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Topic: Illusion Rentals
Message: Posted by: Lusion (Dec 16, 2004 09:02AM)
I have about 15 Illusions including Orgami (built by Wellington) and other professional builders. I have in the past rented out my illusions to a few Magicans that I know personnaly. I was thinking about opening up shop in New York renting illusions. I have 5 more that are on the way and will be finished in the next 2 months some are only good if there is a long run stage show, and other are good for short one night show. My goal is too make sure that the illusions are rented by those that are real working
magicans and not those that want to copy or just mess up a great illusion. I was thinking about only renting to those that are IBM or SAM members. I would like all feedback good and bad. My goal is to help those that may have a gig at a trade show or a corporate show and need a great illusion and can not affordt to buy one for $12,000.00 or for those that need the illusion and are wait theirs to be built, etc.
Message: Posted by: alexkrey (Dec 16, 2004 09:33AM)
It is impossible to rent! Only to sell!
Message: Posted by: Yfirum (Dec 16, 2004 10:06AM)
Why should renting be impossible?
As far as I know there are quite a few companies out there which rent their illusions. At least theres one in Germany (can't remember the name). If you're talking about giving away the secrets: so what, you won't be able to rebuild a huge illusion just because you know how it works.
Message: Posted by: floridamagic (Dec 16, 2004 11:11AM)
Chezaday in Chicago rents magic props for photo shoots and plays. You might e-mail him.
Message: Posted by: alexkrey (Dec 16, 2004 11:20AM)
On 2004-12-16 11:06, Yfirum wrote:
Why should renting be impossible?
As far as I know there are quite a few companies out there which rent their illusions. At least theres one in Germany (can't remember the name).
if you're talking about giving away the secrets: so what, you won't be able to rebuild a huge illusion just because you know how it works.

If to give illusion in rent by everything then the trade of the illusionist will cost more cheaply! (this my opinion)
Message: Posted by: afun14u (Dec 16, 2004 11:29AM)
I like the idea...send me more info when your up and running.

Message: Posted by: The Mirror Images (Dec 16, 2004 11:38AM)
Well by renting you can rent an Illusion to Trade Shows. I wouldn't narrow your customers to just magicians that are IBM or Sams. You can gear to CEO of companies that have stock holders meeting. Like I live in Battle Creek and every year they have a stock holder meeting and if you share with them about renting an Illusion to them they might find something that might fit there meeting and put it in. Maybe like a really different entrance or say they are going to split the shares. Well cut the CEO in half or soemthing like that.

Also look at Trade Shows. Companies could use something like this to there advantage. Just some thoughts.

Also some full time magicians aren't part of SAMS or IBM.


Message: Posted by: spkrosky (Dec 16, 2004 11:43AM)
A very interesting idea. How would you structure your fees? For instance, when you combine wear and tear, shipping, and rental costs, would there be a significant savings to rent from you versus buying direct? For instance, if you're in New York and I'm in Texas and want to rent an illusion for a weekend show (all hypothetical), would it be more practical for me to rent from you at $2000 or buy direct for $3500? (Just ballpark numbers) And I could have the ability to re-use my own illusion, of course. Just thinking out loud....
Message: Posted by: Lusion (Dec 16, 2004 01:46PM)
Well I remember the way Tannen's magic shop use to rent was 50% of the value of the illusion. Fees would be structured with consideration if the prop has a lot of wear and tear and also depending on the location, time duration of rental and other
factors that I have been working on. I do not want to sell my illusion because I am an Illusionist Lover I can't part with them like that. I get joy just walking thru my ware house looking at them and a even bigger joy performing them!
To rent an illusion that cost $3500 for $2000 does not make since. More like illusion cost $3500 rent for $ 1650.00.
Message: Posted by: TOTALLY MAGIC (Dec 16, 2004 02:03PM)
It's a good idea but you should really make sure that the people that rent them not to tell the secert or not do the illusion wrong where people can figure it out.
Message: Posted by: The Mirror Images (Dec 16, 2004 02:35PM)
Well I think it all comes down to what situation each of the customers have...WOW a wearhouse....hmmm...Love to see some pictures of your stuff.

In Magic Mag. I once read several times that there was a company that was renting Illusions...

I mean if you have them and you don't use them and someone needs something right away and you have something...bam there you go. Helps you and the customer.

Message: Posted by: spkrosky (Dec 16, 2004 02:48PM)
$1650 plus transport and tax could easily get you pretty close to $2000, thus making my analogy fairly accurate. But I guess here is my drawback - and maybe no one else shares it. If I pay to rent an illusion and expect to perform that illusion more than once, I'm better off buying it if it will cost me half price anyway. I don't know, maybe that price structure is intentional to keep them out of the hands of those who aren't ready for them yet. For me, if I can afford $6000 to rent a $12,000 illusion for one show, I should be able to dig up the other $6,000 to invest in my own and perform it multiple times. Also - does the charge vary for different lengths of time? Weekend vs month-long run?
Just my musings.
Message: Posted by: The Mirror Images (Dec 16, 2004 02:50PM)
By the sounds of it, it might be in the drawing board and wanted to get some ideas of what he should be pricing things at.

