Creating mystique is not just for magic shows.

I don’t remember how I heard about Steve Cohen’s Chamber Magic, but somehow I did.  Having been one of those kids that was into Chinese Linking Rings and Multiplying Sponge Balls, I was intrigued.

When I checked out the website, the intrigue increased to genuine excitement.  Yes, Steve was apparently a fantastic magician, but that’s not what got me to push the ‘Buy Tickets’ button.  Check out how the show was described as I dug deeper:
  • Shows are only twice a week.
  • Steve has performed for celebrities, politicians and the ultra-elite.
  • The show is held in a suite at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel Towers (the same towers where all of the Presidents have resided when in town).
  • Jackets and ties are required for men and dresses are required for women.
  • There are only 50 seats sold for each performance.  The front row, close to the magic, is sold at a premium.
  • And . . . the show is sold out months in advance (I waited 5 to get my tickets).
Steve is not only a master magician. He’s a master marketer and showman.  So many of the bullet points above are taken right out of my favorite marketing textbook, Cialdini’s Influence.  But in addition to following the Cialdini principles of social proof, scarcity, and so on, Cohen created a show that is not just a show . . . it’s an experience.  And rather than do it 12 times a week, which he probably could, he does it just twice (and will probably have one of the longest running magic shows as a result).
As you’d expect, Steve is an incredible magician.  He did some things that I’ve never seen before.  But frankly, he also did a few things I HAD seen before (some of them were performed by Mr. Marc Salem, who was the inspiration for my Virgins Get In Free promotion).  And if I sat down and really analyzed it, I’d probably say that Marc Salem even did a few of those tricks better.
But that didn’t matter.  Because I was in a jacket and tie, and we were at the Waldorf, and it took so long to get the tickets, and it just felt . . . well . . . magical.
For the Actors, Orchestra and even Producers of your shows, it may seem like the show starts when the curtain rises.  But for the audience, the show begins when they start thinking about buying a ticket . . . so make sure you give them one.
Steve Cohen has a new show, by the way. It’s called Midnight Miracles.
It’s only performed once a month.  At midnight. At the Waldorf.  And for only 20 people.  Ticket price?  $250.
Don’t try and bother getting tickets for April’s performance, because it’s already sold out.
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Planet Hollywood
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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.