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PhotobucketMagicians ought to learn from Hollywood top-grossing filmmakers.

George Lucas and Steven Spielberg have directed films that raked in oodles of money for their studios, but they couldn’t guarantee every film they make will not flop.

In contrast, some magicians guarantee that their show will always be smash hits.

Magicians and movie-makers are worlds apart when it comes to guarantees. Here’s what Tim Dirks says in his article Greatest Box-Office Bombs, Disasters and Film Flops:

Movie audiences often love to relish the fact that some films, such as Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001), Cutthroat Island (1995) or Heaven’s Gate (1980) turn out to be monumental flops (which bankrupted their studios), and are fascinated by the details of why certain directors/actors and their films fail. Most A-list directors and actors have suffered through at least one major flop, including George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Ang Lee and Brian DePalma, to name just a few.

PhotobucketAnd to think movies are not live shows. Once the show runs on the screen, the actors in the movies can’t be distracted by outside stimuli—no heckler, no sleeping audience, and no noisy spectators can rattle them. They are invulnerable from outside influences and interferences.

Yet, despite the talented actors, the big production budget, the huge splash of publicity, movies do sometimes fail.

A magic show, specially a birthday party magic show, doesn’t enjoy the same invulnerability—not to mention the often-absence of sterling talents, generous budget and aggressive publicity.

Understandably, things don’t always go well in a magic show.  Unless you are a real magician, something wrong will happen during one of your performances.  If not today, then one day.

My point is, no matter how well you know your act, sooner or later, something will not work as well as planned or as rehearsed. It will lead to boo-boos, bloopers and blunders.

For this reason, I’m awed and dumbstruck when some magicians, blessed with hubris but not with talents (and certainly not with common understanding of the dynamics of a live show) will issue an iron-clad guarantee that their show will succeed—each time, every time. Their sales pitch to the birthday mom goes like this: “I guarantee my show will amaze the audience and make your party fun and exciting. If I can’t do that, you pay me nothing.”

Excuse me as I roll my eyes.

How can one guarantee his show will be a success each and every time when one doesn’t have complete control over the dynamics of a live show?

PhotobucketA cat knocks a flower vase off a shelf or steps on the electrical wire and cuts off your music and microphone…

A grandmother comes late to the party while you are in the middle of a Hippity Hop Rabbit routine. She makes a big entrance, smothers the birthday girl with love and kisses, and shows off the huge birthday present she gives to her…

A three-year old goes into a tantrum, screaming and kicking and writhing on the floor, because he hates the face of the magician…

All this can break the show. Distractions, there are lots of them in birthday parties, can send a magician burning, crashing and exploding in front of everybody.

Can a magician, without real magic powers, guarantee distractions won’t happen—ever?.

Of course, he can’t. But still, these will not discourage some magicians from issuing guarantees to get the sale.

I roll my eyes again.

Stay magical,