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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Just saw a lecture by "magic dave" (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

dave_matkin
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Hi guys I just saw a lecture in Stoke by Magic dave aka Dave Allen (see http://www.daveallenmagic.com/ and http://www.magicroundabout.net). A really good lecture - lots of business and a really nice set up. I don't do kids parties really but it was a really goo dlecture - like I said lots of "business" and really useful ideas and info.

If any one has chance to see his lecture I would recomend it especially if they are a kids entertainer.

The other thing that may be of interest to you, as well as the magic stuff he does, is the system he uses for his music and sounds etc. really nice and again he covers all the use in his lecture.


Dave
spangles
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I've seen his lecture. What is so special about his sound system? It seems very cumbersome to me. I prefer to travel light. On his DVD he seems to spend a long time lugging it in to the hall, and then setting it all up. Why does he not just use a Coomber or similar?
TonyB2009
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I have to agree with spangles. I am a great believer in packing light - even when I do a full party, with music etc.
ku7uk3
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Setting the stage is a key part of giving a professional image. Far too many entertainers are walking into a venue with just a briefcase full of tricks.

When the client is paying hundreds of pounds for an entertainer, they want to see the backdrop, music system and lights. It gets the immediate 'wow' response and generates lots of repeat work.
If you are working in an area with lots of entertainers (such as me), then beating your competition is vital to remain in business. If arriving 10 minutes earlier to set-up means you get the job over someone else, then that is what you must do.

I am aware of magicians in New York for instance, where 14 million people are located in 1 city. This means you can do a shorter show, more streamline and survive. You can also choose between who you want to work for, filter jobs to other entertainers like an agency and only work for the ages you feel comfortable with. In England, we have 50,000 people in 1 city. The amount of work is severely less and so every enquiry has to be turned into work. We have to have a show that caters for 1 year olds and teenagers. We cannot be picky. Backdrop and music systems help us sell a 2-hour performance, quadrupling our fee.
It is these tactics that keep us in business.

Magic Dave is right in using all the equipment. I've seen other entertainers use an ipod on a docking station which simple did not cut it when a client had paid for a disco and you have a room of 60 children who cannot hear the music.
Standing in front of a sun-lit window, ruins all the photos and distracts the kids until they cannot sit still any longer.
If you have a car, and work in a small town with lots of competition - you do what is necessary to bring in the work.

Steve
Potty the Pirate
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I think it's fine to carry a lot in to a party, but I don't see the point in lugging in that big old fashioned music set-up he has. You can get a twin i-Pod disco rig, that's tiny, and perfectly adequate for a "kid's disco". I use just a single iPod and a rechargeable amp with built in radio-mic. The absolute minimum kit which can play to audiences of up to 150.
Dave also uses the Spiderflex backdrop system, which also is fiddly, cumbersome, and time consuming to put up. No doubt he will, in time, upgrade his kit, but for now I don't think he's working with the most suitable equipment.
Although Magic Dave has done very well to win some competitions, he has only been a magician for a short time, as far as I'm aware. With this in mind, it's perhaps surprising that he's on the lecture circuit. However,Dave Matkin (above) enjoyed the lecture, so clearly the content is valuable to some.
I have two of Magic Dave's DVDs, and I'd say he is a competent magician. He is outstanding when he's organising games with the kids though, which is a skill in itself. Whilst there has been nothing of interest to me in the magic content of his DVDs, the games alone are easily worth the price.
Remember that Magic Dave has risen quickly to become a well-known kids' entertainer. He has an engaging personality, and works hard. He must be given kudos for that.
Potty Smile
TonyB2009
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I find I get plenty of repeat business ahead of the guys with the fancy tables, backdrops, and big sound systems. That is because I am supplying one thing they are often lacking; talent. I get repeat business because the children laugh for an hour during my show.
I have attended Dave's lecture and seen his DVDs, and the thing that strikes me most is that he had a pile of dealer items. His lecture is all about using those items. He routines them well, but I have not seen huge originality yet. Its a triumph of production values over substance.
I saw him perform for an adult audience at a convention recently, and it was a very mediocre performance. Though I know he gives a very good kids show.
I can't help thinking of Paul Daniels. His act fitted in a briefcase, leaving plenty of room over for his sandwiches. But no one would seriously suggest he wasn't a huge success, with audiences of all ages.
mr shiney
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Potty don't you use his rope routine with the bird?
I now use the sp404 sound machine that he uses and would not
go back to my iPod if you paid me!
I buy a lot of DVDs and get the most out of his
just my opinion
Best Job in the world

Mr Shiney
Potty the Pirate
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Mr Shiney, the Stiff rope has been used as a puppet trick for a long time, way before anyone heard of Magic Dave. I have several rope routines with my parrot, but I do the stiff rope with my Baby Dragon. I wrote my version of the routine in 2002.
Regarding hauling in a lot of kit, I'd like to point out that if you provide a backdrop, PA, etc., that's what makes for all the bulk. Your show may fit in a briefcase, but if you want to "large it up" in a hall, or wherever, you'll find it's several trips to the car!
I remain unconvinced by the "packs small plays big" mentality, and Dave is definitely like minded on that score. I too can get 40 minutes out of a balloon, a sheet of paper, and a piece of rope - but I choose not to, mostly. I do stuff like that on the offbeat - when folks pay for a pirate show, that's what I give them, with props and backdrops and fancy baubles!
Potty Smile
ColinDymond
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"His Rope Routine"!

