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Topic: New Show - input
Message: Posted by: JonChase (Oct 13, 2010 08:00AM)
Well I've had 10 years semi retired from performing, writing and training but you know when it's in your blood it's in your blood.

So... Working on a new TV show for the states, and putting together the new stage show.

I was wondering what, if anything, you guys would put in it?
Message: Posted by: Anthony Jacquin (Oct 13, 2010 08:04AM)
Build out from a single person and draw others into your show rather than traditional audience selection. Have 6 routines that entertain by encouraging a smidgen of thought rather than 36 that make people titter. Have sets rather than a row of chairs. Do it all with the eyes open.

Anthony
Message: Posted by: bobser (Oct 13, 2010 09:51AM)
Like all of the above. Eyes wide open for sure, and.... no seemingly actual worded induction.
Message: Posted by: JonChase (Oct 13, 2010 01:00PM)
LOL Anthony, bit old fashioned that mate, Mr Brown has already done it. Thanks for the thoughts.

You know, audiences paying to see a hypnotist want to see a 'traditional' hypnotist. Just like the Uni show you have on facebook Ant. :)

'Sets' are a pain in the arse and unnecessary, you can use a screen and projector nowadays.

Bob, thankyou [ actually the show is already written but it helps to see if you are going along the right lines by asking your peers what they would do and making *** sure you do something different - can't all be the same can we? ]

Been doing eyes open for years, and eyes closed. Induced and not induced. I was once told off at a uni for NOT zapping people lol. I always use Gill Boynes line somewhere, "Hypnosis is a state of mind not a state of eyelids."

I think a mixture is called for maybe?
Message: Posted by: kissdadookie (Oct 13, 2010 01:09PM)
Perhaps start off with eyes closed and then lead into eyes open with subsequent volunteers?

Have you seen the clip on YouTube from the James Brown lecture online where he does a 10 minute long hypnosis routine? From the looks of the clip, it looks like he goes straight into it without putting the person under in the traditional sense (I could be wrong and there could have been a standard induction done prior, but it does not look like it from the video). I thought that it was highly entertaining and fresh compared to the standard shows I've seen with the typical group of potentials on stage.

Here's the clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKK8JZjdRUQ

Along the same lines, anybody tried doing a eyes open with a single subject, some routines with that subject, and then follow immediately with a eyes closed, sleep with the rest of the seated volunteers you already have on stage? Would performing with the first volunteer help with putting the rest of the volunteers under subsequently (after all, they've just witnessed you do some pretty incredible things with the one person and it didn't even appear that you've placed that person under).
Message: Posted by: JonChase (Oct 13, 2010 01:25PM)
I know what you mean Kiss.

James stuff is very good. I always think though that the average audience isn't actually aware in any way what the hell is going on.

The thing is if you're a bit old, and old fashioned like me even though the open eyed stuff is easily doable - and most people who think it's the best way to go still pull people forward or yell sleep at them - I can't help myself sometimes....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCAoNWbn9yE
Message: Posted by: kissdadookie (Oct 13, 2010 01:33PM)
First off, great clip! Secondly, I totally agree with the point you made in that clip, if a suggestion is taken and tested and you get a positive response, the person is good to go even if you didn't go through with a standard induction.

I actually do agree that demonstrating the good ole "SLEEP" and putting a person under that way definitely adds to a performance rather than taking away from a performance. It is after all what the audience is expecting hypnotism to look like and it's advantageous for the performer to play to the audience first and then go in other directions if they wished, rather than doing things in an unexpected way for the audience, in which now you have to deal with the fact that you may have lost of a few of them after doing something unexpected ;)
Message: Posted by: JonChase (Oct 13, 2010 01:48PM)
Thank you very much Kiss


[quote]
On 2010-10-13 14:33, kissdadookie wrote:
First off, great clip! Secondly, I totally agree with the point you made in that clip, if a suggestion is taken and tested and you get a positive response, the person is good to go even if you didn't go through with a standard induction.

I actually do agree that demonstrating the good ole "SLEEP" and putting a person under that way definitely adds to a performance rather than taking away from a performance. It is after all what the audience is expecting hypnotism to look like and it's advantageous for the performer to play to the audience first and then go in other directions if they wished, rather than doing things in an unexpected way for the audience, in which now you have to deal with the fact that you may have lost of a few of them after doing something unexpected ;)
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: JonChase (Oct 13, 2010 01:59PM)
I've just watched the James Brown video and it's brilliant. Although I had to smile at the line.
"It isn't my arm you GAVE IT TO ME!"

I'd love to see the full thing. Reminds me of this - sorry for the quality it's a very old video...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqDCo_JZjoA#!
Message: Posted by: kissdadookie (Oct 13, 2010 02:15PM)
You can really see how all of James experience and knowledge of both audience management and routining comes together in that demonstration. There's a very nice and natural progression. Just imagine if he actually had a few subjects seated already as he does what he does to the the single subject and if the demonstration was a bit shorter. I would expect that the already seated subjects would be very receptive at that point as the anticipation in their minds would be adequately built up (and there would probably be a good amount of nervousness which IMHO, works to the hypnotists advantage), just hitting them all with the sleep command would probably drop the majority of them relatively deep into it (including those who would have required a bit more work/conditioning). This I suspect would look great in a theatrical sense to the viewing audience as it would appear like an instant induction (but without all the run around) but done to a group.

