Getting Gigs Tips

Read these 27 Getting Gigs Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Magic tips and hundreds of other topics.

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Getting Started as a Restaurant Magician

How many magic tricks do you need to perform walk around magic in a restaurant? Try six good effects you have confidence in performing. This number will change the more you perform, but it's a good start.

Restaurant magicians are always looking for effects to add to their repertoire, but you HAVE to start somewhere. Consider card packet tricks, a good bill effect or two, a rubber band trick like the Crazy Man's Handcuffs, and a magnetic Scotch and Soda. This will get you started...


An Act or a Show - Whats the Difference?

What's the difference between an 'Act' and a 'Show'? Well, and act is simply part of a show, maybe ten or fifteen minutes in length, depending on the venue. A show is a nights worth of entertainment.

If you are not ready to entertain an audience for an hour or longer, then consider developing an act instead. Look for acts similar to yours, or acts that will complement yours and attract the same general audience and develop a multiple act show. Many magicians find this a much less daunting task than shouldering the responsibility of putting together a full show themselves.

Traveling variety shows are not a thing of the past. They are making a big comeback at colleges and universities across the country. Don't take my word for it... do a little research.


How to Get Your Magic Website Seen by Real Customers

Many magicians can't wait to get their first web site on the internet . They strive to get everything 'just right', and have high hopes that their bookings will jump overnight. Not so.

Getting a web site indexed in Google, for instance, can take months. Until then, potential clients will not find your site. Without getting into a treatise on internet marketing, here are a few good tips to help you get your magic web site indexed...

- Make sure your site utilizes 'meta tags'. If you aren't sure what this is, google it. Be sure you include a number of key words like 'South Carolina magician', ' Spartanburg magician', 'magician for hire in south carolina ', and other appropriate key words in your meta tags that clients would use to find a magician in your area. Aside from including these key words in your meta tags, you need to discreetly include them in your web site text as well.

- Write to other web site owners and exchange links with them and their sites. This is one of the determining factors Google uses to properly place you in their search engine. The more sites that link to you, the more important your site appears to Google. Be sure to link to sites that have magic or magic related content. Simply linking to any site, and vice versa , will hurt more that it will help your ranking. Avoid any site that sells links.

- Avoid sites that submit your url to 'hundreds' of search engines. The only sites that matter are Google, Yahoo, and Ask. You can submit your url to these sites yourself, in five minutes, and it's free. Ninety Five percent of all web traffic will come from one of these three search engines. In fact, many of the other search engines get their results from these three.

If possible, adding Google Adsense Ads to your site will get it indexed very quickly by Google, as they have to send their 'bots to your site to determine if the ads are placed per their standard. This usually happens within the first 48 hours. It does not assure you of a high ranking, but if someone searches for your url , they'll find it...

Good luck.

Are other magicians rivals or friends?

Trading Performances

Develop a working relationship with other magicians; they'll be able to hand you performances they're too busy to do and vice-versa.

Why should I join a magic organization?

Joining a Magic Organization

If you want to be a magician, join a magic organization; they frequently know of the best sources of sustained gigs. Join as many as you can. You'll find it's well worth the dues.

Why should I volunteer to do non-profit and charity shows?

Volunteering for non-for-profit venues

Volunteer to do your magic show for non-for-profit organizations as often as you can; it's the best way to gain experience and to make yourself known. Hospitals, care homes, charity fundraisers and schools can give you a lot of "free" promotion.

Can I shoot my own audition videos?

Performance Tape 2

When setting up your magic promotion tape, script everything but be sure to include shots taken at your previous shows; it illustrates that you can work well for an audience.

Why do I need business cards?

Business Cards

The best thing you can do for your career as a magician is to invest in 1000 business cards. Be generous with them when you think they will be of some use; at every show, pull a few out of someone's ear.

How can I get TV air time for my performance video tape?

Performance Tape III

Send a copy of your performance tape to your local public access station; alert your friends and colleagues when the air time will be.

Consider filming other magicians to produce your own show. This way your own performance tape can be shown more frequently.

What kind of business card should I have?

Business Cards 2

Take time to design your card. Try to avoid the staid regular business cards used by other professionals. You want something smart, sharp and interesting; something that will draw attention to your act. Scatter them to the flock of children for whom you are performing and make sure you "accidently" leave some behind you as you leave.

How do I locate contacts to find good jobs?

Web Resource for Entertainment Professionals

When Cabaret Entertainer Jim Coston began his show business career twenty years ago, he took the advice of a veteran entertainer and started keeping a "little black book" of entertainment industry contacts. Through the years it grew to be thousands of names and addresses, and he routinely gave copies away to his fellow entertainers.

The ESSENTIAL ENTERTAINER'S LINKS WORKSHOP is your one-stop web address for resources for professional musicians, actors, writers, stage techs and comedians and variety acts.

* Over 3500 Entertainment Industry Related Weblinks
* An Industry Database of over 3500 names and addresses
* Current entertainment industry news
* Casting Calls & Music Gig Listings from around the world
* Message Board, Interactive Polls, Live Chat Room
* Informative articles written by Entertainment Pros
* An online store featuring theatre, film & music books, software, etc.
* A Game Room that allows users to relax, have fun and win cash & prizes
* Find what you need FAST!! Our site is fully indexed for easy keyword searches!!