Message: Posted by: alexkrey (Dec 16, 2004 02:53PM)
It is nonsense!
Message: Posted by: The Mirror Images (Dec 16, 2004 03:08PM)
Why is it nonsense? It may not work in your country, but it will work in the states, because don't forget why wouldn't you rent stuff to a company for a special event. They don't care if they are paying half price. They just don't want to be stuck with the prop afterwards. So they will go that route.

Think out side the box for once.

Message: Posted by: Bill Blagg III (Dec 16, 2004 03:34PM)
I hesitated to make a post on this topic, but I'm going to anyway. First of all, the concept of renting does have purpose with LONG running performances or plays where a capital purchase is not an option. However, for a performer to rent for a show or two is just crazy to me. Once again, it all ties back in to the performer making the show, not the prop. If you need to rent a prop because you can't afford it, then maybe you're not a point in your career where you should be focused on that prop yet. Work your way up. I'd be curious to hear how many top pros rented to make it to the top. My guess is none.

My opinion is that rental for short term would be for ego driven purposes as opposed to a logically thought out business purpose. Logical business purpose would be to purchase the props when you make it to that level.
Message: Posted by: muzicman (Dec 16, 2004 04:41PM)
Personally, I would be hesitant to BUY Origami if I was seeing it all over town being used by non-magicians. I agree with Alex, renting out illusions is a bad idea for magic. Now if someone wants to rent me and my prop, then it's a gig!
Message: Posted by: MDS (Dec 16, 2004 11:34PM)
I think that the only way I would rent out my props is if I was personally with them for the show. Just my opinion.

Message: Posted by: mvmagic (Dec 17, 2004 12:13AM)
I have once rented Bo-Staff for one show when my finale (a bit similar effect) broke. Everything worked like a charm but generally speaking
I wouldn´t rent props for a short time-from what I´ve checked, the rental prices are usually so high it would be wiser to save the money and get your own illusions. It certainly has it´s place-long run shows, emergencies,corporate parties and such and in my opinion, also TV.

My assistant´s revenge has been rented out for over a year now and I am very happy with the situation as is the friend who rents it. But I personally wouldn´t rent it to anyone.
Message: Posted by: Lusion (Dec 31, 2004 06:37PM)
Thanks for your input on the matter, I have decided to rent out a selected few of my illusions and I am very happy with the way things are going I have a few other illusions that I have that I asked the creaters if they mind and a few told me that they would rather me not do that so I will honor thier request. For the person that told me that it was foolish or that it would never work, I guess never did corporate shows, cruise liners, or amusment parks. those are my new customers!
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Jan 1, 2005 01:12PM)
I feel it a workable idea whose time has come.
Message: Posted by: illusionist-paul-uk (Jan 2, 2005 10:51AM)
Renting certainly is a good idea...I've been doing it for the last few years.
Message: Posted by: rmoraleta (Jan 2, 2005 11:02AM)
Renting is OK if the person renting it does not mass produce the illusion.

This happens here in the Philippines. Does it happen in other countries too?
Message: Posted by: PaxMentis (Jan 2, 2005 11:18AM)
I was somewhat surprised to see that no one mentioned Owen Magic Supreme. During the late 80's my company was trying to be innnovative in the production of local concerts. One of the bands wanted a fresh new idea to open their show. A Flash Appearance seemed the best way to go. And at the end, the lead singer wanted to de-materialize right in front of the audience. Both effects were accomplished by renting two props from Owen Magic. The cost was not prohibitive and the band went on to be rather famous.

The packaging and shipping would be the two biggest problems facing the renter. Direct pickup and return seems to be a workable situation.

Pax Mentis
Message: Posted by: mysticalmike (Jan 2, 2005 11:59AM)
I think it a good idea. If you are doing like a show at a theme park. That what I think.
Message: Posted by: Farrell (Jan 2, 2005 01:22PM)
I dunno maybe to a corpoation 50% of the price of the illusion is good... but I think if I'm gunna spend half the cost of an illusion... I may as well buy it... I mean half down half on completion.... then I get to keep it... that's just my opinion
Message: Posted by: The Mirror Images (Jan 2, 2005 01:31PM)
To the corporation they will only use it once....so they will pay the price...but they dopn't want to keep the illusion. Once they do what they need to with it why do they need anymore??

Any up-dates from the poster of what you are going to do??