Maybe it may be possible to not even face your seated subjects when issuing the sleep command and have the seat participants follow? I've seen a few examples where the hypnotist would say "sleep" without looking or appearing to have his/her attention focused on the subject and immediately see the subject go under. I had always felt this was very very impressive to watch as it's the perfect demonstration of the "power" and "control" of the hypnotist which if you think about it, that's what the audience usually thinks of hypnosis in the first place (that the hypnotist has some kind of special mojoe to get people to do what he/she suggests) and that kind of demonstration is essential confirming the audience's expectations in a very dramatic way.
Message: Posted by: quicknotist (Oct 13, 2010 02:34PM)
Jon, Great to see you enthusiastic about being "back."
I too get a lot of mileage out of your "my arm" routine...

I like what you're suggesting Anthony and it would probably be fine for a friendly, attentive, middle class audience at a magic convention or fringe theater for example, but I think you overestimate the intelligence and attention span of the average audience a hypnotist attracts these days: A younger audience more used to TV, stand-up comedy and (at the best) improv shows and who probably don't know you from Adam. Often drunk and even downright hostile. (Few of us are fortunate enough to have had the exposure and profile of Derren Brown.)

As for your new show Jon, I think you already know my thoughts.
The hypnosis parts of my show are very traditional. You'll find there's a whole generation of audience out there who've never seen a traditional hypnosis show.
However, I like the counterpoint produced when performing some traditional routines in an untraditional, intimate setting: Bar or small theatre with smaller audiences and less volunteers on stage.

As part of your research, you should go along as an audience member to some of the places where I honed my stage skills as a comedian: Places like Jongleurs, The Comedy Store, Kings Head Crouch End, Balham Banana, Up the Creek Greenwich or The Bearcat Twickenham and I'd recommend anybody considering exposing their skills to the UK public do the same.

They ain't no cruise ship crowd!

Reg
Message: Posted by: Anthony Jacquin (Oct 13, 2010 02:46PM)
Up The Creek!. That was my favorite comedy spot of all when I lived in London.

Did you survive Reg? It seemed like one of the harsher clubs on the circuit when Malcolm ran it?
Message: Posted by: quicknotist (Oct 13, 2010 02:58PM)
Malcolm was a friend Ant. He always looked after me and I did my best to return the favours whenever he came up to see me in Brum.
But no. It was horribly memorable!
Great club to be in the audience at though, especially when combined with the famous Hardee hospitality which usually started early in the afternoon with copious pints of Stellar and games of pool in the pub next door.
Ah. Memories...
Message: Posted by: Anthony Jacquin (Oct 13, 2010 03:02PM)
Wow lucky you, I look forward to catching some of those stories one day.

Yes. Known for having the biggest 'bollox' in showbusiness and only having 6 gags and two of them were the same - that's how I remember him. Oh and that night he decided to take a leak from the stage into an unfunny hecklers hat :)

Ant
Message: Posted by: quicknotist (Oct 13, 2010 03:18PM)
I have two memories from the last time I saw Malcolm. (I left the UK in 2000.)
The first was when he was MCing The Glee Club in Birmingham.
In a nearby bar before the show, he was having a drink with my Kiwi wife and I and a couple of other comics and unbeknown to her he asked me if I'd come to the show and shout out for him to "show them." (Turns out he was a bit concerned his infamous anatomy wasn't known well enough to Birmingham audiences.)
We weren't planning on seeing the show but he got us in for free, so we went.
Imagine my wife's surprise when in the middle of Malcolm's rambling, he went silent, glared at me and nodded. Without missing a beat, I shouted out "Show us your bollox!" which of course he was more than happy to do...
The other memory I'll reserve for an in-person chat.





[quote]
On 2010-10-13 16:02, Anthony Jacquin wrote:
Wow lucky you, I look forward to catching some of those stories one day.

Yes. Known for having the biggest 'bollox' in showbusiness and only having 6 gags and two of them were the same - that's how I remember him. Oh and that night he decided to take a leak from the stage into an unfunny hecklers hat :)

Ant
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: JonChase (Oct 13, 2010 05:23PM)
I don't know about comedy clubs Reg but I did my apprenticeship about a million years ago in the social, working men's clubs and miners welfare clubs of the Midlands, Wales, Essex, Kent and the West country. I hear all this about so called tough audiences but in London you want to try a working men's club in the East End to discover what really tough audiences are like. Most of the comedy club guys would be foetal in five minutes going out to that lot.

I don't know about New Zealand but do know that large theatres are not the places for hypnosis in the UK at the moment, it's tough to get bums on seats, this year Ken Dodd, Chubby Brown and Jethro have all cancelled gigs. And I've seen Jimmy Carr and others going out to half houses. Sure televised gigs are usually crammed but that's down to advertising and a liberal papering. [That's giving away free seats for the uninitiated.]

Safe gigs are places like Edinburgh in full fringe and Uni shows, but I've been told some of them have been tweaked if not hit.

My new show is aimed at smaller houses and more intimate audiences. I've done the 2,000 seater's and at my age think I'd rather like a bit more intimacy. I got that with the past lives shows I did and it will be nice me thinks. Now for me it's way more about the experience than the money.

