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Topic: How's your December?
Message: Posted by: ZachWaldman (Dec 16, 2008 01:41AM)
Hi everybody,

I've been away from the forums for quite some time. However, I've returned and look forward to contributing on a regular basis.

I just wanted to let you know that I revised and expanded my marketing, performance, and self improvement course for magicians that want to perform in bars & restaurants.

This course was originally an e-book, but now its over nine hours of audio/video Powerpoint presentations. I literally walk you through the marketing process as well as offering tips on performing in the restaurant environment.

I don't mean for this to come off as an ad. I've been asked for quite some time when I'd release this product. This is a one time announcement but I'm making it now because this is a great time for you to reflect on how your business is doing.

It's December. This is the best time of year to be a magician. Yet, I've been getting a ton of calls from other magicians complaining that they aren't booking gigs.

Of course, they're all blaming the economy. I hear it every year. There's always an excuse about why they're having a bad December. This year it's the economy. Four years ago they gave me some other reason.

If you're not booked solid right now, then why not start off the New Year right? Even if you don't use my course, take action right now to get a restaurant gig. If you can work four restaurants a week, every week, I promise next December you'll have a full bank account - excuse free.

Truthfully, I'm just looking forward to connecting to old friends. I don't mean for this to come off harsh, I just want for my fellow magicians the same joy I have as a professional performer.

So, if you'd like to learn more about the course, check out my web site:

Otherwise, drop me a line just to say hi!

Regards,

Zach Waldman
The Restaurant Magician
Message: Posted by: Skotster (Dec 16, 2008 11:58PM)
Personally, I see nothing wrong with the ad like announcement, as long as you don't make a new one every day or something.
Message: Posted by: derrick (Dec 17, 2008 04:00AM)
For $50 bucks I'll send you 5 sure ways to get bookings and 10 sure ways to lose them.

What a bargain. Oh, these are all new and improved ways!

Derrick
Message: Posted by: Magic_Steve (Dec 17, 2008 06:12AM)
Derrick,

Are you having a christmas special? If I can make 3 easy payments if $16.67, then you might have your first sale! ;)
Message: Posted by: Natanel (Dec 17, 2008 01:41PM)
^ haha, in my relatively young career, I've mastered the "parking lot changing room" technique.

Still waiting for a gig where I got put up somewhere other than a couch; I guess that's how I will know I've really made it.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Dec 17, 2008 03:02PM)
[quote]
On 2008-12-17 14:41, Natanel wrote:
^ haha, in my relatively young career, I've mastered the "parking lot changing room" technique.

Still waiting for a gig where I got put up somewhere other than a couch; I guess that's how I will know I've really made it.
[/quote]

I am going to say this and hope you take it right. This is a step in the right
direction for you Natanel. Seriously. A bit of humility, honesty about a relativly "young" career and the couch thing. Nice. I like it. Seriously.

Now keep it up. This is a more human side, one which will get you attacked FAR less because of your honesty about who you are.

I for one am willing to let you develop into a human being. I hope it happens. But barring that, this at least as a stand alone event was good for you.
Message: Posted by: Natanel (Dec 17, 2008 03:12PM)
[quote]
On 2008-12-17 16:02, Dannydoyle wrote:
[quote]
On 2008-12-17 14:41, Natanel wrote:
^ haha, in my relatively young career, I've mastered the "parking lot changing room" technique.

Still waiting for a gig where I got put up somewhere other than a couch; I guess that's how I will know I've really made it.
[/quote]

I am going to say this and hope you take it right. This is a step in the right
direction for you Natanel. Seriously. A bit of humility, honesty about a relativly "young" career and the couch thing. Nice. I like it. Seriously.

Now keep it up. This is a more human side, one which will get you attacked FAR less because of your honesty about who you are.

I for one am willing to let you develop into a human being. I hope it happens. But barring that, this at least as a stand alone event was good for you.
[/quote]

Hah, Thanks, I'm sure you guys can commiserate with the early days of performing and putting up with less-than-ideal performance accommodations.

