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Tom James
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Cincinnati, Ohio
139 Posts

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I have a question for all of you Magicians out in Café land. Do you think it is Ethical to bid on jobs against other magicians? I have heard in the past that it is not right to take a job from another magician, but if we are doing it for a living then it is a bussisness and that means other magicians are our competion even if they are friends of ours. I can see going after a job that is already taken by a magician, that I think is unethical. They have it why do I need it, but if the job is not filled or it is a open venue for entertainers, then what is wrong with tossing you hat in the mix. I mean hick when trying to get a birthday party I know I am in competion with clowns, bands, and even other magicians; does that bother me, no if I am going to get the job then I am going to get the job. I think there is enough work out there for all of us, and we should not be going around saying I did not get the job because so and so out bid me on it that is just not right. We are supposed to be professional and that means dealing with competion. Let me know your feelings on this subject guy and gals, and even tell if you have had similar things happen.

Tom
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

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Tom:

I agree with you. My belief is that if I know some magician already has a gig lined up and I am at that gig or event, then there is no ethical reason for me to advertise, hand out my card etc. That magician deserves my respect of his or her gig at that point.

However, if we are doing magic for money and as a business we must also realize that at some point, other magicians are our competitors. We must be able to target the same markets and land the gigs just like they are trying to do. It is just business and certainly does not have to be personal.

Infact, it should never get personal. Most magicians in my area just know it is healthy competition and we learn to accept it as that. But we also know that we can rely on each other to pass work off to each other in the event we are already booked for that day the client wants. In this way we work as a network to.

Any good business must deasl with competition and you must be willing to compete for the jobs you want. Make yourself stand out above the rest and give a reason for a prospect to use your services over someone elses. This is why I have really spent a lot of time learning the BUSINESS and MARKETING side of magic.

Anyone can have a good show or a great act. But unless you know how to get people to understand you have this act that they need, then your basically stuck in the water with no paddle.

For me it is a blessing in my area that many do not understand this concept. It means I can have a great show and go out there and get those gigs while others are sitting by the phone waiting for it to ring.

Kyle
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Tom James
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Cincinnati, Ohio
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I am glad I am not the only one thinking this way Kyle. Lets hope we hear some more comments.
magic4u02
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Philadelphia, PA
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I hope others will chime in as well on this topic. I have other ideas to share but want to give others the chance to reply first. I just feel there is a right way and wrong way to go about this and I think you already understand this. =)

Kyle
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MarkTripp
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Michigan
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Well, we are in business to sell our shows. When people call us, we can assume they are going to call others. We would be fools not to, and out phone presentations must take that into account and speak to it.

This is good business.

However, to show up where someone else is working, in tux, and hand out business cards, THAT is not good business.

To show up where someone is working and ask to see the manager and then say that you will do a better job for less money, THAT is not good business.

Both have happened to me more than once.

If they seek you out, sell your show.

If they are using a magician that is not you TELL THEM HOW MUCH YOU LOVE THE MAGIC!!! Don't be an idiot, if magic is a "good idea" more people will think so too.

The way to "good business" is to be a "good person".
Paddy
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Milford OH
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Looks like a bunch of us agree. If a magician already has a gig I will not try to get in the door at all. Even if it is some kid just starting out and does a few gimmicks, I respect then for trying and learning so it is "hands off."

On the other hand, I see no difference between us and contractors bidding on a job. I prepare my proposal, give my price, my references, and tell them what restaurants I am at so the can see a sample of my showmanship, then take my chances. If someone else gets it, "well there's always tomorrow" to steal a good closing line.

OH, yes almost forgot, when asked about another magician I will always (with one exception) say, Yes they are an excellent magician with a very entertaining act. (The exception is one local person who got arrested for "a morals" charge, I never said why I wouldn't suggest him just said that his act did not meet my standards, he has since moved from the area)

Peter
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I reject your reality & substitute my own

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Kevin Ridgeway
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Indianapolis, IN & Phoenix, AZ
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Quote:
On 2004-09-26 09:51, MarkTripp wrote:

However, to show up where someone else is working, in tux, and hand out business cards, THAT is not good business.



