I am now going to give you the most important secret for making big money in magic. It is so obvious to me that I cannot believe this hasn't become general knowledge for magicians. The secret is: If you want to make big money in magic, you have to travel! That's it, plain and simple. It goes back to biblical days where the Bible says, "You cannot be a prophet in your own city." Until you are hired to fly somewhere to perform, you will never really make big money! No matter what the company is, or what the event is, if they know you live a couple of miles away, you will be considered a local boy and will get paid what local boys make.
Let me take this a step further. If you make $500 a show in the area where you live, you should make at least $2500 (this does not include airfare or accommodations) to fly somewhere to perform.
The main reason is that you are selling your time. If you have to drive for an hour to a show, your total time investment is about four hours to do a one-hour show. Figure one hour to prepare, one hour to drive there, one hour to do the show and one hour to drive home. If, however, you are flying to a show, you are probably investing the better part of two days of your life! That is worth a lot more and the client has to pay for it.
Gary Puckett (of the old Union Gap band fame) has a wonderful line on his promotional demo. He says, "You don't pay me to sing. I love singing and would sing for free. You pay me to go on the road!" That is exactly what I am talking about.
It is human nature for people to assume you are important if you travel. Even though most of my shows are booked by referral, the majority of the people in attendance usually don't know who I am. When I introduce myself as a mentalist they usually say, "That's nice." But when I explain that I am from Kentucky and that their company flew me in for this event, they suddenly have a new respect! It's unspoken, but means, "He must be good if they flew him here just for this party!" Everyone knows the price of air travel these days and knows a person who was flown in doesn't come cheap.
This, of course, is just the start. If you routinely fly to most of your shows and your fee goes up accordingly, then, as pointed out in the chapter Where You Are, your general fee has to go up for all your shows. Even a local show demands more money as your general fee is now much higher. The client doesn't have to pay airfare and accommodations, but your fee is your fee. This is how you can still work local and yet not be considered one of the local boys. In other words, you normally fly, but this time, luckily, you can just drive to the show.
Let me add one quick story here that is worth telling. Some years ago, I traveled to a number of cities on a lecture tour for the local magic clubs. At one such event, one of the local fellows stood up and complained that no one in that area pays good money. He stated that $100 was about the top fee any magician could get in that town. I didn't have the heart to tell him that, just one month earlier, I was in that same town doing a show for a local company and was paid my standard fee. I am not relating this story to brag, but just to illustrate my point.
So the obvious question is, how do you go about getting shows that require you to travel by air? We will discuss this at length in a later chapter. For now, however, you have to heed the advice in the earlier chapter, You Have to be Good. Regardless of how you get to the point where a company pays you big money to fly you in, when you get there you had better deliver. Shame on you if, after all that trouble, you don't shine and make them feel it was worth the money. That is why there is no way around this. You have to be good—really good—if you want to live this life.
Once you can do this, however, you will find that the work will just grow on itself. Although most meeting planners will have a stable of local acts to call upon for the smaller shows, for something really big, they won't use that talent because of the "local boy syndrome." They will, instead, seek out what they consider to be talent a step above.
If you have a history of world travel and success for other clients, they will feel safe booking you. Just like you will be blamed for not producing should something be wrong with the sound system, etc., they will be blamed if the talent is not up to par. As stated before, meeting planner's jobs hang by a thread and they will not take any unwarranted chances. They want a tried and proven act and that is what you must provide.
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Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.