It's always a happy feeling when I see an email of a couple getting married and they start to consider entertainment.
But first, who are we? We are professional entertainers that have done over 1000 events and a lot of them are... weddings. We got into the industry for a very simple reason, To make people happy with laughter, amazement, joy, and astonishment. What we found was, wedding after wedding that we were hired to do a small part of we found the same problems revolving around entertainment. Guests were on their phones, speeches were too long and contrived, and most of the guests smiled politely and left feeling relieved that they survived another boring wedding. So here are some main points I'd like to share with you to help.
1. Summer is not the best time to get married - 30 degree weather is not a good thing. Photographers and videographers will tell you that the best lighting is not a blazing hot sunny day where everyone's squinting because they have to stare directly into the sun for the best angle. The best conditions are cloudy, sun breaking out, 15-20 degree heat, and when the sun is low. (Few hours during sunrise and a few hours before sunset). July and August are not only the hottest days of the year, Venues literally double their cost. Sweaty Tuxedos and suits are also a disservice to the groomsmen and all the guests who put on a suit.
Since 95% of weddings are in the blazing hot summer, how many times can you guess when the wedding couple did not think to serve bottled water to their guests during an outdoor ceremony? Too many.
2. Your funny cousin isn't that Funny - Roasting the groom is terrible taste. Your friend or family member has never MC'd before so they google their jokes. We HATE this joke. The Upper Hand(Joke)
You can end your toast by saying: "Bob, take Susie’s hand and place your hand over her's. Now, remember and cherish this very moment... because this is the last time you are ever going to have the upper hand!"
So many times we hear this joke and we just want to slap that MC like Will Smith. But in reality, the MC just doesn't know any better and is MCing for the first time. STOP ROASTING THE GROOM PLEASE. The biggest buzzkill to a wedding is someone that has to read off a paper. We understand if it's a bridesmaid or a groomsman because they have some important blessings and things to say, but that is not the MC's job. THe MC's job is to keep the show flowing, keep the energy up, and execute the wedding coordinator's/planners plans with ease.
3. Nobody cares about your flowers and your towering centerpieces - Not a great call when 10 percent of the guests are looking straight at the floral centerpiece and can't even see you at the front. It also is a conversation killer when you cannot talk to the person sitting across the table from you. I mean flowers and centerpieces do matter and they really make the room nice. But we shake our heads every time couples say they have no budget for entertainment and then these photos show up on their facebook afterwards. Your thousands of dollars could have been better spent.
4. Cocktail hour is just a weird time - I come from an asian family and many of them like mine, have humongous families. So after the ceremony there's a huge long line up of photos for the bride side, and a huge line up for photos for the grooms side. What about everyone else? For the hundreds of weddings I've been hired to perform, my goal is to "make everyone's night" before the night starts, and I stand proud that for many people, it was the most memorable part of the wedding. The best part, the credit goes back to you.
5. After dinner entertainment - Most people after they leave your wedding will ask themselves these questions: Was that fun? Was the food good? Was that a good night out? If people drink, sometimes that question can answer itself. But many people don't drink so how do you entertain them? What kind of show is appropriate and non-offense? fun and brings smiles to their faces? Maybe the DJ can do something? See the next point.
6. Basic DJ and Basic Photo booth - Both of them sit in the corner of the room passively staring at their watch waiting and counting the hours and waiting for when they should packup. DJ's playing wrong music during dinner, and music after dinner that nobody cares about afterwards. Yet, this particular combination is what the status quo of "wedding entertainment" is today. Great wedding DJ's compliments are usually around their energy, personality, character, and the ability to act on the fly.
Finally 75% of the time your guests are sitting, maybe they are socializing, maybe they are not. What's a boring wedding? What's not a boring wedding? We have the answers. Let us save your wedding
My rant is about ME because today is my birthday and I get to say what I want. I guess wedding couples feel the same way about their wedding day. They do what they want for themselves and who cares about their guests. It's not their wedding day right?
Looks like we are staying indoors for another few months with the case numbers lately.
So since I imagine many of you are working from home, I'd like to share with you 5 quick tips that will make your zoom meetings and presentations more engaging and interactive no matter what your topic of choice is.
This is especially important for virtual platforms right now but will also be effective when we get back to in-person presentations and engagements.
