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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Starting fresh and booking shows in NYC (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Twinkletoes
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Australia
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Hello everyone!

I perform magic shows full time as a Fairy Princess in Melbourne, Australia - mostly at birthday parties and some kindergartens - for children aged three to seven. Smile

I am just beginning to think about moving overseas temporarily (4-6 weeks) to either NYC or Chicago - or a mix of both.. most likely over July/August. NYC may be my best bet as I can get around by taxi!

I have lived in both cities before and absolutely adore them so I was wondering how it may be possible to successfully take my show overseas. I'm very excited at the idea of it as I have some good friends in both cities but I'd like to give myself the best shot at it going well Smile

I was thinking I may have more success in booking library shows as I can actively market myself to them, rather than advertising as a birthday party entertainer, given the limited time frame I will be there. I realise that it is too short a time frame to establish much of a reputation and build up word of mouth referrrals and only a limited number of children will be having birthday parties in this short space of time too!

I am not looking to make a fortune during these few weeks - or perform a crazy amount of shows - but I would like the opportunity to make this trip a working holiday.. that would be wonderful.

Before I go ahead with putting promotional material together, I have a few questions I am hoping can be answered here or perhaps just throw around some ideas Smile

1) Are there reputable agencies who take birthday entertainers on their books - who would you recommend in Chicago or NYC?

2) Does anyone here know the going rate for library shows in both New York City and Chicago?

3)My show isn't educational but I was thinking of giving it an angle to do with colours - as my show focusses a great deal on colours already. It wouldn't take much to stress that part a little more for the purpose of education. Or - is it not necessary to have an emphasis on education and simply provide an entertaining show for libraries? I've had people strongly recommend both sides!

I'd much prefer to keep my current show as that's what I'm most confident with, rather than "test" out a show for the first time while overseas! Smile

Are there entertainers who are successful and book many shows while providing a purely entertaining show as opposed to educational?

4) Can I also please ask what dates most library shows are booked during? Would it be early July?

I'm a little concerned that going for July/August I will actually be there for the quietest period for kid's entertainers! (Although I would love to miss Winter here in Australia!). But, from memory I think I've heard a lot of performers can also work consistently through your Summer - is this correct? Are there daycare centres open as well over Summer?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Smile

Thanks so much,

Love Melanie xx
Al Angello
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Collegeville, Pa. USA
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Twinkletoes the fairy
I want to be the first one to welcome you to the magic Café. I remember reading your posts at the Kidabra forum several years ago and the reason why I remember you so well is because of your most unique act.

I do not live in either New York or Chicago, but Americans generally love Australians, and I think you should do very well here. We don't have any dancing fairy parties for little girls over here.

My one suggestion about traveling in New York is that the cab fare will kill you, but if you can travel light a subway pass is quite reasonable.
Welcome to our country
Al Angello
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Twinkletoes
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Hi!

Thanks so much for your reply Smile It's hard to believe that years have passed since first posting on the KIDabra forum - how quickly time flies!

As for NYC, I know the cab fare may be high, but I am just a bit anxious at the thought of me on a train, wearing all of my fairy gear! My Mum is actually a native New Yorker (she moved to australia in her late twenties) and she assures me that so many crazy things go on in the subway, I would just blend right in!

The fortunate thing is that I have a US passport, so at least I don't need to find a handsome prince to marry in order to legally work there Smile

Love Melanie Smile
Al Angello
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Collegeville, Pa. USA
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Melanie
I said we do not have fairy parties for little girls over here, but we do have our share of oddly dressed people, believe me that there is nothing that will phase a New York City commuter.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
kenscott
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I would have to disagree with my friend Al. We do have fairy parties. I think you would do really well. I not sure how the library market is in NY?

Ken
Al Angello
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Collegeville, Pa. USA
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Ken
I'll be honest with you I have never met or heard of an American that does fairy parties. I agree with you that Melanie will do very well over here, and I wish her all the best.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Twinkletoes
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Hey Ken! Good to see you here Smile

As for fairy parties, there may be some girls doing them but wherever I went in NYC and mentioned what I did, every single person told me that there was nothing like that at all - at least that they'd heard of.

From what I can find online, it appears there are princess parties - but these are often "tea parties", very formal, where they even teach good manners, rather than a magic show.

In Chicago I fell in love with the most beautiful princess dress and I brought my wings to try it on. There was a young family there and when I told the children I was a fairy princess their jaws dropped wide open! Their mum said that she hadn't heard of any fairy parties in her area but she said she'd love to have one! When the girls had to leave, they all walked away, heads turned back to me and big wide eyes staring at me in awe! It was so funny as my wings were clearly not attached to me as I tried on the dresses! But, they'd asked me all about Fairyland!

I also spoke to a librarian when I saw Bruce perform and her excitement was unbelievable at the thought of being able to have a "fairy princess" entertain, as she hadn't heard of any around either.

So there might be a few girls as "fairies" - especially that I met at KIDabra - but as far as a magic show goes, I couldn't find many at all.

Well.. I'm off to dancing class.. I'll be back later Smile

Have a lovely evening everyone.

Love Melanie
Chad C.
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Hi think you could possibly get some library shows - but daycares who be even easier I would think. They are open all summer as parents are still working and they then also have the older kids (think 5-12 or so) and lots of daycares book in the summers for part of their summer program. You could do well there I would think. I would also play up the "celebrity" part of it - you are traveling for a performing tour of NY all the way from Australia. If you have some flyers/coloring page for the kids to take home at the daycare - you might get lucky and have someone book a birthday party while you are still there!

