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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November 2014
S M T W T F S
     
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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

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