Lets Talk...

Mar 31, 2014
21
0
Calgary, AB
Hello everyone,

Sometimes I get bored and I enjoy to write. Now, it all depends on what I am writing about, when it comes to school, I want to shoot myself in the face at times but when I am genuinely interested in something, I have no problem persuading myself to write. So you're probably asking yourself, "what is this crazy dude going to write about?" and the answer is... absolutely nothing, at this point. You see, in school or work you are usually are given a topic of some sort and you have to use that as the base of the discussion and that isn't where my best work comes from, I like to just write aimlessly and eventually I will come to something of interest.

As the night goes on, sometimes the best ideas come at these hours... This is not one of those times, yet ;).

A magician might do some walk around at a children's festival to appeal to parents in order to get hired for a kid's birthday, I wonder how someone would appeal to people that host high end parties or cocktail parties? That is a market I would like to get into and I get a kick performing for an intoxicated audience. How about a restaurant? How does one get his name to the right person, strategically... These are the things I think about at night.

I would rather not kill you all with my many words of wisdom (not actually), but I will sign off with a random image I am using on my website of me performing...

Cheers!
 

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Jan 11, 2013
168
2
Dubai
A magician might do some walk around at a children's festival to appeal to parents in order to get hired for a kid's birthday, I wonder how someone would appeal to people that host high end parties or cocktail parties? That is a market I would like to get into and I get a kick performing for an intoxicated audience. How about a restaurant? How does one get his name to the right person, strategically... These are the things I think about at night.

Im guessing from reading your post this is a question that you are looking for a discussion on? Well I can only answer this from personal experience and the path I have gone down in magic, a path which has sometimes been intentional and sometimes not so much.

Currently I am living in Dubai, I have been out here for just over 3 years now, and like yourself I have tried to direct myself into the high end of performing. I do perform at 'high class', corporate, what ever you want to call them events as wells as private shows and parties, but it's not like I just started getting these gigs from nowhere. For me its been a gradual process out here, and it all just started by performing for my new friends. They would then get me to perform for their friends when we were out and this cycle continued to the point where I had unintentionally done a lot of networking to where I had built a bit name for myself. Then the requests to perform for peoples events started to come in and the cycle continued.

I won't ramble on about myself but my point is although somewhat unintentionally, I was performing to the 'right sort of people' by putting myself in situations where these people were, all be it social ones. Yes you can sign up to agencies that can get you bookings and there is nothing wrong with that, I myself do work for an agency from time to time, but I never signed up I simply performed to a lady at a friends party who worked there and now she uses me almost as a freelance magician for the events she organizes.

I firmly believe that actions speak louder than words, especially in magic and you can have the best website the best promotional material but nothing beats performing to and impressing people and through their word of mouth help promote you. If you want to perform for a certain clientele then you need to put yourself in situations where you can connect with these people, never expect these people just to come to you, you could be in for a very long wait if you do.

Ill shut up now :)
 
Mar 31, 2014
21
0
Calgary, AB
That is awesome, good for you!

But besides word of mouth marketing, what do you think is the best way to appeal to that sort of demographic?
 
Jan 11, 2013
168
2
Dubai
Ok I might be misunderstanding what you are saying here, so if my response is off the mark please say.

I think you have to look at that demographic and understand what appeals to them in general and then apply that to yourself. For example you have two magicians pitching for the same job, say for some corporation. One is 'street magic' style, jeans, trainers t-shirt say a lot 'now watch' in a David Blaine style monotone voice ect ( and im not knocking Mr Blaine there). The other is well presented, smart and articulate, which on do you think is going to have more appeal to those people your pitching for? These are professional people and will naturally be drawn to those who come across as professional. Remember that when you are hired by a company or a individual you are not just representing you, for that time you are also representing that company or person.

In terms of your magic the key is to be entertaining, that is essentially what you are getting paid for, it just so happens that you are using magic as a tool for that entertainment. Yes magic tricks can be entertaining on their own, but you get a lot further when your presentation is engaging, more involving for the spectators and fun, this is what entertaining is and you seem more professional and polished. And if you are more entertaining than your competitor who is just reeling off trick after trick who do you think holds the more appeal?
 
Mar 31, 2014
21
0
Calgary, AB
Ok I might be misunderstanding what you are saying here, so if my response is off the mark please say.

I think you have to look at that demographic and understand what appeals to them in general and then apply that to yourself. For example you have two magicians pitching for the same job, say for some corporation. One is 'street magic' style, jeans, trainers t-shirt say a lot 'now watch' in a David Blaine style monotone voice ect ( and im not knocking Mr Blaine there). The other is well presented, smart and articulate, which on do you think is going to have more appeal to those people your pitching for? These are professional people and will naturally be drawn to those who come across as professional. Remember that when you are hired by a company or a individual you are not just representing you, for that time you are also representing that company or person.

In terms of your magic the key is to be entertaining, that is essentially what you are getting paid for, it just so happens that you are using magic as a tool for that entertainment. Yes magic tricks can be entertaining on their own, but you get a lot further when your presentation is engaging, more involving for the spectators and fun, this is what entertaining is and you seem more professional and polished. And if you are more entertaining than your competitor who is just reeling off trick after trick who do you think holds the more appeal?

i am speaking more on the lines of how you reach those high end, exclusive party events besides word of mouth... if that makes sense.

