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Now Appearing: Close-up Magic at Mellow Mushroom Franklin with Nashville’s Magician Tim Friday

On Saturday nights from 6pm to 8pm, I am performing close-up magic at Mellow Mushroom in Franklin, TN. The address is 317 Main St, Ste 100, Franklin, TN 37064.

It’s a fun place – the atmosphere and the staff! Here’s a photo of me and some of my coworkers.

Mellow Mushroom it is a great place for close-up magic. Franklin has lots of choices for entertainment – mostly music – but people have not had an opportunity to see great quality close-up magic, until now…

Have you ever watched close-up magic? If you haven’t it’s ok, I am finding most people in the area have not. Once people witness what I do they express their delight and tell me they are impressed.

Close-up magic is delightful because it’s just for your table, I perform for you and your friends while you are waiting for your food or when you’re done eating. I do sneaky sleight of hand with cards, rings, balls, and other small objects. You get to be involved with the magic and some of the magic even happens in your hands! Bottom line, close-up magic is a lot of fun and gives you a unique experience when you come to Mellow Mushroom on a Saturday night.

Mellow Mushroom has a great layout. The photo above is of a room you could use to throw a party, they have a smaller one too.

You can keep up with all the games at the bar area.

There are lots of booths at Mellow Mushroom. The booths are fun to sit in with your friends, and a great place to watch close-up magic.

It doesn’t matter if you’re at a booth, a high top table, or a regular table, they are all good to watch close-up magic.

There’s great seating for large groups, like this larger booth in the photo below.

The pizzas are delicious and they have lots of other yummy choices besides pizza.
Here’s a video of me performing close-up magic at a restaurant, but you have to see it in person, you will remember it for the rest of your life!

The food is delicious, the atmosphere is fun, and the close-up magic is great. When will I see you at Mellow Mushroom?

Close-Up Magic Now Appearing at Coco’s Italian Market in Nashville with Magician Tim Friday!

EXCITING NEWS! I am now performing close-up magic at Coco’s Italian Market on Friday nights 6pm to 8pm.

While close-up magic is a featured entertainment in restaurants in larger cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York, it has not had much presence in restaurants in Nashville.


Coco’s Italian Market is the premier Italian restaurant in Nashville. Walk in and you feel like you happened upon a charming market/restaurant you would find in an Italian village. Here you can see the dining area where I perform close-up magic for your table on Friday night.


The market portion has imported goods you can’t find anywhere else – unless you go to Italy. Having a market there is great because it gives you something to look at while you wait. In addition to the market I am there on Friday nights to entertain you with magic while you wait. I split my time entertaining groups who are already at their table and groups who are in the market area waiting.


Coco’s Italian Market has a bocce ball court outside, a food truck, and is owned and operated by Chuck Cinelli and his family.


There is a heated patio with lots of extra room, you could host a great party here – and yes – I perform close-up magic for your table on the patio on Friday nights as well!


Connect with Coco’s Italian Market on Facebook or Twitter @CocosItalian, I hope to see you there on a Friday night!


Coco’s Italian Market is located at 411 51st Avenue N, Nashville, TN 37209. I’m performing there on Friday nights but will not be there the Friday after Thanksgiving, November 28th, 2014.

Here’s a video so you can get a feel for what close-up magic is like at a restaurant, but you really have to experience it in person to get the full effect!

Call some friends and make plans to eat at Coco’s Italian Market!

Using Thumbtack to Get Gigs as a Magician in Nashville

This holiday season I am trying out some new services to get additional bookings. One I have used in the past to find graphic designers is Thumbtack, but I never tried using it for myself as a magician.

Tim Friday, Nashville Magician my thumtack profile

I have heard it is great way to get new leads so I am very excited about giving it a try – I just set up my profile this evening!

Time will tell if Thumbtack makes a difference for me this holiday season…

Behind the Scenes of a Magic Show: ‘The Miracle Zone’

Don't miss this video in the middle of this post...

Don’t miss this video in the middle of this post…

On June 28th you have a chance to see a stand-up magic show called The Miracle Zone. The performance on June 28th is open to anyone who buys a ticket, you can buy your ticket at This show will have limited seating, if you want to go be sure to go ahead and buy your tickets now.

