t11 Forum Q&A // 001 [November 2013]

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Deechristopher

theory11 moderator
Moderator
Hey Guys and Gals! Hope everyone is having a rockin' day!

Something new: I've spoken to a few top guys in the industry over here and they've agreed to take time out of their busy schedules to answer some questions, give advice and chat with you on the forum here at theory11.

I'm pleased to announce that the first of which is a great friend of mine; Damien O'Brien!

[BIO]

Damien O'Brien is one of the coolest, busiest and most in demand magicians in the UK, he regularly gets flown around the world to entertain royalty, celebrities and some of the most powerful people in the world.


Damien-OBrien-Image-640x461.jpg


- Damien is sponsored by Nike, New Era, Celebrity Gaming and has recently performed one of the biggest stunts in Hypnosis, where he set out to hypnotise his 40,000 Twitter followers!

- He's appeared on many UK TV shows, including Fool Us with Penn and Teller and has just done a viral video campaign for Party Poker, one of the biggest online gaming websites.

Me and Damien are currently working on a couple of projects together, so I asked him if he'd kindly pop on to the forums to answer any questions, his specialist subjects include:

- Getting the gigs YOU want to do
- Getting sponsorship deals
- Using the internet to it's full potential in marketing your magic

If you've not seen Damien before, check out his youtube channel here: http://www.youtube.com/user/damienmagic666

Damien is usually very secretive about his methods for success, but for this week only, he's willing to share some nuggets of gold with you guys, so ask any questions you might have, or maybe you'd just like your latest video critiqued by a working pro…

Ask your questions, Damien will be heading over to this thread throughout this week to do his best to help you out with your magic!
 
Mar 22, 2013
342
2
Munich / Germany
First of all I'd like to say thank you for taking the time to answer our questions - I can't wait to
see your opinions and tips on this topic ;)

So here's my first question:
How did you get your first gigs - what are the first and most important steps for getting gigs?
 

RickEverhart

forum moderator / t11
Moderator
Sep 14, 2008
3,655
465
43
Louisville, OH
In your opinion is it better to be very skilled in one area of magic such as close up, and really work to get gigs in which you can perform that material better than anyone else in your area or is it better to be the "jack of all trades" and be able to perform stage, close up, birthday parties, and be able to do balloon sculpting thus hitting a wider range of clients? Right now I am the "jack of all trades" and am practically performing as many weekends a month that I want but am wondering for the long term if it would be better to focus on my close up and potentially land even high paying gigs down the road. I would love to hear your opinion.
 
Sep 1, 2007
1,400
7
35
Belgrade, Serbia
How could I market myself and get restaurant and hotel gigs, being the only close-up magician/mentalist/hypnotist in town? Since managers of all those places have no idea what it's like hiring a magician or mentalist, and people are afraid of the unknown. How to explain to them that it is good to hire a magician, and that magicians are not only for kids parties but also for grown ups, especially mind reading? And in general how to approach them, in person or via email?
Thank you for doing this!
 

damienmagician

Special Guest // November 2013
Apr 19, 2010
10
0
www.damienobrien.com
so when i wanted to start performing at gigs i use to look at places where i knew they had entertainment and i would go in there and and just show off what i could do , its very important to come across as confident if you take this approach as you need to make them think your performing all the time and this guy knows his stuff , also make sure you have some nice business cards to hand out and be sure that everyone you perform to has one you should be looking to take 2-3 bookings off every event you perform at if you need any more advice I'm happy to give it as i know it can be hard to take them first steps into this industry as a performer
 

damienmagician

Special Guest // November 2013
Apr 19, 2010
10
0
www.damienobrien.com
First of all I'd like to say thank you for taking the time to answer our questions - I can't wait to
see your opinions and tips on this topic ;)

So here's my first question:
How did you get your first gigs - what are the first and most important steps for getting gigs?

