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Dannydoyle
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Nate lets not get confused. There is not necessarily anything wrong with your video. It becomes a matter of style, and that in no way taints a perception at all. No worries.

EVERYONE had to start. Very few, if any started where they end up so this process is not new, not shocking and taints NOTHING brother. Don't worry about it.

I think you may be wanting to jump too far in the start. The show is not a series of 3 tricks or effects or what not. It is a well thought out and well polished hour. Now you won't START there, nobody did.

It seemed as if you did close up magic some. If you wanted to do charity work perhaps you could work some sort of deal where you do strolling magic and if they have a larger show like a music act or some such thing you can do one or two things during the break or some such thing. This works up your stage material, and gets you knowing people.

Personally I am not a fan of doing charity work for free, but that is another thread entirely.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Mindpro
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Yeah, I agree about charity work for free and as it being another thread. Nate, you said "I am just getting started in becoming a professional, and from what I understand, it would be a good idea to do some charity work." What brought you to that conclusion? Not saying right or wrong but you seem to have certain thoughts on this, so just curious.
NateReeves
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Quote:
On Aug 1, 2016, Mindpro wrote:
Not saying right or wrong but you seem to have certain thoughts on this, so just curious.


I picked up two books on the subject of transitioning from amature to pro that recommended charity work to get some extra experience and possibly a testimonial or two. One is "The Approach" by Jamie D. Grant and the other was "How to Become a Professional Magician" by Sean Mitchell.

I'm just looking for places to perform and get some formal experience under my belt. The closest thing I've gotten to that is performing my act in bars. I know this is probably a bad thing, but I'll go in wearing a suit and pretend I'm the house magician there and do my act. I usually don't stay for very long so I don't get kicked out. (I've done this twice so far)

I also do my act at work (Walmart) for my coworkers (a lot of which are pretty much strangers) and occasionally a single trick for the customers if it's not too busy (recapped by Gregory Wilson is usually what I show them).

I get good reactions and people seem to like my work, which makes me think that I'm ready to start moving on and performing in a more formal setting.

I know a lot of this information was unsolicited but it kind of gives you an idea of where I am in my experience.
Dannydoyle
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I do not recommend you trying to do full blown charity show just yet.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
lou serrano
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Nate,

It seems like you're doing close-up magic. If that's the case, why not book a restaurant gig? You will gain experience and get paid at the same time. You will be forced to learn a lot in a very short period of time, and there is no better teacher than experience.

It's what I did, and it lead to much bigger and better things, but it started with a repertoire of 8 tricks and absolutely no experience. Looking back, I was terrible, but I had passion, drive, and determination. I kept that first restaurant gig for nine years, the experience was invaluable, and within three years of booking that first restaurant gig I transitioned into being a full-time professional. It's a path I teach many close-up magicians, and it's worked incredibly well for many. It's not the only path, but it's one worthy of consideration.

Lou Serrano
WitchDocChris
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I am inclined to agree with the others - you may not be ready for a full show yet.

I never liked doing restaurant gigs, but I did (and still do) busk. I found that nothing honed my material faster than busking. It is also incredibly effective at checking your ego. Hard to pretend to be the best thing since sliced bread when folks walk away from your act halfway through.

Another thing you may want to look into is variety shows. I've done a lot of events where I did a 5-20 minute slot, or I MC'd (And on occasion, both my own slot and an MC position). It's a lot easier to develop an act rather than a whole show. And then you can take those individual acts and weave them into a 45-60 minute show pretty easily.

Another place I got a decent amount of exposure and performance time was community events. Back in Fresno they have this thing called "ArtHop" which took place the 3rd Thursday of every month. This was a rather large event where a bunch of different businesses throughout the city would host an art exhibit and/or performers, and people would just wander around and check stuff out. It was free for everyone, so not a big money maker for anyone but it was great exposure if you played your cards right. Also, after doing free performances a few times we started getting hired to work specific venues and those people became repeat clients (This was when I was doing more circus, fire, and side show than I do now). Many cities do a "First Friday" deal which is like a big farmer's market or something also similar to ArtHop.

I've heard a lot of people have good stories about open mics as well. It's never been something I've pursued as I don't know of any nearby, but it's another good place to hone material and build reputation.

