What I Learned Hanging Upside Down From a Crane About Showmanship.

The blood running to my head was starting to make me dizzy. My ankles hurt so bad I could barely concentrate on the task at hand, and yet here I was, dangling upside down from a crane, tightly strapped in a straitjacket, with only a small piece of webbed strap holding my ankles in place. It was a feat that a news reporter would later say should have qualified me to be put back in straitjacket afterwards. As I looked down on the crowd, from over 100 feet in the air, I could not help but think to myself, “What have I got myself into?”

Creating the sizzle and adding elements of emotion that move people. These are the key tenants to creating a memorable experience that leaves guests saying, “Wow!” I knew it back then, and I try to create the same feelings of excitement at each event that we do today. Showmanship is what people want, whether it is with a live performance or a live event. They want the sizzle along with the steak.

To be upfront, performing the straitjacket escape back in my early magic years was easier than people expected. I could have easily slithered out of the jacket in under a minute, but by drawing it out to just over four minutes created tension, excitement, and anticipation. When I finally managed to escape, and let the jacket plummet to the earth below, it elicited a huge emotional experience for the people watching far below.

Each event you produce should meet certain criteria. Look for elements of emotion, along with enticing guests 5 senses with great smells, delicious food, fun sounds, colorful attractions, and more. I try and live by the old saying, “They won’t remember what you said or did, but how you made them feel.”

What can you add to your event sites to add more excitement, flair and wow?


One thought on “What I Learned Hanging Upside Down From a Crane About Showmanship.

  1. Pingback: Day Two: The Straitjacket of Sleep | A Writerly Month

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