Sideboard Work & Backroom Practices

Instead of mentally projecting your mentalism thoughts, type them here.

Postby Guest » 06/30/02 11:44 AM

I'm uncertain if or not I'll be opening a can of worms in this forum but I'm curious about "Perspective" on some issues. Those that know me from elsewhere know that I work heavily on the side of the Psychic Reader type operation... some of you may even know that I'm an old Carney... anywho... I looking for insight from others in the community about Backroom and On The Side techniques for bringing in cash...


Recently I've gone through about 90-days of heck by a few individuals that believe this kind of work, though mentioned in the older books/bibles of mentalism as "legit" is "wrong" as well as evil, immoral, etc. Yet, Mark Strivings, Kenton Knepper, Docc Hilford and a wide range of other "noted" personalities do it and use it to their advantage.

Mentalist, by nature, walk a thin tightrope at times, depending on their style. Someone that works on the "darker side" (bizarrest) of things as I, tend to have that line drawn more taught thatn others. Bottom line, where is that mark in the sand you wont cross?

Postby Guest » 06/30/02 06:30 PM

Backroom sales are a HUGE money maker be it for magicians, mentalists or psychic workers. There are numerous "sale" books you can get that are sold so that you can have your name and info can be printed on the inside that you can seel in backrooms. I beleive John Riggs sells them on a CD that you can use.

I myself use several books, pendulums, and tea reading packages (with tea) and autographed phots for back room sales and they account for a huge percentage of extra income after shows. There is also usually a huge influx of requests for personal readings after a show too but when one is on tour and leaving town the next day, it makes it difficult to accept those which can also add up.

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat

Postby Jeff Haas » 06/30/02 11:49 PM


Quick question about the context for back-of-the-room sales...what kind of gigs are you working where it's OK to do this?

Most of my work is at corporate gigs, which usually are parties. I come in, I do my show, the event moves on. It doesn't seem right to attempt to sell stuff at these functions.

So, what kind of shows are you working where it's appropriate to do so?

Jeff Haas
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Postby Guest » 07/01/02 06:34 AM

I don't know about Paul, I do know that in the Home PSI Party market this is a major part of the game... via a backroom Reading session you are actually setting the sitter up for a series of sales pitches. I do the "Lucky Stars" and a few other pitch books, pendulums, other (more in-depth) reading sessions or astrology charts, etc.

In truth, you will make more money on the gig via backroom sales than you do from the admission or fee charge. I understand that guys like Strivings and Hilford run the home parties very much like yuo would a Tupperware party, extending free stuff to the host/ess based on sales, etc.

Postby Guest » 07/01/02 08:39 AM

Back of room sales are NOT kosher for Corporate work but truthfully, since that works pays well enough, no real need!!!!

I conduct back of room sales after performing for Shopping Mall promo's, main reason being that many have cut their promotional budgets and as such, we get many more bookings by providing them with a 20% reduction in performing rates in exchange for allowing us to do the sales (to make up for the difference we say) which really does help us sell the shows.

Communtiy functions, fund raisers (we donate a portion of the sales too, again, also helps gross sales) and home parties account for the rest.

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat

Postby John Smetana » 07/13/02 05:08 PM

I've found that sales are fairly brisk at lecture/dem type programs for social/ fraternal groups...women's clubs, etc. I always tell them I'll be offering things for sale after the program and was turned down once, at which point I increased my fee.

Best thoughts,
John Smetana
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John Smetana
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