How to Get Magic Gigs in Manhattan


Get the Tools

So you’re a magician in Manhattan. How can you possibly differentiate yourself from other magicians? How can you use media to stand out? But most importantly, how can you use these and other tools to get more bookings?

Build a Brand

First things first. You do need to take into consideration your branding of yourself. What is the image you want what you wear to convey? What is the image you want your magic to covey? And a very important: what differentiates you from other magicians? What do you have in your magic presentation that no other prestidigitator does? This is not going to be easy, but once you do you will become clearer on your brand – what you represent – while also making sure to have this reflected in your business card and website.

Have an Online Demo Reel

Another point to take note of is that it is very difficult to get booked just through electronic means. Though, that said, you can increase your chances tenfold if you have an impressive video of you performing cut together in short snippets much like a movie trailer.

Get a Referral

Probably the most effective strategy of all is to ask for a referral from the person who booked your most recent performance. You will want to tell this person how much you enjoyed working with them and your audience and if they were to find anyone in the future who might need a magician please think of you. Some people think asking for a gig referral can be awkward and it can, but if you don’t ask, you most likely will not get that referral.

More Branding

But just because we have brought up the referral concept doesn’t mean you don’t need digital media promotion tools. You do. It is a way for the person considering hiring you who has been referred by a friend or associate. One of the ways is through your site. So if a person checks out your web presence it will reflect your talent.

Your Audience

Another strategy that offers you a potentially a means of being in contact with many persons at once is to have a presence at a convention or fair of some kind. It could be a show that caters to the corporate world or even things such as wedding conventions. The point is that you figure out who your audience is and then figure out a way to get in front of as many of audience members (your demographic) as possible.

How to Promote Yourself

There are two methods of doing this. One is to be a vendor with a table where you can perform as people pass in front of you wowing them with your legerdemain. This can be expensive though. So another way to attend the event and do close up work that can be done standing. Have plenty of business cards on hand and even an effect that involves your calling card in some way which you can then give to the spectator as a memento.

Make a Difference with Your Magic

But wonder if you are just starting out and although you have a wonderful show to offer you don’t have any current bookings. Therefore it is more difficult to ask for a referral. So what do you do? The next option is to volunteer your services to nonprofit organizations that make a difference in some way. Even though you are performing for free, this can sometimes be a strategy to help the community while possibly landing gigs.

Strike a Balance

Another approach is to make yourself known through social media. Careful with this one though. Know how you are going to engage others through possible performing a portion of your show live and streaming. You don’t want to be in people’s faces with trying to sell, sell, sell. But you do want to let them know you are available for hire.

Get in Gig Directories

And of course there is making certain to get yourself into guides that people use to book entertainment for their events. You often times have to pay for this so weigh the reach of the book against the cost.

Consider Pursuing a Niche Audience

And it goes without saying, know who your ideal audience member is. You can specialize in something in your act that will be of special interest to a group of your choosing. Sometimes it pays to go niche rather than trying to capture everyone.

Email Marketing

Don’t forget the paid search engine ads you can get. Some search engines charge more than others, but it can be worth your time to explore, especially if you have a plan on how to use the traffic. Have a fun way you can get the viewer to give their email such as having an eBook that they would be interested in that you automatically give to them in exchange for their email.

Consider Search Engine Ads

To make this worth doing you need to be very clear on the demographic your are trying to reach and what you want them to do when they reach your page. You will need to come up with a phrase you will use in your ad. The phrase is what you pay for. In other words you want to pick something that your ideal customer will be searching for and then you will provide it for them when they come to your page through the paid advertisement.

In Conclusion

These are just a few of the many ways you can get gigs. We hope you have enjoyed this post and maybe even found it useful. We wish to thank Media Administration and their article on “How Tos” that inspired us to create this magic “How To.” Also NYC Aim for their inspiring idea the media projects are possible for many of us which means we can use it to promote our magic.

PewDiePie’s Wedding and What Magicians Can Learn from It


The Conjurer Connection

As you may have heard PewDiePie, of YouTube fame, married his long time girlfriend Marzia Bisognin in romantic ceremony. But what does this have to do with magicians and what can they learn from this?

Would You Tying the Knot Make News?

Let’s put it this way. As a magician, unless you’re David Copperfield, if you were to tie the knot (or maybe you already have) would the press be interested in it? Likely not except if, for example, you lived in a very small community (online or off) and everyone was in a sense a celebrity. Or if you were a kids performer, you could possibly get covered by blogs like Manhattan Kids Guide.

Is Fame Attainable?