Here are few thoughts about how I am putting the show together for you, specifically in regards to the marketing of the show. A marketer named Dean Jackson teaches simple but effective ideas for entrepreneurs. One of his basic principles is Before, During, and After.

  1. What do you do to reach potential customers Before they do business with you?
  2. What do you During the time when customers do business with you?
  3. What do you do After customers do business with you?

It seems like common sense, but breaking it down like this helps you think through the whole process.

The Before Unit

How do you get people to buy tickets for a magic show? The website is set up so you can buy tickets and I have made a few posts on facebook. I was surprised to see that when you create a facebook ‘event’ the posts on the ‘event’ had zero reach to the people I invited. I will invite more people to the facebook ‘event’ but it seems like facebook is more interested in having you buy an ad to promote an event.

For the show on June 28th I decided to create an invitation and send it to clients and friends.

You're gonna get Miracle Zoned!

You’re gonna get Miracle Zoned!

Maybe I’m old-fashioned but I believe a physical invitation is more likely to get a response. Even if it is a ‘no’ that is a response whereas on facebook it seems many events get lost in the clutter.

Promo codes are included for you when I give or mail you a physical invitation so you get a few dollars off the ticket price. The show will sell out in advance online because there is limited seating and a few different large parties of people have asked questions about it this week.

The During Unit

This is the show, the experience itself. One bonus for you is a talented guest performer who will be an opener for the show.

Up to now when I do a show at a private event I make a list of tricks and I perform those tricks at the show. There is nothing wrong with this and it is very entertaining, but for a long time I’ve had an idea for a show with more depth and perspective. Here’s a video where I share with you the idea of The Miracle Zone.

The Miracle Zone is a thread that runs through the whole show, but another thread is the topic of relationships. The Miracle Zone explores different relationship situations via magical presentations.

Magic tricks by themselves are very entertaining, but magic tricks combined with a unique perspective have the potential to connect with an audience on a deep level.

There are two criteria for The Miracle Zone:

  1. Worst Case: it is remarkable, that doesn’t necessarily mean you love it, it could mean you hate it, to be remarkable means good or bad it is worth making a remark about, in others words it is not ‘blah’, ‘vanilla’, you watch then forget.
  2. Best Case: it is tour de force that connects deeply with your heart

The After Unit

Another bonus planned for you is a professional photographer will be at The Miracle Zone. He will be taking photos of you during the show and at the end of the show you will have a chance to get a photo with me before you leave. I will email you all the photos and you get the option if you would like me to stay in touch with you through email or if you would simply like for me to send you an email after the show with different easy ways to access your photos.


In conclusion putting together this show for you is an exciting learning experience. This will be the first show where you are able to buy a ticket instead of having to throw a private event, and it is a thrill to put a new idea into action, from the creative side and the marketing side.

I hope to see YOU there on June 28th!


If you would like to hear more about the Before, During, and After concept:

Buy your Miracle Zone tickets at:

The “When to Start” Dilemma

When I began to search for a magic gig at a restaurant, I quickly ran up against a “chicken and the egg” type dilemma.

People in the magic community say “if you want to get good as a magician just go get a restaurant gig because you get lots of experience.”

Yet in order to get a restaurant gig, you already have to be good, right?

So which comes first, the chicken or the egg? As I would approach restaurants the overbearing question in my mind was “am I good enough?” I was constantly doubting my abilities, and at some level I still have frequent doubts about myself as an entertainer.

But I came up with a solution. The solution and my response to the insecure questions in my mind is: YES!

To get a restaurant gig you already have to be good, right? YES! I already am good enough, at least to get started and I will keep getting better!

Which comes first, the restaurant gig or having skills as a magician? YES! I will go out for the gig and the skills will continue to improve!

Maybe you should practice more instead of going in that restaurant today. YES! I will go in that restaurant today and practice some more!

No one will ever care about your success as an entertainer more than you. If it’s going to happen then it’s up to you to say “YES! This is going to happen.” And one way or the other… it will.


Magicians You SHOULD Be Criticized

In the magic world, if you drum up the courage to perform for other magicians, you will eventually be criticized by other magicians on your performance. Often magicians can be very harsh with their critiques.

