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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Attempting to go pro this year and I need some help. (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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snm
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445 Posts

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With the New Year rolling in, I've been thinking about some New Year resolutions. I've decided that one of them will to be to attempt to become a part-time pro working toward full time. This has been my dream for last several years. I've just never had the balls to go for it. I'm in a dead end job that I hate so I've decided I'm going for it!

I have done shows for some charities in the past and have performed for friends, family and strangers (street magic) as long as I've been doing magi. Right, so I'm looking for some help and advice on getting started. I perform both close up and stage and I have very little money to pay for start-up costs. I will be getting business cards of course. What else would I need and how do I get started getting shows? Thanks for all your help guys! It's is so very greatly appreciated!
Father Photius
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El Paso, TX (Formerly Amarillo)
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If you need that much information to go pro, you aren't ready to go pro. First, spend some time reading this forum, that question has been asked and answered hundreds of times. You will find tons of valuable information from people who know because they do it. Next, just doing close up and stage isn't enough information. What kind of genre do you play, adult? Kids? both? Do you have a specific type of character? What types of acts have you put together? Are you looking to play local only or are you willing to travel some distance to do shows. Is there a particular venue you are interested in (birthday, school shows, clubs, restaurants, strolling, caberet, blue and gold banquets, conventions, marketing, trade shows, etc?)
Your first step should be to ask yourself a lot of questions about what you can offer to a potential client. Once you have determined the kinds of shows you can play, and the type of venues you have a polished act ready for, then you can utilize many of the already existing posts on this forum to gain a virtual encyclopedia of good advice.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
snm
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445 Posts

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I am an adult performer. I do close up magic and mentalism. I have a couple of stand up mentalism acts. I'm looking to keep it fairly local at the moment. I'm interested in school shows (high school and college), strolling, restaurants, bars. I try my very best to be a flexiable performer and realize the needs of those clients and cater to those needs. Thanks for the advice Father Photius. I appreciate it.
Benji Bruce
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Hey SNM,

You might want to check out my blog http://www.paidtoperform.blogspot.com which gives you plenty of tips on marketing as an entertainer.

And you should also take a look at guys like Jim Snack who have a marketing course that will for sure get you booked.

But if you don't want to spend time reading so much info then I recommend you get a coach like Scott Burton (a member on the Café) who will get you from where you are to where you want to be. He will guide you through every step.
Jim Snack
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Thanks for the plug Benji. If you want to stay "fairly local" you need to assess what opportunities are in your local area. If you are close to a major metropolitan area you will have more opportunities than if you are in a rural area, where you will have to travel further to get shows. After all, there are only so many $500 shows within a 50 mile radius of your home (or $1000 shows , or pick your own number).

By performing only for adults, you are limiting your market. If you live in a major city, especially one that has a major convention center, then you may find enough opportunities performing solely for adults to keep your date book filled. Otherwise, you should consider entertaining children and families, where there are many more opportunities.

Work on building your part-time business first, booking 50-75 shows a year, at any fee level. That's only 1-2 per week. You can do that and still keep a day job. Build a successful part time business, and then you can consider going full time. It's a journey, that starts with one show. Good luck.

Jim
Jim Snack

"Helping Magicians Succeed with Downloadable Resources"
www.success-in-magic.com
snm
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Thanks Benji and Jim! I did plan on starting fairly slowly doing whatever shows I can while still working my day job (or maybe finding another one lol). I live right in downtown Louisville in Kentucky. I feel that there is a lot of opportunity here I just need to find it. The reason I say I perform mostly for adults is that I'm primarly a mentalist and I feel that the kids just won't understand mentalism. I can do some close up magic for families and kids (I've done a few gigs at restaurants in the past but not many). It would definitely need to be in a stolling type enviornment (I do not stand up or stage magic, only mentalism). Thanks again for the info guys!
Doc Dixon
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Pennsylvania, USA
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My two cents: get one or more restaurant gigs. It will give you much needed flight time and the potential to build a contact base.

Doc
“For centuries we’ve said playing cards – even a single playing card – could reveal a person’s innermost thoughts.
Now you can prove it!”
See http://www.dixonmagic.com/page5/page5.html
Scott Burton
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Thanks Benji.

I offer a free trail coaching session for you (snm) or anyone else that would like a kick start into getting your business going. No obligation to continue. You may be surprised at how much return you can get from a business coach - even after one session.

I simply ask that those who contact me are serious about building their business. You can learn about me at http://www.amazingcompanyevents.com
Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
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It really sounds like you are not ready. To get ready, save up at least $10,000 to invest in advertising your 1st year. You will need mailing lists, web site, and a means to be contacted easily.

