General

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Directors and Consultants for Magicians

Many performers have no idea that there are consultants, directors, scriptwriters, and mentors specifically for magicians. Below is a list of some of the more popular options and a list of the services that they offer.

1. Joanie Spina – Artistic Director

A lot of people don’t know who Joanie is so let me give you the 2 second introduction

As principal performer, choreographer, and artistic consultant to David Copperfield for eleven years, Joanie Spina redressed the ancient art of magic with a flair the caliber of Broadway and Hollywood productions. Joanie teamed up with Mark Kalin, Jinger Leigh, and Jeff Hobson to create the award-winning show Carnival of Wonders.

If that wasn’t enough she also writes monthly columns called Directions in Magic Magazine. Its my personal opinion that her articles hold all of the secrets of making tricks feel like real magic. If you don’t already subscribe to MAGIC Magazine, track down 2012’s issues and read her columns! It’s the type of information you’ll want to go back and read over and over again.

Joanie Spina: Director & Consultant, Theatrical Coach, Lecturer

I’ve worked with Joanie twice. The first time I worked with her we did the video critique. I sent in a video recording of my show and she tore apart the act second by second. Literally every.single.second. It was an eye-opening and amazing experience that pushed me leaps and bounds beyond what I ever could have done on my own! The second time we worked together I flew to Vegas for an in person coaching session. During the live session we were able to do theatrical exercises with parts of my act to help think about my performance in new ways.

Artistic Direction

2. Magic and Mystery School with Jeff McBride and Eugene Burger

Jeff McBride’s Magic & Mystery School offers many different services depending on your specific needs and interests in magic.

Leif, Jeff, And Eugene

Back in 2007 I attended Jeff’s Master Class in Calgary, Alberta Canada and it was an amazing experience. I learned sooo much in just a couple days and I made some lifelong friends in the magic community.

3. Magician Tony Clark

tony

Tony Clark offers personal consulting on the phone, a DVD critique, skype sessions, as well as services for film and television.

  • Hand Insert: Replace an actor’s hands to look like a magician for film
  • Creative Consulting and Directing: Film and stage.
  • Magic Academy: Introduction to Sleight of Hand, Parlour or Stand up Magic, Money Making with Kid’s Shows, Card Manipulation Course, Dove Magic Workshop and Private Session.

I contacted him once looking for pricing and his rates seemed very reasonable but I haven’t yet had an opportunity to work with him yet.

4. Doug Bennett – The Magic Writer

doug

Doug Bennett aka “The Magic Writer” is a talented script writer who understands magic. While looking to theme my children’s show I hired Doug Bennett to help me write new routines and segways for the show. The part I found most amazing about working with Doug is the fact that the material I got back from him was written exactly in my natural speaking style. I’ve never in my life before experienced somebody writing something that so perfectly sounded exactly like something that I would say.

I would highly recommend him if you’re looking to have material written for your act. I will absolutely be working with him again in the future!

5. Bob Fitch

Bob_FitchBob Fitch is a director and magician that specializes in helping magicians improve their act. I haven’t worked with him but he’s received some high praise from big names in our community.

Bob Fitch is an actor, director, magician, singer and dancer. Bob Fitch has coached FISM winners Shawn Farquhar, Paul Gertner, Timo Marc, Florian Zimmer, and Gaston  & Arthur Trace. Bob offers performance workshops integrating acting, speech, movement and basic theatre (communication skills) for working magicians. His workshops have been reviewed in the Linking Ring, MUM and Genii.

  • One-on-One Private Sessions: You can either work in person (New Jersey) or do a video critique where you send in a DVD of your act. [more info]
  • Group Workshop: For groups of 5 or 6 magicians for 4 to 5-day workshops in their respective towns. [more info]
  • Free Online Articles: Articles & Reviews.

If you’ve worked with any of these people before please leave your comments below. I would love to hear how they helped you. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your magic friends.

Get to your gig on time every time

watchIt doesn’t matter how great your show is, if you show up late that’s what your client is going to remember.

You should arrive early enough so that you can setup your show without rushing plus additional time to take care of any unexpected surprises. You’ll need additional time for bad weather, traffic, re-parking the car somewhere legally instead of that handicapped stall you unloaded from… etc.

I try to arrive earlier than I said I would to the client. That way the client never wonders if I’m going to be late or not.

“If you’re early, you’re on time;
If you’re on time, you’re late.”

Read More…

Finding your Fitness Secret

workoutWorking out and eating healthy is important.

