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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » How to start a stage show... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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eebie376
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Hey everyone.

Well I finally feel confident enough in my mentalism abilities to start a stage show. I have a list of potential effects and everything. Here's the problem.

I have no idea how to go about doing a stage show. I don't mean mechanically. I mean physically finding a stage to work on, etc.

How did you guys find the current venues in which you work? Where does one go to find a suitable performance environment for a stage show? How does one go about renting out a stage for a regular show and things like that?

Any help at all would be appreciated. This is kind of a weird situation. I'm ready to perform, but not sure how to go about finding a performance environment.

Thanks,
Ian
Zack
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Ian,

If you are in a large city, odds are there are some caberets. These are usually low paying or non-paying gigs. They like vaudville/variety acts. Check the local free weekly.
themindreader
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Hi,

Cold call pubs with function rooms and working mens clubs. They are not exactly 'glamour venues', but you never know who is in the audience.

Simon
Pete Legend
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Hey Ebbie,

Well I orgainsed one few months back (mentalism)

How I started I found a venue in town(Big Function Room in a nice pub)I knew a guy who knew the owner so I ended up getting the venue almost without charge (had to pay sound guy)So A date was sett,I had 8 weeks to sell out the place (Fitted 250 people)I went down to the printers and got some posters done as well tickets printed.I made up 100 posters (used about 30 of these) and got 300 tickets done.

I went to all the surrounding area,pubs,restaurants,Shopping Markets and put my posters on display(most shopkeepers and staff were great! and had no problems!)I got my tickets and gave them to 10 different people (20 each) and asked them to help me out.I gave them to people who were involved in Soccer,Gaelic Football(our national Sport here Smile,Friends my own age and gave bundles to guys who would represent the older generation SmileI would call them once a week to see how they were getting on(lol but a bit of pressure on them actually otherwise you know what would likely happen... Smile )

I rang my County Paper and rang the local radio stations.I ended up getting on a national paper (segment) and was a feauture on my County Paper (Page 3 lol a dream come true Smile ) I performed for them in person,each interview was done in their office's rather than over the phone so I got my picture taken and performed some stuff for them.You be surprised how many people read my article..I actually had a national Tabloid ringing me looking to do a feature.The radio interview was grand,did a book test which went down well.All this publicity was free of charge,I mean how can you lose! Smile

I think that's about it really,the tickets I had went to family and close friends (still charged them Smile )All the tickets were sold and the show went very very well.Oh I got someone to record it also.I got about 30 copies and send them to agents,agencies etc Actually it was a great learning experience and I made close to 2 and half grand (euro's) from it.I got to sit back and for the first time watch myself perform!Noticed lots I wanted to correct/change straight away!Great learning experience but hard work.Im a laid back person so I gave myself plenty of time to sell the tickets and get everything else done.

Hope this was of some help.

All the best,

Pete
eebie376
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Thanks for the speedy advice everyone!

And Pete, that sounds fantastic! Sounds like that couldn't have worked out better for you. Congratulations! Good advice as well.

Ian
chichi711
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Pete what was the end result? Did you continue to do the show?
Scott Xavier
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There once was a book entitled: Untitled it kept a journal of my stage/theater show. From publicity to performing I put it all in there. Follow the link...
Pete Legend
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Hey Chichi,

I'll be totally honest here,I do this for a living..it's my sole income but I think that may most likely change in the not so distant future.Minimum Wage here in Ireland is about 340-360 Euro,Im making about 300-320 weekly performing(lets face it the cash is not exactly rolling in at the moment)..some weeks are better than others..I have a few idea's,I may have an option of performing on a cruise ship next year,I might go travelling the world,get a part time/full time job or hopefully crack the markek here..I think there is HUGE potential!So I guess I'm heading in one of those directions...

At the moment I do 21st Birthdays,Weddings,Comedy Club and the odd Corporate Show.Most OF these gigs would be stand up shows.I think maybe in Ireland it's more difficult to get this line of work as people havent really heard of this sort of entertainment,I will hopefully use this to my advantage SmileThat Show Chichi that I menthioned above would probadly be done later on this year again SmileMy area is not exactly huge so I would'nt be able to fill it out even once a month without changing my show.In order for me to sell out that particular venue I would have to put on a different show really...

It was a great experience though,I mean look at it this way I even got to send off my dvd to other performers like Pat Kuff here at the Café and got fabalous advice concerning my act,Im always learning.Standing out on stage as you know is only a very small part of what we do SmileI hope I did'nt waffle on too long but since you asked Smile

All the best,

Pete
chichi711
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That great Pete. I wish you success.
Pete Legend
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Thanks Chichi and best of Luck Ian! Smile
Roger Kelly
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Pete,

Sounds brilliant! What was in your routine mate?
Flec
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I don't think pete's routine could have contained that much more than a helper monkey named florence, who was clearly doing all the work for him...

;) how are ya pete, been a long time!

if anyone has the chance to see pete, I suggest you do it! (thats about the only motivation you'll need to travel to Cork...ive heard its a bit rough down there)
Pete Legend
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Hey Flec!!

