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Topic: Market Research
Message: Posted by: dark kard (Oct 4, 2007 02:09PM)
Dear, Magic Café

I'm a student at Johnson and Whales University and I am working on writing a business plan for my magic company for one of my classes. I need some information as to what the current entertainment market is like. I would like some of you guys to give me some information on your companies. (Such as price per show, number of show you do per year on average and if your a corperation or sole proprietorships. If you would rather I would gladly take a pm. Thanks Guys

Chris Pratt
Message: Posted by: Kevin Ridgeway (Oct 4, 2007 03:02PM)
Chris...At risk of missing out on any potential jokes I am hoping to be the first to respond.

I would wait until you finish English 101 before you write this business plan:

It's research no resurch
University not university
companies not company's
number of shows not number of show
corporation not cooperation

How in the world did you spell proprietorships correctly and not research? I'm not even sure I could spell proprietorship correctly.

On a serious note... you may find it hard to get a price per show from people here. You may be able to get the number of shows though.

Message: Posted by: brianmayo (Oct 4, 2007 04:25PM)
Dark Kard,

I do one show about every other year but I don't get paid. Hope this helps with your business plan.

Message: Posted by: Brian Lehr (Oct 4, 2007 06:34PM)
On 2007-10-04 17:25, brianmayo wrote:
Dark Kard,

I do one show about every other year but I don't get paid. Hope this helps with your business plan.


Gosh, that was helpful.

Dark Kard, in all fairness, what anyone on this forum tells you about the number of the shows they do each year, and how much they are paid, will not help you at all in developing your business plan as a magician (unless you're planning on performing internationally). If you're really looking to find out how good the market is in your performing area, and what the going rates are, etc., you need to be talking with the entertainers/performers in your area -- and not just the magicians. Talk to as many different performers as you can -- magicians, balloon artists, face painters, caricature artists, clowns, etc. That will give you a better idea of what the market is like in your area.

You also need to invest in some marketing and business-building courses, visit some forums that focus on marketing (such as this one and thedean.net), and learn as much as you can about the business side of things. Remember that in *Show Business*, the word *Business* is twice as long as the word *show* -- that means you need to spend twice as much time working on your business than you do on your show. Ok, ok, so it doesn't really mean that -- but it's probably still a good idea! :)

Good luck with your business plan.

Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Oct 4, 2007 10:00PM)
I came here to read what everybody else wrote, I see a lot of words, but no numbers with dollar signs.

I try to keep busy every weekend, I am very busy during both the holiday season, and in the summer time. I make enough to meet my needs, everything else is too personal for me to discuss.

Please don't look real hard at my spelling.
Message: Posted by: MattWayne (Oct 4, 2007 10:44PM)
I'm almost with Kevin on this one. Half and half. Confused, and yet amused at the same time...

I'm not going to give my prices here, flat out. I will however give you good insight on how I live as a performer.

First off- note that I'm a single guy and living in New York City on my own. I don't have any children, or a beloved wife. A girlfriend, yes- but she's low maintenance!! Full time performer. All my work is for corporate and adult audiences. If not those types of shows; then a college or classy private engagement. I'm a sole proprietorship- and file my taxes just like every other person. Gives you an idea of what I'm working with here.

After cost of living here in the city; I can honestly say that I'm content. Rent is ungodly high, for my two bedroom place-- but the stature of living; is much higher here. MEANING- show prices soar. I work in an area that is a mecca of corporations; so I market accordingly; and to give you a 'figure' of the number of bookings--- it all depends. My holiday season is almost filled up. 31 days out of December are almost totally filled. All are for corporate engagements within Manhattan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. There's no lack of work here. I will be very satisfied once all these shows are done, and will be able to relax and not have to 'worry' about getting any bookings for a while.

That's how I operate. I book solid, and then I relax.

How do I operate and market my business? Word of mouth is the best thing I have. Corporate clients are very tightly nit. Word gets around. That, and I work with agents. I rarely do direct bookings-- letting the agent sell my work. They normally can sell at a higher cost. Which- in a business; is a good thing!

As far a flat out number of shows: average for me: 200 yearly. I'm very ''lazy'' as I mentioned- I take breaks. Usually take time off two months at a time to just go and travel. I know there's others out there who do a lot more! So, you may want to talk to them about theirs. I'm just one of those laid back guys; who is happy with just making an above average living. As long as I can take the girlfriend skiing or to an island somewhere-- it's all good!

best regards,
Matt Tomasko
Message: Posted by: Christian & Katalina (Oct 5, 2007 01:36PM)
You made me laugh out loud with your post and I must agree, better he finishes English 101 before tackling a much more difficult task as writing a business plan. Hope things are going will for you.

