Being on Shark Tank: Part Two
The next morning, we woke up and instantly started tackling all of the paperwork, preparation, and practice that needed to be taken care of before show time. When all of this was finished and we walked over to the studio, we were placed in a pre-screening room where we would wait before going on. When the time had come, I was loaded into my metamorphosis box and it was set on the main stage. What I didn’t initially realize was that this was TV, not a live performance – I would have to wait in the box for 15-20 minutes while the entire set was prepared!
Eventually my waiting time was up, and I needed to pitch my idea to the Sharks. I spoke and presented to the best of my ability, remembering everything that I learned from working with the producers and the VC experts that Mr. Visconsi so kindly brought on board to help me. The 6-minute demonstration felt like at least 45 minutes, but I think that it went fairly well; we showed them tricks and stunts that were met with interest. One of the more difficult parts of the whole experience tied into the fact that as a TV show, they needed multiple angles and would therefore have to stop the camera and reshoot a certain clip that they wanted from a different vantage point. Some of this editing actually ended up making me look less prepared than I felt, as it created pauses in my speech and between their questions and my answers. Nevertheless, the questions that the Sharks asked were almost identical to those of the Cleveland Sharks, and we believe that it overall went smoothly.
I explained my financing goals to the Sharks, and gave them my ideas to create a Vegas Style Show. After the pitch, Robert and Mark were both interested in my idea, but kept saying that they wished I would have asked for $250,000 and slowly built revenues until I could work my way up to a Vegas Style Show. Mark said he would have rather hired me for $100,000 himself and invested in me as a person, but that I asked for too much money. Even though I told Robert that I would like to take his $250,000 offer, the producers stopped the show and reminded him that he either had to give me the $1.5 million I asked for or nothing at all. Although he was disappointed, he didn’t want to put that much money into the project.
Even though we didn’t end up getting a deal, some of the best opportunities I have ever been presented with have stemmed from this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. First and foremost, the fact that the episode was aired on national television was great publicity, and whenever it is rerun we get calls regarding business. Second, some of the best clients I have had throughout my career have come from business connections initially made during the preparation for and airing of the show. Third, Mark Cuban advised us to try to take our Las Vegas show and bring it into our local communities – this gave us the idea for the Magic Gives Back branch of our work. Since then, we have been striving constantly to increase the scope of the program in order to help raise as much money for school across the country as we can.
Lastly, here’s a cool detail regarding our episode – at the time of the airing we were the first “product” on the show to be something that couldn’t be sold in a store, which made us unique and could have been one of the reasons we were accepted. It was an experience that changed my life, and I am forever grateful for the stories and chances with which it has presented me.