The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Believe it or not... » » Agents (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Stephon
View Profile
Special user
Maryland, USA
911 Posts

Profile of Stephon
Anyone here go thru an agent to book shows? If so, how's that working out for you?

Thanks.
~Les S. Moore, The Dapper Dipper
Swami Yomahmi and Cheeky Monkey Sideshow

"Comedy is a man in trouble." ~Bill Irwin
gsidhe
View Profile
Inner circle
Michigan
1726 Posts

Profile of gsidhe
We have agents that have booked us into gigs but they are not the primary source. We do 95% of the gig finding ourselves. The gigs booked by the agents were good (Usually higher paying) stuff, but nothing steady.
Gwyd
Harley Newman
View Profile
Inner circle
5105 Posts

Profile of Harley Newman
Don't sign an exclusive agreement, unless the contract guarantees you a certain income.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

www.bladewalker.com
Todd Robbins
View Profile
V.I.P.
New York
2902 Posts

Profile of Todd Robbins
Quote:
On 2008-11-10 09:16, Harley Newman wrote:
Don't sign an exclusive agreement, unless the contract guarantees you a certain income.


And no one will guarantee you a certain income.

Agents come in all shapes and sizes (but they are all slippery and some down right slimey.)

The problem is that unless an agent things you have potential for big money (films, TV, recordings) they will not be able to make enough to really give a *** about. Agents will put you on their roster and you will wait forever for a call from them. You will get a call only if some such as a commerical call or TV background work comes to them. I have NEVER met an agent that gets on the phone looking for work for his or her clients. They all wait for the phone to ring.

What I just wrote about are agents for print and media (TV,films, etc.) On the other end of the spectrum are the talent bookers. These folks are probably what you are asking about. These people book talent for live events (parties, corporate events, etc.) There are a bunch out there and they will make you money. Again, there is no reason to have an exclusive agreement with anyone of them. It is best to schmooze up all of them in your area.

The problem is that they too wait for the phone to call, and since the need for sideshow material is a rarity, as comparied to walk around close up magic, you will not hear from them that often. That is why you need to be known by EVERY party booker in your area.

And let's talk about 'buy and sell' for a moment, shall we? Unless you are a signed client, it is possible that the booker you are dealing with will be engaging in 'buy and sell'. This means that the price he sells you for to the client will be significantly more than the pay he is giving you. Many performers hate this practice. It doesn't bother me. As long as I am getting the money I want, I don't care what the booker is getting. I would never have gotten the gig without them, so they deserve to get whatever they can. The booker is not going to like me interferring in their practices if I object to what they are making, and they will just call the next guy on the list.

I haven't even touched upon college agents and the performing arts market, so if you want some info on these, let me know.

Todd
DonDriver
View Profile
Inner circle
1792 Posts

Profile of DonDriver
Todd,
All this booking infomation you know sounds like a booklet in the making you could do.Don't give it to'em now, SELL it to'em later....one over there sold...another back there sold...hold your hand up...

Later,Don
Todd Robbins
View Profile
V.I.P.
New York
2902 Posts

Profile of Todd Robbins
Don,
I will get to that, but first I am going make these one dollar bills turn into one hundred dollar bills, just watch the Professor...
DonDriver
View Profile
Inner circle
1792 Posts

Profile of DonDriver
Its going to take lots of hundred dollar bill's to raise little Phineas in your arms there..or do you plan to get him on the bally stage as soon as he can talk and earn his own way?
Todd Robbins
View Profile
V.I.P.
New York
2902 Posts

Profile of Todd Robbins
http://robbinsbaby.blogspot.com/

If you scroll about a 1/4 of the way down, you will see a post titled "Little Todd". It shows me putting him into his talker outfit.
dave_matkin
View Profile
Inner circle
4294 Posts

Profile of dave_matkin
Yes and if you go down further you get to a picture with the title:- It's fake. "It's fake. It's funny and it's fake." That is a SURE lie the baby in that picture is defenitly real!

Yoe are taking pleanty of pictures - he sure is cute! Just like his dad (yeh right!) Smile
DonDriver
View Profile
Inner circle
1792 Posts

Profile of DonDriver
Geez Todd at least you could have put a few photos of Finn on your blogspot so we could see him.

(I loved the talker outfit...)
dave_matkin
View Profile
Inner circle
4294 Posts

Profile of dave_matkin
OH they are not pictures of Fin - I didn't realise it was Todd!
Pele
View Profile
New user
State of Bliss, USA
29 Posts

Profile of Pele
I have media agents and booking agents. I'm in a decent position to offer a lot of stuff, not just the sideshow standard, so I get work fairly regularly through them. A small percentage of that is actually the sideshow/magic style stuff.
In the end I still do most of my bookings myself.
I use bookers more actively overseas than locally. It makes that work far easier to secure.