I do fear I may have poisoned the well again with the post following.
Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Dec 17, 2008 03:19PM)
[quote]
On 2008-12-17 15:58, Natanel wrote:
Yes, the bar I performed at had been the site of stabbings, and even a shooting the month before I came on board. Aside from me, there was only a DJ, but the "harder" members of our clientele probably had more pressing things to worry about then hassling performers.

Maybe your "no shirt and vest" ensemble plays well in the midwest, but show up in West Baltimore looking like a leather daddy and let's see which one of us "will be beaten up and left for dead."

Oh and by the way, these Baltimore guys tend to use .45's more than "corndogs."
[/quote]
You are sooo cute...I just want to kick you like a puppy.
The midwest? Yes...That is where I am based out of, but I have performed all over the country, from Venice Beach California to Charlotte North Carolina, up into Canada and down to Florida.
Funny...Detroit comes to mind as a rather dangerous city, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago as well...I have performed in all of those cities.
Baltimore doesn't come to mind.
I'm pretty sure I could hold my own.
As for me wearing a leather vest with no shirt, yes that does on occasion happen. It is merely something that goes along with my performance. I wear a shirt to the show. No one is impressed when you lie down on a bed of nails and have a concrete block broken on your stomach with a sledgehammer if you are wearing a shirt no matter how expensive that shirt is. So the shirt comes off part way through.
When I am doing table work (Which I actually started doing in 1992) I do in fact wear a shirt with the vest. No sleeves, but a shirt (Needle through arm tricks make a sleeve just inconvenient)

Lets get this clear- I do not have any real problem with how you dress. None at all. It is you and fits your personae. If you can pull it off in a biker bar without being violated by a corn dog, more power to you.
I believe in dressing appropriate to the venue I am working and the show I am doing. I do character work so my outfit reflects that.
The real problem I had was you going after someone else because of their choice when they were not trying to solicit your opinion.
It was simply rude.
G
Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Dec 17, 2008 03:48PM)
And I still think you are Mark Lewis. You poke at things just like he does to see what will happen.
Well played Mark.
G
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Dec 17, 2008 04:27PM)
[quote]
On 2008-12-17 16:12, Natanel wrote:
[quote]
On 2008-12-17 16:02, Dannydoyle wrote:
[quote]
On 2008-12-17 14:41, Natanel wrote:
^ haha, in my relatively young career, I've mastered the "parking lot changing room" technique.

Still waiting for a gig where I got put up somewhere other than a couch; I guess that's how I will know I've really made it.
[/quote]

I am going to say this and hope you take it right. This is a step in the right
direction for you Natanel. Seriously. A bit of humility, honesty about a relativly "young" career and the couch thing. Nice. I like it. Seriously.

Now keep it up. This is a more human side, one which will get you attacked FAR less because of your honesty about who you are.

I for one am willing to let you develop into a human being. I hope it happens. But barring that, this at least as a stand alone event was good for you.
[/quote]

Hah, Thanks, I'm sure you guys can commiserate with the early days of performing and putting up with less-than-ideal performance accommodations.

I do fear I may have poisoned the well again with the post following.
[/quote]

Ok never mind. Once again you prove for me that while 'Reading is fundimental' COMPREHENSION seems to be an advanced skill.

I was not speaking about performance conditions, or anything about magic in general Natanel, I was speaking of you and your pretentious attitude and need to..... ahh never mind.

I can't wait till you get to be about 29 and look back. I hope you keep in touch.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Dec 17, 2008 04:32PM)
I have only done a few biker things in 20 years. One the biggie in Sturgis. More booked because I was at the "Funny Bone" one year and they liked the act.

The other in Milwaukee and one in Daytona "Bike week".

Never worked actual biker bars or anything of the sort. I have absolutly no experience with those sorts of venues. Matter of fact I can doubt if I would even go over well in the venue.