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Some parts of a performance that are nitpicked by magicians play very well for normal everyday people. Other times the criticism is much needed and helpful. I can remember doing a card trick once and a friend told me I needed to go back through Card College Vol 1 (an important magic book) and learn how to hold and handle cards. He was right, I took his advice and now I’m better for it.

Here are three questions in my mind concerning the topic of criticism:

  1. How should you accept criticism?
  2. Why do people (magicians) criticize?
  3. How should you give criticism?

1. How should you accept criticism?

First, I believe you should ask yourself: what is the motive of this criticism?

We are a flawed species and we often give criticism with flawed motives. There are actually people out there who believe they must knock you down a few notches to feel better about themselves. If you haven’t met this type, just wait, live a little longer and you will.

On the other hand criticism can be given with a sincere motive of wanting to help a fellow magician improve. Even criticism with flawed motives can be helpful and make you a better performer.

The point is be aware that not all criticism is helpful but rather sometimes downright hurtful. If you are aware and prepared for this going into it, you are psychologically able to guard yourself from getting hurt. The danger with hurtful criticism is it can snuff out the hopeful ideas of an aspiring performer and they will never live up to their full potential.

Whatever the motive of the criticism, the safe and respectful answer is “thank you.” You simply acknowledge what was said, and you decide if you want to choose to apply any of the advice.

2. Why do people (in this case magicians) criticize?

We all have a fundamental desire to feel significant and to feel respected. I believe this is a root of criticism, helpful and hurtful criticism. As magicians, we are knowledgable in a highly specialized skill, and we often never receive any recognition for this knowledge. When you’re starved to feel significance for this uncommon knowledge you feel so passionate about, it’s no wonder criticism can come out heavy handed.

Seth Godin made a blog post on March 1, 2014, one thought from the post:

When someone gives you gentle feedback, it’s because they want to connect

Although his post wasn’t directly on this same topic, I believe the thought applies here. Not only do we want to feel significant, we also have a fundamental desire to connect with others.

The problem is, for many of us, the older we get the worse we become at connecting with others, or to put it simply, making friends.

I believe we criticize for two reasons: 1) to feel significant 2) to make friends.

For every behavior there’s a reason.

Of course most of the time we don’t realize the reason of our behavior and when we give hurtful criticism we sabotage ourselves in our desperation to fulfill these two desires of feeling significance and making friends.

3. How should you give criticism?

Here’s two ideas: speak to a person’s potential and give them a sandwich.

Speak to a person’s potential. The person may be miles from being able to perform in public, tell them where you would like to see them and express a belief that they can get there. Tell them you’d really like to see them continue working on that piece. “Give them a reputation to live up to.” Dale Carnegie

Give them a sandwich (constructive criticism)



1 praise, 1 criticism, 1 praise

Avoid the temptation to give 20 criticisms and 0 praises. It’s human nature to just give 20 criticisms. Rise above it. There was only one Dai Vernon. No one else since has had the unique level of authority and the lovable yet crabby disposition to get away with giving 20 criticisms and still be loved for it. Especially not you. Don’t do it.


The overriding concept whether you are giving criticism or receiving criticism is be the gracious person, be the bigger person.

Remember that for every behavior there is a reason. Even if that behavior is harsh, hurtful criticism, there is a reason the person expresses himself this way outside of your performance.

If you are the bigger person and show someone appreciation for their criticism, you might win a new friend, and good friends aren’t easy to come by.

Showmanship: Finer Points on Professionalism for an Entertainer

What’s the difference between an amateur and a professional entertainer? One way a professional entertainer stands out is by how they communicate with the audience. 

More specifically, here are some questions to consider: How do you win over an audience? What makes an entertainer endearing to the audience? How does an entertainer bond with the audience? What does it mean to warm up a crowd? What does it mean to work a crowd?

A well rehearsed and skillfully executed performance is a basic requirement, but after that what makes a pro stand out? What do you say that makes an audience remember you instead of another performer who does the same trick?

It’s the concept of showmanship. Here’s a few thoughts and examples that have impacted me.

Michael Skinner


My friend Don Driver tells me that Michael Skinner used to say when he left a table where he just performed close-up magic, he would rather the table say “he was really a nice guy” instead of “he was very clever.”

In his videos Skinner says to the audience

“I’m having a wonderful time tonight, and it’s all because of you.”

