The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Taking the plunge and booking a theatre (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
ninjaduffy
View Profile
Veteran user
UK
332 Posts

Profile of ninjaduffy
I have just come off the telephone with the manager of a local 100 seater theatre, I have decided to rent out the venue in December 09 for 2 nights and I am going to put on an event, a Christmas Magic Show.

I have 11 months to advertise it, a big list of previous clients to send flyers and adverts to, all my upcoming bookings for the next year can be informed about it, I will get it in the theatre's regular advertising and in the local paper. I'm beginning to think that maybe 2 nights isn't enough.

I am thinking of charging £4.00 a seat, I will of course have to give out a few tickets to my pals and friends and those that I know deserve them so therefore 90 time £4 is £360. The venue costs about 120 a night. There will of course be other costs but nothing more than say 40-50 a night. I may get a support act, Im still thinking about that

I must add I am very excited about the idea and wonder if any of my brothers and sisters out there have any advice and tales of similar adventures.

Thank you
kev

Posted: Jan 12, 2009 8:33am
Oh.

I must add that I have posted this in this section because it will be a Children's show so I am hoping of course for advice from Primarily Children's entertainers.

Thanks again.

kev
RJE
View Profile
Inner circle
1848 Posts

Profile of RJE
Kev,

I wish you all the best of luck in your endeavour.

This is a risky venture that you have undertaken. If it were as simple as renting a theatre and advertising, it would be done by magi on a very regular basis. Unfortunately, contrary to what some of the writers and dreamers might say, it just doesn't work that way.

In a smaller community where you have somewhat of a reputation (big fish in a small pond) you stand a higher chance of success.

In a community where you are not known, then the general public usually just doesn't care that a magic act is in theatre, regardless of how many newspaper and radio ads you purchase. Even some very well known performers in the magician world have problems selling to the general public. (Some exceptions might include regular annual shows.)

Advice??? Keep your costs as low as possible. Seek out as much free publicity as possible.

Send out press releases to all area newspapers.

See if there is a regional/local radio talk show that you can be a guest on.

See if a regional/local radio show will be willing to give your show some publicity in exchange for being able to give away free tickets on air.

See if a local shop/store is willing to help sponsor your show in return for a banner or poster in the theatre advertising their shop/store.

Consider approaching a regional/local charity and offer them a percentage of sales in exchange for promoting the show as a fundraiser. The general public may be more inclined to support "XYZ Charity" then put out good money for "Joe Who the Magician."

Posters do wonderful things for your ego, seeing your picture and name all over town, but are often lost in the clutter of storefront and bulletin board chaos. Keep your poster costs to a minimum.

I seriously do wish you all possible success, but one last thing, check your contract for a cancellation clause. Depending on ticket sales by a certain date, it may be cheaper for you to pay a portion of the rental and cancel than to continue with your venture.
Bradley Roberts
View Profile
Elite user
Las Vegas
413 Posts

Profile of Bradley Roberts
Best of luck with this. I did this last year with other magician. The show turned out great, but it was not a money maker for us. We put a lot of money into it from banners, advertising, and staff. After all was said and done we were out $1200. Since this was a all new show for us it was expected. Next time the cost will not be so much I think.

We had 2 shows one day. We had 50-60 people show up at each show. Ticket sells was about 50% sells and 50% free tickets. One thing that made money was back of the room sells. Get some wands, books, and magic sets. Sell those and you will make a little more then you think.

We did have someone that was interested in having our show at a hotel. We are still working on the final of that. Their is a good chance of it happening spring break this year. So the money we lost may turn around for us. All and All it was a great experiance.

Cheers,
B-Rad
B-Rad "The Kids Magician"
Brad Kids Magic Website
"A child's smile is one of life's greatest blessings."
rossmacrae
View Profile
Inner circle
Arlington, Virginia
2448 Posts

Profile of rossmacrae
Do get a support act - maybe something not magic - and see if they will do it for the exposure. I know we magi hate being asked to do that, but some people go for it.

That way they, too, will add their efforts to yours in publicizing the event.
Donald Dunphy
View Profile
Inner circle
Victoria, BC, Canada
7445 Posts

Profile of Donald Dunphy
Eric Paul has a course out, about performing theatre shows, as a solo family entertainer.

I also think that Big Daddy Cool has an e-book on the subject, called "How To Produce Your Own Theater Show!". Reviews are on a few threads here on the Café (and he's mentioned it on lots of threads).

Note - I don't own either product, but I have listened to Eric do a tele-seminar on the subject of his theatre show course.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
ninjaduffy
View Profile
Veteran user
UK
332 Posts

Profile of ninjaduffy
Thank you very much...