For example, what can I do on my website or with my online marketing to appeal to this clientele?
 
Jan 11, 2013
168
2
Dubai
In terms of websites and marketing ect it comes down to making it look as professional and as slick as possible, include testimonials and videos if you can of actual performances. If you can, get professional photos done, it all helps sell the image of professionalism. As I said though in my original post all that doesn't really matter anyway unless people know about it and know about you. Start contacting companies. In most big companies there will be a team of people who organize company events, find out who these people are and email them letting them know about you and what you offer, again as I said you can sign up to events company and get work through them. Approach restaurants in your area and ask about performing there a few nights a week, its a great place to meet potential clients, and keeps you performing regularly so you can hone you skills, do charity events, basically perform as much as you can as often as you can. If you don't mind me asking how long have you been doing magic for?
 
Mar 31, 2014
21
0
Calgary, AB
I have been doing magic for a decade now, I got the technical aspects down and now it is time to start making some money.

How do you go abouts approaching a restaurant?
 
Jan 11, 2013
168
2
Dubai
Find out who the manager is and either walk in and speak to them or write/email them. My advice if you have never done this before is start off in family restaurants so you build experience in performing at tables, approaching people ect, I wouldn't just throw yourself into the deep end and approach the high end places. Consider working just for tips to start off with, in the current climate magicians will be a bit further down the list of important things for a restaurant to be spending money on, just use it as a away of gaining performance experience and the chance to get more work from it.
 

Justin.Morris

Elite Member
Aug 31, 2007
2,749
863
Canada
www.morrismagic.ca
Hey a.Luu,

First thing, you have a wealth of knowledge with the Calgary group of magicians. Brent at the Vanishing Rabbit will have lots to share on this topic. Are you connected there?

Second, the thing with the successful is that they associate with like kind. You must decide where the money is at and where you want to work. And as you can’t go to the places that they go, you need to get yourself invited. The corporate market is your best start. There is lots of work there, and you can start charging more.
In Calgary, there are likely a lot of oil companies. Aim for those. They have piles of money for entertainment and staff functions. These companies also search the internet for magicians. My website alone gets me about half of my shows (and it’s not a wonderful website). Once they like you, they will rehire you. At these functions, you will rub shoulders with the company management. Talk with them, rub shoulders with them, and network. They must realize that you are like them. You will stop doing tricks and connect with them as people.

An example. My last private party gig was a company that was owned by a father and son. Prior to the gig I had read everything I could on them. I discovered that the company had raised hundreds of thousands of dollars towards the Stollery Children’s Hospital. After my walk around was finished, I grabbed a water and noticed the CEO’s son was standing alone to the side with a drink. I stood next to him during a few speeches and then started talking to him. I commented that I really appreciated the great atmosphere and attitude of the employees throughout the night. I commented that it must be a great place to work. This sparked him to share how his Dad had set a great tone to the company and had high values for that sort of thing. It was part of what drove him. I shared a leadership book I had read recently and we began talking about leadership strategies and got on the topic of Simon Sinek’s book (Start With Why). This led to a discussion about the Stollery. I mentioned that my son had spent his first 8 months of life in the Stollery and thanked him for his efforts in that area. Then I wrapped things up and left.
By the end we had talked a long time and three months later I got an email from his wife inviting me to perform for his birthday party.
If you are not sure how to talk to people, read the book “How to win friends and influence people” (currently reading this).
Those opportunities are not frequent, however you need to make them happen when you can.
If they have nothing in common with you, they probably won’t hire you. In most cases, the people with the money are not the ones hiring either. They have others do all that for them.
Which bring the third thing, is that you need to connect with party planners. Now I have never had to do this because my schedule is already full, but if I ever needed to drum up more business, people say that connecting with event planners is the most fruitful way to network. Your chamber of commerce is probably the best place to begin in this area.
---
All this aside. Like was already mentioned, you need to have the show and style that your target audience wants. If you want to do corporate work, you will need to dress the part. You need to talk like them (there are exceptions for celebrity and character magicians). This needs to be reflected from your magic all the way to your booking process. You also need to be good. You need a good show. It needs to be scripted and rehearsed. Your walk around material needs to be solid, and entertaining (not just good tricks). And of course, you need to charge what’s appropriate for your area and your skill level. Then your follow up needs to be good, professional, and helpful.
If you are not doing corporate shows already, you need to do a few things first (off the top of my head):
1) Get as many performing hours in as possible. – Volunteer if you have to. A restaurant is a fantastic place to build your chops, build routines and sets, and refine your material. Once people start asking for your business card, you are on the right track.
2) Write a show. Start with the outline –where you want the show to go and how you and to get there. Insert your material, and begin the pursuit of what you need to make the show complete. Then script it. Aim for 50 minutes of time (when actually performed).
3) When you are ready, launch your website. There is much to be said on this topic, so I’ll leave it for now, especially since I’m not the expert.
 
