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Topic: Touring the US
Message: Posted by: HypnotizeAmerica (May 1, 2006 12:15AM)
Greetings friends.

I am in the very early stages of research to tour the US over a 2 year period (visiting roughly 2 states a month) and I'd like to perform my stage hypnosis show to pay for it. Never having toured before I know this is a large goal but I want to get some different opinions and suggestions on how this could best be done. I would be in the state (and most likely the larger towns) for two weeks at a time and travel by RV. Would 4-walling a show be better or trying to setup one-off gigs?

Any advice/suggestions would be greatly appricated.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (May 1, 2006 03:31PM)
You need a LOT of money.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (May 1, 2006 04:01PM)
I would suggest you start with Stan Kramien's course in selling a touring show.

Where do you think you would perform one night gigs at, in each state?
What is 4-walling?

Booking: http://www.stevensmagic.com/shopping/shopexd.asp?id=3929

and: http://www.stevensmagic.com/shopping/shopexd.asp?id=3110

Illusion show business, but would apply to a traveling business: http://www.stevensmagic.com/shopping/shopexd.asp?id=1741
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (May 1, 2006 04:06PM)
4 walling is a thing of the past, mostly.

It involves you basically renting 4 walls to do the show within. An oversimplification to be certain, but close enough.
Message: Posted by: suspectacts (May 2, 2006 12:00PM)

Unfortunately, I think the scope of your project puts you way beyond what many on this board have ever succeeded with (or even tried). Keep in mind almost all the advice you get will be theoretical in nature. No doubt you have plenty of theory, what you need is practical advice.

So with that warning, a bit more theory...

With a project this big you have to ask yourself: what defines success? Is it about making money? Spreading your name in the states? (You're from Canada, right?) Getting to say that you've worked in all 50 states (bragging rights and promotional hook)?

My point is, I have no doubt you will be able to find venues in each town or city you visit, but you may need to decide what your goal is so you make sure to focus your energy in the right direction.

For example, one thought I had was that one of the problems you are going to face is finding suitable venues in each town as well as finding some sort of support team to do things like put up posters and contact local media. One way to kill two birds with one stone would be to focus on one or more fraternal organizations: Elks, Masons, etc. Each of these associations usually owns a building, which could act as a venue and your association would act to help to get you press and credibility locally (which might help with press). Of course you would probably have to split the take of each show with them, but having locals in town to get the word out would probably be worth it.

Is this the sort of advice you are looking for?

Peter "I've never even tried anything like this" Gross
Message: Posted by: magicofCurtis (May 2, 2006 12:46PM)
I would suggest the following:

Develop a small team:
a publicist, a sales rep, a manger, a producer, stage staff (lighting/sound etc.)

Have your manager and sales rep get sponsors and presell tickets. Register with Tickemaster or another outlet. Have posters hung prior to the event and have your publicist work on local media coverage.

Your manager will find performance places and even do demos in stores etc. for pay and promotions.

Tie in with a car dealership/ mortgage company, etc. Have them advertise your show with their regular advertisements.

Tie in with local promoters in each state/city. They will have lists of emails and people who enjoy these types of shows plus they will have a team of people hang posters for you. Inform all the local magic clubs too. They will promote and support you as well.

This is usually how the big boys do it.

Best wishes

P.S. Ask Steven Kline, I think he does a lot of this.
Message: Posted by: keithmagic (May 2, 2006 02:59PM)
Contrary to popular belief I don't think that it would take a ton of money. Here is a post I made back in January to a similar topic. I stand behind it. I have seen quite a few hypnotists do very well in the fair/festival market. In fact I would almost put money on the fact that they can comand a higher fee than your usual magic act.

It may be helpful to develop a tour of PAID gigs before basically four-walling it.

When I was touring the midwest all summer long doing fairs and festivals I was aproached several times about doing larger school and fundraiser type shows (rural areas always seem to be more open to this sort of thing) by some of the people who had attended the festival and had seen my show. They saw the show and saw that I was entertaining, and it also didn't take long to realize I wasn't from around there.

I never really took them up on it (and sort of regret it) because I had to go back west for school right after my summer tours, but I always thought that by creating a tour that is already paid for, like I laid out in my book, I think it may help someone like yourself plan and book a route, and get PAID to do it.

