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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Step right up! » » The 8-year-old pitchman, part 3 (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Jon-O the Great
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It is just plain amazing how this kid has learned MY demo, virtually WORD FOR WORD. And I’m not stretching it.

Today, he brought the script I gave him last show and was studying it as I was working. Finally, about 2 PM, he got up the courage to ask me if he could demo.

“Have you got it memorized?”

“What does ‘memorized’ mean?”

“It means, Do you know the demo?”

“I think I do.”

“OK, I’ll make you a deal. You demo to me, as tho I was a customer and if you DO know it, you can work. Deal?”

Pause….

“Well, OK but it embarrasses me for you to watch me because you know the demo.”

“Sorry, that’s the deal. Take it or leave it.” I was not trying to be mean to him but I felt that it was either sink or swim. No more playin’ around.

I had been using a deck of MM cards with the AS key and almost NO difference between the key and indifferent cards. I HAVE a hard time doing a DL using those cards. (When I say ‘move in close, the secret is very small’—I AIN’T KIDDIN’!) The cards he had been using were his own cards with an AH and a normal difference, key-to-indifferent. But he picked up my cards and actually DID the demo, virtually word-for-word, switching the key in his mind from AH to AS. Frankly, I couldn‘t believe it. He did pause a couple of time, to remember what came next but, frankly, he was VERRRY good. And I couldn’t believe he could switch the key. I CAN’T DO IT without frequent pauses to remember which is which. And doing a DL with THOSE cards? HA!!

Long story short, he went to work and did it again…sold 2 decks, seemingly, almost effortlessly. He just doesn’t know how REALLY good he is!

Show was winding down so I paid him and started to pack up. He asked, “Can I help you?”

“Naw, you’ve worked hard enough today. I’ll do it. Thanx, tho.”

He stood there for a moment, dejected, then said, “Can I show you something?”

“Sure”

He divided the deck in half and did a riffle shuffle. “Hey, guy,” I said, “you’re gonna get the cards all mixed up, doing that.”

He said, “Look at the cards. Are they mixed up?” I looked at the top and had to admit they were perfect.

“How’d you learn to do that?”

“Well, I don’t really know. But I know that the cards fall in 2s, so I just did it.”

Frankly, I WAS speechless! I know there are many who can do it (Seth!!) but I CAN’T. (And I've TRIED!) But Caelen, an 8-year-old kid CAN! I never did anything but CUT the deck. And what gets me is...not only can he DO IT...HE figured out how to do it BY HIMSELF!

What a GUY!!

Jon
mrunge
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Wow! Caelen sounds like a very smart little guy. Someone that you, without really trying, have become a mentore to. He see's you as a roll model.

That is awesome!

Mark. Smile
DonDriver
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That's great Jon and when is this Caelen kid coming out with a DVD teaching the Svengali pitch ? I want to buy one.

Don
Jon-O the Great
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I have to admit, they guy is not perfect. Since he learned the demo by memorizing a script, he sounds a little like he is reciting rather than pitching. And his voice is VERY soft, so he's a little hard to hear. (After all, he's 8 YO and has never attempted anything like we do.) And his hands are so small that he has to bend the cards a lot when showing the DL

But yesterday was only his 2nd try. I'm sure he'll get better. I'm actually considering getting him a space of his own at the next show and letting him do the cards exclusively and I'll just do strippers.

We'll see.

Jon
DonDriver
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Oh so now you want to open a 'child sweat factory" like they have in China...I'm very proud of you Jon...LOL

Ok I was just kidding there.Its going to cost you money.The kid is cute I admit but hes NO pitchman.If you really put the kid on the joint by himself all day its going to cost you a bunch of money.Its just a very bad idea.

Don
Jon-O the Great
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Exactly what my wife said, Don. But I thot of putting him at his own table between me and the girl working with me. I have a folding table from Sam's the perfect size and about 8" lower than the others, so he could stand behind it instead of sitting on his legs on my stool, as he does now. (I know it SOUNDS funny...but it looks even funnier!) Gun shows only cost about $50-$60 per show, so not a lot to try him out.

