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Best closer for kids shows
Miser's Dream 18%  18%  [ 2 ]
Hippity Hop Rabbits 27%  27%  [ 3 ]
Silks 18%  18%  [ 2 ]
Peanut Butter Jelly Illusion 36%  36%  [ 4 ]
Total votes : 11
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 Post subject: How do I get my name out there?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 11:26 am 
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Location: Practicing in Fairfield, CT
How do I get my name on the market and what would be an acceptable amount to charge for my first show?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 2:30 pm 
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What is you location, age, and how muc experience do you have as a PERFORMER (not a gimmick user?)

Rates will vary as to what country and even what part of the country you live in.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 2:35 pm 
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I'm 17 and I have been doing magic for about 3 years, as far as performing goes, it would be my first, but I have been doing restaurant and walkaround for about 5 or 6 months for very little money. I live in Connecticut in a rich town. I try to stay away from gimicks because I believe that doing tricks with a regular deck or coins is more impressive than using gimicks, and that is what got me the rspect and birthday party offer.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 2:54 pm 
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Don't you love those polls that have nothing to do with the topic?

Get business cards and then get out there. Start with friends and family and eventually you'll find someone who is looking to hire a magician for her daughter's birthday party. Eventually it spreads out and you begin to network (although this is a process that takes a very long time).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 3:04 pm 
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andrewlevino wrote:
...I try to stay away from gimicks because I believe that doing tricks with a regular deck or coins is more impressive than using gimicks, and that is what got me the rspect and birthday party offer.


And now you're trying to get into the children's magic biz... where many, if not most, of the "popular," "standard" routines involves at least one gimmick...possible many.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 3:11 pm 
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I understand that many good children's effects involve a gimmick, but I am trying to make the point that I am not a kid that bought a trick deck and who now calls myself a magician. I was just interested in a good method of getting my name on the market. Would a free promotional show be a good idea? Or would that promote the idea that my shows aren't worth paying for or that I work for free?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 5:15 pm 
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First, you have to have a show. Make sure that it's a quality show. You can't sell something that you don't have. This means you have to research what effects you want, how to routine them, practice the effects, prepare yourself for mistakes you will make, etc. I suggest getting Seriously Silly by David Kaye.

Next, you practice the routine in full. Video tape it and watch it. Try to find where you can improve. Post it on this site, and we will give you additional advice. Then do a couple of free shows for libraries. This way you see what the general public thinks about your show. You also get some exposure. Take the advice you get, and make your routine better.

Next, you want to get the business aspect ready. That means getting liability insurance. Getting contracts written out (just a basic outline). Buying extra supplies you may need. Figuring out a price (I suggest calling other local magicians, and finding what they charge. Then charging just a little bit more).

Finally, you start promoting yourself. Make some business cards. Have them professionally printed. It's cheaper, and simply looks better. Make some flyers, and post them at schools and churches. Go to party shops and give the people who work there some cards and tell them that you will give them $20 for every show they book for you. Talk to local TV stations and newspapers and try to get some free space there. You have to have an interesting story, but it's worth a shot. Grocery stores are also good places to hang out flyers. You'll soon start booking shows. And then word of mouth will spread. But never stop promoting yourself. You have to keep it up.

You need to keep following up with everything though. Get testimonials from your clients. Make a press kit. Send it to talent agents. Send out thank you cards a month or two after a show, just to keep up with people. They will appreciate it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 6:30 pm 
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Thanks fallingblood this helps a lot


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 1:33 am 
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That was some good advice, fallingblood.

I have a question myself: If I were to do a few shows for my local library, how would I do the same show for that someone who was in the audience watching that show? Doesn't it mean that I need two routines? Or is there a way to avoid this?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 9:44 am 
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SirJonIV wrote:
That was some good advice, fallingblood.

I have a question myself: If I were to do a few shows for my local library, how would I do the same show for that someone who was in the audience watching that show? Doesn't it mean that I need two routines? Or is there a way to avoid this?