Michael Skinner was hired directly by Steve Wynn to work at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas and he is respected to this day by magicians as being one of the best ever at sleight of hand but he still focused on how he treated his audience and how he wanted them to perceive him. Showmanship.

Steve Wynn, if you don't know who he is you should, google him

Steve Wynn, if you don’t know who he is you should, google him

More recently I was at a magic convention and saw Michael Kent perform. During his performance, he told a story about when he performed for a prominent Korean General, there was an incident with an attractive young woman in the audience, who turned out to be the General’s daughter, which created some tension…

I won’t spoil the story but the point is it was a great story, I don’t remember every trick Michael did but that story has lingered in my mind. I remember thinking that is a heck of a great story and this guy is one charming son of a gun. That’s showmanship.

Michael Kent

Michael Kent

Here’s a couple of extreme examples:

Kreskin: The guy is nonstop full of impressive anecdotes, you would think he should come off as overdoing it, but it works for him.



Liberace: Want to hear a great line?



“Here’s a song everybody in show business has done, and I don’t want to be left out. I’m gonna do it too, but I’m gonna try and do it a little bit differently. First of all to refresh your memory, I’m going to play it in it’s original form, then as…”

That’s his intro to “Mack the Knife.” I’m not even a fan of Liberace, but there’s something really charming about that intro. By the very act of acknowledging that this a piece lots of people have already done, he distinguishes himself. What if I magician took that line and said

“Here’s a trick that every magician has done, and I don’t want to be left out. I’m gonna do it too, but I’m gonna try and do it a little bit differently.”

Don’t miss the point, I’m not saying adopt Liberace’s effeminate delivery unless that’s your thing, I’m just saying it’s just a great introduction that makes him stand out.

I’m still pretty new at this and still figuring out how to present myself in a memorable way, but I think about it a lot. Lately I’ve been thinking, do I just want to show up at a table do my three tricks wham, bam, thank you mam then onto business at the next table. Or do I form more of a personal, memorable connection with the audience?

These nuances, intros, and anecdotes are the spice of a performance, they are the fills in between the lyrics, and they have the power to be the most memorable part of a performance.

By the way it comes off better if you hear Liberace say it, here’s a link to the video:

Daily Schedule for Success

Now that I have my feet wet performing magic as a part-time professional, here’s an idea for a daily schedule to be successful. These are the key areas to focus and an estimation of time needed to be spent on each:


  1. Performing: performing close-up magic at restaurants, going out to test run new material at open mic nights or anywhere I can get stage time, learning what people like and what they respond to, learning etiquette and social graces, gaining experience and logging the hours so I learn how to be an excellent entertainer. These are concepts must be learned from doing. Minimum time commitment: 2 hours/night at least 4 days/week, 8 hours/week.
  2. Marketing and Publicity: continual tweaking wording on all marketing materials: website, business cards, postcards, posters, what gets the best response? Writing sales letters, ads, and press releases. Learning from new marketing courses, writing client newsletters, shooting videos to publish online and social media. Minimum time commitment: 3 hours/day at least 4 days/week, 12 hours/week.
  3. Selling: cultivating relationships with restaurants, regulars at restaurants, existing clients, developing new clients, and relationships with media. Meeting new business prospects. Making and returning phone calls to set up performances. 2 hours/day at least 4 days/week, 8 hours/week.
  4. Administrative tasks: writing up performance agreements and sending them out, organizing and completing mailings, keeping track of income and expenses, etc. 1 hour/day at least 4 days/week, 4 hours/week.

DISCLAIMER: this is just a theoretical schedule. In the real world we often find ourselves “putting out fires” and “going down rabbit trails.”

Remember this is not an issue of time management, as Covey teaches “time management” is a misnomer and is a term that suggests time is outside our responsibility. Instead the correct term is “self management” – we are responsible in how we manage ourselves.

Finally keep in mind that I am still very much in the start-up phase of setting up my magic business. For someone already established a schedule could be very different.


In your opinion, what are the key areas of focus that should be prioritized? What is your daily schedule? How would you recommend I tweak my daily schedule for success?

3 Characteristics of an Excellent USP

A few months ago I listened to the Nightingale Conant audio course “Piranha Marketing” by Joe Polish. For this post I will share the concept of the ‘Unique Selling Point’ and how it applies in the world of magic.

