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Topic: Upcoming Recession
Message: Posted by: Gerry Walkowski (Feb 7, 2008 04:42AM)
Just wondering if this is of concern to anyone here at The Magic Café?

I just wonder if the economy continues to sour, are people are going to pull back on things such as birthday parties? If states are having financial difficulties, could things such as library programs also be on the chopping block?

Any thoughts on this?

Gerry
Message: Posted by: tparrett62 (Feb 7, 2008 06:43AM)
Gerry-

I've been performing full-time since 1991. In that time, we've had a few recessions and economic downturns, but I've always managed to find work. One of the things I've found is that people will always find money for their kids- the birthday party business, while not totally immune to recession, is certainly a better market during a downturn than the corporate market. Depending on where you work, things may get tough, but in my experience, many parents will go into debt rather than scrimp on their kids' happiness. Your competitors will be in the same boat, too, so I'd consider investing now in some marketing materials- flyers, postage, possibly pre-paying for some ad space in parenting magazines, etc., while things are better, so you can do the marketing you need to do when things get tougher.
Message: Posted by: magicofCurtis (Feb 7, 2008 10:02AM)
The ones who rely on price to sell their show and generic advertising, it will be rough on.
During the slow times, I have found that many corporations will cut back on entertainment for their events, or cancel the entire event.

I find it amazing how many referrals and previous clients will phone during this time. Also, market yourself to newer companies that are doing well, the ones that have not built up all the millions of debt and all the cool buildings and all the fancy corporate stuff, but the ones like we made 30 million this YEAR. WOW...let's party.... Find these companies in trade magazines and websites.
Lower paying gigs like libraries, schools, and preschools will keep going for the most part. Tparrerr62 hit right on about building up your promo material.
Message: Posted by: sethb (Feb 7, 2008 10:19AM)
Interesting question! I, myself, experienced slower business during the 2007 Xmas season, which I attributed directly to the economic situation. I sell Svengali Decks and other pocket magic, which is an impulse item, and people did seem to be holding their money closer to their vests for such things. Of course, on the other hand, an $8 Svengali Deck is a lot cheaper than a video game (and potentially more fun, too!), so you never know which side of the coin you might be on.

As for libraries, at least here in New Jersey, municipal public libraries are required to have some sort of regular children's programming in order to qualify for financial subsidies from the state. So my guess is that this market will continue, although probably no library will be hiring Lance Burton in the near future. SETH
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 7, 2008 11:08AM)
Why listen to anyone telling you there is a recession?
Message: Posted by: magicofCurtis (Feb 7, 2008 11:29AM)
Why listen to Dannydoyle or the dancing banana? :banana:
Message: Posted by: Blair Marshall (Feb 7, 2008 11:44AM)
Good post, Curtis.

It may get slower, but I look at a time like this as a marketing opportunity to search out, contact, and develop new customers WHILE maintaining contact with the old.

Then when things pick-up, which they always do, watch out; you have a larger base to work for and draw from.

So if you have a little more down time in the next few months, look at your business and see what areas you have not been marketing to in the past. Then, go for it.

Blair Marshall
"ShaZzam!"
Message: Posted by: ScottRSullivan (Feb 7, 2008 11:44AM)
First, no flames. Just hear me out. I agree with Danny. I know Gerry didn't say we are in one, and his post actually says "upcoming." So, I wanted to clear up: We are not actually in a recession. I am tired of everyone (I'm not talking about Gerry and others here, this is directed mostly at the media) talking about "Are we in a recession?" First, a brief clearing up of the facts:

A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of decline in the GDP. And according to the [url=http://www.bea.gov]BAE[/url] we had growth last quarter:

[quote]Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property
located in the United States -- increased at an annual rate of 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2007,
according to advance estimates released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.[/quote]

So we haven't even seen a single quarter of decline in GDP, let alone two. Now, I will admit that the RATE of GROWTH has slowed. But that is not the same as the economy heading south. It is just that we are not growing as fast as before, but the key fact is that the economy is still growing.

But regardless, there will be people who are having a tough time. I do not want to diminish their situation.

So sitting around complaining about how bad things are going to get is pointless. The question is, how do you position yourself to increase business in the next several quarters?

I agree with Curtis, we should be marketing and refining to whom we market.

Personally, the first thing I would do is to CUT the client list. That's right, GET RID of some of your clients. We all know that for many, the bottom 20% of clients will be the ones that take up 80% of your time, when we should be spending 80% of our time on the top 20%.

So trim your list and focus on growing that top 20%. Normally, they are not the ones that will hire based on price.

Next, ramp UP your promo material. Update your website, put out a podcast for your clients. Do something that really separates you from your competition. Make them WANT YOU.

But don't cut costs, add value.

So let's look forward and climb the ladder, not get stuck in the mud.
Scott
Message: Posted by: Review King (Feb 7, 2008 03:19PM)
Magicians, entertainers, made BIG money during the great depression.
Message: Posted by: ScottRSullivan (Feb 7, 2008 03:35PM)
Great point. Same reason with movies that comedies do better during bad times and dramas do better in better times. People use entertainment to escape.
Message: Posted by: RobertBloor (Feb 7, 2008 04:48PM)
Thank you, Scott, for clearing up what Rupert Murdoch and his lovelies have muddied up for us.

Sure, home prices are tanking and foreclosures are up. That's not because of the economy. It's because greedy lenders gave mortgages for many years to anyone who had a pulse and a part-time job at WalMart. And now, it's coming back to bite them in the rear.

As for performing - I'm getting more calls for gigs now than in the past 2 years.

Robert
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 7, 2008 05:17PM)
Robert, before we blame lenders, let's just explain 2 things.

One, EVERYTHING they need to know is on the paper. If they can read, they can figure out what is going on.

Second, it was the CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA who required lenders to loosen up their standards and start lending to more people. Now, those very people stand by and act as if they had no hand in the problem.

Who thinks banks make more money on foreclosures than they do on loans? If home prices are going down, they will end up selling the things for a loss, if they sell at all. It is an silly notion that banks make money by foreclosing on houses, especially in large numbers.

