As an entertainer, you cannot always be sure where your next booking will come from. However, if you are booked because someone has seen you perform at another event, you will never be out of business. My latest ‘A Day in the Life of a Mentalist’ series covers a booking that happened precisely like that; the client (Inciper Ltd) saw me perform my After Dinner Entertainment act before Christmas and decided it was exactly what they needed.
An Advocate from the Beginning
Mark Roberts and David Sanderson, founders of Inciper Ltd, booked me to perform at the company’s third anniversary celebrations after Mark had seen me perform at a 50th Birthday celebration. Having grown considerably since their inception, Inciper Ltd celebrate with all their employees and book an annual overnight stay at a country house. This year they had selected Oakley Hall Hotel in Basingstoke; a beautiful location complete with old-fashioned flair and modern twists.
The Long and Winding Road
The 3.5-hour drive was not too arduous, but I had to leave in plenty of time to ensure I was able to set up the show before guests arrived. Another aspect that put me at ease before this long journey was I had already met the clients and knew them to be great characters; often as an entertainer, you don’t always get to deal with the client directly before the day, especially for business events.
I arrived around 3.30pm and was greeted by hotel management who were lovely and took me to the Bramley Room. This was to be my dressing room and holding area until the performance. However, complete with a large flat screen TV, I ensured I made use of the facilities and caught up on the football as I unpacked the show.
The Garden Room
Now able to set up the show downstairs, I took my props to the Garden Room which had already been prepared for the evening’s dinner. There was a space for me at the front but only around three metres in between me and the first row of tables. For anyone in the magic and entertainment industry, having and audience that close when you’re not intending to perform close-up magic, can leave you a little vulnerable. However, having been in the industry for 14 years performing at all sorts of venues, I did some quick calculations and couldn’t foresee this intimate spacing as being an issue.
I set up the show, including a prediction envelope (complete with a large black question mark on the front), which I left on the mantlepiece. Hoping the hotel staff and any guests who arrived early would realise it was part of the act and not touch it, I went back to my changing room and waited for guests to arrive.
The Main Event
I don’t usually eat before a performance but as I had a couple of hours, I was able to enjoy a sit-down meal while I did my own social media and marketing.
I soon received a message from Mark and David to say they had arrived and went down to meet them so we could brief each other on what was happening throughout the evening with regards to our respective responsibilities.
As the guests arrived, they selected their own name card from a side table and sat where they desired rather than having a space allocated for them which I felt was a nice touch. Mark and David gave a speech and kindly introduced me for the pre-dinner show.
A room of around 50, there was no need to have a microphone and it’s always lovely to be able to see individual people rather than a sea of indiscernible faces. With an intimate gathering such as this one, I was able to make eye contact with almost every member of the audience at some point throughout the performance which is essential to connect with them.
As a group, they were very receptive, and everything went well. I felt I put on a good show and was even able to try some new things as well as amending other parts of my performance from previous shows. I am pleased with how they went and will likely replicate them in the future.
View the Review
Finally, I always gauge feedback by if a client seeks me out after the performance which Inciper Ltd did immediately. Asking me where they could leave feedback, I received this 5* Google review in the days that followed:
“Looch provided the pre-dinner entertainment for our annual company celebration after I had seen him perform at a prior event. Looch had the whole audience fully immersed in his show and amazed with his performance and mind-blowing skills. He created a real buzz in the room during and after the show – still being talked about now. Big thanks from all the Inciper team.”
– Mark Roberts, CEO and Co-founder of Inciper Ltd
Thank you to both Mark and David for inviting me to be part of your celebrations. Here’s to the next three years and beyond and I wish you and your team every success as you continue to grow.