I performed at a large party last Sunday. It was raining hard. After my assistants unloaded our props and equipment from my Starex van, the security guard directed me to a parking lot almost half-a-kilometer away from the clubhouse where the party was being held.
Then I bumped into a waiter who either lacked people skills or forgot to bring his manners. I direly wanted to clean myself up, so I asked him where the bathroom was. Either he didn’t see me, or hear me, or both, because he gave me the biggest snub I ever had in my whole life.
He went past me as if I were invisible. I thought I had mistakenly put on my Invisibility Cloak, but when I finally found the bathroom and looked myself in the mirror, there I was, as visible as could be. The waiter just didn’t want to talk to me. The thought of it infuriated me.
And so when it was time for me to perform, I was not in my usual glorious mood. I was still seething inside, especially when I saw the undiplomatic waiter watching in the audience. As a result, it took me 15 minutes to connect with the audience.
Fifteen minutes of no audience connection is an eternity in a magic show. It’s a No Man’s Land that even women would fear to go to.
I usually am able to establish audience rapport within 10 seconds of my opening sequence. Last Sunday, however, the audience was as cold as frozen meat products. The clocked had ticked away for minutes already, but they still gave me a Frosty Snowman reception. I just couldn’t connect with the children and their parents. I thought there was something wrong with them. Later, though, I would understand it was me who was not performing as well as I could.
Luckily, I have been writing jokes and one-liners these past few days. I was in the process of enhancing my script with new funny lines. I tested one of the brand-new lines and used it for the first time in previous day’s party. It brought down the house the day before, so I dared to use it again that Sunday to salvage my sinking show.
The line not only convulsed the audience with laughter, it also thawed the icy reception. After that, I coasted well toward the end of the show.
Thanks for that one humorous line, the show was saved from a lackluster performance.
Now I’m a firm believer in the saying, “It pays to make people laugh.”
I believe in it, because it is a Leodini saying.