Ever since my last post, I have been being asked “What is the difference between you, Manhattan Magician, and the other conjurer Marketer Magician?” The main difference is that while I may be connoisseur of the art of magic, Marketer Magician seems to be very concerned with “selling himself.”
A Magic Lecture
Case in point was the lecture last night at the Society of American Magicians Parent Assembly #1, Manhattan, NY. This lecture was given by Jonathan Pendragon who gave the more than quorum crowd of prestidigitators a window into his own creative process. I, being Manhattan Magician was fascinated by Pendragon’s take on magic effect creation, while Marketer Magician seemed concerned only about the tips that Pendragon gave which related to magic promotion.
As recent evidence of Marketer Magician’s obsession with marketing is his latest Magi-cation entitled “USA Magicians,” does pay an homage to some of the best living magician’s in the world today as well as in history. But Marketer Magician uses it as a self promotional moment and has the gall to actually insert his image in with these achievers. But again, Marketer Magician’s advertising tendencies can be found right in his name: MARKETER Magician.
I’d like to thank the manager of the blog entitled Harry Potter Fan Club NYC for arranging for me to have the opportunity to do an experiment with popular spells from Potter himself. I’d also like to thank the host of Harry Potter Fan Club NYC who is named Spaceman and who graciously included me in his blog post as seen here.
Magicians Deserve Respect
Magicians of the tricks kind (not fictional characters like Harry) are not always given the respect they deserve. They are made fun of by the media and in Hollywood films. It’s really too bad because it takes an extraordinary amount of energy, initiative and talent to put together a magic act.
Many Creative Hats
Magicians have to wear many creative hats. They are the “director” looking a themselves in the mirror while practicing, much like dancers do, making sure that every move is right. But unlike most dancers, they don’t benefit from a choreographer and have the taxing job of being both the performer and the eyes of the audience during rehearsal.
Magicians are Actors
Magicians are also actors. The famous French Magician who Houdini got his name from, Robert Houdin (Houdini added an “i”) was known to have said something along the lines of “A magician is an actor playing the role of a magician.”
Magician’s Are Writers
Magicians are also writers. Most of the time they write their own “patter” (what a magician calls the dialogue that is spoken).
Magician’s are Marketers
But that’s not all. In addition to being writer/director/actors, they must often also be the marketer and publicist. That is one of the reasons why I am grateful to the Manager of Harry Potter NYC and the host of the same. It’s nice to get a little boost when not asking for it.
Thanks to USAcreate.com
So I am feeling particularly lucky at the moment. And as long as I’m on the topic of “thank yous,” another person who I owe thanks to is the blogger on the USAcreate.com. He calls himself a fan of mine, which I am certain is really him being nice, but it is affirming nonetheless.
Vertices on a Triangle
So at the moment the three of us are like vertices on a triangle including HarryPotterFanClubNYC.com, USAcreate.com and our site, ManhattanMagician.com. And it is also coincidental that a triangle is my most favorite shape!
For my recent birthday my wife and our 10 year old daughter gave me a wonderful book on Houdini which brings us to our Marketing Tip of the Week.
Choose What You Wish to Be Known For
The tip is to, if possible, focus on one main thing in conjunction with your business or career. Harry Houdini did this with escape magic and look at what it did for him. It became the thing that he is known for. In my own little sphere I’m known for being an online marketer, media educator and website creator who’s also a magician. Still needs some tweaking. Maybe marketer magician?
Figure Out Your Brand
As many of you know I’ve often said that Houdini was a master marketer. Even though he died in 1926, the mere fact you likely know who I’m talking about is proof of this. He is a true household name and is so primarily because of his focus on escapes and the way that he used this focus to generate publicity.
Figure Out Something that can Go Viral
When arriving in a town for a performance Houdini would go to the local authorities and challenge them. The authorities would could handcuff him and sometimes even put him in a jail cell to thwart his escaping. And 100% of the time the great escapologist would free himself from the shackles and imprisonment. I did my own publicity stunt as a teenager (covered by the local school paper) which was to ride my bike to school while blindfolded.
Social Media is Your Friend?
All of this would of course be covered by the local press (the Social Media of yesteryear), thereby perpetuating his brand. You can do this too. Not escapes (unless that’s what you do), but rather finding something you can be known for and running with it.
Repetition is Key
Focus enables you to focus your brand like Houdini did. It is easier for someone to remember you if you’re known for something specific and then add to that thing with notoriety again and again.
The Annual “Salute to Magic”
And speaking of Houdini, the 110th Annual “Salute to Magic” performance is this Saturday the 30th at the Abrons Arts Center at 466 Grand Street, New York City (Manhattan).
See You at the Show!
It is being presented by the same Assembly (Chapter) here in NYC that Harry Houdini himself used to be the president of. Come celebrate with us. Tickets are available by clicking here. Hope to see you there!
First it’s this week’s ArtisticPreneur.com Marketing Tip and then hey presto, it’s magic show news. And now here’s the latest tip:
Work With Your Community
Especially back in our full throttle Lights Camera Read days, we used to talk a lot about community. And community is still very important to us which brings up this week’s ArtisticPreneur.com Marketing Tip which is: Work With Your Community.
It’s not necessary to be an enourmous corporation if you think locally. What is going on in your immediate community? How can you create a win-win scenerio and both help your community while leveraging it from a marketing perspective? This could be things like taking out ads in community theater programs (which likely will not cost much).