Mar 31, 2014
21
0
Calgary, AB
When I was younger, I use to frequent the VR but now I live so far away, it is sort of a haul for me.

Out of curiosity, do you use google adwords?
 
Sep 1, 2007
723
2
I'll try to help, but you'll have to help me by answering a few questions;

How old are you, how much experience do you have in magic? (Like seriously studying the art as a whole, not just learning sleights/routines, but developing an act/sets/character/showmanship)

Where have you performed? Have you ever been professionally critiqued? How many times? By other professional entertainers that aren't magicians?

Where would you put your skill level? What can you always do, what can you sometimes do, what is totally out of your skill range?

Aside from sleights and effects, what other performance skills do you have 'honed' to a professional level? (scripting, voice and diction study, group/social psych, misdirection, or any other showmanship techniques)

What kind of methods do you regularly rely on? Do you rely on angle sensitive sleights, timing sensitive sleights, psychological sleights (timing forces, etc), misdirection only, stacks, packets?

What routines do you feel you could perform multiple times without failure?

Preferred performance setting? (Parlor, stage, walk-around, formal close up)
 
Mar 31, 2014
21
0
Calgary, AB
How old are you, how much experience do you have in magic? (Like seriously studying the art as a whole, not just learning sleights/routines, but developing an act/sets/character/showmanship)

I am 22 years old and I have been studying this art for a decade and I have been developing myself as a performer for the last 3 years I would say. When I was 16, I won a local youth magic competition for close up magic.

Where have you performed? Have you ever been professionally critiqued? How many times? By other professional entertainers that aren't magicians?

I have performed at many festivals and I walk up and down a busy downtown strip occasionally. I have never been professionally critiqued.

Where would you put your skill level? What can you always do, what can you sometimes do, what is totally out of your skill range?

Aside from sleights and effects, what other performance skills do you have 'honed' to a professional level? (scripting, voice and diction study, group/social psych, misdirection, or any other showmanship techniques)

I know I have very good misdirection, I can dominate any social situation so there is that. I am a very good at speaking in front of the public, I have a large presentation coming up next week that I have to present to some of the biggest names in the oil and gas industry so there is that. I would like to think i have a fairly decent understanding of group and social psychology, when I was younger, I use to live by the teachings in "The Game" By, Neil Strauss.

What kind of methods do you regularly rely on? Do you rely on angle sensitive sleights, timing sensitive sleights, psychological sleights (timing forces, etc), misdirection only, stacks, packets?

I do many sleights such as simple card forces, the gamblers cop, and the clip shift. I am not a fan of psychological sleights, I do somethings that heavily involve misdirection which has yet to be a problem for me. Everything I perform is with a standard deck of cards with little to no setup.

What routines do you feel you could perform multiple times without failure?

I perform simple card forces, feats of influence on people behaviour, card to pocket, ambitious card routine (many variations with different presentations), a card cheat routine (the one featured in Ninja 1), the biddle trick, angle zero, many transposition effects such as the classic here then there, paperclip just too name the ones off the top of my head.

Preferred performance setting?

I prefer walk around and close up settings. Events such as cocktails parties or performing at a restaurant would be ideal.
 
Apr 17, 2013
886
4
that will be a huge set back. Really really need to branch out. If you step back and look those of us who make a full time or part time living with mage are card light. Magicians love card trick. The person who you are asking to give you $1000 for that two hour event has an uncle Bob who does that trick but he uses 21 cards.
 
Mar 31, 2014
21
0
Calgary, AB
that will be a huge set back. Really really need to branch out.

Well I do digital dissolve but for the most part, I have big knuckles so palming coins are sort of tricky with these big windows I got.

I am really just looking for this too bad a part time gig, something to make some side cash on the weekends, nothing big
 
Apr 17, 2013
886
4
Max Malini had tiny hands and still palmed cards. The size of your knuckles has nothing to do with edge, downs, thumb, classic ect ect. There is sponge balls, rope magic, chop cup, rubber bands money magic. There are tons of thread where guys want to make a living and all they do are card. The guys making a living are telling them that doesn't fly and it doesn't. There have been a few who have listen to us and are now getting work because they branched out from cards.

Magicians over come things that keep them from doing some slights all the time. McDonald had one arm and did killer slight of hand. It's all about learning your thresh hold of failure and working to get past the mental block. Also cards are the hot thing right now and everyone is doing it. And if everyone is doing it there are a lot of guys doing it. So find a way to stand out from the others who are doing the same six to ten card trick. Blow them away with a chop cup or some ropes. Learn some rubber band magic so you can do anything at a moment notice and hot say "well I don't have any cards on me sorry."

Here is a guy who had no arms or legs and was still a great magician. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthias_Buchinger
 
Mar 31, 2014
21
0
Calgary, AB
To a.Luu...I believe sir your argument has just become invalid

Haha, I actually just don't have an interest in coins to be honest, I got a couple rubber and tricks under my sleeve but nothing that really has any substance.

I respect all other forms but if I was to go push myself to do something I don't particularly enjoy then it wouldn't be fun, it would become a job.
 
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