If you saw my post from last Friday, you'll know I am a magician and "psychic entertainer." I was gearing up for a performance on Saturday to entertain students of Purdue University (my alma mater) for a semi-formal dance and entertainment extravaganza. If you're wanting a performance report of the ups and downs being magician or psychic entertainer, here it is!
Purdue contracted me to perform 45 minutes of stand-up entertainment at their Spring Semi-Formal, followed up by "15 minutes" of walk-around entertainment. I'll talk about that later. The event took up two floors in the Ross-Ade Pavilion, attached to the football stadium. The facility was built in the 2000s, and it is really nice! Plus, they set up a cool little stage with stage lights and theater seating. Swank venue!
My actual preparation for this specific event started several days earlier. For many of my events, I have the help of Jack, my assistant. Jack helps me carry my equipment and acts as a second brain for me so I don't forget to set something up for myself. So, the Saturday before, I checked with Jack to see if he was available. I also started a document for us in Google Docs of all the things I need to remember to do, to pull off a 100% successful show. I've found that I go a little bit crazy if I am not prepared for a gig. My list currently contains 80 little things on it to remember. It's a checklist so I am sure I packed all of my equipment and made all of my pre-show preparations.
I'll highlight some of the successes and failures in the show.
First few tricks, and then my first problem!
In spite of all the planning, about 15 minutes into the show, I hit my first snag.
I do a prediction effect with cards. Essentially a person draws several cards out of the middle of the pack, and I name them, without looking at them. This effect went swimmingly until the woman had two cards left. For some reason (which I can't really get into * ahem *) I guessed the second-to-last card, and it was wrong. Then, I guessed the last card, and I was wrong again. Oh, crap! I thought. I had no friggin' idea what those last two cards were. What are those cards, and how do I get out of this?
As you can see in the image above, behind me was a big window. At nighttime, in a lit room, it functioned more like a mirror than a window! I said, "May I borrow those cards for a second? I'm not going to look at them!" Then I held them slowly and obviously up to the "mirror" so the audience could see me peek at them in the mirror. It got a laugh out of the audience, with the "mentalist" obviously cheating like that. As it turned out, I had left the stupid Jokers in the deck, and these were the last two cards! In the future, put on my list of things to do: Remove the #$%#$@ Jokers. Check! That being said, having the Jokers come up right at the end like that was fortuitous, because it almost seemed like I planned it that way, as I played it for a laugh. Whew!
The big middle
My next trick approaches what I consider to be the "big middle" of the show, where I take off the kid gloves and treat the audience to some major impossible feats. This particular trick is two parts: first an assistant writes the name of someone he knows and puts it in an envelope. Three dummy envelopes are filled with other names provided by the audience. The envelopes are shuffled and I determine which one has the person he was thinking of. Then as a kicker, I tell the audience helper details about this person without looking in the envelope: his gender, name, relation to him, and so on.
How did this go? Well... I did forget to do a little sumtin'-sumtin' on my prep sheet to make this trick work. but I was able to quickly improvise on stage. I'm sorry I can't get into details, but without this one thing, it's possible that the trick might not work optimally. I could do the work in about 5 seconds, so I decided to do shady work right there, while I was introducing what I wanted him to do. The audience didn't know what to expect, nor what I was doing, so I doubt anyone but Jack noticed. Regardless if my mishap, the guy went back to his seat making the "Mind Blown!" hand motions next to his head. So, it appears that my misdeed went under the radar. Mission accomplished!
"15 minutes" of walk-around mentalism
I was done with my show at about 10:15 PM to several compliments, but I was contracted to strolling / walk-around mind-reading of some of the participants of the event. I put the "15 minutes" in quotes above, because I can perform 15 minutes of strolling magic like I can eat one potato chip. There were literally hundreds of people at this event, and I get addicted to strolling from group to group. I lose track of time.
Man-oh-man, fifteen minutes turned into an hour-plus-some really fast. I had a blast going from table to table doing my mind-reading act. The last group I performed for — I wish I had them on video! They were screaming like I was David friggin' Blayne. I knew that was the note I wanted to go out on.
OK, this sounds cool! I want you to come perform near me! But how much does it cost?
If I am with driving distance from you here in central Indiana (Lafayette area) then I will drive to you to perform. We have a few options and pricings for performance.
- You pay me, like a traditional performance. Contact me, and I will happily give you my rates for a traditional performance, depending on the audience size, distance from me, etc. You can get a copy of my magician price sheet here on my website. OR...
- We work something out, like a "Home Concert" performance. Basically, you invite 20+ of your friends for one of the coolest experiences you've ever had at your house. A REAL PSYCHIC ENTERTAINER. You would tell your friends that it's a tip-based performance, and we pass a tip jar afterwards, and they can pay what they feel the performance is worth to them, and what they can afford. I will also mingle with your friends and do psychic stuff after the show.
Option 2 should be well within everyone's budget, if you've got a couple-dozen friends and you live within my reasonable driving distance. If you're not in the Lafayette, Indiana area, if you can take care of my travel, lodging, and food, I will come to you! Indianapolis airport is right in the middle of the USA, so coach airfare may not be too expensive. Instead of a restaurant, maybe a simple dinner at your house and a bed in your guest room would make this thing work.
- Purdue selfie taken by author
- Action shots taken by the Purdue Shreve Club and used by permission.
- Logos below of the Freelancer's Guild and The STEEM Engine Initiative owned by the respective groups.