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TonyB2009
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Here is a thought I hate to throw out there, but I am interested in your views.
As August has been a bit quiet I have reverted to my old hobby of journalism, and have been hanging out with journalists. The talk turned to magic and one guy mentioned Keith Barry, Irish magician, mentalist and hypnotist. He said that Keith was going backwards with his new show, featuring hypnosis. He said that it had been done to death, and people aren't interested any more.
He said that after Paul McKenna did it to death on television people have moved on, and it is now seen as an old fashioned act, out of keeping with the times.
By coincidence I was involved in two big promotions over the summer, and neither drew the crowds we expected. Is he right?
If he is, what can we do to change the image?
I know in resort venues hypnosis is a big hit, but I haven't seen anyone do a major theatre tour over here in years.
Pakar Ilusi
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Wait ten years, it becomes new hat.

Things are funny that way...

Or do what Derren Brown does, don't show the Hypnosis part... Smile
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
mindpunisher
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I think Keith Barry's ticket sales answer that. He did 20 straight gigs in a large venue? Is that not a theatre tour? I believe he has also toured the country with similar success. I am as you know doing a run at the Fringe. And my experiences so far is that most if not all of the youngsters haven't seen a hypnotist. And their reactions have been pretty good.

Its been a real struggle but the Fringe is the wrong time too much happening and the main target "students" are away this time of year. None the less we got around 300 attend the first show which is ok for the festival. Many big names don't get that. However I would never do the festival again or recommend it. Number went to around 150 second show. Still ok for the festival. We had a problem with the sound system and had to stop show early in first night. I think this damaged further sales. I have one last show this Friday.

I don't know yet if there is a big market for sure. But my gut feeling is telling me there is for the right kind of marketing and show. I think it is new hat with the youngsters. I also got some people turn up from my old shows..

Mentalism is trendy just now.( that will wane eventually too) Hypnosis needs someone to make it trendy again. During the break I was swamped by young women seriously. (I wish I was 20 years younger).

I was surprised at the general reaction they had it was obviously fresh to them. Also the recession has meant pubs clubs don't book entertainment including hypnotists. I think this is a good thing since no one is seeing hypnotists. It was more to do with the sheer number of hypnotists I think that killed it. But now those small guys can't get in. People go to see theatre. Perhaps the hybrid of hypnosis and mentalism is the way to reintroduce it into the market. Its obviously working very well for Keith Barry and Ken Webster.

But perhaps it needs more personality and better marketing and material than it used to.
Anthony Jacquin
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Quote:
On 2010-08-24 07:33, mindpunisher wrote:
Number went to around 150 second show. Still ok for the festival. We had a problem with the sound system and had to stop show early in first night. I think this damaged further sales. I have one last show this Friday.


Welcome back.

'around 150'? Ouch. That must have felt a bit chilly in the 1200 seater venue. I am interested how you are framing that as OK?

Sound failure! That is terrible luck. I assume you did a sound check?? What was the problem exactly?

What part of your marketing strategy have you changed to give yourself the best chance this week? Good luck with Friday.

It would be great to read some reviews. Of the second show. Can you point me to some?

Anthony
Anthony Jacquin

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mindpunisher
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This was 600 seats. The atmosphere was actually buzzing. 300 for festival is quite good. 150 is even quite good. Many big names hire venues of only 100 and don't fill them every night.

The 1200 seater was something planned for october when students are back. I could afford to give away 200 seats and still have 800 seats to fill as full profit. after paying the theatre is was a really good deal. 500 seats would give me around 3k. If I was lucky and sold out more than 10k. To me that looked like a good risk.

Of course this is dependant upon my theory that there is a market out there and these three shows were a test.

I took this opportunity when it came up or it would've passed. But doing shows in the festival was never my intention but I had to grab this opportunity. ?Target market students are away and marketing gets blown away with all the other stuff. In my memory no hypnotist has ever came back a second year. Even big names.

Plus the venue itself the sound issue was only one of many that turned into a bit of a nightmare. They broke agreements changed dates and equity advised me to walk away. Despite that I have stuck with it. I have to agree so far I haven't kicked off on all cylinders. But what has surprised me is the reaction of the young people who have been blown away despite the problems. So although this hasn't proved anything it has sort of stenghtened my belief that this is the case. And there is a market for theatre type shows.

