Leaping to a National Act

Many years ago, when I made the leap from a local/regional performer to a more national performer it took some deliberate steps. One of the main things that I did was try to do more big things that were noteworthy on a national scale I did things that were of interest to bookers who booked out of town acts.

One of the first things that I did was look at acts that were doing what I wanted to do and see what was on most or all of their resumes. These are things like America’s Got Talent, and Guinness World Records. Both of those were things that I went out and did and put on my resume simply because I saw that those were things that national acts had.

Do you need them?


However it when you’re getting into a new or bigger pool, it helps to have the same equipment that everyone else has. Not just credits, but same level of promo.

The other thing I did (and still do) is that I do something of national level of interested each month. This can vary from writing an article in an international magazine, to publishing my 150th trick, or whatever. The only thing it needs to do is boost my status above Larry the Great or whatever local act they may book. I feel it’s important to justify why they’re bringing you in from out of town instead of hiring locally for a fraction of the price.

So to work more nationally, what are you doing to boost your status…but more importantly, who are you telling this to?


Six Steps to Being the Best in the World!

Years ago I broke my first Guinness World Record (I’ve broken two now) and it’s something that has definitely helped my career!  When you look at magicians in your market, most are “award winning magicians”, but I’m going to guess very few magicians or other variety performers are Guinness World Record Holders.  This is a very unique credit to have that carries a lot of weight with people booking you.  According to Guinness, you’re the best in the world at something.  It doesn’t have to be magic related, mine aren’t for magic, but it implies a level of quality or skill that you have.

Breaking a record isn’t hard, and recently I helped my several people navigate the Guinness World Record system to break world records. It’s not very hard, but can be daunting if you’ve never done it before. You want to make sure you do everything correctly.  The worst case is to have claim rejected on procedural grounds.

Before we go any further, I technical have more than two Guinness World Records, as I’ve been involved in group things, like the “largest toast” with beer.  I personally don’t consider those as me having a record as I’m not listed as the record holder, usually the event organizer is listed at the record holder.

OK, so how to you become a Guinness World Record Holder? 

Step 1:  Find a record to break. 
Go to the Guinness World Record website and do a search for things you’re interested in, or good at. You’ll be amazed at how many things are out there!

You can create a new record, however this is usually harder than breaking an existing one.  Keep in mind that Guinness won’t accept everything submitted.  For example, let’s say someone has the record for running a marathon with a baseball on their head. If you try to create a record for running a marathon with a softball on your head, they’ll probably reject it as it’s basically the same as doing it with a baseball on your head. 

Step 2: Contact Guinness to get the rules.
When you contact Guinness, you’ll create an account on their website and file a claim attempt.  There’s not much to this, you’re filling out paperwork and then they send you the rules. There are a few ways to do this, you can pay to have it fast tracked, or do it the slower, but free way.  I’ve only done the free way.
Once they send you the official rules to the record you’re going to break, now you’re ready to get started.

Step 3: Practice
When you practice, be sure to follow the rules exactly.  A good example is a TV show that I was on that read me the rules wrong.  They told me I needed to be six feet from the target, when in reality it was two meters (6.6 feet).  I had practiced at six feet and when I arrived on set right before my official attempt, the Guinness Adjudicator informed me I was six inches too close.  This small detail in conversion cost me a world record on TV!

Step 4: Set up the attempt
This involves notifying Guinness of what you intend to do and when you are going to do it. You will also need to line up your witnesses and physical location.  This is also when you write your press releases and start to contact the media about the attempt.

Guinness wants you to break the record in a place that’s open the to the public, so not your basement.  They also prefer it to be done at events, as there’s something to promote in the press releases you send out to the media.

Step 5: Nail it!
At your official attempt, do you best and break the record!

Step 6: Submit your evidence
Send all of the evidence (video, witness statements, news reports, etc) to Guinness.  Now you wait for them to approve it or deny it.

That’s it…easy peasy. 

What are you waiting for, hop onto the Guinness World Record website and start digging around for a record to break!


Help Others Be Amazing!

Earlier this year Dan Block as thinking about setting a Guinness World Record, but he had some worries about doing it correctly. I suggested that he set the world record at an industry event. I did this for several reasons, first Guinness likes records to be press worthy, so the event was something that the news could promote. Second at the event there were experts in the field who could be witnesses and finally the room would have many people who had broken Guinness World Records and could help out with making sure the rules were followed.

Dan just sent me this:

guinness world record

I’m super excited for him!

Many magicians think that helping other magicians achieve things is making their competition stronger and they’ll lose gigs to the person they helped. I don’t think this way. When everyone is amazing, it’s better for all of us.

I constantly go out of my way to help people level up, and you know what…those people go out of their way to help me be better. If we look at other performers as a team and not a competition, you’ll go a lot further and you’ll be much happier.