I wish more research would be done by people, especially the media, before things are said. It would probably result in a educated public, and no recession.

As for recession, it is a natural part of an economy. It HAS to happen. It expands and contracts, it is life. We are going to hit a minor short-term correction. Big deal!
Message: Posted by: RobertBloor (Feb 7, 2008 07:57PM)
Yes to recession being natural. You can't go up without having been down.

As for Congress' impact. They also played a role. Heck, they're Congress, and if something is hitting the fan, they are ALWAYS involved.

The **** can't even hit the fan in pro sports without them getting involved anymore.

So, blame greedy lenders and blame Congress. You'll get no objection here!

Robert
Message: Posted by: Steven Steele (Feb 7, 2008 08:04PM)
I live in an area with a very high mortgage failure, and the local school district is looking to lay off over 200 teachers; so birthday parties have all but dried up. I used to get about 10 calls a month for a birthday. By December, that number had dropped to about 2 and I've yet to get a call this year. It'll rebound just like the last two times; luckily I don't do birthday parties, so I haven't been hit relative to the local market.
Message: Posted by: magicofCurtis (Feb 7, 2008 11:05PM)
Actually, I am very busy for this time of the year, averaging about three shows a week. But many have been short notice, i.e. book within the same week or two.
Message: Posted by: magicofCurtis (Feb 7, 2008 11:14PM)
[quote]
On 2008-02-07 17:48, RobertBloor wrote:
That's not because of the economy. It's because greedy lenders gave mortgages for many years to anyone who had a pulse and a part-time job at WalMart. And now, it's coming back to bite them in the rear.

As for performing - I'm getting more calls for gigs now than in the past 2 years.

Robert
[/quote]

Robert,

Although many lenders loosened their belt on some loans, when I bought my house over a year ago, I had to show that I had at least $48,000 in the bank after I made the full 10% down payment. So, I am thinking that it is the adjustable mortgages that are making things a bit crazy.
Message: Posted by: Destiny (Feb 8, 2008 04:47AM)
Entertainment, gambling, and booze all sell well in depression times, so I'm thinking of adding the Shell Game and Think-A-Drink into the show.

Here in Australia, our economy is booming - we're shipping the country to China and India as fast as we can dig it up, so Mr. Murdoch's publications continually fret about the dangers of such a strong economy.

Bad news sells, so good news must be portrayed as otherwise.

Destiny
Message: Posted by: RobertBloor (Feb 8, 2008 06:02AM)
Curtis,

You're absolutely correct on the ARM loans killing buyers. The buyers were stupid and the lenders, in some cases, predatory.

What you have happen is a buyer can't afford a $200,000 home at, say, 5.8%. But he CAN afford $200,000 at 2.3%. Well, of course, what happens when the 2.3% resets after a year or two? Simple - the buyer now has a $200,000 note at 5.8%. The same one he couldn't afford in the first place. (Less whatever had been paid prior to the adjustment.)

Ergo - defaults are huge.

There's a silver lining to this. First time home buyers are now coming into a fantastic position to buy a new home for tens of thousands less than it would've cost even 6 months ago.

Robert
Message: Posted by: Marshall Thornside (Feb 8, 2008 08:20AM)
I think we are in a recession (for a while now) and are going into a depression.
No one wants to really say so.

I don't know what kind of effect there will be on the entertainment industry, since I can't remember what it was like in the early '80s, as I was just in grade school.
Message: Posted by: Dan Paulus (Feb 8, 2008 11:48AM)
I decided not to participate in the recession.
Message: Posted by: EsnRedshirt (Feb 8, 2008 12:52PM)
The US economy [i]is[/i] going south; it's due to more factors than the housing bubble.

[b]First-[/b] The housing bubble is certainly part of it, but the finances are more complex than a cursory glance would indicate. Sub-prime loans (loans to high risk investors, such as those people needing to use an ARM to afford a house) are parcelled out and wrapped up in various funds- the idea being that while, individually, such a loan is risky, when looked at in bulk, they will not all collapse simultaneously. This led to those funds being sold as a safer investment than they really were, so when the sub-prime collapsed, funds in which banks had invested a great deal were suddenly next to worthless. Now, banks can't trade those funds for enough money to pay back investors. It's a lot more complex than that, but in a nutshell, that's the sub-prime/housing problem.

[b]Second- [/b] Oil has passed $100/barrel, which increases the price of gasoline. Apart from costing much more to fill up your car's gas tank, this affects every single method of transport of goods- from mail to raw materials to food. Combine this with the rising cost of feed corn (since some of it's being diverted to ethanol production) and you start seeing the price of all consumables rise- corn, milk, beef, pork- it has a ripple effect through the economy.

[b]Third- [/b] The cost of raw materials is increasing beyond the rate of rising transport costs, because China and other countries need metals as they develop and expand their industries. This, combined with the transport cost, results in a greatly increased cost for steel, aluminum, and other goods, along with materials made with them.

[b]Fourth- [/b] Due to rising costs, people are spending less to cut expenses and try and reduce their personal debt, which translates to lower durable goods consumption with the following effects- the price of durable goods will either drop as sellers try to clear out their stock, or rise for less common items to make up for lack of sales and increased materials costs. For magicians, this basically means that our props will get more expensive.

[b]Fifth- [/b] As durable goods sales decrease, the need to produce and deliver them also decreases. This translates to corporate downsizing to cut costs and an increase in unemployment.

However, as mentioned above, the entertainment sector frequently does well in recessions because people like to forget how tough things are for them.

In summary- expect hard times for magic sellers and a substantial rise in the price of your props, but in general, an increase of business in specific markets. (Less corporate shows, but more local shows and birthday parties.)
Message: Posted by: RobertBloor (Feb 8, 2008 01:13PM)
[quote]
On 2008-02-08 09:20, Marshall Thornside wrote:
I think we are in a recession (for a while now) and are going into a depression.
No one wants to really say so.

