Now, the first thing I need to do is tell you a little bit about my career because I think that's going to be relevant. It's going to explain some of the metaphors that'll come up with and it'll help you to understand my perspective. 

I started out right out of college doing magic. First, I was just a magician. I did magic at restaurants table side. I'd come up to people while they're eating and say, “Would you like to see a card trick?' I did that for years. 

That transitioned to the renaissance fairs. I worked at the Colorado renaissance fair. I did, I don't know several, 100 shows over 4 years. I was in costume, wearing tights, and it was a really difficult job because it was outdoors. You were competing for people's attention, and it was just not easy. 

That transitioned eventually into the college market. I spent, I don't know, maybe more than 8 or 9 years, maybe 10 years in the college market. And let me help you picture that. Most colleges charge their students an activity fee. And so all of that money goes together into a big budget the school uses generally to make life fun for the students And they have dances, and they might have big events, or carnivals or festivals, but occasionally they might hire a live entertainer. Like a magician. Like me. So, I was competing always for that piece of their budget their live entertainment. In particular, you know, sometimes they had a specific budget just for variety arts. Please hire me. So, I did that for years both with agents and self represented we call it, which just meant I was trying to book my own darn self.

I transitioned from there into comedy clubs. That was fun and I learned a lot, but I was just coming in to comedy clubs just as comedy clubs were starting to crash. So, there was a peak of comedy and I was kind of entering it just as it was getting really really rough. That meant really good comics, comics with more experience and talent than I had, were even they were looking for work and I was still trying to come up the ladder. So, I did a lot of comedy clubs, but I never really focused on that. Instead, I hung out in the college market.

I did some work on cruise ships. That's a job that's harder than it sounds, but I eventually found myself in the corporate world. And here's what that means. Associations and corporations have big events sometimes are multiple big three or four or eight day events and sometimes are just an afternoon or single evening event. And often they would hire an entertainer. Typically, it was after dinner and it would be maybe an awards banquet, or maybe it was a client appreciation night, or even just a company party. And they would hire me, if I was lucky, to come in and be it. I was the only part of the show. There was no opener or closer, it was just Brad. But, one of the key things that was great about being in the corporate world is I started getting booked with speakers and I started getting booked by the same people who booked speakers. So, let's explain if you have a three day event, you might book one single after dinner speaker, but during the day you might book a couple professional outside speakers, motivational speakers, or inspirational speakers, or maybe just content experts. 

So, sometimes I might for example work on a Thursday night after dinner and the next morning I would stay and see the the keynote speaker in the morning. So, that was kind of my entry level or entry to the professional speaking world. I previously had thought the concept of a motivational speaker stupid and who cared about it. It was just ridiculous. The only thing I could think of was walking on coals and Anthony Robbins, and I didn't feel like I related to either one. 

But, slowly I started seeing speakers who like me were just normal dudes and I found them to be unbelievably entertaining and unbelievably inspiring and so I slowly transitioned from where I was which was strictly entertainment to where I am now which is strictly I'm a keynote speaker. I don't bill myself as an entertainer, I don't bill myself as a comedian or a magician. I am a keynote speaker. But clearly anyone who sees me live realizes that he wants to make it funny, he's trying to make it fun, and he's trying to be engaging which means he wants to be entertaining. 

Alright, so what does that mean for you? Well, it's going to help you as you listen to this recording, but second it lets you know that I am not a trainer, I am not a high content guy, I am a motivational speaker. I have some tactics and some how to's and strategies, but that's really only part of what I do. My job is partly to create a feeling of hope and inspiration and you know my job is to make that group feel that they can be better. And it's something I take really seriously and it's something I really love, but it's important that you know that going into it. So, as you listen to this you're going to have to filter what I say and know how much of it is relevant for you how and much of it isn't. But, I'm going to suggest to you no matter where you are on a path and no matter what type of speaker or entertainer you want to be you're going to be able to adapt and adopt what I say for you. Alright, so there's my disclaimer. Now let's get started.

14 Secrets Every Entertainer Should Know

Brad teaches his younger self the lessons he's learned from being a professional magician and keynote speaker.

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