A Day Booking Fairs

My core market is performing at state and county fairs across the USA. I do perform in a lot of other markets, but that’s the one that’s the biggest chunk of my income. Magicians and other performers frequently ask me how to get into fairs. Most fairs book at conventions, and here’s what a day looks like at a fair convention.

Get up and head to the coffee shop for breakfast and to do my morning writing and to get any work out of the way as I’m going to be busy until I go to bed. Then it’s a walk back to hotel to get changed and head to the convention center.

I’ll be exhibiting at the trade show as well as showcasing my act later in the day. I get the tradeshow floor early to chat with people and do some networking. You can get a lot of work from friends referring you for a gig because they’re unavailable, or from an unrelated act that a booker mentions they need a magician to.

The trade show was open 5 hours, so I spent most of that time talking to people and doing close up magic at the booth.

fair trade show

After a couple hours in the booth, I ran over to the showcase stage and did a 15 minute showcase.

louie foxx fair magic show

After the showcase and briefly talking to people at the stage, I headed back to the booth to wrap up the tradeshow day doing close up magic. The trade show booth is immediately packed up once the trade show closes.

trade show
close up bar magic

Now that the tradeshow day is over, I head back to the hotel room and freshen up before I head out for an evening of networking. This is where the real relationship building happens. I’m out around town meeting and hanging out with people. I normally just hang out and don’t do a lot of magic for people, but occasionally I do when it makes sense. Also when hanging out, many of the people who run fairs are my friends, so I’m chatting with friends and not always trying to sell my show.

Another thing that I like to do at these is find other magicians and jam with them.

magic jam in salt lake city

Some performers think that jamming is a waste of time at these because you’re not out talking to bookers. I do it for a couple of reasons. First it shows bookers who are all around and see this know that I’m a MAGICIAN, not some dude that does a couple of magic tricks, and second I love jamming magic!

Then I go to bed, and get up and hop a flight home!

These conferences take place over several days and it’s exhausting, but also a lot of fun. I think they’re a great way to book shows, however they’re not necessarily the best way for everyone to book shows. Some people aren’t good in a trade show booth, or can’t nail their show every time at a showcase. Then there’s the financial consideration, these are expensive to go to, and without any sort of guarantee of a payout…and the gig won’t happen for months!