The Magician Online

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Show Business

JohnShack

Elite Member
Feb 3, 2011
44
0
Oklahoma City, OK
Howdy!

This is My first post here on the Theory11 forums. Hopefully it helps, and hopefully I can learn somethings as well.

First off, I would like to give you guys a little bit of basic information about me.
I am a semi-professional Magician, I perform somewhere around 60 shows a year give or take. A lot of the time I am not making very much money which is why I am still semi professional. I have been featured on MTV and FOX news, as well I have toured the country with Mickey Avalon and Ke$ha. Primarily the shows I perform are on stage with Bands and Rappers, New Found Glory, Bayside, Set Your Goals, Fireworks, IWrestledABearOnce, and HORSE the band among many others Have had me open up or MC their shows. I love doing these venues but I'm not making a living on it, so My question is how can I set up agreements to make more money? I really would love to make a living doing this but it's a tough industry. What can I do to turn what I am doing now into my full time profession? I know one of my biggest problems is following up with my clients, Also from time to time I get booked for shows that not very many people are interested in attending thus ticket sales are sucky.
Currently I am working on New promo Materials, so I can get more gigs nationally.

Thanks in Advance,
John
 
Welcome John! Thanks for making your presence known here on the forums. You're already well ahead of the game than most of our users here, but I'm sure that there are some here who can still offer you some pearls of wisdom. First of all please let me plug myself... I wrote something a while ago that you may like. If you do a forum search for a thread series called: "How to Get Gigs and Keep Clients" you may find some useful information in that essay.

I would link you but I don't have any of the links handy at the moment.

Marketing material, press packages, and a good website are all very important, and something else you may want to consider at your level is representation. Maybe it's about time you start looking for an agent or manager?

What kind of venues are you looking to book, and you have a show package priced out for consumption? Also are you comfortable in picking up the phone and making some cold calls on your shows behalf? If you get a day planner, and write out some goals, then how you plan to achieve those goals, then break that down into hours and days, you may find yourself working to a more clear destination.

Are you using show riders and contracts? Maybe you should be? Something to consider. Both P&T, and Copperfields riders are on the smokinggun.com Maybe you should look them over?

Best of luck to you, hope you enjoy your stay!
Draven
 
Jan 29, 2008
111
1
Hi John,

You should take a look at my blog www.paidtoperform.blogspot.com

It gives you several marketing tips on how to get gigs (I recommend you start at the beginning).

I perform for companies and associations but it sounds like you prefer the theater market. If you want to make more money in theaters then you have to stop opening for others and perform by yourself (and someone else opens for you).

The first question you have to ask yourself is what kind of gigs do you want? Do you want to perform in theaters? Corporate? Kid shows? College gigs?

Once you know your target audience, then you can start your marketing.

I can tell you exactly how to book gigs but the first step is to CLEARLY define what type of gigs you want.
 

JohnShack

Elite Member
Feb 3, 2011
44
0
Oklahoma City, OK
Thanks a lot for the advice guys! I didn't even know what a rider was up until about a year ago ha. I have never set up a contract typically the shows I do, I either get a percentage of ticket sales or a percentage of the door cover costs, when I went on tour I was paid $50 dollars a day, granted the budget was kinda small and I was added last minute. My main caters mainly to people over the age of 18 so bars and clubs and concert venues are typically my choice, I do however have different acts for different situations, for example I have the act previously depicted which is my favorite to perform because I get to really be me on stage and have a lot of fun with it, but I think with some minor tweaking it would be great for colleges which is a market I haven't even stepped foot in but I would love to test it out.
I am far more proficient with close up magic though I had a gig at Texas Roadhouse for over a year doing walk around but it wasn't enough to keep me busy nor pay my phone bill.
I guess I should have mentioned this sooner but I am 19 years old ha. I am also a tad clueless and usually end up doing things the hard way.
Long story short I want to make magic my full time job so I will give the post and the blog a look and look around smoking gun!
I want to more corporate work but I have no idea how to get into that market, in the past I have been hired by companies to do some shows, but I haven't tried to cold call anyone or send out press kits mainly because I don't feel I have the knowledge to speak comfortable with business professionals and persuade them to hire me, I feel I am much better in text than calling someone and saying um and ahh every 9 seconds ha.
Also I have tried working with agents and the ones I have come across thus far don't represent me very well and don't get me booked, the last one I had booked me one show in the time it took me to book myself 12 shows...

