Part XXII: The Universe – My Talent Agent
Faith is to believe what you do not see and the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.
~ St. Augustine
Wild about Harry
The Beverly Hills mansion party for HGTV was quite an act to follow, and I was assigned to do just that when Marianne contracted me to produce another party the following year for the same convention being held in New Orleans. After a couple of trips to meet the client in The Big Easy, we looked at possible outdoor venues including a private estate, but settled on the historic and beautifully dramatic Saenger Theatre for the event, because of weather considerations. And then we brainstormed to come up with the right talent to hire at the right budget, and one name stood out that was synonymous with New Orleans, class and HGTV's image - Harry Connick, Jr.
Connick’s agency was Creative Artists in Beverly Hills and his personal agent would not budge from the price of $250,000 plus plus. Plus plus in industry language represents airfare and lodging and perks for Harry, his band and his entourage – easily another $50,000. Subsequent calls to the agent and attempts to negotiate made no difference – he would not consider letting us hire this star for anything less. No room for negotiation. I mean, at the time, Harry was also a movie star, with the lead in films like Independence Day and it would seem that our little ol’ corporate party wasn’t much to consider.
HGTV, although growing, was still a small, newer network and could not spend that much. Marianne and I discussed other options – good ones, like the Brian Setzer Orchestra (“Rock this Town”, “Stray Cat Strut”) and others, but they just wouldn’t do. Harry Connick, Jr. IS New Orleans.
We knew we wanted Harry.
Secret Agent Carole
In all my years in business, I rarely if ever spoke to my clients about my interest in metaphysics and prosperity laws. But when it came to getting the man of our party dreams, I could see no other way. :-) It was time for drastic measures. I was going to the top! That world famous Beverly Hills talent agency wouldn’t stop me. They haven’t met MY agent. My agent was bigger than Harry’s agent. :-)
Marianne was surprisingly open to my ideas about mental principles to create what we want and she agreed to visualize and feel that she was watching Harry perform on stage at the venue in New Orleans. I told her I would do the same. What I actually did was accept in my mind that I had already secured Harry Connick for the job. However, Marianne had made it clear that the very highest price they could spend for the talent was $135,000 including everything (everything – no “plus plus”) – a drastic drop from the agency requirements. I continued mentally accepting that this was a ‘done deal’ even though on the surface, the agent was completely unreceptive.
It was less than a week later when I got the urge to call the agent again and make another plea with our final offer. A woman answered the phone - another agent with Creative Artists – Carole - and she explained that everyone in the entire firm was out with the flu and that she was filling in as agent on duty for all the missing agents. I told her how much we wanted to hire Connick for this event and what my client was willing to pay. She seemed very busy and distracted but said she would get back to me when she could. I didn’t anticipate hearing from her very soon.
But that same afternoon she called me and said we could have Harry Connick, Jr. and his Funk Band at our New Orleans event for $135,000, inclusive! She said he had the date available and was looking forward to going home and seeing his family.
Why, as I look back upon this scenario, does this not surprise me in the least? :-)
So many interesting twists to this story:
I called Marianne immediately and gave her the great news and asked if she had been visualizing. She informed me that not only had she been visualizing, she had been doing it while playing his CD!
I found out that immediately after our New Orleans event, Harry disbanded his 9-piece New Orleans Funk Band and went back to crooning with a large orchestra. But while performing onstage at our event on that April night, he told us that we had the “Supersonic” Harry because he was “home” and performed at home like nowhere else. And on that night, let me tell you…that party rocked!
As it turned out, Harry wasn’t the only supersonic force at work on our behalf. What do you make of a force operating with such exquisite perfection, that it has the one right agent filling in for all of the others who were out? The one agent who was guided to make that call to "the man" and present our offer? And a force that got our answer at the speed of sound? That’s also what I call "supersonic".
Harry, my agent’s bigger than your agent. :-)
To be continued…
Private Reply to Marilyn Jenett (new win)