Blog Archive

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Coffee Time With Mark Presley

Boy it's been awhile since my last blog.  Sometimes life just gets too busy. The other day while I was in my magic studio. I couldn't help to look at all the wonderful magic tricks I have in my display cabinet. Wonderful magic that doesn't get used. Have you ever had that happen to you? you buy a magic effect and than it just sits there collecting dust. It's happened to me plenty of times.

So one day while cleaning my glass magic display, I decided to make a video and perform some of my magic effects that don't get much use or performance time if any.

I was having such a great time playing around with some of the nostalgic magic that I decided to try out my own program called "Coffee Time With Mark Presley" My goal is to bring some fun to magic in a casual, up close way by just chilling out, having some coffee and talking magic. I plan on evntually  putting a themed background to the set as well as have guest appearances. That is yet to be determined of whether the guest will be on via Skype or in person, but for the time being I will have live appearances of local Chicago Magicians. So if you would like to be on my show as a guest. Please contact me.

I hope you enjoy the video and please make a comment below in this blog and also subscribe to my youtube channel

Friday, October 2, 2015

Separating your personal life from your business life

 This blog discussion here was approved to share from the "Magic Mystery School" private groups page. All written materials belong exclusively to the "Magic Mystery School"
I thought this would be a great discussion here because I hardly see anything
on this topic. I hope Jeff will consider doing this topic on his Monday night "School Night" show.
One of the things I wanted to bring up is how do you separate your personal life from your business life?

This seems like a no brainier. "Just Stop" right? well for some like me, it's not easy. I sometimes
get wrapped up in political debates, religion, and just about anything else that is not magic, business related.
And when it is magic related, that can also cause some blow outs  such as "unsolicited advice" or feedback,
which definitely can negative spin. Meanwhile you were just talking about something simple like "What color should I paint my box?"
Since the social media is so powerful. It gives people the opportunity to share their passions as well as their beliefs and dislikes.

Having a social network buffet of such different people's, passions, dislikes and opinions
is bound to cause some sort of friction and voice expression reply in the social network where people can post, interact and comment.

I know I have been caught up in these situations way too many times and it made me start to think about
how these personal, non business posts in the social network can hurt people's opinion and business outlook on you as a person and performer.

In the several years that I've been in the social media network, I started to notice that a lot of the top magicians don't get into
their person life, opinions of political and religious views. 
For example Jeff and his faculty always seems to be focused on magic and the topics are always magic business related.  Very rarely did I ever see them get into these personal discussions that can many times cause negativity. Maybe it's juts my imagination, but I feel that there is a lot to be said
with separating  business from personal life. So I would like to ask for some help, input and personal experiences from Jeff
and his faculty on this. Especially Larry, the "Philosopher" I'm sure he has a lot of good stories and great advice, being the
philosopher he is.

So my question is how can we separate personal from business? Is there any good books or media you can recommend for people
that want to make a transition from posting about personal things and moving on to being a business person?

Too me our heart and our emotions are the most powerful tools we have. Our heart and emotions can cause happiness, sadness or
someone pushing the nuclear button of a missile. Sometimes people are so quick to express their opinions and emotions
without really thinking of the results and consequences after the fact. I know I'm guilty of that at times.

What can we do to be better role models and better magicians when it comes to these issues that I addressed? Should magicians have a personal page and a business page?
I look forward to hearing from you.

Mark Presley AKA Imaginator

Below are the responses from the "McBride Mystery School" staff and alumni.

Bryce Kuhlman,


"It sounds like you just don't have the proper motivation to STOP IT (see for a funny, but spot-on take on quitting bad behaviors).

While you may or may not be intrinsically motivated by money, everyone needs it to survive. So you might try counting the dollars you're losing every time you engage in this behavior.


Every time you get into one of these personal debates, how much potential work are you losing? How many people would decide, in that moment, that they would never hire you simply because of a difference in personal belief? Then consider how many of their friends they're going to tell.

Go back and look at these debates over the last few months. Count up how many people you have had conflict with, or might have agitated in some way. Then multiply by 7 to include the first round of friends they might tell. If you were posting as part of a group, look at how many members there are. What percentage of those people might have been watching, and forming negative opinions of you, even though they weren't engaged in the discussion?

Multiply that number by the price of a gig to get to a dollar figure for lost revenue.

Also... how much is your time worth? Seriously. Put a number to it.  $25/hr, $50, $100, $300, $1000... Whatever it is, you're throwing that money in the trash every moment you spend trying to convince someone of your viewpoint (which I'm sure you've realized does not work). Heck, even if you're debating with like minded people... you're still wasting your time "preaching to the choir."

What if you spent that time generating leads, making sales calls... or practicing and rehearsing?

There is no "separation" in Social Media any more. Trust me. My team generates about 95% of our sales leads through social media. Any one of my people can have links to all of your online profiles in a matter of minutes. Social media is our first round of qualification (and eventual disqualification, in many cases). Granted, not many people are consciously going to that level of effort, but the point is that it's really easy to do... in fact, it's almost impossible to ignore.

So... try turning up the pain! Once you start seeing the numbers of potential lost gigs and wasted dollars, it might be enough of a push to get you to stop it."

House of Wonder,
"There are some that have passionate believes and do air them in business and it works for them.  IF you have enough like minded fans, well then you can be” free to be you.” 
Look at Donald Trump’s statements and how for a while now, it has not hurt him because he gains  more “like minded” followers than the one he leaves.  Since he really does not care if he runs or not, he is throwing it all out there and people are eating this up.   Plus he admits to everything and says he had to play the games with the politicians, stated he supported this or that, to get what he wanted. 
Like him or hate him, it is a good example for your discussion.   
Careers have ended or been badly hurt by one incent or outburst  Like Paul Ruben’s (Pee Wee) allegations of being in a porno theater (Porn theater was a place some went to seen dirty movies before the internet) 
Or Michael Richards (Kramer) racial comments  at a comedy club.  Or even tv’s Ellen for coming out as gay (back in the day this was a terrible thing to do and she lost her show because of it)
Social media does not have to be PUBLIC.  Most still don’t grasp the concept of limiting who sees what on their social media since that takes extra effort.
Basically keep to yourself if you are not willing to take the risk. 
And as Bryce says, what is it worth in time, money and mental energy to have your views known and risk turning someone off."
CJ May 
"As an environmental magician I have to consider the pros and cons of expressing my opinion w each show.  If I am hired for a general audience, such as a school for my own gigs or invited by a community group for my day job as a recycling coordinator, I keep the opinion fairly light and eliminate any soap box or finger wagging statements during or after.   If I am performing at an environmental festival or doing sustainability training for environmental professionals, however, I may stand on the soap box a bit.  I feel it is not a question of yes or no w respect to personal opinion, but how much, how delivered, and for whom.

I know of one great magician who lets his Don Rickles comments come out at family shows.   This puts gasps of shock into my mouth and some of the parents in the audience.  The same comments are hilarious in an all adults show in a bar or party.   He just needs to keep those comments for the right place and time."
CJ May - Resourcerer
Larry Hass,
Hi Mark (and Everyone),

"Thank you for such a thought and self-searching email, Mark.  And thank you for seeking my thoughts.  I hope to say something here that will be helpful to you and everybody.

I think Bryce has covered the business side of the issue very well.  Social media IS public media, and as such it one of the several avenues I use to engage and speak to potential clients.  And I NEVER want to use it in a way that costs me potential clients.  (My business can’t afford that.)

The philosophical side to this is my own healthy caution and vigilance about beliefs in general—whether they are my own or others. Knowing what is true—really KNOWING rather than having mere opinion—is really complex and difficult.  Knowledge IS possible, but it requires attention to evidence and careful reasoning, both of which are fraught with room for self-deception and error.  Indeed, so often we think things are true because of psychological factors such as:  1) the way I was brought up, 2) I really WANT it to be true, 3) all the people in my group believe it and I want to fit in, and 4) I identify with someone who holds the view, and so on.

The result of this is that in my early study as a philosopher, as I learned more about the complexities of getting real knowledge (as opposed to spouting opinions), the more ignorant I realized I had been!  Right when I had thought I was so smart!  Wake-up call for Larry!  (Which is, by the way, what Socrates told the Athenian Court: “People say I am the wisest person in Athens. If that is true, it would have to be because I know how little I know.”)

As a result, as a philosopher and a person, I try to be very careful and thorough before holding and stating a belief.  And I try to help students and others realize that things are almost always more complicated than they first appear.  And I try to respect and listen to other points of view because they might contain an insight I hadn’t thought about before.  And I try my best to remember that what I have been thinking and saying could be in error—because I have been wrong before about things and will be again!

I realize this careful approach won’t get a lot of air time in our era of "screaming heads.”  But that’s all about programming, viewers, and advertisers anyway—not the shared endeavor to use reason and evidence to try and understand what is true and learn to live together.

I hope there is something in this that helps!

Best wishes, and Mark:  thank you again!"
Lyn Miner,
"Bryce has offered some very practical insights into the business side of separating business from your personal life.  Larry has added his usual and insightful philosophical perspectives. I’d like to add a psychological bent that might help in avoiding traps and pitfalls while remaining goal oriented. Every time your inner self raises that nagging question, “Am I doing the right thing?”, consider asking and answering these questions.
  1. Specifically, what do I want to obtain or achieve?
  2. What exactly am I doing presently to get what I want?
  3. How is it working out?
  4. If I’m not reaching my goal (either in business or personal affairs), what else could I do?
  5. What, in specific detail, am I willing to do?
  6. When will I do it?
  7. Where will I do it?
  8. What resources and information do I need to do it and when will it be available?
  9. With whom will I do it?
  10. Who needs to know it is done?
  11. How do I want this to come out?
  12. Am I really committed to this plan?
In essence, these questions help you plan for success, not failure.  Plan specifically and within reason.  Take ownership for planning and the responsibility for the resulting outcomes.  “I’ll try” is not a statement of commitment, and you should never accept it because it represents poor planning.  With personal and professional goals clearly in mind, you can achieve the balance you seek."

Roger Chen,
Awesome thoughts Larry...I KNOW how thoughtful and caring you are to help us find and reveal our inner truth.
I am an engineer, not a poet, yet I wrote this piece in college for my literature paper and it came back to me the other day.
"What is this false truth called reality?
What is this innocent lie?
Take me a picture of what you saw,
Now really, what happened, and why?"

As an executive that makes decisions to hire vendors and consultants, my peers will Google names of people in conversation. It is not only the vendor image at stake, it is the reputation of whomever hires them as well. The vendor may fail and move on to the next client. The person hiring had to live with the decision. Some food for thought.