So what does PewDiePie have that you don’t? Possibly fame. Fame is not for everyone but on a certain level it is attainable, even by finger flingers. How do you achieve this?

A YouTube Secret in Plain Sight

Take the PewDiePie path of becoming a YouTuber. It’s really not terribly hard to attain some degree of noteriety as a YouTuber. One of the big secrets for success is that you should post a new video each and every day on your channel.

The Possible Content of Your YouTube Channel

About what you may ask? About yourself of course. Your own magical story, if told truthfully and with feeling can be very interesting to others.

PewDiePie on Marzia Bisognin

Here’s what PewDiePie said about his marriage to Marzia Bisognin:

“I’m so lucky to share my life with this amazing woman.”

Leave Them Wanting More

He said it and it resonated with his audience. This could be you too if you jumped right in and began doing a video a day designed to keep people watching by introducing a topic of intrigue and usefullness that makes the viewer want to watch more. But you have to be specific about your audience. For example, are you going for the Market Your Journey demographic or the Manhattan Kids Guide group?

The Longer They Watch…

Why? Because YouTube likes it when folks make videos that the audience watches all the way through or at least close to it.

News, News, What is News?

It worked for YouTube’s biggest independent creator, PewDiePie, and now his tying of the knot with entrepreneur and long-term partner Marzia Bisognin is considered news!

The Art of Weirdness

Think about it, if you’ve ever seen PewDiePie’s work he does bizarre things with a manic editing style. It is clear that he puts a lot of thought and work into his weirdness.

Is Weirdness for You?

This doesn’t mean that you should be weird but it could help. Think about ways to continually draw you audience in.

A Win-Win Proposition

Let’s face it, magic YouTubers are not a big slice of the YouTube pie, which is in and of itself an opportunity to shine. You don’t have to know a heck of a lot in the beginning, just sheer output is what is important. You are in a sense marketing your journey. And don’t give up, because over time you will learn what to do to increase views and members to your channel. Why do this? Because YouTube can sell more ads that way and therefore make more money. It is a win-win situation. YouTube makes more money and you get more famous. What could be more simple than that?

Is Over the Top for You?!

You might even want to create an alter ego. For example PewDiePie’s real name is Felix Kjellberg. Manhattan Magician, the author of this piece, is also a stage name. Sometimes having a stage name can be a good thing because it may make you less self conscious and mean that on a certain level you give yourself permission to act over the top in a manner that draws in your fans.

YouTube as a Path to Romance?

And who knows, maybe in the process, if you haven’t already found love, you could find it via your YouTube Channel just like PewDiePie did with Marzia Bisognin. How did it happen?

A Love Story

Kjellberg and Bisognin first connected online. They began to email each other and it soon blossomed into a long distance relation shipe. She lived in Italy while he lived in Sweden, then moved to Italy. Star struck lovers via YouTube!

Get Them Stuck on You

Don’t underestimate your own story. Feed it to the public in compelling bite sized pieces with a beginning, middle and an end that has a payoff and maybe even solves a problem for your viewers as a way to reel them in!

It Can Help Your Conjuring Career

So get started today. It doesn’t take much. You can use your phone as your camera and free online video editing software to make it more exciting with lots of jump cuts and effects. Again, you’ll learn all the details of what it takes to be a successful YouTuber as long as you don’t give up. And who knows, through this process YOU could become the next big thing in online magic!

Magically Speaking Don’t Do What I Do

Manhattan Magician and the Magic Neighbors Theater Company Performing in the NYPL and Classrooms

Breaking the Rules?

It is a magician’s rule to never reveal her or his secrets. In fact, it’s a pledge you have to take when joining the Society of American Magicians. So even though I am about to reveal something that has to do with conjuring, I’m not going to expose the behind the scenes of performing legerdemain. Instead I’m about to share with you something that has to do with the subject of illusionary arts.

Developing a What?!

What is it? Drum roll please…It’s the news that I have started developing a magic act! It has been more than three decades since I worked professionally as a prestidigitator. The exception to this is the fact that I have in the recent past performed in a school classroom setting for whatever grade my 10 year old daughter was in at the time.

Magic Neighbors Theater Company

Except now she’s going from the fifth grade into Middle School and she professes she’s too old for that kind of thing. And another form of magic performance I have done more recently is working with the Magic Neighbors Theater Company (see image) and pulling rabbits out of hats (allegorically) with the group in various branches of the New York Public Library.

Magic for Grownups?

All of this has been done using Kid Magic, magic tricks that appeal to children. But now, probably due to attending S.A.M. meetings, I’ve gotten bitten by the bug to perform magic for grownups. Also, I’m getting my Master’s Degree within the next month so the present is a good time to start on a new adventure.

