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Paul Hallas

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Reply with quote  #1 
It was while looking at the ad for Javi's palming DVD on Ellusionist  I came across the advert for Adam Wilber's "Show to Go". A show that has taken him around the world priced at $199 (which includes its own carrying case). Not a site I'd looked around for years. We're talking close up or stand up for up to one hour.

It did occur to me some people can pay that price for a couple of effects or a few books.  I'm not in the market for an act, but it did make me think perhaps my stand up act might pack even smaller, currently mine goes in a pilot case. The advert discusses the effects included which is interesting. I also read the reviews, the last I read was from someone that has been in magic 5 months but is now earning 2K. It doesn't specify whether that is per show per month or per year.

Thought folks here might find it of interest. Here's the link:
https://www.ellusionist.com/show-to-go.html

Also recently Lupe Volpe and Alan Wong marketed a mental act contained in a folio, "The Fox" at $245.
http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/S24980

I was starting to think maybe selling acts is the new trend (at least better than one trick DVD's) but then remembered years back Dan Harlan had a set of "Pack Small Plays Big" DVD's (or was it initially VHS tapes?) for various types of shows.

Oh almost forgot, Shin Lim marketed his F.I.S.M. Dream Act, too.
https://www.shinlimmagic.com/shop/the-dream-act
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jim ferguson

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Reply with quote  #2 
I don't think its a good idea. It's bad enough we're doing similar tricks without a bunch of us doing identical acts.

If someone has an entire act and wishes pass it on or sell it, it should be given/sold to one person.

It seems to me its just making money off an act that the original creator has no use for any more.


Jim


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Stevie Ray Christian

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Reply with quote  #3 
I like this concept... more so as an inspiration than as a product.

Many on this forum have more than one act. Everyone here with a desire to perform should strive to create, hone, script, dovetail and internalize an act.
Most of our members have book-loads of great openers and grand finales. Script two that complement one another for a strong 5-7 minute act and audition. Mix in more good stuff to build a twenty minute set, then repeat.
Three solid twenty minute acts combine for an hour-long act dealing two stunning climaxes prior to the finale. Do have an encore ready. Let the audience help fill some of that time... with plenty of laughs and applause cues.

It's work and it takes time but also plenty of fun along the way. Practice sessions become rehearsals. Scripting greases the wheel.


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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #4 
Bill Abbott has his "Pack Smart, Play Anywhere Show" for sale. Everytime I see it, I wonder why anyone would want to do someone else's show. I just don't get it.
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Paul Hallas

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EVILDAN
Bill Abbott has his "Pack Smart, Play Anywhere Show" for sale. Everytime I see it, I wonder why anyone would want to do someone else's show. I just don't get it.


I don't get why someone would want to do someone else's entire show either, to be honest. But I suppose if they don't have a show and have never had a show it could be a shortcut that saves a lot of time and experimentation. One reviewer to the Show To Go act admitted he'd only been in magic 5 months. I'm guessing a lot of people on this and many other forums have a few tricks they show friends etc. but don't have an act to go out and perform.

People who do go out and perform might want an alternative act or to study it as a template for an act that packs small. 

But magicians are a funny lot. One does something on TV they think is neat and magic dealers get flooded with requests for it.  Personally if I had it in my repertoire and someone does it on TV it gets retired for awhile.

I have no objection to people selling their acts, if they've finished with it why not get some extra income for the work they put in to it, they have to put food on the table right?


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magicfish

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Reply with quote  #6 
If their act(s) is good enough to sell to others, then they should have food on the table without resorting to selling it, No? [wink]
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Dave Campbell

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Reply with quote  #7 
My first thought is that a lot of the people that buy those packages with the intent to use them "as-is" are going to find out that it's going to take a boat load of work because whatever your persona is, it's not the same as the seller.

I'm not going to take Whit Haydn's material exactly and get the same reaction because I can't imitate his persona.

Conjurer Community had a lecture by Steve Valentine that was essentially his 'show' … I simply treated it as a lecture showing various effects just like any other lecture, not with the intent to run out and try to imitate Steve Valentine.

Had to laugh at the "being in magic 5 months" and making $2K comment... I've been messing around with magic almost 35 years and I make a lot more than $2K a month … oh but wait... none of that is from magic 😉

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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #8 
Some people buy used shoes and find them quite comfortable. Personally I prefer breaking in new shoes myself so that they fit well, are comfortable, and adjust with wear to accommodate my particular style of walking. But that's just me.