In saying that just had an enquiry for the full monty old fashioned bang em under and feed em onions show. Never can trust an audience can you?
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (Oct 13, 2010 05:47PM)
Actually edinburgh festival isn't a safe venue at all. Its bloody hard. End of October is probably much safer. I always avoided the festival simply because there is too much going on. And your marketing gets washed away. I sold out 1000 seaters in October for weeks on end. I did my first festival this summer and it was the most stressful thing I have ever done. it lived up to what I always thought it would be like.

We got on average 300 a night. But we had to seriously work like hell to get them in. Not all were paying full ticket price either. Another thing about Edinburgh is that especially during the festival you will pay absolutely crazy prices to hire venues. I made nothing out of it. I was making 4k a night back in the mid 90s. 4k then was a LOT of money. If I had sold out the HMV I would only have made 2K.

I would NEVER do the festival again. Its really only good for TV comics that want to get TV work. Hardly anyone makes any money and the vast majority make nothing.

>>>Never can trust an audience can you?<<<

I don't know Jon I think the audience is a great judge of what it wants. its made Simon Cowel one of the most powerful men in the history of entertainment

I think successful hypnosis shows have a basic structure. Start by creeping them out and getting the audience nervous/excited - pretalk establishes you and sets the scene - blow their minds with the "impossibilty" of the trance induction - build up the laughs to an unblievable peak. Send the volunteers into the audience so they can get a closer look. Then finish with a climax.

Always go for the maximum response and development of trance personalities rather than tell them to do silly things. Allow them to develop.

I think sets etc just dilute the hypnosis experience. If you think back to the old Mckenna shows he tried all of that and introduced celebs and elaborate plots and settings. It just didn't work. They drowned the personalities of those hypnotised. A good hypnosis show amplfies their personalities. That is the unique usp.

If I were doing a tv show I would tie in stage hypnosis with "how wonderful our minds are" and give insights and examples of how hypnsis is and can be used in other contexts. I wouldn't necessarily go for the obvious ones.

Derren Brown does mentalism shows not hypnosis shows although he may use some hypnosis. But it's still a different thing altogether.

The recession has hit just about everybody I know who is self employed hard. I think it has hit entertainment too.
Message: Posted by: catweazle (Oct 13, 2010 05:58PM)
[quote]
On 2010-10-13 18:23, JonChase wrote:

In saying that just had an enquiry for the full monty old fashioned bang em under and feed em onions show. Never can trust an audience can you?
[/quote]

In my very humble opinion, as a spectator, that's what I'd love to see, I think that's where Derren nailed it, taking things backwards but with a modern edge.
'The prestige' and 'the illusionist' made that period look so interesting too.
I think it helps create the notion of 'real' powers.
I had a quick flick through McGill's encyclopaedia the other day, all the little tricks for 'Challenge Hypnosis' LOL I love things like that!

I think its drama that I like now I think about it.
Message: Posted by: JonChase (Oct 13, 2010 06:43PM)
I agree on some things MP

I'd do Edinburgh simply because it's on my bucket list and the money isn't important.

I agree with the sets thing, although staging can be done black box as effectively.

I disagree with the developing their personality. I just direct them as I figure I am the best judge of my audience and what's funny or not. And I deliberately go for small numbers as it hones the audience view and pulls them in. That is of course personal preference and style.

Derren's shows may be different things to people o the inside but go out into the street and ask anyone to name two hypnotists in the UK and you will almost always get McKenna and Derren Brown.

I disagree McKennas show diluted the hypnosis and a lot of the stuff was funny, some of it was mine though so I'm slightly biased. Lol In my lowly and totaly unworthy opinion it was McKenna who diluted it being sans-personality but there you go.

Catweazle, Hypnosis is a power! That is to the audience, I think if you try to suggest other things you are completely waiting your time because audiences get whatever it is they want, no matter what you do almost.

And you know at the end of the day what they want more than anything is entertaining.
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (Oct 13, 2010 07:04PM)
Derren may be thought of as a hypnotist but he doesn't really do hypnosis shows. He does something totally different.

I guess we do have different preferences and styles.

Many of the participants on Meckenna just sat there and made a few facial expressions while all the elaborate plots and upstaging celebs were much bigger than those that volunteered.

But then I always thought hypnosis was a live experience and never really came across very well on tv.
Message: Posted by: quicknotist (Oct 13, 2010 07:18PM)
I know the social clubs were often rough Jon, but generally that's not where the audiences are going for their entertainment these days.

I suggested visiting clubs on the circuit, not to see how tough they are, but to see where audiences are going these days and to see what does and doesn't get their attention entertainmentwise.

I wouldn't call Edinburgh easy either. Most people are lucky to break even. It's been getting harder since the late 90s when some of the big agents like Avalon (with lots of TV comics) commercialized it and raised the bar with their publicity and promotional material. Standing on street corners with photocopied flyers (like used to happen) just doesn't cut it there anymore.

I've also seen comics slaughtered in places like the Fringe Club where the audience was supposedly made up only of other performers!

What's happening with you and Ken Webster? Wasn't there talk of you getting together for a training course at some stage? Is it still happening?