To be totally honest there really is nothing you can do at this late stage with marketing. It has to bedone upfront and first show has to go well. Although believe it or not they have obtained a database with 4000 people who bought chubby Brown and Derren Brown tickets for an eshot. But its too late to make a difference. Too last minute. Why they didn't get this 6 weeks ago defies me.They don't seem to get this and are used to the acts doing all their own marketing etc.

Three weeks in I discover they haven't been doing their part putting up posters in centre of town. I had to jump in to get it back on track then they change dates to try get another act in on one of my dates.(and breaking an agreement) They fail that date still lies empty. I mean they are really all over the place. A big surprise for such a big company. They also get permission to put posters up in al lthe HM ---v stores a week before the show but still it hasn't happened. I mean the resources and the situation I got into is absolutely amazing. But they can't get it together.

October is the time for this students back money in pocket and no festival.

However I put my hands up and tell you the truth of what has happened. We have broke even but not made much money. (actually they financed the whole project) But then that's what the festival is like for most. Marketing during the festival is like ****ing in the wind. Its usually a loss leader for acts to get tv contracts etc.

I don't know of any reviews do a search? Three shows spaced out I guess doesn't really get reviewrs out? I don;t know.

Yes I'm back I promised to post on here no BS results of the festival. I was speaking with Bobser and he said a few were asking. So there you are the truth.

But that's it.

They were talking about trying this in October when students are back etc. But I don't know. As a test the manager still thinks it hasn't been too bad. But after the last show Im not so sure I'll be glad when its over if Im honest. It hasn't been an enjoyable experience.

Me personally I don't think I can stand the stress working with them. So Im not sure what I am going to do after this I shall wait and see.

I don't know if this is any indication that I am doing something right or hyonosis just attracts crazy people. But one guy who was there on the first night. Is travelling from way down south to see the last show. And I've had a couple "fan mail" But I will be honest these have not been "great" shows although there have been some great moments. About 30% capacity of my normal theatre shows.

And I will probably modify the last to accomodate a smaller number. I even had problems a mate who was going to film the bloody show. He wanted to reckie the first. Talk to the sound engineer on the second and film the 3rd. Hense I have missed some really good moments in cluding a really impressive mass rapid induction and the funniest mind reading prostutute Ive ever had. But Im not doing the mass rapid induction again I'm changing the format this week. But hopefully get something on film. They will be out in the streets leafleting. But I can't see much of an upturn.
Dannydoyle
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I do not think that any show done well will ever be 'old hat'. I think that there is doing the show, and then there is giving the audience an "experience".

It is simply the performer. If the market is saturated, or people are burned out, go to another place. It is easy.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
quicknotist
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I don't pay much attention to journalists.
Unfortunately, they don't pay much attention to me either.

Comedy is what the punters want. I mean fresh, original, topical comedy and improvisation, not the same tired old gags.
Once they are laughing, you can hang just about anything off a well-performed, funny show. Even a few old school Hypnosis skits.

I agree with Mindpunisher about there being a new generation of young audience, but they don't generally hang out in theaters unless it's to see someone "off the telly."

If you can't reach them via the TV then go to where they are. Hit them with a funny, shorter, intimate, attention-span-friendly act and they will eventually follow you to the larger venues too.

Reg
mindpunisher
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Its true young ones go see someone off the telly. Because they have been exposed to them time and time again. You have to create the exposures through your marketing at the right venue at the right time.

That means six weeks lead up time with posters everywhere. I was in awe of the promoters of the lady boys and chinese circus. You couldn't walk 20 feet without seeing one of their posters from the centre of town way out in into the sticks. Incredible. They get into closed shops and everything.

This is the model to follow. And why the 1200 seater allowing ou to give away 200 tickets to shop owners in key locations to put posters in the window for you.

I know this works I sold out Oedon nearly 1000 seats during mid 90s and had no track record. That is how I did it.