Treat it like a paid audition, and then by the time the summer is over after a season or two, you have another few months of work booked on that route. Seems to me like it would be a lot easier than trying to stage these things in towns you have never been to (and on your own nickel to boot...)

Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (May 3, 2006 06:45AM)
Threads that might be of help to you:

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=145643&forum=7&27]- Magic Café thread titled... I have a show and I want to TOUR the US how to?[/url] (Thread one, Grand Illusions section)

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=146216&forum=44&33]- Magic Café thread titled... I have a show and I want to TOUR the US how to?[/url] (Thread two, Tricky Business section)

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=153807&forum=7&31]- Magic Café thread titled... Prepping for the tour[/url]

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=54859&forum=44]- Magic Café thread titled... Some advice on Fund Raising magic books![/url]

Hope that these links help. There are more threads out there, too. I'm sure you can find them.

- Donald
Message: Posted by: Thoughtreader (May 3, 2006 02:05PM)
I mean this with all sincerity and I post this with hopes that the moderators can see that I am making this post to help and not with intentions of violating any rules becuase I do have THE two best books I have read in a long time on just that subject, which are [i]Booking and Tour Management for the Performing Arts[/i] and [i]Presenting Performances[/i], both of which convey much of what I learned in University while taking Theatre management (I was a Theatre Major). These two books really do cover it all and THAT is the only reason I even mention them.

They can be found on Amazon.com. So again I apologize if that sounds like an advertisement because that truly is NOT my intent. You asked about how to do it and these two books will show you step by step how to, including how to find sponsors.

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (May 3, 2006 03:27PM)

Come on, man, giving someone the place to find GOOD info is NOT an ad.

You're helping, in my view.
Message: Posted by: Bryan Gilles (May 5, 2006 12:19PM)
When I was younger (1986), my father took our family's illusion show on tour. We covered over 27 states in under 7 months. It was an evangelism-based production and we performed for an average of four churches a week! Luckily, a church in one state would know of a church in the next and we could book extra shows while on the road... I wonder if there could be a way of contacting a chamber of commerce in each major city within your desired "tour route" and get this same kind of booking set-up?

Good luck on your ventures (as a side note, it'd be cool to see someone like yourself re-do "Illusion Show Know How" in the modern times...)

Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (May 5, 2006 07:01PM)
Most chambers will have NO idea what to do to help you. They provide a list of their members. Maybe good, maybe bad, you never know. It is hit or miss.

A service national service club is one way to go.
Message: Posted by: HypnotizeAmerica (May 6, 2006 04:18PM)
Thanks for the advice guys. I am trying to find a way to live out my dream of working for myself and seeing the world and instead of taking it slowly I guess I wanted to make a huge leap. For the time being I am going to take it slowly and build up my local markets and with any luck in a year or two I'll make the jump to work for myself and when that happens I'll just take off time (perhaps an entire month a year) and travel and enjoy it.

I'll keep you posted.

Message: Posted by: Jim Snack (May 6, 2006 06:39PM)
Here's an idea I heard about many, many years ago... so long ago that I forgot the source... perhaps someone can refresh my memory:

You pick five tricks that can be done anywhere, under any conditions, for any size audience (ex. Linking Rings, Egg Bag, Torn & Restored Newspaper, Invisible Card Trick, Strait Jacket Escape). Then you approach your local newspaper and pitch the story of how you are going to travel across the country (or around the world) performing just five incredible magic tricks. You will perform for any organization that will make a donation towards your journey, that will start in just a few weeks from your hometown. You get a big feature story with your contact information, then book a few shows to get started.

Every time you visit a town, you bring your press clippings to the local newspaper for another story, building your press book and performing in every town you visit. Of course, you would pitch radio and TV interviews, also. As you travel, keep a journal and collect interesting stories of your travels. Your show then becomes a travelogue/magic show. After a year, you should have enough material to publish a book that you could sell at your shows. Oh yes, bring your video camera also.

I've always thought it was an interesting idea, not seen before, although the concept is not too different from David Blaine's first street magic special!

Message: Posted by: Bryan Gilles (May 11, 2006 02:46PM)

That reminds me of Forrest Gump for some reason... just running because he felt like running...

Anyway, it's not a bad idea... now I have to convince my wife to let me do it...