so when i wanted to start performing at gigs i use to look at places where i knew they had entertainment and i would go in there and and just show off what i could do , its very important to come across as confident if you take this approach as you need to make them think your performing all the time and this guy knows his stuff , also make sure you have some nice business cards to hand out and be sure that everyone you perform to has one you should be looking to take 2-3 bookings off every event you perform at if you need any more advice I'm happy to give it as i know it can be hard to take them first steps into this industry as a performer
 

damienmagician

Special Guest // November 2013
Apr 19, 2010
10
0
www.damienobrien.com
In your opinion is it better to be very skilled in one area of magic such as close up, and really work to get gigs in which you can perform that material better than anyone else in your area or is it better to be the "jack of all trades" and be able to perform stage, close up, birthday parties, and be able to do balloon sculpting thus hitting a wider range of clients? Right now I am the "jack of all trades" and am practically performing as many weekends a month that I want but am wondering for the long term if it would be better to focus on my close up and potentially land even high paying gigs down the road. I would love to hear your opinion.

Hi Rick i think this is personal preference , i do mainly close up performances as i love the interaction more but i can do stage too , if you can do most stuff great as will only gain you more work but if your stronger in a certain area it could be a good idea to give it a serious push and commitment as your start to gain a name for a certain style of magic you do and gain more work and the big your name gets within that field the bigger the gigs will be your booked for , as i said i style my self more as a close up magician then a hypnotist and stage act and i get a lot of close up bookings with big clients as i have push that same as Mr Dee Christopher who is running this page , he is a close magician that does stage and mind reading and i know he will push someone to book him to mind reading over doing the typical close up stuff but as i said its personal preference you need to find what works best for you :)
 

damienmagician

Special Guest // November 2013
Apr 19, 2010
10
0
www.damienobrien.com
How could I market myself and get restaurant and hotel gigs, being the only close-up magician/mentalist/hypnotist in town? Since managers of all those places have no idea what it's like hiring a magician or mentalist, and people are afraid of the unknown. How to explain to them that it is good to hire a magician, and that magicians are not only for kids parties but also for grown ups, especially mind reading? And in general how to approach them, in person or via email?
Thank you for doing this!

hello Toby , i think if you have set clients such as hotels and restaurants it be good idea to either call and ask if you can come down and have ten minutes of their time to show what your all about or take the direct approach and go straight down ask to speak to the manager and show off what you do , in a hotel this might be hard to speak to the manager as I'm sure they get busy but if you email him saying you know they book entertainment maybe send some video of yourself in action with a few quotes from previous clients could help push for a face to face meeting , it also don't hurt to do maybe a discounted rate for the first gig for a client to let them get you know you a client always loves a deal they feel is in their favour but again don't sell your self short as they can look at this in a negative way i think 10-15% of for first booking be good ,

the great thing if you met them in person what i use to find you can let them see for themselves that what you do is an incredible art and not just some small party trick , if you have videos i really think its a good idea to have them on a tablet or a computer what you can send via email or show them up close when you meet make sure its your best work with great reactions as this helps i always find when i met a client for the first time hope this helps again if you need more advice on this please feel free to ask and ill try answer this the best i can

D
 

c.t

Apr 17, 2013
125
0
Australia
Hey guys, thanks first off for doing this thing both Damien and Dee for organising this. my question is this, im a 15 year old magician, i do close up, cardistry, cheating and a bit of mentalism but my focus really is close up. I was thinking about getting some gigs at a restaurant near my house, its a nice open air gourmet family run type place and they have musicians there just about every night so i was thinking i might try get some gigs there. My question is how do you think i should go about the whole thing, asking the owner, how often should i try perform, what sort of stuff do you reckon would suit the restaurant and anything else you think is relevant, Thanks again :)
 

damienmagician

Special Guest // November 2013
Apr 19, 2010
10
0
www.damienobrien.com
Hey guys, thanks first off for doing this thing both Damien and Dee for organising this. my question is this, im a 15 year old magician, i do close up, cardistry, cheating and a bit of mentalism but my focus really is close up. I was thinking about getting some gigs at a restaurant near my house, its a nice open air gourmet family run type place and they have musicians there just about every night so i was thinking i might try get some gigs there. My question is how do you think i should go about the whole thing, asking the owner, how often should i try perform, what sort of stuff do you reckon would suit the restaurant and anything else you think is relevant, Thanks again :)

