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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » What should I do? Help for a beginner (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

TheNightBringer89
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Hey everyone, recently I moved from a very large city to hicktown. I don't know anyone and I haven't performed in a long time. I'm very tempted to call the local newspaper and ask If they'd like to do a story on a psychic entertainer. Their last news article that took half a page was "Popcorn! A delightful snack" so I'm pretty sure I'd get in.

Now my problem is I don't have much performing experience (I perform maybe one effect a month) and really have no where to get it right now. Should I attempt the newspaper? I'm really at a loss as to what to do. I want to get my career off the ground and I think getting a story would get my name out a little and give me a clipping to show potential clients. If this goes well then I would look into more papers, radio shows and other publicity.

Now please don't think I'm someone who doesn't want to practice because I would love to get performing experience before I attempted this. Anyway your thoughts would be very much apreciated!
"Dreams are born of imagination, fed upon illusions, and put to death by reality."

It doesn't matter if you're right or wrong,
If you're not like the others then you don't belong.
Jaz
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It don't sound like you're ready for a news article.

I don't your age, the character you wish to portray, if you're in school, working, visiting local taverns and restaurants or what?
Why I'm asking this is that maybe you should start doing some stuff for people in these places. Nothing with a lot of props but something that will get you noticed.
If you're alone somewhere, do some PK stuff such as floating and moving things. Just act casual about it as if you just daydreaming. It should get some attention.
If questioned and you have an sharpened act then mention it. If not develop one.

Doing something for teachers, proprietors and business owners may help. Some of these folks may be members of the local Chamber of Commerce and spread the word that there is a psychic in town.

Look for psychic fairs in the area. You may find some work there.
jimtron
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Nightbringer: If you don't mind my asking, are you a real psychic or a mentalist/psuedo psychic?

-Jim
TheNightBringer89
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Hey Jimtron, I am a mentalist. I used to perform magic, and I have a good amount of performing experience with magic. But I kind of moved and started mentalism at the same time so don't have many opportunitys to perform.

I am homeschooled and don't have any contacts or anyone I can perform for. And I really don't like the idea of just casually moving objects and hoping someone will ask me about it.

But I am going to perform a 20 minute show for a small group of ten people in the next month or so, after that is when I was thinking about contacting the paper.

And just so everyone knows I have done as much as possible, I have 3 sharpened close-up routines, and a developed character.
"Dreams are born of imagination, fed upon illusions, and put to death by reality."

It doesn't matter if you're right or wrong,
If you're not like the others then you don't belong.
jimtron
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The reason I asked is that you and Jaz were using the term "psychic," and if you're a mentalist that could bring up a couple potential issues. One is that some people who call themselves psychic readers might not welcome a mentalist on their turf calling himself a psychic. The other issue, a contentious one here at the Café, is whether it's ethical or not to call yourself a psychic when you are performing mentalism.

By mentioning this I don't mean to open this can of worms and start the debate again--if anyone's interested, it's been discussed quite a bit already--I mention it because it's an issue I think you might want to think about ahead of time.

The fact that you are not in a big city shouldn't be a problem. I'll bet your act will go over well, maybe even better there than in a large metropolitan area.

-Jim
TheNightBringer89
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Ok thanks, yes that's why I said psychic "entertainer" and not reader, but I did plan on calling myself a mentalist and explaining it more fully if I got the interview. But yes, that topic is for another thread.

What do you think Jim? Should I go for the paper after the small show or do you think it is a bad idea?
"Dreams are born of imagination, fed upon illusions, and put to death by reality."

It doesn't matter if you're right or wrong,
If you're not like the others then you don't belong.
jimtron
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Yes, you did say "entertainer" before, and I in no way meant to judge you, but just to bring the issue to your attention, which it looks like may not have been necessary.

I'm certainly no expert, but in my opinion I would only go to the paper if you feel absolutely confident with your presentation and effects, and if you have a contingency plan if things don't go as planned. As Jaz pointed out, this is not something you want to do if you're not ready. If things go awry, you've just advertised your shortcomings to the newspaper. You might want to perform for small groups first and get a buzz going, and then go to the paper. That might help get you coverage too--if you have no track record, then the paper might not want to cover you.

-Jim
Tom Jorgenson
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OK, lets assume your newspaper thingy is a wild hit, the talk of the county. Now what? Ya got nothing! How do you follow up on that with a few 'sharpened closeup' thngs and some theatrical personality you are probably too young for? You got nothing!

