Successful Performercast by Kris Sheppard | Successful Performer Cast | Weekly Interviews with Professional Entertainers | Show Business, Showbiz, Performer, Magic, Magician, Juggler, Comedian, Musician

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Learn how to bring the value in this interview where I talk to Dean Hankey, the DEAN of Success! We also talk about testimonials and he gives us some great practical business tips!

Dean Hankey, The Dean of Success, is a magician, public speaker, author, trainer, and marketing expert out of Reno, NV.

This guy has been successful in so much, it’s hard to know where to start! Dean has performed in casino show rooms like Harrah’s, Hilton, Bally’s Grand and Peppermill, corporate engagements for top companies like IBM, Apple, Kodak, and American Express, for famous celebrities like Robin Leach and Bill Cosby, and he’s been featured on a number of TV stations like ABC, NBC, CBS, BBC, Fox News, and CNN.

Through his extensive performance career, he’s gained tremendous insight into business and marketing techniques which he now teaches others to help grow their businesses and generate real world results.  

 

Success Mantra:

1. Never leave the site of a human interaction without creating value.

2. Leverage everything.

3. If you breathe, record it.  

 

Failure Moment:

While he was on tour, he performed a show that he thought just didn't play well with the audience. When the client came back to talk to him he said, "Wow! I can't believe how wild the audience was!"

Perspective is everything.  

 

Favorite Success

Performing in theme parks and casinos. Those are literally "five star" shows to perform for.  

 

Talking About Testimonials

Testimonials are the strongest tool you can do for your outbound marketing.

Script to get a great testimonial: "If you were telling your best friend how much fun you had at my show, what would you tell them to get them to come see my show?"  

 

Business Tips from the Dean of Success

• Build relationships

• We do business with people we know, like, and trust

• What would you do for your best friend that you wouldn't do for a customer? Serve as if you're serving your best friend.

• Make custom videos for your inquiries. With smart phones, we have no excuses not to.  

Other Topics Covered:

• Great ways to add value in our daily interactions.

• Be seen, be good.

• People don't pay for "good magic," they pay to be entertained and transformed.

• Being homeless.

• Relationship marketing.

• Find ways you can serve people and fill needs.

• Present yourself as a solutions provider.

• The barometer of success is not always money.  

 

Extra Value

Success Satisfaction Survey - Word Document - Listen to the show to find out how to use this.

The Dean's List - Facebook Group

 

Parting Advice

• Be mentored and mentor.

• Be of value to others.

• Always be in the learning process and teach what you've learned to someone else within 24 hours.  

Recommended books and resources:

Note: Many of the links in this section are affiliate links, meaning we earn a small portion of any sales. If you're enjoying our podcast and decide to purchase one of the recommended resources or books, please consider using our affiliate links to help support the work we're doing here at the Successful Performercast. Thanks!  

Resource:

Animoto.com  

 

Books:

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini

How to Persuade People Who Don't Want to be Persuaded by Joel Bauer

Maximum Entertainment

Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh of Zappos  

 

Where can we find Dean Hankey?

The Dean's List - Facebook Group 

ClickButtMarketing.com

Direct download: SPC_041_Dean_Hankey_-_Magician.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PST

Listen in as I talk to magician Shawn Farquhar! He shares with us how and why he only does business with friends and gives us an amazing business card hack that constantly keeps him busy!

Shawn Farquhar is a magician from Canada who spends his time entertaining people around the world.

He’s performed for corporate clients like IBM and Konica, and has been featured on some of the most luxurious cruise lines like Norwegian Star and Radiance of the Seas.

You may have seen his magic on TV shows like the Fringe and Arrow, or movies like Spooky House and The Fly 2.

As for accolades, he really is a Magic Champion, being a two-time winner of the Magician of the Year Award by the Canadian Association of Magicians, Grand Prix D’Honneur from the P C A M, both Stage Magician and Sleight of Hand Magician of the Year by the International Brotherhood of Magicians, and his most prestigious award, Grand Prix World Champion of Magic from the Olympics of Magic in Beijing, China given in 2009.

Shawn also tours giving talks and lectures in the magic community at some of magic’s top conventions and events.  

 

Success Mantra:

I’m a small part of a really big show. - Shawn Farquhar  

 

Failure Moment:

Not asking enough questions about a show and having booking agents correctly represent you.

Hear how Shawn was asked to perform for what was essentially a memorial service without fully knowing what he was getting into. He also tells how he would have changed things in the show had he known from the get go what he was getting into.  

 

Favorite Success

Selling 6.5 million dollars worth of client’s products during a trade show.  

 

What’s Worked Best for Shawn’s Business?

Relationships. Shawn does business with friends.

He also tells us how NOT having a business card has gotten him countless bookings! This is a business hack that he uses all the time.    

 

Biggest Professional Challenge

Time and travel.  

 

Other Topics Covered:

• Being easy to work with and how to not be a PitA act.

• You can learn more from a bad act in what NOT to do.

• Top Ramen and Ketchup. You know what I’m talking about.

• Importance in relationships in business.

• Tells how he gets repeat bookings doing business with friends and fostering relationships.

• How he learns about client’s products and understanding the companies he’s working for.

• How and why he’ll refer clients to other magicians.

• Negotiating with clients.  

 

Parting Advice

Everybody succeds based on TALENT.

Tenacity
Attitude
Likability
Energy
Naturalness
Tenacity  

 

Recommended books and resources:

Note: Many of the links in this section are affiliate links, meaning we earn a small portion of any sales. If you're enjoying our podcast and decide to purchase one of the recommended resources or books, please consider using our affiliate links to help support the work we're doing here at the Successful Performercast. Thanks!  

Resource:

His iPhone which he can run his business from.  

 

Books:

Maximum Entertainment by Ken Weber

Whack to the Side of the Head by Roger von Oech

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie  

 

Where can we find Shawn Farquhar?

Shawn's Official Site

Palmer Magic

facebook | twitter @magichampion | instagram

Direct download: SPC_040_Shawn_Farquhar_-_Magician.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PST

In this episode I talk to Zach Waldman! We cover a lot of great topics like pricing, adding value, and how Zach overcame debilitating anxiety and depression. This is a good listen.

Zach Waldman is a magician and comedian in and around Los Angeles who caters to high end, corporate clients, and celebrities.

He's performed for the likes of Al Gore, Seth MacFarlane, Pete Carroll, Chris Rock, and Gene Wilder, not to mention his corporate clients which include Microsoft, BusinessWeek, Absolut, and Anheuser-Busch. Zach is also a frequent performer at the world famous Magic Castle in Hollywood.

More importantly, for us, Zach is a marketing expert with various products that help other entertainers book more gigs and make more money doing what they love.

As one of his clients says, "Zach is an amazing fountain of knowledge that will give you the tools to get booked and be successful."  

