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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Believe it or not... » » How does one go about obtaining permits (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Justin McWilliams
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1983 - 2005
New Jersey
157 Posts

Profile of Justin McWilliams
I'd like to do something to get my name out and started. So, I'm thinking about pulling off a publicity stunt, I'm sure since it would involve a lake, a crane, a box and fire. I need to get permits. Any advice for a fledgling escape artist in the making? Especially in the business end of it.

P.S. I am only in the stages of getting information and planning, I don't intend on doing this for at least 1 year so I can have more than enough time for practice and prep to do this right. I do not want to take any chances of messing this up.
Hey I'm a magician, i've never told a lie.....oops:o/
Kondini
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Inner circle
3612 Posts

Profile of Kondini
I have done the unthinkable in the name of self promotion.
In the centre of London (Chain escape from the railings around Eros) In Holland,at the Cheese Market in Amsterdam (Fire Blowing,,in the nude)I was a lot younger then!
In Annapolis (In the middle of an outside gathering) An SJ Escape.

All garnered publicity, some good, some not so good. Several have cost me Fines of varying sizes.

My way is to plan at home then get the bottle up to do it,,,just do it and to hell with the results!!!!

Like I said, that`s the way I have done it,,,,
As you get older and wiser!!! you mellow,,,, which is a shame, as just to think back to the crazies of ones past brings a smile to this old face even now.

My way kinda worked for me. But think careful if you go this route,,,if you can`t do the time then don`t do the crime.

I did****** in Paris,,, and boy oh boy you aint gonna have a clue what I got up to at Royal Ascot !!!!!

Chuckle!!!

BTW The more you prepare the less chance you have of hitting the press,,,,do it spontaneous (But ring em first). Or better still get a mate to video your stunt and then sell the vid to the press.
Pele
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New user
State of Bliss, USA
29 Posts

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Orrrrr...you can do what Larry Moss did when he did the whole flying a balloon sculpture over a lake...
He sought out the proper permits by going to city hall. They pointed him in the directions he needed to go to get what he needed.
Then he hyped it up for *weeks*. He did press releases to radio, television and print media which in turn got him interviews, during which he said enough to keep people compelled but there was also a bit of mystery involved. Of course there was a lot of "First Ever..." and "World's Only..." statements involved and he had a really good sized crowd when he did it, and full media coverage.

When I do shows and such I try to make sure all of my permits and all of my plans are in order, including dates and such at least a month ahead of time, so that press releases can go out about a month early which will allow ample time for hype and interviews. For fire/pyrotechnic permits I can tell you to go straight to the local fire marshall. Property permits generally come from city/town hall, or they can tell you where to go to get them if it is different.
Also make sure that your general liability insurance is in order. I am pretty sure you will be asked for it somewhere along the line for something of that magnitude.

This is just in my experience from dealing with the shows I have done, and knowing some of what Larry went through. Every place is different.
Best of luck to you and I hope this helps a bit.
Pele
If, of all the truths in the world, you choose one and follow it blindly, it becomes a falsehood and you a fanatic.
MattTheKnife
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Veteran user
356 Posts

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Justin,

This isn’t only a good question but it’s also one of the top 5 most common questions that I get asked by other magicians. Now here are at least a few things that you’ll most likely need:

-Hold-harmless agreements / Nobody wants to be held liable if the unthinkable should happen. This will protect all outside parties against lawsuits and many people won’t deal with you at all until these are signed.

-Insurance / Nobody will let you get near them unless you have it. But if you’re performing regularly then you should have this already anyway.

-Permits / Whoever owns the land will have to give you permission. So if it’s city or state owned then expected to at least get a permit to use the property for the duration of the event.

Will there be more that you need? Probably. But the rest becomes difficult for myself or someone else to tell you simply because it’s specific to what you’re doing as well as to where you’re doing it (for example, because you’re using fire some states require a fire marshal to be on hand but others don’t). So without being familiar with what exactly it is that you’re doing or your state and local laws I’m unable to help much beyond that.

The only other advice that I can give to you is that having an excellent attorney helps a great deal and I encourage you to get one should you not possess one already. Also, be prepared to start making calls to your region’s officials in order to find out and get what you need. I wish you nothing but the best of luck and if I can be of any more help then all that you need do is ask.

Cheers,
-Matt (TK)
Justin McWilliams
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1983 - 2005
New Jersey
157 Posts

Profile of Justin McWilliams
Thank you very much Matt, I'll deffinently be copying that post into my notes.
Hey I'm a magician, i've never told a lie.....oops:o/
MattTheKnife
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Veteran user
356 Posts

Profile of MattTheKnife
It's my pleasure Justin! I'm glad that I can be of help.

Cheers,
-Matt (TK)
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