One thing I think I have learned is that my act, or any act for that matter, plays well in some places, and like crap in other places. I have chosen to stick to the places I play well, rather than trying to shoehorn me into places I do not go over so well. Just seems to be the smart thing to do to me. NOBODY goes over well all places.
Message: Posted by: Slartibartfast (Dec 17, 2008 04:46PM)
[quote]
On 2008-12-17 16:19, gsidhe wrote:
If you can pull it off in a biker bar without being violated by a corn dog, more power to you.

[/quote]

I think I may have found a new signature line.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Dec 17, 2008 04:57PM)
[quote]
On 2008-12-17 17:46, Slartibartfast wrote:
[quote]
On 2008-12-17 16:19, gsidhe wrote:
If you can pull it off in a biker bar without being violated by a corn dog, more power to you.

[/quote]

I think I may have found a new signature line.
[/quote]

:rotf:
Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Dec 18, 2008 06:27AM)
[quote]
On 2008-12-17 17:46, Slartibartfast wrote:
[quote]
On 2008-12-17 16:19, gsidhe wrote:
If you can pull it off in a biker bar without being violated by a corn dog, more power to you.

[/quote]

I think I may have found a new signature line.
[/quote]
You know...Taken completely out of context it sounds even worse.
I now find corn dogs absolutely terrifying.
Flattered to see it as your sig!
G
Message: Posted by: patrick flanagan (Dec 18, 2008 01:37PM)
This is my worst December in maybe 15 years. I've had 3 companies that have hired me routinely for the past few years call me to say they aren't even having a holiday party this year. I'd say I had half of the number of shows I normally have had.
Bah, humbug!!!
patrick
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Dec 18, 2008 01:41PM)
Have you tried tricks using "suggestion" which cause people to run out of the building screaming?
Message: Posted by: Hart Keene (Dec 18, 2008 02:45PM)
[quote]
On 2008-12-18 14:37, patrick flanagan wrote:
This is my worst December in maybe 15 years. I've had 3 companies that have hired me routinely for the past few years call me to say they aren't even having a holiday party this year. I'd say I had half of the number of shows I normally have had.
Bah, humbug!!!
patrick
[/quote]

I feel your pain! I have more restaurants than I did last year AND I did a lot more follow up this year. Still half as many shows as last year! :(
Message: Posted by: Christopher Lyle (Dec 18, 2008 03:27PM)
Same is true down here in Dallas...for me at least. I usually have about 20-30 gigs lined up (not counting my restaurant work) for December. By late September, I had 23 shows lined up on the books for the Holiday Season. Then the phone calls starting coming in. Companies were laying people off left and right and no longer had a budget for a Holiday Party...or those that did didn't have the budget to spring for Entertainment. I began cold calling my normal Corporate Clients who book with me year after year and everyone's in the same boat...and that boat is sinking quicker than you can say "I won't let go Jack...I'll never let go!"

By the middle of November, I had 10 of those bookings CANCEL on me. By early December, I was down to 8 gigs. THANKFULLY those 8 have held steady! The Crap-Tacular Economy that we all live in now makes it hard to be an entertainer. But...I've lived this before and like before, always seem to whether the storm.
Message: Posted by: Doc Dixon (Dec 18, 2008 03:40PM)
[quote]
On 2008-12-17 16:19, gsidhe wrote:
If you can pull it off in a biker bar without being violated by a corn dog, more power to you.

[/quote]

Corn dogs don't violate people. People violate people.

DD
Loyal supporter of the second amendment in every form
Message: Posted by: Eddie Torres (Dec 18, 2008 03:56PM)
Oddly enough, I've been getting a lot of last minute things, mostly for newer companies that are just getting off the ground. Well, I was getting... My last gig was Tuesday and I have nothing more lined up until New Years Eve. Bah! Thank God for steady restaurant work.