 

Success Mantra:

Goals. Writing down your goals and taking responsibility for yourself.

Basically everything in Brian Tracy’s book GOALS! How to get everything you ever wanted in life faster than you ever thought possible.  

 

Failure Moment:

Being too rigid on what he charged for his shows early in his career. Instead, be flexible but for a reason.  

 

Zach Waldman on Pricing

Mentions Dan Kennedy’s book No BS Marketing to the Affluent

• Price isn’t the only thing people are looking for. They’re looking for value and will pay more for it. Example: For a kids show, you might charge $150 but you can charge more if you create an experience and add value. Consider this: 30 minute magic show, balloon animals for each child (special ballon for birthday child that nobody else gets), goodie bags for kids, and they all learn a magic trick. With all this, you’ve created a full experience that you can charge more for, perhaps $300.

• Always add value.

• People also pay for the experience.

• If they flinch at the price, you can always take things away to lower the price. Always have a reason for lowering the price.  

 

How Zach Overcame Anxiety & Depression

This is a very sensitive topic. If you're dealing with anxiety or depression, please seek help from a competent professional.

In this section, Zach talks about how he dealt with debilitating anxiety and depression, ho it effected himself, his shows, and how he overcame it. He went through the course Attacking Anxiety & Depression

• combating negative self talk

• monitor your bad thoughts and replace them with good ones.

• change the things that you think about.

• Exercise and eating right play a huge role in alleviating anxiety & depression.

• Get into therapy. Seeing a therapist helped Zach out tremendously. It’s certainly a good idea to seek out professional help.  

 

Other Topics Covered:

• Sit in your own audience. Assess how other see you.

• When you compete, compete against yourself.

• Be giving and generous.

• Don’t try to please everyone.

• Go to war with the army you have, not the one you wish you had. If you wait for everything to be perfect, you’ll never get started.

• Becoming a self actualized person.

• Learn everything you can, then forget it all and carve your own path.

• Don’t give up, push through the dip.

• Write down your goals.

• Be good to people. It’ll come back to you.  

 

Resourceful books:

Note: Many of the links in this section are affiliate links, meaning we earn a small portion of any sales. If you're enjoying our podcast and decide to purchase one of the recommended resources or books, please consider using our affiliate links to help support the work we're doing here at the Successful Performercast. Thanks!  

Goals by Brian Tracy

No BS Marketing to the Affluent by Dan Kennedy

The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield

Turning Pro by Stephen Pressfield

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse  

 

Where can we find Zach Waldman?

therestaurantmagician.com

undergroundmagicsecrets.com

zachwaldman.com

facebook | twitter @zachwaldman | youtube

Direct download: SPC_039_Zach_Waldman-Magician_and_Marketing_Expert.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PST

In this episode I talk to Brian Brushwood!!! We cover a lot of great topics like how he got on the Tonight Show as a guest, passive income, and what really happens when you botch a prediction on live radio!

Brian Brushwood is a magician, TV host, Podcaster, author, and internet celebrity.

Magic-wise, he’s performed his bizarre magic show around the country at colleges and universities. He’s the host of Discovery’s Scam School where he teaches all sorts of magic tricks and bar bets that you can use to score free drinks from your friends at the bar. He’s also authored six books on the subject of magic.

Internet-wise, he’s been featured on a number of shows and podcasts like the NSFW show, Weird Things, Too long Didn’t Listen, Cord Killers, Night Attack, and he’s been a frequent guest on Leo Laporte’s show This Week in Tech. I guess you can say he’s sort of a big deal on the internet.

As if that isn’t enough, he can most recently be seen on TV hosing Nat Geo’s Hacking the System.  

 

Success Mantra:

Fail faster. If you want to double your success rate, double your failure rate.  

 

Failure Moment:

Speaking of failure, Brian tells about a time where his show failed to register and connect with his audience. They really didn't get it or like it and someone even threw fruit at him after his show.

He later in the show talks about a prediction failure that happened to him while being interviewed live on the radio.  

 

Favorite Success:

Being a guest on the Tonight Show. Brian talks about what went into getting there. Spoiler alert: persistence!

 

What's Worked Best for Brian's Business?

Not sitting around waiting for things to happen for him.  

 

Biggest Professional Challenge:

Questioning whether or not he's doing the right thing.  

 

Other Topics Covered:

• Working harder than everyone else.

• How a raise helped him realize what he really wanted to do.

• How he prepared himself for jumping ship still work.

• Persistence.

• We become what we think about most of the time. Earle Nightingale in the strangest secret.

• How he gained a large audience online.

• Being real online.

• Failure is an unpleasant side effect of trying and caring.

• Impostor Syndrome.

• Balancing travel and touring with family.

• His approach to Passive Income.

• Trading time for money vs. creating something and getting paid over and over for it.

• His correspondences with Teller.

• His experience on AGT  

 

Parting Advice:

Try. Don’t be the bitter guy knocking everyone else’s acts.

In life, we exist as trends not individual actions. Trend in the right direction.  

 

Recommended books and resources:

Note: Many of the links in this section are affiliate links, meaning we earn a small portion of any sales. If you're enjoying our podcast and decide to purchase one of the recommended resources or books, please consider using our affiliate links to help support the work we're doing here at the Successful Performercast. Thanks!  

Resources

Audible.com - Audiobooks  

 

Books

Make Art Make Money: Lessons from Jim Henson on Fueling Your Creative Career

Born Standing Up - Steve Martin  

 

Where can we find Brian Brushwood?

brianbrushwood.com

Scam School - Web Show

Night Attack - Podcast

Cord Killers - Podcast

Twitter @shwood

Direct download: SPC_038_Brian_Brushwood-Magician.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PST

In this episode I talk to magician Suzanne! We cover various topics like what she learned studying under Al Schneider and what you can learn about your audience from a horse!

Suzanne is a world class magician and expert story teller from Minneapolis/St. Paul MN!

Using her magic as a vehicle to play with her audiences, Suzanne specializes in performing close-up magic for corporate and private audiences as well as at a number of restaurants in her area. She’s also a favorite at the Hollywood Magic Castle where she's been the only female magician to not only be nominated for, but also win Close Up Magician of the Year which she received in 2010. She’s also appeared on the covers of Genii and MUM magazines.

She makes shy people shine and bold people laugh.

Jonathan Levit says "Her routines are masked in stories that touch your heartstrings and tie into her mystical imagination.”  

 

Success Quotes:

Follow your bliss. — Joseph Campbell

Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!” — Hunter S Thompson  

 

Failure Moment:

This isn't a failure per se, but Suzanne talks about her struggle with cancer and what she took away from that. She learned how to stand up for herself and how to separate work and personal life. She also tells how magic, her bliss, helper her through this challenging time.  

 

Favorite Success:

Being so accepted at the hollywood Magic Castle.  

