I am taking a Crown financial class at church. This week's verse to memorize is "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel." Proverbs 12:15 (NASB)
I have a friend who is so hooked on his own style of entertainment that he won't take advice. He is an excellent magician, ventriloquist, and script writer, but his whole focus is on a medicine show theme. He is great at what he does, but he has been advised by many to add a different character to the mix. Dickens for the holiday season could actually wear the same outfit.
It's a hard change for him. He has invest thousands of dollars in a special wagon that turns into a stage for festivals. But festivals are a small part of his potential market.
I am using him as an example to cause you to think, "Have I been given advice and just sluffed it off?" I find that most of us, myself included, interrupt the person giving advice as we give reasons for what we do. (The way of a fool is right in his own eyes.) What we should really do is say, "I really appreciate your input. Do you have any specifics? (A wise man is he who LISTENS to counsel.)
I had a friend who used a guillotine for a school assembly with first graders present. The teacher spoke to ME about it because I had recommended him, and I spoke to him. He said, "Don't change your show just because someone didn't like something." I totally disagree. If you hear the same thing 2 or 3 times (The Bible says something about 2 or 3 witnesses) then you need to seriously consider the advice! You may opt not to change, but you need to LISTEN to what they are saying.
One example is that I had a school that thought that something the Axtell bear said was inappropriate. I didn't know if they meant the part about eating children or the part about dreaming of going to school in his bare skin. So the next year I left out the bare skin part. It must have been the other part because I haven't been asked back.
I listened, I considered, but I'm going to keep the part about "eating some new freinds today" instead of meeting, the audience loves it!
Now the real advice: Is there something you are hanging on to that really should be let go? Perhaps it is a skit about Mr. T and Rocky Balboa that you love, but the audience can no longer relate to. (I used one for 5 years and finally had to let it go.) Or perhaps it is a magic trick that you spent a lot of time on, but the audience just doesn't respond well. Perhaps it's a puppet song that was great at one time, but now... Example: Read It, based on Michael Jackson's Beat It. That was great for a long time and may still be, but sound quality recording has improved so much I have opted for better sounding recordings.
The HARDEST thing to change is yourself. People ALWAYS compare me to Mr. Rogers because I'm gentle with the kids. "Now, Robert, is this really the place for throwing knives? Why don't we show the boys and girls how the switchblade closes and put it back in our pocket. That's a good neighbor."
I don't mind that because the puppets are the laughgetters and the wilder ones. BUT if I wanted to do adult shows I would have to change myself, which is much harder than changing the act. More on that later.