How to make money doing close up magic!

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Postby hustler » 08/07/10 12:59 PM

Yes. I am really going to tell you. And before you all start to babble about how you don't wish to hear about another Magicmarketing course I shall tell you the price right now. FREE!

And I am going to tell you right here on this forum. FREE!

There is one slight snag. However that snag is exactly the same snag as every other magic marketing course. That is, that few of you will do anything with the information.

Still, that is your problem. I have enough of my own troubles to be bothering with yours. And my course is FREE unlike the other courses out there. They won't be able to beat my price even if it turns out to be just as useless as my own.

Now. Do you want the information? Ask and it shall be given unto you.

Postby Brad Henderson » 08/07/10 01:58 PM

At least his username is honest - and revealing.
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Postby Seuss » 08/07/10 02:14 PM

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Postby SteveP » 08/07/10 04:16 PM

I thought it was Millard Grubb.

The problem I have with this type of approach is if you really have something of value that you want to share, then just share it. Don't ask. Don't make people beg. Don't ask us to sign up for an email course. Don't put people down before they even know what you're going to offer - which is what this is:

There is one slight snag. However that snag is exactly the same snag as every other magic marketing course. That is, that few of you will do anything with the information.

So if you have something of value to share, then just share it. Post it here. If people are interested, they will read it. Some of those people will appreciate it. Some people will criticize it. Maybe a few will run with it and you will make a financial difference in their lives.

If you want to reverse the trend of sleazy magic marketers - and there are way too many to name - then just be upfront and honest with what you have. Anything else is BS.
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Postby hustler » 08/07/10 04:47 PM

Oh. Do stop babbling, Pellegrino. You are getting the bloody information for free. I shall repeat the word. FREE!

Free means that I am not trying to get any money from you. Quite frankly I have seen how this bunch has treated magic marketers here in the past.

Quite frankly I see nothing wrong with sleazy marketing providing I am not the consumer. I have been indulging in sleazy marketing my entire life. And I am not even
an American!

Now do you want the bloody information or not? I don't want to force it on anyone so I asked politely. Since there seems to be a distinct lack of enthusiasm in wanting to know how to make money I am not in the least surprised that 90% of magicians are starving.

Very well. Since Pellegrino seems to prefer force feeding I shall get the spoon ready. After all I have noticed that many of you have rather big mouths.

My next post will reveal some of my most wondrous method of making money out of close up magic. I have kept the secret of this for decades and now all is going to be revealed. The price? FREE! So stop bloody complaining.

Postby Terry » 08/07/10 04:52 PM

Welcome back Mark!
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Postby hustler » 08/07/10 05:03 PM

This will be no good for 90% of you. Too much hard work and hustling. It is a two man operation. It is really something that is suitable for a carnival type of person, possibly a busker and certainly a pitchman. People that have operated sideshows or similar attractions would be able to use this. It is a bit like the chupacobra thing that Doug Higley markets but with live performers.

YOu need two people. One of them should be a good magician and the other should be a good hustler.They both have different roles to play and should not confuse one with the other. I tried this in the past and I always wanted to be the magician but it never worked out because I couldn't find a good hustler. Adequate magicians are a dime a dozen but good hustlers are far scarcer to come by. So in the end I always had to give up my entertainment ambitions and deal with the tougher but more important function of hustling the punters in and getting money out of them once they were inside.

I shall reveal more later. Providing you ask politely of course. I would prefer you to beg for this historic information but I will make do with a polite request. This is NEW information and I challenge any of the other magic marketers to show that they have ever come up with anything similar.

This info has been exclusive to me for decades. Quite frankly I don't think any of you deserve it. I could sell it to you for thousands of dollars but I have always been of a tremendously generous nature so am inclined to give it to you for nothing.

Quite frankly I don't think any of you are sharp enough to use it and none of you have the correct mentality but there might be just one young hustler among you who will find it useful in the future. I don't see why this one person should be deprived simply because the rest of you are a bunch of dodos.

I have already given you a tiny clue. If you want to read the rest just say so.

