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Mindpro
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I think the recent turn of events in the Publicity thread brings up a few very interesting subjects touch upon. These were brought to the fore from that thread but are not aimed at anyone here specific.

As someone who is approached by dozens to even hundreds of entertainers each month, literally for years, we have the trying task of receiving and reviewing promotional packages, video and such from these performers. Some of these are great, but many of these need help. Whether it’s due to the “puffing” brought to light as in the recent thread, or simple lack of understanding or properly representing themselves, it quickly becomes clear many performers are egocentric and some even (to extremely) delusional.

The current technology access makes it so easy to present themselves as much more than in actuality.

Now I say this to establish the point of my post. Some of these guys as we’ve seen here can not truly be honest with themselves or even worse have no clue as to the reality of what they think, believe, claim or present. I see it every day. We see it here quite often as well.

Member Ray said something to the affect of “we don’t need any puffing here, we are all in the same community,” basically check the puffiness or hype at the door. In order to be positive, productive and truly help others was the intent of this sentiment.

My concern here is if an entertainer is actually untruthful or delusional about themselves, or even worse believes their own BS and hype, how can they possibly be honest and best serving the client?

If they can’t understand and see reality themselves, how can they possibly understand someone else realities (concerns, interests, needs, requirements, etc.) to properly resolve or be the solution to their needs? How can they really, truly serve the client and understand their needs?

Delusion, ego, misunderstanding and comprehension is not generally limited to one specific area. It tends to run throughout. Lack of understanding or even denial runs consistent.

So when I reflect on how maybe 60-70% of those we receive promotional materials from are completely missing the boat in their attempt with us, its easy to immediately wonder how can they possibly serve our clients? Even not from an agency or producer’s perspective, but even from a self-represented perspective, how can they truly operate an honest and productive business? How can they truly serve prospective clients?

Then the next question is why? Why does this problem or set of conditions exist? It is identifiable, but is it fixable if someone is blind to the facts and reality and truly lacks the understanding with no comprehension or willingness to understand, accept or acknowledge this?

In the bigger picture, it does have an impact on the industry and others doing similar performances.

For example between 65-80% of the new business we get in our office for comedy hypnotists is from people that know and believe that a hypnosis show can be a fantastic highlight of an event and a top preference of entertainment with specific demographics. They acknowledge and get that. But they have been burned or experienced a bad performer with over-promising claims. So when they’re calling it’s because they believe in the type of entertainment but realize all performers are not the same or created equal. On one hand these guys bring us a ton of new business each year and have for decades, but on the other hand, and almost more importantly, they perpetuate the perception of (in this case) stage hypnosis in a poor and not positive light. That affects the entire industry. It makes buyers hesitant, skeptical, apprehensive and guarded. Especially when the members of a committee or a board are not professionals but volunteers spending someone else’s money and being responsible for the success and highlight of the entire event.

When they call an entertainer, they are often calling for facts, knowledge and education as part of their interest.

The absolute worst thing that could happen in this situation to these good people is encountering a puffing, egocentric, unable of comprehending performer.

Can you see the snowball problems and negativity this almost immediately presents?

Then of course and worst of all we have to deal with their trail of destruction, the mess these others have left behind. We have to assure the client we can help, change and correct their situation (and mindset). Then the poor performer who we send out to perform their show has a completely different position to the buyers and even to the scorn audience awaiting him upon arrival. Rather that it being “oh, I can’t wait to see this guy” it is more of a “okay, this guy better be better than that last guy.” Do you see the two different set of performance dynamics the performer is faced with because of someone else's puffery and undeliverable promises?

This is much more than just a few performers that “don’t get it” or over-hype themselves. Their lack of understanding and ignorance to the totality of the situation reflects very poorly on them (of which most have no idea) and does have an affect on our art and the community. More importantly as I said why? These guys create problems for all of us.

If a performer can’t be honest with themselves how can they possibly serve others?

Are they really able to serve clients and customers with being oblivious to the trail of destruction they have left behind following them?
Dannydoyle
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I can tell you of two problems we see even more often than this.

One is knowing the difference in something an industry thinks is a big deal, and the public thinks is a big deal. Magic contests are a FINE example of this. In reality the public does not give a rats hind parts about your little clubs close up competition. Again it sounds good but after research or questions it really looks like trying to puff one self up.

