If you would like to travel and work in different cities, then join the:
International Council of Shopping Centers 1221 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10020-1099 Telephone: (646) 728-3800 Fax: (212) 589-5555 ICSC.org: www.icsc.org
You can advertise to their members in their trade publications. You can attend and exhibit in their trade shows and promote yourself in person.
The site above will give you access to a directory search of all the major malls in North America:
The serious money to be made from shopping centers for magicians is by producing shows that can be duplicated. The other way is to book acts through your own entertainment agency. Shopping center entertainment is mostly for family or children audiences and will likely appeal to you as a supplement to your other more lucrative streams of income.
Lesson 12 - Fairs and Festivals (Back to Index)
Fairs and festivals can be a great source of income for magicians. This applies whether you perform primarily for children or adults. I have earned several hundred thousand dollars from just one fair during the course of several years. To give you an idea, to present an illustration, of a real life scenario of how to become rich by being a magician, I will explain exactly what happened, how and why.
The Fair I am referring to is the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) here in my home city of Vancouver, Canada. It is a good sized Fair, the second largest in Canada. Probably average in size when compared to county fairs spread throughout the United States. In other words, there are many more Fairs just like this one all over the country. You can do what I did or at least model the psychology and procedure to create a long-term relationship with a single company that can provide multiple streams of income to your business.
I was initially booked at the Fair by calling up the entertainment manager and setting up a meeting. It was in 1981 and I was in grade 12. At the meeting I asked him what he could use by way of magical entertainment. He said a magic show twice a day and a clown to wander the grounds for a couple hours throughout the day would nicely complete his entertainment roster for the upcoming season. I asked what his budget was for each of the two spots and he said $100 each per day. I quickly calculated that $200 x 17 days is $3400 and asked for both gigs. Good money for two weeks of summer work over 20 years ago at seventeen years old. All I had to do was put together a clown costume and some make-up and I was all set.
There are a couple of key points that I want to be sure you did not miss in the scenario above:
1. I am all for sales letters and was using them long before I even knew what they were called. But sometimes it's simply better just to pick up the phone and make direct contact. In this case, I know for sure that the entertainment manager received hundreds of letters and promotional packages every year. He was delighted to have someone actually phone and suggest a meeting. What followed from that meeting was well worth the phone call.
2. Another key element to being a successful sales person is to ask questions and listen carefully for the answers. Your customer will tell you what they want to buy from you if you just ask them. Had I entered the meeting with a pre-conceived notion that I was going to sell him a specific type of show, I likely would not have received the booking that year and the income that followed for years to come.
3. Finally, I listened with an open mind. I had never considered being a clown before. Not only did I double the contract amount, but, more importantly, I demonstrated flexibility to the client. This also paid off with dividends in future years.
During the course of the next sixteen years I did something each year that was appreciated by each and every new entertainment manager at the Fair. I approached each year fresh by asking questions as to their new and changing needs, and I provided solutions to their problems. Every year I increased my value to the Fair and my fee consequently increased substantially too. In the last couple years performing at the Fair my fee peaked at just over $3,000.00 per day for each of the seventeen days of the run. In one of those years, all I had to do was two-twenty minute mentalism shows per day. My contract was for $54,000.00. You too can build relationships over time with organizations that can reward you handsomely while you serve their needs.
But guess what? That's not the best part. During the years as I was listening to their needs, I realized an opportunity to provide them with much of their other entertainment. My entertainment booking agency obtained contracts year after year with this client. In one year my company was granted a quarter million dollars' worth of their entertainment-programming budget.
The above scenario is similar to many other cases of relationships I have had with many other types of companies. You can and will have the same type of success if you follow the examples I have laid out for you in this course.
Lesson 13 - Restaurants, Bars & Lounges (Back to Index)
This is a short lesson because performing close-up magic at restaurants is not be too exciting from a financial standpoint if you're already working in other more lucrative markets. If you are not, however, it is an excellent way to start working right now and earn money immediately and make connections and contacts with people that can hire you for shows at higher prices in other venues.
Even in a small town it should be easy for anyone that can handle an invisible deck and a few sponge rabbits to get regular work in several different restaurants. If you're truly new to the magic business, and just starting out, even if you work for tips alone the spin-off work will be well worth your effort.
There are a few magicians who make a good living performing magic in bars, clubs, lounges and restaurants. As a matter of fact, there are a few that make a six-figure income this way. But they are few and far between, and for the most part, I feel that this type of work will benefit you mostly if you are just starting out or have not yet penetrated more lucrative markets. Perhaps it will be one of your narrow streams of income. Or, if you take a really focused and serious approach to working in this market then you can probably create a comfortable lifestyle and make a decent living. If that were all you wanted though, you probably would not be reading this material.