hey bro so i think it would be good to call the owner of the restaurant and mention how you seen the musicians and that your also a performer and if possible you would like to have 15 minutes of his time and come down and perform some magic for him describe the style of magic , i would hold of mentioning your age until you meet as it can be hard to get a gig being young as they may think its just a kid who can do a few card tricks but once you meet him up close and blow him away age will be of no concern , i think for close up your standard stuff will always go over well in a restaurant , ambitious card , card to pockets , ring flights , loops etc mind reading is always great as you can build a strong moment with the clients who will be asking for your card at the end , remember performance is a big key as well as having your tricks perfect , don't be afraid to make a joke smile and engage in conversation with people if you can make them like you and remember your name they will be going aways talking about you for the right reasons and any time they see another magician your name will be in their head and they will mention you . as for performance times a week id try get a weekly residency on a set day each week at a lower cost of what you will do a private gig for as each week your guaranteed a wage as well as a chance to hand out business cards to potential new clients i hope this helps .

D
 

Deechristopher

theory11 moderator
Moderator
Great questions and great answers so far, thanks! :)

I have a question based on your most recent escapade, hypnotising your 40k Twitter followers.

Where do you find your inspiration to perform stunts like that? There isn't many people that merge magic and technology in marketing. I know you do your 24 days of magic and now the twitter stuff, both get GREAT media coverage. Where do your ideas come from and do you have any advice for other magicians looking to execute this kind of thing?
 
Sep 1, 2007
1,400
7
35
Belgrade, Serbia
Great questions and great answers so far, thanks! :)

I have a question based on your most recent escapade, hypnotising your 40k Twitter followers.

Where do you find your inspiration to perform stunts like that? There isn't many people that merge magic and technology in marketing. I know you do your 24 days of magic and now the twitter stuff, both get GREAT media coverage. Where do your ideas come from and do you have any advice for other magicians looking to execute this kind of thing?

And also, where can we see this in action? :)
 

damienmagician

Special Guest // November 2013
Apr 19, 2010
10
0
www.damienobrien.com
Great questions and great answers so far, thanks! :)

I have a question based on your most recent escapade, hypnotising your 40k Twitter followers.

Where do you find your inspiration to perform stunts like that? There isn't many people that merge magic and technology in marketing. I know you do your 24 days of magic and now the twitter stuff, both get GREAT media coverage. Where do your ideas come from and do you have any advice for other magicians looking to execute this kind of thing?

With todays technology and social media i thinks the smartest thing to do we all know someone who uses some form of social media site and we all know millions of people around the world use them so its just smart business really i look at it and think whats not been done yet with hypnosis thru twitter i was always curious to see if just text wrote down could hypnotise someone without the physical interaction being there and it proved it can twitter was just the perfect platform to do this on , i think when it comes to using social media get all them use Facebook twitter instagram youtube as much as possible every party you go to if its a big established client or brand take a photo with them and do a short blog about it if your gonna do youtube videos be consistent at it if someone has done the trick before do it better and be consistent with videos the more you start to throw up the more the videos will get views and more subs too youtube is a great platform as you can do a lot of research by watching these videos too
 
Dec 6, 2008
66
0
36
toledo, ohio
Hey Damien.
I love hypnosis, and I have studied it quite a bit. So I feel like I have a lot of head knowledge about hypnosis theory but have never had the confidence to perform it and go for an induction (actually I tried once on a friend which had no affect). Most of my study has been along the lines of Ericksonian hypnosis and largely from the guys at Head Hackings, Anthony Jacquin etc, along with some material from Igor Ledochowski, and James Tripp.
Whats your best advice for someone in my position. Wanting to get into hypnosis, but lacking confidence to pull the trigger.
Thanks,
Tyler
 
Jan 16, 2011
30
0
Hey Damiem!

