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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Decisions, Directions, and Resolutions (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Big Daddy Cool
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So I came here with some questions that seemed off kilter for someone who had been very successful in his market. Based on the responses to the questions I posed I came to these conclusions.

1) Lofty credits help give you credibilty to a ticket buying audience. It tells them that hey, this show will be good because even though I may not be familier with this performer, he/she has credits that validate them.
2) Publicity does not equal income. Publicity I have recieved and continue to recieve has been focused around a theater show/appearance, aimed at selling tickets to that show/event. While my media celebrity may translate into ticket sales, it does not always translate into private shows/bookings. This is neither a good thing, or a bad thing, just the way it is.
3) What works well in one market does not always work well in another. For example, "benefits selling" will never generate ticket sales, and "experience selling" will never generate corporate sales. Again, neither good or bad, just the way it is.
4) Being an expert in one market, does not make you an expert in another.
5) Past success does not gaurantee future success.
6) Truth is influenced by our own point of view, which is formed out of our experience. What is true for one, is not always true for another.

So, what does all this mean?

Well after sitting down with my wife and analyzing some of the responses here, we have made some decisions.

We have decided rather than to enter a new, unfamiliar market wholly, we will reurn to the market that has yeilded past success. I will be mounting a new theater show in 2008, and taking it on tour. I am already approaching theaters about this. To eliminate financial burdens, I will be doing 2-walls. This is a little bit harder to do, as there is more effort involved in getting theaters to absorb 1/2 the risk. This is how I started out though, and know exactly how to do it, and do it well. This way, I have 0 financial investment at risk. The earnings are smaller, since there is a ticket split involved, but the start-up costs are non existant. As profits grow, we can transistion into a more traditional 4-wall tour.

Along side this new theater initiative, I am going to start a modest marketing campaign to schools and churches. I am just not convinced that my style of entertainment will appeal to the corporate market, but I will start a print marketing campaign based on "benefits selling". I will invest into video and additional marketing to these markets as the budget allows.

What I didn't tell anyone is that I have also served as a worship minister at several churches over the last decade, and I have developed a lot of material for this market. I resigned from a staff church position in July, and have decided that it is time to take my work to other churches. Since I have been on the other side of the desk, I think I have a good handle on what churches are interested in and looking for.

For High Schools, I think I have a powerful show put together. I have never marketed to schools, so this will be my biggest weakness.

My plan is to book the theater tour, and then to contact high schools and churches in those areas, and sell them on my program. In many cases the theater show will be presented at those same high schools, so the opportunity to sell tickets to the evening show makes it possible to offer the school show as a free program to the school. It will also be an additional angle for the press. My ideal situation would be to do the school show on a Thursday, present the theater show on Friday and Saturday night (Possibly Thurs night), and then present the church show on Sunday. If I can do this twice a month, I will be able to earn the money I want, and keep the wife happy. And IF some corporate work does come along, it is still just gravy.

Whew. Who knew that coming to this decision would require so much searching?

So I feel like this is a pretty solid plan to return to performing, and be back to full time by the end of 2008. What say you?

Posted: Oct 13, 2007 1:44pm
Oh, and I forgot that I am also working on a club lecture tour to coorespond with the theater tour as well.
Swing hard, swing often, and we'll catch ya on the Flip-Side!
John Pyka
www.johnpyka.com
Donald Dunphy
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Sounds great, BDC. Best luck to you, and if we can do anything to effectively support you, let us know.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
keithmagic
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Craft the plan, be willing to tweek it here and there, and work it like a rag doll (I so wanted to use another adjective here but I don't believe it would make it past the Café censors! - feel free to PM me)

Best of luck to you.

Keith
Author of "The Festival Entertainer" The Professional Entertainer's Guide to Booking and Working Outdoor Fairs, Festivals, and Events.
Available at http://www.howtobookfestivals.com
Christopher Starr
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BDC -

Have you considered writing a book on the theater promotion? I'd love to sit and spendsome time listening to your success story.

Chris
Big Daddy Cool
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Chris,

I had considered it. I even wrote a chapter for Theatrical Magic, that I decided not to include because it just did not flow. I fear that the market for such a book would be too small to make it profitable. I could be wrong, but that is my gut.
However, the responses to these discussions and past discussions about my production contracts with malls has given me an idea. I am going to produce an audio CD in an interview format detailing how to produce a successful theater show. This will include information on how to:
1)create a show that is artistically expressive, but commercially sound
2)choose the right venue
3)secure press coverage in print, on radio and on TV
4)making the price right
5)posters, flyers, and handbills
6)auditioning, casting, and maintaining cast and crew
7)choosing the right sound/light equipment for travel.
8)minimizing travel costs

As well as detailed information about secureing theatrical production contracts with other venues like shopping malls and resorts.