In fact to ever show up anywhere outside of you own show in your show clothes is borderline pathetic. It happens at Copperfield shows and it happens at our shows. These are usually the guys that have no life outside the world of magic.

Sorry to go off topic there.
Anyways, yes it is business when biding for jobs and yes I would say it is unethical to go into someone's gig to advertise yourself.

We for the most part only do public ticketed shows. For us, we don't feel our competition is other magicians. Our competition is the public's time and money.
We compete with video games at home, MTV, movies and whatever else that indiviual or family could be doing that evening.
As Mark also stated, having magic out I the public eye is good. So if you are at an event with a magic act, (if they are decent), tell the host or promoter that you enjoyed it.

Kevin & Kristen
Living Illusions
Ridgeway & Johnson Entertainment Inc

Kevin Ridgeway &
Kristen Johnson aka Lady Houdini
The World's Premier Female Escape Artist

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david_a_whitehead
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"In fact to ever show up anywhere outside of you own show in your show clothes is borderline pathetic. It happens at Copperfield shows and it happens at our shows. These are usually the guys that have no life outside the world of magic."

Tell that to Joel Bauer. He has used this technique successfully for years.
Donald Dunphy
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Victoria, BC, Canada
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Tom -

Have you ever had anyone told you that you weren't allowed to compete against them for potential customers? This just seems like an odd question to me.

Of course, we are allowed to compete for the same customers. That is what business is about.

But the key is to do it without bad-mouthing your competition. Behave in a professional manner.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
MarkTripp
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Michigan
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Quote:
On 2004-09-26 10:38, david_a_whitehead wrote:
"In fact to ever show up anywhere outside of you own show in your show clothes is borderline pathetic. It happens at Copperfield shows and it happens at our shows. These are usually the guys that have no life outside the world of magic."

Tell that to Joel Bauer. He has used this technique successfully for years.



Indeed?

Keep in mind women have been selling their virtue successfully for many more years.

Neither success changes what it is.
Tom James
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Cincinnati, Ohio
139 Posts

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Donald

In a round about way yes. It is odd. I do not try to undercut anybody, but if my price is less then the other guy and I give them more that is not my problem that is just the way I do things. I love what I do and respect anyone doing this job. I am glad everyone has shared there views. I had a guy I think get mad at me because I performed at a venue he also performs at. The thing is it is a open venue for performers. I do agree that going to the local Friday's during a kids night where another magician is at and giving the manager a card is bad. I would never go that low. Like I said before there is enough work for all of us out there. Kevin and you are right you have to compete aginst MTV and PS2. My heart goes out to you. I am trying to put togeather a big show now and it is tough. I will be in Marion Kevin on OCT. 30 I would love for you to drop by and chat at the show I am doing, as long as you are in town. Guys thanks again this does put my mind at rest a bit. Keep the comments coming.

Tom
Donald Dunphy
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Victoria, BC, Canada
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Well, I guess it depends on how the performer handles it.

A while ago, one of my faithful customers (a mall) switched on me to another magician. My customer didn't give me a reason, but I think it was the money. (I suspect this because they went the next year to a child magician, who cost even less.)

However, I didn't go to that other magician, and tell him to raise his rates (although I think he should charge more for the quality of work he does), and I didn't tell him to stop going after my customers. I didn't get mad at my customer either.

Do you know what I did? I got smart.

I realized it was probably my fault. Not the competitor's fault, not the customer's fault. Mine.

I realized I didn't have a strong enough relationship with this customer. So I am working on things now with ALL my customers to solidify my relationships with them.

This customer hasn't come back yet. But sometimes they do.

I have also lost another one of my customers to another entertainer who cost less, but that customer came back to me the next year, because they weren't happy with the less expensive entertainer's work. (They told me they made a mistake, when they booked me 12 months early for their annual event). In this case, I gave the customer freedom to wander, but also trusted the seeds I had planted in the relationship.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
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I know the feeling. I had the same thing happen to me this year. It was not their fault, but my own. When I was not feeling all that well, I got lazy and I did not keep up with my relationships and building them and making them stronger. I did not keep my name fresh in their minds and so it is no wonder they went with someone else.

