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 Post subject: Question for Paddy and the other adult professional magician
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 10:49 am 
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born to perform.

Joined: 10 Nov 2004
Posts: 890
Hi everyone,

I thought about just emailing Paddy with this question, but then thought I would post it here so that everyone could benefit from the answer.

My daughter was asked to do a show this weekend at the last moment. She can't do the show because of other prior committments, so that is an easy response of being unavailable.

However, if she had been available, she would have refused the job because it is outdoors at a park where wind will be a factor and the majority of her work is silks. When she books private parties she always indicates that she works indoors and this response has been readily accepted because the parties are in homes. The only exception she ever makes is when it is a public performance outdoors. Besides just the wind factor, she doesn't like the wear and tear on her props with the sun, etc. However, this gig would not have had the option of being indoors --

So here is the question, how do you properly turn down an outside gig without alienating a prospective client for future bookings?

Thanks for any input from your past experiences!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 11:00 am 
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Joined: 06 Jul 2006
Posts: 1549
Location: In a galaxy somewhere in the vicinity of Betelguese 5
Be honest with the client. They'll appreciate it more than coming up with an excuse. It might be something like:

I know you want the best possible show, but my show is geared for indoors, and I really wouldn't feel comfortable performing my show outside. The wind and sun could play a huge factor in the audience enjoying themselves, and I couldn't in good conscience accept a job that I could insure was going to be the best possible for your investment. However, if your venue changes to an indoor setting, or one becomes available, I would be more than happy to accomodate you.

You may even offer a discount for the indoor gig.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 11:27 am 
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Joined: 10 Nov 2004
Posts: 890
Thanks for the great response! I am a firm believer in truthfulness so your response will definitely work for us. I appreciate the feedback!


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 Post subject: '
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 12:31 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 04 Aug 2003
Posts: 2171
Location: Loveland,Ohio (Cincy)
And the wise man spoke! Good response JJ.
Kristenl, has your daughter ever seen any of Duane Laflin's stuff on silks?
I've seen several of his shows and he uses lots of silks which she could gain lots of great ideas from. I believe his site is Lockfamilymagic. He's shows are really well put together involving silks.
Mike
jamesjay1 wrote:
Be honest with the client. They'll appreciate it more than coming up with an excuse. It might be something like:

I know you want the best possible show, but my show is geared for indoors, and I really wouldn't feel comfortable performing my show outside. The wind and sun could play a huge factor in the audience enjoying themselves, and I couldn't in good conscience accept a job that I could insure was going to be the best possible for your investment. However, if your venue changes to an indoor setting, or one becomes available, I would be more than happy to accomodate you.

You may even offer a discount for the indoor gig.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 1:47 pm 
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Joined: 22 Mar 2005
Posts: 292
Location: CT
If I ever have to decline a gig (and your daughter might want to look towards coming up with a alternate show that "can" work outside, I know its easier said then done) I am always upfront, as others suggested, but always ask if I can refer them to a fellow performer whom I have worked with allot in the past and I know will be great for the event. I then refer the client to a magician friend or friends that I know and work with in my area.
I know that the gig is going to a experienced performer who will do a great job and in turn they have been so kind to past gigs my way when the occasion arose.

Cheers,
Adam


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 3:01 pm 
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Posts: 890
Sluggo, we love Duane Laflin's stuff! We have a couple of his DVDs and Rebecca is awesome answering product questions, orders, etc. She is one of my top 3 favorites to order from on the net when I can't get it from our local brick 'n mortar.

Adam, thanks for your input as well. Our daughter really should try and come up with a suitable outdoor routine. She has always focused heavily on silks because they are "graceful" which really works well for her being female and her style of magic. When things settle down for her we will take a look into coming up with something suitable. For now, she is spending all her free magic time preparing for the different upcoming stage shows she has going on. One is in 3 weeks, another in August, and then another in September (possibly one in October, also) Plus, with doing birthday parties now, she has to add in regular practice times for that routine as well. Sometimes, there just doesn't seem to be enough time with her busy school schedule. The good news is that tomorrow is her last day of school and then she is out for summer!