He's off touring soon with a nice set, from what I see. I wonder how that's selling?
Message: Posted by: quicknotist (Oct 13, 2010 07:22PM)
Peter Powers and Andrew Newton are the two names everyone knows here in NZ.
Peter Powers is on TV a fair bit and Andrew Newton tours here just about every year.
Paul McKenna is only known for his "serious" stuff.
Message: Posted by: JonChase (Oct 14, 2010 04:45AM)
Hi Reg,

Yes Ken and I are doing a Masterclass in November in blackpool http://thisishypnosis.com

I don't know about where audiences are 'going'. I'm an entertainer and go where I fecking well take them, that's stage craft. I've worked small venues and big venues, young audiences, old audiences. It really doesn't matter, what matters is what you do and your flexibility in being able to do everything depending on audience feed back and to adlib enough so that you can just do your job and entertain regardless of the audience.

If I go to Edibourgh I'd go as a Professional Entertainer. My publicity would be top notch and distributed at least as well as any other show. My PR would be excellent to the point where I would attract my aimed at demograph. I think if you go into any business doing it on the cheap then you'll get a poor return on a poor investment.

Take Ken Webster.

He now uses two huge screens on stage and interacts his victims, sorry volunteers with what's happening on the screen. It's full on multimedia and it isn't cheap and you know what? He makes a profit because he draws, because he spends.

He'll be teaching all about that in Blackpool with me.
Message: Posted by: kissdadookie (Oct 14, 2010 09:05AM)
Jon is right. Cheap marketing will only draw cheap results. Proper marketing will get them through the door in which the rest is up to your actual talents ;)
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (Oct 14, 2010 09:27AM)
Well I had teams of people on the streets giving out very expensively designed flyers. I was on a 25,000 database email list. I was playing at a major venue I was on their website with all the top bands in one section. I was beside people like ricky chervais chubby brown jimy carr on the other. We used over a 1000 posters full colour glossy designed by a top advertising agencey. We had ads in the local press...etc etc

It was ALL paid for by HMV. But to get prime spots during the festival poster sights cost many thousands of pounds. Its just not economical. I doubt very much if Ken could make a profit in the festival. Its a loss leader for those tv acts that want to further their career on TV. But I am always wlling to be proved wrong. I just think there are far more sure ways to make a profit. I think one of Ken's strengths is he knows how to connect with his market.

If you honestly think you can make a profit at edinburgh festival I think your dreaming. With a eat the onions show? No chance Jon but please prove me wrong. Unless of course you find a small pub to fill.

By the way some of the very top hypnotists have tried and failed to conguer edinburgh even outwith the festival. I have only ever seen Hugh lennon come back and do the festival for a number of years. And that was in the height of hypnosis shows popularity and he did a small pub not a theatre.

I sold out edinburgh odeon on and off for nearly three years at just under 1000 seats yet powers failed at the same venue. So did Newton. And they were much bigger names than I was.

Actually 300 seats is VERY good for the Festival. With 3000 shows or more the majority go to the wall.

But I will look out for you next year ;-)

Ive lived in Edinburgh all my life so I guess Im pretty used to the festival. I just can't see the attraction of doing shows in Edinburgh at that time of year unless you are one of the tv acts.

I used to avoid it and sell out the odeon in October when the students were back and there was no compeition. And with cheap marketing. I once sold out the Odeon spending about 500 on marketing for 6 weeks @ 4k a night.

Ive seen Kens shows and he has put a lot of work into them. He deserves the success he has. But the funniest parts are still the "trance personalities" the people themselves doing the same old things. There were a few funny things using the screens but again its the people who are funny.

I like Ken though I hope he has a great tour next year.
Message: Posted by: JonChase (Oct 14, 2010 11:51AM)
You know MP you're forgetting the one thing people do forget, which is quite an omission considering where we are discussing this.

If I see a show advertised nowadays I'll have a look at youtube to see if A: I want to see the show and B: if the thing will look worth it.

I think Kens site and videos look very professional and his well filmed and edited shows look excellent in the genre.

Too many 'professionals' shove up badly shot and edited 'bits' from shows,often shot in badly staged and lit venues and then the sections they pick that they consider funny is enough to dissuade the vast majority of people from going.

I'm sure you agree it isn't just how much you pay but also what you say must also be a factor to whether or not you get an audience at all?

Smiles
JonChase
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (Oct 14, 2010 12:12PM)
I think there are a number of factors. For one thing there are trends in popularity for example. Hitting something on an upward trend can help as opposed to hitting something coming to the end of a trend. Then there is timing. Who are your market and when is the best time to hit them? ive always thought that the biggest market for hypno shows were 18 to 30 year olds? Students and night clubbers. Plus ordinary working folk and not arty as the majority are who go to the festival. So especially after studying many hypnotists who came to edinburgh and other shows I came to the conclusion late October after freshers when we have thousands of new students that still have money in their pocket. Plus the other parts that make up a good hypnotism audience are well over their summer holidays and xmas is still far away. Plus there isn't a lot of competition.

In the Odeon I was more successful than Halpern Powers and Newton. I know because Halperns manager called them up and that's what they told him. It was partly haing the right show at the right time but also knowing my home town very well and factoring that in.