If you check out the first Axtell video catalogue, I'm on there at the end doing that routine and I don't claim it as mine. I don't think Dave would claim it as his either. One of the first things I did when I bought a puppet was think, Hmmm this would work with stiff rope!

I've just bough the Fishman solo amp, it comes in it's own bag with a stand and at 220 watts should cover anywhere that doesn't have it's own P.A.

I've also got a Jeff Jones magic backdrop.

I like my set up, I've cut some weight and as I get older I might cut some more but it works for me!
mr shiney
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I was just teasing Smile
I guess I must be a fan
after reading my post back
Best Job in the world

Mr Shiney
keeblem
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Quote:
On 2009-07-09 05:25, ku7uk3 wrote:
I've seen other entertainers use an ipod on a docking station which simple did not cut it when a client had paid for a disco and you have a room of 60 children who cannot hear the music.


Stephen, you probably think I'm purposely having a go (I'm not - honest! Smile ) but an ipod on a docking station plugged into an amplifier will produce just as much sound with a full disco set-up plugged into the same amplifier.

However, you're right in saying that if a customer paid for a full disco - then that is what should be delivered.

Mark
Potty the Pirate
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I don't know much about discos, but I've had parents ask me to bring "my disco" along,.....when I explain I don't have one, they say: "But you had it at so and so's party...". For many parents, appropriate music during the party counts as a "disco" no matter how it's produced. There are now "professional" iPod disco rigs, with most of the fades, effects, scratches etc, that can be had from the old twin record decks. Why would this not be suitable for a disco for kids?
Doug.
ku7uk3
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Using your iPod to play music from, when plugged into a more powerful amp (over 100watts) is fine. My back-up device in case the CD player brakes is my mobile phone, which has 70 songs stored on it. I have a lead that comes out of the phone and plugs straight into the microphone port on the amp.

I'm talking about those 'docking stations' that you pick up from dollar / pound shops and only give about 5 watts of power. They sound fine when in a room by yourself, but in a school hall with 60 kids - you cannot hear a thing. And unfortunately I have seen several entertainers using them, and claiming they were doing a disco. The last entertainer I saw doing it only charged £50 for a 2 hour show, so I guess the client learnt that day, you get what you pay for.

Anyway, back on topic - I do believe that Magic Dave's set-up can be toned down. There are better backdrops (such as mine) that take 5 seconds to put up and take down. There are all-in-one sound systems that only take one hand to carry the entire lot in, which can reach 300 watts. I've been wanting to replace my disco with one of these all-in-one systems for years. But I bought a bunch of separates's at the beginning of my career and until they brake down, don't want to spend the money on something I don't need at this particular time.

Interestingly, I did notice that his Partytime 2 dvd seemed to have more equipment bought in for the music system, which was odd. He also didn't have any disco lights. The lights he was using in Partytime 1 were poor and can burn the fingers of any child drawn towards them. My lights have a protective frosted sheet over the front which keeps the bulbs away from the children's fingers. I hope he didn't learn about lights the hard and costly way...

Steve
Potty the Pirate
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Flashing disco lights are a bit iffy, aren't they? They can induce epilepic fits, and though it's very rare, I'd rather not take the risk. I've never found flashing disco lights to be exciting, and I don't think they would add anything to my show.
I use my iPod on a docking station, plugged directly into my PA. The iPod is then remote controlled, and the whole set-up takes about 10s to prepare!
As I can pre-programme anything on the iPod, it works perfectly well for my purposes.
;)
keeblem
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Quote:
On 2009-07-10 03:49, ku7uk3 wrote:

There are better backdrops (such as mine) that take 5 seconds to put up and take down.


What backdrop are you refering to?

Mark
JimbosMagic
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If you charge top dollar for your show, then lugging in pa and back drop is nothing.
JIMMY CARLO. KIDabra International Family Entertainer of the Year 2009.
IBM Triple Award Winner. Uk Champion of Comedy Magic.
Represented the UK in the United Slapstick Awards on German TV.
European Children's Entertainer of the year 2007/8
Potty the Pirate
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Quote:
On 2009-07-10 18:33, JimbosMagic wrote:
If you charge top dollar for your show, then lugging in pa and back drop is nothing.

...exactly, it beats packing up your show, driving to another location, and repeating the whole process, just to make the same dollar at the end of the day!
Doug
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