In this interview, John Abrams brings us into his business performing assembly shows at elementary schools. He doesn't hold anything back and even gives us some example scripts designed to make his shows more effective in their intended objectives!
John Abrams is a magician, actor, Emcee, husband and dad, who has found his passion, and probably also his calling in performing school assembly shows for elementary schools.
Since 1998, John has performed school assembly shows, starting with his flagship show, Animal Magic, featuring all live exotic pets. He would perform that show an average of 250 times per year. Since then, he’s created countless other shows that bring inspiration and help teachers tackle topics like bullying, drugs, and the importance of good character. He currently performs over 500 shows each year at elementary schools and libraries all over Southern California.
John is also an expert in marketing and has taught his methods of getting shows to other performers over the internet, through lectures, and various information products.
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If you think you can or you think you can't, you're right. — Henry Ford
• Tells how he came up with topics to create shows around.
• Finding out what the teachers need, finding a pain point and building a show around that.
• Tells how he researches topics.
• You can look up school curriculums online at the Department of Education Website.
• Go online and see what other assembly shows are doing.
• Talks about his website and the elements he uses: benefit-driven headline, benefit-driven content, and market-specific testimonials. It's basically a sales letter website.
• Pricing on assembly shows: what he charges ($900 for two assemblies) and what someone breaking in should charge ($700 for two assemblies). Mentions other possible pricing structures.
• How he uses Yelp to get testimonials.
• Differences between assembly shows and library shows. They want different results!
Hear about a physically intense sales letter that he sent out to schools that he'll never send out again!
A very successful library showcase he did while wearing a space suit and booked 60 shows from it!
Biggest Professional Challenge
Letting the cooperate market go. He discovered that he didn't want to travel and perform on weekends and nights. It was tough for him to walk away from the market and potential money.
Awesome Sample Scripts!
Note: These scripts are tailored to John's performance style and character. Please use these as guidelines to write your own pitches for your shows.
Pitch for the jumbo dollar bills you give away: "Kids, if you enjoyed yourselves and had a great time, not only are there five magic tricks on the back of this dollar bill, but there's a handsome and good-looking guy on the front here, as well as my phone number and website in case you want to invite me to your party."
At the end of an assembly show after summarizing the teaching: "If you enjoyed the show, here's what you've gotta do. I know you're going to be excited and talking in your loud voices, but I want you to go back to class and talk in your quiet voices for your teachers, because, if you talk in your quiet voices, maybe, they'll invite me back . If you think that's a good idea, everybody shout yay!"
Pitching books at libraries during his animal show: "Who liked the dove? Who liked the snake? Who liked the chinchilla? Who liked the tarantula? If you liked any of these animals, right over there are all kinds of books on snakes, and doves, and chinchillas, and spiders. Do you see that shelf over there? Let's make sure that shelf becomes completely empty before you go home!"
Pitching magic books at libraries: "Do you want to know how I did all this magic? In this library there are books that teach you magic tricks. All you have to do is check them out for free with your library card, open them up and practice them with your mom and dad, and one day you can do a magic show just like I did! Doesn't that sound cool?"
Other Topics Covered
• The importance of marketing.
• Anything you give away needs to be of value, but you also need to pitch it so they know what to do with it!
• Talks about his menagerie of animals and how he handles, cares for, and travels with them.
• Laminate the flyers you give out. If you do that, nobody will ever throw them away!
• Shaping your career around what you want your lifestyle to be.
You already have enough to shows and sell them. Just do it!
Recommended books and resources:
Note: Many of the links in this section are affiliate links, meaning we earn a small portion of any sales. If you're enjoying our podcast and decide to purchase one of the recommended resources or books, please consider using our affiliate links to help support the work we're doing here at the Successful Performercast. Thanks!
Podcasts! Specifically School of Greatness and the TED Radio Hour
Classic Success Books:
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
The Strangest Secret by Earl Nightingale
Success Principles by Jack Canfield
GOALS by Brian Tracy
The Actor's Handbook by Constantin Stanislavski
The Ultimate Sales Letter by Dan Kennedy
Chasing Cool by Noah Kerner
CALL TO ACTION: Get John to Write a Book on Assembly Shows!
If enough people email John and request him to write a book on assembly shows, he'll do it! Email him now! firstname.lastname@example.org
Where can we find The John Abrams?
Amazing School Assemblies
California Bully Assemblies
California Character Assemblies
Animals and Magic