Three Decades!

Don’t get me wrong, I may never actually perform, let alone plan out the details of the act. Constructing a magic show is a very time consuming activity especially due to the reality (or illusion)  that it’s been over 30 years since I’ve really seriously been an entertainer.

Marketing Tip of the Week

Among magicians it’s almost a clique for someone planning a new program to do so in the realm of mentalism. And yes, that’s exactly where I may end up (or not!). Which brings me to this week’s marketing tip: don tell people what you are going to do before you do it. It’s always the best policy when planning a marketing campaign or some such thing, that you keep your lips sealed about it.

And Finally…

When you talk about what you’re planning, you run the risk of people giving you all kinds of advice. They mean well of course, but it can be awfully distracting and even make you question your goal. Plus, in all things marketing, it’s best to deliver surprising and fresh content. So again, to hit the point home, keep it to yourself and…Don’t do what I’m doing!

Create your own online course and promote it using the “Online Course Method” and “Internet Guerrilla Marketing”

Learning is magic no matter what age you are!

Greetings fellow ArtisticPreneurs.

Are you a magic learner? Do you believe that learning is like magic in the way it can empower people? Do you ascribe to the belief that we should always be learning new things? Do you think that you can achieve your dreams with the right education? If so, you’re going to enjoy this edition of the ArtisticPreneur Newsletter, featured this week on the Manhattan Magician website.

Learning by Doing

As some of you know I am a marketer, educator, NYC magician and student who is in my last semester of grad school. I am getting a Master’s Degree in Arts Administration. In the past I have had success with doing “How To” videos, so for one of my final project for school (as a part of an “Independent Study”) I am creating a web class on the topic of making an online course and then promoting it.

The Learning Venture is, as of this Post, Entitled:

“The Online Course Method:
How to Create a Profitable Online Course
Plus Market and Sell it Using Low or No Budget
Internet Guerrilla Marketing.”

The key concepts here are “Online Course Method” and “Internet Guerrilla Marketing.”

Would You Like to Make and Promote Your Own Online Course?

The final project won’t be completed until I graduate in late May. I am weighing the possibilities and might then decide to release it to those who can benefit from it. Why? Because I believe that if you are someone who has an expertise of some sort or if you know someone who does, developing an online course can be a great way of building trust with your audience. And of course a little bit of magic.

Do You Perceive Yourself as an Expert on a Topic?

Featured in the course will be you or your designated expert. When you finish creating your learning experience you will then be able to promote it through a series of marketing campaigns. This is a terrific way to not only help people but to make a profit while doing so. Also, through the viewing of the course you are simultaneously promoting yourself and/or your products and services. It truly is a win-win situation.

Uncover Your Audience

So let’s say you wanted to create your own online course on a topic you are passionate about, how would you go about doing it? First and foremost you need to uncover whether or not there is a market for it.

Define Those Who You are Trying to Reach

Who is your audience and why do they need your course? What problem are you solving? It’s helpful if you are filling a gap in the market. Or, in other words, offering skill building that folks want to learn but no one is really providing to that niche. Yet.

Will You Be Featured or Someone Else?

Once you have your topic, you need to then decide who will be featured in the course. Will it be you? Or someone you know? This is an opportunity to become visible as an expert. Because the perception is that someone who is spotlighted in a course really knows her or his subject matter. And if you are providing a solution to a problem that can be solved with your consulting and/or your products and services, all the better.

A Technique for Getting in Front of Your Audience

So let’s say you’ve finished creating your course. Your market research has shown you that there is a niche audience for it. But now the challenge is getting your course in front of your demographic. We believe the best way to do this is through low or no budget Internet Guerrilla Marketing.

No Social Media Needed

Internet Guerrilla Marketing is totally different than offline guerrilla marketing. This is because the cyber world poses certain challenges of reaching your audience. For example, people are getting frustrated with social media as a marketing method because its reach is getting smaller and smaller, seemingly because the social media provider is trying to get you to purchase ads.

The Magic of Internet Guerrilla Marketing

Thank goodness Internet Guerrilla Marketing does not involve social media. It has instead 10+ digital marketing tools to choose from. And the magical thing about Internet Guerrilla Marketing is that it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Plus, “Abracadabra” just like that, it can get you results in the form of online course sales and as well as making additional income through your consulting and/or products and services.

2 Not 1 Income Stream(s)

Remember, being featured as an expert in an online course can entitle you to charge higher fees for whatever it is that you do. If you’ve got the knowledge you can convert it into profitability for your business as well as sales from the course itself.

