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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The spooky, the mysterious...the bizarre! » » Marketing Dark Magic (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

David Thiel
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Inner circle
Western Canada...where all that oil is
3875 Posts

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I'm curious to find out how you guys are marketing your shows. Since my background is in corporate work, I know how to sell those shows. But it's much, much easier (for me anyway...) to sell a comedy magic set on stage or in a hospitality suite than anything of a "darker" nature. (This is probably a good thing -- since I can't really imagine getting full impact from an effect like Luna in the midst of a loud hospitality suite...although pendulum stuff is pure gold there.)

I've learned that, since I perform full time, it's one thing to design a new act...but it's quite another to market it. The vast majority of what I still do is comedy magic. Over the past two years, I've done just under 30 of the "dark magic" shows...but would really like to do more.

Since I'm doing the asking -- I'll happily share what's worked for me. When I designed my dark magic show, I started by approaching corporate clients, people I knew reasonably well, for their personal events. I got two actual "living room" shows out of it.

I really like doing small groups...with the dark magic, anyway...and don't feel comfortable trying to get it to transition to large stages yet. One day I will. But for now -- I'm still getting my dark magic chops set.

SO I started trying to figure out how to access the clients who were planning small corporate events or friends getting together in their living rooms and placed an ad on Kijiji with the inclusion of my website, http://www.theparanormalcompany.com, and preferred placement. From this I got another five or six shows -- and the rest, as far as I can tell, has been word of mouth and referrals...which worked out well, since my total investment on Kijiji was less than $200.

So I am curious as to how you get your bookings. Who buys from you? Is a big part of your business "repeat" clients? How large are the groups you perform for? How often do you change your shows? If you feel comfortable sharing this, I'd be interested also in knowing what range of fees you expect for your performances. (In the interest of being upfront: I get $795 for an hour long show, and $595 for a 30 minute show...plus travel where applicable.)Is there anyone doing this kind of performance for a corporate audience?

Many of my "dark magic" shows come in October (go figure...Smile)...do you guys find that? If so...how tough is it to market the rest of the year?

It looks to me as though many of you work with specific venues that sell tickets for you. I know some of you mount your own shows, do publicity, sell tickets etc...which seems like a holy cr*p LOT of work.

I'm very interested in ANYTHING you'd like to share. I think it would seriously rock to get an interesting discussion going here on the nuts and bolts of marketing dark magic. I know there's an excellent forum in Tricky Business...but I suspect this is an art form that requires something special in marketing. What do you guys think?

David
Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Except bears. Bears will kill you.


www.MindGemsBrainTrust.com
www.magicpendulums.com
www.MidnightMagicAndMentalism.com
Dreadnought
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Athens, Georgia
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My house shows (private parties) come from word of mouth. I live in the deep south and superstition rules the day. So, me actually placing ads never worked. The only place that really bought into the whole bizarre/dark magic stuff was New Orleans, Savannah and Charleston... all three are port cities with a European old world charm, so I don't know if that has anything to do with it. My usual stuff is on a stage so I get what I draw in. Private parties depend on the person. Deep pockets demand higher prices usually $500 per show which is usually one hour. If they want full scale illusions as well - which come with a dark theme - then that starts at $1500 and upwards of $3000, depending on what they want. For people whose pockets are much shallower, I usually charge $250. Churches are free. Charitable organizations...depends on the charity, again deep pockets are considered.

Corporate shows is a world that I could never break into, I booked two cruises, but never landed a corporate show. The cruises paid $3000 each but I worked my backside off. It was fun but when I wasn't performing I was asleep.
Peace

"Ave Maria gratia plena Dominus tecum..."

Scott

Would you do anything for the person you love?
SpellbinderEntertainment
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West Coast
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Hi David, This is mostly what I do so I’ll PM you tonight. Walt
“Tales of Enchantment: The Art of Magic”
by Walt Anthony
www.LeapingLizardsMagic.com

"spinning tales and weaving enchantment"
David Thiel
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Inner circle
Western Canada...where all that oil is
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I look forward to it, Walt!