I agree with you Ken has a nice site and it will be a factor these days. But you know my clips were enough to get HMV to pay for everything during the festival. They were also tlking about putting it on tour if it went down big enough. But the problem was this - I had to go during the Festival or they would've went cold on the idea. Which really ****ed me off because I think it would've sold out easily late October. And I may have been in with the backing of a majot player. But then again they were really awful to work with.

If anybody is going to do Edinburgh do it then keep well away from the Festival. Why would you want to do it then? I might have been able to sell out the hmv 600 seats if I had thrown enough money at it. But whats the point? No point if your doing it just to break even or lose money?

At least that's how I see it.
Message: Posted by: kissdadookie (Oct 14, 2010 12:20PM)
I think playing big major festivals and breaking even is an excellent way to go. What are you really losing there? A day of sitting around? You're not exactly losing money, you've lost only a day out of the week, and now you have another major event you can feature/claim in your promos. It's not always about making money (unless the major event coincides with a high paying gig on the same day and time). Heck, losing a bit of money may also be ok as long as performing at the event is not going to make you bleed out.
Message: Posted by: JonChase (Oct 14, 2010 12:27PM)
Kiss. Professional doesn't have to mean it's just about the money. Actually for me it has always been about the art of theatre and using hypnosis to entertain not just to make cash.
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (Oct 14, 2010 12:27PM)
I respect your thing about it being art. But for me it was pure business. I really don't have luxury to do it for arts sake. I only had a go because I thought it may be a chance to make money. Yes of course art entertaining comes into it too. But it had to make money for me.

I did believe that it might be time to bring back theatre shows since most of the youngsters I know had never seen one. And as the shows went they were totally blown away just with having their hands stuck together. But Late October would've been the real test. But that never happened for a number of reasons.

But I do believe if Ken's tour is successful then its definate proof that it time is right. And I may have another go on my own. HMV wanted nearly 3k a night for a six hundred seater!

Jon you must be a lot wealthier than me! actually at the moment that's not difficult.

But even so...if wanted to do it for art and entertainment I would do it at a time where I can reach my most appreciative audience. And in Edinburgh I believe its around about now late October rather than the Festival. Being a native local the Festival is a bit of a pain. Most of us stay away from the city centre while its on.
Message: Posted by: JonChase (Oct 14, 2010 12:49PM)
MP. I've always thought the market for hypnosis was 12 to 92 year olds. I don't believe it's about trends unless you produce a show that isn't flexible enough.

That goes for all the entertainment arts.

I could be wrong of course.

There's lots of people out there many with the traditional get em up, bang em under, embarrass the s**t out of them approach, a few with a more staged approach, and now some with the new wave Mr Brown stuff. And very few who can do all of them. There are people are good technicians who can't preform, and performers who are bad technicians.

I think you need to be all things really then 'trends' don't really affect you.
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (Oct 14, 2010 01:15PM)
You have a point about being adaptable. But then again the Brown stuff is largely popular by Brown himself. There aren't too many Browns around. Brown is a brand all by himself. While you might be right about 12 to 92 years olds I think its dependant upon where you are? Perhaps a holiday town like Blackpool or others can cater for such a wide age group. But I think elsewhere you need to target.

Certainly here its the 18-30 group although you will get much older people at our shows.

And having been involved in marketing apparently the worst thing you can do is try and be everything to everybody.

My feeling right or wrong was that the Brown stuff is starting wane or at least has peaked. And that the natural prpgression would be hard core full on hypnosis. My young nephews had never seen me perform. They think Derren is great. They weren't that impressed when they heard their old uncle was doing hypnosis.But after they saw the show they were totally blown away.

Of course its not a fool proof analsys of young people they are my nephews.

You might be right about trends. But also if you know how to recognise them you can ride them.
Message: Posted by: quicknotist (Oct 14, 2010 03:30PM)
OK Jon,
Don't go to comedy clubs then.
Just ignore what's been said about the target market and advice about Edinburgh.
Good luck filling your shows with 12-17 and 31-92 year olds who look for your clips online.
"New Show - Input?!"
What was it you really wanted?
;)

Reg
Message: Posted by: catweazle (Oct 14, 2010 04:02PM)
Does anyone here know what happened to Rajan and his evil hypnotists?
was it just put together for TV or is it a real act?
Message: Posted by: quicknotist (Oct 14, 2010 04:21PM)
http://www.themagicman.co.uk/index.htm

[quote]
On 2010-10-14 17:02, catweazle wrote:
Does anyone here know what happened to Rajan and his evil hypnotists?
was it just put together for TV or is it a real act?
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: catweazle (Oct 14, 2010 04:39PM)
Cheers!, he has a pretty impressive client list, but there is no mention of his hypnosis act, just magic, there is the CH4 trailer though featuring hypno girl mmmmmmm, now there's a show id go to watch.
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (Oct 14, 2010 06:57PM)
[quote]
On 2010-10-14 13:20, kissdadookie wrote:
I think playing big major festivals and breaking even is an excellent way to go. What are you really losing there? A day of sitting around? You're not exactly losing money, you've lost only a day out of the week, and now you have another major event you can feature/claim in your promos. It's not always about making money (unless the major event coincides with a high paying gig on the same day and time). Heck, losing a bit of money may also be ok as long as performing at the event is not going to make you bleed out.
[/quote]

Do you know how much work and stress is involved trying to break even? Do you nkow how much personal money you would have to risk to break even? And don't forget the majority lose out BIG TIME. if I were to take on HMV myself to the original plan I would've had to risk 18k! I would've lost out big time.