 

Lessons from Al Schneider

Suzanne had the opportunity to study under Al Schneider. A couple things she learned from him are in magic, all your movements need to look natural, whether you're putting a coin in your hand or faking it. Also, when you create a moment of magic, give your audience the time they need to fully process what they just experienced. Don't just plow through it. It's very personal to them.  

 

Lessons from a Horse

Believe it or not, there's a lot to be learned about your audience from a horse!

• Magicians can be likened to a predator and the audience, prey.

• Communicating subconsciously.

• Reading body language and adjusting your performance accordingly.

• Putting your audience at ease.

• Be aware of your own body language.

 

How Does Suzanne Differentiate Herself?

The magic is not about her, it's about how she makes her audience feel.  

 

What's worked best for growing her business?

Word of mouth.  

 

Biggest Professional Challenge

Breaking the preconception of the magician and teaching the lay audience about magic.

 

What would she have done different?

She wouldn't have tried to do everything. She would have hired people do do things like marketing and other tasks she's not good at.  

 

Interesting Story from Career

Suzanne tells about her first interaction with The Professor, Dai Vernon.  

 

Parting Advice

Always do what you love.  

 

Other Topics Covered

• The importance of having support from your spouse when pursuing your dream.  

 

Recommended books and resources:

Note: Many of the links in this section are affiliate links, meaning we earn a small portion of any sales. If you're enjoying our podcast and decide to purchase one of the recommended resources or books, please consider using our affiliate links to help support the work we're doing here at the Successful Performercast. Thanks!  

Resources

Google

TED Talks  

 

Books

Al Schneider on Coins

Finding Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi 

 

Where can we find Suzanne?

SuzMagic.com

Suzanne's Black Rabbit Magic DVD

Jonathan Levit's Black Rabbit Magic DVD

Upcoming Restaurant Magic DVD

Direct download: SPC_037_Suzanne-Magician.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PST

In this episode, I talk to corporate juggler Katrine Spang-Hanssen, partner to Scotty Meltzer. We delve into corporate entertainment exploring topics like brainstorming jokes for your act, writing custom scripts, and memorizing them. Also find out why the show MUST NOT GO ON!

Katrine Spang-Hanssen is a corporate juggler who’s talents have taken her around the world!

She grew up in Denmark from a musical family, so performance was not an uncommon thing. She moved to the States when she was 20 and is just barely recovering from culture shock.

She’s had the opportunity to tour with and open for a number big name entertainers like Kenny Rodgers, Willie Nelson, and Natalie Cole. Add to this hundreds of comedy clubs, fairs, festivals, colleges, and theater productions. She’s now one of two principal performers for Comedy Industries which specializes in creating custom presentations for trade shows, training sessions, sales meetings, and other corporate applications. Clients include Ansys, Commvault, HP, IBM, NETGEAR, and Seagate.

A couple cool facts about Katrina: She speaks six languages, and also plays drums with several bands around the Bay Area. I’ll leave it up to you to decide which is cooler.  

 

Success Quote:

It just doesn't matter. — Katrine Spang-Hanssen

 

Favorite Success:

Opening for Barbara Mandrell for a sold out audience.  

 

Failure Moment:

Performing at the same venue as she did opening for Barbara Mandrell, but for an audience of six. What a contrast!  

 

Tending Corporate Gigs

• Incorporating client's message into the act.

• Memorizing custom scripts. - mnemonic connections. - recording and listening to the script over and over again.

• How to cover when you forget part of your script.

• Brainstorming jokes for the act.  

 

How Does Katrine Differentiate Herself?

Customization for clients. Scripts, tricks, etc.  

 

Worked Best for Growing Business

Being a person that other people want to be around.  

 

Biggest Professional Challenge

Fear of failure. FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real - Zig Ziglar  

 

Interesting Story from Career

Find out why if anything must go on, it's NOT THE SHOW! Katrine tells about how she got appendicitis before a gig, performed anyway, and ended up taking an ambulance to the hospital after her gig. This is the other half of a story that Scotty Meltzer mentioned in his interview.  

 

Parting Advice

Don't get hung up on a dream. Appreciate the journey.  

 

Other Topics Covered

• Fear of failure.

• Working with what you've got.

• Most people aren't "out to get you."  

 

Recommended books and resources:

Note: Many of the links in this section are affiliate links, meaning we earn a small portion of any sales. If you're enjoying our podcast and decide to purchase one of the recommended resources or books, please consider using our affiliate links to help support the work we're doing here at the Successful Performercast. Thanks!  

Resources

LinkedIn

 

Books

Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original by Robin Kelley

Feel the World by Noerretranders  

 

Where can we find Katrine Spang-Hanssen?

ComedyIndustries.com

ScottyAndTrink.com

Direct download: SPC_036_Katrine_Spang-Hanssen-Juggler.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PST

In this episode, I talk to comedian John Crist about his business and career in comedy. We touch on such topics as setting goals, taking risks, and failure. Enjoy!

John Crist is an award-winning comedian from Denver, CO who’s edgy, yet clean comedy has taken him around the country and made him popular with people of all ages.

He was a finalist in Comedy Central's 2013 Up Next Comedy Competition, winner of the 2012 Denver Improv's Got Laughs Competition, as well as the 2012 Loonees Comedy Competition.

He's opened for Seth Meyers and In 2013, he performed 275 shows at top comedy clubs like The Hollywood Improv, the Comedy Magic Club in Los Angeles, the Las Vegas Laugh Factory, The Punchline in Atlanta, and his home club, The Comedy Works in Denver. Add to this performing for Fortune 500 companies like Microsoft, GE, Lexus, and HP.

Oh yeah, he was also Hand-selected by Adam Carolla to share the screen with him in an upcoming 2015 film called Road Hard.

Louie Anderson says "It's only a matter of time until John Crist is a household name. He is so likable, and his stand up is top notch."  

 

Success Quote:

If you want something, go get it. Period. — Will Smith in the Movie: Pursuit of Happyness  

 

Two Failure Stories:

The first scenario he talked about was a chance that he didn't take and now regrets. The second scenario was about a time he unintentionally called out an audience member's handicap.  

 

Favorite Success:

Being able to work with Adam Carolla in an upcoming movie (coming out next Spring).  

 

What's Worked Best in Growing His Business

Setting goals and approaching things with a purpose.  

 

Biggest Professional Challenge

Letting things go. Delegating tasks like design, accounting, etc., so that you're free to do what you're good at.  

 

Parting Advice

Do things that are great and share it with people.  

 

Other Topics Covered

• Fear and working hard despite that fear.

• The importance on trying out new material on real people.

• Talks about where he finds inspiration for material.

• How sometimes you can put yourself too much into your passion.

• Standup comedy is often built on failure.

• Taking risks.

• The benefits of being a clean act.

• The importance of persistence.

• Knowing your audience and adjusting your act accordingly.  

