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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Summer Magi Camps Are Great! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Gerry The Great
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I wanted to share with anyone interested my success with summer magic camps. I have had most of my camps canceled this year due to the Covid deal.
I did have one magic camp I just did and the kids love a magic kit! I had the same kit when I was a kid and that really allowed me to get them inspired to be not just magicians, but also little entrepreneurs. When they where done they all were excited to do their own magic shows and charge their friends admission.
I done many of these camps using many different magic kits from China, and always there’s an item in it that “lets me down.” I’m sure you know what I mean. The kit I used this year was flawless. I like using a kit instead of tricks for lots of reasons, most important it should have a tray so the tricks stay in place. Twenty kids and twenty magic kits is easily managed by only giving them the tricks they work on during the day and putting them back at the end of the day.
I would have sold all of my inventory by now but Covid scare crushed my business. Oh well that's the world we live in now. I had twenty half day week long camps on my schedule and all but four have canceled.
BTW I am getting really good at doing these camps and thought of writing a book on how to using a kit? Not sure the magicians are the best market lol. It does take great patience with the children and it can be controlled chaos for sure. My good Friend Bryan Blankenship (Van Doren the Magician) helped me a ton getting started, and his book on summer camps is very good.

I show the whole kit on Monday, they go nuts especially the Squirmle! Then we work on two or three tricks each day. I only allow them to hold the two tricks and keep the kits behind a table. The each have their name on their kits so we put things back and get two more tricks.This is why a kit with a tray is imperative.

They take their kits home on Thursday night, and I Also pitch other BOR sales items all week that they can buy on Friday. I teach them how to earn money during the week doing chores to buy more magic. On Friday they parents come in and see them all perform at least one trick. Then it’s back of room sales and out the door. I do an AM and a PM camp and typically have over twenty children per camp. I would have crushed this year but cancelations have happened. Numbers typically run $130 per child include a retail $50 magic kit and split 70/30 with the rec centers. A pretty nice week doing two a week. Again I definitely earn my pay but this is important work I remember getting picked on as a kid (I have Tourettes Syndrome) and my first magic kit gave me an understanding that no other kids was better than me and I grew a ton performing those first magic tricks.
So I am making some money during this pandemic but it sure has changed our world. Good luck out there in magic land!
stempleton
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Okay, I'll bite... what kit are you using? $50 sounds like a stretch for parents to purchase, but whatever works for you. Still, curious.
Mindpro
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I'm pretty sure he doesn't pay $50 for it that was the retail, price. Even if it were $50 parents will be happy to pay for it if it's value has been properly established.

5 days plus a magic kit and a parent's show for $130? As far as summer program go this is a bargain. Far less than what they pay for a sitter for 5 days for sure.

This seems to be an area many kids performers have difficulty understanding is establishing value whether it be in your performances, BOR, additional services, or whatever. That's also why some kids magicians can charge $500-$1,000 regularly when others can't.

While today (and recently) many kids magicians are doing virtual shows at half the price or less of their normal performance price. I have coaching students I'm working with that are charging double their regular performance price for their virtual shows.

Great to hear about this Gerry The Great, and rest assured when we come back from this you will have more demand than you can imagine. Great idea and thanks for sharing. Are you located here in the states?
Gerry The Great
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Hi guys, and to answer a few of your questions, I am in South Carolina and the kits I used legitimately sell retail for around $45 in our local magic shops. I say $50 value but of course I don't pay anywhere near this for them I buy them wholesale. But they do sell them in our local shops for $45 all day and night.
Yes I am in a low price market, the south can be very depressed when it comes to paying for entertainment. I know my son is a musician and the bar gigs pay average $100 per player, and we have older part time magicians that get most of the birthday shows in my market for under $150! I know I ask when I lose a bid on one of the "gig" sites. No matter what anybody says in my opinion once these sights only get into the middle of the negotiation it always comes down to price. And if you are not the cheapest you'll lose and also a lot of tire kickers who cannot make a decision on their childs birthday party. Believe me I know.
So magic camps have been a wonderful relief from competing with older part time magicians who can do under $150 shows. In our market believe it or not summer camps for half day programs only go for around $100, so my $130 price makes it a bit of a stretch when looking around at other camps. That's why I show them the magic kit their child gets at the end of the week and say $50 retail. Also I am giving away two free scholarship at most camps for kids who's parents can't afford to pay it!
On another note all my centers and the children's parents absolutely love these programs. Magic is way better and than most "art camps" etc. I see it in the childs eyes when they realize they cn do something that no one knows how they did (usually their parents at first) and it clicks. It clicks with every kid differently, the too cool to be in here kid comes around usually when I show him a hard more amazing version of the cups and balls. The 6 year old when I literally tell him what fingers and have to pinch them with my fingers because he doesn't know what his thumb is on a two card monte how to slide the cards. He gets it too.
It is very challenging work but when each child connects they are forever change by this time together.
I had a child in my last class who every time I gave instruction from the front, continually interrupted the whole class. It took all I could to get through the week, and I ended up connecting with him by pulling him aside and letting him know he was able to listen and do without asking so many question. I "bribed him with a free trick I gave him on Friday that he wanted.