Partner with Your Local Library
Print bookmarks with your logo and company name tastefully integrated into the bookmark’s design. Then ask to have the bookmarks placed in your local library. And speaking of libraries, if you are thespian inclined, libraries can be a great partner when it comes to doing things like putting on a puppet show or comedy improv performance for kids.
The Library Becomes Your Theater
You can do the performance right in the library and likely the library will promote the show in advance directly to their library going parents with kids. You can design and print postcards that describe your business briefly but mostly focus on the performance you are participating it.
And when it is showtime, make sure to mention your business integrated cleverly as a magic word used or as part of a talk about community businesses of which you are one. Be sure to get the head librarian’s permission to do all of this. Now go and put on your extravaganza!
An Extravaganza Segue
And speaking of extravaganzas there is one coming up soon. Let’s begin at the beginning of our magic news.
Society of American Magicians
As you know I’m a member of the Society of American Magicians which has hundreds of assemblies (chapters) all around the globe. Within the SAM organization I am a member specifically of Assembly #1 here in the city.
It has a lot of history including being the first assembly to be created and at one time had as its president (as I’ve said before), Harry Houdini. Also, it’s the group where a young magician of just 12 years old named David Seth Kotkin used to attend to learn tricks from the other conjurers. He grew up to be David Copperfield.
Upcoming Magic Performance
Ever since 1909 the Society of American Magicians has been producing an annual performance that is open both to magicians as well as the general public. This year’s show is being put together by SAMPA1 member Herb of Herb’s Magic. He is doing a terrific job and we are all looking forward to attending this wonderful shindig of prestidigitation on Saturday March 30th.
Salute to Magic Show, 2019. The 110th Annual Magic Extravaganza presented by the Parent Assembly of the Society of American Magicians. Saturday 3/30/19 at 7:30 PM. To order tickets CLICK HERE or call 866-811-4111.
This is an update on what the Manhattan Magician has been up to for the last several months. For one thing he is now a member of the assembly (chapter) located in Manhattan which is the one that Houdini was the president of for a number of years. The Manhattan Magician finds the monthly meetings and other activities to be quite delightful as he is enjoying being around so many conjurers at once.
In other related news he is working on a top secret magic project which, if the choice is made to fully implement it, will then be revealed to the public!
In response to the question “Why join?” there are many benefits and perks for becoming a member that can be found on the national website. And it is no small thing to become a part of the history or this organization as can be found in this excerpt:
“The Society of American Magicians, founded on May 10, 1902, in Martinka’s famous magic shop in New York City, New York, is the oldest and most prestigious magical society in the world. For over a century it has promoted the ideals shared by Kellar, Houdini, Thurston and more than 47,000 others world-wide who have held membership in the society. Those ideals include the elevation of the Art of Magic, the promotion of harmony among magicians, and the opposition of the unnecessary public exposure of magical effects.”
The First Step to Join the S.A.M.
Full discloser: I, the Manhattan Magician, have been accepted into S.A.M. National but am in a pending status for my local NYC assembly (chapter).
That said, joining the Society of American Magicians can itself be challenging. Thankfully I had the help of Sterling who does a terrific job for MagicSAMpa1 (Manhattan Assembly) as a webmaster and a kind of communications director updating MagicSAMpa1’s website and sending email subscribers information on the latest happenings in the magic world, especially in New York City.
Presenting Yourself as a Magician
As far as joining S.A.M. goes you need to present your magic bio to them and then get cleared by the secret panel. And submissions don’t always end with a positive result. Why? Because true magicians and magic bloggers (like myself) have a certain way that they communicate that can be recognized by other conjurers.
If you don’t pass this prestidigitator test you won’t be admitted into the national organization. But once you do make it through this phase you will be sent an official document as well as a tie clip and a membership card that has your ID number on it. Again, I thankfully had the help of Sterling to guide me through this process.
Once you have been admitted as a member of the national Society of American Magicians you then have to go through another procedure to actually gain admission to your local assembly. This can be even more difficult than getting into the national organization. Why? Because during this stage you have to actually prove your abilities as a sleight of hand artist live and in person.
On the Path
Again, true practitioners of the wizard trade will be able to tell if you’re not a genuine magician. They know the way your fingers should move and your body language should express, including the use of misdirection and more. I mention all this because I am at that very place on the path.
Manhattan Magician’s Experience of Becoming a Member of a Local Assembly
I’ve been admitted to the national organization but have yet to be accepted to my local assembly. And since I’m the Manhattan Magician, meaning I live and work in the city, the assembly I seek membership of is the very first chapter to exist, MagicSAMpa1. In fact, Harry Houdini himself was the president of this chapter from to June 1917 until his mysterious death on October 31, 1926.
Where is the Manhattan Magician Now in this Process?
I recently attended a meeting of MagicSAMpa1. It was a very positive experience which included interacting with magicians who were showing each other magic and sleight of hand as well as culminated with a performance by Bruce Kalver.
The Top Secret Part of the Meeting
While at the meeting I was recognized as an inductee so during the top secret part of the get together, I and another inductee, Zachary, were asked to go into a sound proofed adjacent room. Zachary and I talked extensively about magic, and about a half hour or so later were both readmitted to the meeting for Bruce Kalver’s performance.
Appointment for Proof of Being a Magician
Also while at the MagicSAM1 meeting I met a gentleman named Stephen with whom I need to contact soon to do my “Magician Proof” with him. So that is where I am now in the process. After I meet with Stephen I will then need to get four magicians’ signatures to finally be accepted to my local New York City assembly.
In closing I’d like to say that my experience with the national organization and local assembly of the Society of American Magician’s has been great. Stay tuned for the next phase in this adventure!