This is the market where I have flourished. Would an audio CD of this type be of interest to you? Anybody else?

osted: Oct 15, 2007 11:02am
Oh,
I will add that the above business plan is very close to the model I have used successfully in the past. Just for the haters out there.
Swing hard, swing often, and we'll catch ya on the Flip-Side!
John Pyka
www.johnpyka.com
gsidhe
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Yes.
I would be interested.
It is the direction I am pressing towards.
I can't think of anyone better to teach it.
Gwyd
Dannydoyle
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BDC I will say this.

EVERY boxer has a plan till he gets hit. Once you get hit, stick to your plan. IF your plan is well researched enough, if it is valid (I make no comment either way on it other than knowing your experience level and saying you should know) then stick to it.

Switching plans mid stream is quite expensive and not helpfull always.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Big Daddy Cool
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Which is why I am going to stick with what I know, and return to a fruitful market rather than daring a new one. Everything else will just be gravy.
Swing hard, swing often, and we'll catch ya on the Flip-Side!
John Pyka
www.johnpyka.com
magic4u02
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Big Daddy: I think you are playing it smart here. Going back to what you already know and a market you have has success with in the past is a great way to get back out there and get the marketing going again for you. You do not have to reinvent the wheel and have the learning curve needed for a step into a new market.

Once you get established again and get the theater shows rolling in, you can then start to look into other avnues of marketing that may work for you or even switch from the 2-wall approach to 4- walling the theater shows you are doing. You have already done this in the past and that can really work well for you this time around with a new show offering to your clients.

I think you have a good game plan set in place. I will also commend you for doing what a lot of folks simply do not do. You went out there, thought about this and got a business plan set up and written down for 2008. that is HUGE. Not many even do that at all.

The biggest step to your own success is simply your willingness to take action. This is a logical first step in you taking that direct action for your continued success. Also, if you write anything down, it is remembered a lot more. I feel you shouldprint this out (if you have not done so already) and tape it in your office for you to see every day. bring it to your shows so that you are reminded of it. It will help you stay on track and figure out where you are as you go throughout your business plan for 2008.

Another thing to note is that one person's business plan may not be for another. In fact it is probably safe to say snyone's business plan is not going to work well for another. Each business plan is as unique as the performer who created the plan in the first place. You have to first know exactly who you are and who you are not. Then find out what markets you are geared for that you can target and feel comfortable doing so. trying to be all things to all people is not a great way to go. define who you are and the market/s that are best fit for you. Then build that marketing plan around the goals you want to seek out for yourself.

I wish you much success Big Daddy and I know you will find it. You have a level head on your shoulders and that "take action" attitude that one simply must need to succeed. =)

Kyle
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Al Angello
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BDC
Try sending out several hundred FYI picture post cards to those school's and churches. A couple hundred post cards will not bust you, and chances are they will get read.

I'm glad to hear you have come to an agreement with your wife, you need moral support at home.
Al
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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Big Daddy Cool
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Al,

Thanks for the suggestion. That is what I had in mind, so thanks for the validation.
Swing hard, swing often, and we'll catch ya on the Flip-Side!
John Pyka
www.johnpyka.com
Dannydoyle
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BDC I am glad the situation has turned a bit. Success is so much more than just money. The love of a good wife is a HUGE thing to consider.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Al Angello
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BDC
My first wife wanted me to do a streight day job, she wanted me to grow up, and give up my dreams, she left me for greener pastures, thank God. Then I met the woman of my dreams who thought I was the coolest guy she ever met. We made an agreement that as long as I make more money than her I did not have to get a day job, so my friend moral support at home some times is all that seperate the loosers from the winners. If you PM me your snail mail address I'll send you one of my post cards amogo.
Al
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Christopher Starr
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Quote:
On 2007-10-15 10:59, Big Daddy Cool wrote:
......This is the market where I have flourished. Would an audio CD of this type be of interest to you? Anybody else?


I really prefer to read things, as it is easier to reference specific points, but whatever the format, count me in!

Chris
magic4u02
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Al is so right. I am so very lucky myself to have a loving wife who not only understands my passion for magic, but wanted to beocme a part of it. How cool is that? lol Not only did she put up with the magic, she wanted to be my magical partner on stage. Now I have the best of both worlds. I have a loving wife and get to perform together and enjoy the magic as a team.

kyle
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Christopher Starr
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Sure Al, Kyle...rub it in. I have a wife who 25 years ago thought that the magic was kind of interesting, loved my linking ring routine, and initially thought it would be fun to be my assiatant. 25 years later, she yells at me for littering the bathroom floor with my Genii & Magic Magazines, yells because my ata cases take up her (and my) spot in the garage, and tells me that I don't need "one more magic trick".

dang....you tell them the secret to how things are done, and they quickly turn on you! Smile

Seriously though, I am happy that you have found your ideal mates! Smile

Chris
Al Angello
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Chris
We all have to deal with ying & yang, but at least she is not telling you that you are stupid. I have not seen my X in 20 years, and she still is able to push my buttons. Although I am living in marital bliss she still wants me to pick up my underwear.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
magic4u02
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Chris,

I am just a very lucky man and I am grateful all the time that my wife understands my passion for magic and can share it with me.

Kyle
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