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Starrpower
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We all know about birthday parties, schools, and libraries. Has anyone come across a "secret" market that you've found to be lucrative (or at least carry you through with a few extra shows when you need them?)
wizardofsorts
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Chicago, IL
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I suppose that depends on where you are working. If you are working near me, then no. I have no information. Really, though, it could be those special places that some cities/areas have that others don't have. Like the beach or large government buildings, etc, etc.
Edd
Edd Fairman, Wizard of Sorts is a corporate magician available for your next trade show, hospitality suite, client luncheon, or company event. http://www.wizardofsorts.com
Starrpower
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I have found that teaching magic/balloon classes is a good additional venue. I have taught at local theaters, recreation departments' summer programs, and community college children's classes. In an average-sized metro area, there are many suburban communities to keep busy with these programs.
Billy Whizz
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I spent two years at college learning sign language to entertain deaf children. I get a few extra shows from it, but it's also very rewarding seeing the expression on a deaf childs face when the magician signs to them.
Cheshire Cat
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Don't think it's as much of "best kept secret" but "best kept marketing secret" really! You don't indicate where you live Starr. But believe me, after working almost every conceivable line of children's entertainment, i.e. holiday centres, schools, libraries, fetes, residencies etc. - there is only one Master, and that is Private Birthdays dealing direct with your own Customers. Never, never, underestimate Birthdays. We used to travel all day (and many nights) touring England and Wales with Cabaret. At the end of the week when we did the 'books' and realised how much we'd paid in agency fees, petrol (gas), wear and tear on vehicles, wear and tear on ourselves! - doing a local kids party would have always been better.

Tony.
magicgeorge
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I made a lot of money this summer, doing summer schemes. A lot of these are overseen by the council, a council member in a nearby area saw my show and they booked 24 shows for various Summer Schemes all through this one guy's reccomendation.
I also love to do balloon workshops.
Starrpower
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For those of us across the pond -- what are "Summer Schemes" and who is
"The Council." Sounds a little Orwellian to me ...
Emazdad
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Summer schemes or playschemes are one day events run by the council (local government) to give the kids something to do during the holidays. I do a few of them myself.

Some Schools or Community centres run there own playschemes during the week as well.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
RonCalhoun
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I would tell you, but then I would have to kill you.
Michael Baker
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I have one that will probably work in most any geographical area. It's one of those temporary things that only lasts about two and a half to three months, but is good for a couple hundred bucks a week when nothing else is, and all your nights are free.

I believe in paying it forward, so here's the deal: If I give this to you, you have to do something nice for someone else... with no compensation expected. Deal? I'm not going to give this away on open forum, but if you PM me and be real nice, I might tip it to you as a Christmas gift! Offer expires 12:01 am cst January 1, 2005.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Ron Reid
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Hello:

I found magic workshops to be very nice money! My main markets for this have been summer programs and after-school care programs. I have found it to be a real easy sell when I tell the clients that the children will learn how to do magic and all the tricks/effects will be given to them as part of the deal.

I have NEVER met anyone in my market (Phoenix) who is doing this.

Ron
Wolflock
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The Pub and nightclubs
Wolflock
Pro Magician & Escapologist
Member of JMC (Johannesburg Magic Circle)
South Africa
todd75
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No-one has yet to say the daycare market. I know that some people can't stand working for the little guys (ages 2-5) but there is a huge calling for this. Especially in the winter months when the kids can't go outside because it's too cold.

It does take a special person to be able to work with this age group. Most child care centers have a very low budget which is the reason that most of us stay away. The secret is that once you get your foot in the door, the is a goldmine of birthday party business waiting for you. Trust me....I've done it many times.

In your off season, work the child care centers and make something rather than nothing. WORD OF CAUTION: Don't think that you can go into a center and pull off a regular child's show for this age group- it won't work. You have to come up with a really silly show with a very sift message (if any) and really make the kids laugh more than amaze them.

These are my thoughts and they have kept food on the table and the bills paid when things were very slow.

Try it....you might like it!
p.b.jones
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HI,
Networking/mixing with the right people
Phillip
magic4u02
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Well my best kept secret market is not so much a secret any more cause I talk about it and share ideas about it all the time. For me it is the Festival and Fair markets. It is such a great opportunity for any children's performer to get more income while doing less shows and less time. For myself, it has been a gold mine that no one in my area has really even tapped into.

Kyle
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Starrpower
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I've never considered fairs and festivals a "secret" maket. Every year, in just about every state, there are HUGE fair/festival conventions. All the fair planners attend in order to book attractions, entertainment, midways, etc. I'm shocked you've never heard of this.

As an entertainer, you can join these organizations and attend as a vendor. 15 years ago I used to attend several of them. However, these days you can't turn around without bumping into a magician at there, so rather than be "one of many" I stopped going, and market in different ways.

And, Phillip, "networking/mixing with the right people" isn't a market. It's a marketing method.

Busking with balloons. A few years back I put out a low-budget video that told how I go about it. It didn't sell exceptionally well, and maybe that's a good thing, as I don't really need the competition. I make between $30-$55/hour, need no promotion, work when I want, quit when I want, get paid in cash, and have a ball doing it. My friend Bob Brown once made over $800 one day liesurely busking on Navy Pier in Chicago; that's waht got *me* into it.

Try it ... it's really a nice little addition to your income (but stay away from the Midwest!).
magic4u02
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Mark,

What I am most referring to is the much smaller local festival market that most communities hold several times each year. This is a festival on a much smaller scale and usually is a one day event.

On the bigger scope, the Fair market (bigger and more week long events) is a huge market with many conventions and a lot of competition. However, on the more local level. I have found that the local small festival scene is not nearly as hard hit with magicians. I think this may be because most bypass this lucrative market and jump to the larger Fair market right away.

I have just been marketing to local festivals for past few years now and have seen a great market with a ton of opportunity. Yes there are magicians at these events, but for the most part, I have not seen that much competition on this level.

This may vary according to what area in the world you live in. But each community has at least 3 local festivals each year running from spring fests to summer fests to harvest fests and other family-style evnts that are just perfect for my show.

If I do a simple example I can off the top of my head list 10 communities within a few miles of my apt. If I times this by 3 (3 is the average number of family festivals communites tend to run each year) I get 30 possiblities for the magic and entyertainment I can provide to them. It really is a staggering number when you think about it.

It certainly has worked for my wife and I.

Mark:
Balloon busking is a vetry cool thing indeed. I do balloons as well but I am not nearly as good as many of you out there. When you did this, did you concentrate on fairs and festivals or did you do this on the street. Also did you need a license to work the streets of any particular area? Just curious to learn.

Kyle

Kyle
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p.b.jones
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And, Phillip, "networking/mixing with the right people" isn't a market. It's a marketing method.

HI,
Yeah, your right sorry I miss-read the topic
Phillip
Starrpower
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Any event with people -- specifically kids with adults. It could be parks, flea markets, sporting events, whatever.

No, you don't usually need a permit, but it varies with communities. I discuss this on the tape, but generally the cops leave you alone. If the police do stop you (even if they are in the wrong), just move on. It's a battle you can't win. They will ask you to leave before they'll cite you.

I've only been stopped once in all my years of doing it, and that was by the guy who ran the event. He was looking for a vendor's fee, even though I wasn't selling anything. I left.
magic4u02
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Aww interesting stuff Mark. I have never done that type of thing but have done strolling magic but that was based upon the festival hiring me to do so. I guess you did very well buscking as you have. Fascinating and thanks for sharing the information.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

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