Eddie
Message: Posted by: Mark Ennis (Dec 18, 2008 04:57PM)
Seriously, what kind of biker bar serves corn dogs?
Message: Posted by: Christopher Lyle (Dec 18, 2008 05:27PM)
Also...this is the FIRST New Years Eve where I HAVE NOT had a gig booked in well over 15 years! I can't believe it! NYE is a Wednesday this year so I guess I'll just go play my Wednesday Night Restaurant and be thankful. Hoping for a BETTER 2009.
Message: Posted by: patrick flanagan (Dec 19, 2008 12:03AM)
I am booked for a new year's eve party....one hour strolling....outside....i'm in the chicago area....brrrrr
Message: Posted by: Eddie Torres (Dec 19, 2008 12:20AM)
[quote]
On 2008-12-18 18:27, lylemagic wrote:
Also...this is the FIRST New Years Eve where I HAVE NOT had a gig booked in well over 15 years! I can't believe it! NYE is a Wednesday this year so I guess I'll just go play my Wednesday Night Restaurant and be thankful. Hoping for a BETTER 2009.
[/quote]

There's still time. My original one cancelled and I got a new one just a few days ago.

Eddie
Message: Posted by: Hart Keene (Dec 19, 2008 02:13AM)
So Zach Waldman posts an ad here and then vanishes, hmmmmm....
Message: Posted by: Christopher Lyle (Dec 19, 2008 03:06AM)
Hart,

I'm guessing Zach meant no harm with the original posting and when everyone jumped down his back he got scared away. Such a shame...Zach is an amazing talant. I've been a fan of his for years now.

Eddy...I hope your right! The month of December is usually what provides our "pad" for the first few months of the year since that's the deadest time usually for me. Now we don't have that pad for next year. Scary times lie ahead...
Message: Posted by: Barry Donovan (Dec 19, 2008 03:43AM)
[quote]
On 2008-12-18 18:27, lylemagic wrote:
Also...this is the FIRST New Years Eve where I HAVE NOT had a gig booked in well over 15 years! I can't believe it! NYE is a Wednesday this year so I guess I'll just go play my Wednesday Night Restaurant and be thankful. Hoping for a BETTER 2009.
[/quote]

turn it to your advantage?

let them know how well they have treated you over the year and this is your way of thanking them by working the biggest night of the year!
Message: Posted by: ZachWaldman (Dec 19, 2008 05:10AM)
Wow, who knew there would be such a response to my silly announcement? I didn't vanish, I was working.

I'm so tired right now if I close my eyes it hurts. However, I know I'm blessed to have the gigs. My December has had fewer gigs, but for more money. Also, like somebody in an earlier post mentioned, I've had a lot more new business than old business this year.

Tonight, I performed in Bakersfield of all places. It was for a company called Bolthouse Farms and they were super cool.

The crazy part was the drive from Santa Monica to Bakersfield. I went through a desert winter wonderland. It was snowing in the friggin' desert. Luckily, I made it to my gig with no problems even though the roads had been closed an hour earlier.

I have a great story about an insane woman that I brought up to help me with a routine. I'll post it after I get some sleep.

It's funny, but I mentioned wanting to reconnect with old friends in the original post as well as announcing my new course. Wouldn't it be nice if people jumped all over you to say, "Welcome back," as opposed to finding something to complain about? Ah, wishful thinking.

By the way, nobody that does this for a living would be run off by one person's comments. To do this job at the pro level requires dealing with a lot of different people with a lot of different opinions. When I saw the thread emerging I didn't really know what I could add to it. Am I supposed to spend my time responding to every person that has an opinion about me or should I spend it being constructive?

I'd rather tell a funny story, share a piece of real world wisdom, or just lurk. I love helping people because I've found that the best marketing is simply giving as much as you can to make people's lives better. It may sound cheesy but I credit this one thing with much of my success.

For example, I saw a thread where somebody asked, "Do you tell other magicians your fees?" There was one comment where the poster basically said, "My friend is a magician and I won't tell him. Personally, we're friends but professionally he's the competition."

This is a small example, but it's indicative of the attitude many magicians have regarding their business.

It's not necessary. I've spilled my guts to magicians looking for advice and they're blown away by what I'm willing to share. However, every one of them appreciated it. I've gotten a ton of work as a result. I help them achieve their goals, they become successful, they remember me, and presto a new gig appears. Not only that, but they remember how I treated them and they do the same thing for the newbies they meet.

