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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » The Next Step (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Gerry Walkowski
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If you're a kid show performer, did you ever wonder where do you go from here?

Is there a next step beyond children's birthday parties and working festival engagements, Blue & Gold Banquets, etc.?

Gerry
Donald Dunphy
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Hi Gerry -

It seems that you like to ponder this question around this time of year. Smile

Here's a thread from 4 years ago (December 2011):

--> Magic Café thread titled... So, Where Do You/We Go From Here?

Look for the links to other posts about Jim Snack's Five Fee Levels (Career Ladder for Entertainers), that I posted on that thread. Smile

I think you have Jim's course. Look for the Handouts titled "Smart Business Handout" and "Smart Business 2 Handout".

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
TonyB2009
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Would you ask a construction worker where he goes from here? Now you are building houses, and doing a great job, making a great living, have the respect of those you work with and for. So where do you go from here? Skyscrapers?

I am a kids show magician. That is the backbone of my income. I love it. Where do I go next? I promote myself better as the country emerges from bankruptcy, and do more shows for better fees next year.

I love doing touring shows, etc. They are the fun. But my job is kids show magician, and there is no next step.
Gerry Walkowski
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Isn't that funny?

I'll have to revist my own words again. Smile

Gerry
Dick Oslund
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Hi Gerry!

where did I go from "here"? I retired! (hee hee hee)

Of course, I never did a "kid" show! I had to do a show that could/would play to almost anyone, almost anywhere. With only a few minor changes in presentation, and one or two different props, I did just that. --and, I had all the work that I could handle. Kindergarten thru High School, and some colleges, too. --plus club dates.

I started at 13 getting paid to perform. About 20 years later, I went "full time". I was on the road coast to coast and border to border, for almost 50 years.

I'm comfortably retired.

I wrote all about it in my book.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Gerry Walkowski
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I think deep down inside all magicians ask themselves that question at some point in their magica carerrs.

Tony, to answer your question, maybe the construction worker builds up a successful company and then sells it only to start up another successful company. That seems to be the trend with the big boys outside our magic world.

When I reach the end, I'm seriously thinking of making one big tour, give lectures, sell some of my original creations, and then perhaps tutor some serious students.

For me, it will either be that or as Dick Oslund says - RETIRE!

Gerry
TommyJ
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Quote:
On Nov 28, 2015, Gerry Walkowski wrote:
I think deep down inside all magicians ask themselves that question at some point in their magica carerrs.

Tony, to answer your question, maybe the construction worker builds up a successful company and then sells it only to start up another successful company. That seems to be the trend with the big boys outside our magic world.

When I reach the end, I'm seriously thinking of making one big tour, give lectures, sell some of my original creations, and then perhaps tutor some serious students.

Gerry


That seems to be the next biggest step Gerry, touring, lecturing etc. I shortly stepped into the lecturing thing then stepped back out. After only a few times I decided it just isn't for me. Nobody wants to pay you anything significant for it but it DOES help to promote products/booked etc but I like staying here in New England performing and managing my product line and creating new things.

As I see it a kid-show magician performs at birthdays, festivals, daycare and preschool, elementary schools and libraries etc We can make a great living off of performing for children and family audiences. If you're good you should not need to travel all over the country or world doing it.

So where COULD a kid show magician go from here? The only other thing I've always thought of was trying to have your own television program. A new show weekly taped in front of a live kid audience. Start off on public access and hope it gets picked up nationally. Imagine what kind of work and dedication THAT would take. I would have tackled that idea 20 years ago but now, I have no desire. I just love what I'm doing now Smile
"Keep the Kids Laughing!"
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Gerry Walkowski
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Although I have done a few mini-tours if you count working library units in other states, I've had offers to work some prestigious festival dates. Unfortunately my day job puts a damper on many of these engagements.

I've lectured for some big time magic groups, so I'm not afraid of doing that.

I think I'm saving a big tour for my retirement days. Smile

Gerry
charliecheckers
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Quote:
So where COULD a kid show magician go from here? The only other thing I've always thought of was trying to have your own television program. A new show weekly taped in front of a live kid audience. Start off on public access and hope it gets picked up nationally. Imagine what kind of work and dedication THAT would take. I would have tackled that idea 20 years ago but now, I have no desire. I just love what I'm doing now Smile


Tommy - this is an interesting idea. I think one would have to consider alternative approaches that are now available via the Internet, such as YouTube channel or similar. Even then, it is an entirely different arena than simply performing. I know you have experience producing training/promotional video's, so you could probably share some of the differences you experienced. I, for one would be interested in hearing more about this particular topic. Are there currently any who are successful with this type of endeavor? I know of many examples from the past, but no recent examples.
Donald Dunphy
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Some performers that are interesting to look at are Ken Kelly and Julian Mather. Their performing life is heading in a "next step" direction.

In addition to being performers, they are successful in other ways.

