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chichi711
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5810 Posts

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Do any of you work with a partner? I don't mean for birthday parties, but for school assemblies etc? Me and a friend are thinking about doing somthing like this just for bigger shows. I am wondering if you know of any pros and cons that we should think about?
Magic of Dan
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St Charles, MO
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I use to work with one or more partners about 10 years ago. We would do school assemblies and banqets. It worked out well because the clients got more of a variety of magic. We didn't feel as rushed to cover more tables at the banquets either. Just make sure you are comfortable with your partner, because anything they do can make you look bad in the end. I wish I had a partner these days. I've been out of the magic scene for several years and just getting back into it. I'm sure others will have good and bad experiences with partners.
Dan
The Magic of Dan
Jim Snack
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I have worked with a partner/assistant many times in the past. Some advantages are that you can do larger illusions, another person brings variety to the stage, transitions can be smoother, props can be removed quickly, and there are lots of opportunities for comedy bits with another person.

The biggest drawback is that eventually all partnerships break up and if your act depends upon working with another person, you are out of business until you train another person or develop your solo act. That's why so many performers work with a spouse...which brings up a whole other set of issues to work out!

Jim
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magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
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Hi Chchi,

I have been working with a partner now for over 9 years and I simply would not have it any other way. Sure there are changes and issues to take into consideration, but doing magic with a partner can work if you go about it the right way. I will try and give you some pointers and things to take into consideration as well as the pros and cons if I can.

My first partner was my brother. He was older than I was and he got me started in magic. We teamed up together later on to perform mainly children's shows for b-day parties, libraries and he like.

I soon moved on to do different things wqith my magic and he did as well. I finally found my new partner as she became my wife over 4 years ago. Now I know some may say that working with your wife or a female assistant is not a partner. In some cases this may be true. However, in the case of my wife Kelly and I, Kelly is my partner on stage and I simply could not do my shows without her.

She is an intrical part to the shows and performances we put on and the routines we perform are constructed in such a way to use us both. She is not a pretty table who walks out to hold and take off my ropes and I never wanted her to be seen or perceived that way. She is very much a part of the overall magical experience that takes place.

One thing we realized early on was that when you work with a partner you both have to really define your characters and define who you are on stage. This is essential to figure out before you start performing. If the characters are not well defined, then the audiences loses focus. The characters need to be defined in such a way that they compliment each other and work in tandem.

Another thing you will have to work out is the fact of targeting audience focus. With two people on the stage, the audience will need to be directed and you will have to control their focus as to where to look and who too look at at what point in time. You can not be talking at the same time as they only leads to confusion. Work out and rehearse your script ahead of time and keep the focus at the right spots.

You will also need to work on choreography and stage movement. My wife and I spend a lot of time with this. This does not just mean dancing or dance movements for illusion numbers. What I am referring to is movement on the stage while you are both working out and performing a routine. It can look very awkward if there is too much movement, or if one person has to cross over the stage in front or behind the other. You must be conscious of your movement on stage and work out the routines ahead of time so each of you know where you are to be at any given time in the performance.

Now working with a partner also has some challenges. You will both have differences of opinion and you must be willing to learn to talk with each other and compromise a lot if you want the magic to be successful. This means the ability to listen to each others ideas and learning to use these ideas in a way that works the best for both of you. It has to be a team mentality and that means that it should never be one partners ideas over the others.

You will also have to realize that working with a partner means splitting your profits. This can be a big hurdle to overcome, so tread carefully and make sure each partner knows how the money is being spent and how it is being split up and what percentage goes back into the show. You must once again communicate. It is not unheard of to have both partners draw up a conceptual agreement that is signed by both. This way everyone knows what is expected of the other when it comes to the finances or the business side of performing.

You must also designate who will be handling the marketing for your shows and communicate with each other to keep those lines of marketing working well. You will need to devise systems of operation so that when a call comes in, you know who is to take it and agree on how you will "sell" the client. Will one person handle the marketing or will you both have a equal share in the responsibilities. This is something that has to be decided upon.

With whatever system you use, it is essential that you set up systems that work for you both. My wife and I use templates and ACT to help us make sure that we both know exactly how we are to handle calls or inquiries so that if either of us receives a call from a prospect, we both know exactly ther steps to take to go further.

One of the biggest issues will be that of availability. When a gig comes along, you both will need to be avalable in order for you to proceed with the booking of the gig. If one person is more available then the other, this can cause problems. You will and should talk about this ahead of time so you know if there are any conflicts that may cause problems.

The best advice I can give you is that working with a partner requires a level head and a committment between you both to making it work. You both have to learn that even if you have a bad day or are angry or frustrated with the other partner, you must always be professional enough that when you hit the stage, those differences get pushed aside and you do the show thebest you can. There is time after the show to work out frustrations.

Communication is the biggest key. You have to communicate well with the partner and always be open and honest with information. This is critical.

And, this may seem obvious, but you both have tolike and enjoy each others company. It is one thing being friends, but onece friends join togeher in a business partnership, it can and will be very trying at times. You must learn to put differences aside for the betterment of what you are presenting.

I hope some of this may be of help to you.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

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chichi711
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Wow magic4u. Thanks for typing all of that. I think all of you pointed out great things. Thanks for your thoughts.
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

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You are most welcome. My pleasure. Working with a partner can be a challenge, but it can work if you are determined enough to succeed.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

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http://kpmagicproducts.com

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Tom Stevens
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Australia
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I am certain that if I took on working with a partner that I would expect them to endure difficulties at least half as much as I do, and I can't imagine anyone willing to go through what I do to make a living.
Fred Kirkland
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One work with some body you can trust. Share all the info. Don't try to out do each other and help they are a part of your show and you. 25 years with 6 partners I had one partner who didn't tell me much about the job we took on and was trying to turn over the job to me as he took on better paying jobs. Partners can help fill in the blank spots and make your show bigger and better. If you think your better that anybody than you don't want a partner.
Fred
Fred Kirkland family entertainer & magician
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