I think the important factor is treating every gig as professionally as possible. When we were building our reputation in Fresno, we had one 'competitor' troupe. On several occasions if a client had worked with both of us, the client would remark that we were far more professional. This included things like not disappearing as soon as the performance was over, but making sure to find and chat with the event organizers, talk about how the event went and so on. Lots of open communication. Because of that we immediately developed a small cache of clients who booked us for several events.
Christopher
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Mindpro
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I agree with the open mic idea for several reasons. Of course the obvious is that you have a venue to perform you magic for real audiences. I place to be bad. A place to get better. A place to network and make contacts. A place to get real feedback, not just friends/family telling you what you want to hear. You will have a place to bomb or have bad performances, which is also part of the process (hopefully not on someone else's dime). It's also a good place to try, add and tweak new material each week. You will slowly start to build a following. You may, as WitchDocChris mentioned, be asked to MC a night or segment of the night. I can't tell you how valuable this is. As a performer you can not rely solely on your tricks. Don't hide behind them. You need to develop you persona and personality as a performer. This is a great place for this. It is also a great place to work on timing, transitions, Murphy's Law, good audiences, poor audiences, and to work with other performers as well. There are websites with open mics nationwide, so you can do this anywhere.

It's also a place where co-workers from Walmart or others can come and see you perform, work and support you. It is also an excellent ground for starting to create a show (as addresses earlier) and even though you are a closeup guy, you need to also practice being on stage or working from stage.

For the three sets you have Lou's idea is also a good one, but you will likely be slanted towards kids and family unless you specifically seek venues otherwise.
Keith Raygor
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Nate,
Fraternal, Service and Veteran's organizations may be a great way for you to volunteer your services, while even making a positive difference in someone's day, if you choose. You could look up any of them in your local listings and just make a call or send an email. Give a short (1 or 2 sentence) explanation of what you'd like to offer, and politely ask for the name and contact info of the person that might have an interest in your show.

Many of these organizations meet monthly for breakfast or luncheons, and they regularly schedule speakers, entertainers, animal experts, etc. to present something to their members. Sometimes they want educational presentations, and sometimes they just want to be entertained after lunch. Typically, a 20-30 minute presentation is just right for many of these.
Sometimes their budget is nonexistent, so you may be greeted with a smile and open arms, and find just the right spot to gain more experience. And meet people. And do good.

If you're looking to make a difference, at the same time as gaining experience, then the Veteran's organizations would be great for you. If you live near a large city, the Veteran's Hospital itself would likely be excited about an offer of magic for their short and long-term patients. I know from personal experience how meaningful it can be to them.

Here's a place to start:

Rotary
Kiwanis
Lions
Optimists
Elks Lodge
Shriners
Freemasons
Loyal Order of Moose
Knights of Columbus

FFA
4-H

American Legion
American Veterans
Disabled American Veterans
Paralyzed Veterans of America
Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States
Vietnam Veterans of America
Wounded Warrior Project

Go down the list with Google in front of you, and a phone in your hand. It'll be a great 1st step, and at the end of an hour, you should have excellent 2nd and 3rd steps ahead of you, and maybe even more questions to come back and ask.

Some of these organizations have annual events that it sounds like you're not quite ready for yet. Be cautious not to oversell yourself - the time and place for those paying gigs will come if you gain the experience you've asked about in your initial post. Just look for opportunities that fit you right now, and write down the names and info of all the good people that will cross your path. Many of the people involved in that list above are active in the community. When you finally are ready to work professionally, you'll have some wonderful places to start.
Enjoy the ride.
Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On Aug 3, 2016, Keith Raygor wrote:
Nate,
Fraternal, Service and Veteran's organizations may be a great way for you to volunteer your services, while even making a positive difference in someone's day, if you choose. You could look up any of them in your local listings and just make a call or send an email. Give a short (1 or 2 sentence) explanation of what you'd like to offer, and politely ask for the name and contact info of the person that might have an interest in your show.

Many of these organizations meet monthly for breakfast or luncheons, and they regularly schedule speakers, entertainers, animal experts, etc. to present something to their members. Sometimes they want educational presentations, and sometimes they just want to be entertained after lunch. Typically, a 20-30 minute presentation is just right for many of these.
Sometimes their budget is nonexistent, so you may be greeted with a smile and open arms, and find just the right spot to gain more experience. And meet people. And do good.

If you're looking to make a difference, at the same time as gaining experience, then the Veteran's organizations would be great for you. If you live near a large city, the Veteran's Hospital itself would likely be excited about an offer of magic for their short and long-term patients. I know from personal experience how meaningful it can be to them.

Here's a place to start:

Rotary
Kiwanis
Lions
Optimists
Elks Lodge
Shriners
Freemasons
Loyal Order of Moose
Knights of Columbus

FFA
4-H

American Legion
American Veterans
Disabled American Veterans
Paralyzed Veterans of America
Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States
Vietnam Veterans of America
Wounded Warrior Project

Go down the list with Google in front of you, and a phone in your hand. It'll be a great 1st step, and at the end of an hour, you should have excellent 2nd and 3rd steps ahead of you, and maybe even more questions to come back and ask.

