Jonah is joined by Jason Suran who shares his advice on how to build lasting relationships to support your magic business. Jason is a mentalist based in New York and has done a ton of work on TV and company gigs and has even performed for four NBA teams. He gives us tips on how to grow a loyal group of clients and shares stories on what has gone great and what has gone wrong and takes us behind the scenes on what it’s like to perform for Speakeasy Magic.
Stuffing Playbills to Perfecting Mentalism
Jason shares two stories of how he came to find magic, the first is the rehearsed answer he tells all his audiences and the second he shares with you about what really happened. It all comes down to being too broke to afford a seat in the Players Theatre in New York and agreeing to stuff the playbills with surveys at the back of the room night after night so he could see the shows being performed.
Jason attended NYU to study television and film but he shares why he left that behind for the world of magic and mentalism and offers his insights to the ethics of mentalism and how much you should or should not let your audience believe how real the performance is.
These days you can find Jason performing regularly at Speakeasy Magic which has become an invaluable opportunity to perfect magic and mentalism performances in consistent conditions. The McKittrick Hotel is the sort of place where he can expect the same lights, same smoke, same everything every single night for years and it’s given him every conceivable advantage. Keep listening and you’ll hear about some behind the scenes experiences at Speakeasy and other venues he’s performed at as Jason offers up some insight into how different and difficult magicians have it compared to other artforms.
If You Want Press, You Have To Do Shows
From appearing on news programs like The Social here in Canada to performing for NBA teams and establishing a long lasting engagement with Speakeasy Magic there’s one connecting thread that binds all those successes together. Jason makes a strong point to the value of staying in touch with every client, going so far as to set up google alerts to anniversaries and other milestone events. Clients overtime become friends and it’s always worth it to shoot of an email every so often to remind them what you’re up to. Almost every major engagement that Jason can remember can be linked back to his “scrappy list” of emails and the energy he spent to build genuine connections.
Eli Bosnick: Talk to him about building communities in magic.
What do you like about modern magic? What do you not like?
There is a large impulse to make it meaningful, honest, and vulnerable. Thanks to Derek DelGaudio’s show we now have a model for it now for the first time in a hundred years.
There’s a tremendous amount of mentalists who learned the wrong lessons from Derren Brown, who saw what Derren did and missed the point. They think that if they lie they’ll be awesome. The psychology presentations were always aesthetic additions but Derren is an awesome performer despite that. Too many mentalists believe that the audience needs to believe the bullshit.
Take home point
Be open to every opportunity and every person you meet and be honest with yourself about where you want it to take you.
Instagram is the best way, @jasonsuran