These are show notes taken from an audio interview. To listen to the actual interview, please use the player above.
I’m currently taking a holiday break from my regularly scheduled episodes, so for the next few weeks, I’m running my six most downloaded episodes. I’ll be back on the first of the year with brand new episodes! In the mean time, enjoy these “Best of” episodes.
In this episode I talk to magician Jay Alexander! We talk all about various methods that Jay uses to market his business, encourage word of mouth, build relationships with his clients, and customize his shows!
Jay Alexander is one of the top corporate and society entertainers in the country and one of the highest paid magical performers in the industry.
Jay started his career early performing for the patrons of his parent’s shoe store. At the age of 14 he won the Society of American Magicians Gold Medal of Honor.
He now creates customized shows for Fortune 500 companies. Some of his corporate clients include Apple, Cisco, Lucas Films, Bank of America, Kaiser Permanente, Coca Cola, and Chrysler. He’s also performed at private parties and events for the likes of Robin Williams, The Rolling Stones, and Duran Duran.
In the words of Ron Wood from the Rolling Stones, “Jay is the best magician I have ever seen!”
Under-promise and over-deliver.
Tells about not quite understanding the market he was targeting and how he created a very specific character called “Moishe the All-Kosher Magician” which didn’t work at all for his target market. He learned a very important lesson of knowing your market.
The time he made a young girl smile who hadn’t shown a smile in at least eight years while performing magic at a school for autistic children.
What’s worked well for Jay’s business?
Having a great show, word of mouth, and having something easy for the audience to remember about his show.
(Ammar’s adage: KISS – Keep It Slogan Simple)
Interesting Story from the Road
Listen to a fun story involving Jay at the Fillmore with the Rolling Stones, and Card on the Ceiling.
Biggest Professional Challenge
Staying relevant as he’s becoming “The Old Guy.”
What would Jay have done differently?
Collaborated with more people and got more advice early on.
Learn how to manage your money.
Other Topics Covered
• You get ahead by working harder than everyone else.
• The magic isn’t about you, or even your audience. It’s about the Guest of Honor, or the person that hired you. It’s your job to make them look great!
• Every moment from the time the client calls to the moment Jay sends the thank you card is planned and intentional. It’s all part of the Jay Alexander experience.
• Going out into the audience right after his show to spend time with them, take pictures and do a little closeup magic.
• How he follows up with contacts even if he doesn’t get their business.
• Word of mouth and getting video testimonials.
• Customizing his shows for his clients: Facebook is your friend!
• Getting your audience to remember you.
• Getting inspiration by watching bands and how they structure their concerts.
Recommended books and resources:
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Siri: Jay does a great deal through Siri.
Also, make sure you have with you at every show, a toothbrush, prop list, color-coded cue sheet, and intro card. Pro tip: If you laminate the prop list, cue sheet, and intro card, you’ll always get them back!
Maximum Entertainment by Ken Weber
Stage Performance by Livingston Taylor
Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi
Where can we find Jay Alexander?