Diversity of Holidays
I just finished talking with my wife about “Four Calling Birds” and how in the 12 days of Christmas song the line used to be “Four Colly Birds.” If we were still performing regularly with the Magic Neighbors troupe doing New York Public Library performances, we might have integrated this fact and other info regarding traditions of the diverse holidays that are celebrated around this time.
But our daughter is older now and not the young toddler who used to enjoy walking around the performance area during us performing near the book stacks with our portable stage curtains. Back then she wanted to be a part of the show, but her interests have developed into other things. And since much of what we do takes its cues from our daughter, for the moment anyway we have hung up our Magic Neighbors costumes in the back area of our closets. Plus of course, COVID-19 has made live performance difficult, substituted with virtual shows.
Origins of a Song
But the holidays are still fun and looking at the meaning and origin behind classic holiday songs is a part of that fun. For example, it turns out that “The Twelve Days of Christmas” began its own evolution in England in 1780 without music but rather as a chant or rhyme.
Bit of a Tan
Okay you did it. You broke down and accepted being a part of the hype when you asked Mr. Potter over for a dip. After racing him in the water a few times (making certain to let him win), you two agreed on a chat and laid down on chairs for a bit of a tan.
You Knew it Already
In your conversation you asked Harry the things you always wanted to know such as “What’s it like being so famous?” and “What is your favorite food?” And because H.P. is a good magic neighbor you listened in its entirety his life story which you already knew because you had read the books.
Time to Say “Goodbye”
With prodding Harry Potter did reveal some things you had never heard before. Mostly about the writer of the series and how she had created his story in the first place. The young magician began to visibly sweat as he continued talking and brought up that the writer came from very challenging times and managed to write an outline and books despite (or maybe because of) the these distractions. Now that you were talking about this topic, Potter had had enough and said he had to leave. You nodded that you understood and said your goodbyes.
Note to Self
Minutes later you saw his spectacles had been forgotten. You knew Harry would be back to talk again. Though next time around it is advisable when speaking with him that you don’t bring up “Jo” again. Storybook characters like to be in denial of the fact that they are fictional characters.
One of the founders of Magic Neighbors recently performed for a well known magic society, not for kids as Magic Neighbors projects often are created for, but rather a breed of hocus pocus primarily done for adults known as mentalism. This performance marked a new direction Magic Neighbors is considering moving toward which is an older audience, possibly via video because of the Pandemic.
If your group is like our, Magic Neighbors,” chances are that funding is very important. It is an especially challenging task to take on now so you need to think out of the box. Our current unusual source of donations is in creating and marketing our own eBook. You can do this too!
You need to create an Amazon KDP Account Kindle Direct Publishing) account with Amazon. You can sign up for this for free at the following link https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/signin (If you already have an account with Amazon, you can use the same login details.).
The information given at the time of writing this coincides with how Amazon accepts written works. These are subject of change so be sure to double check that this is still the method of choice.
You can also sell your eBook on your website if you haven’t signed an exclusive agreement with Amazon. The format for this approach is a PDF file. You an either convert Word to a PDF or if you are using a free account of Google docs, you can export your file as a PDF also. In terms of what programs to use to create a download process for your site, varies among many such as DPD. Just do a search to find the solution that works best for you.
Also, you are going to need a payment processor which is separate and collects the money from the user prior to download. Common payment processors include Paypal, Stripe and Authorize.net. There are many more as well that can be searched for, to get the best plan for you.
You can create a blog or website just for selling your download or set up for downloads on your existing one.
SPECIAL NOTE: it can be expensive setting up your own eCommerce solution with monthly charges. One suggestion for how to proceed is to first test out your product, such as on Amazon, and then if it seems like you have a successful venture, next move to set up your own eCommerce entity. One of the benefits of having your own eCommerce solution versus working with the third party provider is that you will have more control over your eCommerce activities.
As seen in a current edition of Lights Camera Read, there is a striving to be a magic neighbor, a role model. And in this blog entry for “Magic Neighbors” we are looking at the process of striving to be a magic neighbor and are borrowing a quote from LCR of Ralph Waldo Emerson.
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Innovation in the Creation of Workshops
Magic Neighbors of the Past
When our daughter was a toddler we did a lot of community outreach activities in Washington Heights and Inwood in Manhattan, NY. Our Magic Neighbors theater company was an outgrowth of that as we began to do a combination of magic show and the telling of stories, for kids in need such as those whose parents are homeless.