I also have a feeling our young friend doesn't know anything about me. Perhaps one day he'll get to know me and find that it's better to be my friend than to look for ways to express his insecurity.

I love you all more than chocolate cake,

Zach
The Restaurant Magician
http://www.the-restaurant-magician.com


PS - How do I turn on links in my sig?
Message: Posted by: Pauldela (Dec 19, 2008 05:32AM)
Your one freaken cool guy...
Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Dec 19, 2008 08:02AM)
[quote]
On 2008-12-18 17:57, Mark Ennis wrote:
Seriously, what kind of biker bar serves corn dogs?
[/quote]
The Kick'n Horse Saloon in South Carolina. Big outdoor bar with some food stands (Including the now infamous corn dog stand).
We did a big weekend long music festival there in 2005 (Stage show, not walkaround)
Couple thousand bikers.
We had a lot of fun!

Zach- We've never met but I have heard of you.
Glad to have you back!
Gwyd
Message: Posted by: Destiny (Dec 19, 2008 09:45AM)
I had to google corn dog, but recognised them straight away.

We call them Dagwood Dogs.

I'm reasonably certain our bikers use other things to inflict punishment.

In fact ours are probably far too busy producing and selling speed to bother with such diversions.

Destiny
Message: Posted by: Slartibartfast (Dec 19, 2008 10:53AM)
But you have to admit there is a certain artistic flair to it.

"Hello, 911? I would like to report....ummm...well, you see.... oh, nevermind."
Message: Posted by: Daryl -the other brother (Dec 19, 2008 12:15PM)
[/quote]

Loyal supporter of the second amendment [/quote]

Is that the amendment that gives us the right to bear fried foods?
Message: Posted by: Doc Dixon (Dec 19, 2008 02:04PM)
[quote]
On 2008-12-19 13:15, Daryl -the other brother wrote:
[/quote]

Loyal supporter of the second amendment [/quote]

Is that the amendment that gives us the right to bear fried foods?
[/quote]

Among other things ...
Message: Posted by: Hart Keene (Dec 19, 2008 03:37PM)
Hey Zach!

Good to have you back! I'm sure you can appreciate me wondering where you went after your first post back was an ad of sorts.

No harm no foul?

So what restaurants are you currently working down south? What style of restaurant are they?
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Dec 19, 2008 06:32PM)
[quote]
On 2008-12-18 18:27, lylemagic wrote:
Also...this is the FIRST New Years Eve where I HAVE NOT had a gig booked in well over 15 years! I can't believe it! NYE is a Wednesday this year so I guess I'll just go play my Wednesday Night Restaurant and be thankful. Hoping for a BETTER 2009.
[/quote]
Buddy, if you were in Michigan with me, I would give you one of my shows for tomorrow. I have only three bookings, but the snow over here is 10". I hate traveling around in that tight traffic trying not to be late.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Dec 19, 2008 06:34PM)
[quote]
On 2008-12-19 19:32, Dynamike wrote:
[quote]
On 2008-12-18 18:27, lylemagic wrote:
Also...this is the FIRST New Years Eve where I HAVE NOT had a gig booked in well over 15 years! I can't believe it! NYE is a Wednesday this year so I guess I'll just go play my Wednesday Night Restaurant and be thankful. Hoping for a BETTER 2009.
[/quote]
Buddy, if you were in Michigan with me, I would give you one of my shows for tomorrow. I have only three bookings, but the snow over here is 10". I hate traveling around in that tight traffic trying not to be late.
[/quote]

This is a nightmare. Be safe. Many a worker has had trouble in the midwest with horrid weather. Just know being on time is not worth your life.
Message: Posted by: ZachWaldman (Dec 19, 2008 08:24PM)
I used to live in Chicago, so I know what you mean. You just don't expect snow in the desert is all.

No worries Hart, I'm not fragile. To answer your question, I work Crustacean Restaurant in Beverly Hills, Busby's (two locations - Santa Monica and L.A.), and Ye Olde King's Head in Santa Monica.

Regards,

Zach Waldman
How To Book More Restaurant Work Than You Can Handle
http://www.the-restaurant-magician.com
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Dec 19, 2008 09:27PM)
I was fully prepared to tell everyone how full of it you are, question your age as you look young, and so forth.

BUT I saw the endorsement from Doc Eason. Impressive. Truthfully.

I have to say the "get rich quick" sort of look to the web link bothers me. I know these things have to be done and I know what it is you are doing and why, it is just a matter of personal taste to me. If I have to scroll down that many times, and then I get the "wait if you order now" crap it really has "come on" written all over it. BUT again I must say the Doc Eason testimonial seems to dissuade this attitude from me.

We are speaking of the same Doc Eason right? Used to work at the Tower?

So instead of jumping on you I will simply let the endorsement of a great knowlegable worker such as Doc, speak for itself. I would like to see some of the "infomercial" aspects of the site taken out, but again I know why they are there.

Good luck with it.
Message: Posted by: cheesewrestler (Dec 20, 2008 01:26AM)
One time I worked a bar that was so tough I threw a beer bottle at MYSELF! .....
Message: Posted by: bryanlonden (Dec 20, 2008 03:48PM)
Just wanna chime in here, as I'm from Maryland. Baltimore is rough dude. Like ROUGH. I'm sure you could hold your own, but it wouldn't be that pleasant of an experience. They call it Bodymore, Murderland for a reason, lol.
Message: Posted by: Slartibartfast (Dec 20, 2008 09:59PM)
But are they [i]corndog[/i] rough?
Message: Posted by: Doc Eason (Dec 21, 2008 01:50AM)
Zach Waldman is a pal of mine.

He *is* relatively young, I suppose.

From my advanced age, young is not easy to define. He is old enough to have garnered quite a lot of experience.

He can come on a bit brash. He pushes the envelope perhaps more than some people are used to. He may not be everyone's cup o' tea. Your mileage may vary. I happen to like his style.

Style likes and dislikes aside, this 'brash young man' is working more than a most of the magicians in LA. So if a guy like this tips his mitt on the business, I think there is good information there.

Does it apply to everyone? probably not. I don't know... are Joel Bauer's marketing ideas for everyone?

I remember reading some of Bauer's suggestions with a raised eyebrow and thinking that "whoa, I could never pull that off". You might have the same reaction to some of Zach's ideas. This doesn't mean that the ideas aren't valid. They work for Zach and have made him a busy boy. Bauer is one of the most successful business magicians in the world. Maybe there is something there for you.

You might not personally like either of these guys but their ideas are sound and successful.

That endorsement was for the ideas that have made Zach as busy as he is. Again, your mileage may vary.

Doc (yes the one from the Tower in Snowmass Colorado.)
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Dec 21, 2008 08:17AM)
[quote]
On 2008-12-19 19:32, Dynamike wrote:
[quote]
On 2008-12-18 18:27, lylemagic wrote:
Also...this is the FIRST New Years Eve where I HAVE NOT had a gig booked in well over 15 years! I can't believe it! NYE is a Wednesday this year so I guess I'll just go play my Wednesday Night Restaurant and be thankful. Hoping for a BETTER 2009.
[/quote]
Buddy, if you were in Michigan with me, I would give you one of my shows for tomorrow. I have only three bookings, but the snow over here is 10". I hate traveling around in that tight traffic trying not to be late.
[/quote]
Thank God Almighty, I made it free.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Dec 23, 2008 08:16PM)
Mike you fufilled the first rule of snow travel. Get home alive. Glad to see you made it. Be careful.

Doc, as I said your endorsement was good enough for me.

There are SO many flash in the pan get rich quick look at what I learned yesterday offerings in the magic world, often the only way to know there is a difference is in a kind word from someone who should know. You qualify. This is why I took the time to read the site, and see what it had.