She really would like to have a companion magician to work with. Many times people are looking for "youth performers", which is how she has gotten a few of her events. It is also great, because it is how you become "known" and referrals are always a plus! She has a friend here on the forum and at SYM that she would really like to work with and see his style of magic so that she can use him as a backup (and vice versa) but she has yet to see his show, which is important if you are going to recommend someone. That is another "on our to-do-list" that we have to work out. He's a great kid, can blow you away with his walkaround, now to just see his show routine! Of course, she still needs to talk to him about this but that is what has been on her mind. [So yeah -- if you're reading this -- that's what she's been thinking about! LOL] In my opinion, the two of them would be really good for each other. He can help her with her walkaround as this is something she is just getting into, and she can help him with stage presence as this is one of her strong points. The most important thing to her is that whoever she recommends, she wants them to be as serious about magic and performing as she is. Because let's face it, when you refer someone you are also putting your own reputation on the line.

For the next 3 weeks our daughter will be practicing non-stop. She will be doing a short magic routine, only 5-10 minutes long (depending on the interaction) for a dance recital. She was asked by her dance teacher to come up with something for her annual show. Her teacher will be giving her free advertisement in the program. Our daughter is happy about that! The routine should be quite cute. She will be doing the Dancing Cane, Change Bag for silk switch from 12" to 36" to be used for flower production, Improved This! and 2 parasol productions. In between all of this she will have little "ballerinas" taking each of the items to the Queen who is seated at her throne as she produces them.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 4:10 pm 
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Location: Edmonton, Alberta
I always like taking on the role of a solutions provider. So, even if I am unable to do a show for whatever reason, I like to either find the client a suitable equivalent or refer the client directly to other qualified entertainers.

This will often make me the central point of contact, even if I am not performing at the event. As such, I am still providing something of value to the client, and it gives me an excuse to contact the client after the event to see how everything went. There's nothing like creating top-of-mind awareness.

Also, by referring the event to another qualified performer, I reduce the risk for the client and create a "favor owed" situation with a fellow performer. I find that if you tend to actively refer work, you often get it back in return.

As for what to say when turning down the event, I tend towards the "unavailability" excuse. The reason for this is that it doesn't shut the door on future potential calls from that client. After all, what if your daughter decides to modify his show to allow for outside performances?

That brings me to the show itself. Being an entertainer, I view myself firmly as being in the service industry. My job is to anticipate, meet and exceed the needs of the client. As a result, I have developed a myriad of different shows over the years to satisfy client varying needs.

For instance, this last weekend, I was hired to perform at a piano school after their year-end recital. I was being asked to entertain 150 kids for 45 minutes while the parents attended the school's annual general meeting. Normally, for an event like this, I would recommend a larger show on a raised stage, complete with sound system.

Unfortunately, this wouldn't work since the parents would need to be holding their meeting in the gymn. In addition, there would be no way we could stuff 150 kids into a single classroom.

So, I proposed using 3 different classrooms, with 3 different performers. The kids could take turns visiting each of the various classrooms as they pleased, seeing a variety of different entertainment. The client loved it! I brought in another magician and a balloon artist to fill 2 of the rooms (2 favors owed) and I performed in the third room. The kids had an absolute blast and the client was thrilled!

I guess what I'm trying to say is that, in a service industry, we sometimes have to go beyond pushing the show (product) that we have. We have to become innovative in creating solutions for our client by thinking in ways that they may never have considered.

In your daughter's particular case, she may have 2 options: design a show that can play well outside; or, get a really nice portable event tent, complete with signage. This way, she can perform her show while controlling her environment. The kids can watch the show while being out of the sun and the tent makes the event look even bigger than it is.

Now, these may not be the only answers and the opinions stated above are purely my own. I'm certainly not trying to change anyone's view of the world; but if any of my thoughts can be of help, feel free to use them.