I don't know what kind of effect there will be on the entertainment industry, since I can't remember what it was like in the early '80s, as I was just in grade school.
[/quote]

To echo what Danny said earlier - no, we're not. At least, not by definition.

And consider this (though the DOW is just one small part of the economy)...

On October 09, 2002, the DOW fell 215.22 to close at 7,286.27.
Today it's running around 12,400.00, give or take. That's still in the neighborhood of 75%+/- what it was in October '02.

We may be headed for a recession, but it is certainly not here yet. And when we do, it shouldn't be welcomed with pessimism, but optimism. The US economy is cyclical. We can not make our next great climb without a slight tumble first.

Robert
Message: Posted by: Big Daddy Cool (Feb 8, 2008 01:54PM)
What recession?

I can't speak to any other market, but in the theater market, audiences increase during down turns in the economy...
Message: Posted by: Brent Allan (Feb 8, 2008 02:45PM)
I didn't see anyone mention this, but one reason we MIGHT be heading into a recession is because the media SAYS we are heading into a recession. If you look at trends in the economy, fads, etc., they are largely influenced by the media.

The key is to have multiple streams of income (some of them passive streams) so that you don't have all of your eggs in one basket.
Message: Posted by: RobertBloor (Feb 8, 2008 02:52PM)
[quote]Brent Allen: I didn't see anyone mention this, but one reason we MIGHT be heading into a recession is because the media SAYS we are heading into a recession. If you look at trends in the economy, fads, etc., they are largely influenced by the media.[/quote]

Excellent point.

Iraq also wasn't a major issue until the media started babbling about it nonstop.

Mike Huckabee had NO money and NO chance to win until the media spent about 3 weeks before Iowa raving about him. (Imagine what positive press for a little guy like Ron Paul would do.)

And now it's "recession, recession, recession" - yes. You make a good point, Brent.

And to think, Americans think "we the people" elect a president. Ha! Not if Rupert has anything to do with it.

Robert
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 8, 2008 02:58PM)
If Rupert had anything to say, would we have the Republican nominee we have now? Doubt it.

Let's be honest, when the first term of George Bush came to an end, the economy was surging back. So much so that President Clinton took credit for it about 4 months after taking office, when in reality NOT ONE of his policies had time to be put into play, let alone take affect. The media wanted Clinton, and never reported the good news. Life goes on.

Make no mistake, the media and slick marketers have elected every president, for better or worse, since Truman. No matter WHICH PARTY they have been from.
Message: Posted by: RobertBloor (Feb 9, 2008 08:15AM)
[quote]dannydoyle: If Rupert had anything to say, would we have the Republican nominee we have now? Doubt it.[/quote]

You might be surprised who he's donated money to.

Robert
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 9, 2008 10:29AM)
You mean, we have a media guy who donates money to LOTS of people to kind of cover his bets? Say it isn't so!
Message: Posted by: Marshall Thornside (Feb 9, 2008 01:27PM)
The way the interest rates have dropped in the past two weeks tells me we are in a recession.

Definition or not.

It's really sickening when my checking & savings have lost 1/4 of its worth.
And even more depressing when my IRA has gone down 50% its worth.

I'm not making any money with my money in the bank right now.
Message: Posted by: RobertBloor (Feb 9, 2008 01:34PM)
[quote]Marshall: The way the interest rates have dropped in the past two weeks tells me we are in a recession.[/quote]

The Fed cutting interest rates isn't to stimulate the economy, it's to introduce more liquidity into the economy and further increase our national debt.

Just remember, "The Fed" is, never has been, and never will be part of the US Government. They are not our friends.

Robert
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Feb 9, 2008 01:55PM)
In the old days, the good Entertainers even made it through the "Great Depression"...and that was with the collapse of Vaudeville during the same era.

Magic thrived during rough spots in the '50s, '60s, and '70s too.

Obama, Clinton, McCain, Huckabee?
Should make little difference in our gig's bottom line.

If your work is original and you market to your focus client base, you'll be just dandy!

I am cautious, but certainly not worried.
Magically,
Walt
Message: Posted by: magicofCurtis (Feb 9, 2008 01:58PM)
[quote]
On 2008-02-09 14:27, Marshall Thornside wrote:
The way the interest rates have dropped in the past two weeks tells me we are in a recession.

Definition or not.

It's really sickening when my checking & savings have lost 1/4 of its worth.
And even more depressing when my IRA has gone down 50% its worth.

I'm not making any money with my money in the bank right now.
[/quote]

Sweetie, if your checking account or CDs dropped, you are banking at the wrong banks.
CDs (most) are locked in checking accounts and savings accounts with the right bank pays as much as a basic CD... WAMU (Washington Mutual) is paying 4.5 on a basic savings and checking... Pretty good for not being locked in like a CD...... But, this is the time to buy STOCK in the fallen angels..... $20 to 50 G's in the right company right now will most likely triple in a year or less... :) This is the time when millions are made in the right investments, since things are CHEAP!
Message: Posted by: jay leslie (Feb 9, 2008 03:31PM)
I've made it through three bad periods in history, so I understand the economics. The holidays were very slow. Two calls yesterday were from former customers who knew the price I charged them 3 and 5 years ago. Even though I told them I had raised my prices over the last few years by 30 percent, I would still give them a deal at the same price I charged them in the past. One was silent, so I added a special feature and they were as cold as ice. I added another value, but no luck. Both hung up on me, stating they had to make some other calls. They were polite, but not willing to bargain. They didn't want any details, just price.

For the next quarter, I'm going to spend time building props and not chasing rainbows.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 9, 2008 04:21PM)
Well, selling based only on price seems a tough way to go in a recession, real or imagined. LOL
Message: Posted by: RobertBloor (Feb 10, 2008 09:42AM)
[quote]spellbinder: Obama, Clinton, McCain, Huckabee?
Should make little difference in our gig's bottom line. [/quote]

Don't forget Ron Paul, also. He's still running for President.

Robert
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Feb 10, 2008 10:35AM)
Hey, how could a guy with two first names get elected ("Ron" - "Paul")???