But, I learn from experiences like these and it helps me to grow in the long run by being stronger and understanding what works and what I have to do.

Kyle
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raymond
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Donald and Kyle should not feel badly that they have not been rehired. It is perfectly normal and there is absolutely no need to beat themselves up about it.

No matter how good your "relationship" is with the client or even how good you are sooner or later they are going to try someone else. It is quite usual and all it indicates is that they would like to try someone different this year.

Actually by doing a good job when they hired you it ironically paves the way for the next guy! They now feel safe in hiring a magician and you did such a good job that they would now like to try the idea again. Only not with you!

But don't worry- they will often come back. If the guy does a good job they will be happy and may want someone "different" again and call you back. If he does a bad job they will definitely be back to you again!

I have often had people book me because the guy they had last year was great. They are now sold on the idea of magic but want to try something "different" Even if you have a change of programme they will often opt for a different personality.

I even heard of a technique which I confess I do not have in me to try. When they book you for a second year you deliberately REFUSE the booking on the assumption that they will be more likely to book you the year after. I can't face the idea of turning away money but I do see the psychology behind this concept.Supposedly you can keep going every second year ad infitum with this procedure.

I don't think this is any big deal. If they don't want me a second time I just put them in my contact list and mail to them the next year. I will often get back.

One technique I often use in trade show situations is that when a company gets fed up with me after booking me several times I don't get upset. I know this kind of thing waxes and wanes. When it wanes this is how I get it to wax again.

I never ask for a testimonial letter when I am actively working for a company. I wait until I am seemingly out of favour. Then I ask for the letter.They will of course give me one because they feel guilty that they have not rehired me. However when they write the letter it acts as a subtle reminder that I was of great value to them. This often results in me being rebooked again. You have to time it right though. Wait until it seems that they have forgotten you.

A variation of this idea may work for other markets besides trade shows. Try it. It may be sneaky but it works.

It is a bit like rebooting a computer that is slowing down.
MarkTripp
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Years ago, Hobson and I set it up just that way.

Our acts were good, but very different.

People who wanted something different next year, we sent to the other.

Worked out just fine....
kOnO
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Quote:
On 2004-09-26 10:11, Paddy wrote:
Looks like a bunch of us agree. If a magician already has a gig I will not try to get in the door at all.



When someone is already working I would never try to steal the gig from them.
I would add the establisment that they are working at to my mail list and try sending a flyer as I know they already hire entertainment and they might want a change or choice for the future?


kOnO
It is a lot easier to get older than it is to get wiser.
Leland Stone
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Hiya, Tom:

I'll echo Kyle's comments regarding soliciting business away from an existing deal -- that's always wrong. After the deal is made, it is completed, by the original participants, period.

Everything else, however, is open season. Consult the High Priest of the Temple of Capitalism for more of my views on this subject -- his name's Adam Smith.

Sincerely,
Leland Edward Stone
Kenn Capman
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Southwestern Michigan
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A strict adherence to professional ethics benefits everyone.

Other professions have boards, panels and committees devoted to oversight and enforcement of professional conduct. (i.e. medical, legal, construction, etc.)

Using these other professions as a model has served me well.

But it's a greater benefit to just be a decent, honest human being to begin with. If you can manage that, the ethics just kind of fall into place.
"The thermometer of success is merely the jealousy of the malcontents."
- Salvador Dali -
Tony S
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New York
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How does everyone feel about the concept of sending marketing material to a venue that your competitors already work in (as mentioned above). Personally, I see this as good business judgement. Just curious as to your opinions of this marketing method.
We are all about as successful as we choose to be.



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Donald Dunphy
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Victoria, BC, Canada
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Tony -

It depends on the venue, in my opinion. What sort of venue did you have in mind?

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
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