The tour is halfway over!
I just returned from the San Diego Fringe Festival, where I performed five shows in ten days at the Geoffrey Off Broadway Theater.
I’ve been working on a new show this summer and it’s still very much a work-in-progress. I try out new ideas during each show, listen carefully to the audience, take notes, and repeat the process for the next show. I made so many changes during my run in San Diego that I ended up performing five different shows during the festival.
Fortunately, I think the show is really starting to come together as I received great press, amazing audience reactions, and even won the award for “Outstanding Magic or Mentalism Performance” for the second year in a row!
My dream is to do a mind reading show that is not about mind reading. I just feel like I have so much to say as an artist that I really don’t want my discipline to keep me from expressing those ideas. The story I’m trying to tell excites me far more than the techniques I’m employing to tell it.
However, pairing mind reading with my personal narrative is a grueling task that progresses at a snail’s pace. The only way to achieve my goal is to get onstage night after night, embracing the failures and celebrating the successes.
Since I’ve been working out a new show, I’ve been relatively quiet about where I’m performing and when. It’s not that I don’t want people to see it - it’s just that I’m focusing more on the show itself and less on the promotion.
During last year’s tour I had a social media plan in place and worked tirelessly to promote each show every chance I could. But this year, I’ve been trying something different.
A few months ago I deleted Facebook from my phone. I stopped logging on every five minutes and started working more on creative projects. It’s made me far happier.
Any article that promises tips on how to promote a show will always list social media near the top. They stress that you need a Facebook event, frequent updates, ads, Instagram posts, and more. And for years, I believed it.
I was convinced that the only way to pack the house was to post consistently and keep my fans updated with my whereabouts. But it turns out, that’s not the case at all.
I haven’t been posting about the tour at all this year. I didn’t make an event page, I’ve limited how many reviews I share, and I haven’t sent out a single message asking people to attend.
And guess what?
I’ve been performing in larger venues and my audiences have been even bigger than last year. I’ve been getting better feedback than ever before and I’ve been far happier.
Whatever new technology comes our way; whatever new-fangled advice gets tossed around by some current guru - it doesn’t matter. Heed the advice or ignore it. Use social media or don’t. Post every day, or rarely. Tell everyone, or tell no one. It doesn’t matter at all.
What really matters is that you do good work. Have a good show or a good product. Work hard and let your work speak for itself. Do what you do so well that people will talk about it for you. And when word gets out and people come flocking to see you, be better than they could have ever imagined.
That’s why I’ve spent every last second working on the show this summer. Nothing matters except the story I’m trying to tell. It's been a slow process, but it's finally starting to get there.
You don’t need to be what anyone else tells you to be. You don’t have to work how someone else tells you to work. You just need to be you, silently working to be as good as you can be. The rest will come - I promise.
You can still catch me at Kansas City Fringe and Edmonton Fringe this summer! Tour dates here.