If you're a trained stage hypnotist who's new to the profession, and you're looking to get gigs, I think one of the best markets to start in is high schools. There are several advantages to working in the high school market, and I'll explain them in this article.
It's critical, when you get into stage hypnotism, that you learn the differences between the markets that you can sell shows to and the buyers who actually have decision-making power. They have different needs, different budgets, and you can't talk to them all the same way. Not understanding this will lead to you getting significantly less work. You get gigs by knowing how to sell, and who to sell to.
First Advantage to Get Gigs: High Schools Have Multiple Buyers
If you want to work on a cruise ship, there's one person who's in charge of hiring. If you want to work a corporate event, there's one person running that event for you to pitch your service. But at high schools, there are multiple people with buying power:
- Freshman class advisor
- Sophomore class advisor
- Junior class advisor
- Senior class advisor
- Prom committee
- Project Graduation committee
- Athletic Director
- Student Council
Almost every single high school has all of these positions, so you have at least eight potential buyers at nearly every high school! Eight times the chance to get gigs! You just need to understand how to reach them, and how to appeal to their needs, which are not all the same.
The class advisors, athletic director, and student council all need to raise funds for their student groups. For those buyers, you pitch your fundraiser program.
The prom committee and Project Graduation committee are planning special events, and part of those events is having entertainment. For those buyers, you pitch your standard stage show at a flat fee.
Second Advantage to Get Gigs: The Re-book Rate is Fantastic
High schools are busy places. The teachers who volunteer to be advisors, or sit on these committees, are busy people with a full-time job to do, and here they are doing extra stuff on top of that job. They want to be of service to young people and help enrich their high school experience, but they don't have infinite amounts of time to do all the stuff that needs to be done. So if you can come in and solve a problem for them (helping them raise funds or being the entertainment for an event) they love to hold on to that solution and use it over and over again, rather than go find a new way to get the same solution.
I have schools that I've been doing grad night shows for fifteen years or more. I have schools that I did fundraiser shows for a decade. It's AWESOME to have that kind of re-booking on your calendar. You're not just trying to get gigs; you're building a client portfolio. Having a good re-book rate is a major part of how you become really profitable as a stage hypnotist. As the years progress, you can spend less on marketing to acquire new clients, and focus on keeping your existing client list happy and giving you the return bookings.
Third Advantage to Get Gigs: High School Students Are SO Easy to Hypnotize
Ask any experience stage hypnotist, and they'll tell you: it doesn't get much easier than hypnotizing high school students. There's just something about them that makes them ideal hypnotic subjects. They're curious, full of energy, and they're in a developmental stage of life where they want to have new, novel experiences. I always get more volunteers than I need at high school shows, and they help me put on a great show time after time.
Some stage hypnotists don't enjoy being around young people, and if you're one of these people, it's important to be honest with yourself about that. Even though I'm pointing out the reasons that the high school market is a great one to get gigs in, that doesn't mean it's for everybody. If you just don't enjoy being around young people, then it's probably better to focus on another market. As a former English teacher, I like working with young people, and it feels nice to be of service to these groups.
Want to get on the fast track to doing more high school gigs? Sign up for my Ultimate High School Fundraiser program.