Tony writes: 'Today I arrived at a gig with all my gear, went inside and it felt pretty quiet considering I was there to perform at a party. It turned out I had arrived a week early!
Getting double booked
You wouldn't be the first or last entertainer to make this mistake. However, It's vital that you keep an active system going to track your bookings. Getting the date of a gig wrong can not only make you look unprofessional, but it can reflect badly on your client too, especially if they had advertised you being at their event.
Mistakes with gigs can happen, so don't give yourself too hard a time about it, but you need to make sure both clients are happy, even if that is at your expense. It's your fault that you got double booked, so find a replacement magician to cover for one of the events. You may have to subsidize their fee, but it's worth it to keep your commitments and your good name.
The phone call before the magic gig
Around a week before a gig, I recommend that you phone the client to double check the details and confirm any last minute changes or issues. This is a perfect safety net, for mistakes like the one you encountered.
Use an online calander or booking system
Set up a dedicated calendar for bookings using an online service which will allow you to access it both from your office and when you are on the road. Apple or Google have excellent calendar services that you can use for free. Make sure you take a photo of your contract for each booking, and clip it into the calendar for that date, so you always have all the details of the gig at hand. There are also commercially available booking and contact systems for magicians that you can use. Although they can be expensive, as you get busy, they may be a great option to keep track of everything. Booking systems also help with recontact reminders, which can bring you much more work.