This guy here,the best close up guy I have met! It's a shame his a yam yam but we all have our problems Smilelol Flec Im looking at florence as we speak...his missing his legs(had an accident) but apart from that his in pretty good form! SmileLess of your Anti Cork propaganda...did you know we were the European city of Culture a few years back..Although should point out that most likely wont be repeated after the "controversy" SmileGreat to hear from you buddy! Smile

Hey Rodger,its hard to describe.Flec above has the dvd so I would ask him to send it on to you but Im sure he would of sold it by now (most likely went on the villa season ticket...£2.50 Smile )

Rodger Basically its a mixture of comedy and mind reading,since July my show has improved,changed as Im always learning Smile One routine in the above show contained heirloom,Osterlind watch routine,pseudo hypnosis and a prediction.I try to mesh different effect together to create strong pieces with my own presentational twist.I in the above show also performed my versions of Mother of All Boook Tests,Knickerbocker,Confabulation and finished off with a number square.I hope this answers your question SmileAfter watching the dvd I noticed I kept saying "Do me a favour" and "to be honest" far too often...just few of the many things that I noticed that needed improving!

If anyone has any other suggestions for Ian on how to start a stage show please share,my ramblings have kinda hijacked the thread,sorry Ian!

All the best,
Pete
Roger Kelly
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Sounds great - and an honest retrospective too.

I was in Cork for last New Year and it pi$$ed down for what seemed like a decade - just like it did in Limerick the year before and Galway the year before that!

We're in Dublin for Xmas - are you around?

And - what is this 'Villa' you speak of? The only one I know of in the Birmingham region is "Aston" a small time soccer club, ironically run by an Irishman - and vastly overpriced at £2.50 - may I say so?!!!
eebie376
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This thread has turned out to be pretty neat. Don't let it die so quickly! Smile
Flec
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Quote:
On 2006-10-25 19:35, Roger Kelly wrote:

And - what is this 'Villa' you speak of? The only one I know of in the Birmingham region is "Aston" a small time soccer club, ironically run by an Irishman - and vastly overpriced at £2.50 - may I say so?!!!


small time club!!!! what!!! now hango n a minute, the only unbeaten team in england today! quick change of topci before we get sent to the "not very magical but still" page...

setting up a show, you have to pick strong effects that will win over your audience. or take a hint from derren brown...take a simple effect, and turn it into a miracle. old lesson...presentation is everything.

audince participation is a must. the more the merrier, you don't want people thinkin its stooged, so think how you're going to choose these people (copperfields throws rubber bricks in the audience, derren used frisbees, etc etc). you don't want overkill though, don't have EVERY effect using people....unless its strictly mentalism, then I guess you coudl make an exception.

getting material can be easy. you should kno what works and what doesn't. once you've got your effects, the hard part is blending it together well enough so people think its one big trick.

if anyone saw Copperfields tour last year with the lottery prediction. he predicts the numbers, then does another effect, then another, then produces the car he sed his grandad would buy etc.

and if you're only doing a small show (highly advisable if this is your first one, don't jump in at the deep end and go for broadway straight away!). pete's got it spot on. make some posters, send them local shops, newsagents. contact press, radio, tv and newspapers. they can only say no! if you don't ask, you don't get.

try and get free stuff. people might sponsor you. "bobs newsagent" might give you $100 if you put their advert on every one of your posters, and mention them in your show. taht $100 might pay for the room, or an effect in the show etc. your poster might read "magicman is proud to be sponsored by bobs newsagents." ok newsagents is a crap example, but you get the idea. don't pay them....they'll give YOU money because your advertising their name.

I'm no marketing expert, but I'm just throwing common sense ideas into play here. ask around, how amateur theater groups go about putting shows on. a lot of its volunteer work, scratch my back and ill scratch yours!

sorry about any spelling mistakes....my mind thinks quicker than my fingers can type.....either that or I'm a yam yam.

pete....yam yams are 20 miles north of me Smile
fallingblood
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I personally started off going to Churches and offering to do charity shows. My first one was at the church my dad was part off. Then I did another one at another Church, because the pastor had seen my performance. After that, I went to some different lodges (Masons, Elks, places like that), and did small stage shows.

I made sure that I got mentioned in the paper, on the radio, and during the news on television (I live in a small city). With that and word of mouth, I get hired at other places. That's what worked for me.
Montethrower
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I agree with falling blood. Fraternal organizations always have large community rooms where one could do stage/parlour stuff. Some that particularly spring to Mind are the Moose, Masons, Elks, Eagles, and Oddfellows. They are always trying to raise money also, for various charities. So, if I were you, and you need some promotional work, go straight to them.
Flec
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The masons/masonics organisations.....Lion Clubs, Rotary etc....these types of clubs are great.

A lot of charity work goes on, the masons I have worked with are usually well dressed business men, on a good wage packet. At a dinner with 50 guests, its not uncommon to have doctors, lawyers, solicitors, event planners, office workers....a lot of corporate opportunities.

Uusally a lodge will meet once a week, sometimes once a month. Alyways having dinners and lunches, etc. Ask about 'ladies nights' when the men bring along their wives to a black tie dinner and treat them all rather good!
Roger Kelly
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Good thread this one! I'm picking up some useful tips. Particularly the Freemasons' "Ladies Nights" - very good idea.

And, Flec, you spoke too soon Smile
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