First, work on all the effects and etc. Get something that will fill a show. You said youhave a 20 minute thing in the next month or so. It is time that YOU drum up performing excuses/opportunities...and as many as you can. When you have the repetoire to perform, and follow up some good publicity by some good magic (whatever your style) THEN yo will be ready for the newspaper stuff.

Don't rush things.You can always get the publicity later.That's apparently the easiest part for you, from where you live. Get the publicity from the shows you currently do, not from some you may somewhen be capable of doing.

Read. Study. Do.
We dance an invisible dance to music they cannot hear.
Jaz
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Now that things are more clear, start by passing out some business cards at next month's venue. I see that you have a web site also.

A small ad in local papers should get some calls as well.

Good Luck and Happy Holidays
TheNightBringer89
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Ok thanks for the advice guys, so the verdict is "get more experience first". So can you guys help me with this? This is where I always get stuck. I think what you are saying is to start doing paid performances first?

Ok Jaz says to put an ad in the paper. Other than that what can I do?


PS. Some seem to be getting the impression that I just started and am going too fast. I have been into magic for 2 years and mentalism for an additional 2 years. So I've been practicing for about 4 years now and want to take it out of the hobbyist level and try for semi-pro.
"Dreams are born of imagination, fed upon illusions, and put to death by reality."

It doesn't matter if you're right or wrong,
If you're not like the others then you don't belong.
M. Perk
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Find out if there is a Magic Club in your area. (IBM Ring or Sam's Assembly) Ask members for advice. If there's none in the area, It might be worth a long trip to find one. I live pretty much in nowhere land and a few of us interested in Magic started our own Ring five years ago.
Josho
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One thing you might consider looking into is creating a mentalism show -- say, an hour or so. Then contact any of the local community theatres and see if they'd be interested in having you be their show for a period of time (a couple of weeks, a month, whatever -- one of their slots). Chances are that if they are interested, it would be for their following season (since community theatres generally figure out a whole season at a time, and they're already in their current season). That'd give you extra time to polish the show and work with a director -- which you should absolutely do if possible. (If not, read "Maximum Entertainment" by Ken Weber, at the very least.)

If they book you, do something huge for opening night -- something you can invite the press to.

--Josh
TheNightBringer89
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Quote:
On 2005-12-20 20:51, M. Perk wrote:
Find out if there is a Magic Club in your area. (IBM Ring or Sam's Assembly) Ask members for advice. If there's none in the area, It might be worth a long trip to find one. I live pretty much in nowhere land and a few of us interested in Magic started our own Ring five years ago.


I tried that, drove 2 hours away, it was pretty bad. About 5 members. Only one member actively performed and the others said they were losing interest in magic. They werent kids with a passing interest either, in their 60s and up I think. Meeting lasted for only about 30 minutes and consisted of watching a video of cardboard ring and rope magic. If I wasn't 2 hours away I'd probably still go though.
"Dreams are born of imagination, fed upon illusions, and put to death by reality."

It doesn't matter if you're right or wrong,
If you're not like the others then you don't belong.
Tom Jorgenson
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Apologies, I thought you had 3 closeup tricks down and was going for the Headline Prediction in the Newspaper Office.

there are a lot of ways you can try out further stuff and hone what you have. Dedicate, say, a certain abount of time and effort and just do charity shows at retirement homes, RV parks, town libraries, etc. Spend 6 months doing so. don't worry about the minimal loot you receive for these 6 months, it's an investment...they are your practice sessions. Push it, do as many shows as you can muster. After that, you are ready for pro-level shows and word is out about you. Since you were gratis during all that time, all the word-of-mouth will be highly positive. Well worth the effort.

From then, you'll be able to see the opportunities coming.
We dance an invisible dance to music they cannot hear.
Pekka
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Quote:
On 2005-12-20 20:10, TheNightBringer89 wrote:
Ok thanks for the advice guys, so the verdict is "get more experience first". So can you guys help me with this? This is where I always get stuck. I think what you are saying is to start doing paid performances first?

Ok Jaz says to put an ad in the paper. Other than that what can I do?


PS. Some seem to be getting the impression that I just started and am going too fast. I have been into magic for 2 years and mentalism for an additional 2 years. So I've been practicing for about 4 years now and want to take it out of the hobbyist level and try for semi-pro.


To be fair, 4 years isn't that much in magic nor mentalism. But if you feel ready for more, well there is no one here who can, or want to, stop you.
You might want to try the local hospital for performance venue. Do it for free and most likely the press will eventually come to you as the words gets around.
Several FISM acts are being practiced at hospitals, nursing homes etc. places that could never afford a magician or other performers but where the audience is truly receptive.
Try it out.
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