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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Zoom Or Remote Online Performances (66 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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BrianMillerMagic
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100% of my work shifted from in-person to virtual two months ago, and I'm as busy as ever. I stopped working as a full-time magician years ago, which is why I'm not in this space right now apart from requests.

And my colleagues who are magicians in this space? They're not catching up. They've been ahead of this from the moment it started, just like I was in my own industry. They're charging their normal rates. The best and brightest are building entire new packages around virtual that are even higher than their in-person rates due to the value-adds that were previously impossible (or at least not worth the effort) to achieve for touring acts.

I knew you were going to try to shut me down simply because I haven't posted on the Café in years, which is why I established that fact first. I never left the live event industry, just the Café. I didn't even leave Internet magic/entertainment forums! Just the Café.

Yes, most of the free livestream magic shows have been absolutely terrible. And I've been vocal since the beginning that magicians should not be doing free livestreams if they intend to make it a part of their business. It's the folks you're not hearing about that are killing it, because they aren't doing crappy free livestreams. They're doing high paid, private work just like always.
TomBoleware
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Hey Brian. Welcome back

It's good to see your Tedx Talk is doing so well.

Tom
"Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week"--Lori Greiner

www.tomboleware.com
Mindpro
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Quote:
On May 21, 2020, BrianMillerMagic wrote:
And my colleagues who are magicians in this space? They're not catching up. They've been ahead of this from the moment it started, just like I was in my own industry. They're charging their normal rates. The best and brightest are building entire new packages around virtual that are even higher than their in-person rates due to the value-adds that were previously impossible (or at least not worth the effort) to achieve for touring acts.


This is what I am talking about. We too have nearly doubled our rates (along with everyone I've been working with on this) with the new virtual offerings. Sadly, unlike the colleagues of yours that you mentioned, most magicians aren't and really aren't even close. They aren't even realizing there are several and new business models available for this, and it really isn't about the magic (what tricks to do) at all.

Great hearing from you Brian.
BrianMillerMagic
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Quote:
On May 21, 2020, Mindpro wrote:
Great hearing from you Brian.


You as well!
bonesly
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I’ve learnt so much from this new platform. I have designed a whole 30 minute show specifically for Zoom, and the best bit it has cost me £14! The only tech equipment I bought was a laptop stand. I don’t even use a second camera, I’m using the web camera on my Mac- that’s it

As a magician/mentalist the shows have to be interactive, it’s not a lecture. The audience have to be engaged.

In terms of money I think it is pretty good, especially when you consider that your working from home
BrianMillerMagic
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Quote:
On May 21, 2020, TomBoleware wrote:
Hey Brian. Welcome back

It's good to see your Tedx Talk is doing so well.

Tom


Thanks, Tom! Hope you're well.
Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On May 21, 2020, BrianMillerMagic wrote:
100% of my work shifted from in-person to virtual two months ago, and I'm as busy as ever. I stopped working as a full-time magician years ago, which is why I'm not in this space right now apart from requests.

And my colleagues who are magicians in this space? They're not catching up. They've been ahead of this from the moment it started, just like I was in my own industry. They're charging their normal rates. The best and brightest are building entire new packages around virtual that are even higher than their in-person rates due to the value-adds that were previously impossible (or at least not worth the effort) to achieve for touring acts.

I knew you were going to try to shut me down simply because I haven't posted on the Café in years, which is why I established that fact first. I never left the live event industry, just the Café. I didn't even leave Internet magic/entertainment forums! Just the Café.

Yes, most of the free livestream magic shows have been absolutely terrible. And I've been vocal since the beginning that magicians should not be doing free livestreams if they intend to make it a part of their business. It's the folks you're not hearing about that are killing it, because they aren't doing crappy free livestreams. They're doing high paid, private work just like always.


I shut you down because you admitted you only did a few of the shows, not because you don't post here. Last I heard from you here you were going to V-Log all your stunning success from the USO shows and we heard nothing.

Teaching clients that "live" is not an essential part of "live entertainment" is what is being done. Fine. This is a choice, and it is a valid one and anyone who thinks it is smart go ahead and do so.

BUT there is a counter point and just because it is shouted down does not make it less valid.