Message: Posted by: jrabenho (Jan 3, 2005 06:40PM)
I think that renting could work out great financially for both parties given proper handling of the prop by both the rentee and renter. Your only real problem within this situation may be your target. Your target is going to be so narrow that you'll have no choice but to bear huge shipping charges in order to make reasonable income. In addition to this, wear and tear should be minimal given a professional performer, and a professional prop. Accidents will however happen, and repairs will have to be made, therefore having a good builder on hand is a necessity.
Message: Posted by: Michael Taggert (Jan 3, 2005 08:35PM)
Ok kids here is my two cents on this. I have staged sveral theatrical productions where a long term rental was the best option. one or two day rentals don't make a lot of sense if you are renting an illusion for one special event you are not focusing on your performance but going for the cool TRICK!! don't do that. rentals and theater go hand in hand. I can only store so much equipment so I tend to rent for the run of the show and return it so I don't have to store it. My average run lenght is three to six months. If it is for my own pertsonal show I own It. the equation is simple if I pay the bills I buy it if some one else is paying anmd would rather not pay long term storage after I rent it.! shipping is small on a long term show.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jan 3, 2005 09:07PM)
Being you are in the New York area. This would be best if offered to business. Contact all the world headquarters in NY city. You may have hit on a gold mine. I believe magicians are not your market. I would line up a few actors or good magicians to perform the illusions at the company events either to perform or as an advisory position.

Also you should offer the full deal, portable stage, curtains, lights, CD tracks and music machines. Maybe even have a list of dancers available.

Also you should make up scripts and directions on performing. You should also have videos of the illusions being performed, maybe you can send these out as your sales information.

I would also include a no exposure close in the rental agreement. Business is your market or maybe even some NY plays. You are really posting on the Café to magicians.

I worked for a heavy equipment company that rented there machinery. Companies paid $12000.00 a month just to have the equipment available when they wanted it on their property.

Go for it!!!
Message: Posted by: jl (Jan 5, 2005 08:36AM)
A magician in the uk called Russ Stevens rents illusions at http://www.illusionhire.co.uk
Message: Posted by: MDS (Jan 5, 2005 09:08PM)
I still don't think that I would rent out any of my illusions.
Message: Posted by: bnadworn (Jan 6, 2005 10:50PM)
I think it is a neat idea. People rent homes, cars, and many items that they can not finance through other methods or they may need it for a limited time frame. I once did a large show and borrowed some equipment from 2 other magicians. That is not always an available option for everyone and renting would be a better alternative than not doing the show. That is calculating that the show will pay for the rental and that the props that are rented are needed in the show. I would say try it and see. Like any business do your research, test the market place, and figure out a business plan. Make sure your contracts follow good business practices and the magicians code and I think you will have a lot of satisfied customers. Good Luck in your endeavor.

- Brian Nadworny
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Jan 7, 2005 04:08AM)
In John Kaplan's Fundraising Magic program, specifically "Stage Fright" he explains how rentals of "Spidora", and "Headley-Disembodied" can make a sponsoring agency additional funds as well as a marketing technique for the Stage Fright Fundraing show.

When create minds like Kaplan have proven this can be done, and you get your name out there without doing anything but renting these illusions. It is a win-win situation.

Lots of similar illusions in Paul Osborne's Haunted Illusions, fit in this same category.

Now I wouldn't rent out my Gamolo, or Sword suspension or 3-in-1. But an Illusion like "Clara" to promote an illusion show, that's another thing.
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Jan 7, 2005 07:38PM)
I believe Abb Dickson still rents out some of his illusions.

I agree with Ken. You have to be careful what and who your rent it to.
Message: Posted by: magicofCurtis (Jan 12, 2005 01:41AM)
Great idea,, I am in the market for a few rentals .. There is a company in toledo Ohio htat rents them out.. Do you have a website for your equipment?


Also,, does anyone know of any places for used illusions for sale besides magicauction.com... I am in the market for the eurpean sword through neck,, a chair levitation,, and a few others...

email me...

Message: Posted by: Cashetta (Jan 12, 2005 04:20PM)
You can always check ebay. I'm always suprised that there are frequently illusions for sale there.
I always ask around the locdal magic shop, Tannens in my case, as there alwayss seems to be someone looking to sell something.

Happy Hunting

Message: Posted by: Big Daddy Cool (Aug 1, 2006 01:51PM)
You are all looking at this in the wrong way. Why do only pigeon-hole magic to be a solo performer doing tricks?

Magic is a theatrical tool, and sometimes a production company needs a specific illusion to tell a specific story. At that point you can either buy the plans and build a prop that will never be used again and take up room in storage, or rent it for the run of the production.

Also, what if there is an immediate need. A corporation wants a specific type of vanish or appearance. They may be willing to budget 3500, but forget 20000! So you can't buy, but rental becomes an option.