Postby SteveP » 08/07/10 05:14 PM

As long as it's Mark and not Millard, then I can take it. Hell, I'll probably even beg for the rest of the info.
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Postby hustler » 08/07/10 05:14 PM

Sorry. I neglected to mention that you need an enclosed area like a tent which can be closed. I had a little room which had a globe like structure in an amusement park. It had tiered seating which could seat around 30 people. Anyway as I have stated you can use a tent of a sufficient size so that you have a card table or some kind of performing table which you sit at. The spectators can be seated in any way you choose-in a semi- circle around you or in straight rows. You should be able to present this with a maximum of 30 to 40 people but in practice most of your audiences will be around 20 people although you try to get in as many as you can.

I suppose I had better mention this so you have an idea what I am talking about.

Postby hustler » 08/07/10 09:36 PM

I am most distressed to see the lack of interest in this topic. Still, I forgot what a boring and slow forum this is. No wonder all the other magic marketing people never come here. They realise they won't get a shilling out of any of you. After all you aren't even interested when I give the information away for free. No wonder none of you are millionaires from magic. Except Jack from Snap Illusions of course.

Anyway I shall now continue to try and further your education.

So you have a magician and you have a pitchman. The magician does the shows and should naturally be as good as possible so you get repeat business. He does a ten minute set of great close up magic. A 15 minute set if the venue is quiet. Obviously if a place is busy you need to cut the shows shorter so you can make more money. He and the pitchman work continually throughout the day. It is a grind type operation like a pitchman works or a busker (although I haven't seen much evidence of buskers grinding things out since they seem to take a lot of breaks).

Anyway the magician's job is pretty simple. It is the hustler pitchman type who is the real force behind getting the money and his job is, in a way, harder. One thing I forgot to mention is the outside area of the tent or room should have plenty of what grafters call "Flash. In other words attractive signage explaining what is going on.

In any event I have had a lot of experience with this idea. You can starve if you don't do it right. And you SHOULDN'T do it on your own. I tried. It didn't work. An old showman I knew was right when he told me not to. He said you couldn't do two jobs. It is bloody hard work being a blagger/hustler and you will have no energy for doing the shows. And most importantly it is of a different mindset. The blagger has to be a hardened hustler grafter type who is thinking "MONEY" all the time and the magician shouldn't have to sully himself with matters of this kind. It affects the performance. When the hardened hustler blags them in and tries to be the nice magician it is too much of a personality change. In any event even if it can be done it is far too exhausting.

I will explain the techniques the outside man uses. But the outside man also comes inside during the show for the purpose of squeezing more money out of the people by selling svengali decks. I will explain all this later. One amusing aspect of the hustler coming inside to pitch svengali decks at the end of the show is that as soon as the doors open the people rush out as fast as they can. Before I got the idea of selling svengali decks at the end of the show we had a devil of a time getting rid of people because as you know the punters want to come and talk to you afterwards saying how wonderful you were and how they once purchased a magic set. This causes delays in starting the next show and you make less money.

Once I sold svengali decks at the end the people couldn't wait to rush out and escape from the evil grafter who was after more money. It worked out very well indeed.

I shall continue this description in the next post if I see further interest. No point me going through it all if nobody cares.

Postby pixsmith » 08/07/10 10:15 PM

I have to say that I can appreciate the benefit of clearing a house as soon as you can at the end of the show. It never occurred to me to do it by using a pitchman. I probably need to take a far more mercenary look at my audiences. It does, though, seem like a well-placed pickpocket might increase the take, especially were he (or she) near the door when the pitchman started.

I am interested in hearing more; it may cause me to think further along these lines.
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Postby Seuss » 08/07/10 10:43 PM

hustler wrote:I am most distressed to see the lack of interest in this topic.

Maybe they lack interest in you Mark?
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Postby hustler » 08/07/10 11:06 PM

Don't be silly, Seuss. Everyone is fascinated with me. Or at least 71% of you are.

In fact, you yourself hang on my every word. Quite frankly I would be delighted if you would hang on something else but it might not be very good for your neck.

Furthermore I have reason to believe you purchased my book recently. Or at least someone called Seuss from Philadelphia did. It therefore seems to me that I have held your interest at any rate. Besides you ain't getting your money back. All these other silly magic marketing types always offer money-back guarantees. Not me. I am more of the Snap Illusions school of marketing. I am not big on that money back guff.