ONCE it happens, and it happens fast, that clients know that having a live magician is not needed then you are replaced with the next dancing zebra that is funny for their meeting. You can come in and jump up and down and scream and say no no no all you like but it won't change the facts. It is not much different than what Kareoke did for the hotel circuit that used to exist. I doubt you remember that there actually WAS a hotel CIRCUIT that was quite lucrative but there was. Kareoke killed it in one fell swoop and it happened almost overnight. Those of us smart enough to see it coming were not shocked.

The decline of comedy clubs was another fine example of EXACTLY what you are heralding as the next big thing. (Yea at one time in the 80's and 90's guys were making over $3,000 a week. LOTS of guys were.) When the overexposure of comics started to happen with WAY too many clubs, and then being able to see stand up 24/7 with the advent of huge cable systems and dish and such comedy became less "special". Once a thing is EASILY ACCESSIBLE and readily available it is less valuable. If you don't believe this I recommend a basic econ course at the nearest Learning Annex.

Doing these things as a sort of special event or what not is not the worst thing in the world. Doing them regularly as an offering opens up a HUGE can of worms that you are not even looking at. First of all you use terms that are different for everyone. "Killing it" is one of them. Without actual numbers to back up something like that, and without us knowing what you personally are impressed with the term is meaningless. Also what someones "regular fee" is means nothing. Don't fill in the blank with numbers please. I'm just pointing out that it is silly to say such things.

AND AGAIN I say please do these shows if you think it is good to do so. Go ahead. Do them do them do them and then do them more. I would not discourage ANYONE from doing so. I am simply pointing out the HUGE flaws in the thinking is all.

And also the 11 year old with mad editing skills point. Magic is not a medium that translates well to small computer screen boxes. Half the point of magic as a live medium is "I WAS RIGHT THERE WATCHING" and you just can't get that with computer screens. What you CAN get however is an 11 year old who has mad editing skills that can string together a wonderfully entertaining montage of things for just this sort of event. Things built and designed to be on computers, and can be interactive for EVERYONE involved. This is where the space is going and should go. I only say this because I am working with such an 11 year old. We put it together before this ever started. He is taking work away from some of the big time workers you are talking about. He is signing contracts with corporations for virtual meetings, and has for almost 6 months now.

Yea a few will prosper at this, like any form of entertainment. BUT online streaming entertainment won't stay on magic for long. It simply is not the right medium for such an art form. Now if you can find an 11 year old with mad editing skills and an understanding of how computers work and can combine a little bit of magic with those skills you probably have a heck of an idea.

(And for the record the thing that I was responding to was the arrogance of the statement "This is 100% wrong".)
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
BrianMillerMagic
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Quote:
On May 21, 2020, Dannydoyle wrote:
Last I heard from you here you were going to V-Log all your stunning success from the USO shows and we heard nothing.

...

(And for the record the thing that I was responding to was the arrogance of the statement "This is 100% wrong".)


I did three tours for Navy Entertainment, visiting 11 countries across Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. They were a stunning success, and I documented all three tours on YouTube, with accompanying blogs on my website, for an entire year. They are all public.

I've since keynoted conferences and delivered workshops on 5 continents. I've published over 300 videos on YouTube across multiple channels. I wrote a book that marketing legend Seth Godin endorsed and Publishers Weekly raved about. I run a podcast in its third season that recently cracked the Top 200 under Careers on Apple. I write a weekly blog and never miss. I publish five times per week on Instagram, three times per week on LinkedIn, and was recently personally invited by Arianna Huffington to be a contributing author on Thrive Global.

So, I'm doing fine. And I'm the most public person you could possibly find. Not one aspect of my career is hidden. It's well documented, for all to see.

If you'd wanted to know what I was up to, you'd have found it in seconds. But you didn't, and that's fine. Just don't pretend like you were waiting to hear from me and disappointed that you didn't.

As for my "This is 100% wrong" statement, I stand by it. What you're describing about your 11-year-old computer wiz sounds super cool. But the whole idea that he's "taking away gigs from the big time workers" though? Nonsense. There is, as there has always been, plenty of work for everyone. Lots of ways to thrive in the virtual world. But "I refuse to do anything that isn't the way it used to be" isn't one of them.
Dannydoyle
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Nonsense? Um why do you keep making statements you just can't back up? He bids for the jobs AGAINST THESE GUYS. It is a fact Brian. Yet again you just jump in saying stuff you don't even know the first thing about and are just wrong.

