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What to do if you have NOTHING and need to start your magic business.

The following conversation was between me and a friend on Facebook.

I've kept his name out of it, but thought it'd be good to share here - as this is the type of advice I generally give people in his situation of trying to get the ball rolling in this business of show.


10:21Facebook Friend

Hey C.J i sent you a email on Saturday with a question then i realized it was 4th of July weekend and I am an idiot


I didn't get an e-mail. I just checked my spam file too.

10:25amFacebook Friend

hmm, well my question was i just read more money more shows for the third time and I really like i learned so much .But I was wondering if you had an act but no money i am talking zero dollar what would be the first thing you would do.


I'd suggest taking inventory of what you do have.

10:27amFacebook Friend

okay no problem


Props. Contacts. Past clients (if any).

What market are you appropriate for?

Bootstrapping kids shows is much easier than trying it with high end corporate events.

Though you could do that with no props too - there are ways to create full shows with almost no props.


Day Cares, Senior Centers and similar places are always looking for entertainment. Take the cheap gigs and use the money from those to start with the necessities.

You can get business cards for FREE from a lot of different online publishers.

Put them everywhere. You never know when one will turn into a gig - besides - they're free.

Get several different cards from several different companies - use them with different designs and different markets targeted.

If you don't have money - you probably have time.

10:31amFacebook Friend



Use that time to get on the phone and call day cares. Call festivals. You can search for festivals in your state - call the sponsor and get booked there.

Sell balloon animals after the show to get more money out of each of those gigs.

Websites can be free.

You don't have to have printed materials anymore - you just need a website.

Free - websites are really going to be about 8 bucks a month.

But there's always a place to find 8 bucks a month.

Use the website as a sales tool - not an ego piece.

If you don't know how to make a site - BARTER with someone who does.

Maybe magic lessons, maybe a free show - maybe that old couch in the garage.

A motivated person can find a way to make things happen.

10:34amFacebook Friend

yes very true


Others sit around and talk about how slow things are - and those of us who work it are having the best year of our lives.

Be one of us.

10:34amFacebook Friend



Figure out what you want to do and then ask "HOW CAN I MAKE THIS HAPPEN".

When you ask HOW - your brain figures out ways to make it happen.

I've been there.

10:35amFacebook Friend

i need that sometimes ...motivation when everyone else is screaming at me get a real job !!!


This IS a real job - as long as you treat it that way.

10:36amFacebook Friend

yeah thats what i try to convey to them


If you just take shows that happen to come your way - then you need a real job. The real job is in FINDING the work.

Creating the work.

Letting people know that they need you.

There's no shame in having a real job too, if that's an end to your means.

I recommend that people do this crazy stuff for a living if they are certain that nothing else in life would give them that fulfillment that an applauding audience does.

10:38amFacebook Friend

yeah thats me


I know that was a lot of rhetorical talk - but seriously - take inventory of what you have right now - and I don't mean props. I mean the contacts, the people you went to school with that now own or manage businesses, the people your family knows, the people your kids go to school with.

Early in your career you need to be out there and working... A LOT.

Get a restaurant gig.


Ask for it.

If the first one says no.

Ask another.

If that one says no.

Ask another.

If that one says no - then keep asking others until someone says yes.

Not asking anyone won't get you a gig.

If you get out there and go to restaurants (which are a great way to create BOTH cash flow and clients) for a full day (not during lunch or dinner rush), by the end of the day you'll have a restaurant gig.

Don't go to the restaurant you really want to work first. Go to that one 4th or 5th so you can learn from the mistakes you make in the presentation from the first ones.

The clients from the restaurant turn into your clients too, as you do tricks with business cards and leave them with everyone. Plus you're getting paid to promote yourself and getting flight time as well.

10:42amFacebook Friend

that is a very good idea


When I needed work - I hit up the restaurants. I visited 15 of them and got a gig that lasted me 3 years.

15 years later, I still hear from some of the clients from that restaurant about their company meetings.

When I was broke I took a look at what was coming up on the calendar - it happened to be Easter. So I took inventory of what I had.

I needed money BADLY.

I called every Day Care in town and offered a magic show with the Easter Bunny. My wife dressed in a bunny costume (which we had) and I "assisted" her with the magic.


We booked 15 shows at $125 each (it was 15 years ago) and in a month where we weren't sure if we were going to be able to pay rent, we added almost 2K to our accounts - plus we kept booking most of those day cares with other types of shows.

Take inventory... What can YOU do today that's going to get you a gig?

There is something. Then don't play a video game, or watch a movie, or chat on Facebook - get out there and do that something that's going to make things happen for you.

End of rant.

Cut. Paste. Save.

10:49amFacebook Friend

yeah i just need to go back to basics before College i had a few restaurant gigs ...After college I got a job I hated and a fiancee that eventually broke up with me because i was miserable. I have a mentalism and hypnosis act that I have wriiten I just don't have the money to market it ...but i guess if i go back to the basics i will have the money to do what i want. I needed that kick in the ass ...thank you


I just saved this conversation. I may post it on my blog. I'd take your name out of it of course.

10:49amFacebook Friend

very cool


For Hypnosis - call fraternal groups - like Moose and Elks lodges.

Offer fund-raisers on a split of ticket sales.

And of course - I almost forgot - develop a relationship with every entertainment agency and agent that you can so that they are thinking of YOU when their phone rings. Don't be a pest - but do stay in contact.

Gotta run. Hope I was of some help.

10:51amFacebook Friend

i just was thinking backwards ...thinking that I had to have crazy color promotional materials and stuff before i booked any shows

and I guess you dont

thank you very much I am saving this too


I didn't.

Just gotta have the desire and the fire in the belly.

The crazy color promo came later. It's nice to have - but most people these days don't even look at it - they look online.

Don't tell anyone - magicians like to have a crappy online prescience.

Signing off now. Probably got better, more passionate advice from chat than from a thought out e-mail.


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  • Response
    The ways of earning the monies as you are sharing with us here this is looking very interesting from you. People are looking for the ways for their more earning they will defiantly getting the lots of the benefits from here.

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