Do you want a pat on the Back?

Each holiday season, many companies celebrate with their co-workers. Depending on the size of the company, most often some entertainment will be hired.
The hiring in usually done by a committee of two but I’ve noted it’s usually one person who carries the largest burden if the entertainment is great or a flop. (Which is enough reason to pass this high pressure job on to different people each year.)
Of course, these jobs are more than welcomed by me, and all the other magicians in the area. Arriving at one this past season I was awaiting to meet the young woman who had hired me. While waiting I find a place in a corner where I’m not readily observed. First, this is an opportunity to get set for the night. (Make sure each item is in the correct pocket, very important.) Second, I’m not really too keen on making small talk before I perform.
Shortly, I am approached by the person who hired me. After the customary introductions I asked her what they’ve had for entertainment recently. She told me comedians. “Actually, they haven’t been very funny” she said. Of course this struck me as odd. I don’t remember if I said, “that’s funny.” Wanting to calm her nerves I told her to relax, I’m here to entertain. I promised her that her friends would be patting her on the back for her choice of entertainment. I know this sounds like I might have a hard time finding a hat to fit my head. Not really the case. My confidence comes from knowing that most lay people have never met a professional Magician. Many have seen uncles and others deal countless piles of cards until they finally point to a card and declare they have found your card.
Point being when they see what can be done with an ordinary pack of cards and a few coins etc. they find their eyes bugging out of their heads, not to mention the laughter which comes along for a free ride.
Honestly, I’ve never had a bad night…I’ve been a little bit off, but that’s never the end of the world. By the time you leave, you will have heard that you are “The Best Magician” they have ever seen. I learned a long time ago (from one of THE BEST) that you should expect that every time you perform. However, keep yourself grounded. Remember, you are probably the first professional magician they have encountered. So keep your ego down, you are not “the best magician” you just did your job. After all, you did not perform real miracles.
I got a follow up email the next day, “You were right about the pats on the back.”
Joe Ferranti, “The Magician for all Occasions”