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Cheshire Cat
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Wilmslow, UK
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It's quite an odd business isn't it? Let's make up a fictitional character - "Halitosis the Clown". Hali comes into the business and buys a few magazines from magic dealers, maybe joins a local club, contributes to a couple of Forums etc. Within 2 years you can reckon that Halitosis amends his name to "Halitosis Enterprises". Yes! - you've guessed it! he's become another Agent (God help us). He's now trying to sell the services of other people as well as himself. You can bet that some of the people he approaches to try and sell have more experience in their big toe than Halitosis has, and like us will give him "directions" when he phones us! So not to be a man to be beaten old Hali now turns to newcomers - "no experience required" - which he attempts to market through mass advertising.

But this is not all! No, old Hali has now been trading for a massive THREE years, wow! His next 'must do' is to start marketing videos and tutorials on how to entertain children. So he enters this ridiculous circle of entertainers trying to market information.

Ok, I'm not suggesting people don't become 'tutors', - I'm just suggesting that people don't become tutors until they have something valid to offer.

I believe a large proportion of the stuff out there is just elementary garbage that is trying to supplement the incomes of entertainers who probably find the bookings hard going. The same as becoming another 'Agent' is serving the same purpose.

Do any of you see things the same way here, or is it just something that strikes you in your 26th year of entertaining, like me?

Call me sarcastic if you will! - Tony.
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Cumbria, UK
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Profile of stu-di-doo
You're sarcastic Tony! Smile

Peter Marucci
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You may be sarcastic, Tony, but you're also right!

But you forgot Halitosis' books! As Simon Lovell says, of magic books, "There are fetuses out there writing books!"
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Profile of AragorntheMagician
Or do you envy their drive, determination & ambition. In Hot-Lanta we have a reletively new, young, magician who is great. He has grabbed the bull by the horns. He is now putting on a convention in Atlanta. I've heard several "old timers" say, "I wish I'd done that." Well, they could have, but didn't. Talk without action is still Just talk. Also in a free market society and with Forums like this one most of the video tutors stuff has been reviewed endlessly and either praised or hammered. Word of Mouth/Internet really gets around. I count a book/video a GEM if I find one good idea (Having the IDEA is one of the most amazing things). And who decides "What and When is it Valid". The Public Market
Playing Devil's Advocate (and loving it).
Aragorn the Magician
aka: I used to be BOB (it's Cellini's fault)
aka: I used to be BOB (It's Cellini's fault)
"All Right, Who's Volunteering to be Turned into a Frog???"
Ron Reid
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Phoenix, Arizona
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Hello Cheshire Cat:

I think I agree with Aragornth's post above. Also, I'm not really sure this is really a problem, other than on internet forums like this one.

BTW, who is to say when someone has something valid to offer? You?


Ron Reid
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Great point, Ron. Sometimes a fresh viewpoint from someone not tainted by the "Good Ol' Boys" network is just the ticket.

BTW, I just entered my 18th year in the entertainment biz. I was the top performer in my area within 6 months of starting. I marketed my promotional series during my 3rd and 5th years in the biz. Guess what? If I re-wrote it today, it would be almost the same program!
Frank Tougas
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Minneapolis, MN
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I agree, magicians have detetched themselves from performing magic to make money and now are full fledged marketers. They sell marketing to make money from those still doing magic to make money. In one recent issue of MAGIC alone there were no fewer than six advertisements promising riches beyond belief if you would only send for their "Free report".

Even people who do marketing are enticed by a well written sales letter. Yikes the techniqujes even work on the initiated. Sometimes I feel we are sheep. Ah well that must just be the seasonal Baaaahhh Humbug in me. Smile

Frank Tougas
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
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This is happening in more areas than just magic. Marketing is the business du jour. I am surprised that there are not yet pyramid schemes in magic, like Amway.

It doesn't matter if the "expert" is that by virtue or self-proclamation. This is a market-driven business. If the stuff didn't sell, it wouldn't be produced.

Is it irritating to guys like me who have paid their dues with years in the trenches and more in study? Of course. Someone else is getting the milk when they haven't bought the cow. Do I wish I had it as they do, and corner-shorted my magical education and experience? No.

To each his own here. Pet peeves can easily become soap-box fodder when there is a turnkey forum like this one. Marketed advice is at least less aggressive than unsolicited advice.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Cheshire Cat
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Wilmslow, UK
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Profile of Cheshire Cat
Oh, I've never had the expertise to market information on magic. Magic is just part of our entertaining. But if I had that expertise the answer would be the same: "been too busy working as an entertainer, bringing up a family etc." I do consider myself to have great expertise on the business side of being a full-time pro. entertainer, - after all I've been in full-time music and entertaining since Summer 1976 (and kind of done well out of it), so no envy or 'missed boats' here. I'll always give freely info. and advice on the latter.

Yes there are quite clearly youngsters who immediately contribute a great deal to the business through their inventiveness and flair; but for every one of these there are surely 20 drab 'muddle-along' guys who are just looking for a few extra dollars on the side at the expense of other drab 'muddle-along' guys? But I suppose one man's meat is another man's poison. Thanks for sharing the 'foetuses' quotation Peter!

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