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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Do you keep track of all of your shows and how do you do it?? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

jiayi
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Do you make notes of every routine you did at every show and keep track of them? Sometimes I totally forgot what tricks I did for them for repeat bookings, I would like to have a better system of keeping track of every show and easy reference, what do you recommend?? Please share thank you!
Mindpro
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While not very hi-tech, I do it and have always done it, and I still do it the same way I did my very first gig almost 38 years ago - written by hand on the inside of a manilla file folder with all of the paperwork and copy of the check(s) or credit card payment following each performance.

I rate the performance on a 1-10 scale, and provide my overview on pre-event contact, arrival & setup, lodging and travel, local gas price, what restaurants I ate at, my complete setlist, merchandise/BOR sales & inventory, how they were to work with, total attendance, how well they followed my rider, whether they will be the booking contact for next year, and if I would be willing to work for them again. If there were problems or things that would need to be fixed first before I'd return, I list each of them too. I also write exactly what I wore as well.

It's always worked fr me and is still my preferred method after trying many other hi-tech and software programs.
jiayi
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That must be a heck of a folder! Kudos for the 38 years old record keeping, not even many accountants can do that! Does anybody use or recommend any program for the record keeping? What about ACT? Can you somehow link the customers to the shows?
Ken Northridge
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I’m not hi-tech either but I do keep notes on my booking sheet in a section called, ‘Results of Show.’ Normally I list the what routines I did but sometimes I’ll make comments like, ‘Birthday boy was a brat!’ Smile
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
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Donald Dunphy
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I also use a hard-copy booking sheet, that I created for myself. There are blanks to fill in on one side, for show date, time, location, contact, package, fee, misc. notes, etc. I write out the show line-up on the other side of the sheet. This page goes with me to the show, and I clip it on my table, so I can see what routines I'll be doing.

Afterwards, I keep those pages in a binder, with monthly dividers. I have a different binder for each year. I can go back and refer to them years later.

Info about the booking itself is also in my ACT! database, but I don't keep the particulars about what I performed at the show in ACT! It is possible to record your show outline as a note on a specific customer, if you wanted to do that in ACT!

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Christophercarter
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I used to keep notes on paper which I then file with the contract for each engagement. My file made it to 20 years before I changed it to paperless and it got extremely unwieldy. I shudder to think what 38 years must look like.

Two years ago I switched to keeping my notes in the ACT database attached to the contact. That makes it easier by far.
Starrpower
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I keep all the hard copies of my contracts in a ring binder. I write notes on the contract.
The upcoming shows are first in the binder, in chronological order.
After I do the show, it moves to the back of the binder, behind the "Completed Shows" tab. These are also in chronological order.
At the end of each year, all the contracts get filed into a file cabinet.
If I ever need to reference a past show, I just look at the contract in the file.

I have been going more and more paperless. I scan my contracts and can access them on my iPhone, iPad, or other device. Electronic notations can also be added. However, even this is not the perfect system as I recently had an external drive fail and I don't know how to get into it. I know, I know, back up your stuff. But in all the years leading up to e-format, I never had to backup my paper files and I never had my file cabinet crash.

So to recap: I write notes on the contract itself.

Additional note: I tried and tried to have standard shows, thinking I could then just write that I did Children's Show #2, but I found that I was simply not that defined or rigid in my shows. I would add, remove, or amend things as I felt needed during shows. So writing out a list of what I did on the contract only takes 30 seconds and seems to work for me.

BTW, Mindpro never said he retained all 38 years of those records. I am curious, as well!

Cheers!
Mindpro
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Quote:
On 2013-11-30 12:17, Starrpower wrote:
BTW, Mindpro never said he retained all 38 years of those records. I am curious, as well!
Cheers!