Thanks for the advice RJE, All of those need to be done and as much for free and You are quite correct when mention bigish fish little pond, I have quite a high profile in a small area. B-Rad I am definitely making up little magic packs to sell with some novelties. I will look out for stuff over the next year for them.

rossmacrae, I agree totally about a support act, it would have to be good, maybe a non magic act or something with lots of humour. It will bring in more people and add to the whole evening.

Im thinking,
20 mins support act, then me for 20 mins, then an interval and I come back on for 60 mins.

A family show but the magic will be aimed at 4-7 age range.

Ideally if it worked I would do it every year.

that's the plan

K

thanks again.
Payne
View Profile
Inner circle
Seattle
4572 Posts

Profile of Payne
Don't plan your budget around a 100% sell out rate. Even at a hundred seats it is going to be difficult to attain a sell out crowd. Especially for a first year show.

Another trick, since you're looking into booking a secondary act is to recruit a local singing, dancing or music group of some sort that has as many local members as possible. That way their parents and freinds will pay to come see them perform thus putting paying people in seats.

Also getting local businesses to buy blocks of seats for local underprivliged kids is a good way to get cash in the box office.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
ninjaduffy
View Profile
Veteran user
UK
332 Posts

Profile of ninjaduffy
Good idea Payne, I have done a couple of shows for a local Dance company called Topaz, I am sure they would provide a couple of Dances say 10 - 20 mins for a small fee and the publicity. and of course all the parents etc would come....

As for planning budgets the fee is so small for the venue and if I sell 50% of the tickets I should break even. But I'm am pretty confident of getting a good crowd.
A good friend of mine is a local head teacher, I reckon he will take about 20 instantly. Plus all the nurseries, pre-school clubs and schools that I perform at, plus my kid's school (I will organise a concession for them maybe) and the there is the venues own in-house advertising. I can mention it at my local magic society. Then there are my friends/stooges and past customers I can do a mail out to. The list goes on lol.

I will probably just do my normal kids show but with the Christmas bits thrown in and a couple of new high impact visual effects for the wow factor.

I Know its months away and Im nearly 40 but I must say I am very excited.

Thanks again everyone for the great advice.

kev
MagicB1S
View Profile
Inner circle
Knoxville Tenn.
1039 Posts

Profile of MagicB1S
I think your going to have your hands full trying to entertain 4 - 7 year olds for 1 hour and 40 minutes
"There are Tricks To All Trades.... My Trade is all Tricks"

"An amature practices until he gets it right. A Professional Practices until he can't get it wrong"

www.Themagicchest.webs.com
bobswislosky@yahoo.com
ninjaduffy
View Profile
Veteran user
UK
332 Posts

Profile of ninjaduffy
What would you suggest MagicB1S. A shorter show. If I did an hour I could do it alone.. but would it be value for money???

K
Donald Dunphy
View Profile
Inner circle
Victoria, BC, Canada
7445 Posts

Profile of Donald Dunphy
While I can't speak for show structure in the UK, here in North America when structing a show with an intermission, the second half is usually shorter than the first half (or the same length). The second half is not usually longer than the first half.

Example: 45 minute set, 15 minute intermission, 30 minute set.

You have it as 40 minute set, intermission, 60 minute set.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
ninjaduffy
View Profile
Veteran user
UK
332 Posts

Profile of ninjaduffy
My normal show is about 45 mins with balloons at the end, this brings it up to an hour,(mmmmmmmmmm deep thoughts). This is what I Do for Parties etc.

Magic B1S is right when he says its too long.

Donald, I will follow your blue-print I think. It makes complete sense.

I love the Café

kev
JamesinLA
View Profile
Inner circle
Los Angeles
3400 Posts

Profile of JamesinLA
Have gimmick in your show that you can advertise. A hook that uses someone local from your town. This is also talked about in Eric's theater booking course, which I recommend for you to buy.

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
kimmo
View Profile
Inner circle
Sheffield
1193 Posts

Profile of kimmo
First off I'll say that I've never attempted anything like a theatre show, so I'm speaking from total ignorance, but hey - that never stopped anyone round here before (joke!!!).

The profit margin on this venture seems INCREDIBLY low - with expenses of £170 per night you only stand to make £190, which isn't that much more than you can charge for a regular 1 hour show in December, and that is if you SELL OUT! Add to that all the time you need to spend promoting the event etc., it all seems like a hell of a lot of effort for not much financial return.