I'm also thinking of including my home-made DVD in the deal again and raising the price to $10. If the kids can get $8, they can get $10. Dad usually pulls out a 10 or a 20 any way. Easier to make change. Remember those home-made ones only cost me about 47 cents each plus the time it takes me to make 'em. I guess I'll find out.

Jon
DonDriver
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I told you what I think so do what you want to.Like you said you'll find out.

Don
Jon-O the Great
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Quote:
On 2011-03-28 10:53, DonDriver wrote:
I told you what I think so do what you want to.Like you said you'll find out.

Don

Don, you are EXACTLY right...as always. Getting him his own space would be a waste of $50-$60. While he might sell enough to pay for the space, just paying expenses is not the name of the game.

So I'm really thinking about fronting him some sets and letting him use his mom's space to sell 'em. That way, he doesn't use MY space and we can both sell 'em. We'd be like guys with feather's up our b**ts. We'd BOTH be tickled. Smile

Jon
DonDriver
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When I go out pitching I go out to make money and WORK.Its no place for little kids to get under your feet and be in the way no matter how cute they are.I also wouldn't let an 8 year old pitch Svengali's even in his parents spot.But I'm a hard core pitchman.

Don
sethb
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This one's a tough call, in my opinion. But I tend to think that the best thing for this kid to do is to work on just doing magic tricks, and not selling them. He can memorize patter, and he apparently has a good touch with the cards if he can do a riffle shuffle with the Svengali Deck (which really isn't that tough if you shuffle each half-pack so that the "business end" of it is at your thumb). So he ought to be able to pick up basic card and coin sleights fairly easily, and handle stuff like Egg Bags and Chick Pans.

There's also another consideration -- although it's unlikely, both you and his parents could have problems with child labor laws. Sounds like it's better and safer all around for him to be working on his French Drop!! SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
DonDriver
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Good call Seth. Send the kid to the library to get a book on magic tricks.

Don
Jon-O the Great
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Well, I talked to a couple of my friends and both agree with you guys. So, NO MORE MR. NICE GUY! Smile

Jon
DonDriver
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Hahaha You don't have to start whiping the kid...stay "Mr Nice Guy" but set rules down for him.

Don
Jon-O the Great
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Quote:
On 2011-03-28 18:42, sethb wrote:
...and safer all around for him to be working on his French Drop!! SETH


At his age, he probably doesn't have it. But if he did, wouldn't a good, stiff shot of penicillin take care of it? Smile

Jon
sethb
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Hmmm, I don't know!!

I was referring to a coin sleight known as the French Drop -- what were you referring to? SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
DonDriver
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I'm out of this conversation...lol
sethb
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Guess I should have used the Click Pass as an example instead! Smile SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
Jon-O the Great
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Not only can this kid sell cards, evidently he can sell just about anything.

Was at a gun show a couple of weeks ago. One of the other vendors said, “Wonder where that kid is...the one that is always hanging around your table?”

“Dunno. But he sure can sell...” and I proceeded to tell him my experiences with Caelen.

“Ha! You think he can sell cards. That kid can sell anything. He came around my table a show or 2 ago, wanting to buy a knife. But he didn't have the money. So he said, 'If I can sell some knives for you, how much would I get?' I made him a deal. So he took a couple of knives and just kinda wandered around the show, showing them to vendors or whoever. He came back with the money. Took a couple more—came back with the money again. I just gave him the knife he wanted. Heck, it only cost me 50 cents anyway.”

I hesitate to say he is a born salesman. I doubt the birth announcements of that day stated anything like that. But this guy is so cute AND child-like—but with an adult's eye for making money—folks just WANT to give it to him. As I said before, he just doesn't know how good he is.

But I'll bet he learns very soon!

Jon
sethb
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Don, based on the above info, I think you might have a potential buyer for that stock of kitchen gadgets!! Smile SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
DonDriver
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Do you think I would take advantage and money from a little kid...in a heart beat I would.

Don
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