Katalina and I have written two different full business plans. They are not easy and tend to be very specific. To simply say you are writing a business plan for a magic company expalins very little.

What kind of magic company. Are you selling product, services, or both?
Are you a magician that will perform or are you a store that sells magic supplies?

What kind of show do you perform? That will have a tremendous impact on your marketing, promotional materials, and target audience.

Kevin Ridgeway and I are both professional performers but we have very different types of shows. His is much larger and has a ton of spectacle, ours is smaller and more cabaret style. Pricing, contracts, venues, audiences, and markets are going to be much different. Sure we might intersect from time to time but generally speaking we operate in two different worlds.

You ask what the current entertainment market is like, what do you mean? Locally, regionally, nationally, or internationally. Close up. Stage, Birthday party, Comedy club, Resort, College, Corporate, what kind of magic, what kind of show?

I personally know of one Corporate entertainer that travels a great deal, is always on the road, and has no personal life. He pulls down about 125K. I also know of one birthday party magician that stays within a 100 mile radius works a few hours a day (maybe more on the weekends) has wife and kids and pulls about 55K. Too totally different business plans and lives.

And as Matt Tomasko pointed out, where you live or market will have a huge impact on your pricing. A performer in NYC will be able to charge more than a performer in Omaha, Nebraska. Of course, Matt’s cost of living is quite a bit higher as well. I once thought of moving to the Big Apple and once I saw the price of an apartment I needed CPR to get me back on my feet. I was used to Midwest prices of apartments. I told the guy I wanted to rent it not rebuild the complex

As most of the people in this thread pointed out, we are not going to give you our prices, number of shows, or venues that we perform in. There are a number of reasons for this. Legitimate market competition being only one small reason.

Christian & Katalina
Message: Posted by: Paddy (Oct 5, 2007 02:40PM)
I am much like Matt Tomasko except I live in Cincinnati OH where the cost of living is very different. i.e. I have a 2 bedroom apartment where I feed wild deer less than 25 feet from my deck. I pay $530 a month in rent. My lifestyle costs a lot less than the same in New York City.

I stay busy for 10 months of the year and then from Jan 15th to March 15th I am a lot slower (credit card bills from Christmas during that time.) I still so enough shows during the slow time to keep my lifestyle comfortable. All I am trying to point out to you is that even though Matt and I have comparitive lifestyles, our income is vastly different. Follow what others have said and check with your local entertainers to arrive at a workable business goal in your area.
Message: Posted by: MattWayne (Oct 5, 2007 04:10PM)
Ha ha, yeah rebuilding the complex... heck that's what should be done with the rent money here! It's not too terrible though.

Wow, I'm soo envious right now- $530 a month! My jaw just dropped. I'm literally doing calculations in my head! I'm originally from Pennyslvania-- and I somewhat regret moving to the city. Rent was, as yours is, around that 500 dollar mark! I had a car too! It was quiet and nice. Ah... oh well:0(

Basically Chris, when it comes down to it- I make a living. Plain and simple. I have my own place, am well fed, and I have a cute little dog that the girl takes for walks constantly around Central Park. After rent, food, travel- here in the city-- it's an average 'Joe' job. There are perks though. I get to travel a lot, work a heck of a lot less for the same ammount of income, have that title of being an, 'entertainer'-- big woop, and meet great people all the time. Either they be magicians at a conference, or just the lay person that hired me. I don't have to worry about money anymore. It's like doctors that are looking to find that practice, or that lawyer who is searching for that lawfirm to acknowledge is/her resumee! I've found my practice...

I think the best thing people can do; is perform a job they're happy with. Like the others that have posted- we're happy.

Anywho... best of luck with this paper,
Message: Posted by: brianmayo (Oct 5, 2007 10:27PM)
On 2007-10-04 19:34, Brian Lehr wrote:

Gosh, that was helpful.


Brian, next time just for you, I'll be sure to more clearly denote my sarcasm.

On a more serious note however, Christian points out the real flaw in what you are asking. The issue is you are asking what amounts to a framework of a question but you really have to clarify what you are actually asking about. There's a world difference between working at a small market mom and pop restaurant vs. a large touring show that primarily four walls. Nothing right or wrong about either, but you need to be specific what kind of magic 'business' you are running.
Message: Posted by: magicofCurtis (Oct 6, 2007 09:11AM)
Paddy wrote: "I pay $530 a month in rent. My lifestyle costs a lot less than the same in New York City."

TomaskoMagic wrote: My jaw just dropped. I'm literally doing calculations in my head!

Tomossko, my draw droped too as I am calculating my $6,200 a month mortgage payment in Los Angeles...
How life would be easier for us if we lived in middle of america hu?

Dark Yard, Brianmayo brings up a good point. Focus your question on one aspect of the market.... :)