I must say however that the gentleman from Texas is far more like it. I think his idea of a pickpocket at the door is a splendid suggestion and proves he has the right mentality for this work.

Since he has offered his encouragement I shall give more details of my method. You can ignore all that Dave Dee stuff and nonsense, study this instead and you will earn pots of money.

Now do pay attention class.

Postby hustler » 08/07/10 11:17 PM

You set this sort of thing up in a festival or fair. Or in fact any place where people gather. And you pay for space if necessary. Buskers are very much against paying out money for space but pitchmen are quite used to it. They bargain and try to get low prices but they never actually get it for free. However a magic pitchman has more opportunity to do so. And very often a venue may let you in for nothing. One advantage of paying, however, is that you have complaint power. If there is something you are not happy about you do have more power to moan and groan at the organiser since you have paid out money.

I am now ready to explain what the outside man does to get the people in. His function is FAR more important than the magician's is. Even if the magician isn't that great it is no big deal providing the front man is top notch. When I did this in Blackpool I had quite a few magicians work for me but NOT ONE could blag the punters into the performing space. In the end I found that I was the only one who was able to do it. After all, I was a grafter and they weren't. But because of this I screwed up my opportunity to do shows. It simply didn't work for me to do both so in the end I had to be the man who got the money in while the magician got the glory.

The first thing you need to do if you are the front man is to have the door wide open or the tent flap wide open so that people can see the set up inside. We will assume that lots of empty seats can be seen with nobody in there.

Now this is how you blag the punters. You stand right at the entrance. You wait until someone walks by or looks at the flash you have set up. It is better if you can get a group, the larger the better but of course you can also work to ones and twos. You spring the cards from one hand to the other which is quite attention getting. Ask the person if they want to see a trick. You then do a couple of tricks (sometimes with a large group you might only need one trick) and try to build a bit of a crowd with it. Don't do too long. The tricks should be ones that do not need a table. Try and get 5 or 6 people if you can but if you get less it is no big deal. Once people seem to be impressed and you sense the right moment (when people are laughing and reacting well) simply say "If you want to see some more come right in. It's only $5 (or whatever price you set) You can pay inside" The key to this is the wide open door with all the seats and performance table in view. They somehow can't resist walking in especially when you say "pay inside". Don't try and take the money before they go in. It will slow things up and make a mess and be less persuasive than just encouraging them to walk in and take their seats.

You do this a couple of times more but don't delay the people inside more than 5 or 10 minutes. Eventually you will geta reasonable size crowd. I shall continue with this description later. There is a bit more to come. At the end of the description by all means ask sensible questions and I will answer them. This can be a money maker for the right person who knows how to hustle and has the correct mentality.

I haven't used the idea for decades and am unlikely to use it in the future. Since up to now I have kept it secret and I could drop dead any minute I don't want it to go to waste. I do know that it makes money.

I will tell you more later.

Postby pixsmith » 08/08/10 09:39 AM

I can see why most performers wouldn't make good front men. Asking for the money is difficult for a lot of them. I can also see why there need to be two people -- the change in hats, for want of a better word, would probably make it harder to engage the audience. It seems there is an advantage to having a "good cop/bad cop" situation, especially where separating the crowd from its money is concerned. It's easier to like the show if you gave the money to someone else.

Interesting. Very interesting ideas.
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Postby repeathustler » 08/08/10 09:50 PM

I must say that pixsmith is most astute. He has expressed the idea better than I have.
Anyway it is important that I finish this off. Somebody with a bit of talent and go ahead might be able to use it even if 95% of you don't. It could be worth a lot of money to the right person.

The front man is essentially a salesman who pitches the show. Because he is a pitchman his role is money. And without the money the idea will not survive. Art is all very well but it is the money aspect which allows the art to take place. And this is applicable for any show business venture. After all the word "business" is a bigger word than the word "show". Alas it seems with many performers that showbusiness is all show and no business.

