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Brian Miller Dave & Buster's


Dave & Busters Manchester
is pleased to announce an exciting new partnership with one of Connecticut’s top magic acts!

Brian Miller’s “Magic, Puzzles, and Mind Games” is a 60 minute interactive show that features word class sleight-of-hand magic mixed with laugh-out-loud humor.

 

Bring a date, take the family, or treat your clients! Get a $10 power card w/ UNLIMITED video play with your ticket purchase. Doors at 7pm for dinner and drinks, show at 8pm.

 

Tickets are available for the first three shows in May (5/6, 5/20, 5/27) at the following link: www.brianmillermagic.com/magic-show-tickets/

 

Jaw dropping, side splitting… There’s a faction here that maintains you have actual superpowers.
-Yale University

 

A master of his crafts.”
-Odeum Publications

 

I don’t understand how this is happening right now.
-Teresa Dufour, CT Style, News 8

 

*Intended for adults audiences, but clean and appropriate for ages 12+

 

DP15 - Corporate 2 OP

As a teenager I thought that a career in magic would be glamorous and exciting, with big stages, spotlights, beautiful girls, and exotic travel. As it turns out, it’s a little more like running a business. In fact the time I spend performing feels like a vacation, because in reality I work an 80+ hour week outside of doing a single card trick or pulling a coin from anyone’s ear. In this blog series I discuss tips and techniques I’ve learned as a professional magician that you can use in the business world.

 

Tip 5: Take Control

Too many people operate under the assumption they deserve respect rather than making a conscious and consistent effort to earn it. Magicians, like mimes, clowns, and ventriloquists, know all about lack of respect. The prevailing public opinion is that magicians are self obsessed know-it-alls who are constantly pestering their friends and family to “pick a card” and showing lame tricks at inappropriate times. According to commercials, sitcoms, and movies, magicians are friendless losers with nothing better to do than pull colorful scarves out of their sleeves and coins from little kids’ ears.

 

Likewise, salesman have a reputation for being sleazy and deceitful. Given that reputation, how could you ever approach a group of strangers and command enough respect to take control?

 

The first and most important thing you can do is simply: smile. You won’t believe how far smiling goes to erasing preconceived notions and winning people over. Too many magicians are so eager to dive into their tricks that they forget to connect with their audience. Similarly, too many salesmen are so focused on the potential sale that they forget to shake the snake oil stereotype before starting. What’s worse: when you launch into a trick (or pitch) without properly introducing yourself or connecting with your audience, it plays right into the self-obsessed stereotype, confirming the audience’s worst beliefs and putting up brick walls before you’ve even begun.

 

Once you have connected with the audience, the next most important thing you need to do is establish the rules and context of your performance. Whether you are a magician or a salesman it is your performance, your stage, your rules. Where most people get into trouble is trying to control a situation when they haven’t first connected with the audience, as discussed earlier.

 

I am constantly reminded of a magic lecture I attended as a teenager from a world renowned performer named Max Maven. He performed a feat with playing cards during which at one point he handed a card face down to an audience member. Unbeknownst to the audience, he has switched the card they thought it was for a different one. When he later explained the workings of the trick to this room of magicians, one magician asked, “But what if they turn the card over and see that it has been switched?” Max replied, “They don’t.” And the magician continued, “But why not?” To which Max replied:

 

They don’t turn the card over because I don’t want them to.

 

Max had so won over the crowd and established the rules of his performance by that time that no one, even though they were free to do as they wish, would have even considered doing something that wasn’t explicitly asked of them. That is control.

 

Thus taking control is about two things, primarily. The first is being kind and friendly, thus making people feel comfortable enough with you that they are willing to hand over the reins. The second is establishing the rules and context of your encounter. This is done largely through actions, rather than words. Acting confident, but not arrogant, is the key here. Much more could be said on that, and will be addressed in a future blog.

 

Brian Miller is a nationally acclaimed variety artist: magician, comedian, musician, and speaker. He maintains a schedule of 250+ events per year nationwide for corporate events, college campuses, and high end private functions. Visit www.BrianMillerMagic.com to learn more and view videos.

 

Raising hands.

As a teenager I thought that a career in magic would be glamorous and exciting, with big stages, spotlights, beautiful girls, and exotic travel. As it turns out, it’s a little more like running a business. In fact the time I spend performing feels like a vacation, because in reality I work an 80+ hour week outside of doing a single card trick or pulling a coin from anyone’s ear. In this blog series I discuss tips and techniques I’ve learned as a professional magician that you can use in the business world.

 

Tip 4: Address Concerns First

Are you prepared when someone raises concerns about your pitch, argument, or presentation? Harkening back to Public Speaking 101, most of us prepare responses to potential concerns so that we aren’t caught off guard. It’s a good practice and one that will serve you well, but there’s a better technique available: don’t allow the concerns to be voiced in the first place.

 

As a magician I am tasked with convincing people to believe something that they know isn’t true. It is a lofty endeavor to say the least, and there are many potential objections to a magic trick. One of the most popular topics for ‘newbies’ on online magic forums is:

 

What do you do when somebody guesses the secret?

 

There are a host of standard answers ranging from “laugh it off” to “deny it” to a more subtle “Say, ‘That would be one way to do it.’ ” These are all reasonable ways to get past the uncomfortable moment when somebody guesses how a trick works. My question: Why give them a chance to guess?

 

Great magicians and indeed great speakers know that one of your best tools is to address the concerns before the audience has a chance to. In my opening trick during a strolling (social) magic set, I say:

 

Many people think that magicians use our sleeves, but you can see that I don’t. Instead, what I do is…

 

I don’t use my sleeves to do magic (most magicians don’t). But many audiences, when given the chance, will convince themselves that we do in an attempt to explain the trick in a logical way. The fact that their objection is wrong doesn’t matter. It is very hard to persuade someone to ignore their own concerns, even misplaced ones. Once somebody says, “It’s up your sleeves!” all I can do is deny it, which makes me look guilty, even when I’m telling the truth. The seeds of concern, once planted, can grow into a very large problem.

 

If you’re giving a sales pitch to a potential client, or a board room presentation to your superiors, don’t just prepare for objections. Address them yourself! Two things will happen:

 

  1. Acknowledging potential problems within your own argument makes you look honest and transparent, and people like working with honest people.
  2. By addressing the concern yourself you get the chance to frame it however you want. Don’t allow the audience to create the story for you! It’s your pitch, your argument, your performance – you create the story.

 

Near the beginning of my show I use the phrase “I know this might be hard to believe, but…” to great effect. It may sound like a throwaway line, but it puts me on the same page as the audience. They’re thinking to themselves “This is pretty far-fetched, does he really expect me to believe it?” and then I say “I know this is hard to believe…” At that point the audience feels like I understand what they’re going through, and it breaks down the audience vs magician vibe.

 

Addressing concerns before they are raised is one of the best tools available to you in business. Don’t take the easy way out by only preparing for objections and hoping that they don’t come up. Take the initiative and put them to rest yourself.

 

Brian Miller is a nationally acclaimed variety artist: magician, comedian, musician, and speaker. He maintains a schedule of 250+ events per year nationwide for corporate events, college campuses, and high end private functions. Visit www.BrianMillerMagic.com to learn more and view videos.