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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I'm currently taking a holiday break from my regularly scheduled episodes, so for the next few weeks, I'm running my six most downloaded episodes. I'll be back on the first of the year with brand new episodes! In the mean time, enjoy these "Best of" episodes.

Mark Kornhauser's interview is my most downloaded episode of all time! In this episode, 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

Audible Free Trial

 

Where can we find Mark Kornhauser?

Mark's Website  

Direct download: SPC_Best_Of_1_-_Mark_Kornhauser.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:09am PDT

I'm currently taking a holiday break from my regularly scheduled episodes, so for the next few weeks, I'm running my six most downloaded episodes. I'll be back on the first of the year with brand new episodes! In the mean time, enjoy these "Best of" episodes. Lou Serrano's interview is my second most downloaded episode.

In this episode, we talk about Lou's career, how he's always working, and we also talk a little about his public speaking ventures and his thoughts on that.

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.”
 

Success Quote:

A lobster, when left high and dry among the rock, does not have the sense enough to work his way back to the sea, but waits for the sea to come to him. If it does not come, he remains where he is and dies, although the slightest effort would enable him to reach the waves, which are perhaps within a yard of him. The world is full of human lobsters; people stranded on the rocks of indecision and procrastination, who, instead of putting forth their own energies, are waiting for some grand billow of good fortune to set them afloat. — Orison Swett Marden  

Lou on Public Speaking

Lou is currently working on stepping into public and keynote speaking. He gives some of his insights on breaking into this market.

• Talks about the two ways to approach public speaking

• Tells about his topic, The Magic of Communication or How to Command the Attention of an Audience, and how he decided upon that topic.

• Talks about some of the lessons he's learned so far in this journey.

• Tells how he connects a topic points to a magical effects and gives an example.  

 

A Moment of Failure:

A $9,000 infomercial that ultimately flopped. It yielded absolutely no results. Find out what he learned.  

 

Biggest success:

Releasing his Steel Ball Routine which sold like hot cakes and ultimately helped him get through The Great Recession.  

 

How does he differentiate himself?

Lou differentiates himself from others in his genre by how he performs and how he does business. He ultimately wats his clients to get the best, even if that means he needs to hire someone else to fill their needs.  

 

Has he "made it?"

Yes. He "made it" the moment he started moving toward his goal of becoming a professional magician.  

 

What's working for him business-wise?

Keeping a database of clients & prospects and keeping in touch with them. Answers the question: "What if I only have a handful of people on my list?"  

 

Is there anything he would have done differently up to this point?

He would have been wiser with money early on. He wouldn't have been as careless with it as he had been at the beginning.  

 

Other topics touched upon:

• Lou brings us into his incredible journey of finding himself in music, then in magic, and how he'd actually hit rock bottom, finding himself without any real marketable skills and having to get a job driving that paid $5 an hour at the time. Find out how he got out and was able to transition into performing full time.

• The importance of having a list of clients and prospects and keeping in touch with them.

• How the Magic Castle has helped him in his career.

• Tells about why he gives a 20% commission to people that refer him shows and how effective it has been for him.  

 

Parting advice:

Treat your art as a business if you want to be successful. It's never too late to start.

People to study:

Jeff Walker - Product Launch Formula

Brendan Burchard - Experts Academy

Dan Kennedy - Small Business Marketing Strategy

Marlin Sanders - Amazing Formula  

 

Special Offer for Successful Performercast Listeners ONLY!

Lou is offering 20% off of his marketing course for magicians. This is a great course. It's what got me to take the first steps in marketing my magic business and has helped me tremendously. Visit www.sixfiguremagic.com and use the coupon code KRIS at the time of purchase and you'll automatically get 20% off!  

 

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:

Squarespace  

 

Performance Specific Book

Maximum Entertainment by Ken Weber  

 

Non-Performance Specific Book

Goals!: How to Get Everything You Want — Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible by Brian Tracy

  

Where can we find Lou Serrano?

LouSerrano.com - Magic Website

SteelBallMagic.com - Close up magic routine

LouSerranoMarketing.com - Free marketing tips & advice

SixFigureMagic.com - Marketing course for magicians (20% Off with Coupon Code: KRIS)

 

Twitter @LouSerrano | Facebook

Direct download: SPC_Best_Of_2_-_Lou_Serrano.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am PDT

I'm currently taking a holiday break from my regularly scheduled episodes, so for the next few weeks, I'm running my six most downloaded episodes. I'll be back on the first of the year with brand new episodes! In the mean time, enjoy these "Best of" episodes.

