Ok,well as we know fallingblood is a full time magician.I contact fallingblood thru means of PM to ask him for some advice on how to become pro.He responded,I responded back with thanks and some more questions.The following are the PM's of which we sent back and forth.
I already have gotten permission from fallingblood to post this.
Lets get started:
Ok,I know for a fact that you do magic full-time and that your the same age as me so I was just wondering on how you started doing so many shows.Cuz I cant get to seem any going.I really want to beable to do magic full-time because my other job is not enough money and college just isn't for me.
I contact hundreds of people every week. It's completely a numbers game. I do a lot of shows for churches (I do a show on exposing psychics, which works great for that venue).
I try to stay away from kids shows (I hate doing them). But I did contact the local libraries, and from time to time, I offer a class on magic. It's actually very profitable. I found out what all the other classes where charging (mainly martial arts classes), and I charged around that.
A very good idea is to actually rent out a place yourself. Try different lodges like the Eagles, or Moose (I don't believe that the Elks rent out their lodges). City hall is another place where you can usually rent out. Look at different theaters as well. You can also check out schools, and colleges. Especially during the summer. If they have a stage, it pays for them to rent it out during the summer.
If you don't have the money to rent out a place yourself though, you can always look for a sponsor. I've gotten grocery stores, hardware stores, churches, different clubs, and various other places to sponsor me. It's a great opportunity for them, because they are getting relatively cheap publicity.
Speaking of publicity, you can earn quite a bit of money by getting publicity for different places. I do publicity stunts for automotive dealerships. I don't know how you feel about doing publicity stunts, but you can really sell them to different automotive dealerships. I've done stuff from being ran over by a motorcycle, while laying on a bed of nails, to driving blindfolded across town, in a new Mustang. Relatively safe stunts, but they seem very dangerous. People love watching them, and it gains a lot of publicity for your client.
Restaurant magic is always a great thing to do as well. I won't go into much detail about that, because there's a whole forum about that. But it does get your name out, and you can gain quite a few shows through that.
You can also look into doing bar magic. I've done bar tending for quite for a couple of months now, and I was hired because of my magic. I don't know what the legal age to bar tend where you are from, but you should definitely check it out. Also, most bars have days of the night where they hire live performances. It's a great way to get known. And if you do good, you can bounce from one bar to another.
If you do comedy magic, check out nearby comedy clubs. Sometimes hotels will also have a comedy night, so check that out too. Many famous magicians and comedians started out working smaller comedy clubs, so if that's your thing, it's a great opportunity.
Casinos also usually hire live entertainment. However, you have to get somewhat known first, and have a great promo video. So that's something to look to in the future.
The last thing that I can think of is waiting to any movie or book that is magic related to be released. Movie theaters and book stores will hire magicians to get a big movie or book publicity. Barnes and Noble is very good about this. Also, remember other special events and holidays. People are always looking for something different for those events. And if you can provide theme shows, that's even better.
Oh, I have one more thing. Get as much free publicity as you can. Contact local newspapers and TV stations about what you're doing. Especially if you live in a smaller city, they will be interested. It's always worth trying.
Thanks sooooo much for the advice!Also,around how much do you charge for your shows.One more thing,do you have any particular order you go thru in preparing for your shows.Once again thanks for responding.
It depends on the show. Personally, I like just charing a cover charge for the majority of my shows. I figure $6-7 a person for admittance is very fair, and I can make over a $1,000 a night with not too large of a show.
Many other shows though, it's really best to contact local magicians to see what they are charging. Different places will accept different fees. A larger city, you'll be able to charge a lot more, than compared to a smaller town. So, just call up some other magicians who perform in your area, and ask how much they charge. But it's best to act as if you are a future customer. I find that it's a lot easier to get information that way. And after you find out what they charge, I'd say charge a little higher. It really works, and you will get more shows then if you charged less. People want the best, and they relate the best to the most expensive. Another thing that I use to price my shows is to think of the highest price I could say without cracking a smile. It may seem a little outrageous, but it works. Again, because people want the best. And if you're confident, people will pay that price. But you have to make sure you provide a great show.