Magically,

Walt
"Walt" - "Anthony" <grin>
Message: Posted by: RobertBloor (Feb 10, 2008 11:14AM)
[quote]
On 2008-02-10 11:35, SpellbinderEntertainment wrote:
Hey, how could a guy with two first names get elected ("Ron" - "Paul")???

Magically,

Walt
"Walt" - "Anthony" <grin>
[/quote]

How cute. :P

Chester Arthur
Ulysses Grant
Abraham Lincoln
Thomas Jefferson
James Madison
John Tyler
Zachary Taylor
Grover Cleveland
Bill Clinton

To name a few. :) haha

Robert
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 10, 2008 12:21PM)
Beat me to it.

George Washington is notably absent from your list, though.
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Feb 10, 2008 12:47PM)
Entertainment is ALWAYS at the the top of a population's list when times get tough. It's how the flickers made it through and, yes, magicians as Paul points out. A feller and his goil can only take so much being depressed...

This is why if times get tough (I'm not at all convinced they will) Entertainment that is up lifting and positive (like the MGM Musicals) will thrive. The Torture flicks will be buried where they belong.

In our case, Bizarrists may have to lose the black robes and get a straw hat and bamboo cane. :)
Message: Posted by: Cody Comet (Feb 10, 2008 03:51PM)
I don't think us magicians will suffer much at all during this period of time. Look at how many parents spend thousands and thousands of dollars to take their kids to Disney World, good times and bad.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 10, 2008 04:56PM)
Personally, and this is just me, I have never let anyone else tell me if I was happy, or sad, or going to make money or not.
Message: Posted by: ScottRSullivan (Feb 10, 2008 05:07PM)
[quote]
On 2008-02-10 17:56, Dannydoyle wrote:
Personally, and this is just me, I have never let anyone else tell me if I was happy, or sad, or going to make money or not.
[/quote]

I do. I've got Miss Cleo.

*grin*
Message: Posted by: Sealegs (Feb 10, 2008 05:42PM)
I don't wish hard times, devalued savings, or a recession on anyone, least of all because it'll also affect me! ...but maybe it would do some of you American guys good to try a year or 2 over here in the UK.

Pretty much anything you can get over here from a hot dog to a house will cost you twice as much as you guys pay. Last time I was in New York, a hot dog cost me $1.50; over here, you'd be doing well if you only paid £2.00 ($4.00) for one.

Gas is $8-9 a gallon.

And not only will a meal in an equivalent restaurant in the States cost half as much as you'd pay over here in the UK, you'd have twice as much served up to you on your plate.

EEEE, they don't know they're born.....

Neal :)
Message: Posted by: Marshall Thornside (Feb 11, 2008 08:22AM)
[quote]
On 2008-02-09 14:58, magicofCurtis wrote:
Sweetie, if your checking account or CDs dropped, you are banking at the wrong banks.
CDs (most) are locked in checking accounts and savings accounts with the right bank pays as much as a basic CD... WAMU (Washington Mutual) is paying 4.5 on a basic savings and checking... Pretty good for not being locked in like a CD...... But, this is the time to buy STOCK in the fallen angels..... $20 to 50 G's in the right company right now will most likely triple in a year or less... :) This is the time when millions are made in the right investments, since things are CHEAP!
[/quote]

IRA rates are the worst.
You might be able to get by on a CD, but I won't believe that WaMu is paying more than the 2nd largest bank in the country.
Message: Posted by: EsnRedshirt (Feb 11, 2008 09:36AM)
[quote]
On 2008-02-10 18:42, neal austin wrote:
I don't wish hard times, devalued savings, or a recession on anyone, least of all because it'll also affect me! ...but maybe it would do some of you American guys good to try a year or 2 over here in the UK.

Pretty much anything you can get over here from a hot dog to a house will cost you twice as much as you guys pay. Last time I was in New York, a hot dog cost me $1.50; over here, you'd be doing well if you only paid £2.00 ($4.00) for one.

Gas is $8-9 a gallon.

And not only will a meal in an equivalent restaurant in the States cost half as much as you'd pay over here in the UK, you'd have twice as much served up to you on your plate.

EEEE, they don't know they're born.....

Neal :)
[/quote]
My wife and I went to London and Ireland on our recent honeymoon, and you are right about the prices. I'm glad we stayed mostly at Bed and Breakfasts where at least one meal was included.

However, don't be too jealous about us folks from across the pond getting twice the food on our plates that you get. Have you seen the average American waistline? (What you see on TV doesn't count- news anchors and celebrities aren't "average" people.)

I think a bit of America's weight problem has to do with our recessions. Actually, I grew up during the '80s downturn, and my parents were born near the end of the Great Depression. A lot of Americans were raised with the dinner-table philosophy, "Eat everything on your plate." Put a few generations of that school of thought into an era of cheap, subsidized junk food, add in non-existent public transportation and cheap cars and gas (it really is true- nobody walks in L.A.) and you get...epidemic obesity. My wife and I had huge breakfasts and full meals every day on our honeymoon, but didn't gain any weight- probably because we walked everywhere we went.
Message: Posted by: magicofCurtis (Feb 11, 2008 10:01AM)
[quote]
IRA rates are the worst.
You might be able to get by on a CD, but I won't believe that WaMu is paying more than the 2nd largest bank in the country.
[/quote]

WaMu is paying 4.5 on checking and savings if you open online... What is the other bank paying?
Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Feb 11, 2008 11:15AM)
[quote]
On 2008-02-10 13:47, Doug Higley wrote:
Entertainment is ALWAYS at the the top of a population's list when times get tough. It's how the flickers made it through and, yes, magicians as Paul points out. A feller and his goil can only take so much being depressed...

This is why if times get tough (I'm not at all convinced they will) Entertainment that is up lifting and positive (like the MGM Musicals) will thrive. The Torture flicks will be buried where they belong.

