Gerard's personal blog.
Gerard's blog. Mostly show related but other stuff too.
Are They Professional or Amateur?
Is your hypnotist just doing this as a hobby or are they in it professionally? A professional will have invested a great deal in being good, organised and perfecting their show. Just as with bands, a professional band will usually give you a better show than those guys who play in the garage down the street (usually but not always). Or are they a part time hypnotist who also paints houses or something?
Gerard V is a full - time hypnotist entertainer
Have They Done Your Kind of Event Before?
Shows for corporate boards of directors are different to shows for sports clubs and those for schools. After a few years most professional hypnotists have experience in all kinds of shows but it pays to ask if they have done one like yours before? Someone who has been successful doing shows for young adults only, might struggle with a mature audience for example.
Clean or Sleazy?
No-one advertises themselves as sleazy, but some are R-rated. Art might be tempting to think that your mature group would love an r-rated show - but would they really? Would you volunteer to go on stage if you thought you’d take your clothes off? And if that was later posted to social media?
It pays to find out just what kind of gags you’ll be getting before you commit and being sure of your audience.
In my experience no-one ever complains that a show was too clean, but the opposite has been known to happen. So I only to clean shows.
Extra Costs and Charges
Does your hypnotist provide a PA system or lighting, or must you bring those in? Do you need to provide an assistant? Hotel? First class travel or economy? Do they have a “rider” for free drinks etc.? These can all change the picture quite a bit. There’s no harm in find these things out before you commit.
Gerard V will bring a PA if he can drive to your event from one of his bases in Australia or NZ
Are you looking for a way to raise lots of money easily, quickly and without much effort? The answer is simple. Give up and go home.
It takes effort and patience to raise money. You can raise large sums of money for a good cause. And you can be effective and efficient about how you do it. But if anyone tells you that you can do this with little effort and huge success they’re pulling your leg (or worse).
But Yes, You Can Raise Substantial Funds
Here’s how people have made $50,000 or more featuring Gerard V, there are some examples below of fund raising ideas.
There are really only three variables that influence how much money you raise. They are: 1. How many people “donate” 2. The size of the donations 3. The number of times people donate.
Raffles, Fairs and Sausage Sizzles.
Many People, Small Donation, Multiple Times
You can raise lots of money for your club or charity by selling low cost items to lots of people for a long time (e.g. selling chocolates or raffle tickets, repeatedly).
Quiz Night / Trivia Night
Many people, Small Donation
Quiz and trivia nights are easy to organise and you can get reasonable attendance if you get out and sell the tickets. They’re popular too for many groups. But because there are so many of these the going rate per ticket is relatively low.
Shows and Performances - The Modest Version
Many people, Medium Donation
While quiz nights are often priced at $10 - $15 per ticket limiting your income, a good show can attract ticket prices of $40 or more. With 120 people paying $40 per ticket you can start with $4800 on the table before selling extras like drinks and raffles.
Typical ticket prices for my shows at clubs and school halls are $30 - $50.
Shows and Performances the Gala Version
Many People, Larger Donation
Add in a sit down dinner, a theme and a nice venue - perhaps a DJ or band and you can change the financial equation considerably.
A gala event (dressed up) can sell at $90 - $200 per ticket - including dinner. And these can range from 100 - 800 people. For example in 2016 Gerard V did a performance at a gala for 500+ people who paid $110 per seat including dinner. That’s $55,000 gross income before any extras.
In 2015 we did a fundraiser for 300 people at $200 per ticket including dinner and limited drinks.
Shows and Performances the Big Venue Version
Many More People, Medium Donation Your other option to raise substantial funds with a show is to sell lots more tickets.
A sold out 500 seat venue with tickets at $35 per head will gross $17,500 and this is achievable (and takes effort and organisation).
Don’t underestimate how much it takes to sell 500 tickets though - you’ll need a committed and motivated team of people who can and will get out there and sell. You might organise some incentives and a competitive element to get your sales teams to get out there and promote your fundraiser.
Have You Got A Fund Raising Idea?
If you have a good cause and some ideas lets chat - give Gerard V a call or send him a message.
Dumb Self-Help Advice #2 "Use Your Intuition"
The trouble with being involved with hypnosis is that it also attracts many from the fringes of "alternative health" and "new age philosophy".
One of the commonly stated opinions from this outer fringe is that people should always trust their intuition and that somehow intuition is either infallible or divinely inspired.
Why This Is Dumb
You don't have to look too hard to find times when your intuition, your hunches, are simply wrong. There's abundant literature showing how we all fall prey to fallacious thinking and post hoc rationalisations for our actions.
