Incredible Idioms Sizzle Reel

Somethings surprise me, like the success of my Incredible Idioms show. This is a school assembly / library show that I’ve done about 125 times since January of this year and I’ve done all those shows with zero promo! All I had one a one paragraph description that I’ve sent out.

I finally sat down and made a sizzle reel for it.

It’s cool that I was able to do the show that many times based only on my reputation!

I still need to update the website…


Fair Sizzle Reel

One of the things I’ve started doing to “add value” for the fairs that book me is to make little sizzle reels of me performing at the fair.

Here’s this weeks video:

You’ll see me do my version of Sticker Kicker in this video. I’m still working out the flow of the trick. I like it and it’s such a strange visual when you peel the back off of the card. I really like it!


Studio Promo Videos…

I’m thinking about updating my promo video and was watching some other magician’s promo videos this morning. One thing I noticed that I don’t like, however I’m not sure if anyone else notices or not are videos that don’t show the performer in front of a crowd. Here’s one I found from a magician named Alfred, who from the video has great technical skills, however there’s no audience:

What that says to me is the person doesn’t do many shows, I could be wrong. I honestly don’t know if that’s what a booker sees?

I also don’t know how I feel about “studio” shots in a promo video. I understand that a lot of the time it can be the only way to get a certain piece of video, like a close up that wouldn’t really be possible without really annoying the audience. I can usually tell when a studio shot is mixed in with live shots, the energy feels different.

I guess my feelings on promo videos that don’t show actual performances clips is that they aren’t for me.

Video Showcasing…

I’m home now from a booking conference I was at earlier in the week. One of the things that happens at these are video showcases. These are up to three minute videos that play usually in between the live act showcases. There were a couple of good video showcases and a lot of bad ones.

The number one thing about a video showcase is to use still images sparingly and use them with purpose. One of the showcases I watched was of a musician who does a roving act and he does a lot of audience engagement and pulls around a wagon that looks really cool. His video was all still images with him singing a song played over. It didn’t really give any context to what he does or how a buyer would use it.

The next worst thing is to play a video of you playing a gig. One person played a video him that had bits of several songs, but they were all at the same venue. It was visually boring. At least have several venues…and record them from the soundboard, they audio will turn out much nicer and easier to listen to.

Another thing is that news footage is great…but trim out all the stuff that’s not you! One act had a nice news clip, but they kept in the intro of the two newscasters bantering about the weather or whatever at the beginning, essentially wasting the buyers time for 15 seconds. Then they left in the extro of the two newscasters banters about what was coming up next, once again wasting the buyers time.

The final thing is you don’t need to use the full 3 minutes (or whatever the max is) for your video. If you can tell the buyers what you need in 75 seconds, great…you don’t need to bore them with redundant info for the remaining time. Trimming out the fat is key!

Those are some tips if you are putting together a video showcase or making a sizzle reel!


Virtual Show Sizzle Reel…

Early on in the days of “shelter in place”, bookers who had magic shows scheduled were blindly switching to online shows. They didn’t really know what it would look like, they just needed another option. Now that we’re almost four months into having restrictions on large gatherings, people are starting to look into booking these, and not just converting existing bookings.

Because of the shift from converted shows already scheduled to scheduling new shows, I decided it was time to make a promo video for my virtual magic show. Here’s what the current version looks like:

I’m going to make another version, this was the first so that I have something to show potential bookers right now. As I compile more and more video, I’ll make another promo video.

Follow The Crowd…

In any art form you are taught to be different, and as far as your show goes that’s what I think about magic. Marketing is a bit different. Recently someone in a Facebook group for magicians wanted advice on getting an agent to get them shows around the country. In my career, every agent that … Continue reading “Follow The Crowd…”

In any art form you are taught to be different, and as far as your show goes that’s what I think about magic. Marketing is a bit different. Recently someone in a Facebook group for magicians wanted advice on getting an agent to get them shows around the country. In my career, every agent that consistently gets me work has seen me perform and approached me. Sure, there are more ways to do it than my route, that’s just my experience.

One thing about agents is they’ve come into my life when I was ready for the kind of gigs they book. One of my agents has told me I’m “starting to level up” and I need my promo to reflect that. I’m currently working on taking my promo to the next level. That’s the thing, if you promo isn’t at the level you expected for where you want to work, then you’ll have a hell of a time getting any agent to take you seriously.

Here’s a good example, my core market is performing at fairs. I want to work indoors more, and the first thing I did was look at the websites of people who were doing the gigs that I wanted to do. If you look at a lot of them, you’ll start to see things repeating. Not tricks, but things all of their promo has in common. Things like the length and style of their promo videos. Are they one trick, a sizzle reel, or a combination of the two? Are their headshots studio or something else? There’s a reason they are common things in promo, that’s because that’s what the industry expects.

Now you need to take a moment and look at your promo, what can you do to take you to the next level?