And now with the Pandemic surrounding us, much of our community building activities occur online with projects involving our now middle school age daughter, such as Harry Potter Fan Club NYC, Disneyite and more.
And Now in the Present
If you have anything you are doing that integrates the concept of “Magic Neighbors” please let us know so you can share your adventures with others.
When we started this publication some time ago we knew that we wanted to look at our neighborhood and depict what we saw in it. There has been a lot of unrest lately but with a very good cause: justice.
Justice means that everyone deserves having it. It should not just be designated to one each and every neighbor and not just be regulated for a chosen few.
Promises Need to Be Kept
Without justice we are not America. The United States is founded on the idea of equality and opportunity for all. Lately there has been a call for the fulfilment of those promises. We indeed have magic neighbors.
Making it Through Childhood
When I was a kid magic actually saved me. It became pretty clear to me early on that no one was driving this boat and I needed to rely on my own means of self medicating my youth. That solution was conjuring. Being a prestidigitator gave me a singular focus, and although it might be limited, it did get me through my childhood.
My plan had originally been that as a teen I would go to Las Vegas and develop an act to get on stage on a regular basis but instead I was taken off course to Hollywood, where for whatever reason I found myself among film industry elites. During this period I shut magic down. I didn’t even visit the legendary Magic Castle?
Now it’s My Old Guy Period
But my true destiny started very young. And although I have had many distractions throughout my life, my one constant has been legerdemain. As a husband, father and finger flinger helming the Magic Neighbors Theater Company, it’s all gone full circle.
The phrase “Magic Neighbors” was meant to represent a feeling.
Then magic became real in library performances.
Magic Neighbors became magic.
What is the Castle?
No, we’re not talking about the Magic Castle in Los Angeles where magic entertainers perform, we’re referencing the Magic Castle of Magic Neighbors fame. The castle was a metaphorical place that the crew of actors and artisans created their magic.
Times have changed. The Magic Neighbors Theater Company members are not performing at libraries for kids these days because of the Coronavirus and the fact that groups of children and grownups can’t gather for a show. So instead, those of the M.N. troupe are concentrating on becoming MagicPreneurs.
Where to Focus
Anyone who is a magician or performer or even a person interested in magic can become a MagicPreneur. It means not just focusing on your art, but also looking at the business aspect as seen at MagicPreneur headquarters.
Even in these days of COVID-19, becoming a MagicPreneur offers a solution to those who are magic and entrepreneurs can get help by examining the world of commerce rather than just the domain of the virus. So get on the new path for magicians and enter the Magic Castle.
Come Up with Your Mission
When starting a theater company always begin with understanding what your mission is and how you will be different than the competition. What is that special thing that you will do? Then choose the name. If possible the name itself should instantly convey what your mission is.
Develop Your Organization as a Promotional Package
Now create a plan. How will your theater company do what you want it to do? Do you have financing? Do you have sponsors? Do you have performers and related artists? All questions you need to answer. And the good news is that once you have all your elements in place in an attractive package, this can be your doorway into getting you sponsorship. You can get promotional ideas from websites like How to Get New Customers. Additionally, look at what other theater companies are doing such as those for kids.
Work with Those Connected to Your Mission
If your mission helps an underserved demographic, the more likely it is that you will find a sponsor to work with. Pick someone to ask for money (in exchange for sponsorship advertising) who is somehow connected to your mission. Maybe they know people such as family and friends who needs what your theater company does.
Consider Fiscal Sponsorship
You have the option of becoming a nonprofit. Or, if you don’t want to deal with the long process it takes to become one, your can get fiscal sponsorship from another nonprofit. This is much faster. It means that they will be your umbrella organization and will process donations for you. It will allow you to receive donations.
Needless to say you should have a bank account in the name of your organization. All donations coming in for your fiscally sponsored organization, should go into this bank account. And you will need to keep very organized, knowing what money went where. This is especially important in conjunction with doing your taxes.
Strategies to Get Donations
Sometimes people will donate to you if you have a special subset program from your organization that is will be attractive to a certain group of possible sponsors.
And the most important thing of all is that you have passion for what your theater company’s mission is. Break a leg.