If This Resonates with You Please Reach Out

At this point I’m not sure if I am going to release this course in May or later or at all. If this sounds like something that could be useful to you, please let me know. Again, I am in a very early creation phase regarding making and promoting the course.

I’m Doing as You Might Do

And finally, just like you will need to do if you decide to make your own online course, I am currently in the market research stage of course development. In fact this email is kind of a form of market research. Why do I mention doing market research? Because I try to practice what I preach! That’s all for now magic learners! I hope to hear from you!

Harry Houdini: the Ultimate ArtisticPreneur

Harry Houdini the Ultimate ArtisticPreneur
Harry Houdini the Ultimate ArtisticPreneur

Harry Houdini’s primary residency was in the Harlem neighborhood of the Big Apple, making him likely the most famous Manhattan Magician who ever lived. He was an artist and an entrepreneur or to put it another way, he was an ArtisticPreneur – the ultimate ArtisticPreneur. He not only paid close attention to his art of magic but he also realized that to be successful he needed to focus on the marketing aspects of his creative career as well.

One of the ways that Houdini would bolster his publicity would be to escape from a straight jacket while hanging upside down in the middle of the town square of whatever city he was currently performing in. These publicity stunts would draw a large crowd and newspaper coverage, providing an opportunity to let others know that they could come see the escape artist live and in person at a local theater.

Houdini also paid attention to what people wanted to see. For example, early in his career he billed himself as the “King of Cards” which was an act he was doing with lukewarm response. But then when he began to do escapes in his shows, the escapes resonated with his audience. And through the suggestion of a booking agent Houdini decided to focus on escapology. Hence he became known as an escape artist.

Some believe that the reason that Houdini’s escapes were popular was because vicariously and metaphorically his fans would see the escapes as an affirmation that a person could escape from any problems she or he might face. Whatever the reason, Houdini brought his escape work up front and center by freeing himself from chains, large milk cans and even jail cells.

Houdini’s ArtisticPreneur orientation was ever present. He was proactive when it came to his creative career and created opportunities for himself rather than waiting for or hoping that others would do it for him. He knew that the promotional aspects of his creative career were in his charge.

Later in life, around 10 years prior to his early death at age 52, Houdini recognized the importance of the then burgeoning art form known as cinema and anticipated the very strong impact it would have on audiences. Ever the master marketer, he produced, acted in and promoted several films. Unfortunately, his film career was not successful at the time. But now in the present day Houdini’s movies are one of the ways we are able to learn more about this incredible showman. Some believe that had he lived longer, Houdini may have ultimately triumphed with his film ventures.

Toward the end of his life one of the missions that Houdini had was to debunk phony mediums and mystics by matching any of the acts of spiritualism that they would do. Houdini’s aim was to show that using the art form of magic he could do the same feats that so-called psychics did such as manifesting spirits in a dark room.

Ironically, even though he was somewhat cynical regarding most spiritualists, Houdini at the same time secretly held on to the idealistic notion that there might be some way of getting in touch with his beloved mother once she had passed away.

As another attempt at finding out if people could communicate with the dead, Houdini made a pact with his wife Bessie Houdini. The arrangement was to remember a phrase that would be kept only between the two of them. And after Houdini’s death Bessie contacted psychics hoping to find one that could channel Houdini’s spirit and utter the secret words. As we’ve mentioned before in this website, Bessie Houdini spent the last days of her life in a home within blocks of where we the editors of Manhattan Magician work.

And the death of one of the greatest Manhattan Magicians of all time – Harry Houdini – couldn’t have happened on a more opportune day in terms of marketing. His demise was on Halloween, 1926, the holiday known for ghosts and goblins. Even now many years after the escape artist’s passing, magicians gather annually in congregations all over the world on All Hallow’s Eve, October 31st. They hold seances in an attempt to reach Houdini’s spirit and find out if he is able to escape death.

Although no one has been able yet to manifest Mr. Houdini’s spirit, he is still very much alive in terms of interest from a global audience. This is a testament to the wonderful marketing abilities and artistry of this Manhattan Magician and ultimate ArtisticPreneur.

Make Money as a Magician

Magic is an Art Form

A recent blog entry on the site of our friends at NYC Create dealt with the issue of how to make money as an artist. And if you’ve read our About  page you probably got that we consider Magic to be an art form that is made up of several different art forms.

Therefore if you are a Manhattan Magician it is suggested that you check out this NYC Create article. At the bottom of the page of the link given is a bullet point list of different steps you can take to have a more profitable magic career. Enjoy!