First, let me say how much I appreciate the emails I've received welcoming me back. It's been kind of overwhelming but very encouraging too. The focus of this site is intentionally narrow; a small subset of a small subset of the population. But I know the audience for this site (like my previous one) will make up in intensity what they lack in size -- like me with my lovemaking. I especially want to thank the strangely large, vocal and effusive contingent of Australian fans.
I also received another kind of email last night. An email asking me what I think of a magician named Tom London. This is what really made me know I'd returned. I used to receive these types of emails all the time. Someone would write me about someone they think is a douchebag and act all innocent, "Oh, gee, have you seen this guy? What do you think of him?" As if they can just wind me up and have me go off on whoever they please. Like I'm just some hungry dog who will go after whatever piece of meat they toss in front of me. Well you've got another thing coming. I'm not just some performing monkey. I'm not some circus freak with a talent in trash-talking that you can have do your bidding with the least provocation. Frankly, it's fucking insulting. "Oh, let me just pull the puppet strings to get what I want, when I want it. Because he's just a dumb puppet that I can manipulate however I want." Uhm, I DON'T THINK SO, asshole! I'm my own man, goddammit!!
That being said...
So there's this magician named Tom London. Or at least he calls himself Tom London. From checking out his instagram he's definitely a put-together guy who is attempting to portray a particular lifestyle and who is, perhaps, ashamed of having a small forehead, if the framing of many of those photos is any indication.
It's time for my first, Unrequested Consultation.
Now look, Tom, you don't know me. And my lifestyle is so very different than yours; what with your helicopter riding and your bow-tie donning. I just spent 3 hours on my couch watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix in a hoodie and boxer-briefs. But I do know a thing or two, and if you're trying to portray yourself as someone who understands luxury and fashion, you're not doing such a good job. People who are really immersed in that world don't fawn all over that stuff the way you are. It would be one thing if you were highlighting fashion that is unique to you, but I could see this stuff in any issue of Esquire from 2011. All the pics that are like, "I'm wearing a big, fancy watch!" are tainted with the enthusiasm of the neophyte. Your reaction to luxury is like The Lonely Island's reaction to sex, in this song.
And if you were going for that -- if your perspective was, "I'm just a kid who loves playing dress-up in these nice clothes."-- I would be on board. I love enthusiasm. But instead you come across like someone desperately looking for photo ops that might feel fancy. It's backfiring.
My advice? Everything you're making text, you need to make subtext. You've studied magic enough to know that you don't say, "I'm going to set this completely empty card-box down over here." You just toss it down. Similarly, a bunch of pictures that are meant to beat you over the head with "style," end up seeming like bullshit posing. Instead of posting a pic of you in your fancy duds, post a pic of you holding a tater-tot casserole with a caption that's just like, "Dinner time!" And just in the corner of the shot -- without comment --we see you're in your Hermes belt and Buscemi shoes. And then everyone will be like, "This is one classy motherfucker!"
To be fair, I love that you're putting thought into this. Too often the only fashion decions magicians make is if they should wear the bunny vest with the card tie or the card vest with the bunny tie. So after visiting your instagram I was excited to check out your work, because I thought it would have a real James Bond flair or ooze luxury which could be interesting. And here is what I saw:
And then I was bummed again. Because you're just doing the same junk everyone else is, in the same boring way, but in a more expensive outfit.
But Andy, he must be doing something right. Clearly he's having some success.
Well, first of all he calls himself Tom London and he's a magician... in London. You know this because it's repeated over and over on his site. Count how often it says "Magician in London." You might say, "Andy, this reads weird. Like it was written by an imbecile or for an imbecile." Well, kind of. It was written for a computer. The reason the descriptions are so dull and lifeless is because he's not trying to engage a human reader, he's just trying to rate high on google's search, and you do that by repeating certain phrases over and over. So people in London who want a magician search "Magician in London" and bingo, Tom is the first result. Because he's the best magician in London? I hope not.
But it's fine. And SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is something you have to do these days. But it still feels like the modern day equivalent of naming yourself AAAA Magic so you'll appear first in the phone book. I mean the idea is essentially the same: "I want to appeal to anyone too lazy to look past the first thing they find."
I'm sure there are many magicians in London who think this guy's a tool and that he's gaming the system to get gigs. And to a certain extent he is, but that thinking is going to get you nowhere. You need to learn from your competition.
What I'm saying is, change your name to something people are searching for in hopes that they stumble across you and your site. Are you a magician in Albuquerque? Then change your name to Tom Albuquerque, a magician in Albuquerque. Simple. And you don't have to limit yourself to geographical names. People search for a lot of different things. The examples below I offer for free to the magic community. Why not adopt one of these names and relaunch your website and career?
- The Amazing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370
- Paleo Diet the Stupendous
- The Incredible Emma Watson's Naked Breasts
- The Mirth and Magic of When Is Mother's Day 2015
- Siegfried and ISIS
- Johnny "Ace" Candy Crush Level 140 Hints
- Jean Eugene Tatertot-Casserole