So I was cooking dinner the other night, pondering life’s imponderables, as you do, and thinking how proud I am that so many customers come back to me again and again to perform at their events. I have customers I’ve performed for three, four, five years in a row.
They put a great deal of trust in me. They trust that I’ll show up on time; trust that I’ll be as good as I was last time; trust that I’ll have some more new material to perform; trust that their guests will be as entertained and impressed as they were last time. That’s a lot of trust they put in me. And it makes me feel very proud of what I do.
And then my pondering became a meander, and I wondered what makes people who’ve not seen me perform before trust me to perform at their event. I’m sure the testimonials and reviews from previous customers help, and that’s why I always enjoy receiving feedback from my customers after my shows, but is it more than that? Do I have a trustworthy face? (Would you buy a used car from this man?)
Does this website give a sense of trust that you’re dealing with a professional performer, one who cares about your child’s birthday party or your school’s Christmas celebrations as much as you do? I hope it does, because I do care, really care, that your event is a huge success. I’m not in it for the next pay cheque; I want you to be so impressed that you want me to come back next year. And the year after and the year after. I want you to trust me to do that. And (I hope it’s because of my professional attitude) a lot of people do.
And right now, I think trust is more important than ever. It’s always been important – when you invite a relative stranger into your home or to your child’s party, you need to be able to trust them. And that doesn’t mean the entertainer needs to get a tick in a box to be trustworthy (but yes, my boxes are properly ticked.) No, trust goes far deeper than waving a piece of paper around.
And in today’s environment, I think trust is even more vital. Today I performed my first live magic show for more than 20 weeks. (We had a great time today. Thanks for asking.) The people who booked me hadn’t seen my show before. They trusted that I would turn up on time. (They trusted that I would turn up at all!!) They trusted that the show would be good, that I would be sober, that the children would enjoy the show. (All true, by the way!)
But in today’s environment, they also trusted that I wouldn’t infect them or their children. They trusted that I’ve been following social distancing rules, that I would follow those rules at their event and in performing the show, and that the children would still be able to take part in the magic show and make the magic ‘happen’ from a safe distance.
I certainly took all the right steps and put in place all the right safeguards in working in a Covid-secure way. But there are a lot of people out there willing to bend and, frankly, break the Covid guidelines because they want or need a pay cheque. And they don’t mind taking a risk that they might be spreading the virus if it means they can stay in business. I know, because I’m turning down the jobs that they’re taking.
Because I want you to know you can trust me.
While I was out today, the prime minister announced that, as a result of the recent rise in Coronavirus cases, the government was delaying the return of indoor entertainment for a further two weeks. He says he trusts us to do the right thing. That word ‘trust’ again.
For now, I’m only able to perform for you outdoors and, if it’s in your garden, in limited numbers. Maybe, if we can get the Coronavirus numbers down again, we’ll be allowed to hold parties in village and community halls from 18 August. We’ll have to put our trust in the government and the British public.
So, do you trust me with your child’s birthday party? I trust you do.
Stay safe, and I hope I see you soon.