You’re probably wondering why I’m talking about working out in a magic article in the first place. How is fitness related to magic? It becomes cystal clear when you realize that the single most important aspect of your performance is your body. Audiences enjoy watching sexy assistants on stage, but you should also look as good as possible too. Working out and eating right will keep you in peak performance shape. That means you’ll be presenting the best possible version of YOU for your audiences.

Working out never really seemed important to me. It wasn’t until I made the distinction that my success in magic was also related to my health and fitness level. I didn’t want to end being one of those old magicians with the big belly that you see sitting in the back row at a magic lecture.

I believe that if you have to use your will-power to force yourself to workout its never going to become a lasting part of your life. Just listing the facts about how being more active will improve your life isn’t going to change your behavior. Instead you need to find a workout routine that you enjoy enough to turn into a habit. That could mean joining a soccer team, finding a gym buddy, or perhaps marathon running like my friend (and fellow magician) Scott Burton.

Read More…

The Only Business Advice You Need

There’s lots of people who will tell you how you should run your business. But all of us are different. We have different strengths and different weaknesses. 

Tips and TricksIn my articles I describe what I do, or what’s worked for me. But I make no promises that it will work for you. You need to test out these ideas and find out what works for you.

Early on while reading about marketing I found a lot of advise that suggested techniques that involved a lot of writing. Writing articles, writing emails, writing direct mail campaigns, writing website copy, etc etc. I think the reason I came across that advice so often is because I was reading material written by people who enjoyed writing. But I never felt like writing was my a strong skill of mine so why should I spend all that time writing? It made no sense for me.

You can either try to build skills you aren’t good at at or you can ask for help. If you have no desire to learn website design, hire somebody to do it for you.  If you aren’t good at script writing, hire somebody to help you write your show. If you don’t know how to dress yourself, ask the most fashionable girl you know. Part of running a successful business is to know what your weaknesses are, just as much as knowing what your strengths are.

I’m not very good at writing so I decided to create a blog where I can practicing my writing skills. But that’s just what I decided would work well for me.

Personally, I don’t like talking on the phone to clients. I always feel like I’m leaving out important details or not asking everything I need to know about their event. It didn’t make sense for me to have a booking process that relied heavily on phone calls. Instead I created a system where I avoid the phone as much as possible.

With emails, I have a system of template responses that I go through each and every time so I know that I’m never missing any information. With a system of templates I don’t have to compose a new email at each step, instead its the same each and every time. Plus I really like having everything in writing so that I can reference it later on. I know that my system works for me but I know for a fact that it wouldn’t work for most people.

If you aren’t good at working with computers, its probably easier and more efficient for you to sell your services on the phone. My system works for me, but I know that it wouldn’t work for everyone.

That’s why reading what others are doing is so valuable because you see different ways to approach your business. So test different techniques and find out what works for you. It’s your business and you can run it however you want… Now get to work!

Let me know about who you are

I would love to know more about who you are so that I can create content that will benefit you and your business the most. To that end, would you please take a moment to fill out my five question survey form. If the multiple choice answers don’t match your situation, please describe in the optional other fields or drop me an email.

Thanks again for your time. I really appreciate it.

A Personal Introduction

“There’s No Business Like Show Business”

Welcome to Part Show Part Business a blog for amateur and professional performing artists. I’m magician Leif David from Ali K. Zam Productions and I am based out of Kelowna, British Columbia Canada. To learn more about me please visit the About Me page.

Why a blog?

I love magic. No, I REALLY love magic, and I wanted a way to give back to the community that I love so much. Many of the other magic blogs and forums online are very negative. Instead of complaining or criticizing I thought the best way to give back to the community would be to share what has and hasn’t worked for me.

Topics will include marketing materials, graphic design, branding, back of room sales, evaluation forms, use of photo’s, newsletters, videos, custom show material, trick reviews, and hopefully much more. It’s also my goal to offer a rich multimedia experience. In the future I would like to include lots of photo’s, video, podcasts, and downloadable templates that you can use in your business. I will focus on quality posts rather than quantity of posts, so please bear with me if there are long periods of time without updates. All of this is going to be offered for free. I’m not looking to sell an eBook, a marketing course, or anything like that. I truly just want to give back to the community.

I hope that my posts will inspire you to take action in your own business, and to join the conversation. On my blog I’ve enabled Facebook commenting. I’ve seen how great online discussion can be once people are using their real names and they are accountable for what they say. I hope that by having others join the conversation that I will learn from you too.

So again, welcome to Part Show Part Business and I hope you will subscribe to my blog via the RSS feed and friend me on Facebook so we can stay in touch.

Your friend in magic,
Magician Leif David

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