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*Mark Lewis*
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One thing I should mention that is vitally important. Make sure the first couple of readings are excellent. If they are sub par you are screwed because they will go back into the main room and complain about how bad you were and it will affect the whole evening. A domino effect will set in and they will poison the whole group. They will come in to you in a very negative manner and you will pick up their energy with far more difficulty.

It doesn't matter so much if the mediocre reading takes place near the end of the evening because presumably the people will be happy with you by then. Of course every reading should be as good as you can make it. It is just that great harm is done if the early readings are sub par.

Incidentally I give the hostess a free astrology book rather than a free reading. When you are doing 30 minutes you can't afford to give away free readings. If the session is 15 minutes long there is no harm done in giving a free reading because there will be more people there anyway. But for 30 minutes you really can't do this.

However 30 minute readings will be more accurate and helpful for the client anyway. At psychic fairs I do 20 minute readings and I do the best I can to help people and I think I do but the time limit makes it difficult.

Now if you think all you want to do is quick readings and not get into people's problems you can get away with it but there will be some dissatisfaction from the people that you didn't tell them much.
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Paul Shirley
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Quote:
On 2011-07-17 09:50, Mark Lewis wrote:
Michael Jackson came to Ireland in 1988 and the newspapers asked me to do a reading for him.


Wow... How did he take the news that he was going to die 21 years later?? Smile
quicknotist
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I bet palmistry was hard with that one glove on.
Paul Shirley
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Quote:
On 2011-07-18 06:40, quicknotist wrote:
I bet palmistry was hard with that one glove on.


Hahahahaha
*Mark Lewis*
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I did not tell him when he was going to die. Even if I knew how to do that I wouldn't. And I didn't read his palm. I gave him an astrological reading. In any event I think we need to let the dead rest in peace. I considered him to be a fine person who was quite misunderstood.

I still have a tape of the reading. I tried to get a copy of it to him but I don't think he ever received it. Too late now of course.

Oddly enough I think his sister La Toya used to visit a psychic in Dublin when she was in town. I can't be sure of this but I did hear something about it. He lived in a rough part of Dublin too. I don't think he was much good but of course I would say that about one of my competitors. She should have come to me instead.

Talking about competitors a very strange thing happened to me in Ireland once. I saw an advertisement in a newspaper once by someone offering psychic readings. However, it raised a red flag in me because of the wording. It said "be amazed". I smelled a rat immeditately and figured that this must be a magician advertising since no psychic ever uses that expression. I suspected that it might be one of the local nitwits from the rather awful magic club in Dublin setting up in competition against me so I thought I would check it out. Dublin is quite small and there were very few psychics in the city, probably not more than three, so a new one stood out like a sore thumb.

I phoned the guy pretending to be a potential client and he became very evasive. I soon figured out that he was not Irish and in fact I thought he sounded Australian. Later I found out that he was South African and that it was the late Basil Horwitz! I never found out about this until he left the country.

The poor man was on the run and in fear of his very life for reasons that are well known in the mentalism community but which I, myself am not entirely sure of. It seems that my call had freaked him out and made him very nervous. He recognised my voice since I had met him at a convention years before and got on very well with him, or at least I thought so. However, for some reason in Dublin he thought I might expose his identity if I knew who he was. I think I was the only magician in Dublin who would have recognised him and that perhaps made him very uncomfortable.

I had utterly no idea that the man I was speaking to was Basil Horwitz since as far as I knew he lived in South Africa and I had no idea that he would be in Ireland. He was staying in a local magician's house and keeping his presence in Ireland very secret indeed. But he had to make a living while he was on the run and tried to do it by doing some psychic readings. His advertisement gave the game away that he was a magician. You should never advertise "Be amazed" as a psychic because you are not in the business of amazing people, you are in the business of helping them.

Anyway there was a convention in Ireland and his host persuaded him to visit it and told him that nobody would know who he was. He shaved his beard off and altered his appearance. He figured that nobody would know him because it was mostly Irish magicians at this convention and nary a mentalist among them. I saw him arrive but didn't recognise him. However, he looked very startled to see me there and went white. He left as soon as he arrived. And he left the country soon after.

He was in mortal fear and terror of me recognising him since he seemed to think I would give his game away and put his life in danger. I was probably the only magician in Ireland who had ever met him and would know what he looked like. His fears were groundless. I had no idea that he was running from something and even if I had known I would never have breathed a word that he was in the country.

I never found out who he was until he finally left the country. It must have been a terrible strain to live like that. I wish he had taken me into his confidence. His secret would have been safe with me.
Paul Shirley
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Jokes aside.. that's a really cool story Mark. Thanks for taking the time to post.
David Thiel
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I agree. I've greatly enjoyed all these posts, Mark.

David
Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Except bears. Bears will kill you.


