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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » My visit with The Great Zucchini (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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charliecheckers
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I had the pleasure of meeting with The Great Zucchini and having dinner with him while discussing his philosophy of performing magic and attended a live performance the following day. This was a visit I had looked forward to for a long time. It is truly rare that a well established performer offers an open invite to relative strangers to attend his private shows and spend time sharing well developed performing and business skills - and asks for nothing in return. I found his willingness to do this most remarkable. First we met at Grevey's Restaurant in Falls Church, Virginia - a great place to meet and talk. He came as advertised, in that he was in shorts and a shirt (having just performed his third show for the day). He is so easy going, that I felt comfortable asking him anything about his show and business. He, as he said he would, showed me his schedule for the upcoming months,and he is literally booked solid and has to turn down clients daily. We talked for several hours and I was thrilled with all that he shared. The next day my brother and I had the pleasure of seeing his performance.

The Great Zucchini is the most unique character I have ever seen perform. It was a treat to watch his audience react exactly like they do on video clips of his performances. The Great Zucchini was clearly in control from the time we arrived until the show was over and he was on to his next performance of the day. The subtle things I was able to pick up will certailtly make me a better performer.

The Great Zucchini challanges conventional wisdom in so many ways. How many of us have been told the following: You should be the best dressed; your props should be in pristine condition; you should work from a well developed script; you should include some material aimed at the adults who are the ones that hire you; the customer is always right; backdrops are advantageous; music really can add to the performance? Zucchini has none of these, yet is loudly cheered and adored by his audience. The key to his success, in my opinion, is that he has established a niche market and focuses on satisfying that market to the fullest. He knows what very young audiences want and he delivers the goods. He allows no distractions, and never veers from his mission. To see this in action was most remarkable. Those rules I listed above are meant for the rest of us who have not well defined our niche and are not as well adept at performing specifically for that market.

I had the chance to talk shop with someone I highly respect, who seems to have a gift towards knowing how to run a business effectively, with seemingly little stress. He is booked solid for the forseeable future and currently does not spend any time or money on advertising. He is personally an extreemly likable guy that everyone (including me and my younger brother) immediately find genuine. He has created a brand that sells and he is great at selling it. I cannot thank him enough for sharing his wisdom and friendship.
Dynamike
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I am glad you enjoyed your time with him Charlie. I have not met him yet. But him and I talked on the phone a couple of times. I can tell he knows his audiences, especially after watching his DVD, "The Great Zucchini Kidshow Rockstar".
bwarren3
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Hey Charlie, I'm jealous that you got to spend quality time with Eric, one of my best Magic friends. But am currently going through my 4th lung procedure trying to fix fluid from dumping into my lungs, makes it really hard to breathe. I've been performing for for 30 years and I too stay booked pretty much year after year because I work strictly from my referral base. I thought I was going to be able to spend a weekend with Eric a couple of months ago but this sidelined me. Anyway, Eric is one of a kind and as you observed he is the real thing, what you see is what you get. We both are very similar philosophies and love to help our fellow magicians. The last friend of mine that I helped get started launched his career and is now a very busy child's magician in our area. Anyway hopefully after I recuperate from this health problem I'll be headed to maryland/DC area to visit Eric and see the master work his magic for pre-schoolers. It is a joy to behold. I think he will be lecturing at the Feb DC Kidvention, if you can make it I would go.
This is the way I was brought up into Magic I've had so many magicians along the way take the time to actually help me to where I am today that the only that I'm aware of giving back is to to the same, help new or other magicians to enjoy our craft and to be successful. The magic Café is the perfect place to achieve this.
Hope you got some great pics!!!
To your success in magic.
Bill
http://www.billwarren3.com
curtgunz
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Bwarren3, are jealous that Charlie Checkers got to spend quality time with Eric?
Click for Free Resources for Performers

YouTube channel specifically for family & kids show magicians. Click -- You need to subscribe.
The Great Zucchini
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Danny, I just read your post, and I was excited to meet you and your brother as well. It's funny, I was actually diappointed when you two left, I could of hung with you another day- you guys are classy individuals, and I have no doubt your show rocks, and if I'm ever in Buffalo, I'd love to see it.
Fellas, it's interesting, no matter what stages you've ever been on, and we've all done shows in front of hundreds, etc. it's amazing how nervous you get when a peer is at a show. Lol

I was telling Danny(Charlie) that I usually feel like 99% of the time, I hit it out of the park when I do my shows, etc. The parents at this particular show were like, 'that was awesome', and so forth, but it's just goes to show you, that we are always going to be our worst own critics. I've been kicking myself all week because I didn't think Danny got to see the me really rock it out-lol

Anyway, Thanks for the compliments, I'm hoping the thing you took from the show, was name recognition, how to create it, and add it to show. The b-cue sauce gifts, and hats were great, and I'm a huge fan of yours as well, after meeting you. Gz
The Great Zucchini
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Bill, also, you will continue to be in my thoughts, and prayers man, we need you back performing in no time. Keep us posted as to your progress. Eric
Dynamike
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Bill, I am sorry of your health challenge. You will always be in my prayer.

