2024 magic

Sep 12, 2018
13
3
Hello everyone happy new year!

I have been working on a show that I put together (about 40 minutes card show done with 1 or 2 decks of cards). I put the whole thing together and was thinking about where I should try to market this to in the future. Obviously I don’t intend to perform this show until it is ready, but would like to start booking some things to work towards. Would any of you happen to have any ideas of possible audiences, markets, or ways to incorporate and sell this show for gigs?

Also, I would love to connect and jam with anyone who would be interested, just putting that out there.

Best wishes!
 
  • Like
Reactions: craigpalms37
Mar 17, 2020
70
48
Try connecting with local coffee shops, smaller not Starbucks or big chain places but mom and Pop shops… network with local businesses checking event calendar with the local chamber can be very beneficial. I’m not sure your location, but hopefully your town has a variety of things to offer giving you more opportunities to go off of. Good luck!
 
Mar 17, 2020
70
48
Depends on the size of audience you would like to perform for? Get your foot in the door and work your way into the restaurant.. list the benefits on how it’s going to help the business and then of course scope out venues for possible space to perform small dinner theater show depends on the type of restaurant or café of course.
 
Sep 12, 2018
13
3
I was thinking an audience that can see the stuff that’s happening with a deck of a cards would be ideal so probably closeup I guess?And those are cool ideas thank you! I have a restaurant flyer I put together not too long ago saying ways to help actually! Do you think restaurants are the best place to start for card stuff? Compared to community clubhouses or senior homes or college shows or other stuff, genuinely curious…
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,879
2,945
How established are you as a performer in your target area?

What exactly is your goal with your performance?

This is going to get a bit long, because there's actually a lot to unpack in this seemingly simple question. So I'll give a TLDR summary here and then deep dive:

Most venues don't care that much about your show specifically, they care about how likely they are to profit by hosting you. Also, it is far more important to have a good reputation and a lot of contacts than it is to have a 'perfect' show.

What I mean by that is that if you have no established reputation or pull for ticket sales or food/drink purchases, then you are a gamble for any venue to host and most venues don't really gamble.

So trying to sell a 40 minute show right out of the gate without a fairly guaranteed audience attendance is going to be -very- difficult. I say this from experience.

A much better route is to focus on building your audience and your network. You can do this by performing in variety shows, Vaudevilles, conventions, etc. Because no single act is generally the focus of those events, it's easier to get people to take a risk on a newer performer. You'll be doing 5-15 minute slots and probably getting paid next to nothing.

When doing these performances, focus on two things - 1) Get good reactions from the audience. You want them making noise and enjoying themselves, and you want that to happen in a way that the booking person sees. 2) Talk to people running the show and (if they are not the same person) the people running the venue. Be professional and helpful. You want them to walk away thinking, "That person was nice to work with."

You also want to network with business owners in the target area. There's probably a professional's group that does social hours periodically. Typically monthly, sometimes quarterly. Find them and join, and make friends with as many people as possible. Again, you want people to walk away from your interactions thinking you're enjoyable to be around.

Attend magic conventions. As many as reasonably possible. Talk to people, make friends.

You want as many people as possible to think that you are enjoyable to have around. That way when you start applying for those variety shows and such, they go, "Oh hey, I like that person, let's bring them in."

Don't get me wrong - you do need a good show. But that's the beginning, not the end of it. A good show is the baseline and you have to build the audience above that to become a full product.

A great example of how this plays out in real life is actually a friend of mine, Meadow Perry. Her first public show was at a tiny little Vaudeville hosted by a couple weirdos, and now she's rocketed up in success. She attributes a lot of that success to the process of networking and building connections.
 
Sep 12, 2018
13
3
Wow, thank you for that insight @WitchDocIsIn I never thought about how much networking needs to take place. I am considering doing walk around first for restaurants like a free trial, and networking with these different businesses and markets sounds great too! I am near a college, would it be smart to market to college kids around my age too?
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,879
2,945
Do those college kids have money to pay you? I have no idea where you are, but in my area the college kids are broke. No point in marketing to them.

Personally I can't stand doing restaurant magic so I don't really have much input there. Not to say table side magic is a bad thing, it's just really not for me.

I'm also very careful with the concept of "free". When you start out you will likely have to do some events for free or for nothing, unfortunately, because you have no reputation to leverage. However, unless you want to get stuck in that situation, always make it clear you are giving the event a discount or that it's a one-time situation. You will almost certainly have to teach your clients that not only is what you do worth money, it's worth what you want to charge.

On that note - find out what the industry standard rates are in your area. And when I say area I don't mean your city/town, I mean the state you live in and possibly the surrounding states as well if it's a smaller state. You do not want to be under cutting other performers. Yeah, you might get more gigs that way, but if the industry folk around you are mad at you, you're going to miss an incredibly large amount of opportunities because folks don't pass on opportunities to people they're mad at.

You want the industry folks to like you. Or at least respect you. I don't just mean magicians here, either - you're looking at magicians, bands, drag queens, DJs, catering companies, sideshow acts, etc.

As I said in my previous post, having a good product to offer (ie: a performance) is the foundation. You will spend easily 80% of your time in your early career networking and building contacts and trying to book gigs. Once you're established with a good list of repeat clients that percentage goes way down but that takes years for most people.

I am not trying to discourage you at all. Personally I think knowing this sort of stuff is encouraging because it gives a roadmap instead of blindly stumbling along.

I do recommend the Scott Tokar video set, How to Make Six Figures in Magic. He goes over a lot of the business side of things and gets input from several successful performers in various markets as well.
 
Sep 12, 2018
13
3
That is not discouraging at all, thank you very much for the insight. Those are all good things to think about, and I guess I need to take a look at what to really focus on. I have a show I put together for close up, where would you recommend trying to market it to first?

Thank you for your wisdom, it really helps for a young guy like me.
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,879
2,945
If you were to announce a performance, what is the lowest number of people you are absolutely positive would show up?
 

XeroStaticFlux

Elite Member
Aug 26, 2023
33
13
Albany NY
Offering your local retirement homes (or even childrens hospitals) a 30-60 minute free show is an option if you are just looking to test out and refine your routine before you start expecting/looking to do paid bookings. Just tossing that out here if you never considered it.

Its a good option for testing out stuff. It's also pretty hard to dissapoint old folks stuck in those places being it's dreadfully boring in most of them... They are just happy to have someone new around~
 
Searching...
{[{ searchResultsCount }]} Results