The Daily Record in Omaha, Nebraska Does a Story on Me!
This is so cool. The Daily Record in Omaha, Nebraska did a story on me. It's written by Dan McCann, the same writer who did the piece on me for the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce Newsletter. I've been a magician in the Omaha area since 1991 and I've never gotten this much press coverage! Here's the article:
Voila! Chamber’s Small Business of the Month Is Corporate Magician/Hypnotist Quinn By Dan McCann The Daily Record
In writing circles, it is known as “plot point A,” a bold event that spins the unfolding story in an exciting, new direction. For Omaha’s Jeff Quinn, “plot point A” came in the form of a pink slip, downsized from the radio job he had held for nine years.“I remember walking out the door with my stereotypical ‘box of stuff’ from my desk, wondering what I was going to do next,” Quinn said. “For some reason, I decided to try to make this magic thing work, and I guess someone upstairs was looking out for me because the calls started coming in.”Today, Quinn earns a living as a highly sought-after corporate magician and hypnotist. Award-winning? That too. The one-man show was recently honored as the Greater Omaha Chamber’s Small Business of the Month for February.“It is such an honor to be recognized by an association the caliber of the Greater Omaha Chamber,” he said.Born, raised and educated in Omaha, Quinn started dabbling in magic while working full-time at the radio station. He said he never thought it would be anything more than a hobby, let alone a career. But, he found he had a knack for it and, later on, for “stage hypnosis” as well.“That really added a whole new facet to my business. I went from doing birthday parties and retirement homes to fairs, festivals and corporate gigs all over the country. Don’t get me wrong though, I still do an occasional birthday party and retirement home,” he said. Most rewarding, said Quinn, is the creative aspect of his work.“Whether I’m developing a new trick, a new marketing piece or a new theme for a show, I’m always being creative. The beautiful part is that I never know when the next great idea will hit. There have been times when I have had to literally pull my car over to the side of the road because I thought of an idea, a concept or a joke and I needed to write it down right away.” Also rewarding, he said, is being able to give back to the community. Quinn donates his time and talent to a number of charities, including Make-A-Wish and CureSearch. “I’ve also been involved with shows at Lydia House and other assorted fundraisers for families who have been knocked down by certain circumstances and just need a little help getting back up,” he said.For about the last 10 years, he has been using magic to deliver an anti-bullying message to students in elementary schools. “The program has gotten rave reviews,” he said. “I’m very proud of this show, and every time present it, I feel like I’m helping out just a little bit.”As one might imagine, Quinn’s time on stage – almost 14 years full-time – has led to a collection of interesting stories.“I have more crazy stories than I know what to do with. I’ve performed for a dog’s birthday party, a funeral and for motorcycle clubs. I’ve had shows interrupted by tornado warnings; I’ve nearly passed out from the heat and been attacked by family pets.”Then there was the time he was traveling to a show in Yakima, Wash., not long after 9/11. Concerned his show materials would be lost during his many connections, he stashed everything in his carry-on.“At Eppley Airfield, when my bag went through the x-ray machine, the TSA noticed some very unusual things, so they made me open my bag and explain what the items were. Even after the explanation, they were still leery, so I did a five minute show for them. They were satisfied enough to let me board my plane. When I got to Seattle, I was pulled over again by the TSA. Again, I did a quick show for them and for some other passengers. The passengers and the TSA agents gave me a round of applause. This time, I handed out business cards.”He continued the story: “Coming home, I got to the Yakima airport and guess what? Another search and another show for the TSA. The TSA was fast-becoming my best client. To this day, I wonder if I should have sent them a bill for three shows.”Whatever and wherever the venue, Quinn said he goes to great lengths to serve his customers (i.e. the people who call and hire him).“If a company hires me for a trade show, I go into great detail to integrate my performance with that company,” he explained. “I may use their products in my presentations, or I may coordinate my colors to match the colors in the company logo. If they have a slogan, I try to incorporate it into my presentations. I think these little nuances and attention to detail really set me apart.” Quinn said he also has a good feel for when his entertainment might not be the best fit for an event. “There have been occasions when I have turned down a show because I knew that the circumstances weren’t right for the type of entertainment I provide. I’d rather not do a show and miss out on a paycheck than do a show and have my client dissatisfied. It also helps that I do a great clean show that appeals to all ages. I’ve often described my show as ‘an adult show you can bring your kids to,’” he said.As his own success story continues to play out, Quinn said there is another exciting “plot point” on the horizon. He is slated to become the 100th president of the Society of American Magicians, the world’s oldest and most prestigious magical organization, in July of 2016.“I will be the first Nebraskan to hold that office. It’s quite a thrill,” he said. “The S.A.M. has three National Council meetings each year. I can guarantee you that during my year as President one of those meetings is going to be here in Omaha. I want to show off my hometown.”Quinn currently serves as the Society’s 2nd National Vice President. As for his business, he said the future looks very bright on that front too. “I’m very versatile. I can perform for daycares, black tie corporate events, fairs, schools, libraries ... you name it. You can’t say that about a lot of other kinds of entertainment.“Businesses can count on me to offer clean, adult entertainment that is always appropriate and non-offensive. And I think that’s what most businesses want, especially here in the Midwest.”* For more information about Quinn, visit www.jeffquinnmagic.com.