudson
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Never worked with an agency - What is their value add? Why would a magician choose to work with one?

Hudson
Mindpro
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Two main reasons: 1. because for many entertainers it is a great relationship and means for bookings that you don't/can't get on your own, less work, marketing, and often a great resource for return, regular and continuous bookings, and 2. because they are the only way you can work the rooms or venues the agency reps. For example if I have a venue (theater, hotel, banquet facility, resort, etc.) and you want to perform there the only way to do so is you have to go through my agency. The venue has signed with us to exclusively handle their entertainment. Same for corporate clients. Some companies won't or can't book direct, that's not their business, so they are rep'd by an agency. That is the quick and easy answer.
55Hudson
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Thanks. Makes sense.

Hudson
Decomposed
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Quote:
On Apr 21, 2016, Mindpro wrote:
Two main reasons: 1. because for many entertainers it is a great relationship and means for bookings that you don't/can't get on your own, less work, marketing, and often a great resource for return, regular and continuous bookings, and 2. because they are the only way you can work the rooms or venues the agency reps. For example if I have a venue (theater, hotel, banquet facility, resort, etc.) and you want to perform there the only way to do so is you have to go through my agency. The venue has signed with us to exclusively handle their entertainment. Same for corporate clients. Some companies won't or can't book direct, that's not their business, so they are rep'd by an agency. That is the quick and easy answer.


Great info, I have an appointment with one next week....thanks MP.
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