Any advice on where to start would be appreciated.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Anonymous user, Mar 19, 2020.

  1. As I am sure you are all aware, Covid-19 is currently raging across america. And one of the consequences of that is that all schools have been mandated to switch to online classes the rest of the year. Well, I have been doing these classes for the past several days, and I have realized that they take up a LOT less time than regular school does. I finished all of my classes over an hour ago, and it isn't even noon yet. So my problem is, I have a ton of time on my hands. I have decided how I want to spend it however. I have decided that over the summer I want to find a restaurant that will allow me to come in fairly often to perform for free(I just want all of the experience that you get from that, which may help me in the future to get a pair gig. SO, I have decided to use this time to prepare for that, and do some research. However, I have no idea where to start, and I would really appreciate if anyone could give me any details about how I could best spend this time, and how to prepare to try to get a free gig at a nearby restaurant.
     
  2. "The Approach" by Jamie D Grant.
     
    craigpalms37 and MohanaMisra like this.
  3. I just looked into this and it looks awesome. I will certainly buy this, Thank You!
     
  4. I strongly suggest against doing restaurant work for free, that makes you "the guy who works for free" and makes it more likely that you will get stiffed down the road. If you want to work for free I'd suggest doing charity work/benefits or street performing, don't ever do free work for commercial businesses.
     
  5. That is great advice, Thank you. I will definitely look into this instead.
     
  6. There's a difference between working for free and working for nothing.

    Just recently I put a post up with some advice on how to work for companies that can't/won't pay and how to use that to your advantage.

    Restaurants are difficult. It's a very particular type of venue, and people who own restaurants tend to try to cut costs wherever possible so a performer has to prove their value constantly. What may be a good strategy for a new performer is to offer a 'trial period' of maybe 1 or 2 days a week for a month. This will give the manager/owner hard numbers to look at and judge whether paying someone to perform in their business is worth it. If you have the numbers to show you're genuinely adding value to the restaurant it's much easier to ask for them to pay you.

    Busking is, I think, one of the absolute best ways for a new performer to get flight time. Figure out the laws in your area (probably aren't any, honestly), and set up shop and start performing. Nothing lets you know if material sucks faster than watching your audience walk away in the middle of it. That being said - busking tends to create a fairly specific type of performer.

    Charity work is great, but it also gives you the risk of turning into "The charity magician". I strongly suggest keeping charity performances to a set number per year, or for certain organizations only. Even the largest charities in the country will do their best to avoid paying entertainers. If the only experience one can list on their history is for charities, that will end up locking them into a stereotype of sorts.

    Blaine-style street magic is fine for practice but it's, again, something you need to be conscious of. If a performer is just out and about performing with no film crew or anything, that's performing for nothing. People who see you perform for free are not often going to hire you for a decent fee. Particularly if you make a habit of performing in certain areas regularly.

    What it really comes down to is having a plan with an ultimate goal in mind, and making sure whatever you do is always getting you closer to that goal, not further away.
     
  7. this advice is very beneficial, and I wil l be sure to keep this in mind. Thank you very much for such a detailed response!
     
  8. I wholeheartedly disagree with this. I had done plenty of work for free in the past and it lead to lucrative gigs. I did projects for Josh Zandman and Matthew Garrett for free and now I am on their payroll as their go to guys for many other projects. I have made back a ton of money doing "free gigs."

    Doing restaurant magic for free you should be handing out tons of business cards. You should also be allowed to set your own hours and work as much or as little as you want. These are the rules I would propose to any establishment who is not paying me.

    This may help you out in the "exposure" dept



     
    CWhite and The Top Change Man like this.
  9. Thank you so much for that great advice! You are one of my idols and I really appreciate you taking the time to write such an in-depth reply to me. I think I will go with your advice over that of others, suggesting to not do paid work, as I really respect you as a great performer, have bought many things from your online store and have found a high level of professionalism in it all. I will certainly be trying to find a restaurant that will allow me to perform for free from time to time. Once again, Thank you - your book "How to Magish" as well as your podcast episode on discourse on magic, and several products I have bought from your store are the whole reason that I have found an interest in the area of restaurant magic.
     
    obrienmagic likes this.
  10. though I appreciate your support, I dont want you to shut out other advice. You need to do what works best for you. What works best for me may not be best for you so I would recommend trying a range of ideas before deciding to ignore other advice. :)
     
  11. Oaky, I'll make sure I don't do that then, thanks.
     
    obrienmagic likes this.
  12. It’s a great book you can’t go wrong.
     
  13. Great! I just ordered it the other day, I can't wait for it to arrive.
     
    craigpalms37 likes this.

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