Just brainstorming out loud...

Chad
Jeff Haas
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There are a very small number of people doing Fairy-themed parties in the US, a Google search turns up some. But it is pretty unusual, even here in the San Francisco Bay Area, where we have pretty much all kinds of entertainment for children's parties (reptile shows, pony rides, magicians, clowns, Mad Science, etc.)

The other people are correct, for some reason Princess Parties are more popular. Maybe it's because of Disney.

So I think you'll do OK if you can get out the word that you'll be in town.
KC Cameron
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Melanie,

We do have a couple "fairy" acts here in Raleigh, and they do some magic, but from what Al says, I doubt they are on your level. As said, Americans love everything Australian. One of the busiest chain steakhouses is called the "Outback" -and need I mention the Wiggles?. I would make sure your accent is strong.

This year the libraries have the theme "Catch the reading bug", and if you to market to them you will be more successful having a theme like that. It isn't necessary, but it would help.

I do think the daycare market will be the most successful, as Chad said. You can be all entertainment and not worry about making a "Buggy" theme.

Also, I don't know about NYC, but here in Raleigh, school space is at a premium, so we have school year 'round until high school. You may get some school shows in NYC in the summer, I don’t know.

I find the slow season here is January and February NOT the summer.

Silly Billy may book you, I know he does that for several clowns . . . And you can always advertise via the web . . .

Sorry I couldn't answer most of your questions.
Twinkletoes
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Thanks so much for all of your ideas, I really appreciate it!

A "perfoming tour of NY".. yes! That sounds good, I hadn't thought of promoting it like that! Smile

Also, I wasn't aware that there are so many daycares and it seems like daycare shows are much more popular in the States. I already give every little guest a pretty "Sweet Dream Card" - it's a postcard picture of me in Fairyland (butterflies, toadstools, ladybirds, rainbows and all!) and I tell the children to sleep with it under their pillow for sweet dreams. It magically has my details on the back Smile At least 4 or 5 times a week I get a call from a mother who tells me her daughter has had the card under her pillow for over 6 months! I'll just have to make special ones with my US contact number!

And yes, the Disney princesses are so popular! Fortunately I promote myself as a "Fairy Princess" - and my dress is actually modelled after a combination of some of the disney and barbie princesses so it will definitely appeal to any little girl wanting a princess Smile

I'm not sure about the buggy theme so perhaps your suggestion of daycares may be better. If I already had a "bug" show, that'd be great, but I'd be hesitant to try a new show to first start out.

It's true about the accent, wherever Aussies go in America people are always asking us to speak! So, perhaps that will help.. the Australian speaking fairy Smile

Thanks again,

Melanie xx
alexa
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NJ
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Hi Melanie,

We met at Kidabra this summer. I was one of the princesses there, but I was the youngest one who was with her parents and LOVED your change bag purse. I'm Alexa, a.k.a. Princess Lexiloo.

I am actually in NJ and do many shows in NYC. This summer will actually be my first breaking into libraries and daycares, although not as a princess. Like you, I modeled my character after my own love of princesses, (or in your case, fairies) and not like some of the other American Princess entertainers who are wearing knock-off Disney costumes.

You can check out what I do at http://www.princesslexiloo.com The site just got a new make-over so I'm constantly adding updates. I'd love to discuss U.S. Princess marketing and brainstorm so please do look me up. I'm not sure what the time zone difference is in Australia to me...

I know that you have a wonderful, professional act and as your competition, I am sure that you will do remarkably well. Looking foward to speaking with you.

Alexa
http://www.princesslexiloo.com
kenscott
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Ah I remember Alexa! She came with her dad who is a magician and her mom. Great family.

Ken
Twinkletoes
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Hi Alexa! It's early in the morning and I'm about to jump into my fairy dress, but I wanted to say hello and let you know your business card is still on my desk! Your website is gorgeous Smile

Will write to you later..

Lots of love,

Melanie xx
alexa
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NJ
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Thanks for the kind words Ken and Melanie.Both of you influenced me so much at Kidabra this summer, and in turn my father, as I am the one who books him. I'm sure we'll catch up later, Melanie. You can fill out the contact form on my website so then I can e-mail you. It's the easiest way for me to not loose your contact details.

I hope your parties went well today!

Alexa
g0thike
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Twinkle,

I believe your best bet it to contact party planners that book characters such as Elmo, Barney, etc.

Many parents call these agencies asking for Princess parties and sometimes fairies. A buddy of mine gets all his magic work performing Harry Potter parties in Los Angeles thru some company.

Do a search on Google and you will come up with some websites.

A 4-6 week stay is a short time to establish local cliental in the States. Just realise that working in NYC/Chicago thru an agency, you may not get your full rate, or you may.

G0THIKE
alexa
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NJ
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I agree with Gothike about trying to get work, however he is also right that booking through a costumed character agency will most likely NOT bear your true, professional fee. This is one of the reasons that I rarely work for agents, even the ones that book magicians and balloon twisters try to send my dad and I out for half of what we make on our own.

However, from what I understand daycare jobs come from direct marketing, so that might be something you would have more success with rather than birthdays.

Alexa
Chad C.
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Yes, you will probably have better luck going the daycare route. You can simply call them and probably book several shows just from a simple phone call to the director.
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