If you are not able to do things like that, don't do these camps, it will drain you. That said I have also said to a young child (6) when he could't do a move with a Squirrel I said "I thought you practiced this at home last night ? You are not able to do this trick you'll have to do something else." And it seemed to crush him. I spent the next day building him back up and felt terrible LOL.

Again I am not selling anything to you, I am simply passing along what is working for me right now. I still struggle with local market and full time performing. I have two wonderful resort shows the vacationers absolutely love. One is The Great Pirate Bubble And Water Show. I built a pirate ship with mast and I literally ride it onto the pool decks and do my show by the pool decks. I blow big bubbles across the pool and I made my cannons splash everyone with water and they love it. It's very funny and interactive, and everyone gets soaked. They love it. And the resorts didn't hire me back cause they have no money due to covid.

Good luck out there and keep up the great work inspiring children, you have no idea what showing a child a magic trick they can do will do for them. It sure changed me. I got picked on relentlessly when I was a kid. I had Tourette's syndrome and didn't know it. My parents ignored it I never got any help, and I used to mumble out loud, shake my head uncontrollably. I remember being up to bat in little league and the kids laughing at me when I was at bat because I shook my head. It was horrible for me. But then I got my first Svengali deck from local magic shop (Ron Conleys Ripleys Believe It Or Not Magic Shop) and my life was changed!
Gerry The Great
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Squirmle not squirrel stupid spell check! LOL!
Mindpro
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Thanks for sharing. I have worked South Carolina (Myrtle Beach, Florence, Columbia, Charlestown, Hilton Head) since '85 and always enjoyed the audiences.

I think the camp market is a great idea. I produced (as well as have trained and coached clients on) summer camps for decades including acting/kids theater, fitness, and athletic/sports camps with popular and/or retired athletes also since the 80s. They can be quite fun and rewarding but very hard work as well. Many are scrambling with most canceling for this summer as you've described.

I have found there are usually two types of kids there - those that are excited and can't wait (all year) for it, and others that are little more than a kid-babysitter relationship. lol. I have found the greater the price, the better-quality of attendees, and their attitudes and perspectives.

Thanks for sharing this with us.


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On Jun 29, 2020, Gerry The Great wrote:
No matter what anybody says in my opinion once these sights only get into the middle of the negotiation it always comes down to price. And if you are not the cheapest you'll lose and also a lot of tire kickers who cannot make a decision on their child's birthday party. Believe me I know.


I'll disagree with you on this one. Any time I get a kid's magician submitting to one of my agencies or in my coaching/training programs that says "it always comes down to price" or "parents only book on price" I immediately know they don't know or truly understand the kids market very well. In reality, price is actually the 3rd most important concern to parents/coordinators. I'm most cases and locations I have had amazing success with kids performers charging double (or nearly double) their current price and the standard price of the market. The second misconception these same people always say is "well, not in my area" or "my area is different." It's not. Only maybe 3 times in 30+ years have I found that to be the case, and it usually because of very specific circumstances truly unique to their area/market.
stempleton
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BTW, as far as price for the magic kit, I never stated about the performer's cost. I said "$50 sounds like a stretch for PARENT'S to purchase."

Also, I perform in NC and, while I do not get all the third party leads that come my way I do alright, and the level of client matches my fees, which is also ok by me.
Gerry The Great
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I'll disagree with you on this one. Any time I get a kid's magician submitting to one of my agencies or in my coaching/training programs that says "it always comes down to price" or "parents only book on price" I immediately know they don't know or truly understand the kids market very well. In reality, price is actually the 3rd most important concern to parents/coordinators. I'm most cases and locations I have had amazing success with kids performers charging double (or nearly double) their curr

So I wasn’t saying it’s always about price. Only on the gig sights is it about price. Most gig requests on these sights don’t leave a number so you can answer questions and explain why your show costs more.
I’ve trained in sales systems for years and know how to get the show if I can talk to them😁
Gerry The Great
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As for $50 magic kit confusion I do t charge anyone $50 for the kit, I charge $130 for the camp and kit is included. I only reference retail price for perceived value.
So don’t know NC market I know Myrtle beach and there’s a ton of old guys doing pretty good kid shows for under $150. And some really bad ones too. I get my share of quality priced shows.
I’m only trying to share a good idea during a crazy time, do the math 130 times 25 children ( much less during COVID) times two camps a week. And add. Ack of room sales on Friday and you get a decent payday and you are completely worn out. Lol

Not really much different from when I stand and pitch magic at Christmas. Also I m get to ores with rhetoric and know other who do not chat on here because of it!
Mindpro
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How long are each morning and after noon camp each day? Does this include any meals or snacks?
Gerry The Great
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Camps are usually 9-12 and 1-4
I don’t provide snacks they bring em
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