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Paul Hallas

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicfish
If their act(s) is good enough to sell to others, then they should have food on the table without resorting to selling it, No?
[wink]


Well, if the new act is as good as the old one they are selling, yes, lol, but it's still extra income for more luxurious food.  😉 Eating out at more upscale restaurants.

Like back of room sales, just another avenue of maximizing income. 

Dave said, "My first thought is that a lot of the people that buy those packages with the intent to use them "as-is" are going to find out that it's going to take a boat load of work because whatever your persona is, it's not the same as the seller."

True. In similar manner to people requesting one killer trick etc. Might be a killer trick in one person's hands but a bore in someone else's. Others may use it as a template, making it their own and substituting one or two effects. 

Anthony said, "Some people buy used shoes and find them quite comfortable. Personally I prefer breaking in new shoes myself so that they fit well, are comfortable, and adjust with wear to accommodate my particular style of walking. But that's just me."

Funny story and true. About 5 years ago I was in a shoe shop trying on shoes and eventually found a really comfortable pair. I went to the checkout to buy them and the sales clerk asked "Are these your shoes?" I said, "I just picked them off the rack over there". She replied, "I can't sell you these they have been worn, look here on the sole. Someone must have left their shoes on the rack and walked out with a new pair!"

Sleight of foot.

Years back I obtained the rights from Arthur Setterington to re-edit, combine and sell two of his earlier booklets that had been sold initially through Supreme. "The Power of Perception" and "The Power of Persuasion". They were marketed initially as two different fully scripted lecture presentations you could offer to organizations who had already used your services. It was more a lecture presentation with demonstrations, anything needed could easily be put together.  The combined booklet was called "Arthur Setterington's Strange Powers"

I used to tell people the information was a great template for a mental act and that they probably already had material they could switch in if they wanted. In fact I used to use the introduction to "The Power of Perception" myself many years ago and the opening effect from that booklet (which was the better of the two IMO).  The persuasion booklet was around long before NLP patter was being thrown around. 

To me, themes and patter presentations are all important and seeing good examples can be instructive and beneficial. 

So, I don't think buying an act is bad, but I think if you're buying it to do exactly the same it's probably a mistake. 
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chris w

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Reply with quote  #10 
There's precedent in stage magic for big, iconic shows being passed along or sold off to someone else when the original performer retires or dies.

There's also pedagogical value in good structure. Drama students put on whole plays, not self-assembled collections of bits and pieces from 30 different plays. Literature students read books, not individual sentences or passages.

For a student, it's valuable to see how a whole thing goes together. If a magic student can learn how an act works by having an act handed to him, that's great. For starters.

Wasn't Giobbi's Card College Light series more or less based on this instructional approach?

The sale of non-iconic acts to non-exclusive buyers for professional performance strikes me as odd, though. Why choose magic if you're not interested enough in magic to want to make something of your own with it?

It's like a "Become a Professional Author!" kit that includes only Mad Libs.

Mad Libs are a start, but they won't get you all that far.
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Michaelblue

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Reply with quote  #11 
I hope this doesn't catch on and become the latest trend in magic. Magic benefits from creative people. If everyone is doing one act, creativity may decline.
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arthur stead

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Reply with quote  #12 

Entire acts have been offered for sale for quite some time in the educational magic show market.  Especially themed shows for school assemblies, libraries, daycares, etc.  Topics might include reading, self esteem, math, science, anti-bullying, and so on.


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Gareth

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Reply with quote  #13 
Just a quick thought from Henry Hay;

"Build your own routine and have something nobody has ever shown before." Amateur Magicians Handbook. 4th ed. (1982)
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Paul Hallas

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by arthur stead

Entire acts have been offered for sale for quite some time in the educational magic show market.  Especially themed shows for school assemblies, libraries, daycares, etc.  Topics might include reading, self esteem, math, science, anti-bullying, and so on.



You're right, forgot about that, Jim Kleefeld sells themed library shows etc. every year with other acts which are limited to specific areas. Of course you get the benefit of his great artwork too.

You can find them among his other stuff here: https://www.jimkleefeld.com/JWKbooks.html


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Mbreggar

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Reply with quote  #15 
Penguin has morphed their Penguin Live series into Penguin Live ACTS: a performer does his or her 30 minute act then explains it later to Dan Harlan and co.

I have seen one of the performers "real" act and while a few items from the Penguin Act are part of the session, most are not...especially the strongest stuff. 