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 (Out of Print)

The Shiels Effect by Tony Shiels (Out of Print)

The Jinx by Theodore Annemann

The Phoenix  

 

Where can we find Joe Diamond?

Joe's Website

Youtube  

Direct download: SPC_Best_Of_3_-_Joe_Diamond.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am PDT

I'm currently taking a holiday break from my regularly scheduled episodes, so for the next few weeks, I'm running my six most downloaded episodes. I'll be back on the first of the year with brand new episodes! In the mean time, enjoy these "Best of" episodes.

Mac King! Mac tells us about his early days performing in comedy clubs and talks about how he keeps things fresh in his show at Harrah's in Vegas.

I probably don’t have to say this, but if you’re a magician and don’t know who Mac King is, I hereby revoke your magician card.

That said, Vegas Headliner Mac King is resident magician at Harrah’s Hotel & Casino and has been there for 15 years. This makes him the longest running magician in Vegas to be working at the same hotel!

He’s appeared on TV in countless shows on a variety of stations and in multiple countries. He also performs at corporate events for a select number of clients each year.

He’s authored and co-authored three books on the subject of magic, wears an awesome couch-plaid suit, and has a Fig Newton complex. Yet, according to his wife and daughter, he is a fine husband, a great dad, and all around swell fellow.

 

Sponsors:

Click Convert Profit — This episode is brought to you by Josh London's Click Convert Profit and his book Flying Solo, the Smart Solopreneur’s Guide to Making Money Online. Click here to get $10 off and for my listeners only, the free ebook "4 Ways to Find Your Most Profitable Keywords”.  

 

Success Quote

Big slumps come before big jumps. — Mac's wife  

 

Keeping his show fresh

• He really makes an effort to keep things fresh in his show. 

• Keeps a dialogue open with the audience.  

• Doesn't just use audience members "as a prop."

• Has a script for structure yet tries to find "little detours" to stray from the script and add variance to his shows.

• Talks a little about burnout and how it's affected him.

• Doesn't really add material, but he finds ways to tighten it.

• Things evolve and change over time.

• How he uses his show to test fly things he'll perform elsewhere, for example the suspension he performed at the Academy of Magical Arts Awards.

• Likes to "feel rushed" right before going on stage. It helps him to think on his feet and discover new things.  

 

Failure Moment

Tells who he ended up vomiting up a goldfish on stage and how the audience seemed none-the-wiser. And the lessons he learned.  

 

Other Topics Covered

• How your brain still works while you sleep and helps you work out problems.

• Tells his journey in magic which included a lot of hard work in comedy clubs.

• Working as a magician and sharing the stage with comedians.

• Laughs-per-minute.

• Recording and listening to your shows to make improvements.

• Emulating what you see other successful performers do.

• Having a beginning, middle, and end to your show.

• Finding his niche in Vegas.

• Tells some of the pitfalls he had to overcome before starting his current residence at Harrah's.  

 

Parting Advice

Do as many shows as you can and be a good listener.  

 

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:

Keeping a count of all the props you have in your pockets before you go up on stage. Be sure to set up a retirement account.  

 

Books:

McComb's Magic by Billy McComb

Learn Magic by Henry Hay

Harpo Speaks by Harpo Marx   

 

Where can we find Mac King?

Mac Performs at Harrah's Casino in Las Vegas every Tuesday thru Saturday at 1 & 3 PM.

Mac King's Official Website

Twitter @MacKingShow | Facebook  

 

 

Direct download: SPC_Best_Of_4_-_Mac_King.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am PDT

I'm currently taking a holiday break from my regularly scheduled episodes, so for the next few weeks, I'm running my six most downloaded episodes. I'll be back on the first of the year with brand new episodes! In the mean time, enjoy these "Best of" episodes.

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_Best_Of_5_-_Jay_Alexander.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:30am PDT

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.  

 

Success Quote:

Relate to people and adapt well to environments. Life will often teach you more than a book can. — Michael Eaton

  

Restaurant magic:

• Michael's approach to restaurant magic isn't just about performing for tables to help the guests wait for their food. He works with the restaurant and uses his magic to help bring in business and increase interaction online with the restaurant.

• Push vs. Pull marketing.

• The importance of wardrobe to your act.

• How to approach tables: Read, Relate, Rapport. He even gives us a script he uses when approaching tables.

• Michael's stance on accepting tips

• Why people tip. Sometimes the affluent will tip you as a way of dismissing you to move on to the next table.  

 

A Moment of Failure:

Find out how Michael learned the hard way to think twice about what he posts in social media arenas.  