I great recent example of a person trusting and then voicing their inner thoughts is Donald Trump who most will agree does say some silly things, and then seems to go on to believe them.
Intuition in Business
The other frequently seen variant of this is where someone suggests that intuition is a great tool in business, and perhaps cites a successful entrepreneur, perhaps Richard Branson, saying that they rely heavily on their intuition.
Why That is Also Dumb
The business situation misses the obvious point that successful folk can rely on their intuition because they have developed it over time, and have honed their skill through experience. Or put simply, these people can trust their intuition because their intuition is trustworthy. And even then they make mistakes and you can be certain that they don't rely exclusively on hunches.
The bankruptcy courts and cemeteries are also full of people who trusted their intuition, but lacked the experience or knowledge that would make those hunches reliable.
What Should You Do Instead?
Use your intuition by all means - just don't rely on it exclusively. And when you use it in unfamiliar territory expect it to be frequently wrong or misguided. When doing something new, use your whole brain to learn and understand what you're about to do.
Dumb Self-Help Advice #1 "Be Yourself"
I hear people give the advice frequently "just be yourself". It is dumb advice and most people would be best to ignore it.
Well, most of us are not always the same, we have "our best self", and our "other" selves. We are many. And if you are an arsehole, being yourself is truly bad advice.
What it comes down to is that the term "self" is malleable, we can and do change. At any given time, if we choose to "be ourselves" we still have a variety of options of how to be.
Sometimes I am charming and funny. Sometimes I am prickly and sarcastic. Which of those should I be in any given situation? And I am always working to "better myself", so perhaps I should instead be the "me I wish to become".
Do This Instead
Next time someone says to you "be yourself", ignore it. Instead, be the best you can manage at that time - whatever that is. Unless that means being an arsehole. Then, "be someone else, someone who is not an arsehole".
If you're after an event in Townsville Gerard V can come to you. He loves Townsville and Northern Queensland.
Gerard's first Townsville show was in June 2016 for the Thuringowa Bulldogs AFC. It went really well, and set the scene for future events. The travel costs are minimal and the whole event totally affordable.
Here's what the Doggies had to say after the show.
"Gerard delivered exactly as promised, a family friendly night of entertainment and laughter. Our club has been searching for an event which appeals to a greater audience than just a sporting club and whilst there were many sceptic’s, within our club, of hosting the show.
Gerard provided a professional and polished show which silenced them very quickly and was able to convert some to active volunteers of his show.
It is a spectacle to behold when a performer has the 100% attention of his audience. What started as a function with tables of people turned into a standing festival of fun. The post show reviews were outstanding as 70% of our guests volunteered to be part of the show."
The Thuringowa Bulldogs AFC recommends Gerard to any prospective groups wishing to hold a family friendly, non-threatening and public engaging activity. We will be looking to engage Gerard again in the future when assessing the season’s entertainment requirements."
[Send a message or phone] to see if Gerard V is available for when you want your event, and to confirm lock in the price.
I had the pleasure of hanging about in TVL for a few days. 30 degrees in mid winter. Magnetic Island is lovely, relaxing and fun. Cellular coverage for Telstra was good in most places, 3G with 3 bars on my iPad, or 4G on the Townsville side. Vodafone not so good. One or two bars on the Townsville side of the island. Nothing inland or at horseshoe bay. I did not have an Optus device with me to check.
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I had a fantastic gig last night. The crowd was warm and friendly - the volunteers plentiful and responsive. The gags flowed and the laughter roared.
Not every show is amazing. Some are hard work. Sometimes I struggle to get an audience buzz going.
There is rarely just a single reason that a show falls flat. It takes a number of things. Each on its own might not matter, but when they all strike at once it can be mortifying.
A difficult venue layout, problems with the sound, a group interested only in drinking, some badly behaved punters, a couple of douchebags and what might be a great night becomes a hard slog that everyone knows could have been much better.
When this happens it can take me a few days to get over it. Mostly - I feel bad for the good people who deserved a fantastic time and did not get it.
I have been there more than once now. I usually don't post on social media in case my client reads it and takes it wrongly. Sometimes although I am deflated, other people often are strangely happy with the night.
I worry also that some future customer might read this and go on to book someone else who is no better but does not own up to their shortcomings.
I'm good at what I do. Possibly very very good. But I am not invincible. Every now and again the show just does not "get there".
When starting out or when one is not a "famous big name", then the crowds are smaller, the venues tougher, and the risks higher.
It is a part of being an entertainer. But I still would not swap this for a 9-5 job.