I spoke to a couple tv magicians Barry and Stuart. I asked them if their reviews from the festival did them any good after it finished. They told me that outwith the festival their reviews meant nothing. They performed 28 nights during the festival and breaking even (I don't know if they did this year bobser will know)was a good result if they could get it! 28 nights in the hope that somebody else will book them somewhere else. Im sorry but that just isn't my idea of fun.

Now as a hypnotist you aint gonna be picked up by tv. However if you are a smart hypnotist and the market is right you can make loads of money working smart. I love the saying "never hunt with the hunters". Whenever you see a crowd go in the opposite direction. Hit hard when your market can be reached.

This is not a word of lie but do you know during the festival I spent five solid days putting posters all over town. They were all gone in less than two after! And when the festival reached its height posters didn't last half an hour. I had to give up. If it wasn't for the the access to mailing lists and other things that HMV had I am pretty sure we would have closed the show.

CVontrast that with October. I would put up posters in every part of town for six weeks prior to the show and maintain those sites for a full six weeks. Once the first show started wouldn't need to put up any more. The crowd and word of mouth took my shows to full capacity forsix weeks then started to dwindle over the next four or more. just under 1000 seats. I still think it can be done I just don't have the money to put at risk just now.

Keep away from the big festivals no one ever does it a second year in a row. Hypnotists I mean. Except for Hugh lennon way back inthe late 90s but that was a small pub. He still does the Uni's up here but has not been back to the festival in a very long time.

Basic marketing 101 - do your market research. Same as belief I carry about doing shows - its not about you its about your volunteers - its not about you its about your market.
Message: Posted by: kissdadookie (Oct 14, 2010 07:09PM)
Fair enough MP. As an aside, I love Barry and Stuart!
Message: Posted by: JonChase (Oct 15, 2010 12:07PM)
[quote]
On 2010-10-14 16:30, quicknotist wrote:
OK Jon,
Don't go to comedy clubs then.
Just ignore what's been said about the target market and advice about Edinburgh.
Good luck filling your shows with 12-17 and 31-92 year olds who look for your clips online.
"New Show - Input?!"
What was it you really wanted?
;)

Reg
[/quote]

Reg "Show input" not bloody marketing advice.

I could go into a comedy club, suss my audience in five and restructure my show on the fly to suit the audience.

Of course were I doing a self promote I'd target at My preferred market. I'd even profile them as you well know from doing my Svengali system, If I had wanted marketing though I wouldn't be here I'd be on Frank Kerns site, ;-)
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (Oct 15, 2010 12:25PM)
>>I could go into a comedy club, suss my audience in five and restructure my show on the fly to suit the audience.<<

You have to have the audience there first Im sure even Frank Kern would be say your doing it back to front. The input of your show should be based upon the market your targeting. I would've thought.

How can anyone give you input if they don't know who your aiming at? And someone with your experience shouldn't need any input I'm sure. But it looks like you do need input about your targeting.
Message: Posted by: JonChase (Oct 15, 2010 02:02PM)
LOL MP

Actually Frank would say that. If your marketing wasn't already done.

You know Last show I did in Bristol the average distance travelled by the people who came was 90 miles. I had 27 Londoners, 6 from the East Midlands and three from the states. More than half of the others came by coach from Exeter some 76 miles away.

I guess if you have a following you can market differently than relying on street trade and locals. It's a different mindset.

And you are right. I don't need input as such although something like this or that element would be good, the only two who actually read my request I think were Bobser and Anthony.

I guess I was just making sure the approach is radically different from my peers. The show is already written and I'm now in the process of building expectation and anticipation.

The target is to earn significantly after an 18 months building phase initially supported by my seminar and training business and about 3 other projects.

When I do Edinburgh it won't be for profit at all, just for the hell of it.
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (Oct 15, 2010 02:40PM)
>>>When I do Edinburgh it won't be for profit at all, just for the hell of it.<<<<

Well "Hell" is a good descriptor. 27+6 is only 30! I had a few people come from the states to see me in Edinburgh. I know of one guy from just outside London came to see the first and the last show. He couldn't get to Edinburgh for the 2nd. But he made twio journey's that's nearly 1000 miles! I don't know how far the ones from the states came from.

And I had no following. It was the first show I had done in 10 years. I didn't have a following from training or mentoring. They saw my clips on youtube.

>>>>And you are right. I don't need input as such although something like this or that element would be good, the only two who actually read my request I think were Bobser and Anthony.<<<<

Yes and they were probably the least valuable posts.

Well Im glad your doing something totally different from your peers. Then again most of the better hypnotists stopped feeding onions and doing the missing finger routines in the 80s! I have never ever done them in 20 years of being a hypnotist.