 

Biggest success:

Michael had the privilege and honor to perform for the Kentucky Derby Train for high profile people and politicians.  

 

What's working for him business-wise?

Maintaining relationships and treating everyone as equal. You just never know who you know.  

 

Other topics touched upon:

• What it's like being one of the official magicians of the Orlando Magic.

• Tells about his first paid magic gig for which he had to borrow some apparatus from the magic shop that employed him.

• Talks about the considerable resistance he's received from friends and family in response to being a full time magician.

• Tells a heart-warming story about performing for a group of people at a restaurant that just returned from a funeral of a dear loved one. It illustrates the fact that it's not about tricks, moves, or sleights. It's not about our act, but about the people we meet and the difference we can make in their lives.  

 

Parting advice:

Have a specific client avatar for you to target.  

 

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!

 

Performance Specific Book

Fitzkee Trilogy

 

Non-Performance Specific Books

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

No BS Direct Marketing by Dan Kennedy

13 Ways to Hack Facebook Ads: A Digital Marketer Hack Guide by Ryan Deiss

Frank Kern: Mass Control   

 

Resources:

It's essential to have a way to capture emails and keep in touch with your clients. Here are a couple ways that Michael recommends: AWeber | Mailchimp  

 

Restaurant Magic Consultation Session - $199

Michael offers a special restaurant magic consultation session on how to track and show how you're making a difference to the bottom line of the restaurants you work at. If you take him up on this offer, please let him know you heard about it here! You can contact him at his website. Eaton Magic  

 

Where can we find Michael Eaton?

Michael's official website

Facebook  

Direct download: SPC_Best_Of_6_-_Michael_Eaton.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

In this interview,magician Nick Paul talks about his time performing with Disney, performing silently, and his sketch comedy influence!

Nick is a magician who for 14 years has performed full-time touring the United States at corporate events, collages, and theaters. He’s also had opportunities to perform at Walt Disney World, on cruises, and in multiple countries. He was voted “Critic’s Choice” for Best Variety Performance at the Orlando Fringe Festival, and was personally invited to audition for America’s Got Talent.

In addition to this, he also has a podcast geared toward magicians called “Two Magicians, One Mic." Walt Disney World says, "He’s an entertainment tour de force."

 

Top of the Show News

This week, I'm going to be traveling up north to visit some friends and take part in Phil Ackerly's Night of Comedy and Magic to support our troops. I'll be performing strolling magic before the stage show (That features Phil Ackerly, Christian Cagigal, and Ryan Kane). Come out to support our troops and to say hi! I'd love to meet you if you're up in that area!

Click here for more info.  

 

Interview with Nick Paul: Success Mantras

You’re only as good as your next show.

"Yes, and…"  

 

Working with Disney

• Tells how he got in with Disney, auditioning, and a "lucky break."

• Tells how he created a specific show, a silent act, for his Disney audition.

• How he doesn’t like auditions and about his inside perspective into them.

• Performed at The Boardwalk at Walt Disney World in a sort of busking atmosphere (without passing the hat).

• Learning from other performers and from the different kinds of audiences.

• Gearing up to work on Disney Cruise Lines.

• Changes he’s making as he’s getting ready to get into a completely different venue.  

 

Working Silent & Sketch Comedy

• Being aware of your posture and every movement and facial expressions.

• Your actions need to be genuine.

• How to view your helpers up on stage.

• Playing off of your partners on stage.

• Playing bigger and smaller.

• Listening to your audience.

• At the end of a sketch, the character is forever changed.

• How does this sketch change me and the audience?

• The audience is your partner.

• When and how you can tactfully “razz" or "jab at" your helper.

 

Other Topics Covered

• Impostor Syndrome

• Networking with people and being kind.

• Cutting your teeth in restaurants.  

 

Failure Moment

How Nick tried to get into the Blue Man Group and then ultimately realized it wasn’t for him. Even after two of his friends landed gigs with them.  

 

Favorite Success

Landing a contract with Disney.  

 

Biggest Pro Challenge

Differentiating himself from other magicians.  

 

Parting Advice

Be kind and try to be unique with 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:

Bluetooth Remote by Satechi

Onetrack for iPhone  

 

Books:

Born Standing Up by Steve Martin

Malcolm Gladwell Books - Outliers, Blink, The Tipping Point, David & Goliath

Seducing Strangers by Josh Weltman  

 

Where can we find Nick Paul?

