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Every time I perform at new venues, I ask the wait staff the names of magicians who had perform at that place. In most cases I’d draw a blank answer. Most lay people (even past customers) can’t recall the names of magicians they have seen in the past.
What brings about this phenomenon? Do all magicians look so alike people confuse one from the other?
It could be that, but the most probable reason could be that the magician forgot to introduce himself to his audience. Or he slackened off his on-site marketing efforts and failed to make his name stick in the minds of the people he performed for.
Your name is as important as your show. In other fields of business, corporations invest oodles of money to build up the names of their product and make them bywords for comfort, style or that something the company stands for.
In contrast, in the magic industry, many magicians build their repertoire, inventory of props, library of instructional materials yet fail to put more efforts in building their own names.
To help the audience remember your name is not difficult. However, it needs conscious and persistent effort on your part to make it stick in the mind of your public.
Make sure the MC introduces you properly. This means your introduction includes your name. The MC can announce a litany of your glowing credentials, but if he forgets to mention your name, he has not done a good job of introducing you.
Talk during the show and introduce yourself. This may not be possible if you are given by the director a brief three- or five-minute spot in a program where other artists are also performing. But if you perform your full 30- or 45-minute show, then by all means, pause for a while after your opening sequence. Talk to the audience and introduce yourself. Even if you are doing a silent act, or are not gifted with eloquence, pause a few moments with your act and mention your name to the audience.
Mention your name in a memorable way. I have a line for introducing myself, which most people find funny. Though it’s not roll-in-the-aisle funny, it is funny enough to be memorable. It is a one-sentence introduction that sticks to the audience’s mind. I repeat it at my closing spiel for good measure. I say, “Hi, my name is Leodini, the world-famous-magician known only in my own barangay.” One famous American comedy magician greets his audience with, “Howdy! I’m Mac King.”
Now, those are memorable lines. You may be tempted to copy them. Don’t! Find one that works for you.
Wash, repeat, rinse. Just as laundry can’t be done in a perfunctory way, making your name stick in the memory of your audience needs careful attention and repetition. Make sure that you not only mention your name during the show but that you mention it several times.
Sneak your name in during the show. Incorporate it in your magic words if you can. Or insert it unobtrusively in your patter as in, “You know guys, yesterday I met a little boy who asked me, ‘Leodini, how did you do that?’ Yes, he called me Leodini, because Leodini is my name…”
Something like that. Not a specimen of an elegant patter, but you get my point.
Use visual aids. With today’s advent of inexpensive digital printing, posting small tarpaulin banners on your roll-on table or suitcase table for everyone to see during the entire show is not too much work to do. So do it.
Hang banners on one of your props (particularly tables, suitcases, and maybe some boxes). The idea is to make sure the audience sees your name long enough to remember it by having it subliminally implanted in their memory.
This is not New Age mumbo-jumbo. Trust me, I’ve been doing magic long enough to disqualify me from the adjective “New”. Fossil Age would be a more accurate label, but that’s altogether another story. For now, just subliminally implant your name in the memory of your audience by hanging in your table a couple of banners emblazoned with your name.
- Leodini’s Famous Quotes (innermagicclub.wordpress.com)
- Review: A Look at a Truly Greatest Magician (abcnews.go.com)