I wish you well jon good luck with your projects .
Message: Posted by: JonChase (Oct 15, 2010 06:18PM)
Oh right. So if I stop then I'd join the better group all not doing the onions and numbers - I don't make fingers disappear. So using that logic, and I consider myself an okay performer, better no, good enough certainly, using that logic I'd better continue with the onion s and stuff because then I'll be doing everything other hypnotists are not. Thanks for the heads up MP.
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (Oct 15, 2010 06:33PM)
That's it exactly jon.... if it works for you then do it. Im just teasing. And I do wish you well in your projects.
Message: Posted by: bobser (Oct 16, 2010 06:42PM)
What an arsehole of a post.
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (Oct 16, 2010 06:52PM)
Well if you can't beat them? Join them. There are plenty of arshole posts on here Bobser what actully attracted you to that one?
Message: Posted by: JonChase (Oct 16, 2010 07:39PM)
[quote]
On 2010-10-16 19:42, bobser wrote:
What an arsehole of a post.
[/quote]

Which one Bobster, I thought mine were all pretty much carp [re-arrange the letters to fit.] ;-)
Message: Posted by: bobser (Oct 17, 2010 06:18PM)
[quote]
On 2010-10-15 15:40, mindpunisher wrote:

Jon Chase: "... the only two who actually read my request I think were Bobser and Anthony".

MP: "Yes and they were probably the least valuable posts".
[/quote]

THAT was the arsehole post I referred to.
Why were these valueless posts?
C'mon Brian, get a grip. This might be a chatroom but does that mean we have to be devoid of manners or decent curtesy to one and other?
Message: Posted by: JonChase (Oct 17, 2010 07:07PM)
Thanks Bob.

You know...

Everyone is singing the praises of Derren Brown. That is becuase he has hit a need not a niche. People want THEATRE! At least that is how I read it.

And no MP, I don't just mean using a big stage, I mean they want more than being made to think or just being crusty pie in the face, or in some cases the genitals. They want to be Entertained.

I don't think you find a niche and chase it.. although I should be quite good at that. I think you should build your own style and let people find you. That is certainly what happens with all the really big names in entertainment.

And no, I'm not talking about the TV boys but people like Ken Dodd, Jethro, Chubby Brown... yes their audience is falling but so is everyone's at the moment. They have their followers. So it isn't about prostituting the market, it's about refining your art and style and building your following. It always has been and always will be.
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (Oct 18, 2010 03:56AM)
[quote]
On 2010-10-17 19:18, bobser wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-10-15 15:40, mindpunisher wrote:

Jon Chase: "... the only two who actually read my request I think were Bobser and Anthony".

MP: "Yes and they were probably the least valuable posts".
[/quote]

Why were these valueless posts?
C'mon Brian, get a grip. This might be a chatroom but does that mean we have to be devoid of manners or decent curtesy to one and other?
[/quote]

I said least value not valueless.. I get your point Bobser. But what I was reffering to is the other posts could save somebody losing a lot of money. Especially with the Edinburgh Festival. From somebody that's lived their all their life and has done the festival. Wasn't meant to be a dig at anyone.
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (Oct 18, 2010 04:08AM)
[quote]
On 2010-10-17 20:07, JonChase wrote:
Thanks Bob.

You know...

Everyone is singing the praises of Derren Brown. That is becuase he has hit a need not a niche. People want THEATRE! At least that is how I read it.

And no MP, I don't just mean using a big stage, I mean they want more than being made to think or just being crusty pie in the face, or in some cases the genitals. They want to be Entertained.

I don't think you find a niche and chase it.. although I should be quite good at that. I think you should build your own style and let people find you. That is certainly what happens with all the really big names in entertainment.

And no, I'm not talking about the TV boys but people like Ken Dodd, Jethro, Chubby Brown... yes their audience is falling but so is everyone's at the moment. They have their followers. So it isn't about prostituting the market, it's about refining your art and style and building your following. It always has been and always will be.
[/quote]

Derren started of very niche on channel 4 and has adapted as he has gone along. So much so that he has left behind a lot of his original followers. You can't please everybody. I think Derren and his team understand the market/s and its no accident they have lasted so long. But that's just my guess. Or they could've just been "lucky".

I love the guys you mention and agree 100%. Although I have no Idea why they are failing. It could be trends are different. You could blame it on the recession yet Brows's shows are packed at the moment. Bands are packed out at expensive prices. I just saw on TV Russel Brand (who I don't like) pack out a HUGE venue like the O2.

So people are still being entertained and still paying for it. They just seem to have moved on from the guys you mention. Many top performers the very best will come in and out of fashion a couple of times during their lives Bob Monkhouse, Frankie Howard two classics both did as will most. And then there was benny Hill another giant who's style went out of fashion and was dumped finally.

Trends fashion it does have an input. And we all have a different idea about whats entertaining and whats not. Some people pay to see pitbulls fight.Plus the "market" evolves changes and shifts. Only the odd few can sustain all these changes.

But even these top guys are marketed they are commodities to the businessmen who promote them. Marketing is still a vital component. Exposure on TV for the bigger guys etc.

A lot of the success behind hypnosis for example is securing the right venues at the right time. There is a reason why Ken stops in Nov for example. Because the market in Blackpool changes over these months. Powers for example has done the same venue in Glasgow for 20 years. Although I don't know how popular it is. But he still does two or three small runs every year. Yet he never made it in Edinburgh. And now I believe he is big in Australia. He only does glasgow in the uk.

Understanding your market locking in key positions is all part of it. And timing.
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (Oct 18, 2010 04:42AM)
The other thing about Derren from what I have heard (if its true) was that the TV show was planned before he came on board. They were looking for someone to play his character. So to some degree the whole thing was manufactured. And to be accepted by channel 4 I guess some sort of market research would have been done. I can't see them filming and using up expensive air time with no research of some kind.

