Examples of herd mentality abound in our world ever since man failed to evolve into cattle.
When I was young, every guy my age was singing Beatles or Bee Gees songs. We sported long hair and wore tight-fitting jeans. The girls at that time unabashedly cavorted on the streets in mini-skirts. Prowling the disco scenes at night, they loved to gyrate on the dance floor to the tunes sung by the Monkees, an animal-loving band who couldn’t spell.
At that time, the world wore a drab sameness. Every Tom, Dick and Harry named themselves Tom, Dick and Harry. They dressed alike, watched the same TV shows, listened to the same music, drank the same brand of beer, and spoke the same pop lingo.
The result was a population made up of look-alikes and clones. People appeared similar and sounded familiar. Indistinguishable from one another, they surrendered their distinctiveness and identity to the masses.
There is nothing wrong with herd mentality. In fact, harnessing its enormous power can make you outrageously rich. If you can influence people to flock to your store, consume your products, or avail of your services, you can create a tsunami of wealth. You will build your bank accounts in no time at all.
Look what herd mentality has done to Bill Gates’ pockets. People by the hundreds of thousands all over the world decided not to ask anymore “how much is the dog in the Windows”. They just bought the Windows even without the dog.
Cell phones, iPods, cars, fashion apparel, even stocks rake in money once herd mentality is called upon to clone the mass of humanity. Buyers then become one unthinking herd going after the same thing with avid determination.
I’m discussing herd mentality in this post, because as Filipino magicians we can harness its power to add vigor to our show business. Failing that, herd mentality can weaken our saleability. It then affects the bottom line of our business.
If we can transform our market into a herd that wants to hire our magic shows, then we will reap handsome rewards in terms of increased income.
Unfortunately—or shall I say ironically—one of the ways to create a stampeding herd of customers is to disassociate ourselves from the herd of look-alike magicians. We need to stop doing similar magic tricks/acts. We have to stand out from the crowd to get noticed by our target market.
Did you buy Masuda’s “Wow” when fellow Club members began snapping them up from your local dealers’ shelves? Do you do the same tricks you see on online stores’ video demos? Do you perform or use in your shows Fantasio appearing/disappearing canes and candles, Throw Steamers, Snowstorm in China, dove productions (I’m guilty of this), the classics like the Linking Rings and Zombie Ball?
Then you are just one of many doing similarly. You will look the same as everybody else. You will be hard put to distinguish yourself in your field. It doesn’t matter if you add your little touches, presentation or personality in your routine. If it’s magic done to death by other magicians, the lay people comprising your customers will not see the difference. They will only see the similarities.
Being a copy, clone or replica is not totally a bad thing—if your goal is to become a copy, clone or replica. You’ll probably be able to cruise along just fine in your magic business being one.
However, if you want to turbo charge your show business, you should aspire for uniqueness. Just by adding to your program tricks that other magicians in your area are not doing, you will be able to project your act as something special and worthy of consideration by events planners for their next special event.
Going for a distinctive persona and notable act is not easy to do, but it is not impossible either.