Name Brand Magic

Have you ever thought about capitalizing upon the fact that you are probably the only magician in your area with your name? You should let this fact work for you. As in the pioneer days, your good name is one of your strongest assets.

This is often ignored by otherwise business oriented magicians. Much better than a business card with your name and number, is a spectator who remembers your name. If you are in the yellow pages, he only has to remember your name well enough to pick it from the other five or ten names under the category of magician.

What's in a name? A rose by any other name may smell as sweet; but a magician by any other name... is another means that he gets your just doesn't smell sweet magician. That shows and that at all.

Picture the following scenario. You perform a very successful banquet show for an annual business event. You hand your card to the important people (anyone sitting down) attending the event. Two years later, one of these recipients throws a bash and would like to have you perform.

However, the likelihood of this person retaining your card for two years is very slim. Sure, you have kept in touch with the people who booked the

original show. But if this new person does not know who booked the original show, he cannot call them for your name.

I have always thought it was important for the audience to feel that the magician is the irDst important part of the show. (Of course, we all know that the check is the most important part.) Unfortunately, many times the above scenario concludes with the booker looking through the yellow pages for the first name which is listed. I don't know about you, but losing a show because the other guy's name starts with an "A" bothers me.

Now, let's rework the above scenario. Let's assume that the magician very subtly impressed his name upon the audience during the course of the show. Possibly he made a joke out of his name, or maybe he used a trick with his name. Either way, it was enough to cause the person looking through the yellow pages to recognize the name from among the half dozen which are offered. This may mean the difference in who gets the show.

If they don't know you by name, you are a generic magician (to borrow a phrase from Paul Sorrentino). I want the people who wish to book my show to be looking for a name-brand product. That means I want them to be looking for me.

Let me give you another example I have used for years. I take advantage of the fact that my last name is "Beam". Add to this the fact that there is a well known bourbon by the name of "Jim Beam" and I have a starting place. I began by using the phrase, "Steve Beam... more fun than Jim Beam" on some of my advertising fliers. Since my father's real name is Jim, he was ecstatic about the free publicity his fun-lev el was receiv i ng.

Later, I incorporated the idea into my opening monologue. "Good Evening. My name is Steve Beam. I am glad to see there is such a good turnout this evening. I understand that it is probably because there was a misprint in the program. It said that Jim Beam would be here. Well, I hate to disappoint you, but like I said, my name is Steve Beam; and I would like to welcome you to the thirty minute magic show that never disappoints... it's always thirty minutes."

Sixty seconds into the show and they have already heard my last name three times. When looking through the yellow pages, they don't have to remember the full name. When they see my last name, it reminds them of a fine alcoholic beverage and they remember the play on words from my show.

I wish I could tell you how many times this has paid off for me. Why, just last week, someone called looking for a magician. "Hello, is Jack Daniels there?" To this I proudly replied, "Yes, this is Jack. When would you like to book my show?"

I have several different ways of putting my name before them without being tacky or seeming to be someone in love with his own name. While these may not be usable by you as written, they should provide you with some ideas on how to accomplish the same types of things with your name.

This item started with an ad lib during my younger days. I have used variations of the original with success ever since.

"I'm not saying that my show is a hot act, but put 'Steve' and 'Beam' together... and you get 'STEAM'."

If this receives a sufficient response, I have followed it with, "Then again. When you put 'money' and 'gold' together... you get mold." I don't find this line particularly funny. However, the situation lends atmosphere to the line, and the atmosphere evokes the laughter.

I have also (on separate occasions) followed it with this when it elicited groans. "I'm sorry, I wanted to say something tropical... uh..that is 'topical*."

While this may read thin, in actual performance, it sounds thin.

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