So the 1st step is you need a base of cash to invest. While you are saving go through the above comments from other members and devise a workable plan or goal.

Good Luck!
JamesinLA
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Los Angeles
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Eric Paul did everything because he wanted to stay local. That meant birthdays, schools, libraries, and adults, and corporate. If travel isn't an issue, then it's easier I would think to have just one market.

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
patrick1515
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Your success will depend entirely upon your efforts and attitude. But don't quit your day job just yet!
Try to get someone already involved in the entertainment business to give you an honest critique. (Someone with a background in theater; local playhouse director, Community College drama department even a High school drama teacher could work)
Build upon your current experience and set short term and long term goals. Write this down as a framework of sorts this will help when you later develop your business plan. You will need to be entertaining, that's a given, but more importantly you will need a good dose of business skills (think sales/marketing) There is a ton of great information available here on this board to get you well on your way, grow your magic business slowly and network with other "workers" in your area they are your competition, but you just might find they can also be great mentors. Good Luck!
jonathandupree
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I think staying part time while you buid your business is wise. Get a copy of Booking Yourseld Solid by Michael port. You can get it at any bookstore. It will give you a great business foindation on the networking and booking side.

Work on you show. Determine your market. Anothr great book is Riches in Niches. Don't try to be the jack of all magicians. What do you love doing? Usually when you follow your passion, your career is not too far behind.

Sorry for typos I am sending this from my phone
Michael Peterson
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is where I'm trapped, because of my
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Quote:
On 2010-12-31 07:43, wmhegbli wrote:
It really sounds like you are not ready. To get ready, save up at least $10,000 to invest in advertising your 1st year. You will need mailing lists, web site, and a means to be contacted easily.

So the 1st step is you need a base of cash to invest. While you are saving go through the above comments from other members and devise a workable plan or goal.

Good Luck!


I don't agree that having $10,000 or more saved for just advertising is required for becoming a professional magician(it would be nice though).I know many people have started with MUCH less money initially.

I do agree with everything else that has been said so far,formulate your plan & make it happen.

Mike
Doughlas
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Northern California
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Scott's coaching program has worked very well for me. He's helped me not only with my business and marketing plan, but helped me pull together some great marketing materials. He does a great job of helping you focus on those tasks that are important to your end goals. At this point my path is now all laid out it's up to me to execute the plan in order to be a success. Thanks Scott!
Michael Peterson
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is where I'm trapped, because of my
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Quote:
On 2011-01-10 21:05, Doughlas wrote:
Scott's coaching program has worked very well for me. He's helped me not only with my business and marketing plan, but helped me pull together some great marketing materials. He does a great job of helping you focus on those tasks that are important to your end goals. At this point my path is now all laid out it's up to me to execute the plan in order to be a success. Thanks Scott!


I hope you have your $10,000.00 saved up Smile

I'm looking forward to your show this weekend at The California Magic Dinner Theatre, if anyone is in the area, you should come check out the show-
http://www.calmagic.com/


Mike
domf
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I just invested in Mr. Jim Snack's Course.

You get a lot of information at a real bargain, espcially if you buy the download version.

Best
Dom
Scott Burton
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Quote:
On 2011-01-10 21:05, Doughlas wrote:
Scott's coaching program has worked very well for me. He's helped me not only with my business and marketing plan, but helped me pull together some great marketing materials. He does a great job of helping you focus on those tasks that are important to your end goals. At this point my path is now all laid out it's up to me to execute the plan in order to be a success. Thanks Scott!


Thanks Doug. I'm excited for you!
Astrocity
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Let me just say that I am a friend and fellow California Magic Family member with Doug, and I've been thoroughly impressed with the coaching he has received from Scott Burton. The advice and marketing strategies that Scott has laid out for Doug to pursue becoming a full time event entertainer obviously stem from many years of experience and learning and are top notch and professional. I have personally seen how the time and effort Doug has put into following Scott's coaching is beginning to pay off for him. As Michael said, if you are in the San Francisco Bay Area this weekend, come see Doug headline at the California Magic Dinner Theatre in Martinez California. you can check that out at:http://calmagic.com/index1.html

Hank
Hank Morfin
http://www.MorfinMagic.com
Hank Morfin Rocks!
Scott Burton
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Wow, thanks Astrocity. You are very kind and obviously a good friend to Doug and others. Thank you for being YOU Smile
Decomposed
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Eternal Order
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Anyone ever start with only $5000 or less to start for marketing?
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