Las Vegas Show: Mike Weatherford is a staple of the Las Vegas Review-Journal and more generally, the whole entertainment scene in Vegas. He reviews Las Vegas shows and headliners on Friday in Neon, and his entertainment column appears Sunday and Thursday in Living. Weatherford recently wrote a nice piece on my new show!
If you are not impressed to hear that Jeff Civillico is a juggler, that won’t be news to him. The 29-year-old was 16 when he landed a theme park job at Busch Gardens and ‘learned immediately the skill set required to get the job was nothing like the skill set required to keep the job.’ But this he learned only after showing up to juggle in ‘my little checkered vest’ only to have people boo or walk away. ‘I very quickly learned I need to make these people laugh, to engage them and get them involved.’
And so he did, to the point where a 12-minute job as a specialty act in Nathan Burton’s afternoon magic show led to a full-length forum of his own.
But here’s the ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’ part for all you show people.
Civillico didn’t leave Burton’s Las Vegas Show to star in “Comedy in Action” at the The Linq. No, he continues to use it as a promotional showcase because – ta-da! – Burton produces the new show as well.
‘Instead of sending people to other shows, I might as well (produce) my own show,’ Burton explains. ‘People want fun, family stuff to do. We’re giving them more options.’
Civillico came to Las Vegas to perform in a short-lived show called ‘Amazed’ in 2009. He stuck around, and found his way into Burton’s show.
‘Nathan and I both noticed that people afterwards were asking where they could see me, and if I had a full show,’ Civillico recalls.
So they carved out a space in the old Planet Hollywood restaurant in the Forum Shops at Caesars. Soon, they were filling up 100 seats with little to no paid advertising beyond the internal promotion.
‘That was a very organic kind of development,’ Civillico says. ‘We kind of made something out of nothing.’
The costs are higher in a real showroom, but the two believe the cross-promotion will continue to send those who see Burton’s 4 p.m. show one day to Civillico’s 2 p.m. show the next.
And it’s still not about the juggling. ‘It’s all about the connection with the audience and the fun, playful character,’ he says…