My friend Jez Rose (The Behaviour Expert) asked me to write an article for his magazine, Behaviour Matters. The personality test that I came up with seems to have been well received, so I’m putting a copy of it right here for you all to read.
It’s a tongue in cheek analysis of the guests, staff and delegates that I perform for each year. I split their reactions up into 5 different categories. Where do you fit? How about the people coming to your event? You may learn a few extra things about them! Read on …
Move over Myers Briggs, Jog on Jung – it’s time for … The Magician’s Personality Test! As a behaviourist, Jez loves watching people’s responses to magic tricks. His friend, Damian Surr, is one of the country’s top magicians and has invented a whole new personality test …
Damian Surr is an outstanding close up magician who specialises in using magic to boost the fortunes of any business. This month, he takes a break from astounding people to share some of his unique insights on human behaviour.
“I am incredibly fortunate. In my work as a close up magician, I get to entertain thousands of people every year. It’s fascinating to see how different people respond to magic in different ways. Close up magic is unique in its intimacy. Everyone I entertain is within arms reach. This means that when I perform to a group of 5 or 6 people, I get to see every flicker of reaction in their faces and body language. It is from these intimate interactions that my Magicians Personality Test (MPT) has originated.
Magicians Personality Test
When people experience world-class magic, their response places them into a surprisingly few number of categories. The number of people in each type falls into a bell curve distribution.
MPT Type 5 – Can’t look
The less said about these people the better. I assume that their grasp on reality is on such a knife edge that seeing something out of the ordinary could tip them over. Luckily, out of all of the people I entertain, I only meet one or two of these each year.
MPT Type 4 – Too kool for skool
These people are fascinating. Everything about their persona says, “I will half-heartedly look from a distance, but I refuse to be impressed”. Winning these people over is a personal hobby. It would be easier to let them watch from afar with distant interest, but I challenge myself to send them back to a childlike state of giddy wonder. It’s relatively easy to break through their barriers. The interesting bit is where those barriers came from?
MPT Type 3 – Loving it
Most people fall into this category. They are always happy to have a good time and delighted at any chance to make life better. They will enjoy the entertainment, grab some of their friends to join the fun, and generally have a great time. The height of the bell curve. There is hope for humanity.
MPT Type 2 – Here’s my room number
As we go down the other side of the bell curve, there are the people who really reeaally enjoy the magic. No time has to be spent trying to find their enthusiasm for life, it’s how they live day-to-day! They love life, they love having a good time, and while I’m performing they believe that I am the best thing since sliced bread. I have no doubt that when I stop performing and they see some sliced bread again, they are equally impressed anew! These are genuinely happy and positive people who are a joy to be around.
MPT Type 1 – Believers
Finally, we have people who like the magic a bit too much. These are the people who believe that Derren Brown can predict the lottery and that Dynamo can walk on water. I remember one time, I did a trick where I appear to float a few inches above the ground. A girl watching went deathly white, quiet for a few moments, and then said, “What does it feel like when you’re up there?”. These people need gentle positive guidance. If they fall into the wrong hands new cults will be started.
There are two exceptions to the above categories.
MPT Ex1 – Alpha males
Some people just need to be top dog in any environment. They can find an entertainer coming along to steal the limelight a real challenge. I know that many magicians struggle with alpha males. Personally, I find that my magic can quickly turn them into pussycats. As soon as they realise that you are not trying to be top dog, you just want to share something incredible, they are happy to be part of the fun.
MPT Ex2 – Doctors
Doctors are in a category all of their own! I find this fascinating, but have never yet found an exception to this rule. Every doctor I have ever performed to has behaved like this.
They are very warm and friendly and a pleasure to be around (seeming like MPT types 2 or 3). They are eager for you to show some magic to their friends and family. However their internal belief system is screaming, “I’m sure these people over here will love what you’re about to do, obviously I won’t be fooled, I will see straight through it!” It’s intriguing to watch what happens once the magic starts. They suddenly realise that they can’t explain what is happening before their eyes, and they really struggle with that. At the end of the magic they are still friendly and chatty, but I get the impression that they would like to go and sit down for a while and have a jolly good think about things.”
So there you have it. Which category do you fall into? What about your staff? Your target customers? Your family and your friends? Forget Jung and Myers-Briggs, you need to put into place the Magicians Personality Test this year. Get the people closest to you in front of a world-class close-up magician and watch them carefully!
Find out more about Damian at www.gingermagic.com
How will your guests react?
What will your friends responses to the magic tell you about their inner personalities?!?
What will you find out about your colleagues?
How well do you know your family?