I guess to others it may appear odd, but yes, I do keep all of them. It may sound weird, but every time, and I mean literally every time, I try to file or pack away some of them, within a short period of time I find myself needing them for a point of reference. Now I usually keep the last ten years close at hand, filed and easily accessible at a moments notice so if I want to refer to them or if a client calls to rebook, my staff can access them instantly while speaking on the phone. This is important to check previous pricing, my rating, and especially and "starred" notes pertaining to if I would be willing to perform for them or the agent again, or things that need to be tended to that weren't executed properly by the client last time (usually rider components).

I never said they were in one folder. Each gig has it's own folder and the folders are them alphabetically filed for easy access.

I have tried doing this digitally, and for a brief time did both methods, but about eight years ago I made the determination that would only continue doing them manually by hand in the gig folder. Now for several years I had one office person that preferred them digitally, so I told her she was free to copy them to digital files for their convenience, which they did for maybe five or six years. I believe when she left so did the copying them to digital files as most of my staff also still prefers the paper file way as well.
ko_brian
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I keep track on hard covers note book, they are like journals! They are priceless to me. Ive tried doing on the computer but IS NO THE SAME THING FOR ME.
Karen Climer
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I have a booking sheet or contract for each gig. After the show, I write down every trick (and the routine, if you have more than one routine for a trick). I write notes about how the gig went. Kept chronologically in a three ring binder. After the gig, it gets moved the completed gig tab chronologically.

Additionally, for income tax purposes, I keep an excel sheet that just lists the date, the name of the gig, and the amount I was paid. This has come in handy, if for some reason I need to look up the show I did at XYZ School. I can search for it on the excel sheet, then I easily have the date so I can find it in the three-ring binder.

As some others mentioned, I've tried going a little more paperless, but the hard copies just work for me.
Mindpro
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Wow, it's interesting that I am not alone in still favoring the analog, hard copy format. Like classic entertainment, I guess good ol' hard copy records still prevail.
Michael Messing
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I keep my contracts and contacts in my computer. I keep up with what effects I did but using 4" x 6" Index Cards. I put them in file boxes with alphabetical dividers and keep about two - threes worth in each labeled box. I have quite a few of the file boxes but I am able to look up shows from 10 years ago easily.
MrHyde
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It's a great question and nice to read the different solutions.

I keep a notebook series that just lists a few basic facts about the show
but a complete list of routines and bits of business that I used in the show.

I actually really enjoy going back and flicking through the older show orders
to see whats changed, different combinations, bits I've forgotten etc.

Funny I saw this thread just now as I was about to set up a simple system in Evernote.
I might think about it some more now.
Starrpower
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Evernote?
ScottRSullivan
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Oh, Evernote, let me count the ways I love thee. Evernote is super awesome for several reasons. Its tagging alone is awesome. Throw in the OCR to transcribe text, and it just gets better. And when you add the fact that you can use a paper based setup, photograph it with your iPhone and upload automatically to Evernote and have it magically appear on your laptop.

Nope. Nothing to see here. Smile
David Thiel
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I have a master list of effects I use for my various stage shows in an app called "Index Card." Each effect is on a separate "card" and I can add, delete, reorder them until I'm happy with the contents and the order. Then I just "Save" that show under the name of the client. They are then automatically saved in Dropbox and I can refer to them whenever I want.

I also take just a few minutes to update an ACCESS Database I maintain for sales. Here I make any notes about the show or the group that will be useful in the future...as well as when I am to contact the client again. The process really only takes a few minutes and is invaluable.

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


www.MindGemsBrainTrust.com
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MrHyde
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Quote:
On 2013-12-02 13:33, Starrpower wrote:
Evernote?


What Scott said above : )

You really should check it out. I use it more and more to keep track of .... well .... everything
Close.Up.Dave
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I write my notes immediately after the show in Evernote on my cell phone. When I get back to the office I copy it into Showbizcrm. So it is directly associated with the gig and client. Great tools!
socalmagic
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I also used paper until earlier this year, but then started putting it into ShowBiz CRM. I can look up the info anywhere including the details fo the show as long as I have my phone or a computer.
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