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*Mark Lewis*
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Somewhere or other on some magic forum somewhere I explained how to use an assistant at house parties and all the advantages of doing so. If I can find it I will post it.
*Mark Lewis*
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While searching for the post about assistants I came across an entirely different one regarding psychic house parties. Here it is:
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I experimented quite a bit with various scenarios regarding psychic parties. I have found that after all the trial and error that I experienced the way to make the most money is the simplest and most obvious way. Sometimes we can't see the wood for the trees.

Eliminate the show. I know this is painful especially if you are an entertainer at heart but out it should go. And don't do crystal ball Q and A readings to all and sundry either.

Do what other non magician psychics do. Very simple structure. Just do readings. I shall repeat that. It took me quite a while to accept that this is all that is required. By eliminating the public demonstrations for everybody in the living room you have far more time to do what they wanted you to do in the first place. READINGS!

And don't do 5 or 10 minute readings. They are not sufficient and you have to find a far bigger crowd at the house. Do good substantial half hour readings for everyone. That way you can charge more and the *** thing is easier to sell since everyone knows what you are talking about.

Trying to explain the demonstration concept and the fact that you do short 5 minute readings is a bloody nightmare. The punters are used to psychics coming in to do house parties and not a single one of them does "demonstrations".

I need a minimum of three clients and a maximum of 6. However most psychics will take more than 6. I bloody hate psychic readings in the first place and detest being in private homes in the second place so I refuse to do more than 6 in an evening. However I suppose I might be persuaded to do up to 8 people if the party was in the daytime say at weekends. I have more energy for daytime readings.

I know psychics who travel for miles and read 10 people or more at psychic parties. And they do long readings too. They usually do the readings in the daytime at weekends and take all day to do them. They usually let the hostess have a free reading. This kind of scenario is too much for me personally because I don't like doing readings in the first place.

I never give the hostess a free reading. I just can't afford to give away free half hour readings. Out of the milk of human kindness I do give them an astrology book though.

Anyway. Do it this way. You will make far more money.
Mark Lewis
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*Mark Lewis*
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I have now found the one about the assistant. I didn't name the assistant in this post but now I can. It was Lisa Close, wife of Michael.
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However if you really insist on this sort of thing I will give you a concept which I found to be very entertaining. There used to be a very talented female magician in Toronto who went off and married a terribly famous magician or at least famous in the magic community. I have always said that being famous in the magic community is on a par with being famous in your apartment building but I shall let that go for the moment.

This young lady worked for me selling Svengali decks, doing kid shows, helping out at psychic fairs and even to this day helps me with various computer things and enables me to produce and sell my various manuscripts. One of the things she helped me with were psychic parties.

This was the concept. She would sit in with the women and amuse them in ways which I shall describe momentarily. Let me digress first and say that you MUST have a woman assistant for this since 90% of these parties will be all women. On rare occasions I have read a man at these parties but it hardly happens. Women know how to gossip to other women and you need an equally gossipy woman to talk to the other women about things that women talk about.

Now my assistant was a skilled magician and used to show them magic tricks. The notion espoused by various mentalists that you should never mix psychic stuff with magic is of course utter tosh. Besides this got my assistant the odd kiddies party. Now I taught her to do Chinese Numerology which is only a brief reading and she would do it for all the women gathered. You could also use her to sell your psychic merchandise and she would organise the order of the ladies who would come in and see me.

She would occasionally bring me in a glass of water and tell the women I needed a short break. I would stay in the other room and keep away from the women. However the glass of water was a pretext for my assistant to provide me with snips of information and feedback.

Now here is the one magnificent advantage of having an assistant. Psychic parties are very dangerous particularly if you do not give an effective reading early on. You may get a sceptic or someone who is difficult or you just plain can't read for whatever reason. When you are on your own you try and avoid this by attempting the get the most seemingly easy going people in first. The trouble is that if just one of your readings bomb early in the evening then you are completely doomed since the displeased customer will go back in the room and tell everyone how crap you were and how you got everything wrong.

If that happens then God have mercy on your soul. It will set up a domino chain reaction with each person coming in with a negative attitude and they will go back in and confirm what the first punter said about you being crap.

When you are working on your own there is great pressure on you to avoid this scenario and your first 4 readings or so had better be good. It doesn't matter if later on someone is disappointed since the other ladies will think you are wonderful and will put the complainers doubts down to bad vibes or something.

However when you have an assistant a wonderful thing happens. Even if the client thinks you are the crappiest reader in existence they won't say a word about it to the other women while your assistant is in the room. However if you are good they will come still come back and rave about you.

If you have a spouse or girl friend that is on the ball this concept could work out very well. I had to pay my assistant but it was worth it. I used to complain that I was paying her simply to gossip to other women all night which is what she liked to do anyway.

I would think about this particularly if you want to sell a whole bunch of back of the room material to the women. I think this is a *** good idea for those of you whom it would suit.

I don't use this format any more since it applies to larger parties and shorter readings but in the days when I would take ten women or more this was a fairly effective scenario.
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