Although the basis of my business has always been a blend of magic, card-throwing, and humor that I have largely developed and tweaked myself, my career has been furthered and supported by a multitude of other talented entertainers without whom I would not be where I am today. Ever since my early days of magic and showmanship, I have worked hard to ensure that my stage performances include others who can help to enhance the overall experience and enjoyment of the show.
One of the very first things that I learned when going out to start my magic career is that even the most “self-made man/woman” needs a team of friends and supporters behind them to advise them, advocate for their cause, and supplement their talents with a range of strengths that one person simply cannot have. Although I had practiced (and would continue to practice) my magic techniques quite a bit by the time I left college, I knew that a great performance would consist of stage effects, supporting performers, and music/lighting. I aimed to create a career around my illusions and card-throwing, but understood that quality entertainment includes a number of factors.
Way back in 2003 I started my first official business, Cleveland Entertainers, with a high school friend. Our mission was to become the “one-stop shop” for all entertainment needs throughout Northeast Ohio; while I worked as a magician/entertainer, my buddy built a website featuring many performers local to Cleveland. This was helpful not only to customers looking for a specific type of performer to work at their event, but also for the entertainers themselves as it created leads that could potentially turn into business opportunities. We aimed to make the site as simple as possible, working by the motto “Point. Click. Party.”
The company managed to stay above water in its early years, but only just so – I was focused on developing Rick Smith Jr., Inc. while he worked on his website building business, so we struggled to keep Cleveland Entertainers alive in the periphery of our lives. It was a shame that we didn’t have the time to build the company back then, as we really did have the best variety acts in the area.
Over the years, as I slowly built up my reputation and subsequently my business, Cleveland Entertainers remained in the back of my mind. I knew that the company had the potential for growth, and that once I had settled into my life and my career I could utilize the publicity that I hadn’t had upon the founding of CE to boost its notoriety. It wasn’t until a few years ago that my wife, a talented singer and entertainer, took over the company and revamped our efforts to create this “one stop entertainment shop” for the greater Cleveland area.
Under my wife’s leadership the company hit the ground running, and Cleveland Entertainers now provides performance entertainment spanning from local birthday shows to corporate gala events! My original dream for the business, to provide reasonably priced, comprehensive entertainment services around Northeast Ohio, has finally been realized. This has not only allowed me to network with and attract new clients around the city, but has also given me access to many of the greatest and most talented entertainers that I have met in my career.
While Cleveland Entertainers is primarily focused on providing quality services to our clients and customers, we also work hard to ensure that our associates receive the best representation via CE that they possibly can; not only do we, as entertainers, understand the struggles and difficulties of the stage show industry, but we also know that the best shows come from performers who are both talented and happy with their direction. In doing our best to set our partners up for success, we know that we will see great results going forward, helping us towards our mission of quality entertainment!
In actuality, these principles of friendliness and positive networking carry over to all forms of business. I have travelled and toured constantly for the past ten years of my life, and nothing has been better for my career than the ability to call a Cleveland Entertainers performer when approached with the question “do you know a clown/dancer/DJ/(insert any type of performer)?” Having a group of trusted and talented friends to help keep clients happy and interested is a great thing in any industry, and I firmly believe that my high-school time investment in CE along with my wife’s hard work to make the company what it now is have been integral pieces in forming my career.