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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Believe it or not... » » Question for all the pitchmen (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Zack
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A few years ago I did afree show for PaganDayFest. I didn't mind, I beleive in the orginization, and some pretty girls turn up to that event. The thing is this, they offered me free booth space. If I had it to do all over again, I would have pitched fuzzles and Svengalis. (this after hanging out with Don Driver). It occurred to me that this could be a win/win. You could offer fairs and festivals a FREE show, or a drastically reduced price in return for boothspace. You then pitch to make up the difference.

Is this a good idea, or am I talking out my ass? Has anybody ever done this?
Harley Newman
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I've made money with the free booth idea. I also haven't pursued it much.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

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drwilson
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I just got a gig like this for Living History Day this August at a local museum. They saw my sideshow/magic pitch/Gypsy Fortune Teller setup at a fair and asked me how much I would charge to perform. I suggested that if they let me sell things and charge admission I wouldn't require a fee. I am sure that I will do well at this event, the people attending are friends of the museum and are loaded. I'll let you know how it goes.

Yours,

Paul
rossmacrae
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A lot of the ins and outs of this idea are covered in Brian Flora's cassette tape SELLING AND PLAYING THE OUTDOOR SHOW. It's the exact same idea and sounded like a good idea to me when I heard it.
DonDriver
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I cover this "free show for a free spot" on my Svengali pitch VHS video.It works well and is a WIN/WIN.
Don
Harley Newman
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Don, I'm sending you a check for the video. I've heard so much about you over the years, I'd be a fool not to learn this from you. I might be a fool anyway, but that's an entirely different matter!
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

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drwilson
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Don's tape is great! You'll love it. I'm looking forward to the SFS DVD on gathering a tip...

Yours,

Paul
Zack
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Quote:
On 2005-04-06 10:13, rossmacrae wrote:
A lot of the ins and outs of this idea are covered in Brian Flora's cassette tape SELLING AND PLAYING THE OUTDOOR SHOW. It's the exact same idea and sounded like a good idea to me when I heard it.


Not really, Brian does more of a busking act. He secures permission from the fair and sets up somewhere, does a show, and then sells balloon animals and magic kits--no booth.

I was pretty underwhelmed with that tape, actually. By asking permission, he devalues himself...he should be offering a thing of value in exchange for something.

Also, I think one is either busking or pitching, stopping them to see a magic act and then switching to balloon sculpture doesn't' make sense to me. Once you bring out the *** balloons, nobody will care about the magic.

Some of his tips on busking are just dead wrong. I can see why he got such small hats.

Cool! Glad to know that this idea could potentially work. The way I think I would handle it, is to try to sell them full price, and then if they balk, offer the booth idea.

I just did a show for a magazine. They couldn't afford my rate, but they offered a free ad. Life is good.
JoeJoe
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Most places have xx number of spaces to rent, thus they expect to make xx number of dollars - unless they have unrented spaces, it is doubtful they would want to give up space for free. If they do have unrented space, your going to end up in the back and have to work hard for your tip.

A more likely scenario is you get them to create a new space somewhere, perhaps a corner of the food court or something. You could probroly pitch, but I would think a street performance passing the hat would be a better option.

JoeJoe
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Kondini
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This idea works well in the UK,,,on dozens of occasions our fee has been a put off to rallies (Especialy Steam Rallies)Who have a limited budget.
If you do well show wise then nine times out of ten you get the gig on full pay next year (Hence the high original quoted fee!!) By having free stall space this often results in a higher overall profit come the end of the show.

BTW My best selling dem line is Linking Rings (4 pack)Cost £1 each fly out at £6:99,,,,,no one else seems to pitch these but they have been real good to me.
Svens have been done to death over here as have the Dynamic coins sets.
The Sven Blank decks pitch better than most on an average W/E we get through a gross.

No, street performance will not get the returns that paid gig plus slum sales and pitch do.

Brits tend to have pretty deep pockets regarding street workers,that`s why we only hit them between paid shows so midweek street magic is not an option.

Add a Zibit and or Lucky Dip to the above and you will have hit the punters on every level,,, in the outside show world there are many ways to skin the cat,,,I use all of them,,,,,at the same time cos Im a greedy B*****D.
drwilson
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Ken,

I need a translation. Is a Lucky Dip a game of chance like a pull tab or lottery card? How does it work?

Yours,

Paul
Kondini
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It`s a decorated box with a hole in the top,,,the kids pay a pound to dip in the hole and pull out a wrapped present (Swag worth around half the price).So they don`t know what they are going to get till they get it!
Some dips have two holes,one for boys and one for the girls.
I made up an adult version for a University Ball at Leeds a few years ago,,,,each dip was £3 with the swag,,,,blow up dolls,knickers,G strings,contraceptives etc it made £1500 in an evening (About $3000!!).
Average take on a dip with 20,000 head on the ground is around £500 for two day run ($1000).
drwilson
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Ken,

So it's a "hanky pank," not a game of chance. That's even better. Thanks! I might try that.

Yours,

Paul
Kondini
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A hanky pank!!!!! I learn something new every day.
drwilson
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Ken,

Well, actually, a hanky pank requires the kid to do something not requiring any skill for a prize, like a duck pond or fishing game. There is a prize every time. Typically, the prize is worth about 25% of the price of the game, so your Lucky Dip pays out better.

Yours,

Paul
Kondini
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If you want to be really tight you could always wrap up a stone or something worthless and explain to the screaming kid that he was unlucky that time so why don`t you have another go!!! After all it`s only a quid!!

Doctor Death actualy did this a few years ago and for the winners! he wrapped up second hand soft toys which his wife had picked up at jumble sales and then put the soiled fluffies through a washing machine,,you can imagine what fluffy Poo Bear looked like after that!

He was escorted off site,banned from that show for life.
The following year he booked in under a different name and did just the same again (He hid inside his living van while his sons manned his show and dip).
I thought this was great and dined out on it for weeks.
Todd Robbins
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Thanks for the definition of a Lucky Dip. By the way, an Unlucky Dip is a pickpocket at a nudist colony.
Kondini
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Well that may depend on what he is "feeling" for!!
rossmacrae
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Well, I guess it really IS a hanky pank - here in the States we call the idea "a grab bag". A church-fair classic.
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