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Mind Phantom

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Reply with quote  #1 
Back when I was attending local magic clubs in my early 20's, I started out doing kid shows, and my normal kid/birthday party show was 40 minutes long.

Today, I do walk around magic/mind reading effects for cocktail parties that can last from 1 hour to 2 or 3 hours, depending on how big the group is. Same thing with wedding receptions.

I am also working on a crooked gambling show in which I perform standing up behind a table. It was an hour long, but , I now do about a 45 minutes show. This show is geared towards small to mid-sized groups.

I would like to market my gambling show to the local casinos in the Reno / Lake Tahoe area and entertain the casino's VIP guests..but that's down the road.

How long is your show/shows ? What kind of shows do you do ? How long do you perform ?

Best,

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Magic-Aly

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Reply with quote  #2 
My stand-up show is anywhere from a 20-minute "spot" (when I am just one of several featured performers at say, a comedy cabaret or variety show), up to 40 to 55 minutes, depending on the venue and needs/desires of the host or event planner.

I think it is generally better to err on the side of shorter - you know, the show biz aphorism of "leave them wanting more." That is not to say that a skilled performer cannot hold their attention and make it entertaining for a longer period; this is just what I have found works best for me, and given the number of strong items in my repertoire.

Close-up/walk-around is an entirely different animal because obviously one is giving a series of mini-shows of just a few minutes each for several or many different "audiences."  As a rule of thumb, I advise clients as a general (but flexible) guideline that if there are 30-50 guests, and if I am the only magician strolling around, then 1 to 1 and 1/2 hours is optimal; for 50-100 guests, 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours, for 150 - 200 guests, 2 and 1/2 to 3 hours and for more than 200 guests, 3 + hours.

Of course with strolling, it also depends on the format of the event, i.e.,  do they want you for a cocktail hour as well as going to the tables, etc.?

The gambling demonstration show sounds like a natural for Vegas, but I think the primary consideration in selling it to casino management is that it's not going to distract the suckers (whoops, I mean clientele) from losing their money at the slots and various games.  So where and when the show would be held would be an important factor.  I would contact the special event coordinators at the hotels and restaurants, and market it to them
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Mind Phantom

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Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic-Aly


Close-up/walk-around is an entirely different animal because obviously one is giving a series of mini-shows of just a few minutes each for several or many different "audiences."  As a rule of thumb, I advise clients as a general (but flexible) guideline that if there are 30-50 guests, and if I am the only magician strolling around, then 1 to 1 and 1/2 hours is optimal; for 50-100 guests, 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours, for 150 - 200 guests, 2 and 1/2 to 3 hours


Those numbers sound right to me. I always ask how many are attending and are there any VIP's there that I should know about. I do something different for them instead of cards.

I don't accept "tips", but in lieu of that I'll give people at the table my business card and tell them to call me when they need entertainment. I tell them the group or club or organization has hired me for the night and my fee is paid by them, so not to worry about it. I learned that from Joel Bauer's book Hustle Hustle that was written long ago geared towards magicians.

" Leave them wanting more.." is something I try to do too.

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Kingman

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Reply with quote  #4 
I know we talked about this and my gambling show is just a bit shorter than yours, just around 30-35 minutes. I love that piece from the Bauer book, that is great advice, (I almost said a great 'tip') I think as long as it stays well under an hour, it should be good.
To me, I think a lot of it will depend on the venue and crowd that you end up in. Depending on the room and other activities it can be hard to maintain a group's focus for much longer than that. If you are at a table and they are sitting in chairs facing you, then you have to be more careful since people can't usually sit for that long and 'not' lose interest.

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mark lewis

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Reply with quote  #5 
With some magicians a two minute show would be too long! 
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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #6 
From speaking with other magicians that worked casinos.
If you have a 45 min show. It better not run longer than 45 min.
Someone I know ran longer when they first started working casinos.
Management took them into the office and explained how, for every minute the show ran over, the casino lost "x" amount of dollars in money gambled.
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Mind Phantom

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Reply with quote  #7 
I thought I would bring this up, the question is pretty simple and that is...How long is your show? Right now I am not performing either cocktail parties, weddings or the crooked gambling show.

But I was wondering if your doing paid gigs, How long is your show? I know because of Covid nobody is doing shows at the moment. And also what kinda shows do you do ?

Thanks in advance!

MP-

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arthur stead

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Reply with quote  #8 
School shows, library shows, birthday parties, family shows:  45 minutes.

Daycare & kindergarten shows:  35 minutes.

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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #9 
Show length really depends on the situation.  In my experience, except for my stage act, which was a specific, set time based on my soundtrack, my shows were nearly always adjusted for the customers needs.  When I did Blue & Gold Banquets for the Scouts or Church Christmas shows, they generally ran about 40 minutes.  I could easily pare them down or expand them.   When doing cocktail parties, I always tried to "read the room" and always was prepared to err on the side of caution and not go too long.  Sometimes you could just tell there was a core group that wanted more so you'd invite them to hang around, or perhaps move them into a corner.  That way the mass of folks didn't feel obligated to stay and watch, but you could satisfy the ones that craved more.  It was common to find two or three folks that wanted to keep going and I always tried to accommodate them.  One of my best gigs came from when I paid special attention to someone and he recommended me to someone else.  So never forget that each and every person you are performing to is a potential future customer.  If they had fun and liked you they just might pass your name on.  That's the best advertising.  Make sure to have cards or a way to trade emails, etc.
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arthur stead

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EVILDAN
From speaking with other magicians that worked casinos.
If you have a 45 min show. It better not run longer than 45 min.
Someone I know ran longer when they first started working casinos.
Management took them into the office and explained how, for every minute the show ran over, the casino lost "x" amount of dollars in money gambled.


You got that right, Dan!  I’ve worked in countless casinos all over the world, performing on keyboards, guitar and vocals for Peter Frampton, the Mamas and Papas, etc.  If you go over your allotted time, they lower the curtain … even though you may not have finished your last song!  

When we (the M’s & P’s) were doing a 3-week stint at the old Sands Casino in Las Vegas, we were instructed to play only the hits, for exactly 35 minutes.  A fan dancing girl act preceded our show, and we were given only 90 seconds to start playing after they left the stage.  So our road crew created platforms with wheels for the drums, keyboards and guitar amps.  These were rolled onto the stage as soon as the curtains closed on the opening act.  Microphones, already on their stands, were placed in position, cables were plugged in, and off we went!

One of the “back-room boys” told us how, years before on that same stage, Sammy David Jr. once ran overtime.  While was still in the middle of a song, the curtain was lowered.  For some reason, he didn’t want to stop, so poked his head out from underneath the curtain, and and kept on singing!  The casino stage assistant saw this and slowly raised the curtain again.  Unfortunately, Sammy’s tie got stuck in the heavy chains lining the bottom of the curtain, so he found himself hanging in mid-air, choking!  The stage assistant looked at his boss and asked what to do.  And apparently his boss said, quite nonchalantly, “let him hang there for a few moments more.  Then let the curtain down.”

Casinos really want those folks in the audience back at the gambling tables when the show is over!


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Alan Smithee

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJ
Show length really depends on the situation.


Nuf Sed.

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