I have had some try to force me into an exclusivity clause, and then he tried to bad mouth me to others when I wouldn't take it. Didn't work but it was a pain in the ass for a bit.

The ones I work with actually claim they take 10-15% of the overall take. In the end, I don't care as long as I get the money I ask for.
If, of all the truths in the world, you choose one and follow it blindly, it becomes a falsehood and you a fanatic.
Stephon
View Profile
Special user
Maryland, USA
911 Posts

Profile of Stephon
Thanks for the info and the input. I should have been more specific tho. . .

. . .I am talking about a talent booker more so than an agent (although I would like someone who's actually be proactive), although what I'm looking for is less the corporate entertainment type of gig and more short-run theater shows. I would just rather have someone with the contacts and the experience deal with it than try to do it myself. As for the percentage, I agree with you, Todd; if they're working, they should get paid, as long as I'm making what I need to.

I actually would be interested in information about college agents, too--my understanding was you pretty much had to go thru NACA, and I don't really want to deal with that.

Thanks!
~Les S. Moore, The Dapper Dipper
Swami Yomahmi and Cheeky Monkey Sideshow

"Comedy is a man in trouble." ~Bill Irwin
Todd Robbins
View Profile
V.I.P.
New York
2902 Posts

Profile of Todd Robbins
What you are looking for is an a booker associated with APAP. That is the Association of Performing Arts Presenters. This group is VERY much like NACA is in the college market, just on a much bigger scale. This is an organization of people that run theaters around the country and the agencies that provide them with shows. It is very competitive. The big conference of APAP happens every year in January at the Hilton here in NYC. There are hundreds of showcases, both at the Hilton and all around the city, and there is a tradeshow floor of all the agents.

I had very little success in this market with Carnival Knowledge. Harley is represented by a agent and I don't think they have done that much for him. It is a tough market.

The key to success is to find an agent that has a great reputation in the market and can get you booked into a theater that knows and trusts the agent, and will take a risk on a new show. Once booked, you need to fill that theater, because if you do good business ALL the presenters will hear about it and will line up to book your show. The old barnstorming PR stunts like a blindfold drive or upside down strait jacket escape would get great press for a booking and sell tickets. No one is doing this kind of stuff and it would kill.

TV exposure would help, but is not necessary. There are a ton of shows out there playing the market that you have never heard of, but do great business and have made a fortune for the creators/performers. Shear Madness, Triple Espresso, The Male Intellect are just three shows that never played NYC, but have been VERY successful in the performing arts market.

As mentioned, the college market is very similar to this, but on a smaller scale. And NACA and the other college entertainment organization IS the way to go. You can either represent yourself, but that can get expensive and VERY time consuming, or find a good agent. I have a lot to say about this, but it will have to wait. Finn is just woke up and is not happy. I have to go.

Finn's Father
Stephon
View Profile
Special user
Maryland, USA
911 Posts

Profile of Stephon
Thanks again for the information, Todd. And thank Finn for letting borrow his father for a little bit.
~Les S. Moore, The Dapper Dipper
Swami Yomahmi and Cheeky Monkey Sideshow

"Comedy is a man in trouble." ~Bill Irwin
Harley Newman
View Profile
Inner circle
5105 Posts

Profile of Harley Newman
NACA's very competitive, though a lot of folks come into it, thinking the streets are paved with gold.

My agents have joined APAP, but haven't attended a conference yet. I went to one of their regionals once, many years ago, and got some work. It'll be interesting to see what happens.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

www.bladewalker.com
critter
View Profile
Inner circle
Spokane, WA
2504 Posts

Profile of critter
My agent is a jerk. She's never gotten me jack flippin' squat, and is really hard to work with.
I get my own shows.
I might have a new guy to work with who scores a lot of big corporate gigs for my friends. I have actually worked at his club before so I know what he's like to work with.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers


"This I offer in explanation of how it was that I found myself in my undergarments as I sat in my cell attempting to plot my escape."
~Professor Phineas Valeyard, Miskatonic University Dept.of Psychodynamic Natural History.

New Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/Valeyard-Magic-Stage-233226717588438/
Fitz
View Profile
Elite user
Phoenix, AZ
476 Posts

Profile of Fitz
Todd my wife is READY to have kids and I must admit it scares me a bit... but seeing those pictures of Finn eases my nerves. Your son looks great and I am envious of him because I'm sure your a great dad.

Okay enough brown nosing (although I was being sincere) I would like to get into the college market and I am currently working on a show but have had very little success in find good information on the subject. The main sources I found was Hustle Hustle by Joel Bauer written in 1983, and a few little things here and there. Do you or anyone else have any recommended reading for the college market?

Thanks,
Fitz

P.S. I'll buy a copy of your book...
I have a daily web show all about magic at http://FitzMagic.info
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Believe it or not... » » Agents (0 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2019 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.26 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL