I have received phone calls and emails from FELLOW magicians who are working on carnival as table artist. I was on two days medical leave and utilizing this free time to write this small article about my experiences as one of the table artists on Carnival. This is based on my PERSONAL EXPERIENCES.
I came here on 26th April and joined World’s largest cruise line CARNIVAL. I joined Carnival Valor ship in Miami where met Magician Rakesh who was working for carnival since last 5 years as a table artist. There is no doubt that he is not only one of the best magicians but also a great human being. Rakesh treated me very respectfully. He exceeded my expectations. I have a great respect for him. After orientation and basic training I reached to SPIRIT. I traveled to Miami - Los Angeles -Seattle - Juneau and joined SPIRIT as per schedule on 16th May. It was wonderful experience to reach here because during my visit to Los Angeles one of my friends Mary covered my interview for American Television and another friend who was an actress from Hollywood took me to Magic Castle as surprise because she was a life member of magic castle. She introduced me to some very important people in Magic Castle.
P& B manager, Matire’ D and fellow staff
After reaching to Spirit I was amazed by the respect and honor offered by F& B manager Mr. Pradeep Rao. He is typical Marathi Manus. I like his style of helping everyone with special attitude. First Maitre’ D was fantastic, respectful and smiling, he was about to go on vacation but I am sure he will remember me forever because during sendoff party I presented him a GOLD & Silver coin of GODDESS LAXI with little note about prosperity and success. Immediately after he left a great friend of mine, a man like a very senior cop (just like Deputy Commissioner of Police in India) Mr. PRASAD took place of Maitre’ D. He is the only one I like on the whole cruise. I am sure one fine day he might strike it big and I shall be one of the witnesses. I shall remember him forever as ONE OF THE BEST friends in life. His all assistants are very helpful & humble. Surprisingly they give me gifts; they also work in favor to me unconditionally.
I was the subject on whole cruise when I reached on spirit because of not being a great magician but very respectful & friendly relationship with P& B manager, MatireD and most important waiters and fellow staff. They do real propaganda. When waiters call me ‘chief’, head waiters call me ‘Sirji’, and my seniors call me ‘satish sab’ makes me feel happy. I am very fortunate that I have maintained great respect with everyone on ship. And I think it is all because of being very humble, punctual, serious and disciplined. My name has been also printed on programme list of Carnival caper which is published everyday. Cruise Director introduces me as onboard magician on stage at every first day of cruising with other entertainers. I perform two close-up shows in every week plus one workshop for children. As you know I had not brought any stage props as per your instructions but somehow I managed to create a very beautiful show without any props in hands for youngsters. This 45 minutes show is very well accepted by all boys & girls between 14 and 18.
Finally I am happy that right from Captain, chief engineer, staff captain and other top officers have a great respect for me as a table artist on carnival.
Sometimes you get bad experience too …e.g. It is but natural to forget some costly or important magic stuff on table when you cover almost 30 to 35 tables in a day. Recently I forgot wow card and very unique magic castle on the table. It was stolen twice actually. Next day I asked to the guests if they found it. Guests clearly told me that they handed over to the head waiter in front of him but he was absolutely a cunning man. He wanted that stuff for himself. Hence he refused, fact is most of the waiters are ‘half magicians’ on ship. They carry stuff like thumb tip, thumb tip silk and try to impress guests with stupid performance and finally reveal the secret. In this case you should learn to accept your mistake first that ‘you forgot it’. Hence forgive them…because God always forgives you!
I saw other stage magicians on carnival. They manage to entertain guests with comedy more than magic and skills. As you know I believe in not only skills but final result of entertainment. Obviously they are really good entertainers but not very skillful magicians. I spoke many of them and had very good friendship with most of them but later on I realized that they get same amount what they have with them.
Small things make big difference
Following are examples:
I was going to outside port for accessing emails with my lap top. P& B manager Mr. Pardeep Rao saw me and asked whether I have rain coat or not because it was raining outside and I really had no idea. He immediately handed over the key of his cabin and office and asked me to take his rainwear hooded poncho and when I came back he gifted me the same. Cost of the material is $1 but I saw a caring personality in my P& B Manager. I shall remember him forever for this small gift.
I am on medical leave for small fever. Maitre’ D Mr. Prasad called me twice in cabin and asked me how I am feeling? Am I alright? Asked me to call him incase of anything I want. I suppose I am right. I understand reciprocating friend can do this.
Assistant maitre’D saw me in crew mess with old tie and gave me a beautiful bow next day to wear on my white shirt without forgetting what I wanted exactly.
I was having dinner at crew mess and a beautiful girl came to me and said, “sir, I am having Indian dish. Would you like to share some of it?”
Many people I don’t even know them or their names. I don’t even remember them now but whatever they did was although very small but I shall be thankful to them forever.
Following are some tips on effective performances as table artist:
Planning & Development of new magic effect (Execution)
The secret is in the mastery, scripting, movements, positioning and coordination of magic props. Key words, timing, facial expression and your body language is vital because your guests see what you want them to see - through the skills of direction, suggestion and having the right things hidden from view. You can create the new act when you understand trick and apply the power of communications.
People believe what they want
You can control what you want them to see but you cannot control what they believe. You can, however, influence what they believe and feel. If people want to believe in magic - they will. If your guests want to believe in you - they will. It is up to you to influence them to want to believe in you. Never argue with them. Demonstrate that you understand their position and respect their feelings. Then guide them in the direction you want to take them. Occasionally the guests dinning on table did not react the way you expect or a volunteer was slow to follow instructions. Instead I acknowledge the misunderstanding and adapt it.
Prepare for the unexpected
Even with good preparation things happen. First - smile. Then continue to the script and move to the act or magic in the direction you want. Don't show stress or any of the negative emotions (anger, indignation, disgust). Your audience will react to any negative emotions they perceive in you.
All dinning staff of Carnival team members moves about the guests in harmony - always in the right place at the right time. They are personable, effective and efficient. The team leaders such as Manager (Maitre’d), Assistant Maitre’d who volunteers you establishes rapport, qualify and instruct you. When it was my turn - it all happens the way they predicted. Because the people want to believe in the possibility of magic. Carnivals staff works because of their hopes. Understand how fundamental the power of hope is. Offer possibilities. Offer opportunities. Offer hope.
Make it fun
You are the model for your staff and your guests. Show that you are having fun. Sure you need to be serious when required. But occasionally let the child in you show through. Be impish. Flash that spark of passion. Laugh - at yourself, with your staff, with your customers. Never laugh at them. If your staff is having fun - your customers will enjoy doing business with you more. They will want to believe in your magic & illusions - and they will tell others about you.
Reveal a little of your inner secrets - a failure, an imperfection, an unfulfilled dream. Don't pretend to be perfect. If you do - they will hate you. Instead be real - so those around you can see and believe that you are like them - human.
We all are capable of creating the magic we want. If we learn the fundamentals, focus our efforts and invest in ourselves and our people.
Finally I want to tell all of magicians on carnival that I get almost 20-25 mails from past guests about how they enjoyed magic; how they appreciated the skills and difference they saw in presentations, and wish me BEST OF THE BEST in life.
IMAGE IS EVERYTHING! Your image is not just your image now but you are representing world’s largest cruise line…CARNIVAL
CEO and founder President respectively
SHOWTEC INDIA & INTERNATIONAL ACADEMY OF MAGIC India
Designed by satish deshmukh
Copyright @ satishdeshmukh & associates 2014
Teamwork is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.