The Essential Entertainer's Links Workshop is a FREE clearinghouse of informative articles, weblinks & resources for the working and aspiring entertainment professional.

Visit them at: Essential Entertainer's Links

What should my performance video tape contain?

Performance Tape II

Your magic performance tape should contain varied magic effects; include both close-up and platform work. The tape should be shot in front of a live audience to record their reactions to your performance.

Can I shoot my own audition videos?

Creating and Using an Audition Tape

Rule #1: Get a tripod. “Documentary-style” shaky camera shots are comical at best and you will wind up looking like your Aunt Betsy filmed you as you performed for the twins' birthday party. You won't impress a prospective employer that way.

If possible, get your audition tapes done professionally. The expense will be repaid when you get twice as many gigs with a good tape as you could have with a bad one.

What kind of photos should I have in my portfolio?

Photos: Headshots

Have professional grade 8 x 10 photos taken of yourself. Create a portfolio of these headshots and any other performance-style photos that you have. Don't be shy; booking agents never hire a “pig-in-a-poke.”

Why should I have a website?

Your website

Develop a website and make sure you list it on every known search engine; make it interesting and splashy…this is not a time for modesty!

Where can I have my services listed FREE online?

Free Web Listing

Get your listing online at a new and free listing site entitled SleightlyMagic. It really is free and is marketed well. Check it out at: Sleightly Magic

Can I shoot my own audition videos?

Performance Tape 3

- No special effects, please…just straight cinematography.

Can I shoot my own audition videos?

Performance Tape 1

- Get someone who is good at filming, lighting and editing to film you. Don't rely on a non-professional.

Where can I find an agent?

Representation for Magicians

Representation for magicians around the world

Philip Murad offer representation to professional and semi-professional magicians around the world. This could be a great way to get regular gigs. If you are interested, check out his website at Philip and Henry Productions.

Where can I find up-to-date information on marketing and promotion?

MagicCoach Newsletter is the Web's first free weekly email newsletter and resource site dedicated to helping Magicians grow their entertainment business. Get tips, tactics and classic strategies on Marketing, Promotion and more. For details click here - MagicCoach

Where can I post a free website for my magic performances?

Free Professional Listing

Are you interested in a free magic performance website? will offer one free for your magic act. If you would like to create one, try this link: PartyDirectory.Com

You will be allowed to use your new URL on business cards and all print advertising.

Where can I get magical domain name for my website?

Free Domain Name

Free Domain Name at

If you would like your own domain name, a company has been created to serve the needs of magicians with their own homepages. The service is free of charge.


Get yours today at YourMagician.Com

How can I get table-hopping gigs?


Approach restaurateurs and bar owners. Be aggressive without being rude or ridiculous; no one likes a pushy magician. Table-hopping can be your number one source of income as a professional or semi-professional magician.

What should my performance video tape contain?

Performance Video Tape

Put together a performance tape and send it out to booking agents; they can help you get kid and adult party bookings. Pick them carefully as there are many sharks out there!


Restaurant Magicians - Tips or Salaries ??

There is an ongoing debate as to whether a restaurant magician should work for tips or for a salary. Working for a salary is great, -if- you can get it. Restaurants are less apt to pay a salary, but if you're good enough they'll see your value. Getting a salary definitely talkes some of the stress off performing and lets you be yourself.

Gigs that allow you to work for tips are more frequent. Some magicians are so personable that they can make more money working for tips, but they are in the minority. If you fit in this category, you are blessed with a special talent and you need to take advantage of it.

Remember, when you take tips you are competing with the wait staff for money. This can cause resentment. Make friends with the wait staff and try your best to work WITH them, even sharing in tips if they can get 'special requests' for you to work a table out of your normal rounds.

Don't be afraid to give working for tips a try. You will discover whether or not this is for you.


Getting Gigs as a Restaurant Magician

Magicians seeking restaurant jobs are a very worrysome bunch... "How do I get started?" and "How much do I charge?". The best tip I can offer you is... don't worry 'quite' so much. Your goal at this point should be to gain experience. Find a nice local restaurant that will let you perform for a couple of hours for free. It helps to tell the proprietor that you will not ask the restaurant for money nor will you accept tips. After you've performed for a table, ask them to tell the manager they enjoyed your performance, assuming they did. Tell them that's all the payment you want...

The money and the gigs will come as you gain experience and show your worth


Double Your Income As A Performer

Magicians are constantly looking for additional sources of income. Generally, the income received from a performance is never enough. The performer is left in a constant state of need.. needing more money and more performances to pay the bills.

Here's a great tip used by all type of performers worldwide; one that the magic community has been slow to adapt.

It's called BOR, and means 'Back of the Room Sales'. Music acts have done it for 50 years. They set up a table in the back of the room near the exit and sell records, CD's, DVDs, song books, pictures, tee shirts, and whatever else they can make a stream of income from..

Ideally, magicians can sell magic kits, expecially those aimed toward young to teenage kids. If you can personalize the magic kits, so much so the better. They can also sell autographed pictures, individual packet tricks, and magic related books.

Be sure to mentioned your BOR products during your performance, but don't take too much time away from your performance to do so. Be cordial, be friendly, be helpful, and be available after your performance to sign autographs and take pictures.

You may find you make more from a well-thought-out BOR campaign than from the performance itself...

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Guru Spotlight
Jolyn Wells-Moran