I've done dozens of virtual performances over the last year(I am a virtual magician... weird I know) and in this particular online environment here are the important things to know that have nothing to do with magic tricks.
1. "How many of you here are... if so raise your hand?"
There is a polling feature on zoom you can use to get data if you need the actual numbers but better to just ask your audience and get feedback. Make people listen and raise their hand to keep them engaged.
2. "Give me a thumbs up if you can see this"
Confirmation from your audience is also key to keeping them engaged. this can also be "If you agree" or "does that make sense?" Expect a response and make sure your audience knows it. This sounds like point number 1 except this is confirmation while the other is more about asking questions.
3. Picture-in-Picture - Many YouTuber's and live streamers put their face on the bottom corner while presenting. These are one person businesses like myself who have spent the money and time on the technology to get our message across yet, large companies don't bother to even upgrade their zoom to host meetings past 40 minutes
4. Cameras on. Points 1 & 2 aren't effective if cameras are off, so set the expectation that we need the cameras on because from time to time you will NEED to see everyone on the screen.
5. Look directly at the camera as much as possible. This one is the most important and the most difficult. It's easy to lose focus and watch the zoom grid after asking a question. Naturally as humans we are looking for confirmation and a response. But try your best to use peripheral vision when you need to catch something on a zoom grid. After watching my own zoom performances, I get bored watching myself every time I am looking away. (What a weird thing to say)
There you have it! 5 tips from a magician to all of you. Thank you for the read and I hope you enjoyed it. If that was helpful, let me know in the comments below with your favourite emoji
A lot of couples ask us why should they even bother hiring out an MC or Host when they could ask a friend or a family member to do so.
Well here I will share the top 3 reasons why your volunteer MC will BOMB at your wedding
Here is episode 2 of Fun Fridays here where I teach you a couple of tricks you can do to kick off your Zoom meetings with a bit of Magic!
Hello world! At the time of writing, lockdown rules are as vague as ever with vaccination cards being implemented and it seems like more and more people are just confused about what's going on.
One thing is for sure, we are staying at home for the next bit. A while back, I put together an 8 episode series of magic tricks you can do at home or icebreakers that you can do at your virtual meeting kick offs. Check it out here.
Too much to sum up for my 2019 but certainly was an amazing year for me. Over 100 shows, 3 sold out shows, over 30 new insurance clients, sold my little condo that I lived in for 8 years.
I've come so far this decade. I was really lost 8 years ago when my first wife criticized me everyday for not being good enough only to have an affair with her yoga instructor and burying it with compound lies to cover up her tracks.
After our marriage ended that was the day I decided to pave my own path and chase after my own dream. Like many, I was raised in an environment where people tell me how to be, and how to act, and what is right and wrong.
I'd like to remind everyone that believing in yourself is key, even if you are alone. Chances are if you are alone, no one has done it before. No one has dared or tried, which makes you unique. Figure out a way to express your unique qualities, values, and emotions to the public other than just words, then it becomes art.
2020 fires off with 17 shows booked already for me including a Canada wide tour that I go on hitting interior BC, Alberta, and Saskatchewan.
I now have such a great support network, and have too many friends, families, colleagues, associates, partners, magi, mentors. I will have to make a honourable mention to my lovely and best wifey Phiphy Pong, for always encouraging me to step forward and in the fire right beside me. Love you babe!
Thank you to all for your ongoing support and coming to the Havana show back in November and I am grateful for the 3 standing ovations you all gave me.
Here is the highlight video from the show!
Video credit: Taylor Lee
Yesterday, I have a friend who has been constantly listening to podcasts, reading e-books, and consuming loads of knowledge yet he hasn't been able to improve.
Why do I do magic? what is magic? are the single two most important questions to answer if you are looking to become a magician. It is the purpose that drives and motivates us to do what we do and why we work so hard on it. So I'd like to share in as much detail but yet concise on why I do what we do.
Remembering names is difficult. we've all said that and heard that before. I'm not sure how I came about this, but I believe I invented this technique to help me remember names when I meet them for the first time. It builds rapport with the group and your magic becomes stronger because of it. We will use an example of 4.
For many years now, I've had amazing success performing for corporate events all over BC year after year. If you are in the corporate workforce, you'll see that organizers are scrambling for different things to spice up their staff party or find unique ways to entertain your clients.