In our case, Bizarrists may have to lose the black robes and get a straw hat and bamboo cane. :)
[/quote]
I beg to differ...
During hard times, horror movies flourish right along side the feelgood movies.
Notable films during the Great Depression, all made between 1930 and 1939:
Dracula
Phantom of the Opera
Frankenstein
Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freaks
The Mummy

Similar spikes in scary movies can be seen right after WWII, along with all of the "Abbott and Costello meet..." films.
People go to extremes in stressful times, both extremes. Some people want complete escape from reality with happy endings, blissful romance, and people singing (nothing wrong with that), and others want to be able to say, "Hey...My life is bad, but at least I am not being chased by an endless hoard of the undead!"
So I am pretty sure that the scary stuff will do ok, too.

And as for the bizarrists...I think that you will find that the number of psychics and seances rise during depressions and crisis times, as well.

They'll do fine.

But just in case...I still have a straw skimmer hat and a bamboo cane in my closet.

And I know how to use them.
Gwyd, Barely in the closet vaudevillian
Message: Posted by: Marshall Thornside (Feb 11, 2008 11:21PM)
[quote]
On 2008-02-11 11:01, magicofCurtis wrote:
[quote]
IRA rates are the worst.
You might be able to get by on a CD, but I won't believe that WaMu is paying more than the 2nd largest bank in the country.
[/quote]

WaMu is paying 4.5 on checking and savings if you open online... What is the other bank paying?
[/quote]

WaMu is only paying 2% on their I.R.A.s.
Message: Posted by: socalmagic (Feb 12, 2008 01:42AM)
This is more entertaining than my show! Magicians talking politics and the economy. Economics is very complex, and most economists have no idea what they are talking about. A recession is technically defined as two quarters of declining growth. I think what is worrying people is that gas and groceries are more expensive, while our homes are rapidly losing value.

As Robert Bloor indicated, the Federal Reserve is to blame by pumping billions of dollars into the US economy. It is a temporary band-aid, and only causes inflation and the American dollar to plummet. 4.5% is a lousy return when the dollar has lost 35% over the last 2 years. That's right, the money sitting in the bank had to make over 15% a year just to keep up with its devaluation.

By the way, recessions are not a natural occurrence, but are caused by a fiat money system (or fake money, aka paper dollars). Recessions don't exist with a gold backed currency. The Federal Reserve admits that their policies caused the great depression.

I don't care whether we are in a recession. I've been a full-time pro performing high end shows for 15 years, and my ticket sales increased during recessions. I'm more concerned about the collapse of the dollar, stripping Americans of our rights in the name of national security (the Patriot Act) while our borders are wide open, and the upcoming economic upheaval that will make the great depression look like utopia.

But at least we're not in a recession!
Message: Posted by: Steve Hart (Feb 12, 2008 08:45AM)
I predict we are seeing the beginning of a social and economic shift.

The question we need to be asking ourselves is.....what do people value, where will they spend their money, and what is their perception of magical entertainment?

In recent years, we have taken magic out of the theaters and out on to the streets. Has the world seen this trend as primitive or progressive? What kind of image do we want to give the world?

I predict that the world will be looking for the magician who is the expert, the innovator, the story teller, and the sage. They are looking for the modern day wizards. They still want to be entertained, but they want more.

The magician who knows how to use his magic in sales, education, promoting health, personal awareness, and business is the magician of the future. That is where the money is.

Are you ready to adapt with the change to come?

Steve Hart
the "Motivational Magician"
Message: Posted by: magicofCurtis (Feb 12, 2008 10:35AM)
Marshall:

Check out their checking accounts, they are paying 4.17..... I am not speaking about their IRAs.
http://www.wamu.com/personal/savings_account/online_savings_account/default.asp
Message: Posted by: Steve_Mollett (Feb 12, 2008 10:43AM)
[quote]In our case, Bizarrists may have to lose the black robes and get a straw hat and bamboo cane.[/quote]

I dunno, Doug. Karloff, Lugosi, Peter Lorre, and England's Tod Slaughter came to the fore during the Depression Cinema.

Artificial menaces like Dracula, Ming the Merciless, and Sweeney Todd helped people forget the REAL horror in their immediate lives.
Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Feb 12, 2008 10:52AM)
Didn't I say that just a few posts ago?
Hrm...
Gwyd
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 12, 2008 11:03AM)
Yeah, I had a feeling of reliving a moment there for a second. Thought I was in the mentalist section for a second.
Message: Posted by: Doc Dixon (Feb 12, 2008 12:12PM)
[quote]
On 2008-02-07 12:08, Dannydoyle wrote:
Why listen to anyone telling you there is a recession?
[/quote]

That, along with a few other posts on this thread, sums it up for me. Regardless of what happens in the big picture economically, I've still got a wife and kids that eat every day. Whether there's a recession, inflation, depression, intercession, intermission, or goin' fishin' -- the question is not, "What's going on in the economy?" The question is, "What am I going to DO?" And most of the time, it's what I should be doing regardless of the economy.

Illustration: After 9/11, several predominantly corporate entertainers started showing up in non-corporate venues like magic lectures and public shows. They made their money, and when things got better in their marketplace, they were back in it. They didn't whine or gripe. They just made money. They went into markets that were already a small percentage of their work and made them a bigger percentage.

Recession or no recession, markets and clients can come and go. I've got a magician buddy who makes a significant chunk of his income from one client. That client could, like any other client, disappear through no fault of my friend's. What would he do? Gripe? Worry? Complain? That won't put any money in his pocket. He will focus on his secondary markets, beef them up, and create new clients and markets.

That being said, I can easily see there are some situations where the larger economy could immediately effect a magician. If someone is a birthday party magician in a one industry or one company town and his town get hits with big layoffs, then, sure, it's going to hurt his bottom line. But the question then becomes what should he DO? And the answer will probably be things he should have done before the local economic slump: investigate and expand into other markets and clients to make himself less vulnerable in the future.

