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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Let's get started... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Tom DV
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Hi everyone, I'm very excited as I feel ready to go out and perform.

How did everyone else begin...where did you perform...how did you get bookings?


I guess Ill check out any local open mike nights and such...is an agent a good idea?

Thanks a lot for ANY words, tom.
hemisphere
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Chicago, IL
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Hi Tom. Definitely get your act tight (audience tested) before going to an agent. Several agents have told me that first impressions or one bad show have killed a lot of new performers. Word spreads quickly.

Open mikes. Friends' parties. Local company parties. Book them yourself for a year or more before jumping into the sea...you'll have a much better act....and you'll know how to sell the act. So when the agent doesn't know how to...you can help him sell it.

I've mentioned before I learned a lot AND got a lot of bookings early on from working restaurants. You build your chops, face every kind of audience and have opportunities to sell your bigger show. Consider local restaurants, clubs, bars...etc. You don't have to be Kreskin overnight.
Osiris
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There are numerous "Marketing" tomes available that can point you on the path. The question I have however is, are you going to promote yourself as a Magician or as a Mentalist?

Richard Webster and others have pointed out time and again, that Mentalists do not require all the fixings and trappings alined with it's cousin art form. For us, we can make reasonable money working one on one or catering to groups of a dozen to two dozen. So you really need to consider just where you want to head within the industry and why. Too, you want to consider your image and "reputation" as you prepare to take this venture.

I joke a lot about being a Psychic Reader as part of my day-job vocation. Truth is, I have worked much of the past two and half decades in said capacity catering to the shut eye market for the most part. I've done Readings in coffee houses, nice dinning establishments, as part of an early evening Happy Hour or Lady's Night Out and much more. Then again, we're talking about a skill that can easily garner an average daily gain of $300.00 to $500.00 without too much effort. Add to this the advantage of doing weekend lectures & workshops (Webster has several manuscripts out on this topic and how to do it), then there are the Home PSI Parties or, if you're more enterprising, group Mystery Dinner Shows such as Hilford's "FROM THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS" or my own Murder Mystery & Seance programs.

As a Mentalist/Bizarrist you can easily generate a fairly lucrative sense of personal income at least nine months out of the year (in other words, at a part-time level)that exceeds most people's full-time income. The catch is, it will take you a couple of years of effort in order to lay a viable foundation, create your own networks with which to work and promote yourself, etc.

Sure, you will want to create "an act" that's sound. But this is not the same as a club act or what a "magician" would have to develope. Keep things casual and very matter of fact -- almost improvisational if you can. This is the approach that will help generate the kind of word of mouth PR money simply can't buy. Too, you will be able to go much further and generate a much more positive sense of result, if you can sell yourself within a market region that's less than two-hours driving time from your home base. Becoming a local legend and/or "expert" is far easier than trying to compete with established acts in the commercial side of this industry. By giving yourself some time and slowly building on local rapport, press, etc. you will find corporate clients contacting you and offering you deals that are superior to those we gain when it's us do the solicitation (it's always better to be asked when it comes to negotiating scenarios).

Though I've forgotten the title of it, I do know that Stevens Magic has a very good marketing package listed in their current catalog that goes for around $75.00 and includes a bonus video. Perhaps, if Mark is browsing the Café, he can tell you more about it and post a link.
Daffyd
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Llandewi Breffi
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Tom, it's nice to see another mentalist from Wales. It's so lonely in Llandewi Breffi, as I am the only mentalist in the village.
"The layman is such an idiot." salsa_dancer
Tom DV
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Lol, cheers dafydd!
ninjaduffy
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332 Posts

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Hahahahhah

nearly wet my pants...

shrewsbury here..not far.
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