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!