I see see nothing wrong in marketing a set of effects as an act ... but caveat emptor. 

I do think the premise is worthwhile because I find interesting to understand how a performer puts a set together and segues from one effect to another.

-- mike
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Paul Hallas

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Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mbreggar


I have seen one of the performers "real" act and while a few items from the Penguin Act are part of the session, most are not...especially the strongest stuff. 

I see see nothing wrong in marketing a set of effects as an act ... but caveat emptor. 

-- mike


Interesting observation, Mike.

I think to consider buying an act a bit of research would be in order. IS this really a worked, audience tested material act or simply someone putting a few effects together and selling it as an act they THINK will play? I think the Wilbur act is the real deal and Shin Lim could hardly pass off something else as his F.I.S.M. winning Dream Act.

At the end of the day there are lots of working pros going around just doing what we would consider 'standard' stuff. 

We all buy the 'effects' of others and use others' ideas from books. Sometime we put our own spin on them, sometimes we don't. Elsewhere on the forum it was mentioned Shin Lim's final effect on AGT was a Paul Wilson effect that was not difficult to do, not his own origination. No doubt sales will increase on that!
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arthur stead

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Hallas


" ... IS this really a worked, audience tested material act or simply someone putting a few effects together and selling it as an act they THINK will play?


THAT is the key.

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arthur stead

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Reply with quote  #18 

To expand on this a little:  My music business was devastated by 9/11.  My wife and I had to completely reinvent ourselves, and chose to do so by merging my life-long love of magic with our combined knowledge and experience of music.  Over time we developed high quality, music-driven educational magic shows for school assemblies, and did very well for many years.

However, to get started, I had to learn the basics of performing magic for children.  Over the years I had done close-up magic for friends and colleagues (and larger effects at school when I was much younger), and of course I was comfortable onstage as a musician.  But up until that point I had never performed as a professional magician … especially not for groups of kids!  So I did a ton of research.  Went to magic conventions which focused on children’s entertainment.  Studied a lot of books on kid’s magic, marketing techniques, and delved deeply into the psychology of performing for children.  Luckily I had young nieces and nephews on whom I could experiment!

Anyway, part of my research led me to sources which sold complete acts.  And to get my foot into the birthday party business, I invested in some of them.  To my dismay I found that some of them were bogus. But a couple of them helped me a great deal.  I learned one of those acts by heart, changing a few things to suit my own personality, and introducing some of my own effects rather than copy everything verbatim.  My first few performances were understandably a little shaky and awkward.  But as with everything, through persistence and repetition I soon learnt what to do … and especially what not to do.

Although since then we have always developed our own original programs (every year a completely new school show, library show, and daycare program, all with their own original music scores), in the beginning these “for sale” acts got me started and set me on my way.  So I’m grateful to have found those sources, and see nothing wrong with buying someone else’s act … as long as it’s a proven audience-pleaser and income generator, and (as Paul stated) not just someone’s attempt to put together a few routines without ever performing those in live situations.

… And, I should add, as long as you then gradually progress away from copying the purchased act.


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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #19 

Quote:
Originally Posted by EVILDAN
Bill Abbott has his "Pack Smart, Play Anywhere Show" for sale. Everytime I see it, I wonder why anyone would want to do someone else's show. I just don't get it.


Saw Bill lecture over the weekend and he showcased his show-to-go, performing the show in its entirity and then tipping it. Everything fits into an iPad case and the show itself is pretty good, if not fairly generic. There's lots of room for personality and individual performance style.

According to Bill he continues to take this act along with him and performs it frequently. Not sure how he handles performance rights and such, but it seems to me that the potential exists for his to show up some place where the same show was performed by someone else earlier.

I can see where someone might be tempted to take this route in order to jump-start a career, but I am with the Evil One: it wouldn't be for me.

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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #20 
Anthony, wouldn't that be crazy if Bill performed somewhere and then gets called out that he's doing the same show this other magician did a week or so ago.
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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #21 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EVILDAN
Anthony, wouldn't that be crazy if Bill performed somewhere and then gets called out that he's doing the same show this other magician did a week or so ago.


Ha! Hadn't even thought about that, but yeah, it'd be tough to 'splain!

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Paul Hallas

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Reply with quote  #22 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EVILDAN
Anthony, wouldn't that be crazy if Bill performed somewhere and then gets called out that he's doing the same show this other magician did a week or so ago.


It would be funny, in an evil way.. 😉
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