The other more serious aspect is sort of the opposite. I know some and get some material from FANTASTIC performers whose video representation and materials absolutely SUCK! Mine in particular used to be really bad for a long time. It in no way spoke properly of my act or what it was I could do. I was in a segment of the industry that I could get away with it and in a time where I could. Working comedy clubs was largely word of mouth. I would go back year after year to the same clubs, and if I got private work it was from the club owner calling me, or someone who saw me at the club. It was not an issue I was LUCKY! So I never properly addressed the issue and I should have.

In this day and age where most of many guys work comes directly from video submissions in one form or another this can be DEATH for an act. While obviously puffing is not good, it is important to be able to represent what it is you do properly to get the most work, and the most for that work you can.

As for the original topic of "over hype" it can be a career killer. It often results in getting the job the first time and disappointment so no repeat bookings and bad word of mouth. I have always been a fan of "under promise and over deliver" and that seems to be scarce in our industry. Everyone wants to the best, or a solution to the problem or yada yada yada. Often the result can be a string of one night shows which you have to spend more money to get.

It costs WAY more money to land a single client than to repeat that client. That is money right out of your pocket. It is something to think about when puffing yourself up past your abilities, or having a client discover your puffing.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Mindpro
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On Jul 2, 2016, Dannydoyle wrote:

As for the original topic of "over hype" it can be a career killer. It often results in getting the job the first time and disappointment so no repeat bookings



Ah, the old "one and done" business model of performer.
TomBoleware
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There is a big difference in retyping a newspaper article to show your friends and out right false advertising.
Don’t you think?

To me the sickest kind of puffing is when you constantly put others in the same industry as yourself down in order
to make yourself look good. THAT, my friends, is what hurts everyone.

Of course that is just me.

Still I agree that we all should be honest in promoting our business to the public.




Anyway, got to run, got seven shows to do this afternoon.Smile

Tom
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Dannydoyle
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Tom this deals with performers not you.

What you think hurts is not the point.

Do not detail a thread that has nothing to do with you.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Mindpro
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On Jul 2, 2016, Dannydoyle wrote:
I know some and get some material from FANTASTIC performers whose video representation and materials absolutely SUCK! Mine in particular used to be really bad for a long time. It in no way spoke properly of my act or what it was I could do. I was in a segment of the industry that I could get away with it and in a time where I could.



I agree for years I was in the same boat. Well established within my market, there was no need for a video, website, etc. I was mostly booked on my name and reputation alone. Even the video I had was back form the days it cost $5K-6K for a produced video and it was a general content video, not market specific. I really only had a special video for my acts or shows that were unique and exclusive to me. Something no one else had or offered anywhere. It helped to explain the uniqueness and specialty.

I have many people I've booked or represented that did not and some still do not have a video or website. I would however rather have that than over-hyping or creating a false or unreal scenario. Many top performers in their markets do not have video, website or are on Facebook/social media. There are some other/different elements to operating this way, and it is not the norm in today's day and age, but in some markets it is perfectly possible or acceptable.

Going a bit deeper beyond a level most work on initially, there are some agencies that do not want you to have a video, once they have signed you to them, as they don't want your video to get in the hands of other agencies or buyers, so in order to book you, people HAVE to go through that agency. I know an agency that once paid a performer $3,000 for him not to use or distribute his video. He had just spent the three grand to have the video produced to land a spot with that agency. The agency liked him so much, that they wanted to sign him exclusively, guaranteeing him 46 weeks of work per year. The performer was upset and said no, I just paid for that video and unless you want to pay me back the three grand I just spent on it, I will continue to use it as I may need. They said on the spot fine, you got a deal. Wait in the reception area, I'll get you a check. Again, the extreme exception to the rule.

My concern with this topic is more about what these guys don't see, can't realize or the bigger picture as it pertains to more than just them. Most of these "puffing" guys do so all from their own perspective. To create how they want to be seen, rather than the reality of how they are. Since so much comes only their perspective of how they want themselves to be seen, they commonly overlook the other parties involved, whether it be a direct client, middle person agent or planner or committee, etc. And then of course the damage it creates for others and the market and industry.

Tom, do you really think this is only done for "friends" here? That's crazy. You're trying to give unwarranted benefit or the doubt. That doesn't surprise me bit. You accept the dishonesty, especially from a "claimed" professional. More likely is if he does it for friends here, it is even magnified and more extreme to those he doesn't know and is trying to get money from. It's too common for this to be an abnormality or isolated thing. Plus we've seen other proof of it as well.
Ken Northridge
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While there is no place for dishonesty and exaggeration in publicity and marketing, I do believe there’s a place for hype and portraying a picture of success. I need people to know I’m successful. I need people recommend me without hesitation, even if they have never seen my show. I need them to recommend me based on my image. So, I think its fine line.