David
Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Except bears. Bears will kill you.


www.MindGemsBrainTrust.com
www.magicpendulums.com
www.MidnightMagicAndMentalism.com
Marqus
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David,

I think I started a thread on marketing bizarre shows twice & never really got any fulfilling answers.

(Too bad that Walt got banned because I've emailed him in the past; he may have been helpful.)

I've been doing magic for 30 years & I'm still having trouble figuring out this niche. I plan on doing a direct mail campaign to Bed & Breakfasts but then, I got hung up about price & charging costs.

Should the B&B pay for my services for the guests or should the guests pay a "ticket price".
I believe I've suggested that the B&B pay my fee & then charge the guests an admission, but then, not all of the guests might want to see this type of show. Maybe NONE of the guests would want to see this type of show. And, on top of it all, I was afraid to charge more than $350 for an hour performance because of the mindset that I just spoke of.

That's why I sort of like the living room/home party venue. You're halfway there with their interest, maybe more than halfway there. Only I can't figue out how to market it or what to charge.

I wanted to get this thread going again because I'm hoping to gain some valuable information.
xtrouble
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Marqus - I was thinking of going down the route of a few freebie home performances, and handing out cards at the end for some repeats. Once that happens, my plan is to charge around what the "real" mediums etc charge. I've heard it's anything from £100 per evening, obviously the more you get out and about, the more word of mouth you can get, and also start slowly jacking those fees up !
Marqus
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Years ago, when I was doing kids birthday parties, if it was a party for a 8-10 girl, I would market a show I developed for sleepovers & tell the parents that it consisted of spooky magic & scary tales.
I did about 5 shows which went over very well but just didn't catch on.

I also did my 1st seance for 4 friends last year & I couldn't believe how powerful it went over. (I'm not bragging - I'm just amazed that people in general are so willing to believe us.)

I've also had some success with doing these dark magic shows at libraries, but here where I live, libraries have had their funding cut bigtime. So I also have a direct mail campaign in waiting to send to about 25 local libraries with the stipulation that I will come in their facility & do a free performance if they help get it publicized in their newspaper. But I was only going to offer it to the first 5 libraries that responded.

I have about 4-5 different sets of performances built up over the course of the years; I just don't get to perform them & this is the stuff I love!

My routine, 'From Hell' (in Shuddershadow Mansion at Lybrary.com) was for close-up. When I revised it in MEMORIES, MAYHEM & MEPHISTOPHELES (also at Lybrary), it became more...chilling. I've had people afraid to put their hand in a paper lunch bag that has been shown to only contain pieces of paper.

That's why I love doing this stuff!
Marqus
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I forgot to post this.

I think I had some posts in the post topic, THE BIZ OF BIZARRE.

If interested, it can be searched.
jamiesalinas
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Houston
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I would love to perform at house parties as well. I have been performing seances for four years at one location. The idea for me was to conduct one at a known haunted location. This has been very successful for me so that may be your starting point. I was thinking that I would offer anyone who attends my seances a special rate to conduct one at their home for their family and friends. I will start this campaign to see how it works.

Jamie Salinas
http://www.ParanormalExpereince.org
Jamie Salinas
Doug Higley
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Here and There
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Walt got banned??? What???
Higley's Giant Flea Pocket Zibit
S.WARD
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United Kingdom
251 Posts

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I had the problem of mixing the bizarre with regular mentalism on one website. So I have decided to start up a little paranormal entertainment business with a seperate website and promotional material. When I do get the chance to do the darker stuff I often perform at private house parties and some corporate events. The aim of my new site (when ready) will be to provide 'off the shelf' and bespoke paranormal shows for both corporate and private work.
David Thiel
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Inner circle
Western Canada...where all that oil is
3875 Posts

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I think it was Walt that advised me to keep the standard magic site separate from my Paranormal site. It's good advice.

David
Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Except bears. Bears will kill you.


www.MindGemsBrainTrust.com
www.magicpendulums.com
www.MidnightMagicAndMentalism.com
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