It’s 5am and I should be going to sleep. I had two overnight high school lock in shows last night and I have two more tonight. The thing is, I am still riding the high of the shows last night/this morning, so what better time to write about this amazing journey I have been on the last 7 years.
In July of 2010, I was a party entertainer, circus arts educator and I was stuck. I had wanted to build a bigger show for myself ever since I had come off the road from the circus about seven years before that. Let me just say that there is nothing wrong with birthday party gigs, I learned a lot about audience control in living rooms all over town, I just wanted more. Around this time, my wife and I recently bought our first house, I was hustling 60 hours a week, teaching classes, camps, chasing every gig that came my way and never taking a vacation. In short I was approaching burnout. I wanted to have a career just doing shows, but it seemed impossible. Financially we were just paying our bills, our income was steady but not growing.
One evening, I lay in bed daydreaming of a show that would be big, full time and make that real money. I was flipping through the Linking Ring (the monthly magic magazine of the International Brotherhood Of Magicians) and I noticed an ad for Stage Hypnosis University. It was a glossy display of dvds, cds and manuals in stunning black and white. It had the promise of opportunity and fun, it was also expensive. How would I convince my wife? I thought, “Oh well, maybe next year.” I tried to push it from my mind. But something soon happened that would change my mind.
The next weekend I had a particularly challenging cub scout show. Anyone who has ever done a scout show will tell you that they are all particularly challenging, but this one even more so. A kid ran up during my show and punched me in the… well, you know where. The audience all laughed at me. They knew I was just a glorified babysitter for this bunch of sugar crazed monsters. I did my best to finish the show with some sense of dignity and walked to my car. I sat staring at my steering wheel a moment and I realized it was time to take the leap.
The tough part I thought, was convincing my wife to let me enroll in Stage Hypnosis University. As any good husband does, I prepared my case. When it was time to present it to her, I told her all about the program and how it would help me create a great show and raise my level. I told her that even if I just did the High School market, there were well over 300 high schools within 100 miles of our house. I told her how much hypnotists make on an average show and then I waited.
She looked at me, smiled and said,
“Do it! Mama needs a new pair of shoes!”
Did I mention my wife is awesome?
So, on August 25, 2010 I got an email saying, “Your order number D26045 from Michael C. Anthony Enterprises has shipped!”. Three days later it arrived and I was on my way.
I opened the box and it was like Christmas. I listened to every CD twice, studied all of the manuals, watched Michael’s show over and over. I followed the lessons 100%. I was determined not to be what I call a guru collector. You know, one of those folks who attends every seminar, buys every self-help series and business book, but never actually DOES anything.
The brand new version of SHU is all digital and even easier to navigate. Now we can stream videos from any device. And… the program is 4 times larger than the original.
Before I had completed the course, I began to work on my website. My wife took photos of me in the yard that we photoshopped, I got some testimonials from some clients that were willing to bend the truth a little (they gave me vague quotes about what a great entertainer I was) and we created a mailer. We sent out over 500 postcards and by spring grad night and post prom season I had 5 shows booked. When you watch the section of SHU about talking with the experts you will hear more about that, but I will tell you that it wasn’t that hard. I just followed the program. The best part, MY FIRST SHOW PAID FOR THE COURSE!
In the following years since I began SHU, I have done hundreds of hyp shows of all kinds, even a couple of bar mitzvahs (check out the SHU section called “The Good The Bad And Tehe Ugly” for those stories). I still do non-hyp shows, event performances and other entertainment, but that is all I do. I am now a full time entertainer. The types of non-hyp shows I do now are limited to the kinds of shows I want to do and I can afford to charge more, thus turning down the shows that I don’t want to do (I no longer do birthday parties or scout groups).
My wife got more than a new pair of shoes, she got a very nice new car, two additions to our house and a vacation on the beach every year. She was able to quit her full time job and devote time to developing our booking agency Circus Kaput into the biggest variety arts agency in the Midwest. But it’s not just about work and money, we also get to spend a lot more time together.
Since starting this journey I have been able to pursue my own personal pursuits that have nothing to do with work. I became a pretty amazing cook, learned Tai Chi, I garden and have time to hang out and read.
The bulk of my hyp shows are in the high school and college market, but lately my focus has been much more on the corporate shows. They used to scare the crap out of me, but once again, I followed the Stage Hypnosis University program and I am crushing it. Corporate shows have now lead me into speaking and writing a book geared towards the corporate market. It’s all going incredibly well.
This journey with SHU has taken me to amazing places. I love Stage Hypnosis. I can’t wait to see where I go next.
Thanks Michael and SHU.