Now once the people are in the pitchman goes inside, and goes around everyone collecting the money. He still leaves the door open in case anyone else decides to come in at the last moment. As he collects the money he does very fast tricks such as making people's change disappear. Of course in the old days coins were involved when I did this, nowadays I would envision a $5 charge so the opportunity for coin vanishes may well be limited. Perhaps you could do a quick simulated bill change which only takes a second or two. You musn't take long in collecting the money, but you do some fast items which amuse the audience and create interest for the upcoming show.

Now you close the doors and introduce the magician. At this point you simply watch the show or if you want take a break outside for 5 minutes. Although I tried pitching outside while the show was going on I found it a waste of time because it was hard to get people to sign up for the next show because the door was closed. You simply can't blag them in properly if the door is shut.

Anyway when the show is over you come on again and ask for a round of applause for the magician. You then say you have one last trick to show them. You then do the svengali pitch. YOu will always sell two or three to the crowd. I recommend a price of $10. And of course you have a captive audience. NObody can walk away as they can and frequently do when you are pitching svengali decks in other environments.

You now open the doors and let the people out. They will get out as fast as possible which is what you want. If you don't sell svengali decks you will have a devil of a time trying to get rid of people wanting to tell you how wonderful you were. Buskers and other performers do this work because they want to hear all the praise and glory. Grafters and pitchmen do this job because they want to get rid of the people once the money is out of their pockets. Different mentality entirely and this is the reason why you need two people. I have done the whole operation on my own but it ain't fun.

Anyway it is all laid out now . I don't expect anyone will use it but at least I have put it out there now for people to see. It could make money for a sharp operator.
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Postby Jeff Haas » 08/09/10 01:41 AM

This is very interesting, thanks for the explanation. I'll never do it, but it's always good to find out how grafters work.
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Postby pixsmith » 08/09/10 10:21 AM

I think it could be a great idea in the right circumstance. The psychology of the thing is pretty good -- Pitching a svengali deck right after a magic show gives the impression that "If I can do this, then I could do all that other neat stuff too."

Further, I think that by keeping the "ticket" price for the show lower, you are making it easier to get someone to part with a larger amount of money -- they are conditioned to it already. I can see it succeeding if the right combination of entertainer and front man were there.

What would a decent sized house be for this. I know it depends on a number of things, but at what point does it become viable? Also, in the closeup set, what kinds of things work best? Surely some tricks get the money afterward better than others. It goes without saying that it has to be good, and entertaining, but I would imagine some stuff just kills the money loosening vibe.

Interesting, and I think worth exploring further. Thanks for some great information.
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Postby 000 » 08/09/10 11:41 AM

In a Genii from the sixties,( I think) someone was selling a booklet, The quick change artist. Is it still in print?

It shows ( purportedly) how to avoid being ripped of when receiving change. But more importantly for Mark how to rip of the customer with his change. Surely such techniques should be explained here in detail o great hustler? To up the daily take I mean?
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Postby MagicBilly » 08/09/10 01:46 PM

looking forward to a repeatrepeathustler post.
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Postby Smurf » 08/09/10 08:05 PM

[size:11pt]This reminds me of "A Life Among Secrets" - chronicling the work of Eddie Fields. He often did horoscope selling, rather than magic, but the gathering of a crowd and how to get money out of them is something discussed at length in the book.[/size]
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Postby 000 » 08/10/10 08:57 AM

On second thoughts the booklet I was referring to was The short change artist.( I think) Ring a bell for anyone?
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Postby Bob Sanders » 11/20/11 10:27 PM

Over the years I have watched close up magic peak and trough over and over. Many of my friends and I have dreamed of making money doing magic while seated. The basic lesson repeatedly learned is that the best market for close up magic is really other magicians and the lectures that pay the best are done standing.

Small audiences come with big problems for those wishing to make much money. But close up magic is fun. After a half century in the business, stage magic has to stay my financial priority. However, the best paying close up magic I have ever done was paid for by sponsors rather than the audience. But this is true of TV magic too! Sponsors are the key.

Nothing pays better than audiences who buy their own tickets but it just isn't practical with close up magic. Give a try to doing sponsored magic. You may love it.

This old marketing professor and agency owner, recommends it. Then you can make being an entertainer your priority.

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