They started the Magician Business Podcast (MB), and later on the Kids Entertainment Hub Podcast (KEH). These are pretty successful Podcasts, from the variety of Podcasts that are aimed at magicians and variety artists. They have websites to support the Podcasts, too. They also have products out for magicians -- courses, etc.

http://www.magicianbusiness.com/

http://kidsentertainerhub.com/

Before they did their podcasts, Julian was very successful with his teach-a-trick Youtube channel. Many of his videos have more than 100K views. They are geared for the public, not to other magicians.

http://www.youtube.com/user/julianmather1

This is in addition to a busy performing career. So, he used that platform to build a wider audience than those who just saw his shows live.

And their business is doing so well that Ken Kelly is going to retire from performing to manage their business to entertainers. This has been announced on their KEH and MB Podcasts, so it's public knowledge. They also made a video about it.

https://vimeo.com/user5228328/review/145030639/bdc3546db1

I would never see myself leaving performing just to sell products and services to magicians, but that is the direction they are heading in.

They were the recent cover story to the KIDabra Journal, but I haven't read that issue yet. They lectured together at KIDabra 2014. (That's the one I couldn't go and speak at, because of my hernia issues.)

Remember this. They live in different countries, but manage all of this because of the internet. One is in the UK and the other in Australia.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Jolly Roger
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I did my first kids show when I was 12 years old. I am now 67 years old, and continue to have a full date book with virtually no advertising or promotion. However, I am moving in to other areas while continuing to do kids shows. I have written a book: www.SpiritualStage.com I am also writing a lot of poetry, and putting out spiritual/poetry You Tube videos. Just do a You Tube search on my real name "Roger Blakiston" and you may be surprised to see the other side of "Jolly Roger." JR
The Great Zucchini
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Yea, this is an interesting topic. I also, agree with Tony, that nobody really asks any other profession, where they go from here. We all have a certain skill set, and it doesn't really have to be a stepping stone, to anything else. I'm very content. Now, with that being said, I have The Great Zucchini App coming out in December, which I'm excited about. It will have 9 videos on it. Just like Jolly, I'm writing a book, for an agency, Ross Yoon, that approached and is supplying me with a ghost writer. With our careers, there are fun things that can come our way, but I can do this forever, and be happy.
TonyB2009
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Donald, the two guys you cite are certainly forging new ground. But personally I would think it was a backward step to move from performing for the real public to coaching other performers instead. They may be making more money (I have no idea) but if I found my career going in that direction I would just quit before it happened.

Zucchini, I could have got you a magician ghost writer! Good luck with the book.
The Great Zucchini
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Thanks Tony, however, it's not a magic book. I was approached to write a parenting book. Its ironic, since I'm not a parent. They want me to write a book, that's a fun read, where parents can use fun advice from me to diffuse situations in the household using humor. The deal has been signed, and now my ghostwriter will be doing his thing. He has the heavy lifting, I'm only answering his questions. Ha
TonyB2009
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GZ, I have never ghosted a magic book - nor a parenting book. Plenty of memoirs for people too busy to put pen to paper, and in one case for a minor celebrity whom I am sure could not read, let alone write!

Best of luck with the book.
jay leslie
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As far as asking others, I've just modeled my business plan to fit the area of interest.

As far as being happy doing kids shows. In my area, they seem to have dried up since 08 and people only want to pay 100.
jay leslie
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Quote:
On Nov 29, 2015, The Great Zucchini wrote:
Thanks Tony, however, it's not a magic book. I was approached to write a parenting book. Its ironic, since I'm not a parent. They want me to write a book, that's a fun read, where parents can use fun advice from me to diffuse situations in the household using humor. The deal has been signed, and now my ghostwriter will be doing his thing. He has the heavy lifting, I'm only answering his questions. Ha


When there's a out of control child crying, I'll produce a ball from their ear and make it vanish. It's amazing how that changes their attitude. Most parents ask if I'll babysit permanently. I tell them that after you do this 8 times, it starts to wear thin.
The Great Zucchini
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Quote:
On Nov 30, 2015, jay leslie wrote:
Quote:
On Nov 29, 2015, The Great Zucchini wrote:
Thanks Tony, however, it's not a magic book. I was approached to write a parenting book. Its ironic, since I'm not a parent. They want me to write a book, that's a fun read, where parents can use fun advice from me to diffuse situations in the household using humor. The deal has been signed, and now my ghostwriter will be doing his thing. He has the heavy lifting, I'm only answering his questions. Ha


When there's a out of control child crying, I'll produce a ball from their ear and make it vanish. It's amazing how that changes their attitude. Most parents ask if I'll babysit permanently. I tell them that after you do this 8 times, it starts to wear thin.
That's awesome, Jay. Yep, usually they will forget why they were crying real quick, when you distract them like that.
Geoff Akins
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I guess it's a question of how satisfied you are with what you're doing. For a part-timer maybe the next step is to leap into full time performing. I did that nearly 10 years ago. Sometimes we get the itch to do something new in addition to what we're currently doing. Sometimes new vistas open when others see something in what we have to offer. Over the last several years I've been doing more and more speaking at education conferences delivering keynotes where I use storytelling and magic and bubblelogy and experiences I had in and out of the classroom teaching to inspire current educators in their careers. That all started when a Principal who hired me several time to perform for his students asked if I performed for adults. I said YES! Then I went away and created a program that allowed me to express another part of my personality. Win-Win!!
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