In May 18, 2008, I wrote an article titled “The Best Magician in the Philippines.”
In writing that article, I didn’t claim I was the best magician in the Philippines. To do so would be a mortal sin. The community of magicians in the Philippines would hate me if I made that claim.
But here’s the cool thing. If you search the term on your browser, Google will bring you to this blog.
Today, if you search the Net for the “best magician in the Philippines”, Yahoo will also put my blog on the top results.
That tickles me, because even though I’m an SEO illiterate, I’ve managed to get this blog top Google and Yahoo results in that term.
And what do you know? Prospective clients do actually use the term when looking for a magician for their events. Chi of the Korean Chamber of Commerce Philippines, Inc. did that in November this year, because, she said, her boss wanted her to hire the best magician in the Philippines.
She Googled the term and, voila!, she landed on my blog. After a brief sales process (she seemed pre-sold already), she hired me to perform for her group’s Christmas party.
A waiter passed by our holding area at the side of the stage and jeered at us, “Magician? What’s this? A children’s party?”
I wanted to turn him into a rabbit, skin him alive and roast him over coals at our home’s fireplace. But since our home didn’t have a fireplace, I let his snide remark pass without comment.
His words, though, affected my psyche and deflated my confidence. It deflated further when I saw the guests were all wearing serious faces and dignified air. It looked like they would be impervious to my magic and comedy.
Silently to myself, I kept asking the questions, “Will they laugh? Will they applaud? Will they even watch the show?”
My own answers tortured me. After a few minutes, I gave up the self-flagellation and decided to just give my show my best effort.
Suddenly, the president of the Chamber sought me at the side of the stage and wanted me to start the magic show in five minutes—meaning, while the guests were still having dinner.
I told him performing magic while the audience was eating would make my job difficult, as I had an audience participation portion in the show.
I said I would, although I had doubts that the formal looking men and women attended the event to have fun. After all, this was a group composed of savvy investors and businessmen. They might have attended the event to watch a presentation of the economic outlook of the Philippines, not a magic show.
Anyway, a tall handsome Korean guy came to me after a few moments (I failed to get his name). He said he was going to introduce me. Was I ready to go onstage?
I said, yes, in two minutes, as I was still to go through my final set-up.
He asked if I could do a 15-minute show.
I said no problem. The shorter the show, the more convenient for me.
A while later, when I gave him a thumbs-up signal, he introduced me to the guests in Korean language. I didn’t understand a single word he said, but he might have said something nice about me, because the audience suddenly burst into a loud applause. It was louder than I expected from a staid-looking audience.
I did my piece—in 15 minutes. Boy, was I surprised. The audience, previously maintaining a cold demeanor, loosen up. They applaud at the right parts of the show, and laughed at all my jokes. That night, I couldn’t remember a single laugh line that bombed. All the jokes got laughs—louder and more frequent than I anticipated from guests of a black-tie affair.
Lesson of the night: appearance can be deceiving.
Well, too, maybe Koreans are just naturally happy people. They are easy to laugh and entertain with the magic and comedy of the best magician in the Philippines.
After my bit in the program, my assistants and I were given a free rein at the buffer table. Before my entourage and I left Makati Shangrila that night, Chi handed me a letter of appreciation from the president of the Korean Chamber of Commerce Philippines, Inc. It turned out that they had laptops and printers at the Secretariat, and they promptly printed a letter for me that made my day.