I would therefore suggest that you need to make money on add-on sales such as DVDs, keychains, posters etc. Refreshments during the interval may also boost the profits. I also think that if they are willing to pay £4 a ticket, they'll probably pay £5!!

I would approach this venture hoping to break even and gain some valuable publicity. It is good to step outside your comfort zone and try new things - for example, I did several charity shows in large theatres last year because I wanted some more experience of working on a big stage. I didn't do it for financial gain but what I learned from it was well worth it.

Wishing you all the best with your show and I hope you'll keep us updated on how things are going. I'd like to see a monthly update of how the plans are taking shape, followed by a full review of how it went in December!!
VISIT MY ONLINE STORE!: www.kimmomagicshop.com
NEW LECTURE NOTES - SHOW US YOUR TRIX NOW AVAILABLE AS AN INSTANT DIGITAL DOWNLOAD!

Kimmo DVD available Now!
Watch the promo here!
Order your copy NOW! CLICK HERE!

ENTERTAINER,MAGICIAN AND VENTRILOQUIST'S BLOG - DON'T READ THIS...
Michael Taggert
View Profile
Special user
Fredericksburg Virginia
653 Posts

Profile of Michael Taggert
My experience is that you have to look at this event as support of your overall package. I have always made a little money on such shows But I have never "cleaned up" I make as Much on BOR sales as I do on the show it self. You also Need to print a programme and Have local Businesses advertise in the program. you can esily get 20 quid a pop from a local business for a business card size add. 20 of these will add up quick and could cover your expenses. also Have an email capture system availble during the show. This is so that you can remarket these peopel later and turn this into an avenue to produce more profitable shows. I typically produce four sets of shows (a series of 5 on a weekend) each year. I am usually sold out and my venueseats 300
Believe you then that I do strange things
ColinDymond
View Profile
Special user
Gloucestershire, England
675 Posts

Profile of ColinDymond
I agree with Kimmo, I thought about doing a theatre show and a ticket price of £5 seemed about right. You could have a family ticket for four at £16.
I think you need something extra for a theatre show, something that won't fit in a house show, other wise what's the point? But I'd probably spend all my profit before I'd got any. I have a very long wish list!
ninjaduffy
View Profile
Veteran user
UK
332 Posts

Profile of ninjaduffy
Thanks again for the advice guys, I am very greatfull for it all. I don't think I will go for a course though on Theatre shows, I have spent years touring the Uk and performing music at different kinds of venues, theatres and festivals, I have also been lucky enough to work in a few great venues in the uk all music related but definately transferable skills when it comes to thinking about promotions and Bums on seats (fannys if you are in America). (I hope fannys isn't a rude word)

A gimmick is a great idea, a hook which can be on the promotions. It may be an effect; or even a free show to whoever buys the lucky ticket, even both.... The programme is one thing I hadnt thought about though and a good idea. BOR sales is something I WILL do, I just have to find some merchandise(spelling) first..

Thanks everyone. I hope this thread stays around for a while.

kev.
ElectricBlue
View Profile
New user
90 Posts

Profile of ElectricBlue
Could be risky but if you advertise well then you will probably at least break even.

Have you thought about doing two shows in one day.
Maybe a matinée and a night show in on day.
That way you would make the most of your booking.
greatchach
View Profile
New user
Texas
83 Posts

Profile of greatchach
Lots of good ideas on this thread - and I would agree that having a supporting act is highly beneficial. It can serve to build up to your performance as well as relieve you from having to hold young ones' attention for the entire hour and a half all by yourself. (I'm sure you could do it, but as you know, kids do tend to like a little variety.)

I think you have a great idea here though. Even if it doesn't bring in a tidal wave of cash, it's an exciting venture. Most magicians, I would think - professional or not - could learn a lot from doing something like this. It could even serve as great motivation for hobbyists who have always wanted to take it to the next level. I'm not recommending it for an absolute rank beginner, but what better way to get that deck of cards into your hands or pull out those rope routines than feeling the pressure of a ticking clock? Granted, money is tight for a lot of people right now, so booking an entire theater might be out of the question, but there are plenty of other ways to book a free or slightly-paid show (retirement home, school assembly, etc.) It's a good idea for a (late) New Years resolution.

Good luck, kev, and enjoy the next 11 months!
Donald Dunphy
View Profile
Inner circle
Victoria, BC, Canada
7445 Posts

Profile of Donald Dunphy
This older post, from Dennis Dowhy, also has some ideas, even if you aren't trying to sell an illusion show.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Taking the plunge and booking a theatre (0 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 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