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Topic: Pitching a Character
Message: Posted by: DWRackley (Nov 12, 2009 04:49PM)
(This has been on my screen for a week, while I tried to decide whether to submit it.)

I’ve hit a blind spot.

Having recently returned to Magic after a long absence, I’m eager to get back into the game. I have two “characters” that I’m very comfortable with. These personas came about from plays I acted in, and I continued using them when I’d do magic for others. I actually got two different paying gigs from people seeing those performances.

I want more!!!

But I’m not sure how to advertise these characters. The main one is a sort of “Aristocracy of the Old South”, not a snake oil peddler, but more of a Kentucky Colonel, who’s traveled the world and collected oddities and antiquities from the lands of mystery and darkness. The magic isn’t really in him, but in the unusual trinkets he’s collected for your observation and amusement.

The “other” character is an early first generation immigrant Story Teller. In his case the magic is incidental to the story. Stuff “just happens” in his hands to illustrate the yarns he’s spinning. He’s a lot more difficult from the performance aspect, but more effective with mixed ages. (The Colonel bores kids to death!)

(And I guess actually both characters are Story Tellers, after all.)

When I performed in times past, it was “just me”, dressed in my powder blue leisure suit and doing the usual magic shop parlor tricks. This time around I really want to sell an experience, not just an assortment of “hey watch this” toys.

How can I get this across in ad copy? Is/has anyone doing/done this? Any ideas you’d be willing to share? Any books I should know about? I’ve been in the Business forum, and don’t think I’m quite ready for a marketing guru, just yet. How does one self-promote when it’s not “self”, but a character?

I figured the Beginner forum was the place to go, since this is a new aspect for me. Thanks in advance for any and all...
Message: Posted by: davidpaul$ (Nov 13, 2009 07:09AM)
You might want to post in:
"Periods and Styles of Magic:


I noticed Whit(Pop)Haydn (He popped into my mind when you were describing your first character) posts there and maybe could give you some advice.

Your characters sound very entertaining.
Message: Posted by: Jaz (Nov 13, 2009 04:10PM)
D.W. Rackley
World Traveler - Storyteller - Collector of the Arcane

Enjoy the tales and magic of D.W.R...
Message: Posted by: pradell (Nov 13, 2009 05:48PM)
Years ago David Ginn put out a 2 large volumes, Promoting Me and You and Promoting Me and You II. In it he included a volume of magicians' advertisements and made suggestions as to how to focus on marketing yourself as a magician. The books were expensive back in the day ($75 +) and are now most likely out of print. They gave me good ideas at the time.

Today we have the internet to do the same thing. Use Google or Bing or go to http://allmagic3.com/listings/index.html to find as many magician websites as you can browse and see how others are marketing themselves in today's internet universe. The resources are now free. Your time is the only expense.

Message: Posted by: DWRackley (Nov 13, 2009 06:55PM)
Thanks for the pointer. I had somehow missed that area. It’s not particularly active at the moment, but the reading is Great! I have seen videos of Pop Haydn, and love his style of handling the audience, although my character is not exactly Medicine Show material. I just killed an hour watching links to his Hollywood show. Hilarious stuff!

Collector of the Arcane just about snags it. Thanks. That’s going on the list.

That site is a gold mine. I hadn’t heard of those books, but will spend some time on Google. I found a “whole slew” of Guerilla Marketing titles, some marked way down. Are those still relevant today?
Message: Posted by: pradell (Nov 15, 2009 03:47AM)
Marketing is a mindset. Old books can still get you thinking. They say that one needs to spend 15% of his or her time on self promotion/marketing regardless of how good business is. Spending time looking at what is out there will give you ideas. Barnes and Noble has books on the subject which you can peruse for free at the store and take home the ones that spark your interest. There's a gem out there from long ago, Hustle, Hustle, by Joel Bauer, that made me look differently at the entire subject, $24.90 at http://www.magic.org/stor/product_info.php?products_id=3828, and now a companion DVD is out $29.95 http://www.magic.org/store/product_info.php?products_id=1605. The things I learned from marketing my entertainment business put me ahead of the curve in the days when I left a big firm and opened up and developed a solo professional practice. Turn your marketing into a business plan. Write it down. Get a vision and stick with it. You'll be turning away clients in no time!