What do you think about those guys that post a picture on facebook of every gig they do--on their personal page not the fan page? I don’t do that but I can kind of understand why, and its not necessarily their ego. After a while you will have to admit they are working a lot and they are successful. They are portraying a successful image. They aren’t being dishonest. It drives me crazy but maybe because I’m jealous.

Now, I see you point about some performers not being able to live up to the hype. But who markets themselves like this: “Ken the Magician is slightly above average and there’s a better than 50% chance you will be very happy his performance.”

Again, I think its a fine line between being cocky and confident. That’s why I love the fact that client reviews are becoming more common. It sounds so much better when someone else is talking about your act.
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
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Dannydoyle
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Ken the thing is puffing yourself up here for others with fake crap and pretending you are being hounded by the popaarzzi is goofy. It doesn't "help" other magicians to post fabricated things and try to pass them off as getting all sorts of press. Not by a long shot.

Now the way to avoid the being average thing you mentioned is to spend more time working on the act.

I have never used a Facebook page as a guide to someone being successful. No matter how many pictures they have.

I don't know what markets you work in. A great way to book work is from work. Nothing creates a reputation more than a happy client.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Mindpro
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On Jul 2, 2016, Ken Northridge wrote:
While there is no place for dishonesty and exaggeration in publicity and marketing, I do believe there’s a place for hype and portraying a picture of success. I need people to know I’m successful. I need people recommend me without hesitation, even if they have never seen my show. I need them to recommend me based on my image. So, I think its fine line.

What do you think about those guys that post a picture on facebook of every gig they do--on their personal page not the fan page? I don’t do that but I can kind of understand why, and its not necessarily their ego. After a while you will have to admit they are working a lot and they are successful. They are portraying a successful image. They aren’t being dishonest. It drives me crazy but maybe because I’m jealous.

Now, I see you point about some performers not being able to live up to the hype. But who markets themselves like this: “Ken the Magician is slightly above average and there’s a better than 50% chance you will be very happy his performance.”

Again, I think its a fine line between being cocky and confident. That’s why I love the fact that client reviews are becoming more common. It sounds so much better when someone else is talking about your act.



There is a difference between promotional hype and puffing. There is also the difference of making claims that are simply untrue or can't be backed up. Portraying an honest image through promotion is fine, that is part of the business. It is planned, strategic and by design.

It is up to you, the performer to find your own specialty and uniquenesses to present. As far as the “Ken the Magician is slightly above average and there’s a better than 50% chance you will be very happy his performance,” this is a general point and could be said about any unknown performer so it doesn't need to be stated. If you can't say credits or impressive things, simply don't say anything, at least its honest. I always suggest you find what is special or unique to you. That's where positioning, branding and USPs, etc. can come into play. Not because some guru tells you you need them, bit for the real and actual purpose they are designed to achieve.

If you don't have any true promotional elemets to hype, then promote your perfomance material, how the audience will respond or feel or something until you have the credits, experience or proper things to utilize.

As far as the posting clips and entries from every show they do, I think this is more common with kids performers. I do think there is such a thing as "over-trying too hard for social proof" which I see many performers doing. Like Ken, I get why these guys do it, they're looking for content, they're posting photos so some of the guests or attendees can see themselves, to increase followers, their trying to establish that they work a lot and so on. But like testimonials, after so much or too many it becomes void of any real benefit. Not sure I agree with you on the reviews thing. Yes, its good to hear natural reviews from the actual clients or attendees themselves, or the booker or person who hired you. They can have benefit but rather than quantity, where it can also lose its impact, I would use these more selectively and positioned for maximum impact without over saturation. Too much of anything screams look at me, which can work against all of the credibility you've established in other places.

Nothing should be "just to do it." It should be planned and executed strategically. This is different that the dishonesty and over-hype discussed.

Plus there are other ways to say the same thing. For example, rather than posting from every show a performer does, they could also simply post their schedule to instill the same mentality of them working a lot, and then only post about larger, high-profile and special shows. It makes them stand out more while still establishing how busy of a professional you are. The point is to all of this, there are many ways to do accomplish things properly, so why bother with the puffing when there are more organic, credible and sincere things that can portray the same messages.
Ken Northridge
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Quote:
On Jul 2, 2016, Dannydoyle wrote:

I don't know what markets you work in. A great way to book work is from work. Nothing creates a reputation more than a happy client.