Although no one can argue that Derren was a great choice its possible that a number of other choices may have worked the same. The timing was right the concept was right. Try launching another Derren now. So from what I understand Derren didn't build a following from scratch as a mind reader he was launched onto tv to "play a part" that was created for the show.

And partly what I am suggeting the same can be done for hypnotists because that's exactly what I did way back in 1993 because of timing nad market research plus the right venue I was able to sell out 1000 seats venue and continued to do so for three years. Unfortunately back then I couldn't find a manager to help me replicate it all over the country. And I was a niave yougster with a very brass neck. But not stupid. But you still need the breaks. You still need the promoters behind you. You can only do so much on your own.

And to some degree in life in general it is not always the best that get on its the ones that get the breaks. We all need a break now and then.
Message: Posted by: catweazle (Oct 18, 2010 11:00AM)
Your right about Derren being chosen, I went on a JR hypno course a few years ago and JR seemed to think derren was based on him, even down to the hair colour,he seemed pretty miffed about not being the chosen one imo lol.

I also think Jon is spot on regarding Theatre, in the past 15 years people have found they can entertain themselves at home, Playstations, satellite & cable tv became the norm, then followed the internet boom. I think people need something of an event that they cant get at home to make them get off their butts and make the effort to go out these days, another thing is the smoking ban - it does put people off going out.
Message: Posted by: kissdadookie (Oct 18, 2010 12:46PM)
Derren's TV show was originally offered to Andy Nyman. Andy Nyman was the person who then suggested that Derren should be on the show and that he (Nyman) will do the consulting work. The reason was because Andy Nyman wanted to keep his magician/mentalist persona separate from his acting persona. Nyman basically did not wish to be typecast as a magician/mentalist in future acting roles.

This is actually all explained on the 3-disc set called Get Nyman put out by Alakazam. Interestingly enough, the Svengali demo that Marvin's Magic uses and teaches to all new demo persons at the store/kiosks was originally created by Andy Nyman. Speaking of Andy Nyman creations, a LOT of Derren Browns routines you see on the specials/stage shows as well as on the TV series, are actually very very Andy Nyman-ish. What I mean is that if you are familiar with Andy Nyman's material, you will see that the unique characteristics of a Andy Nyman routine is clearly evident in what Derren performs (contains a narrative and drama and the methods are multi-layered with a lot of red herrings).
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (Oct 18, 2010 03:57PM)
I agree about the theatre that's why I jumped into do a small theatre run/test at the Festival. However as Jon also points out many of the old established acts are failing. So if you are going to do theatre its even more important to get your marketing timing right. I believe if I had had the opportunity to do it now this month over the Halloween period I would've sold out the place at least 4 times. Even when the posters arrived from the printers the manager of the venue siged he knew we woud've filled up the place this month. He also knew we had a real fight during the festival. And you only get one chance with these big companies.

And most likely would have had a tour of some kind arranged for next year with HM==V. Not only that I had at least one other theatre I was going to fund myself.

However I had to go during the festival first. That one bad piece of timing sort of messed it up for the moment. Timing and knowing how the market is moving is really important especially in these times. And especially if you don't have the full force of tv exposure on your side.

If you want or you NEED to make money. If you have enough money and want to do it for the hell of it that's another thing.

I'm looking forward to seeing Ken Webster's results. I would've gave it ago myself on my own but I don't have the money to risk just now. These really are tough times.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Oct 18, 2010 05:49PM)
The way you guys go at it in here makes the mentalist section seem like a nursery...

*reads minds*

bite your tongue, you...
Message: Posted by: JonChase (Oct 19, 2010 09:41AM)
MP I didn't say the acts were failing but that houses were falling, not the same thing at all.

I went to see Billy Elliot and the FOH manager who I knew from Jersy way back, said that all the shows in the West End were working around 15 to 20% down on three years ago, regardless.

You must read what people write mate.

And you know for every real Talent like Derren in the world there are dozens of wannabe's all slagging them off. Mostly they are people who no one outside of their local town has ever heard off. And here's a quick thought, you don't find them wasting their time talking to the wannabes either!
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (Oct 21, 2010 07:17PM)
Houses acts its the same thing Jon. But I get and agree with your point. However there are also some acts doing very well. So I do agree with you to some degree you are right. Well to a large degree. But there are also trends too. But the economic situation has hit everybody. And even great talents go in and out of fashion. That undisputable.

I agree Derren is a great talent too. Although personally I don't like his newer stuff.however I wasn't slagging him off his show was manufactured to a degree and I believe he and his team are where they are because they are also on top of their game regards to trends and markets. that's not a slagging its a compliment.

But the point I am making is that things can be engineered to a degree and many great talents never get the break they need to get into the public eye.

While I agree with a lot of what you say I also agree with the marketing aspect. And if an artist doesn't market himself then his agent will or he will starve. Your quite a good marketer yourself?

I totally agree with you about talking with the wannabes to. Life is about moving in the right circles. its getting into the right circles that's the trick.

I talk on here because I have too much tme on my hands just now. Call it a weird kind of therapy. The things I used to do to make money are also failing most of us are being hit.