Thanks again!
John
 

RickEverhart

forum moderator / t11
Elite Member
Sep 14, 2008
3,638
469
44
Louisville, OH
The other thing you to need to think about an agent is they have their own rules and stipulations that you must abide by. For example: You may have to pass our their business cards for his / her company and NOT your own. I had that happen once. Ugh....not fun. They also normally take 20% of what you are going to make. Now, that is not bad if you are young and just getting your name out there as long as they are getting you at least 4-5 gigs per month. Anything less and you might as well be advertising yourself with promotional packets, cold calls and word of mouth.

You will begin to find out that a lot of professionals perform / entertain as an additional or secondary income. Not many make it financially on their own. I'm not trying to be the guy who rains on your parade but don't leave yourself stranded just trying to make the big time and not have something to fall back on.
 

Justin.Morris

Elite Member
Aug 31, 2007
2,758
871
Canada
www.morrismagic.ca
Hi,

Welcome to the forums. It sounds like you are doing quite well already! I would recommend Jim Snack's material. There are some great ideas and advice there, as well as resources and links. Well worth the cost.

Hope to learn some things from you as well.

Justin
 
Jan 29, 2008
111
1
John do not focus on getting an agent and NEVER let them tell you all the rules. Agents need entertainers...not the other way around. The only way you will get a good agency is if they see you perform so don't focus on them. They will come easily once you perform enough.

All your answers to booking corporate gigs are on my blog. I do my best to make the blog general enough for all markets but I am a corporate entertainer so it always leans towards corporate gigs.

The first thing you have to understand is how much work you will be putting into your business. If you're only spending an hour every day to try to book gigs then it will never happen. You have to spend your entire day taking certain actions that lead to the results.

I'll give you the brief version of booking corporate gigs:
1. Call-Send-Call: You call up companies/associations, send them your material (promo kit, demo, etc), and follow up call to make sure they received everything.

2. Hotel Crashing: Go to hotels and walk into an event (cocktail party, wedding, etc). Start performing for about 20 minutes and then go to the person in charge of the event and ask them if they would like to hire you. If not, then tell them to keep you in mind.

If you want to book gigs then it isn't about doing a million different things. You have to do a couple of things a million times and you will see the gigs rolling in.


btw...if you want to do the college market then you need an agency to represent you or you will be spending TONS of money. You have to break into the NACA(.org) market if you want college gigs. That info is also in the blog.
 

JohnShack

Elite Member
Feb 3, 2011
44
0
Oklahoma City, OK
Thanks again guys,

Benji - I watched every video you currently have on your blog, great stuff! I feel I learned a lot about cold calling and the source websites you give for finding leads, that was priceless to me, because I haven't done very many cold calls it actually kind of makes me nerves but when I saw the first video and you said Whats crackin I knew the blog was going to be good :)

Justin - I have done well but it's the following up part that gets me when I toured was november 2009 then MTV featured me february 2010, so It's been nearly a year and I haven't met any of my goals in that time span, part of it I believe is due to my being very analytical and wanting to know how something works in order to attain it. The other thing is my follow ups are lacking and I don't keep connected with people very well.

Reverhart - That's been my experience thus far, The previous agent I had took 15% of what ever I made which was $0.00 from shows he booked for me ha. I have learned that for now doing business for myself is probably the best way to go till I establish more of a name for myself. That's my MAIN focus as of right now is getting into better shape and building an image around who I am on stage.

Thanks again guys!
John
 
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