The life of an entertainer is one already packed with uncertainty – from traveling all over the country by plane and car to coming up with ways to keep the crowd excited on the fly when things go wrong, unpredictability is almost… well, predictable for me at this point. With that said, even the most seasoned industry veterans have had to change their plans as the coronavirus outbreak has brought the world to a virtual standstill.
Of course, the biggest change for live showmen/women like me has been the pause on event bookings – as businesses closed and Americans everywhere retreated into their homes in order to stay safe from the virus, I went quickly from doing 15-20 in-person shows a week to doing 0.
Needless to say, the problem of lower transaction/booking volume is one that is causing issues for small business owners across the country and the world. The inability to organize physical gatherings has been tough on all kinds of entertainers, from DJs to magicians to face-painters and everyone in between. Just as law firms and finance professionals are hoping not to lose their clients’ business because of the temporary pause placed on operations, us entertainers want to keep as many bookings as possible, even if they must be rescheduled for later. My team at Rick Smith Jr., Inc. is encouraging clients to postpone and not cancel shows, and we believe that get-togethers and social events will be even more desired after this period of quarantine/social distancing.
The good news about this period is that the extra downtime has given me time to work on brand new tricks and practice my trade so that my shows after COVID will be bigger and better than before. Having lived through both 2001 and 2008 as a small business owner, I now see that as difficult as these times may be, it is in my best interest and the best interest of my clients to see the opportunity that sometimes underlies unpleasant circumstances.
As a businessman and innovator, however, I am doing my best to keep my company in motion despite the difficulties of being a performer in a time when gatherings are discouraged or prohibited. Thanks to applications like Zoom, I have been able to put on magic shows from home that can be broadcasted live to any number of audience members. It would be impossible to keep up the same show volume that my team and I do during normal times, but we are certainly making due with what we have until activities as usual resume!
In the meantime, I have continued to expand my YouTube channel by adding new videos every week – be sure to take a look at the new tutorials and trick shot clips I’ve been posting, and look out for another Dude Perfect collaboration some time in the future!
This crisis has been tough on my team and I, just as it has for businesses around the globe. But our commitment to our clients and our craft has kept us going through the last few months, and only makes us more excited to get back out there and continue performing. After all, I discovered my talent for throwing cards completely by accident – who’s to say that another great opportunity might not take us by surprise?