Peace, love and soul.
MagiCol
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Great report, Charlie, on a man who know's what he's doing and doing very well.
Eric, I'm pleased for you. Go, man, Go!
The presentation makes the magic.
Jestnjoker
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Thanks for sharing the experience! I look forward to my turn some time when I get back to the US in 2014! I hope the rest of you guys don't use up all of his invites before then. Thanks for so positively contributing to the community, GZ.
Jeff Wright
www.WrightEntertainment.biz
Voted Best Party Entertainer in Cleveland, Nickelodeon Parents' Picks Awards
charliecheckers
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Bill - You seem like a great guy. I hope you have a speedy recovery. I did get some great pictures (see below).
MagiCol - Thanks
Jestnjoker - I did not know you were out of the country. When you return, I would definitely recommend you try to connect with GZ.
Eric - Yea - time sure seems to pass too quickly. I can't believe over a week has passed since we met. I did leave with a stronger sense of name recognition and how to build it. I also left with a belief that being a genuine, kind and considerate person not only is appreciated by all, but is good for business.
Below is a picture of me, my brother Joey and Eric. We had such a great time. Thanks again!

Click here to view attached image.
bwarren3
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Awesome pic guys!!!
Had my 5th Lung procedure this past week, am still in the hospital but looks like Mon or Tues maybe I'll finally get discharged. After this last procedure, Lung procedures are 3 times more painful than Heart procedures, I'm all out of pain tolerance, even with tripling up on the Morphine..
ANyway, I can't wait to get home to start recuperating and answer all of the show inquiries that I've had.
I totally agree that my success has been in large part to delivering some great entertainment plus being kind and considerate to everybody that I deal with.
Bill
Bill Hilly
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Bill,

You're a good example of kind words, positive energy, and helping other people. Here's hoping that positive energy comes back to you now when you need it.

All the best to you,
- B.H.
Dynamike
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We are glad you are feeling better, Bill. We will do whatever we can to support you. And you can count on us, we will keep you in our prayers. Bless your heart.

Posted: Sep 30, 2012 11:44am
Thanks for the pic Charlie. It resembles you are going to be the next Great Zucchini after his retirement. You two look like father and son.

Charlie, I like your mature post from being a young man.
charliecheckers
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Bill - hope you were able to get home today - good luck
Dynamike - Thanks for the post.
Dynamike
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Charlie, I now know what you are describing when you speak upon The Great Zucchini. The same went through my mind when we all had dinner together.
The Great Zucchini
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Thanks Mike, the feeling was mutual and hopefully, you don't make it 10 years before coming to Dc again.
Dynamike
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I love ya man. If everyone on The Magic Café was like you each and everyone of us would not mind giving our passwords to each other.
charliecheckers
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No doubt - Zucchini is one of a kind. I consider it a huge honor to meet up with him whenever I get the chance. The funny thing is that he is so genuine and humble that he probably does not fully appreciate how exciting it is for me. Seeing Dynamike was also extreemly cool. Between Dynamike performing magic for the restaurant staff, Zucchini offering outrageous tips, I just sat in awe. Zucchini has been such a source of inspiration for me as a performer and more importantly as a person. I very much agree with what Dynamike wrote above.
The Great Zucchini
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Thanks Charlie. Wow, what a love fest, the Café has turned into today.
Dynamike
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After spending that day with you Eric, I learned a lot about you. Now I see why your business is so heavy in getting gigs with high fees. It is not just about the way you entertain the kids. The following is included:

1. Personality. You are such a nice guy. Everyone wants to hang around you for fun. I can tell that waitress was glad to hug you the way she did.

2. Voice. You have a voice people like to listen to. That makes a plus to where your clients want repeat shows from you.

3. Verbal. You speak a lot of interesting topics, subjects and ideas worth learning. I see why adults like to have a conversation with after your gigs.

Now I can see why so many magicians are jealous of you. It would be good to have you as a mod dealing with counseling. It will keep down the flaming.

Charlie is such a nice guy too. He is only 20 years old, but explains everything with high manner. Sometimes I have to ask myself if Eric and Charlie are father and son.
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