Tips for Touring Tricks with Ryan Joyce
May 23rd, 2019
branding, cruise, marketing, stage illusions, touring
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This week, Jonah sits down with Ryan Joyce to discuss the realities of touring, marketing a show, and working towards a solid show. Ryan is a Canadian magician who spent thirteen years touring the country with a stage illusion show. Ryan has also been seen on Penn & Teller’s Fool Us, Canada’s Got Talent, and his YouTube channel with over 8 million views.
Ryan’s first magic memory occurs in Junior Kindergarten when he seemingly made an eraser “vanish” and then “reappear” on the other end of the class. At such a young age, he learnt that he could do something to create a response.
In his final year of highschool, Ryan convinced the student council and the school to spend $7,000 to fund his grand illusion show. Ryan described his hour and a half show as a “smashing mediocre success,” but it did what it needed to do: the right person in the audience saw the show, and Ryan received a 13 week tour offer, which turned into 13 years.
Show or an Act?
When Ryan was starting out, you had to decide if you were going to be a show or an act. Ryan has always been a show. For thirteen years, he traveled across Canada with a team of people to put on grand stage shows.
And, over all these years, performing has never gotten tiring for him. He finds that when he steps on stage, he can get into a state that lets him flow through the show. Ryan enjoys the experience of 1,300 people experiencing the same feeling.
Booking out Your Own Show
Back in the 1990s/2000s, Ryan and his mentor Paul had a successful telemarketing company that would sell the shows. Eventually, this method became outdated, but, with the advent of targeted ads, reaching out to people who want to see a magic show has never been easier.
Currently, Ryan is selling an event from ground zero. His starting point is nailing appealing branding right off the back so there’s a consistency across his marketing. One of his first pieces of content will be a short video that has the potential to go viral. From there, it’s about monitoring who’s looking at your content and marketing towards them.
Pack Small, Play Big
At one point in his touring career, Ryan was touring with a five ton truck to transport his stage act. Each stop they would have to setup, sometimes in less than ideal spots, and tear down the massive act, only to have to rebuild it later on. To add a new section to the show, they would have to rent out a large location to practice. While Ryan still enjoys the large stage productions, he has moved towards shows that he could easily replace the props for when the airport loses his luggage.
What do you like about 2019 magic? What don’t you like?
Ryan likes that people are creating and finding their own identities without the fear that someone is going to steal it.
Ryan dislikes when magicians put somebody down on stage who willingly came up to help. It’s uncomfortable for everyone, and your audience will probably leave believing you’re a horrible person.
Take Home Point
Ryan wants the audience to remember: Be Interesting.