You know what else he has going for him? HE IS 11! Companies love that and that won't go away until he is about 16.

This is the way online meeting entertainment is going to go.

And not participating in the virtual entertainment world IS a choice no matter what you claim.

Also I want disappointed that I didn't hear from you and didn't pretend I was. Please stop putting words in my mouth.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
SteveFromSpokane
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Can we get you guys some Snicker bars?
Dannydoyle
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There part that is interesting was just pointed out to me by this child.

He was laughing because everyone seems to claim "adapt or die" applies to everyone bit them. The guys shouting the loudest don't see what is happening right in front of them even as it is being shown to them. Ironic huh?
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Dannydoyle
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And I can't say enough if you want to do these shows have at it. Seriously go for it.

If you are convinced this is the future then go for it.

Things are already beginning to change. It will be interesting to see what happens as life moves along. There is a possibility, a VERY real one, that as we move back to life this is just an opening act and things become much worse. In that instance those prepared for this type of future are ahead of the game.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Ray Pierce
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I just found this.



https://www.geffenplayhouse.org/shows/the-present/

Interactive Zoom theater/Magic show $100/family, 25 people max

Right now it’s sold out through August.
Ray Pierce
<BR>www.HollywoodAerialArts.com
FrankFindley
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Quote:
On May 23, 2020, Ray Pierce wrote:
I just found this.


https://www.geffenplayhouse.org/shows/the-present/

Interactive Zoom theater/Magic show $100/family, 25 people max

Right now it’s sold out through August.


Hi Ray. I actually asked if you had seen it in the thread above.

Quote:
On May 17, 2020, FrankFindley wrote:
Quote:
On May 17, 2020, Ray Pierce wrote:
I'll admit that I must amend my last post. I just noticed where Erika Larsen just asked on FB, "Who's doing Zoom shows for hire?" and there was a long list of top level pros that seem to be in the game in a very serious way. Kostya Kimlat and Lior Manor as well as many very well known and respected names on the West coast appear to have taken up this new form.


By chance have you heard anything about Helder Guimarães' show/play, The Present? Lots of buzz that he has "done it right". He sends a box through mail to each audience member. It is sold out through Fourth of July. Would like to hear more of what he is doing. Maintaining an $85 per ticket price is impressive.

https://www.geffenplayhouse.org/shows/the-present/


A lot can potentially be learned from his experiences. He actually created quite an emotional narrative around being in quarantine when a child. Perfect timing to bring this idea forward. The $17K box office take each week is deserved. He gave an interview here discussing his approach:

https://www.hollywoodsoapbox.com/intervi......present/

Since that time of the post, the reviews have rolled in, all very positive:

LA Times:
https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-ar......gic-show
Geffen Playhouse has a hit Zoom magic show. How its star makes social distance vanish

Theater Mania:
https://www.theatermania.com/los-angeles......013.html
Review: Quarantine Magic Show The Present by Helder Guimarães Is a Confounding Thrill

New York Times:
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/15/theat......amp.html
Is the Hand Quicker Than the Zoom Window?

Variety:
https://variety.com/2020/legit/reviews/t......463/amp/
‘The Present’: L.A. Theater Review
Helder Guimarães’ modest Zoom-based magic show, conjured specially for the Geffen Stayhouse program, brings audiences together nightly during lockdown.


South Pasadean:
https://southpasadenan.com/the-present-is-a-gift/
“The Present” is a Gift
Ray Pierce
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Quote:
On May 23, 2020, FrankFindley wrote:
Hi Ray. I actually asked if you had seen it in the thread above.


lol... That's too funny. I try to get on here regularly but I must have missed it, sorry!
Ray Pierce
<BR>www.HollywoodAerialArts.com
TomBoleware
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I love how he mails them the mysterious package.

Tom
"Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week"--Lori Greiner

www.tomboleware.com
FrankFindley
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Quote:
On May 24, 2020, Ray Pierce wrote:
Quote:
On May 23, 2020, FrankFindley wrote:
Hi Ray. I actually asked if you had seen it in the thread above.


lol... That's too funny. I try to get on here regularly but I must have missed it, sorry!


