“No. No. H*ll no. We don’t want a magician. We went down that path last year. We’re not going to get taken again!”
I look at my phone. The call timer shows eight seconds. I’ve never spoken to this guy in my life. It’s the first time I’ve called him.
This is going to be interesting.
“Um… So who did you hire last year?” I stammer…
This gentleman’s name and number came from a satisfied customer who thought he might be interested. Normally these calls go very differently.
“I don’t remember his name, but we’re not doing that again. We’re not stupid!”
I look down at the phone. 15 seconds. I take a deep breath.
“Ok… So what happened? What did he do?” I reply. Someone from the magic community has really hurt this guy. I need to know what’s going on.
“Well let’s see… He was late showing up. He took too long to set up. The show was boring, and we caught everything he did! He’s supposedly some big shot with the Ohio Prestidigitators Association!” he rants.
This goes on for a couple more minutes. This guy has a right to be upset.
Whoever He Hired Royally Shafted Him.
…And now I’m paying the price.
…And now the entire community of working proessional magicians is paying the price.
…And now his entire organization is paying the price, because they’ll never give another magician a chance. They’ll never see what the art can be when it’s presented professionally.
If you hear a bad band, you don’t say “I’ll never listen to another piece of music.”
If you see a bad stand-up comedian, you don’t say “I’ll never watch Comedy Central again…”
But if you see a bad magician, you say “I hate magic. I’m never giving another magician a chance.”
That’s the way it is. I can’t do anything about it. I could spend my entire life trying to change it. I’d never accomplish anything.
The fact is there’s a lot of bad magic out there, just like there’s a lot of people that can’t sing and a raft of comedians that aren’t funny.
This gentleman isn’t alone. He has a right to be frustrated. He paid good money for a show that shouldn’t have ever seen the light of day.
I’ll never have a chance to change his mind.
So I Decided to Do Something Unthinkable.
I quit trying.
“Ok sir. I’m sorry you had such a bad experience with the other magician. I’m going to e-mail you a link to our video trailer. We’re different, and I hope someday you’ll give us a chance.”
I could spend a lifetime trying to win over each individual hater, or I could let them go and create something that matters for the people who give me a chance.
I choose to create art that matters.
I choose to spend my time making a difference for the people who will give me a chance to do so.
I choose to create wonder for those who are willing to embrace the possibilities of the unknown.
Gentle reader, I choose you.