Totally agree. I’d estimate that 75% of bookings come from working (happy clients). I have some 20 plus year clients, but not everyone is that loyal and I have found it is not wise to rest on your laurels. If you’re not looking out for what’s new and are not changing with the times you might be in for a surprise.

For example, I had a sharp drop in bookings around 2007/2008. I came to realize my web site sucked and my SEO was non-existent. I fixed it and my bookings dramatically increased.

This is one of the reason’s I visit the Tricky Business section, to find out what’s next. Maybe I’ll pop my head in the “Leveraging ‘Celebrity’ Status” thread. LOL
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
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Mindpro
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I agree and that's why it kills me when I see younger performers putting all of their efforts into SEO, social media. FB ads, Adword campains, etc. I remember in when link sharing was big and every website had a Links page. This is all fine and dandy and these are tools all performers can use to varying degrees but they are only tools. Your efforts are far more rewarded by having a great show and knowing how and what to do to leverage that for future business.

Understanding the five types of bookings and then having a business model based on it is one of the things I regularly teach and it is a foundation that has sustained all types of performers consistently for years. If you operate a 1 out of 1 plan you will always maintaining a steady level of business/income year after year. If you implement a 2 out of 1, you assure growth and evolvement annually. I see people knocking themselves out and making it far more difficult than it needs to be. People also need to understand the long-term or lifetime value of a customer. It kills me when I see guys putting all their effort into chasing after one off gigs, only to be repeated over and over each year continually. It's tiring just to type this.

I think the celebrity element into a business model is one of the greatest strategies available. Especially if you understand the press and media, specific social media of today, and how to utilized multiple mediums. In many ways this is kind of advanced stuff. What has always killed me is people think "while I just live in _____" Like that Kameron Messmer guy that pops in her every once in a while. He seems to believe all of his struggles come from him being in billings, MT. Sure every area creates challenges, but they also create opportunities. This celebrity status concept is something I initially had always thought would be prime in Billings. They are a media market with network affiliates and independent medias as well. That can be a great combination. This is where I think kids performers are very narrow-minded and short-sided. They only seem to stick with what they know which is usually only the basics needed to perform kids parties. Then not growing or evolving much from there. Not picking on them, not at all, but it is a common trait with many. Point is everyone always things "this could never happen in my area" or
"sure this could happen if you packed up and moved to L.A. or New York. They have no idea how much harder it is in LA or NY, lol. I've worked with thousands of celebrities and I always tell people it is no different booking Jerry Seinfeld, Cher or Lady Gaga, that it is operating as or booking Bobo The Clown, The Magic Of Boogerman or a local storyteller. Performers think its different, but it is all the exact same, a few elements and details are different, but not much different than the differences in booking a DJ vs. a magician vs. jump house. People think once you get on a national level it somehow is different. it's the same. And one of the things we always discuss is how they all started locally right in their small unheard of town.

I agree not everyone has what it takes, but I feel it is due to these misperceptions. I also agree that it is only minimally due to their performance. Yes it needs to be good, solid and well polished on all levels. Personality, a clear and honest understanding of who you are and what your are trying to attain is essential. False belief, puffing, misperception will always stand in your way and prevent it from happening. I think we see a great example of that happening here. The whole false belief of one thinking they are something bigger than they are is exactly what could be standing in the way of one actually achieving that. It will not simply happen. I see it nearly every day.

I also agree personality is key, as is a strong business sense and behind the scenes understanding and plan. Most don't have these three or four things firmly in place. These are what they should be working on a daily basis to get to where they want to need. Not promotional hype.

A few years ago there was a guy that came on the Café and posted that he had studied mentalism for a number of years and the business of entertainment. He had never performed before. He was offering $5,000 for someone to work with him one on one to create a show, train him how to perform it, and elsewhere I think he offered $10k to someone to teach and assist him with learning the business. It was interesting to me because he was willing to pay for bystep the learning curve. I was contacted and found this interesting. This type of thing (similar not exact) happens all the time in Hollywood - a performer is cast in a role they then seek a consultant to help familiarize them with being (say, for example) a magician, how to do some material, how to present and carry themselves, etc. It shortens the learning curve.

In the case of the guy wiling to pay to create an act and business, he did it. However, what was missing was A. personality (as mentioned above as a key) and B. the understanding of and through experience. He expected once he paid for a show and business knowledge he would never have a struggle and it would just be doing show after show continuously as he wanted to perform night after night continuously and then tour worldwide. He had all the new and shinny proper, accessories and tools of the trade, he had the costumes and clothing and the look. I suspect he had a wealthy daddy who was willing to help him by paying for his success. I think we have seen something similar here too.