 

Recommended books and resources:

Note: Many of the links in this section are affiliate links, meaning we earn a small portion of any sales. If you're enjoying our podcast and decide to purchase one of the recommended resources or books, please consider using our affiliate links to help support the work we're doing here at the Successful Performercast. Thanks!  

Resources

Elance

A tripod. To assist in selfies. :)  

 

Books

Failing Forward by John Maxwell

Huck Finn by Mark Twain  

 

Where can we find John Crist?

John Crist's Official Site Facebook | Twitter @johnbcrist | YouTube | Instagram <----- John's Instagram feed is hilarious!!!  

Direct download: SPC_035_John_Crist-Comedian.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PST

In this episode, I talk to Eric Henning about his career in magic and his expertise: finances. This financial wizard gives great practical information on how entertainers should manage their finances for their business. This is not an episode to miss!

Eric Henning is a magician from the DC area who’s magic has taken him around the world. He’s had the honor of performing for President Obama and the First Family, as well as three Presidential Inaugurals and five other White House appearances to boot. As for accolades, He’s been voted DC Magician of the year, and made it to the quarter-finals of the World Championships of Public Speaking.

He’s also an international speaker, author and teacher on the subject of money and investing. He was senior editor of The Cornerstone Investment Letter, and he also wrote “The Financial Wizard,” which was a regular column in The Magic Menu where he shared his insights on money and how it pertains to entertainment professionals.  

Success Mantras:

Do it now! — his wife

For example, get that client thank you card in the mail immediately after a show.

 

Failure Story:

Eric's very first show was a complete failure. He will now never step on stage until he is completely prepared.  

 

Financial Wizardry

• Bankruptcy is the biggest mistake Eric sees other entertainers make.

• Pay off your debts. It releases more money for you.

• Pay off your house if you can. It's flawed and stupid thinking to keep your mortgage around just for the "tax break."

• Gives a tip on how you can pay off your mortgage faster.

• Save up an emergency fund.

• Make sure you're properly insured.

• Don't be reactive, plan your spending.

• Small leaks sink great ships. Look at all the places you're spending money and evaluate whether you really need to put money there. We're talking Starbucks, Netflix, etc.

• Invest in mutual funds once you've paid off your debts and saved an emergency fund.

• It's wise to hold back 50% for taxes of what you bring in. (Note: Eric is NOT a tax expert. You should seek the advice of a tax professional for more in depth advice pertaining to you and your unique situations.)

• Of everything you earn, you should save 10%, give away 10% and live off the other 80%.

• There's a relationship between your giving and generousness and your own wellbeing.

• Your business needs to have it's own bank account and it's own money. You pay yourself out of it.  

 

Biggest Professional Challenge

Inertia. Getting stuck in a rut.  

 

Transition Strategy

Before you "jump ship:"

1. Pay off your debts.

2. Build a savings of 12 month's expenses.

3. Make sure you're at least making as much money from performing as you are from your day job.  

 

Other Topics Covered

• How important and rare hand-written notes are in business.

• The impostor syndrome and how to overcome it.

• How to make sure you're prepared for performances.

• Developing original material.

• What audiences remember.  

 

Parting Advice

Find something you're passionate about and weave that into your act.  

 

Recommended books and resources:

Note: Many of the links in this section are affiliate links, meaning we earn a small portion of any sales. If you're enjoying our podcast and decide to purchase one of the recommended resources or books, please consider using our affiliate links to help support the work we're doing here at the Successful Performercast. Thanks!

 

Resources

Podcasts like the Magician Business Podcast, and the Magic Newswire  

 

Eric describes his audio setup in great detail. 
Here are the products he mentions:

BOSE Soundlink II

OneTrack - Backing Tracks for Pros iOS App

iJet Remotes Miccus Mini Jack  

 

Magic Books

Denny Haney's Lecture Notes & DVD

Maximum Entertainment by Ken Weber

Show Doctor by Jeff McBride  

 

Where can we find Eric Henning?

Eric Henning's Magic Website

Eric Henning's Kid's Show Website

Eric Henning's Public Speaking Website

eric@henningmagic.com

Direct download: SPC_034_Eric_Henning-Magician.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PST

In this episode, I talk to CJ Johnson about his career in magic, hypnotism, and being a game show host! He talks about his approach to business and tells us how he found balance between work and family.

CJ Johnson is a magician, mentalist, hypnotist, and a game show host! He’s also author to more than a dozen books and self-hypnosis CD’s which includes his super popular book “More Shows, More Money” which has been credited to helping countless magicians take their passions full-time.

CJ is certainly qualified to teach this, as he maintains a full calendar traveling the country performing his shows as well as managing teams for his six touring "Game Shows to Go.”

When he’s not performing, he enjoys kiteboarding and flying precision stunt kites, but nothing is more important to him than being with his family, just outside of Austin TX.

This guy exudes entertainment and success.  

Success Mantras:

A man is only as good as his word. Work hard, be nice.  

 

Failure Story:

CJ Tells us a story about a mishap he had involving a cell phone and what he thought was a telemarketer that cost him a gig.  

 

Favorite Success:

Relationships. If wealth be measures in friendships, CJ is the richest man in the world!

 

CJ's Thoughts on Business

• Work harder than anyone else.

• Under-promise, over-deliver.

• Figure out how you can make things scaleable.

• Take care of the people that work for you.

• The longer you're in business, the easier things happen.

• Maintain good relationships the people you do business with.

• Call to check in with your business connections (clients and business partners alike) in genuine ways. (Congratulations, birthdays, etc).

• Every one of his "big breaks" has come from a relationship with someone.

• You can get anything you want in life if you'd just help enough people get what they want in life. —Zig Ziglar  

 

How CJ Found Balance Between Work and Family

• How important it is to have a supporting spouse.

• He did what he could to be home for family, even if it meant buying a plane ticket.

• Had an offsite office.

• Ate dinner with family every night he was home and NEVER had the TV on during dinner.

• Capitalized on every opportunity to be with his family.  

 

How Does CJ Differentiate Himself?

Having a clean show and being day to work with.  

 

What's been CJ's Biggest Professional Challenge?

Cash flow.  

 

Parting Advice

• Work hard, be nice.

• Never underestimate what you can learn from other people.

• If you go to a magic convention, don't posture.  

 

More Shows More Money

Proven techniques to succeed in the entertainment business!

This is the book C.J. is known for among magicians, clowns, ventriloquists, mentalists and others who make their living as entreprenurial entertainers.

If you charge people money for shows - or would like to.This book will pay for itself in 30 days or C.J. will give you your money back.

These are real world tools and techniques that C.J. has used to make an exceutives salary for the past 20+ years.

Find out more at www.moreshowsmoremoney.com

Note: I don't get any reward or kickback for recommending this book. I also don't personally own it but have only heard great things about it. 

If you decide to buy it, please be sure to tell CJ you heard about it from the Successful Performercast. 