I know we are all free to discuss what we want, and I certainly wouldn't want to stop anyone from chatting about whatever they wish. But as entrepreneurs, we must be action-focused, goal-oriented (kick in the Zig Ziglar speech) people, and dwelling on recessions, the economy, etc., it doesn't seem to be all that profitable. Interesting and worthy of chat? Sure. Profitable? Don't think so.

Respectfully,

DD

PS: Related to earlier posts, if it took the Great Depression to bring us the great Universal monster movies of the 1930s, it was worth it.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 12, 2008 12:16PM)
Doc, you make the point I was too lazy to write. LOL
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Feb 12, 2008 01:18PM)
Great post, Doc. Lots of wisdom.

- Donald
Message: Posted by: KenW (Feb 12, 2008 11:14PM)
Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass....
It is about learning how to dance in the rain.
Message: Posted by: Doc Dixon (Feb 13, 2008 08:19AM)
[quote]
On 2008-02-13 00:14, KenW wrote:
Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass....
It is about learning how to dance in the rain.
[/quote]

How dare you take the meaning of my long, blowhard post and express it in a more intelligent, literate, and even more poetic way??!! lol

Seriously, that was very well put. I guess brevity really is the soul of wit.

Respectfully,

DD
Message: Posted by: Big Daddy Cool (Feb 13, 2008 02:38PM)
[quote]
On 2008-02-12 11:52, gsidhe wrote:
Didn't I say that just a few posts ago?
Hrm...
Gwyd
[/quote]
Gwyd,
You, me & Doug seem to on the same page here - Why is it that the really profound, useful information is just ignored?
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 13, 2008 02:46PM)
I was the first on the bandwagon of not letting it affect you. Please don't leave me out! LOL!
Message: Posted by: jcmagicman (Feb 16, 2008 01:47AM)
Clear your heads people. Start thinking PROGRESSION instead of RECESSION.

If you're phones aren't ringing as frequently, 1) get an agent, 2) start advertising and 3) pick up the phone and start making cold calls. Do one or all of the above, but do something other than whine and complain.

Grab a phone book and make 250-300 phone calls a day with a simple intro... "Hi, my name is (insert your name) and I am a magician. I am working on my 2008 show calendar schedule and was wondering if you would be needing some entertainment this year?" Regardless of the outcome, always leave them with your contact information, i.e. phone, website URL.

It's a numbers game, folks, but it works. Do the math. You make 250 calls a day x 5 days x 4 weeks = 5,000 calls. If you sell 1% of these calls, you should easily book 30-50 shows.

Oh yeah, and one more thing, make sure to end every call, and I repeat every single call, with this next question. "Do you know of anyone else who could benefit from my magic entertainment services?" Thank them for their time and attention, and move on to the next call.

So, if you are reading this post, starting tomorrow morning at 9AM. Do this for a month, and then email me on March 16, 2008 to let me know how many solid bookings you received. Now, I usually don't accept tips, but I will gladly accept yours on your way out.

REMEMBER: If you expect to be in business, act like a businessman. Be proactive and get your prize, don't wait for it to come to you.

J.C.
Message: Posted by: KidMagic (Feb 16, 2008 10:49AM)
I don't think that that will be happening any time soon. Libraries have been around for a long time, and it will continue to stay that way...I hope. :)


Zach
Message: Posted by: magicofCurtis (Feb 16, 2008 10:54AM)
JC,

Do you really make 250 cold calls a day? There are more effective ways of promoting oneself. First, one would think that targeting your clients that usually need entertainment... i.e. country clubs, Festivals, Fairs, Corporate HR departments, and city events ... Although, some of these might not fit your clientele, but they are vague examples.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 16, 2008 12:07PM)
The very idea that random cold calls is a great method to sell entertainment services makes you a slave to the phone for the rest of your life.

I don't think this really targets a market, and certainly does not leave you as a lasting impression other than the guy who called them up.

I think there are far more effective ways of utilising ones time. There is a place for cold calls, but a better idea of who you are calling other than just out of the phone book is necessary.


These examples are always fun. You forgot the last rah-rah part, though. If you simply charge $200 per show X 50 shows a month, that is 10 grand a month. Take out expenses, and you are about 80 grand a year for just 4 hours of phone calls a day. And this is at only $200 per show!

Well, sorry, life does not quite work that way. There is a lot more to marketing.
Message: Posted by: magicofCurtis (Feb 16, 2008 12:38PM)
Danny,
But many magicians usually charge more than $200 a show (I hope so), and I agree there are ways to make a cold call a bit warmer, so to speak.
Message: Posted by: Chad C. (Feb 16, 2008 02:18PM)
I think the point there was to quit complaining about the economy and go and do SOMETHING!
Message: Posted by: TheGiz (Feb 16, 2008 02:58PM)
I still see Starbucks BUSY selling $3.50 lattes. Hard to believe things are that tight. In 1970, I talked to Joe Girard, the world's greatest car salesman, about the recession. I asked him then if he could have been as successful starting in the '70s. He replied, "I'd be more successful. Look at Cuba, Poland, etc. That is a depressed area. Not here. It's just an excuse for the lazy not to work hard..." It's easier to blame the republicans, Bush, the economy, or whatever than it is to knuckle down and work. Victim mentality always needs someone to blame for THEIR problems. "Success is just a matter of luck...ask any loser."

"Thus sayeth TheGiz"
Message: Posted by: Gerry Walkowski (Feb 23, 2008 01:51PM)
Giz:

If you read the Wall Street Journal, you'd discover that Starbucks IS having a difficult time because competitors are popping up and selling coffee at a lower price. So, they're not immune to this whatsoever. Even Tiffany's is having a hard way to go.

Just last week, 2 big catalog companies, Sharper Image and Lillian Vernon, filed for bankruptcy because customers are in fact feeling the financial pinch and are cutting back.

This whole sub-prime thing still hasn't spiked yet. During the next 2-3 years, more of these homes will kick in with balloon payments and, personally, I don't believe our government can get their hands around this 800 pound gorilla.

One credit card company is raising its fees to 24%...and they don't even care if you've never missed a payment. With credit tightening, values of homes decreasing, foreclosures, and energy costing hitting the roof (there's talk of gasoline rising to nearly $4.00 a gallon this Spring), something's got to give.

