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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Help getting first gig (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

geckguy
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Is there any advice you guys have for getting gigs in Cafés or parties to make enough monetary gain to support yourself financially. I'm only a high schooler and live in the USA but I seriously need to get my name out when I get older and have some good routines worked up for audiences. I'm looking for more stage based magic. because contrary to popular belief in my area street magic produces nothing for your pockets beacuse florida is mainly suburban.
Spellbinder
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Inner circle
The Holy City of East Orange, NJ
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First, you have to have a "product" to sell and that would be your magic show. If you don't have one yet, that is the place to start. Build a show aimed at an audience of kids, and test it out in the recreation departments, boys and girls clubs, public libraries and any place else you can. Come back here when you are ready to take the next step, but the first step has to be taken by you alone.
Professor Spellbinder

Professor Emeritus at the Turkey Buzzard Academy of Magik, Witchcraft and Wizardry

http://www.magicnook.com

Publisher of The Wizards' Journals
Father Photius
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Grammar Host
El Paso, TX (Formerly Amarillo)
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Follow the above and get yourself known as a magician. Start doing magic for people, close up stuff will do. For people standing in lines with you, for waitress at resturants you frequent, lady at the dry cleaners counter etc. If you keep repetitive in this you will become know to people as a magician. Next have business cards, keep them with you at all times to hand out if you get an inquiry. Be sure and have at least two different shows. If you want to do stand up magic (parlor or stage) don't market to Café's, market birthday parties (thus ur routines should appeal to kids), school shows (this is a whole field, many pros make their living in this domain, generally shows that sell best are shows with themes that appeal to school administrative people like anti drug themes, stay in school themes etc.) Marking each of these will be different. Birthday parties, visit party stores in your area, they often keep entertainers cards to refer to their clients seeking entertainers, you have to place ads in papers as a birthday magician, if your town has one of those weekly garage sale papers these generally are best and cheapest. Be prepared to know what to charge, and what others competing against you in your area charge. Get letters of reference if they liked ur show. Go read the kids show forum which is "Little Darlings" tons of info there on doing kids shows, and even school shows, since they primarily involve kids. There are a number of books out there on routining and marketing such shows, go read that forum, find the books , and buy them and read them.
Get as much experience as you can, there are shows you can do without taking away shows from working magicians. The occassional cub pack (generally once a year they have a magic theme month), nursing homes, a few benefit type shows for charities around town, if your school does an annual talent show, get in it. There are books on routining shows, books on theory of presenting magic and performance, get them , read them, learn. Save your pennies and go to Jeff McBrides Master Class and Mystery School, learn everything you can there.
Becoming a professional magician involves a lot more than just doing some tricks for some money. It takes planning, study, practice, rehersal, critical analysis, business sense, research, many things. Like being successful in any field the more you learn the better chance you have of being successful. Learn to use the search engine on this site, there are many previous questions exactly like yours on this site, with many good answers. Search and read. Good Luck
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
zappyjingles
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Fantastic,

What awesome advice, there is so much to learn at once and take in. This is the best site I have ever seen. Thank You I am having a great time here already. You are giving newbies sound advice with great ideas.

Hugs N Giggles
geckguy
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Thanks guys I really needed some marketing advice.
geckguy
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I might look into elementary school where anti drug shows are done every month or two.
Spellbinder
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Inner circle
The Holy City of East Orange, NJ
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Again, my advice is first get a magic show. Then you can focus it into an anti-drug show, anti-bullying show, or whatever the current anti-craze is.

The first step in marketing is researching the market... finding out who your customers are (or will be) and what they are currently buying or not buying.
Professor Spellbinder

Professor Emeritus at the Turkey Buzzard Academy of Magik, Witchcraft and Wizardry

http://www.magicnook.com

Publisher of The Wizards' Journals
geckguy
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Yeah I'm just planning for my future at the moment. I'm working on my show and getting some props. I'm taking things slowly so I get things right insead of buying 1000 dollars in props and doing props instead of true stage magic.
MagiCanada
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Vancouver
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Ever considered starting in restraunts? It's sort of hard to pull a stage act "out of your hat." Smile
eddieloughran
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It depends to an extent on what you mean by a stage show !
It could be an illusion type show, with big boxes and slim assistant;
or it could be just a stand up show. No boxes or big props - T&R newspaper, ropes, jumbo cards etc.

It's also important to consider your character; are you going to be humourous, spooky,or whatever.

Best bet is to get out there and work, and develop the "stage show" as work and experience come in.
pradell
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Alaska
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Street magic produces more then "nothing in your pockets." It produces a person with street skills, which can be adapted to handling unexpected situations in your paying gigs. There are many famous performers, and not only magicians, who busked their way to the top over time. Take Gazzo for example. This man has turned being a street performer into a profession. Concentrate on building the skills now. Get good! Practice, practice practice.
Marketing is a separate skill from magic. You can learn a lot about this too, by studying it. Borrow some books from the library on marketing. Follow the advice that you feel applies to you. Marketing does not have to be expensive. There are many low cost, or free ways to get your name out.
Large illusions are not necessarily the answer to making money with magic. A good street act which appeals to an outdoor audience could play just as well to a private, indoor, paying crowd. Success in magic is more about your character, your personality and your relationship with the audience as an entertainer than the size of your props.

Good luck!

:magicrabbit:
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