I will be performing to a very posh audience on Sunday.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by StevenLevitt, May 20, 2009.

  1. I have a private booking on Sunday to perform magic to a very posh house, and I am pretty sure the guests are going to be quite well off and very well educated.

    I will obviously be dressing the part and astonishing my audience as normal, and will be handing out my business cards. I have also got my own private photographer with me to take some snaps of me in action.

    I am just 'paranoid' and just making sure everything goes right! - I have a few more days to think, my magic is up to scratch, and my performance is fine. I am just thinking of last minute checks which I may need to check just in case!

    Any things I should think of? Or anything I may of forgotten?
  2. Congrats on the gig. I would be a little nervous too but just remember that these are every day normal people that want to be astonished. They probably want to cut loose a little and have fun. You'll be great. After the first reaction and some laughter you'll be right in your groove.
  3. Damn
    still needa try one of those
    a posh house with magic sounds hella fun.
    sounds like the kinda place where they are note of etiquette but still want to have fun...
    guy hollingworth and derren brown seem to be the type of character i would use.
    sounds fun
    good luck.
  4. Yeah I just got to give it my best shot!

    I will share the photos when they are processed.
  5. Sounds great Steve,

    Best of luck man!

    Usually when I perform for this type, I keep to more 'sophisticated' magic.

    Cards, Coins are pretty much all I really sure.

    With a little bit of Mentalism.

    But definately nothing too crazy or dodgy haha!

    Cant wait to hear how it goes mate!
  6. great on ya steve! the first thing that comes to mind is walking out in like, jeans and a T-shirt, exclaiming that you're under dressed then do a quick change into a tux. Can't wait for those pics!
  7. Sorry, American alert! lol. What is the definition of posh? I'm just curious.
  8. Have you cleared the photog to be there? Bringing in extra people to a gig can be a touchy situation.

    If they are upscale, certain mentalism things go over great as do money effects. Depending on their attitude and job titles, NEVER open with card tricks.
  9. First, there is nothing wrong with opening with card tricks if they are great card tricks. (Just worked for some of the leading financiers in the world in Vegas this week - they loved the card tricks!)

    Money in high society often comes off as gauche. Many wealthy people do not carry cash. Trust me, they are not impressed by you whipping out a tatty hundred dollar bill.

    I was once hired to work a party. When I rang, they sent the Governor of Texas to answer the door. I was in the midst of some of the most wealthy and powerful people in the state of Texas that night. They had booked me two years in advance.

    That's when I realized I wasn't being paid to do tricks. I was being paid for my skills in navigating social situations.

    The art in these situations is to be human, not a caricature. A bright red jacket will make them worry more that you might "squirt them" rather than entertain them.

    The more you can seem like one of them, the more readily they will accept you. If it seems as if you are trying too hard "Oh, please. Look at me!" the less they will be interested. But be yourself. If you are young, don't wear a monocle and pretend to care about the stock market. Your age is something you cannot change. But what kind of young person are you?

    Don't play stupid games with them, "Did anyone loose a red knife?"

    You are hired to be there. It is your job to show them something. Approach respectfully. Introduce yourself. Get their name. LISTEN!

    Let me say that again.


    This is not the time for jokes, or to launch into your spiel.

    Tell them it is nice to meet them. Inform them that you are the magician and that (insert name of host) has asked you to show them a little magic.

    Do something great.

    Then - LISTEN!!!!

    Let me say that - again


    Maybe that's all the magic they need. Maybe they want to talk about the guy they saw on a cruise. Maybe they want to ask you about yourself.

    Respond thoughtfully.

    Talk with them, not at them.

    If it seems appropriate, do another trick.

    If not, excuse yourself, tell them you will be around all evening, and introduce yourself to the next group.

    If you do a good job they will talk you up to their friends.

    You want them to think of you as charming, professional, and competent.


    Wear a nice suit
    Shine your Shoes
    Don't wear too much cologne
    Make sure your cards are clean and the box isn't tattered

    And most important:


    Brad Henderson
  10. Brad I couldn't have said it any better. Just to add a few things that help me with these types.

    - Remember their names! ( very important to keep their attention.)
    - Be prepared to share a little bit about yourself. ( If they like you they want to know you.
    - Keep it straight and to the point. (Don't bore them with the bullocks)
    - Use suggestive selling to land your next gig. (yourself as the tool I mean)

    Other than what's been brought up thats all I could offer for now. Good luck I can see your growing Steven thats good.
  11. note: my comment earlier was assuming this was stage

    anyways, Z-magic. Posh is upscale/well off (Posh spice from the spice girls)
  12. Congrats on the gig!

    With the photographer, make SURE the client knows about it and is okay with it. Not all private parties, especially higher end ones, are kosher with having someone taking pictures.

    What kind of party is it? If it is a special event, IE: Birthday/ Wedding/ Celebration of sorts, you may want to include a special effect for the celebrated individual, and perhaps a gift as well.

    Parking: Make sure you have details on where to park, and obtain a permit from the host if needed or required.

    Tips: Don't beg for tips, but don't miss a chance to make a few bucks on the side.

    Extra Gigs: NEVER discuss prices with anyone at that party while you are there. Get THEIR info, and give them a card. NEVER hand out a card without getting one in return. Follow up with them the next day. It is VERY rude to book yourself while on the floor working for a client.