Joe teaches having a ‘Unique Selling Point’ or ‘USP.’ Joe says a USP is a precise statement of why your business is special. It should answer the question “Why should I do business with you versus any and all of your competitors, including not doing anything at all?”

One USP example Joe gives is the one from Domino’s Pizza: “Fresh, Hot Pizza Delivered to Your Door in 30 Minutes or Less.”

When it comes to magicians, my favorite USP was Dai Vernon’s: “The Man Who Fooled Houdini.” How’s that for unique? It’s so unique that no other magician in history can make the same claim.

Dai Vernon

The Man Who Fooled Houdini

After thinking about Vernon’s USP I realized that an excellent USP should accomplish 3 things:

  1. It accurately describes what you do – as Joe Polish teaches
  2. It differentiates you from everyone else in your industry (if it is truly unique)
  3. It triggers a chain reaction of questions from a person who hears/reads it: “You really fooled Houdini?” or “There’s got to be a story behind that statement, let’s hear it.” or “Ok, this guy must be good, let’s see what he can do.”

When I was considering what to use for my USP I came up with “Memorable Moments of Joy” but I soon decided against it. Any magician halfway decent is able to provide “Memorable Moments of Joy” – that is more like a Generic Selling Point rather than a Unique Selling Point.

I ended up deciding to hold off on creating my USP for now. Hopefully one day in my magic career I will have a remarkable story that will be the genesis of my USP.

As for modern day magician’s, I really like Steve Cohen’s USP – “The Millionaire’s Magician.”

Do you have a USP? If so please share it in a comment or share any USP that caught your attention.

2 Painful Twitter Mistakes – Don’t Make Them!

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How to Use Twitter if You’re Not Clever

Here are 2 action items you can put to use today with twitter, and the mistakes I made when I started them. You get to put these to work the right way, and learn from how I painfully messed up doing it the wrong way.

In spite of my mistakes, I still have had more tweets favorited, retweeted, and replied to in the past couple of days than I have over the whole last year.

These ideas are from the book “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” by Gary Vaynerchuck.

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First off, twitter is about engagement, yet most people use it to promote their blog with link after link. Twitter is all about the spontaneous conversations. You don’t have be “friended” to communicate with someone, anyone can tweet to anyone (except for a few people with private twitter accounts). On twitter anyone can jump into a conversation unannounced and they don’t come off like a stalker.

Therefore, my first mistake:

1) Don’t use twitter as a place to shoot out a link to your new blog post, rather, use it as a place to get into and start conversations. If you have engagement established with your followers then when you do tweet a link you’re more likely to have followers click through.

I’m not the type to butt into conversations, but now I understand on twitter this is expected.

My other mistake was more painful…

Twitter allows you to search for any word, not just hashtags. The way to use this to your advantage is search for words that relate to your business, check out the results and get engaged with people who have tweeted those words.

For example, Green Mountain Coffee replied to a tweet from Levi Lentz about a Michael Franti song. Getting into this conversation is a win for Green Mountain Coffee because Franti is involved with Green Mountain Coffee’s fair trade campaign. This led to Lentz asking them about their products and he became a customer (that’s the very shortened version).

I started trying a similar strategy by searching for Nashville Magic. I got a lot of results from the TV show ‘Nashville’ and the ‘magic’ between Deacon and Rayna. So I tweeted a reply to almost everyone who tweeted about the show ‘Nashville’ and the ‘magic’ chemistry.


Here’s my mistake:
2) Don’t blast conversational tweets out to all your followers, rather just the person/persons you are tweeting to.

In the example above, I should have rearranged the words to:

@TeamConnieBritt Great line! #nashvillemagic

If a twitter @username is first in a reply, it only goes to that user and your mutual followers (I think) but if it is text first, it goes to all you followers.

What this means is if you tweet a bunch of replies all at once like I did today you clutter up some of your followers feeds with meaningless replies to someone else. If someone doesn’t have many followers I can see how this is annoying. I lost a few followers today and I’m guessing that’s the reason why. I should have been more considerate to my followers. Lesson learned.

There are many other great ideas for twitter in the book “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.” I also liked the idea of trendjacking. If you want to learn about that or more about the two ideas I have shared, I suggest you read the book or at least the chapter on twitter.

What have you found to be the most successful twitter strategies?