Two Magicians One Mic.com

NickPaul.net

Impossible Feats of Fake Magic (Full Show) 

Direct download: SPC_087_Nick_Paul_-_Magician.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:30am PDT

In this interview, juggler Chris Ruggiero talks about going after your dreams and the pros and cons of doing everything in your business yourself.

Chris is a juggler, magician, and general daredevil who stays busy traveling the country performing his show where nothing is off limits! He’s recently been seen on The Ellen DeGeneres show, has published a book on following your dreams entitled Just Go, and a man of my own heart, he also has a podcast where he interviews other entertainers he’s met in his adventures!

Plus, he gives the most exuberant high fives I’ve ever seen!  

 

Top of the Show News

In a week, I'm going to be traveling up north to visit some friends and take part in Phil Ackerly's Night of Comedy and Magic to support our troops. I'll be performing strolling magic before the stage show (That features Phil Ackerly, Christian Cagigal, and Ryan Kane). Come out to support our troops and to say hi! I'd love to meet you if you're up in that area! Tap here for more info!

 

Interview with Chris Ruggiero: Success Mantra

It takes the same amount of effort to struggle as it does to thrive and succeed.  

 

In Business, Should You Do Everything Yourself?

• It helps you know what you should outsource or not.

• When you do end up outsourcing, you know more about the task at hand than you would if you hadn’t tried it out yourself first.

• Often times you’ll find things that you really love doing.

• How to know when you need to outsource something.

• Investing in yourself like in courses, specialized training, and coaches.

• Mastermind groups.  

 

Chris’ Other Creative Ventures

Chris Ruggiero Podcast — a show where variety entertainer Chris Ruggiero interviews other entertainers he meets in his adventures. In this show you’ll find incredible stories that will leave you intrigued, inspired, and ready to live your own dreams. He’s interviewed entertainers like Justin Flom, Jeff Civillico, Brett Loudermilk, and Barry Friedman.

Just Go: Adventures Of A Traveling Entertainer And A Guide To Living Your Dream — In his debut book, Chris Ruggiero shares personal stories of being a traveling entertainer and offers tips and advice to create an adventurous life most people only dream of. The book is a collection of small and easily digestible essays.

 

Other Topics Covered

• Getting things done now rather than later.

• Getting to comfortable.

• Talks about his beginnings as an entertainer.

• Inner doubt whether you’re “good enough” to be an entertainer. AKA The Impostor Syndrome.

• Individually connect with people in the crowd during your performances.

• Working with agents and how he got his first agent by doing some showcases.

• This is the best time to be living in regards to building an audience and not having to ask permission to do something.

• How Chris wrote his book.

• Physical vs. digital publishing.

• Persistence.

• Be good and keep showing up.

• Whatever gets scheduled, gets done.  

 

Failure Moment

Tells about a time on a unicycle where he took a nice little spill during a show.  

 

Favorite Success

His recent appearance on the Ellen Degeneres Show. 

 

Biggest Pro Challenge

Staying focused and on task.

 

Parting Advice

Don’t wait to start something you’ve been thinking about. Take your first step today.  

 

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:

A camera, on your phone or otherwise.  

 

Books:

How to be like Walt by Pat Williams

Choose Yourself! by James Altucher  

 

Other Resources Mentioned During Show

Squarespace

Barry Friedman’s Showbiz Blueprint

Michael Hyatt’s Blog and Platform University

Dave Ramsey

 

Where can we find Chris Ruggiero?

www.chrisruggiero.com

Twitter @onemanvariety | InstagramYouTube    

Direct download: SPC_086_Chris_Ruggiero_-_Magic_Juggler.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:30am PDT

In this interview, Annie Banannie takes us into her career as a balloon storyteller. She talks about working with children, satisfying clients, and ultimately making a difference in the kids lives.

Annie is a children’s book author who doesn’t just write and sell her books, but also creates “balloon theater” where she uses balloons to tell stories. Her shows are tailored for elementary schools, public libraries, preschools, and family events, and her mission is to help children realize that they have amazing creative ability hidden within themselves.

With her, every balloon has a story.

 

Kris' Recommendation of the Week

I just finished listening to the audio version of Steve Martin's book Born Standing Up and I get something new out of it every time! If you haven't read it, you should definitely check it out.

 

Interview with Annie Banannie: Success Mantra

Ship! — Seth Godin If you wait until everything is perfect, you’ll never do it.  

 

Balloon Theater and Working with Children

• What is balloon theater?

• With kids, laughs per minute isn’t as important as interaction with the humor.

• Never be afraid of straying from your plan.

• Making you volunteer have more fun on stage than anyone else in the audience.

• Working with special needs kids on stage.