This is why I feel we're all in for a very rough ride.

Gerry
Message: Posted by: Chad C. (Feb 23, 2008 02:25PM)
You are in for a rough ride if you have credit card debt, bought a house that you cannot afford, and live a life that is above your wage - then, yes, you are in for a rough ride. On the other hand, if one saves their money, only buys what they can afford, has no debt, and doesn't use credit cards and lives in a house that they can afford, then things aren't looking quite so bad.
Message: Posted by: Steve_Mollett (Feb 23, 2008 05:11PM)
...and never get laid off.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 24, 2008 10:24AM)
People buying houses they can't afford, getting foreclosed on, simply means others can afford them.

It only gets bad when people keep letting themselves be told it is bad.
Message: Posted by: Claymation (Mar 7, 2008 09:05AM)
U.S. Unexpectedly Lost 63,000 Jobs in February (Update3)

By Shobhana Chandra

March 7 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. unexpectedly lost jobs in February for the second consecutive month, adding to evidence the economy is in a recession.

Payrolls fell by 63,000, the most in five years, after a revised decline of 22,000 in January, the Labor Department said today in Washington. The jobless rate declined to 4.8 percent, reflecting a shrinking labor force as some people gave up looking for work.

``All the lights are flashing red,'' said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at Global Insight Inc. in Lexington, Massachusetts, in an interview with Bloomberg Television. ``We're in a recession. I don't think there is any doubt about it at this point.''

Treasury notes soared after the report on concern that the weakening labor market, combined with lower home prices, higher fuel bills and a global credit squeeze will force consumers to further reduce spending. Minutes before the figures were released, the Fed said it will expand two short-term auctions this month to $100 billion to address ``heightened liquidity pressures'' in markets.

Traders now anticipate Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and his team will cut their benchmark interest rate by at least three quarters of a percentage point at or before their March 18 meeting.

Worse Than Anticipated

Economists had projected payrolls would rise by 23,000 following a previously reported 17,000 drop in January, according to the median of 76 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey.

The jobless rate was forecast to rise to 5 percent from January's 4.9 percent, with projections ranging from 4.8 percent to 5.2 percent.

Revisions reduced by half the 82,000 increase in payrolls previously reported for December.

Service industries, which include banks, insurance companies, restaurants and retailers, added 26,000 workers last month. Retail payrolls fell by 34,100, the biggest drop in more than five years.

Payrolls at builders fell 39,000, the eighth consecutive month of cutbacks.

Homebuilders are trimming staff as the biggest housing slump in a quarter century deepens. To make matters worse, commercial construction projects are now also on the decline, indicating firings at non-residential builders are likely to increase.

Housing Meltdown

The real estate recession and meltdown in financial markets have led to growing dismissals at banks, mortgage and management companies.

``There's significant weakness in the job market because of construction declines,'' said David Berson, chief economist at Walnut Creek, California-based PMI Group Inc., the second- largest U.S. mortgage insurer. ``For the next six months or so, we may get small negative numbers on payrolls.''

Manufacturing payrolls dropped by 52,000, the biggest decline since July 2003, after falling 31,000 a month earlier. Economists had forecast a drop of 25,000.

Government payrolls increased by 38,000. That means the total decline in private payrolls for the month was 101,000, the biggest drop since March 2003.

Working Week

The average work week was unchanged at 33.7 hours. The average factory work week and overtime hours were unchanged. Average weekly earnings rose $1.68 to $599.86.

Workers' average hourly wages rose 5 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $17.80, in line with forecasts. Hourly earnings were up 3.7 percent from February 2007. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had forecast a 3.6 percent gain for the 12-month period.

Americans, whose spending accounts for more than two-thirds of the economy, are less upbeat about finding work, a Conference Board report showed last week. The share of consumers who said jobs are plentiful fell and the proportion who said jobs are hard to get jumped, pushing consumer confidence down to a five- year low in February.

``The economic situation has become distinctly less favorable,'' Bernanke said in testimony to Congress last week.

The Fed chairman referred to ``downside'' risks for the economy four times, including ``the possibilities that the housing market or the labor market may deteriorate more than is currently anticipated and that credit conditions may tighten substantially further.''

Investors project the Fed will lower the benchmark interest rate by at least half a point between now and its next meeting on March 18, futures prices show.

Fed Outlook

The central bank's regional economic survey this week said ``the hiring pace slowed in various sectors and labor markets loosened somewhat in many districts,'' as economic growth cooled in eight of 12 regions since the start of 2008.

Adecco SA, the world's biggest temporary-employment company, said this week that fourth-quarter profit declined as hiring slowed in the U.S. The Swiss company also said it may miss its long-term goal of sales growth of 7 percent to 9 percent.

``We've been seeing a weak U.S. market for more than a year now,'' Chief Executive Officer Dieter Scheiff said in a March 4 interview.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Mar 7, 2008 11:37AM)
So what economic theory says we never have a short term corection?
Message: Posted by: Claymation (Mar 7, 2008 01:40PM)
None that I've ever heard of. Whether the current turmoil meets the according to Hoyle definition of recession or not is beside the point. Economists are still arguing over the 2000-2001 recession. The fact is people are paying more for gas with dollars that don't go as far as they used to while watching their home values fall. Recession or not, media conspiracy or not, the picture is bleak for the man on the street.
The original question was whether performers should worry about being hired less. Arguing over the definition of recession doesn't change the fact that those who hire entertainment are likely to be thinking about saving money right now.
Message: Posted by: wally (Mar 10, 2008 04:10AM)
Well the phones not ringing much. for the last 16yrs I usually get 5/6 birthday parties everyweek here in uk. this year so far gone down to 2 /3 parties, HELP.
Message: Posted by: Algebra2 (Mar 10, 2008 06:48PM)
Somone should make the Federal Reserve and our growing government spending dissapear! I vote for Ron Paul as the political magician to make it happen. You could come up with some routines with silver and gold coins to make a point while showing off a ccol trick explaining what causes "inflation" ie Federal Reserve.
Message: Posted by: Tom Bartlett (Mar 12, 2008 12:23AM)
[quote]
On 2008-03-10 05:10, wally wrote:
Well the phones not ringing much. for the last 16yrs I usually get 5/6 birthday parties everyweek here in uk. this year so far gone down to 2 /3 parties, HELP.
[/quote]