Some of these organizations have annual events that it sounds like you're not quite ready for yet. Be cautious not to oversell yourself - the time and place for those paying gigs will come if you gain the experience you've asked about in your initial post. Just look for opportunities that fit you right now, and write down the names and info of all the good people that will cross your path. Many of the people involved in that list above are active in the community. When you finally are ready to work professionally, you'll have some wonderful places to start.
Enjoy the ride.


Ummmm YEP.

Read this again. He put a lot of effort here and is dead on balls accurate.

"Just look for opportunities that fit you right now". BANG ON YES!!!! Great way to put it. Don't try to fit into opportunities you are not a fit for.

I think this sort of idea Keith mentions is better than open mic nights. Those are a great start, but you have to move along as well.

Lets lock the thread. LOL.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
NateReeves
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Wait! Before we lock the thread I would like to thank you all for the invaluable information you have all given me. I am truly grateful to have received so many different bits of advice from this thread. I don't know how I could ever repay you all. All that I can do is use your advice to help spread the highest quality entertainment I can possibly provide.

Thanks,

Nate
Mindpro
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One of the things would be to keep sharing your journey, checking in here with your questions and progress and remaining open-minded during the learning process. There are many here more than willing to help and share.

What is bothersome is guys that just come in ask for the goods and then run off with our advice never to be seen or heard of again. You will likely have more questions, options and concerns as you progress in your process, we hope bring them here as well and that we can be part of and share in your journey.
charliecheckers
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Good luck Nate! Thanks for starting such an impactful thread.
RobertSmith
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Quote:
On Aug 1, 2016, NateReeves wrote:
Hello,

I am just getting started in becoming a professional, and from what I understand, it would be a good idea to do some charity work. I was wondering how one would go about booking the gig. How do I find the organizations that put on events that would be suitable for walk around magic? And who do I call or talk to that would have the power to book me? I know I'm asking a lot, but I just need a little help getting started.

Thanks in advance
Nate


First, have an act. If you're doing a charitable gig, don't feel compelled to make a 50-minute feature show. In fact, I'd recommend you put together the absolute best 20-25 minutes you can.

Second, select charitable organizations whose cause you would support even without performing.

Third, remember, free work is fantastic for getting more free work. This is why you should choose carefully the organizations you partner with.

-Robert
ibm_usa
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NEVER do an event for free if you plan on being a professional. It is okay to do a free voluntary event once a year for an organization -I do and it's tax deductible, I pay nothing, they pay nothing and I get exposure (no I really do get exposure) and it acts as a funnel for new followers, fans and clients.
The organization I've donate a full day once a year in the late Summer for has done tremendous good for me and they put in as much effort into helping me out as I do them ( we each mention each other in our social media).
Finding a organization and having a relationship with them is one of the best things you can do.
Now - I made it clear from the get go that I'm a professional who is donating my time and energy to help them and they fully understood that and don't expect me to do free shows without something - anything in return that is outside their annual fundraising event.

I started this relationship three years ago this February and I hope it continues because it has been mutually beneficial.
"You may think that i only talk of things from the past, you know, history, well magic is history"

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"Curiosity isn't a sin Harry, but it should be exorcised with great caution."

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Close.Up.Dave
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Doing a gig of any kind is an exchange of value. If they offer no value in return for services, walk away. Donating your time is not tax deductible in almost every circumstance, so don't let them fool you.

Here are some things that I have exchanged for no cash payment (all in writing):
- Opportunity to video record my set
- Work in conjunction with local media to cross promote, get press
- Advertising space
- Photos from their photographer or I bring in my own
- Promise of an honest testimonial online or on video
- Contact info of guests who attend the event

With all that said, one of my highest paying shows ever is in a couple of months and its for a charity. I'm headlining along side a local football legend. Non-profits are like any company or individual. Some have money, and some don't. Know your approach to charities in respect to where you are and adjust along the way.
Bill Hegbli
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Burling Hull covered how to deal with charities in his book. Very enlightening. Alas, the book is long out of print.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

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Mindipulator
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Quote:
On Dec 19, 2016, Bill Hegbli wrote:
Burling Hull covered how to deal with charities in his book. Very enlightening. Alas, the book is long out of print.


I discovered a great deal of helpful info in Hull's "Art of the Stage." I assume Bill that this is the book to which you refer.

Published in 1914 it is public domain and available here:

https://archive.org/details/TheArtOfTheStage

Good reading.

Dale
That1MagicGuy
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The art of booking charity gig is, from experience, never offer it for FREE. What you charge will reflect on how much people respect you there..
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