• Making a difference on kids lives.

• Having a special needs kid up on stage being successful isn’t only for that kid, but all the other kids in the audience as well, breaking down the barrier between the common kids and the special needs kids.

• Working with the client (teacher, parent, principal, etc.) to achieve their goals.

• Working within the school’s schedule.

• Being reliable.

• Librarians talk about who they hire for entertainment and are brutally honest on how they liked or didn’t like them.

• Pitching your show and educating your prospects  

 

Other Topics Covered

• Not waiting until things are perfect.

• Selling your product before you make it.

• The importance having a coach and always learning.  

 

Failure Moment

Tells how she botched a silent act in Japan where she wasn’t prepared enough in front of 2,000 people.  

 

Favorite Success

Talks about how out of necessity of not having her props. she blew up a bunch of balloons and did a “create your own story” for the audience which turned out being a huge success!  

 

Parting Advice

Play. Have fun.  

 

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 and audiobooks.  

 

Books:

Purple Cow and The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

 

Where can we find Annie Banannie?

Balloonstoryteller.com

thesecretlifeofyourlibrary.com

facebook.com/balloonstoryteller

Dr. Electric Takes Over the World on Amazon

balloon-animals.com - Buster’s Site

 

 

 

Direct download: SPC_085_Annie_Banannie_-_Balloon_Theater.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:30am PDT

In this interview, Avner Eisenberg, who performs as Avner the Eccentric, talks about his career and his approach to performing silent comedy. Other topics that come up are creating material appropriate for your character, being easy to work with, and where he finds inspiration.

Avner is a clown, juggler, mime, sleight-of hand artist, and actor. He's been featured on TV and as The Jewel in the Movie Jewel of the Nile. He’s been a featured performer at various comedy, magic, and theater festivals world-wide, where he’s won multiple awards like the Edinburgh Festival’s New Faces award, and special jury awards at many other notable festivals. In 2002 he was inducted into the International Clown Hall of Fame.

In addition to this, Avner is an instructor in his craft, teaching on physical comedy and silent theater.  

 

Success Mantra

Always take a nap before a show.  

 

Avner’s Approach to Comedy

• Fear of not being interesting.

• Performers and Audiences being afraid of each other.

• Be interested, not interesting.

• Contract between the audience and performer is to share the same hallucination.

• Make them love you and then you can do anything. Even card tricks.

• The objective isn’t not to make people laugh.

• Laughs can be an interruption that you have to deal with.

• A performer should never be foolish, but also never be afraid of looking foolish.

• There is no failure, only feedback.

 

 

Communicating Without Words

• Keep your mouth shut. :)

• Make what you’re pretending to do more compelling than what you’re really doing.  

 

Other Topics Covered

• Talks about how he accidentally fell into entertainment.

• Tells about his the structure of his one-man show.

• How he became a silent act.

• Talks about a lucky break he received (a glowing NY Times review) and how things took off.

• How audiences have changed as well as their expectations.

• Keeping his act fresh.

• Putting obstacles in the path of the person trying to accomplish a goal. But they have to be obstacles that you can get around.

• Where he finds inspiration.

• Creating things that fit within your character and killing or modifying things that don’t.

• How his show has evolved over his career.

• Being easy to work with.  

 

Failure Moment

Getting a woman up on stage with him who was sloshed and couldn’t follow directions, so he let her go back to her seat to get someone else up to help out. She turned out to be just as wasted as the first.  

 

Favorite Success

A fun and amazing coincidence which only could have happened to Avner. And then in a completely unrelated account, winning a competition he didn’t realize he was competing in.  

 

What’s worked best in building his career?

Running on Broadway and playing The Jewel in The Jewel of the Nile. Asking for reviews and building his press kit.  

 

Biggest Professional Challenge

Playing the Jewel of the Nile  

 

Interesting Story from the Road

Tells a few stores which involve arriving late to a show and having to setup in front of them, another instance where a young girl wet herself on stage, and yet another instance where he was attacked by a drunk man on stage!  

 

Parting Advice

Be interested, not interesting. If you can’t succeed every time, learn to fail magnificently.  

 

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:

Avner’s Full Tech Documentation  

 

Books:

Zen in the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel

Uncommon Therapy: The Psychiatric Techniques of Milton H. Erickson, M.D. by Jay Haley

Aikido in Daily Life by Koichi Tohei

 

Where can we find Avner Eisenberg?

avnertheeccentric.com 

Direct download: SPC_084_Avner_Eisenberg_-_Comedy_Without_Words.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:30am PDT