 

Recommended books and resources:

Note: Many of the links in this section are affiliate links, meaning we earn a small portion of any sales. If you're enjoying our podcast and decide to purchase one of the recommended resources or books, please consider using our affiliate links to help support the work we're doing here at the Successful Performercast. Thanks!  

Resources

Kerry Pollock's Showtech - Wireless Remote Controlled Sound System

Pond5.com - Stock photography and video

Digital Juice - Stock graphics, video, music, and animations.

Flipping Typical - A way to explore the popular typefaces you have on your computer.  

 

Self Development Books

The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

See You at the Top by Zig Ziglar

Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins  

 

Magic Books

Device & Illusion by Jim Steinmeyer  

 

Where can we find CJ Johnson?

CJ Johnson's Official Website Facebook | Twitter @hypnotic1  

Direct download: SPC_033_CJ_Johnson-Hypnotist.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PST

I had the wonderful honor of talking with magician Nick Lewin! One of the main things we talked about was corporate magic. We also talked about putting a twist on magic classics and there was was even a little performing advice taken from Billy McComb!

Nick Lewin is a magician, comedian, actor, host, and keynote speaker from Austin Texas, originally from London.

He's certainly run the gamut, being featured on countless TV shows as both a magician and actor, he’s performed for English royalty, presidents, hollywood celebrities, and fortune 500 companies. Companies like Apple, AMD, AT&T, Bank of America, Coca Cola, General Electric, and Nutrasweet. He’s also been featured in top showrooms around the country including Vegas with his One Man Show and has also performed on every premium cruise line.

In addition to this, he also finds time to create products for and teach the magic industry, contributing his thoughts to multiple outlets, on the industry, performance, and business.

Entertainment Today says “Lewin blends impeccable sleight of hand with a razor sharp British wit.”  

 

Success Mantra:

Work a lot! To be a successful performer, you need to perform.  

 

Failure Story:

During a show, one of his props got moved and as a result, he wash't able to perform that routine. He learned to always have a backup ready for anything.  

 

Favorite Success:

Meeting and performing for the man who invented the MP4 codec.  

 

Corporate Magic!

• Customizing or personalizing your show for your client.

• Making the company president look good.

• It's possible to expand things and make the show bigger, e.g.. Hire other acts or close-up workers.

• Producing larger shows.

• How to pitch the client.

• How Nick uses a card trick to instantly change the atmosphere of a client meeting and tip things in his favor.

• Going down into the crowd after performing an after dinner show to do close-up magic and mingle with the audience. Just like Jay Alexander talked about!

• Getting repeat bookings.

• Be a "mentalist" at client meetings. (This advice and a little more corporate advice shows up at the end of the show.)  

 

Biggest Professional Challenge

Keeping his act fresh. He talks about what Bob Dylan does to make each show different.

 

Parting Advice

Know what you do, know what your client wants, and be there to fill their need.

 

Other Topics Covered

• Talks about how he created the concept for an afternoon family magic show in Vegas.

• Putting a twist on classics of magic and gves an example how how he uses a different approach to the Newspaper Tear (a variation on Elmsley's version). • Connecting with the audience.

• Some advice he received from Billy McComb: Don't waste anything up front. Do enough to get your audience's attention, then wow them with the good stuff!

• Don't finish your show with anyone up on stage with you.  

 

Recommended books and resources:

Note: Many of the links in this section are affiliate links, meaning we earn a small portion of any sales. If you're enjoying our podcast and decide to purchase one of the recommended resources or books, please consider using our affiliate links to help support the work we're doing here at the Successful Performercast. Thanks!  

Resources

Pinboard iOS App - a digital cork board that helps you organize your thoughts.  

Magic Books

Tales from the Uncanny Scot by Ron Wilson

McComb's Magic: 25 Years Wiser by Billy McComb

Vanish Magazine: A free magic magazine put out by Paul Romhany    

 

Where can we find Nick Lewin?

Nick Lewin's Official Site

Lewin Enterprises

Remarkable Magic - Nick's Writings on magic, performance, and business  

Direct download: SPC_032_Nick_Lewin-Magician.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PST

In this episode I talk to magician Jay Alexander! We talk all about various methods that Jay uses to market his business, encourage word of mouth, build relationships with his clients, and customize his shows!

Jay Alexander is one of the top corporate and society entertainers in the country and one of the highest paid magical performers in the industry. Jay started his career early performing for the patrons of his parent’s shoe store. At the age of 14 he won the Society of American Magicians Gold Medal of Honor.

He now creates customized shows for Fortune 500 companies. Some of his corporate clients include Apple, Cisco, Lucas Films, Bank of America, Kaiser Permanente, Coca Cola, and Chrysler. He’s also performed at private parties and events for the likes of Robin Williams, The Rolling Stones, and Duran Duran.

In the words of Ron Wood from the Rolling Stones, “Jay is the best magician I have ever seen!"  

Success Mantra:

Under-promise and over-deliver.  

Failure Story:

Tells about not quite understanding the market he was targeting and how he created a very specific character called "Moishe the All-Kosher Magician" which didn't work at all for his target market. He learned a very important lesson of knowing your market.  

Favorite Success:

The time he made a young girl smile who hadn't shown a smile in at least eight years while performing magic at a school for autistic children.  

What's worked well for Jay's business?

Having a great show, word of mouth, and having something easy for the audience to remember about his show. (Ammar's adage: KISS - Keep It Slogan Simple)  

Interesting Story from the Road

Listen to a fun story involving Jay at the Fillmore with the Rolling Stones, and Card on the Ceiling.  

Biggest Professional Challenge

Staying relevant as he's becoming "The Old Guy."  

What would Jay have done differently?

Collaborated with more people and got more advice early on.  

Parting Advice

Learn how to manage your money.

Other Topics Covered

• You get ahead by working harder than everyone else.

• The magic isn't about you, or even your audience. It's about the Guest of Honor, or the person that hired you. It's your job to make them look great!

• Every moment from the time the client calls to the moment Jay sends the thank you card is planned and intentional. It's all part of the Jay Alexander experience.

• Going out into the audience right after his show to spend time with them, take pictures and do a little closeup magic.

• How he follows up with contacts even if he doesn't get their business.

• Word of mouth and getting video testimonials.

• Customizing his shows for his clients: Facebook is your friend!

• Getting your audience to remember you.

• Getting inspiration by watching bands and how they structure their concerts.  

 

Recommended books and resources:

Note: Many of the links in this section are affiliate links, meaning we earn a small portion of any sales. If you're enjoying our podcast and decide to purchase one of the recommended resources or books, please consider using our affiliate links to help support the work we're doing here at the Successful Performercast. Thanks!  

Resources

Siri: Jay does a great deal through Siri.

Also, make sure you have with you at every show, a toothbrush, prop list, color-coded cue sheet, and intro card. Pro tip: If you laminate the prop list, cue sheet, and intro card, you'll always get them back!  

