I had been hired to entertain around 200 people at Topgolf in Fishers Indiana, for the New Year’s Eve celebration—and it was a magical event.
On three floors for four hours I mingled and performed close-up magic. The members were super cool--you could see everyone’s breath in an atmosphere approaching zero degrees, despite the hot air blown down from the vents above the first floor and each balcony on the second and third floors.
In addition to having one of the best magicians entertain the members, Topgolf also had caterers, a bar, a teeing ground, and a contortionist walking around stretching as Topgolf members teed off from the three floors.
One table out of many turned me away (more specifically, one person at that table spoke for the group and said they don’t want to see any magic). He shook his head and said, “Go away. We don’t want a magician. Get out of here.”
That’s fine and it occasionally does happen. Some people don’t like magic and this could be for a number of reasons: he might have had a bad experience with a bad magician in the past and thus think that magic sucks, or maybe a magician stole his girl, or he might be a magic hater frustrated being presented with an unsolvable problem, or he might simply be wrapped up in an important conversation in that moment.
After all, magic isn’t the most important thing in the world at all times and in all places--certainly it's in the top three, but there are times to put it aside.
Years ago when TGIFriday's hired me to perform weekly, I noticed then that this tends to have a ripple effect if the next table notices the first table reject the magician. They too think the grown-up thing to do is to turn him away. In that case they might not have understood that I didn’t accept tips and that the establishment had already taken good care of me.
Fortunately, this incident was an anomaly at Topgolf, and all the other groups—including including the next one I approached, were very open to new and fun experiences.
One girl was especially keen on seeing magic. She said she loved magic and couldn’t get enough of it. “I want to see some magic!” she said.
The first thing I did for her made her and her mother scream. Cameras rarely start rolling until after that first scream, so sadly that was lost in time forever—but it will remain with her for the rest of 2018 and beyond.
What happened next was a surprise to everyone but me. It might not look as good to you at home, since my hands hand been chilled to the marrow for three hours prior to this video—it was a bit like trying to play piano after making a snowman. Notwithstanding it was effective to those I was performing for up close.
Remember in 2018 that when you encounter a setback or a “No,” you keep carrying on and, chances are, you are heading toward a “Yes.”
New Year's Eve 2017 ushering in 2018 will linger in my memory for years to come. What a great way to close the year!
I'm wishing everyone a magical 2018!
Jon Finch is a professional magician who performs at social and corporate events. Based out of Indianapolis, he travels the country sharing his special brand of magic, mentalism, and comedy with important people like you.