Oh, no worries. Was just pointing out that that was the one which a lot of magicians had been watching with great interest.

The ticket price was $85 for the sold out shows through sometime in July. Shortly after the reviews came out, it rose to $125. This shows the power of such reviews in sustaining demand. $25K a week establishes an interesting benchmark upper point.

Quote:
On May 24, 2020, TomBoleware wrote:
I love how he mails them the mysterious package.


Yes. This serves several purposes. It gives a branding touch and creates an impression of quality. It establishes the narrative, builds suspense/excitement, and brings the show to top of mind ensuring attendence. It acts as a reminder for them to be technologically prepared by show time. It provides props to ensure full participation, supports the method (e.g. having a full deck of cards at hand for interactive finale), and gives a lasting momento. Very classy and practical idea.

I've discussed this topic with about three dozen other active magicians and participated in several working sessions. It reminds me a lot of the 1980s when we were pioneering mall magic. There were several similar concerns regarding overexposure, perceived lower quality (doing magic surrounded is very different), pricing, and business model (e.g. doing mall runs took you off market for Saturday private shows). But, those who worked the space figured that all out and added another venue type for magicians. The big demand only lasted about four years, but the magicians involved were rewarded well for their efforts and were able to leverage the techniques for other purposes afterwards.

The biggest change magicians have faced with remote magic has not been technical but marketing related. For most magicians marketing is either geographically focussed (i.e. concentrating on their region) or niche focussed (e.g. trade, corporate, education where magician travels or tours). But being successful in remote seems to require national (even multinational), non-niche marketing. Many have turned to search engine key word marketing like is done regionally. But because so many are trying this, the cost per conversion is high relative to locally targeted impressions.

Pricing hasn't been too much of an issue. Most are using a rate lower than their physical performances, generally 40% to 50%. But given the ability to do more shows and having much lower costs, the take at the end works out fine.

Regarding value added, several kid show magicians are offering "learn magic" add-on modules. Who knows how many future magicians will get their start this way. Another idea I greenhatted was virtual face painting. One performer's spouse did face painting as an add on to their clown show. I suggested they do this virtually, taking pictures of kids and creating avatars with them painted up as a form of party favor. They expanded on the idea and started putting their faces on animals, super hero bodies, etc. They do a 7-minute bit where they reveal them at end of the show. Kids love to see the funny picures of their friends. It has been very well reveived.

There are a lot of ingenious ideas being tried. This includes creation of Zoom only effects which take full advantage of the format. The underground BM Project is a good example. The mentalism techniques they developed are amazing.

Will this displace traditional in-person magic? I personally don't think so. But I also don't think it will go away. In one of the workshops the question was asked if participants expected this type of magic to go away. They all said 'no', with the ability to do magic interactively cited as a major sales tool for the long hall.

Hope everyone is safe, your friendly neighborhood fanboy. Smile
TomBoleware
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Great post.

I too look for it to be around even after the live shows come back. I can certainly see some of those doing the summer library reading programs offering a choice of live or online.

Tom
"Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week"--Lori Greiner

www.tomboleware.com
thomasR
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Frank, your latest post is the most valuable one in this entire thread in my opinion.

I’m so glad that Ray brought up this show again, I remember Frank mentioning it but to see the success that he’s had and taking it up to $125 per ticket - that’s extremely eye opening. Not just for magicians, but for performing arts in general.

Last week I watched an online play, live. It was 2 broadway actors doing a 2 person play that worked really well...
Christophercarter
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In the fields I work in, virtual programs are not going away any time soon, and I doubt they're going away at all. Many meetings are looking at moving to a part live/part virtual format in the future, because they've already discovered they can dramatically broaden participation through virtual events while simultaneously reducing costs. Others are considering alternating between live and virtual going into the future.

Nobody can say exactly what the future holds, but there's no reason to believe it's either live or virtual when evidence points to the probability of it being both. Imo live events will return because people crave that direct interaction, it's fundamental to being human. But the benefits of working from home and the ability to create connections across great distances means there will continue to be additional opportunities in virtual.
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