So no not everyone can do it, but it is more possible than many would realize. They just don't want to educate themselves in how to do it or don't have/know the resources to do so or understand how to make it possible.
Mindpro
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Ken, I'd like to ask you how has it is working in such a distressed area as Atlantic City? I am not there much anymore, but remember it as it once was. How has this affected your business. Are you finding you have to work harder for the same that was once easier? Has new or first time business bounced back? I know there will always be the kids market but what about commercial business? Casinos, restaurants, corporate events, etc.? Just curious. For some reason it's an area I don't do much with anymore.
Ken Northridge
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The death of Atlantic City has been greatly exaggerated!

When 4 casino’s closed in 2014 I was concerned as well. Being children’s entertainer I got very little work from the casino’s directly but I worried about some the wealth going out of the area. But I’m happy to say I’ve noticed very little difference. A few extra foreclosed homes maybe, but that goes on everywhere. The casino’s that are still here are growing and making a profit.

If the amount of people I’ve seen in this town so far this summer is any indication, this will be a banner year! And its not just Atlantic City. In the summer the entire Jersey Shore thrives with business. Honestly, I wouldn’t even characterize this area as distressed.
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
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Mindpro
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That is great to hear. We had a similar thing here in Vegas. When the housing drop occurred, Las Vegas had the highest amount of foreclosures in the nation at one point. All the media reports were how stressed Vegas was. But of course the casinos, restaurants and nightlife all still did fine. Sure things may have been down as overall tourist slowed a bit during those years, but again, like Atlantic City, they are based on the same things. Plus for a kids performer, there will always be kids parties, fests, schools, restaurants, libraries, etc.

Yeah, people not from that part of the country also can confuse Atlantic City and the Jersey Shore as being the same thing. Jersey shore has thrived and will likely continue to for a long, long time.

Glad to hear it is alive and well and you are doing fine.
Mindpro
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Back to the topic of this thread...I don't know Ken in any way other than from here on the Café and his posts. I'm not sure maybe he purchased one or more of my books, I can't remember off hand (sorry not sure, I think he may have), but my point is when Ken posts or you, hear about this wife and their business, you get the perception of credibility, truth and honesty. Based on this you take his posts and contributions much more real, serious and credible. Sure he may have reviews and testimonials, but you get the idea that you are dealing with the real deal, a straight shooter, someone that can be trusted with your event, your kids and your needs.

A great example of the other, right end of the spectrum. Things can be accomplished without the need of over-hyping and puffery.
Ken Northridge
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Mindpro,

Frankly, I don't know who you are! I respect your desire to remain private here at the Café, but I do appreciate your posts and the all the information you share. I can also spot serious and credible posts, and I can also spot BS. I also feel the need to speak up when someone presents their way of doing business as 'gospel' and the only way a serious business person would operate. There are different personalities and I seem to have a way of challenging conventional wisdom. I don't do this to convert anyone to my way of thinking, just to stimulate thinking.

Thank you for you kind comments!
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
www.KenNorthridge.com
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On Jul 2, 2016, TomBoleware wrote:
There is a big difference in retyping a newspaper article to show your friends and out right false advertising.
Don’t you think?
Tom

Retyping a newspaper article - poorly, I might add - is completely unprofessional. The way to do this would have been to pull a quote from the paper and then cite it, rather than trying to recreate the actual article. Was it false advertising? No, but let's also not pretend this was just so show friends. What's the point in doing that? It looked fake and never should have seen the light of day. A totally avoidable situation in my opinion.
"I'm sorry - if you were right, I would agree with you." -Robin Williams, Awakenings
TomBoleware
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Just to be clear.

I don’t think he placed it on here to try and get one of us to book him.
I don’t think he was advertising to us here for business.
I think he did it for other reasons which I personally don’t see as advertising.
But hey, that’s just me. I’m not the type that likes to hang a friend over something like this.
But again, that’s just me.

Tom
Do What Others Do And You Will Become Average

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www.amazekids.com/magic-downloads/childrens-magic-ebooks/the-daycare-magician/

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Mindpro
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No he just did it for boasting, baiting, ego and agenda. But this is somehow okay to you? As Ray said, we are in the community, check the crap and ego at the door. There is absolutely no need or purpose for this in any context.
TomBoleware
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If we start hanging people for ego’s on here he should hardly be the first. Smile

Tom
Do What Others Do And You Will Become Average

The Daycare Magician Book
www.amazekids.com/magic-downloads/childrens-magic-ebooks/the-daycare-magician/

Tom Boleware
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