Perform FREE shows

We've mentioned this in passing before, but performing free shows really is a great way to build experience and get noticed. How, in a course about making money could we suggest that you perform for free? Look at the big picture and see what is likely to come from doing the free shows.

Firstly, an important benefit is that you will be able to hone your skills in front of a live audience without the pressure of a paid show. If you mess up a bit, so what, it doesn't matter because none of the audience have paid to see you, and they know that!

The benefit from a marketing point of view is that you can make useful contacts before and after the show. Simply ask these people to write you letters of recommendation without them mentioning in the letter that you performed for free. With a few of these letters you are armed with powerful testimony to use in your future promotions and marketing material. That kind of recommendation is invaluable to you.

So how do you go about getting these free shows? Make contact with, and offer your services to organisations such as local charities, round table, old people's homes, churches, and community groups.

Be honest and explain to them that you are studying magic and would like to perform for free in order to get some valuable feedback. Devise a suitable form for this purpose, and invite ratings on various aspects of your performance such as appearance, variety, their favourite trick etc.

The single most useful piece of information you should request is: 'What can I do to make the show better?' This feedback should be taken seriously and acted on. Give the audience what they want! Why not plan now to perform some free shows in your community? Many would jump at the chance to see a magic show for free. View this as an opportunity and you will gain many benefits.

Developing Your U.S.P.

You may recall that earlier in the course we reviewed some ideas to help you develop your own originality. This is such a crucial element to your success that we are now going to expand on that subject.

If you were to ask some high profile business owners what they considered to be the top factors in a successful business venture, you can guarantee that they would all mention the U.S.P. - unique selling point. The U.S.P. is what makes you different from everyone else.

If there are 3 magicians in your area, what makes you better than the others? How do you stand out as different? Why should people book you in preference to any other magician? Can you see how important it is to develop your own U.S.P.? Without it, you'll be about as useful as a solar powered torch!

Granted, being original isn't easy. I have lost count of the number of magicians I have seen repeating the same tired effects, in an uninteresting way, to a thoroughly bored audience. What a waste, and many of these people really should know better!

Fortunately, you will soon see how you can quickly and easily make yourself stand out from the crowd. You'll be head and shoulders above even many 'professional' magicians who have been performing for years. Yes, you'll shortcut your way to the top - and there's nothing wrong with that.

In the previous modules we have reviewed aspects of developing themes, a character and performance style etc, so you already know the basics. Now let's look at something else that can help you develop an entertaining show:

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