Last week I announced the Salon of Magic at Rogue Chateau: a street ministry offering low-cost magic rituals to the people who need them most. In the coming month I’ll be running an Indiegogo campaign to fund the Salon. So far, response was overwhelmingly positive.
The questions also poured in. I wasn’t able to reply to every comment individually last week, so here are a few of your great questions about the Salon, with answers:
Is it safe to invite strangers into your home?
While I’d love to trust everyone who comes to me for help, the truth is New Orleans is a very dangerous city. However, in most cases the Salon won’t be inside the house.
This wasn’t clear in the original post, but Rogue Chateau has a private, walled yard I call the Courtyard. Most of the time, all of my spells and ceremonies will be held there. The gate will be open during the appointed times, with a sign out front, and no one has to enter my home.
In rainy weather, however, the Salon will be inside. This is Creole culture. The front door opens directly into the bedroom and that’s where business is conducted. During those times, I’ll use my best judgement; if anyone seems dodgy I will, of course, put safety first.
What about other magicians?
In theory I’m competing with other local practitioners. But I’ve reached out to a number of them and they’re excited about it. Hiring a magician is usually pricey, and the people I’ll serve are unlikely to be poached from the existing customer base. It’s a different audience.
What do your clients put into it?
Successful magic requires the recipient to put in some effort of their own. Since my “clients” won’t be putting in much money, this is a good question.
First, I think that even putting a dollar in the hat represents great dedication for some people.
Second, I will often instruct my clients to activate the spell by making offerings of some sort: burning a candle over the sigil they receive, or doing something in particular. They will be actively involved, and personally accountable for helping shape their future.
Why do a funding campaign?
While I expect not to see much revenue from the Salon—that’s not the point—it does come with up front costs. They include:
- Publicity. New Orleans is a very word-of-mouth town, and printing fliers and signs will be key to advertising the service.
- Business line. I will get a dedicated business line so that clients aren’t calling my personal cell phone.
- Ingredients and offerings. Spells call for all kinds of things. Normally I’d add the cost to what the client pays, and hunt them down on an as-needed basis. With the Salon, I’ll need to have lots of basics on hand and I can’t expect my clients to underwrite the cost.
- Shrine. The Salon will need a small but functional outdoor shrine. This is where I’ll make offerings and cast spells: a lot of blessings will pass over this altar. I really want to have a sealed envelope with the name of the Salon’s donors in it, on the altar, so they get blessings every time we do a ceremony.
If you have other questions please leave a comment and speak up. Suggestions are welcome too! I expect to launch the funding campaign by the end of the month, running through much of January, and if it succeeds I can start services before Valentine’s Day.
What do you think?