Magic Books

Maximum Entertainment by Ken Weber  

Stage Performance by Livingston Taylor  

Business Books  

Million Dollar Speaking: The Professional's Guide to Building Your Platform by Alan Weiss  

Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi  

Where can we find Jay Alexander?

JayAlexander.com   Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter @JAlexanderMagic | Google+ | Youtube  

Direct download: SPC_031_Jay_Alexander-Magician.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PST

In this episode, I talk to paranormal magician Joe Diamond. We go into detail on publicity stunts and how to get the press to notice! We also have an interesting discussion on "Pay What You Want" pricing structures and he mentions an awesome resource that you probably already have but just aren't using! Joe Diamond is a paranormal magician from Chicago Illinois. Just in his twenties, Joe has been able to turn his fascination for the paranormal into a full time career and has an amazing understanding into the workings of the strange & bizarre, often defying the boundaries between what we assume can and can't be done. He was the youngest First Place winner of the “Close Up Magic Classic,” an award given in Colon Michigan, the Magic Capital of the World and now performs his paranormal magic all over the country for private parties, corporations, and theaters. Four years ago, Joe performed the world’s largest mind reading demonstration: completing a 33 acre cornfield maze while blindfolded, finishing in less than three hours. In fact, with his public demonstrations, Joe has been able to get more attention from the press lately than a good old fashioned Hollywood scandal. Magician Jay Sankey says it best” "Joe has great skill, a marvelous sense of humor and more energy than any other four magicians combined! What more could you want?"  

Success Mantra:

Dream like you'll live forever, live like you'll die today. — James Dean  

Failure Story:

Joe tells us about a specific "hell gig" story that he had to endure where he was getting paid too little for too much, and was generally just a horrible experience.  

Favorite Success:

Solving the world's largest corn field maze blindfolded!  

Publicity!!!

• Talks about his first venture into getting publicity. • Tips where he got his idea for the blindfold corn maze walk. Hint: It's Corinda's! • Putting different spins or angles on otherwise "classic stunts." • If you fail a stunt, the only people that will know are you and the reporter. And you can always find another reporter! • Getting the word out about your stunt. • Getting the photos and videos of your stunt. • Be safe! Do your due diligence. You don't have to do something dangerous. Joe has never done anything dangerous in his stunts.  

Other Topics Covered

• Always being ready. "What would I do if I had to do it tomorrow night?" • Touch on Joe's venture into a "Pay What You Want" pricing structure.  

Publicity Consulting

Joe offers consulting on publicity and publicity stunts. Shoot him an email for more info.  

Recommended books and resources:

Note: Many of the links in this section are affiliate links, meaning we earn a small portion of any sales. If you're enjoying our podcast and decide to purchase one of the recommended resources or books, please consider using our affiliate links to help support the work we're doing here at the Successful Performercast. Thanks!   Resources Use your camera phone to get video of your show and video testimonials. "Do you mind if we record this next trick?" "Would you mind if I get a quick 10–20 second review of my magic?"   Business Books Buzzmarketing by Mark Hughes Little Red Book of Selling by Jeffrey Gitomer Thinker Toys by Michael Michalko   Magic Books Magic by Design by John Carney The Shiels Effect by Tony Shiels The Jinx by Theodore Annemann The Phoenix  

Where can we find Joe Diamond?

Joe's Website Youtube  

Direct download: SPC_030_Joe_Diamond-Paranormal_Magician.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PST

In this episode, I talk to casino magic and comedy act Mark Kornhauser. We talk about his career in magic, what it takes to perform in casino showrooms, his successes, challenges, and how hard work really pays off.   Mark Kornhauser is one of the most successful comedy acts in the world boasting 25 years plus, consistently performing in and producing shows in the most prestigious casinos in Vegas, Reno, Lake Tahoe, and Atlantic City. We’re talkin’ Harrahs, Planet Hollywood, Mandalay Bay, Flamingo, Tropicana, and Hilton, just to name a few.   He’s opened for more than a few top name entertainers like Tom Jones, Elvis Costello, Frankie Valli, Terry Fator, David Letterman, and Tim Allen.   He’s also been featured on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Masters of Illusion, NBC, FOX, Comedy Central, and HBO.      

Success Mantra:

Hard work, clean living.    

Working in Casinos:

• Fitting into a time slot   • How the casino venue has changed: catering more toward headliners than variety entertainers   • How he stays in the game: develops and grows new material   • Mistakes he sees people make in the casino market   • What he sees as the future of performing in casinos    

Failure Moment:

Did a Le Pétomane (flatulence) act that initially bombed.    

Favorite Success:

His current act with his dog Zsa Zsa.    

How Does Mark Differentiate Himself?

Makes his act vastly different from anyone else.    

What's Worked Well for Mark's Business?

Maintaining relationships with clients.    

Interesting Story from His Career

Listen in to what happened when Mark ran into James Brown at a bathroom sink.    

What's Been Mark's Biggest Professional Challenge?

Staying through the difficult times    

Other Topics Covered

• Success and how it's different for each person.   • Talks about how Doug Henning played a part in his journey.   • Listening to your audience.   • Talks about his inspiration and creative process.   • Gives us his take on magic on TV.   • You can no longer be an "expensive act," but you can be a "cheap show."   • Tells about his column in Magic Magazine.    

Parting advice:

Hard work, clean living. And courage.    

Recommended books and resources:

Note: Many of the links in this section are affiliate links, meaning we earn a small portion of any sales. If you're enjoying our podcast and decide to purchase one of the recommended resources or books, please consider using our affiliate links to help support the work we're doing here at the Successful Performercast. Thanks!       Resources   Have a place to collect your thoughts.   Also, keep a lookout for a compilation of all of his articles from Magic Magazine.       Magic Books   Hiding the Elephant: How Magicians Invented the Impossible and Learned to Disappear by Jim Steinmeyer   The Glorious Deception: The Double Life of William Robinson, Aka Chung Ling Soo by Jim Steinmeyer   The Last Greatest Magician in the World: Howard Thurston Versus Houdini & the Battles of the American Wizards by Jim Steinmeyer   Our Magic by Nevil Maskelyne       Other Books Whack to the Side of the Head by Roger von Oech   Kick to the Seat of the Pants by Roger von Oech   Whack Pack by Roger von Oech   The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron    

Where can we find Mark Kornhauser?