And there have been several top pros who did get their first Vegas show using rented illusions...
Message: Posted by: freefallillusion1 (Aug 1, 2006 09:04PM)
Well, I seem to be in the minority here, but I would never rent out my props. This is entirely because I am 100% against the mentality that simply having the prop makes one capable of properly presenting the illusion. If a guy rents an origami, his performance won't look anything like DC's, because DC took LOTS of time to work out the staging, lighting, costuming, proper music, then rehearse it 15 zillion times, then tweak it all again. The guy who rents an origami will look like a guy who rented an origami- "Hey, look at what my box can do, and try not to laugh at the way I wave my hands magically here and there because I really don't know anything about this EFFECT other than the mechanical workings of this fancy box". This seriously cheapens magic. Yes, people do rent houses, cars, etc., but no comparison can be made between this and renting an illusion for the purpose of entertaining an audience. I agree with a previous poster that if one can't afford an illusion, maybe that individual isn't at the point in their carreer where they need to be performing that illusion. When someone BUYS an illusion, I believe that they will definitely put more time and energy into making sure it looks right. I just can't see how running a "dial-a-prop" rental service is doing any good for magic as a whole. Just think of how many bad performances you've seen of otherwise good tricks. This is exactly what this would produce. Can you make money by renting out your props? YES. Does that make it right? Well.....
Message: Posted by: Kevin Ridgeway (Aug 1, 2006 09:18PM)
I can see both sides of this...However couldn't one that is naturally a good performer with plenty of skill, rent an illusion, work on it for a week and do a decent job with it?

If you say no...then I guess you also did not like Hans Klok on Worlds Greatest Magic....you see he rented or borrowed a Windshear (the very first one to be exact), he also borrowed or rented a Smoke Chamber.

Message: Posted by: IllusionJack (Aug 2, 2006 12:38PM)
Freefallillusion, I couldn't disagree with you more.

~A magician's willingness to properly rehearse and learn the details of an illusion to arrive at a spectacular, well-done performance is in no way tied to their financial status.~

For example, I myself couldn't afford to buy a $20k prop, but if I rented one you bet I'd take the time to perfect the presentation before putting it on stage.

On the other hand, a certain Las Vegas magician has several expensive props, upwards of $20k, and yet the show has always been miserable.

--Jack :pepsi:
Message: Posted by: mysticalmike (Aug 2, 2006 01:39PM)
If you rent one doesn;t that give you the chance also to see if you would want to invest in it to.
Message: Posted by: freefallillusion1 (Aug 3, 2006 11:54PM)
Yes, I agree that one could rent a prop and put a week into the rehearsals, and probably pull it off. But, I still think that after trying to master a piece of magical performance art after only one week, they would indeed be "just pulling it off". This person's performance is never going to look like the performance of someone who rehearsed the routine for much, much longer, and if the renter got the prop for THAT long, couldn't they almost buy it at that point?

I also can't afford to buy a zillion dollar prop, and most of those who can, well, they put in the time to make the routine something really special. If a prop costs that much, shouldn't the performance of it look REALLY good? We don't need magicians presenting hack performances of big illusions!

Here's another thing- I have a full illusion show, and I have been contacted on several occasions by knowledgable magicians who wanted to do exactly what this whole thread is about. They wanted to pay me good money to rent some of my props. I said no in every case, not only for the reasons listed above, but for another reason. Take for example my One-Man-Modern-Art (I know, other people do it but it's not as well known by the general public as, say, sub-trunk). I feel like the money I paid for this prop is part of being able to be known as "The guy who cuts himself in half". I would not ever want to do a show and later have someone tell me that they "already saw that one", only to later find out that it was courtesy of my own prop! Am I wrong?

I only say all this because I think magic is enjoying a resugence right now, and I for one would like to see it helped along any way possible. Good performances are good for magic. What's good for magic is good for all of us!

Message: Posted by: TheMagicOfDamon (Aug 27, 2006 10:01PM)
Hey all,
I think the guy who wants to start an illusion rental business has a great idea. For s***s and giggles I did a web search.

Here is what I found http://www.blackstonemagic.com/id20.htm
Message: Posted by: newsmaya (Aug 27, 2006 11:38PM)
Magician a.kant is provide so many illusion on rent with/without their traind staff in so many countries email is illusionmaking@yahoo.com
Message: Posted by: Patrick Miller (Nov 17, 2006 05:28PM)
There is a lot of good info here. As for a short term rental I couldn't see it working unless you knew the magician and his ability. I could see a good magician landing a large corp. show and needing some large illusions. There is a strong concern as to who is going to rent and their ability.
As for the corperate rentals, I can't see them renting without a magician to perform the illusion. As for leasing as props for shows there might be a good market in NY. I don't think it would make any sense to try to do short term rentals where shipping was involved.
I think you would need to develop a list of quality magicians and work with them.