I honestly think t he time is now ripe to do it again. Its just so unfortunate I was forced into the festival which has always been the wrong time. I always sold out for weeks in Oct. I may now not get the opportunity again. So frustrating..
Anthony Jacquin
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Wow. It reads like a catalogue of errors. They let you down badly. I am surprised you left so much to others though. I always think of you as the 'poster guy' who would essentially do the promotion yourself? You have often stressed the importance of not leaving this to chance.

Again, did you do a sound check? I assume so? Jon Chase drills into his students to take no chances on this also as without sound there is no show? It is advice I always follow - get to the back of the room and make sure you can be heard. Have a back up mic. What happened, I assume there was a battery in the microphone?

Anthony
Anthony Jacquin

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mindpunisher
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I did a sound check and it sounded ok when it was empty. But when full everybody in the audience could hear me but I couldn't hear myself neither could the volunteers. There were no monitor speakers on stage. With these types of venues you need speakers on stage too. The sound egineer forgot!!! Everyone in the audience heard everything clear. But once on stage it was like havining tinnitus. Volunteers were partially hearing suggestions and not responding properly. Coming out etc. But I still managed a passable first half. But I made an announcement about technical difficulties to make sure they understood it wasn't my fault. Yet another let down from the venue.

Posers ---They told me to keep out of the centre of town since their distribution company were handling the posters. I did the outskirts. But when I checked later I spent three hourse walking into every pub and not one poster. I was livid. Plus the deal didn't pay for me to do any marketing it wasn't a great deal it was stacked in their favour. But I didn't mind as this was a great opportunity and the venu is amazing for hypno shows the way they laid it out. Absolutely brilliant.
This was a test for me at their expense to see if these shows were worth bringing back.

They wasted two weeks chasing another big name act trying to get them into one my dates. During this time I could do any more postering. Eventually I threatened to walk away and they confirmed they would change the last show to a friday. The act they were after got a better deal somewhere else. So that crucial lead up time was screwed for nothing not to mention the stress it caused me.
mindpunisher
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Plus when the festival kicked off all my hard work was blown away within two days...it was impssible to put posters up anywhere they were ripped down and replaced within minutes.

By the way these errors weren't unknown errors I was telling them over and over to sort them out but they wouldn't listen. They thought they could go out in the streets and put out flyers at last minute and people would come!!! It was really doing my head in.
Anthony Jacquin
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Do you provide venues with a technical specification? I find that helps. Even though I do send such a spec, I still check everything is in place personally. Again, that is Jon's influence.

Did you tell him you needed a monitor on stage beforehand?

Anthony
Anthony Jacquin

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mindpunisher
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No I didn't tell them because I am not a techie. The sound engineer was supposed to be looking after me. I was being charged £175 a night for him!!!Its his venue he would know that. In the past I have never had that problem so I assume they have always been there. Having said that I know that now. I would never be in that position again.

I had to use their equipment I couldn't use mine wasn't allowed. They do gigs/shows just about everynight I would've thought they knew how to set up something simple for their stage with their own equipment? But ~I think they are used to being told everything by other productions. They don't think for themselves.
Anthony Jacquin
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Just because he is a techie does not mean he can guess your specie.

Not all acts require a monitor on stage. It is your responsibility to tell them before the event, not blame them afterward.

Schoolboy error. Still like you said, you won't make that mistake again.

Anthony
Anthony Jacquin

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mindpunisher
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On this stage all acts would need a monitor there is no way of getting a clear sound otherwise. Bands comedians whatever will need monitors unless they are a bloody mime act.

The stage is not usuable without one. I know that now. When its empty it sounds fine once its full you get the problem. I have no way of knowing that. Anyway that's mute point its done now.

The important thing to to take out of this is ---- it hasn't proved one way or another if stage hypnosis is definately worth bringing back. But there is a strong indication that it probably is worth considering. The festival was always going to be a test not the actual big success. And probably best avoided anyway. I all ready knew this.

The chinese circus and lady boys I believe hold the key for those wanting to give this ago without a big name.

Am I going to give this a further go after this? Right now I'm not sure I will wait till after the last show and reflect on it. For my first show in over 10 years I still think its an achievement to have got this far. If this had been in October I am pretty sure the end results would have been a lot different.