Mark's Website

Direct download: SPC_029_Mark_Kornhauser-Casino_Magic_Comedy_Act.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PST

In this episode, I talk to corporate magician and mind reader Kevin Viner. We talk about his career in magic and numerous other topics including some insight into his internet marketing strategy. He gives some great practical advice that we can plug into our own marketing efforts! Seriously, this episode is packed! Kevin Viner is a corporate magician and mentalist. Starting young, he learned his craft and by the tender age of 14 started performing at the world famous Magic Castle. Within a year of that, Qualcomm hired him for his first corporate gig, but we’ll get to that in a moment. Kevin’s been recognized by his peers with numerous awards including First Place at the Las Vegas World Magic Seminar, he received a Comedy award from International Brotherhood of Magicians, and was awarded 1st Place at the Magic Castle Strolling Magic Olympics. He’s appeared numerous times on television on the program Masters of Illusion, on Johnny Carson’s American Masters Biopic, and on Japan’s SuperDrama TV. When it comes to corporate engagements, Kevin boasts 90% of his work coming from corporate presentations and trade show work for clients like Conoco Phillips, GE, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, PBS, SONY, Walt Disney, and Warner Bros. Just to name a few. And as if he’s not busy enough, in his spare time, he’s also a singer/songwriter composing for both piano and guitar, and somehow found time to train for and run his first marathon last year.  

Success Quote:

Knowledge and not doing are equal to not knowing at all. — fortune cookie  

A Moment of Failure:

Trying to get to the top of DIGG using some questionable means…  

Favorite Success:

Kevin's favorite success is being so busy with gigs he's able to travel the country doing what he loves.  

What's been Kevin's biggest challenge?

He learns and implements so much in his business, he has a hard time measuring the results of his efforts.  

Getting to the top of Google Searches

Kevin gives us some basic steps you can use to increase your organic google listings. Let's say, for example, Kevin wanted to  to get to the top of the searches for "Tulsa Oklahoma Magician." Here's what he would do: • On your website, create a title tag of no more than 70 characters that has those keywords and your name. Example: "Tulsa Oklahoma Magician - Kevin Viner" • Have "Tulsa Oklahoma Magician" a few times in the body copy and possibly in some H1 tags. (But don't keyword stuff!) • Find a couple online directories that are reputable and are local to Tulsa, link to them on you site and ask them to link back to you from their site. If you do any college shows, try to have them link to your website, as "edu" domains are more reputable. • Establish a Google+ page local listing, and get on Yelp for your city. • It also wouldn't hurt to go out and get a gigmasters or gig salad page to link back to your site for a little more "link juice" as Kevin puts it.  

Other Topics Covered

• If we feel stuck, it's because we're not doing the next thing that we're supposed to do. • Talks about taking constructive criticism. • Why it's important to "change it up"with your show when presenting for corporate clients. • Making sure you have a quality show. • Asking for referrals: "Can you introduce me to three of four people you think might be able to use this [my show]? • Describes his workflow when it comes to emails and how he gets to the ever elusive "Inbox Zero." • The psychology of shooting high. • Using correct grammar and being concise in your communications. • Recording your phone calls and re-scripting your dialogue for future use. • Maintaining confidence without boosting your ego. • Mastering skills  

Parting advice:

Don't do magic the way everyone else does it. Find a way to make it different.  

Recommended books and resources:

Note: Many of the links in this section are affiliate links, meaning we earn a small portion of any sales. If you're enjoying our podcast and decide to purchase one of the recommended resources or books, please consider using our affiliate links to help support the work we're doing here at the Successful Performercast. Thanks!

Kevin shared a small fortune of resources with us in this episode! Here they all are, organized for your clicking pleasure. :)

GMail Plugins
Boomerang for Gmail

Internet Resources
Adobe Creative Cloud - creative design software
iContact - Email marketing
Lynda.com - online instruction
moz.com - inbound marketing software
Omnifocus - Task management for Mac, iPad, and iPhone

Google Rankings and Adwords Resources
Advanced Google Adwords by Brad Geddes
Flying Solo: How Smart Solopreneurs Make Money Online by Josh London
Google Adwords for Dummies
Perry Marshall's Adwords Products
SEO for Dummies Google's own SEO Starter Guide

Business Books
4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss
Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr.
Getting Things Done by David Allen
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

Creativity Books 
Thinker Toys by Michael Michalko
Whack on the Side of the Head by Roger von Oech

How the Mind Works
Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Magic & Performance Books
13 Steps to Mentalism by Corinda
Absolute Magic by Derren Brown Designing Miracles by Darwin Ortiz [Printed or Audio]  

Where can we find Kevin Viner?

Kevin's Website Facebook | Twitter @kevinviner | LinkedIn | Email

Direct download: SPC_028_Kevin_Viner-Corporate_Magician.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PST

In this episode, I talk to bizarre magician Christian Cagigal. We talk about his career and numerous topics including leaving a long-lasting immersion on his audiences and how he gets people through the door of his shows.

Christian Cagigal is an actor, writer, and magician out of and around the San Francisco Bay Area. He’s one of “Ten Bay Area artists on their way to becoming icons” as dictated by the San Francisco Weekly and was voted Best of the Bay, for the second time, by the San Francisco Bay Guardian.

Has performed his unique brand of “slightly creepy,” and I’d add “mildly disturbing” magic as an artist in residence at two theaters: San Francisco's EXIT Theatre, and Quebec’s “Beyond the Mountain."

He’s Produced a number of his own shows: 

The 13 Steps, The Pandora Experiment, the long running OBSCURA, The Collection, and the show Now and at the Hour which he’s currently working on a performance film of and that is being directed by internationally recognized San Francisco filmmaker H.P. Mendoza.

Finally, he’s also consulted for a number of theater companies such as A.C.T.'s MFA program, Crowded Fire Theatre Company, The Traveling Jewish Theater Company, Marin Shakespeare Company, EXIT Theatre DIVAfest and The San Francisco Ghost Hunt Walking Tour.

Direct download: SPC_027_Christian_Cagigal-Bizarre_Magical_Theatre.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am PST

In this episode, I talk to Los Angeles magician Micah Cover. We talk about his career in magic and how a little bit of humanity can go a long way.

Also, Micah has agreed to give a free copy of his 73-page lecture notes, "From the Trenches: The Pros & Cons of Being a Family Magic Entertainer," to all of our listeners. Listen at the end of the episode to find out how to get yours!

Micah Cover is a magician that spends his time performing all around Los Angels and has been a professional magician since 1995!

With a background in theater, improv and street magic, he brings his highly interactive magic shows everywhere from birthday parties, restaurants, large and small events, and a variety of different venues including the world famous Hollywood Magic Castle. It’s there where he produces the annual Night of the Raven, a yearly charity event for the Academy of Magical Arts.

In addition to performing magic, he also writes, lectures, and consults on the art of magic. You may have seen his work on TV on CNN and on the show 1,000 Ways to Die. Finally, he’s also an actor who’s appeared on Days of Our Lives and in a recurring roll on Dawson’s Creek.

As stated by the Magic Castle, Micah is an innovative performer with mind-boggling talent. His extraordinary effects will rock the room!