Wally, are implying that the USA is responsible for a recession in the UK?
Message: Posted by: Tom Bartlett (Mar 12, 2008 04:49AM)
[quote]
On 2008-03-10 19:48, Algebra2 wrote:
Somone should make the Federal Reserve and our growing government spending dissapear! I vote for Ron Paul as the political magician to make it happen. You could come up with some routines with silver and gold coins to make a point while showing off a ccol trick explaining what causes "inflation" ie Federal Reserve.
[/quote]

The smartest thing we could do in the US, would to pass the Fair Tax!
Message: Posted by: Chad C. (Mar 12, 2008 05:40AM)
The fair tax would be great indeed!
Message: Posted by: MagicalArtist (Jul 7, 2008 11:57AM)
Here's a good article by John Stossel on the "upcoming recession." http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/07/dire_news_from_my_colleagues.html
Message: Posted by: chris mcbrien (Jul 8, 2008 01:52PM)
[quote]
On 2008-02-09 14:34, RobertBloor wrote:
[quote]Marshall: The way the interest rates have dropped in the past two weeks tells me we are in a recession.[/quote]

The Fed cutting interest rates isn't to stimulate the economy, it's to introduce more liquidity into the economy and further increase our national debt.

Just remember, "The Fed" is, never has been, and never will be part of the US Government. They are not our friends.

Robert
[/quote]
BINGO.
Message: Posted by: millste (Jul 8, 2008 01:55PM)
Recession, no recession. I don't care. I market like hell, work on my business and do whatever it takes to thrive. Here is a free ebook to look it. Has tons of creative ideas that helped me recently.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/3668526/101-Instant-Marketing-Strategies


Josh
Message: Posted by: millste (Jul 8, 2008 02:01PM)
Here is another free book with tons of ideas to boost sales. Bye for now.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/523801/SixFigure-Secrets-Promotional-Ideas

Josh
Message: Posted by: TheDean (Jul 8, 2008 02:13PM)
Tah Dah! WINNER! Give the man a Cupie-Doll!

Funny thing is, it’s not all that hard or “difficult”... sure, it IS work, and like Josh, there ARE smart ways of getting it done in fine fashion! - Whoo Hoo!

Thinking of YOU and your Success!
Deano (on the road to the PCAM Convention) in Reno
<><

Tell ya all about it in Monterey! See you there!
http://www.PCAM2008.com
Message: Posted by: millste (Jul 8, 2008 05:04PM)
I am leaving for a couple of hours. Here are a bunch of free links to free business books in pdf format that will help, if you use them. I know I do. By the way, despite what most will say and beleive, my business has actually been a little better than last year. Not bragging, just letting you know it is possible, but you have to work constantly as the Dean points out.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/3005442/Philip-Kotler-Marketing-Insights-from-A-to-Z

http://www.scribd.com/doc/379304/wordofmouthmarketingtechniques

http://www.scribd.com/doc/3460904/Marketing-Apple-eBook-print

http://www.scribd.com/doc/491332/Marketing-in-the-Google-Era

http://www.scribd.com/doc/3322895/Unleashing-the-Ideavirus-by-Seth-Godin

http://www.scribd.com/doc/5255/BootstrappersBible

http://www.scribd.com/doc/18406/193-Creative-Marketing-Ideas

Enjoy!

Josh
Message: Posted by: millste (Jul 8, 2008 09:06PM)
Whoops, forgot to list the best book.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/3632971/1001-Marketing-Tips

JOsh
Message: Posted by: mormonyoyoman (Jul 9, 2008 10:40AM)
[quote]
On 2008-02-10 17:56, Dannydoyle wrote:
Personally, and this is just me, I have never let anyone else tell me if I was happy, or sad, or going to make money or not.
[/quote]

Isn't that the very job of our presidential candidates?

*jeep!
--Grandpa Chet
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Jul 9, 2008 01:00PM)
I am a marketing madman (similiar to the Psychic Madman) during these hard times. Remember during the Great Depression, there was no TV Cable, Video Games, IMAX, or the internet to compete with.
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Jul 9, 2008 04:50PM)
I just got outbid on a corporate gig. Get this, the winning bid was $125!
Message: Posted by: millste (Jul 9, 2008 05:14PM)
Don't focus on the lost gig, and find a new opportunity.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Jul 9, 2008 05:57PM)
Candin -

Sometimes you lose to people who charge less, and sometimes you lose to people who charge more.

I've booked some shows recently, where I was quoting more than the competition. The customer told me they picked me over someone who charged less.

It's not about the price. It's about building a relationship, and showing that you can meet their needs.

And, like Josh said, move onto the next opportunity when one passes you by.

- Donald
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Jul 9, 2008 07:09PM)
Thanks Donald. I used every tactic I know including my uniqueness, TV footage you name it. Oh well, win some loose some, I just hope it was not because of our economy. This has happened in the past but lately, I see plenty of $100 or less gigs becoming norm.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Jul 9, 2008 07:33PM)
Some people you might want as a customer, but they are totally unqualified (issues such as the budget, etc.)

Don't focus on the negative (the loss), or the problem. Focus on the finding solutions.

Keep yourself busy chasing those who can afford you, and who want to be convinced you are worth your fee. Find out their needs, and show how you can meet them.

I guarantee you there are performers doing just fine right now.

- Donald

P.S. Great book to read right now... "Maximum Achievement" by Brian Tracy.
Message: Posted by: millste (Jul 9, 2008 10:56PM)
Another great book is.. Sales Therapy. Look on amazon. Best book on sales hands down. Has made me a bunch of money.