You're going to need about 2 or 3 shows planned out because a lot of the jobs that you will do, will probably come from a kid/parent seeing you at another show. And if they got your name from watching that show, then they're not going to want to see it again. But you can get props that can be used for many effects and plan different routines for them. Ie. Ropes, Sponges, Mouth coils, Handkerchiefs w/ TT, ect.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 10:58 am 
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If someone hired you because they saw your show and liked it or because their child saw your show and liked it, then they liked what they saw. There's no immediate need to come up with a completely different show. I could go into the theoretical and psychological reasons for this, but instead I'll just point this out:

One of the primary differences between an amateur magician and a professional magician is that an amateur magican performs different tricks for the same group of people over and over, whereas a professional magician performs the same tricks over and over for different groups of people.


Having said that, I do have a number of different children's shows. This came about not because I felt pressured to change my show because of repeat customers but, rather, it came about in part because I perform for kids of different ages and need a slightly different act for different age groups and in part because I am always looking for ways to improve my show, and that sometimes means rotating in a stronger or different piece of magic.


I also have a somewhat modular children's show in the sense that the show has a specific narrative arc in which each piece of magic plays a different part; I might have a number of different tricks which can fit into a specific point in the arc, which enables me to easily change my show if necessary, sometimes on the fly. Generally, though, I have a specific act; I get hired (in part) because of the act; my clients know what they are going to get and hire me because that is what they want.

If someone sees my show and hires me because they saw me do tricks A, B, and C ... then I turn up at the event and instead do tricks X, Y, and Z, it's quite likely that they will not think, "Oh, how nice... he changed his act just for us..." but, rather, they will be more likely to think, "Hey... what happened to A, B, and C...? That's what I hired him for...!"


Last edited by TheCaffeinator on Fri Feb 22, 2008 12:17 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 11:25 am 
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I see what you're saying, TheCaffeinator. So, typically you have one main show for a certain age group, and another show for another age group and so on...Which brings me to another simple question:

What is the age group that you perform for, the most? As in, which age group is the most popular?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 11:46 am 
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SirJonIV wrote:
I see what you're saying, TheCaffeinator. So, typically you have one main show for a certain age group, and another show for another age group and so on...


Sort of. A more accurate way to think of it is that I have a number of acts designed to acheive certain goals, then a number of possible versions of each act designed for different ages/venues. Let's take, for example, my children's birthday show: I have a generic birthday show "narrative arc" which I use to create different birthday shows appropriate for specific age groups and venues (my in-the-home birthday show is going to be different than my on-stage-at-the-theatre birthday show).


SirJonIV wrote:
Which brings me to another simple question:

What is the age group that you perform for, the most? As in, which age group is the most popular?


Hard to say. David Kaye (aka Silly Billy) gives the following age groupings in his book Seriously Silly:

3 - 6
7 - 9
10 - 13

In the most recent spate of birthday shows I've done, most have fallen into the 7 - 9 grouping, but overall for me there seems to be a fairly close split between 7-9 and 10-13.

Interestingly, I've received a number of recent booking inquiries for birthdya parties in the 3 - 6 age group but I haven't gotten them because my rates were too high; there was a distinct attitude among those potential clients that younger kids should get cheaper shows... one guy even said "...it shouldn't be that big a deal to just get in...do your thing...and get out...." and tried to get me to knock about $100 off my fee. Sorry...but I take my work a bit more seriously than that. :roll: Anyway...that's a whole different topic.


One further point regarding this:

SirJonIV wrote:
If I were to do a few shows for my local library, how would I do the same show for that someone who was in the audience watching that show?



If someone was in the audience at my school or library show and as a result hired me to do a birthday party, they would get a completely different show not because they were in the audience at the initial show but, rather, because my school/library show is a completely different act than my birthday shows, with a different structure and set of objectives -- and letting them know this would be part of the booking call. If, however, someone who was in the audience at my school or library show hired me to do a school or library show, they would get pretty much the same show, though the specifics of the booking might result in some modifications.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 12:11 pm 
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Location: Practicing in Fairfield, CT
Thanks Caffeinator, your ABC/XYZ example is really helpful


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 12:13 pm 
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Location: Ituna, Saskatchewan, Canada
AOK...LOL...RSVP...!

:wink:


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