Direct download: SPC_026_Micah_Cover-Magician.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PST

In this episode, I talk to Alex Ramon about his magic career covering such topics as building a tribe, engaging on social media and list building!

Alex Ramon is a magician who has accomplished so much in so little time, it makes my head spin!

Alex has toured around the world with Disney Live! Mickey’s Magic Show, performing more than 650 shows and for more than a million people, even performing his show in different languages.

He became the second youngest ringmaster and the very first magician in history to be the Star of The Greatest Show on Earth, in Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s Circus show, Zing, Zang, Zoom.

For over 2 years, his show “Illusion Fusion” was the number one rated show in Lake Tahoe on both Yelp and Trip Advisor and Alex can now be seen touring his new show NewMagic.

As for professional acknowledgements, he’s been presented with the Lance Burton Award, Society of American Magicians Presidents Award, International Brotherhood of Magicians Presidential Citation, was named “National Stage Magic Champion” at the World Magic Seminar, and most recently became the youngest ever recipient of the Milbourne Christopher Illusionist award.

The most amazing part is most of this was accomplished by the time he was 23.

Direct download: SPC_025_Alex_Ramon-Magician_Prodigy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PST

In this episode I talk to mind reader Jonny Zavant about his performing career and what it takes to make it in the college arena. He also talks about how he experienced every performer's worst nightmare: getting boo'd off stage by 2,000 people, and what he took away from that experience. 

Jonny Zavant is a Comedy Mentalist Extraordinaire hailing from Chicago, IL. He acquired much of his talent from working with James “the Amazing” Randi at the James Randi Educational Foundation where he developed scientific studies to test the paranormal claims of and investigate applicants for the One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge.

He toured with magician and internet celebrity Brian Brushwood where he learned the ropes of a traveling act. Since then, he’s struck out on his own performing at trade shows, corporate events, and touring colleges and universities around the US, earning acclaim and accolades along the way. Among these, he’s been nominated two years running as fastest rising star, best novelty performer, and best comedy entertainer by Campus Activities magazine.

He’s also put together some fun, light, “Two Minute Tours” videos highlighting some of the places he’s encountered in his travels. It’s definitely worth a look if you’re in the mood for a quirky look at some well-known as well as some hidden gems around the country.

Direct download: SPC_024_Jonny_Zavant-Mind_Reader.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PST

Jonathan Levit is like the joker in a pack of cards. Magician. Actor. Television Host. Emcee. Producer. Consultant. Lecturer. These are all hats that he’s worn throughout his career and he’s been able to weave his love for magic throughout all his creative endeavors.

He’s traveled the country performing magic for private parties and on cruise ships. He’s a frequent performer at the Hollywood Magic Castle. He’s consulted for television and movies teaching the likes of Steve Carell, Jessie Eisenberg, Jack Davenport, David Duchovny, and Olivia Wilde how to do magic.

You might recognize him from some of his guest star roles on The X Files, FlashForward, The Others, and the Huntress, or as a host for The Discovery Channel, The Science Channel, The Biography Channel, or on VH1’s Celebrecadabra.

I think Teller, from Pen & Teller says it best, "Jonathan is funny, elegant, and disturbingly smart. Like something cuddly with really sharp teeth.”

Listen in as we talk about creativity, consulting, and how to deal with encouragement. 

Direct download: SPC_023_Jonathan_Levit-Magician_Actor.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PST

Paul Green is a magician that I've had the pleasure getting to know a little bit here and there online, as well as through his works that he's published. Paul's made a living performing strolling magic for corporate & private events. He’s also been a frequent performer at the World Famous Magic Castle where he’s been awarded close up magician of the year and lecturer of the year. 

Within the magic community he's worn many hats, such as creator, teacher, author, columnist, and lecturer. Through his many avenues of teaching he’s taught, based on real world experience, on his area of expertise, which is strolling, or walk around closeup magic, as well as on the business side of things. 

His name may be Green, but he’s certainly not new when it comes to knowing how to win at magic and business.

Direct download: SPC_022_Paul_Green_-_Strolling_Magician.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm PST

Bizzaro is a stage magician living in Las Vegas and is one of the craziest and most original performers I’ve ever seen!

Drawing inspiration from acts like Penn & Teller and Rudy Coby, he’s performed coast to coast, appeared countless times on television, and has worked with the likes of musicians Meat Loaf and Rob Cantor. 

Bizzaro is very skilled in constructing strange and unusual props for his act and for the acts of others, and also offers creative direction and coaching in general for other’s acts in order to make them better performers.

To him, “Normal” is just a setting on a dryer.

Direct download: SPC_021_Bizzaro-Magician.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am PST

Scotty Meltzer is a computer science geek and ex-IBMer, turned entertainer who now rides a unicycle juggling knives and escaping from straight jackets for a living. 

He is the head writer and one of two principal performers for his company Comedy Industries which specializes in reating custom presentations for trade shows, training sessions, sales meetings, and other corporate applications. Some of his clients include Apache design, HP, IBM, Netgear and Seagate, many of which have hired him upwards of 30 times! 

In addition to this, Scotty also writes a monthly column where he talks about writing comedy for jugglers and other variety acts. A seemingly hidden treasure trove on the internet of great advice for anyone wanting to add comedy to their act, or even just be funnier in life!

Direct download: SPC_020_Scotty_Meltzer-Corporate_Juggler.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am PST

Tony Clark is a world class performer who travels the world performing magic and producing shows.
 
He’s appeared countless times on television, has worked with the likes of John Malkovitch and Nicholas Cage while consulting for film and TV, and is the recipient of many magic awards including “Magician of the Year,” given by the International Magicians Society.
 
He also lectures teaching on all areas of magic, and manufactures products for professional magicians everywhere. If this guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about when it comes to magic and business, I have no idea who does!
Direct download: SPC_019_Tony_Clark-Magician_and_Producer.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am PST

Lou Serrano is a professional magician and a frequent performer at the Hollywood magic castle, a corporate entertainer, keynote speaker, and author, Lou is also a marketing expert and consultant who has helped countless other magicians and entertainers go after their chosen markets and kill it! It’s certainly no question as to why he’s been referred to as “the magician who is always working.”

Direct download: SPC_018_Lou_Serrano-Six_Figure_Magic.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am PST

Michael Eaton is a professional magician from Orlando Florida, one of the official magicians of the Orlando Magic basketball team, and his business and marketing chops are as amazing as his magic chops! During our conversation, we talk in depth about restaurant magic and his approach to performing in them.

Direct download: SPC_017_Michael_Eaton_Restaurant_Magician.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am PST

Rick Gerber is the official Anheuser-Busch Master Illusionist. He’s performed in all 50 states and more countries than most people can name. Listen in to hear all about what it really takes to be a corporate magician, as well as some fun stories, one of which may include Frank Sinatra and Ray Charles!

Direct download: SPC_016_Rick_Gerber-Corporate_Magician.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am PST

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