Personally though, I usually charge between $200-$500 an hour for a show. I also provide a lot of different types of entertainment (comedy, magic, escapes, balloon sculpting, and juggling), so I tend to lean closer to $500 an hour. Now publicity stunts are different.
For publicity stunts, I charge quite a bit more. I usually give them a package deal, that includes the publicity stunt, a children's day (where I perform for the kids while the parents shop around), a parlor show, walk-around magic to gain more publicity (like handing out cards and flyers at local malls, but presenting the cards and flyers in a magical way). I'll charge $5,000+ for this. Sometimes I barter with the people as well. In exchange for my services, I've gotten a new Harley Davidson, as well as a new Mustang. But again, I provided these people with a lot of entertainment (usually a couple weeks full of different events) and they are happy to give me a vehicle in exchange for the work. Because they aren't loosing money. With every publicity stunt that I've done, I've increased business for the people that hired me, by a couple hundred percent, for the weeks that I'm working. And even after I'm done, their business is still reaping the benefits, because they do get TV coverage, radio coverage, and paper coverage for what I do.
But the best advice I can give you is to just check with other local magicians. And then price a little higher. As long as you are confident in your work, and in yourself, people will pay those prices. I hope that helps. I apologize that I couldn't go into more detail, but pricing is really effected by where you live.
As for preparing my shows, that depends. Right now, I have a bunch of shows outlined. I've written down everything I need for them, and I have extra outlines printed out that fit in my case, just in case I need to review right before a show, or if I forget what's next during a show. It's just a safety precaution.
But when I did do the outlines, I just took all of the effects, and routines I'd use for each show (comedy, mentalism, kid, etc) and gave them a rating. 1 being a very weak effect, and 10 a being very strong effect. From there, I just strung together a high rating effect, followed by a few weaker effects (always 4 and above though) and then I finish with my strongest effect for that show (always rated a 9). I figure my opening gets their attention, the middle is still entertaining, but it leaves them anticipating the end, and then the end is big enough so they get a great show, but still leaves them wanting more. Once I had all of my show outlines made up, I just practiced them.
Now, since I have all of that done, and I won't be making any more new shows, I just practice the shows that I have. A couple days before I have the show, I perform the show just as if I had an audience. This way I know I have everything done. I do a lot of improv though, during my shows. So I leave room for that. The night before the show though, I finish practicing, and I just relax. Usually, I'll go out with some friends, or just watch some movies. This way I don't get stressed about the show, and I perform much better. I hope that answers your question, but if not, just ask.
If you have additional questions, please feel free to ask.
Dustin Boyd White
O.k.,well I found out that the new Harry Potter book Is coming out soon at A bookstore in my mall.So what do I tell them when a call and what do it do to perform? Walkaround,A mini-show,what?
Well, something for that I'd say walk around. It works a lot better since it's in a bookstore, and there isn't much room to corner off a section of the store to set up a show. So, I'd suggest walk around.
Usually, when I call a place, I just ask if I can schedule a meeting with the owner or general manner. I like doing things in person better, it just makes me feel more comfortable. In this case, I'd just tell the person you talk to on the phone that you'd like to schedule a meeting with the general manager so you can discuss some ideas to promote the release of the Harry Potter book.
If you get the meeting, then when you talk to the general manager, it's best to just tell him everything that magic could do to promote the release of this book. From increasing interest in it, to having more people go to that store instead of competing stores, how it would entertain people waiting to buy their books, and increase sale in general. You really want them to know how you will benefit them.
I hope that helps. Any more questions are welcomed.
Dustin Boyd White
Hey,I found out they just released that new Harry Potter movie at the theaster in my mall and was wondering if it's too late to do magic there to promote it.
One other thing,what do it say when they ask me what company am I with.
It may be a little late, but it's always worth a try. I mean, the worst they can do is say no. So it's worth a try.
When people ask you what company you are with, simply make one up. For me, I tell people I'm with Belzian Magic (soon to be Belzian Entertainment, as soon as I use up the last of my business cards). So, just create a business name for yourself. You could even just use your name, then put magic behind it if you wanted. So you just have to make a name up. Because really, what you are doing is running a business.
So they don't really look into it them?
Not really. I've never had anyone look into it. But it's something that show professionalism.
Hope some of you find this as helpful as I did.