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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Doing Gigs for exposure?!?!?! (5 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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obrienmagic
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I am sure this has been beaten worse than a dead horse already, but these are my current thoughts on doing free or discounted shows. What are your thoughts? I would really love to hear some fresh perspectives! Be nice please! No fighting! For some reason this topic seems to get heated quickly lol

Here are my thoughts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qE941mA9......10&t=27s
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pulpscrypt
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Only if it is for charity and deductible.

Otherwise, I'm sure your losses will be far greater than what you gain, and you will only devalue your art. (I'm sure there are times when a freebee resulted in people getting a great gig, but those stories HAVE to be far and few between.

Just my 2 cents.
obrienmagic
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Quote:
On May 20, 2021, pulpscrypt wrote:
Only if it is for charity and deductible.

Otherwise, I'm sure your losses will be far greater than what you gain, and you will only devalue your art. (I'm sure there are times when a freebee resulted in people getting a great gig, but those stories HAVE to be far and few between.

Just my 2 cents.
thank you! I appreciate your two cents! For me it is all about whether or not you have time or need to do that free gig. If you don’t then I turn them down. If you do then it is better to do a free gig and get some practice in or shoot some promo material than sit home and play Xbox lol
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George Ledo
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When I started out many years ago, I'd hear a lot about this from people who didn't want to pay (and in a very few cases who really couldn't) -- the "this will give you good exposure" line.

It didn't take me long to realize that the people it really gave me exposure to were the ones who wanted a free show.

From that point on, no more freebies.

I understand someone else's experience may be different, but that was mine.
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Mindpro
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Quote:
On May 21, 2021, George Ledo wrote:
It didn't take me long to realize that the people it really gave me exposure to were the ones who wanted a free show.


Absolutely, I couldn't agree more. They can often do more damage than good which most don't think about when considering such "offers".
vincentmusician
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Here is my experience with free shows. A long time ago I did a free show for a Library. The parents left me alone with the kids. The staff was missing in action. They children were rude and a few boys tried to knock my table over! So, never again! You perform for what you are worth. Maybe others who have nothing to do perform for free. However, you will never catch this Cowboy doing freebies for anyone ever again! All free shows get you are more free shows! Cheers!
Dannydoyle
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Ask the Donner party what can happen from exposure. Spoiler alert, you die and your friends eat you. Duh.

As a deduction it is a net zero by the way. You get paid, you deduct it and your income is reduced by the amount you got paid. Oops. Not really a win if you ask me but your mileage may vary.

Here is another thing. The caterer gets paid, the hall gets paid, the bartender gets paid, the wait staff is paid, the DJ is paid, the only chump stain in the room not paid is usually the magician looking for exposure. The only thing you expose is you are willing to work for exposure. Not something you want getting out for any reason.

It is shocking this is someone still a topic.
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funsway
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I fully agree that performing for free is not wise if your goal is to make money from performing.

However, not charging for performing is a different matter. It gives one complete control over what to perform and the ability to say "no."

As kid I performed shows in various venues for a negotiated fee - usually having to play the "for exposure" or "You aren't a full magician" game.
Even for fair price, the buyer often felt he had some editing or production control over even "a right" to learn the secrets.

At 18 I decide not to "go pro," largely on the advice of Mentors like Arnold Furst. (I had the skill but not the temperament for the required life style)

Since then I have never charged for a performance, but do not perform on demand either. I have presented tens of thousands of magic effects
for business owners as part of a sales process, so I cannot say I was not compensated in some manner - just not directly for a performance,
and the observer never knew I was going to do something inexplicable by way of communication/argument.

When my wife has had music gigs I have performed during her break if it "felt right" but never by request. Did I help her tips? Not sure.
Did I get free food? yup, but would have anyway for being her roadie.
My objective was to keep up the energy level, not to have them remember any magic.

I am not recommending this path to anyone, just challenging the notion that "performance magic = getting paid."

I admire those who can make a living from doing what they love. I just prefer other forms of compensation like fueled creativity.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

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Dannydoyle
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You are right on a couple levels. First off to each his own. Your path is never another’s.

Second not every magic performance has to result in being paid.

However IF one is trying to advance down the path to make money and be a professional there are indeed things that are better to do than others.

The situations can but not be compared as they are apples and hand grenades.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
tommy
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There are ways of making money today that I have never heard of. https://www.savethestudent.org/make-mone......ons.html
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
George Ledo
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Many years ago, a local shopping center contacted me to pull together some magicians for an anniversary celebration. This was before the days of strolling magic and card tables everywhere; IOW, they were all to be stand-up acts. So we're talking, and I ask him if he has a budget for it. He replied that he thought they could just get a few amateurs, as the exposure would help them on their way to becoming professionals. So I (very) patiently explained that the vast majority of our amateurs were hobbyists who had no intention of quitting their day jobs, blah blah. A moment of silence on his part. Then I asked him the knockout question: if this was an anniversary celebration for his mall, and would represent his mall, wouldn't he want the best talent available?

He had to agree.

We did the two-day gig and I heard later that they were very pleased with the line-up.

Oh, BTW, I was nineteen at the time.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
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gregg webb
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When working out new material, ask the local reataurant if you can do some run-through's in their basement or back room. Often someone will drift in...let them stay. If they seem interested give out a card. It doesn't hurt. Plus you get some feedback on new material.
Dannydoyle
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What? I literally don’t understand what you mean.
Danny Doyle
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funsway
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Quote:
On Dec 14, 2021, Dannydoyle wrote:
What? I literally don’t understand what you mean.


I think I understand, which means I am probably wrong. But, I disagree with my conjectured guess, so will await enlightenment.

second option - Maybe he did beer-runs as a teen and is now waiting for a delivery truck to arrive so that he can show the driver a real trick.

third option - his family does not know he moonlights as a magician so he can't practice at home.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

eBooks at https://www.lybrary.com/ken-muller-m-579928.html questions at ken@eversway.com
gregg webb
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You can use a back room or basement of restaurants or clubs, on off hours, to rehearse new material. You would do that for free. You wouldn't charge because the material isn't tight. Many Las Vegas acts break in new material that way. That is how Penn and Teller got started, in the basement of the West Bank. Ask them.

You can break in new material for free, is the point. I can't understand your posts either, by-the-way.
George Ledo
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Okay, I don't understand why a restaurant would let you do that, either for free or charging you. Especially nowadays with the ******** liability lawsuits. Please enlighten me.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
www.georgefledo.net

Latest column: "Sorry about the photos in my posts here"
tommy
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Max Malini, as I recall, would give short performances of magic in bars for free and would then sell tickets to see a full private show in his hotel room.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
funsway
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OK - free space. But why would the comments of a wander in janitor viewing part of practice effect be "you get some feedback on new material?"
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

eBooks at https://www.lybrary.com/ken-muller-m-579928.html questions at ken@eversway.com
tommy
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?
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
gregg webb
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George, of course when the pandemic is over! During their off hours. And if the help peek in, or the janitor, they sometimes give feedback. Waiters on their breaks love magic. Janitors, waiters, they're people too. They either smile or they'll point to where something went, customers from the bar on the way to the rest rooms. It is all to the good when running through a new show, new material...you don't want a real audience watching while you're blocking out something new, do you? I don't.

You can tell if someone smiles or not, or thumbs up, or that little clapping (bravo) thing. Well, maybe we live in different worlds. I never work out stuff for the magic club or magicians ever. They don't give a realistic reaction.

Anyway, I like Tommy's Malini story. What, nobody asked Penn and Teller yet about the basement in the West Bank?
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