Columnist, Simon Lovell

Simon Lovell

NED 1996! Ah well, it had to happen I guess! There I was on New Year’s Eve enjoying a large glass of Moet to wash down a fine sushi dinner when the spirit (both alcoholic and spiritual) took over. Before an astonished group of non-magical friends Ned auto-channeled his way through the misty swamps of the astral planes to appear before them. As my best pal John ‘the dartmeister’ Jenkins said, ‘At least it’s better than the pink elephants I was seeing 20 minutes ago!’.

Still groggy from his journey Ned didn’t realise that he was talking to non-magicians. Still groggy from the booze I had no idea what the hell was going on but thankfully Harry (my pet cat) made notes on his lap top computer for the next morning and so here are more of Ned’s thoughts on the perception of magic. What a furry little pal he is!

Ned certainly had some more ideas on how to get the larger fees. One point he made is the inherent snob value that being expensive gives. Why do people drive a Rolls Royce? Because it shows that they can afford one! Why do people buy a huge mansion? Because they’ll be perceived as having been more successful than someone in a smaller house. These are not, I’m sure, the only considerations but it sure as hell is a powerful one. So how does this apply to your fee? Ned explained further …

You are working at a swanky party and the hostess, off to one side, is chatting to a friend. The friend says, ‘We had Ploppy The Hamster Juggler And Balloon Modeller at our party … He cost me over $200.00!’. The hostess proudly lords over her pal with the news, ‘Yeah, Simon is costing me $750.00!’. The friend crumbles into a depressive heap while our talented hostess smooches the rest of the party with her head held high. A little extreme? No! These conversations do happen – I’ve overheard them several times! Hey, and who do you think the depressive friend is going to want to book next time? Sure as you can say, ‘Lemming’, it won’t be Ploppy. It’ll be the high priced guy. She certainly wouldn’t want the comment, ‘Oh, I see you booked HIM again’, from the hostess. That would be game, set and match in tennis court of social climbing! Ned, of course, added the all important caveat of following his rules and ideas from the last column as well! Snob value is a very important point. Here’s an example …

A few weeks ago I worked a big gig where, by chance, the governor of CT turned up. I leapt in and they liked it very much (thank you Ned). A couple of weeks later, much to a present journalists’ delight, the governor turned up to a sleazy comedy club to watch, and I quote, ‘His favorite magician’. Made a nice mention in the paper! The point? A lady called me and asked for a quote for an hour-long close-up at her husband’s house party. Thankfully she was sitting comfortably when I quoted so all I heard was a sharp exhalation of wounded breath. ‘But’, she quoth, ‘That’s so much more than everybody else!’. I told her the governor tale, she checked the paper, and called back. ‘Well, If John thinks you’re that good we simply must book you!’. She then added, much to my satisfaction I may add, ‘And I do apologize for questioning your fee, it really is very reasonable’. Not only did she get the snob value for her party (he is the gov’s favorite you know – how could you possibly consider booking someone else?) but quite brilliantly used it on me (of course we can afford you, now I know who you are the fee is fine!). She’ll be a big wheel in the social scene any time now! Use snob value, it’s a killer ploy! Next time we’ll (You, Ned and I) talk about how high fees will also change their perception of you and how your treatment to them will change. Ned will also tip a murderously strong ploy that, however high your fee is, will technically make you a better financial value than Ploppy, Zippy, Fondles or any of the others.

Till then Ned and I wish you all the brightest of New Years with everything you want and possibly a little more coming your way.

Bye for now, Simon and Ned