Someone already offered me a council hall with capacity for 300 and they are spending 20K on a new stage. And it will cost me more or less nothing to use. But I am sticking to my two golden foundation rules

Location + timing ==== If any of these two basic foundations are violated then it won't work. I had location but time of year was wrong. I think in this new offer the location is wrong.. I think there really is a formula to this if you stick to it theres a good chance you will win big.

Right Im off Ive done what I said I would do. I'm sure a few will have a smile to them selves as to the outcome. But I have just shared information that is very valuable to those that want to give this a go. (Those that have the balls) I hope you appreciate it.

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Dannydoyle
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Odds are petty good the sound tech did not ever see a hypnosis show and did not jave the faintest idea that the vomunteers needed to hear you clearly. I am actually shocked that this slipped past you. It is basic, all the speakers point to the audience, no sound on stage.

This is easy to see from my point of view how this is not a reflection on you or your show. I hope your audience was as understanding. That is not fun conditions to find yourself in. I hope you manage to finish strong.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
mindpunisher
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The stage can't function without speakers. I know that now. I didn't know that then. It sounded fine when it was empty. However he has worked there for over 10 years. His words were "Im really sorry I forgot". He knew that the stage needed them. I did a bigger venue for nearly three years and there was no need for monitor speakers I used my own sound system. But I wasn't allowed I had to use theirs. Surely they know more about their system than I do. However I've learned a lesson.

In fact Ive learned a hell of a lot in a very short period of time. Crash landing back into performing at the high end takes a lot of guts and persuasive skills. And there are more factors to deal with than can be expressed on a few posts its very stressful and overwhelming you have no idea. But I am probably way ahead of most people because of it. If you are shocked by this getting past me...give it a try you will be shocked a thousand times over at what you have to overcome to even get here. Its not an easy ride and I don't think many could do it. However I did this because I believe thatthere is an opportunity maturing to make a comeback on theatre type shows over here. Of course I might be wrong but I am giving it ago. How many others are? And Im also sharing it here for those that want to give it ago. It would be nice to finish strong 70% of my usual would be all I need. Mind you there are people who have come to both shows and I believe there will be a few that have been to all three so perhaps I'm hyper critical.
TonyB2009
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Hi Mindpunisher. I am glad that you did the shows, and I hope the last one draws a big crowd and fires you up to try October. Numbers are bound to be down during the festival, because of all the other options people have.

Monitors on the stage are a basic thing, and any sound engineer that left them out is a moron. Although you will be alert for this problem in the future, it is hardly your fault. I once did a show with a DJ providing the sound system. He brought no microphone or CD player. I was screwed.

One of my shows this summer was a co-promotion with a band. We did very heavy postering, newspaper, radio - the whole nine yards. We expected 500. We got 200. Everyone loved the show, but there weren't enough there. Then I headlined the opening night of a local festival. Less than twenty showed up. There were massive problems in the organisation which promoted the show, and that didn't help. But it made me wonder - what is needed to freshen up things?

I think you have to either emphasise the comedy or emphasise the mind-reading. I will try both approaches in October, and see which works best for me.

Best of luck Friday.
mindpunisher
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Or find the right audience and time and market to them. You could also emphasis the "danger" scarey side. If you look at Keith Barry's poster or Derren Brown they look eerie the eyes etc. The fear and uncertainty. that's what my poster was trying to do. But I was doing this in the 90s too. Long before both of them. But its worth noting its working for them.

Also It might be worth picking the right time. For example October floods Edinburgh with students who have money in their pocket at that time. Dark nights verly little competition christmas seems light years away as does summer.

People are easier to target and reach especially the right people. I used work October and didn't need to work the rest of the year If I didn't want to. But I got spin offs from the university circuit who saw me in the "big" venue. I charged more than other local hypnotists too. I gues Im hoping to replicate that now. It would be nice.
Dannydoyle
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You do tend to pat yourself on the back LOL.

Hey good onya for trying and jumping back in at a pretty high level. Many (I dare say most) would have tried to "ease" back in with some smaller shows, get the ring rust off, and then hit the bigger places.

Not being afraid to be honest with yourself, and even fail if you have to in order to get to success is really the key. You are definately doing that so again good onya. I wish you the best.

It is tough to imagine that in 10 years of performance on that level it never occured to you about stage speakers!
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
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