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Dynamike
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Does anyone know who the top school agents are? I am looking forward to travel to different schools throughout USA. I also add educational/motivational magic to my magic shows: Say No To Drugs, Positive Self-Esteem, Stay In School, etc. If you know where I can find a listing of the agents please let me know.
Jerskin
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You may want to post this under the Little Darlings heading...
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James Munton
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Most school show performers market themselves.

The only one I know of is Young Audiences of America.
Jerskin
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No, there are school show agencies-I looked into it years ago.
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tacrowl
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This is a very easy market to self book if you have a show that meets the school's needs. It takes some work, but it is better than relying on an agency to send you a route sheet each week. You never know when that sheet will stop coming - and it will.
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Christopher Starr
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isaacfawlkes
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You can find some agencies that will book you. It's hard work and medium rewards. It's far mose satifactory to book it yourself. I would recommend check a website aimed at the school market. http://www.schoolshows.com I have used them for many years with great results. That in conjunction with mailings, telephone followup, and my own website last year I was as busy as I could handle. It's is also hard work but the rewards of doing it yourself are much greater in the long run.
Father Photius
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When I made my living doing school shows I did all my own securing of gigs and bookings. I'm sure methods have changed since way back then, but Bobo and another more local magician I knew who were working the circuit gave me some pointers. A lot of it is getting contact with the appropriate person at the school, in different states and districts this varies as depends on the level of the grade of the school. In most high schools there was one vice principal who was the "activities director" that I would contact. In Jr. Highs generally the vice principal was the contact person. In grade schools you had to deal straight with the principal. I found very little benefit in trying to deal with administrative people at the district level. Individual schools had individual budgets for such things and booked accordingly. I understand if you do some search here on the board there are several folks selling material on how to develop and book school shows. If you can, contact someone doing school shows, just contact someone who does it in a different part of the country than you will work and they are prone to give you some good pointers.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
James Munton
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Quote:
No, there are school show agencies-I looked into it years ago.


I don't know how many years ago you looked, Greg, but today most magicians book themselves. There are a few organizations that have a roster of performers, but they usually pay a ridiculously small amount to the performers.

There are also a bunch of internet directories springing up for schools. Usually they want you to pay to be listed and just aren't worth it. The schools don't look at them.

Some school districts have annual showcases which you can apply to be part of. You get to perform 10 minutes of your show and then set up a table in the hall so PTA can come talk to you.

The best, easiest, and quickest way to get booked in schools is to develop a good educational show and then market the heck out of it. There are plenty of resources out there that will give advice. Lots of Dave Dee type sales letter stuff.

Most of the school workers I know (myself included) just send out a postcard or brochure a few times a year and then work hard to get word of mouth going and repeat bookings.

It is getting tougher and tougher. There are lots of magicians trying to get into the school show market and lots of bad ones polluting it.

Please make sure you have a good show which is appropriate for schools before you spend time and money marketing yourself. Do some summer camps and libraries first to develop your show.

Best,
James
Jerskin
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It WAS ages ago!
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Doc Dixon
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James comments hit it spot on, especially these lines:

It is getting tougher and tougher. There are lots of magicians trying to get into the school show market and lots of bad ones polluting it.

Please make sure you have a good show which is appropriate for schools before you spend time and money marketing yourself. Do some summer camps and libraries first to develop your show


I would add just one thing.
Schools have a built-in network -- school districts. The districts supply ready-made pathways for word of mouth about your program.
This is a two-edged sword ...
If they like you, it's great. Last year I presented a 2 show day in a district. This year the district is bringing me back for 12 shows over 3 days.
These type of event make my mortgage happy.
Then there's the other side. I've spoken with hundreds of educator's over the years who have described the xyz assembly and how he will NEVER be back in their district. Many times these stories are funny.

Repeat business is at the heart of any business, particularly school assemblies.

Don't blow it because you'll hurt yourself and even more importantly, you'll hurt the kids and educators who deserve better.

Respectfully,

DD
Decomposed
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Book yourself. I did schools for years and may try again if economy does not improve. I am sure the school budgets will decrease big time also though so it may not be as easy as it use to be.
tacrowl
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PTA's / PTO's will still have budgets - but since performer fees are rising to cover increased expenses, they will be able to fund fewer programs.

The problem will be having a show that meets their educational needs without a lot of competition. Reading, Just Say No, or DARE shows are overdone - everybody has them. If you are selling those to the schools, expect a tougher time. Shows In A Box won't help you either.

So what to sell? Do your homework. I echo what James and Doc said above.

Quote:
It is getting tougher and tougher. There are lots of magicians trying to get into the school show market and lots of bad ones polluting it.


Although that problem is as old as the school assembly market itself... and

Quote:
Please make sure you have a good show which is appropriate for schools before you spend time and money marketing yourself. Do some summer camps and libraries first to develop your show
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Decomposed
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DARE shows here are conducted free by police officers. There are so many magicians (loose term) coming onto the market with free business cards targeting the school cash cow. Makes me a little uneasy in my stomach.
Chad C.
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Quote:
On 2008-07-03 12:06, Candin wrote:
DARE shows here are conducted free by police officers. There are so many magicians (loose term) coming onto the market with free business cards targeting the school cash cow. Makes me a little uneasy in my stomach.


Don't worry, most of them will be out of a job fairly quickly unless they have a show that's better than their free business card. The school market folks talk to one another and if you are bad, you won't be around too long. If they like you though, they are a goldmine!

Chad
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