Kent


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 Post subject: '
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 7:04 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 04 Aug 2003
Posts: 2171
Location: Loveland,Ohio (Cincy)
I think it's always a good idea to have others that can help you make a Client happy. If I can't do the show I have others I can call on to help them out.
They do the same for me too. It's always good to have an abundance of people to do a variety of things.
I have on call a caricature guy, face painters, balloon artists, hair braiders and tattoo people. That way when a big event takes place I can provide everything needed to make it a success.
Yeah Magicmaker- A solution provider, that's a good description.
KristenL,
I've met Duane and his wife several times at various conventions and they are as nice in person as you would expect. They have quality stuff and I've bought many things from them. Their shows are top notch as well. They just put together their own theatre I believe in Montana so they won't be traveling as much.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 10:55 am 
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Joined: 16 Aug 2006
Posts: 338
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Kristen, I thought your daughter already did a show outside... along with all those bee's!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 12:03 pm 
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Joined: 10 Nov 2004
Posts: 890
She did Sneak.

That show was geared towards a 4th of July theme and it is not the routine she is doing now. She did it for outside shows last summer. Although it used silks, it was not in a manner that it could cause her difficulty in performing (i.e. giving away a method). The routine she does now has the possibility of being affected, so she will have to take that into consideration when performing outdoors. Also, those shows were public performances, which she WILL make an exception for since it gains her more advertisement/exposure.

Also, after having her items out in the sun last summer, and seeing how the sun causes fading, etc., she just doesn't like the wear and tear on her props for doing private parties, which is why she typically always asks to perform inside. Again, at people's homes this has never been a problem and they have always been willing to accomodate her. :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 12:23 pm 
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Kristen, I just saw this post, but everybody else gave you better answers that mine.

Remember to get her to regional and national competitions. She is a real winning magician.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 6:29 pm 
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Joined: 23 Jul 2004
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Location: NJ
Personally i tweak my show a bit for indoor and outdoor shows. For instance, indoors i will do the zombie ball while at outdoor shows i replace it with the Hippity Hop Rabbits. When my clients call me, I ask them if they want a show indoors or outdoors (weather permitting). That way i know ahead of time.

So, if she had enough material for outdoor stuff then i recommend doing that. I know that when i first started I only had enough material for one show, so i don't know quite where your daughter is at with enough material and such.

Ben Winter


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 8:50 pm 
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Posts: 890
paddy wrote:
Kristen, I just saw this post, but everybody else gave you better answers that mine.

Remember to get her to regional and national competitions. She is a real winning magician.


Paddy, had to share the good news with you. I still have to respond, but I thought it ironic that we just brought up the show she was doing last summer in this thread --- we received a call on our tape this afternoon requesting her to come back and do the 4th of July event this year for a neighboring city. This put a huge smile on her face -- today was her last day of school, she got an awesome report card, and she got another call back for a public show. All in all, I'd say she has had a really good day! :D She is now busily preparing for a birthday party on Saturday.

Ben, she "usually" only does one routine at a time, or at least that is what she has done in the past. However, she has several "big" shows coming up and each is going to be requiring a little tweaking here and there. This is a learning process for her and so she is doing her best to accomodate each client while minimalizing the impact on the basic routine. She does have a lot to pull from magic wise, but the hardest part since she is a perfectionist (wonder shere she gets that from?) and likes originality is just making sure that she stays true to the art and to herself. Making too many changes in a short period of time is still difficult for her, but I am sure that the more she studies and the longer she continues to do this it will become easier.

Thanks everyone for your responses! :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 10:01 pm 
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Location: NJ
kristenl wrote:

...Making too many changes in a short period of time is still difficult for her...



Somebody once told me that once you have a successfull show you should never get rid of it. Never change the whole routine becuase if it turns out to be not as good then you will crash and burn. But if you change your routine only 1 trick at a time then it does not really matter that much. Sure you may not do well for the 1 trick but at least the rest of it will be good.

So, ever since i heard that advice I have never changed my show all together, only 1 trick at a time.

Ben WInter


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 10:42 pm 
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Location: Edmonton, Alberta
I'm always trying to replace the weakest trick in my show. That way it's constantly evolving. That's not to say the weakest trick is a bad trick. It's just the easiest way to make the show stronger.

After a while, you have enough "secondary" material to make another show!

Kent


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