In the 80's, I had regular bookings as a close-up magician at several restaurants, nightclubs, and lounges. I was paid between $100 and $200 per night and chose not to accept tips. I did however obtain many higher paying private and corporate bookings and made valuable contacts that I still maintain today.
When approaching a table, you will be best received if you are friendly and personable, and create a comfortable atmosphere for the audience. The effects you do should be simple, easy to follow, and ones that can last anywhere from 20 seconds to five minutes. They should reset automatically or immediately or not require resetting at all.
Compared to a corporate conference that can afford to spend several thousand dollars on entertainment in one day, restaurant work is not appealing. The magicians making serious money either own the restaurant or the bar, or work at a high profile exclusive venue. Their magic is far beyond a few simple tricks and they have worked hard to secure their position within the establishment.
So, as a beginner, there is an opportunity to get started immediately and build your businesses. As an established pro, you may also decide to incorporate restaurants, bars and lounges into your stream of income. Either way, this will likely be local work and you can easily approach suitable venues in your area.
Lesson 14 - Corporate Work (Back to Index)
Performing for adult corporate audiences has been the focus and bulk of my work for the past decade. It is clearly the most rewarding type of work available for most magicians. Of course, some magicians prefer performing on television and theatres across the nation, in fancy review shows and other high-profile venues. This is not necessarily an option for most magicians. Even celebrity and high profile magicians still place corporate shows high on their list as profitable and comfortable venues to work.
Corporate work is a label that is broad in scope. There are trade-shows, product launches, sales meetings, conferences, award banquets and many other types of events where business people and company employees gather. Many doors can open for you as a magician as you work at a variety of events for various corporate clients. Even if you are a family entertainer, I highly recommend that you focus most of your efforts in obtaining work for corporate clients. They simply, as a rule, have more money to spend, more often, than most other potential clients. Again, working for "corporate" clients is a broad statement, as most clients are corporate in one way or another. I think you know what I mean, though.
Some magicians specialize in specific areas such as trade-shows. These magicians will likely book themselves to work in a booth to attract and hold traffic. They might also perform at their client's hospitality suite or as mealtime entertainment. Trade show magicians earn anywhere from $150.00 up to $15,000 per day. One mentalist friend of mine earns $1,000,000. (Yes, one million dollars, Dr. Evil) per year while serving only a handful of clients. Many provide custom packages for their clients that include script writing, promotional items and even booth design. Often there are multiple day and show arrangements made with a single client. Trade show work can be extremely lucrative; it often requires a lot of hard work and long hours.
For myself, and the majority of corporate magicians and mentalists, most of my presentations occur after and sometimes before a meal at a corporate or association's annual conference. Typical fees for this type of presentation range from approximately $250 up to $10,000 for a single show. The average range is roughly $1,000 to $2,500.
I am often booked as a 'Speaker' rather than an 'Entertainer' and receive even higher fees than when I am strictly booked as an entertainer.
I am sure you noticed that a range of $250 to $10,000 is huge. We have discussed fees and fee positioning extensively in this course, so you can probably figure out how and why some magicians will earn $250 for a show while another magician, also relatively unknown, will receive $10,000. Which one are you going to be, the $250 act or $10,000 act?
A great way to open yourself up to higher paying corporate bookings while also expanding your market potential is by becoming a speaker who does magic. For the most part, speakers earn much higher fees than entertainers in the corporate market and are in much higher demand. For a resource on how to add a speaking component to your show so you can benefit from this lucrative and exciting field, go to: http://speakermagic.com
There is a little known secret that I am going to share with you now. Here it is:
The big-money shows for entertainers are rarely booked through agents or even the corporations themselves. They are booked through companies knows as Incentive Houses and Destination Planners. Large corporate events with budgets often in the hundreds of thousands of dollars are handed over to such companies to handle all of the conference details from travel arrangements, hotel accommodation, meeting-planning and, of course, entertainment. You want to get 'in' with a few of these types of companies, as they will open the door to high-fee and cushy bookings with major corporate clients worldwide.
How do you find them? It is really not too hard once you know what you are looking for and where to look. Start in your local yellow pages and look under the heading of Convention Services. Look for ads that mention the words incentive and destination. Call and ask if they book entertainment for corporate events. Most of them will say 'yes'. You now know what to do from there.
There are two organizations that most of these types of companies, as well as meeting planners and entertainment agencies, belong to. They are Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and The Society of Incentive & Travel Executives (SITE).
MPI costs $350 to join ($545 Canadian) and will open up a world of opportunity for you.
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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.