Wanted to start off by saying how much I adored your performance with Penn and Teller. After that, I became an avid subscriber to your channel. With that, I had a few questions regarding the sponsors you have, that Dee mentioned. I wanted to ask you how you acquired your sponsors. With such grand sponsors as Nike and New Era, one must have curious thoughts. Did you branch out to them, or they to you? Thanks for taking your time to provide, us, the theory11 community with your great insights, and I can't wait to see what you're able to create next! :)

P.S. - What would be the procedure if I were to request an autographed playing card from you to my collection? ;)
 

damienmagician

Special Guest // November 2013
Apr 19, 2010
10
0
www.damienobrien.com
Hey Damien.
I love hypnosis, and I have studied it quite a bit. So I feel like I have a lot of head knowledge about hypnosis theory but have never had the confidence to perform it and go for an induction (actually I tried once on a friend which had no affect). Most of my study has been along the lines of Ericksonian hypnosis and largely from the guys at Head Hackings, Anthony Jacquin etc, along with some material from Igor Ledochowski, and James Tripp.
Whats your best advice for someone in my position. Wanting to get into hypnosis, but lacking confidence to pull the trigger.
Thanks,
Tyler

Hey dude , hypnosis is hard one to build on as it's one of them things I feel you just have to take the plunge and go for it , there will always be someone we can't hypnotise and that's nothing to be worried about the lay audience know that some people can't go under the thing what use is magic to and mind reading tricks to get into people's heads a bit before hand to let them think I know what they think and can control what they do , but when I was starting I would mention to people I do hypnosis and when you have someone say I have always wanted to be hypnotised that's that's the one to try it on , talk to them before you put them under make them feel good and don't be afraid to start with an induction thru time and practice you will realise you can perform with out an induction , but give it a try at your next event who you know the crowd are loving your work and there is a god vibe and I'm sure you will succeed
 

damienmagician

Special Guest // November 2013
Apr 19, 2010
10
0
www.damienobrien.com
Hey Damiem!

Wanted to start off by saying how much I adored your performance with Penn and Teller. After that, I became an avid subscriber to your channel. With that, I had a few questions regarding the sponsors you have, that Dee mentioned. I wanted to ask you how you acquired your sponsors. With such grand sponsors as Nike and New Era, one must have curious thoughts. Did you branch out to them, or they to you? Thanks for taking your time to provide, us, the theory11 community with your great insights, and I can't wait to see what you're able to create next! :)

P.S. - What would be the procedure if I were to request an autographed playing card from you to my collection? ;)

Hey bro thank you for the message so in regards to sponsorship it's no easy task to get where I wasn't you classic looking magician I had a few more options as there is always some kind of urban or sports brand just trying to get know and exposure so I started by finding out a local company close to me and liked the style of clothes I showed them what I do and told them of some current plans I have lined up and that will be a good chance to work together and do some cross branding , now once you have one you can push for the next and tell them about yourself and how you have a sponsor or product placement from a company , with company's like nike and new era I has to show them I was going to perform for big artist on a regular there was press coming my way etc so I was going to loads of clubs where stars hanged out getting the photos and videos the again talking to local press at first then a few magazines wearing the product what was given to me and showing I was giving them exposure and more you show the more the company will love you and it's about networking too I go to a lot of events where this is gift lounges and I'll talk to the brand and say how we should do some collaboration magic is very unique and people always want a cool way to show off their brands but yes my suggestion start small build it up

For the signed card drop me a , message on Www.facebook.com/DamienMagician and I'll post one out to you :)
 

Deechristopher

theory11 moderator
Moderator
As the month is coming to a close, I'd like to say a BIG thanks to Damien for taking time out of his busy schedule to give us some very detailed replies - Go give him a like on Facebook and follow him on Twitter to find out about what other crazy stuff he has coming up!

We have another great special guest lined up for December, so keep an eye out for the thread! Thanks again to all the contributors asking the questions - I'm sure everyone learnt a whole bunch!
 
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