    ...read How to Get Gigs and Keep Clients. Not that I'm tooting my own horn, but more so I don't have to retype out all my advice that I spent a week typing in the first place.
  13. Do NOT accept tips at a private show from people at the party. The host is paying you to be there to entertain their friends. They do not expect their invited guests to pay for the food they eat, they do not expect them to pay for their entertainment. If the host tips you after the event, that is fine. But do NOT take money from the guests. So tacky.

    There is nothing wrong with giving out a card if asked, regardless of if they have one to return. Many people don't carry cards, let alone to a non-business event.

    But yes, it is tacky to sell yourself at the event, and avoid any discussions of money. And yes - you MUST not only clear the photographer with the host, but if you intend on using the pics in your promotions, you need permission from those photographed.
  14. I humbly disagree Brad. I think it would be horribly foul to ask or suggest tips, but I believe it rude to not accept.

    Maybe discuss with the host before the gig for their input.

    Bottom line: get any interested party's information and you make the initiative to follow up with them. Don't just blindly give out your card with the expectation that they -may- call you back.
  15. #15 Brad Henderson, May 22, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: May 22, 2009
    I agree that it's always best if you can get their card - but not getting it should in no way dissuade you from giving yours (if requested).

    As to tips, I don't know where you live, but it has been my experience (performing in the US and a few shows overseas) that most hosts do not expect their guests to pay for anything at the events they host. And refusing tips at a party is not rude at all.

    Look at it this way:

    The host sees you accept a $20 tip. He or she doesn't mind. You've made $20.

    The host sees you accept a $20 tip. They DO mind. You've made $20, but you will never work for that person again. Think about it - if they are paying you a decent fee, why should you need to hustle tips. I know - you aren't hustling - but does the host know this?

    Also, tipping changes the dynamic of the relationship.

    What if someone sees you receive the tip and thinks they have to tip you too. They didn't bring cash. So now they feel awkward if you approach them OR they try to avoid you. Worse, if they think they are expected to tip (because someone else did) then it feels a little like being invited to a party and having to pay for your own drinks. I don't know any host who wants people to feel that way - unintentionally or otherwise.

    I don't know about you, but I'm in it for the long haul. I want to come back to the party year after year. $20, $50, $100 is not worth it to me for what a repeat high end client can be worth over time.

    Tips are fine - if the HOST offers them to you. (Now, I'm talking private parties - not restaurant or bar magic. Completely different beasts.)

    Just worked a gig in Vegas. Private party. They rented out one of the premiere night clubs in town. Two people tried to tip me. I explained that I was here courtesy of "Victor" (the host) and that everything was taken care of. Now - Victor's the hero. It's like he picked up their dinner.

    Now, if someone sticks a bill in your pocket and walks away - running after them would be stupid. But I would still tell the host it happened and express my discomfort lest thy get the wrong idea.

    Barring the tip and run, if someone insisted - I would simply beg off saying, "If you really want to express your gratitude, please take my card and give me a call next time you are hosting an event" or "The nicest thing you can do for me is tell the host how much you've enjoyed having me here" or "The nicest thing you can do for me is tell you friends to stop by and check out what I'm doing."

    Each of those scenarios is worth a hell of a lot more than $50 or $100 bucks.

    Think big, not small.

    Brad Henderson
  16. Ok I agree one hundred percent with what all of you are saying and it is all wikid ausome advise. Now when you go in there no matter how much of the advice these guys are giving you it wont matter if you dont stand up straight and be CONFIDENT.

    Try to realy make yourself seem big with out making them fell small.

    The worst thing you can do in a situation were the people are well off(Money wise) and very educated is SLOUCH. When you hunch your shoulders over you dont seem aprochable.

    Keep your cool. If this is a high end party these people(and I speack from personnal experience) will either;Be watching your hands like a hawk-the men- or, just be sitting back and watching the magic-the wemon un less they have drank to much-.

    Just the way you carry your self could honestly make your life a lot easier in the futer because people love confidence and I can not enphesise that enought.

    Good luck mate,

  17. It's one thing to accept tips when you are working a regular friday to saturday night table hopping job at whatever restaurant or bar. But usually when you work for a high paying gig, you should just tell the people who try to tip you that you are already covered by the host and then give them your card if they ask for it. I don't see how giving out your business card is going to offend a client.. It would be like the manager or whatever restaurant you are working, gets mad because you gave out your card.
  18. Yeah, okay I get the point. Apparently I'm wrong with my take on tips. Perhaps thats just the Carney in me speaking, maybe I'm wrong. I've never personally had it be an issue. It's a rare occassion that a guest offers anyways.

    If you are booked for an event through a third party planer they usually don't want you advertising yourself at their planned gig. They usually want you to advertise them, in hopes that they'll book you again.

    Also some hosts are tichy about you spamming their event with promotional material. Usually the higher end, and more private the gig the less they want you to do that. If they won't let you hand out business cards, then they usually will provide you with a space near the door where you can place a spread of your business cards where people can take them of their own free will.
  19. William is absolutely right about card and agents. If you are booked through an agent NEVER give out you own contact information. They should provide you with appropriate cards.

    And I think there is a difference between spamming an event with cards and giving out cards when requested. I have seen guys very heavy handedly give cards to people - this of course is to be avoided. But I think handing out a card when asked is always fine. (Unless you are with an agent.) I would be reluctant to leave info by the door. That runs the risk of looking too much like a Penny Saver magazine rack.

    BUT, having said that, if a host suggests that you do that - then that makes all concerns moot.
  20. Do not worry, I have confirmed about a photographer, and it is fine. Also, this booking is a private booking with myself, I am not working through an agent.

    Anyway, it starts this afternoon, I will let you know how it goes later! :)

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