Artist Spotlight : Talking with Jeff Civillico
By Christine Logan
I recently had the chance to sit down with corporate entertainer and all-around go-getter, Jeff Civillico. I’ve worked with Jeff on several occasions and can attest to his talent and professionalism. With his unbridled energy, professional attitude, and ability to practically shape-shift himself on stage, this Georgetown alum’s star is no longer rising…it has already risen!
Christine Logan: Jeff, congratulations on all of your success in the world of entertainment. I’m sure it’s been an exciting journey for you so far. Can you tell me a little bit about how you developed your show?
Jeff Civillico: I’ve mostly developed my show on stage. Something funny will happen in the moment, I’ll write it down afterwards and it will then become part of every show. I came up doing theme parks (Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Disney, etc) where you do 5-6 shows a day. That’s a lot of practice, and a lot of times for creative experimenting. If you’re in the moment and let things happen on stage, it’s amazing what will come out. And since most of my routines are volunteer-based, the possibilities to create new moments become endless!
Logan: Can you give me some examples of other acts in the industry who you respect or perhaps model yourself after?
Civillico: Giovanni is a great inspiration for marketing… I just like people who can blow categories out of the water. He’s so much more than “Giovanni the magician”… Another act that’s a little closer to home for me as far as genre would be The Passing Zone. What they have done as comedy jugglers with marketing is remarkable. They have set the bar.
Logan: You are truly a master marketer. I get your newsletters all the time and I enjoy reading them. What do you think is the most effective way for entertainers to market themselves?
Civillico: I am constantly marketing. I think you should look at your website as a living, breathing hub for you and your brand. When you look at my website, you can see that I’m actually working. In entertainment, that’s important! There are a lot of entertainers who have all sorts of slick promo, but they’re not actually working. People want to hire the entertainer who’s busy, not one with the wide-open calendar.
You can see pictures, videos, and testimonial letters from past shows– all with dates on them so you know they’re from last week, not last year. You can see upcoming show dates for tomorrow through the next 2 months. My goal is for someone to glance at my website for 20 seconds and instantly see I’m “legit.”
I also believe that for a performer, it’s best to try and get your clients to see you in person. I am currently doing a regular guest spot in the Nathan Burton Show at the Flamingo in Vegas – it’s a packed showroom. It’s a great showcase for me for corporate buyers, and I invite them all the time.
Logan: Besides performing, I’ve noticed that you’ve been dipping into other creative areas like writing, hosting and speaking. Tell me more about that?
Civillico: Well, I published the first chapter of a co-authored book called Life Choices, Pursuing Your Passion. I am very excited about being an author! I am also the founder of Win-Win Entertainment, a non-profit I developed to benefit charitable organizations. The concept is to match professional entertainers willing to donate time and talent with eligible, approved charities nationwide. Charity organizations WIN by gaining access to professional event entertainment that provides uplifting experiences to members and supporters, and facilitates fundraising. Performers WIN by gaining the opportunity to experience the fulfillment of giving back to the community. Corporate sponsors WIN by participating in a positive advertising platform and receiving a boost in community good will. I created this platform because I believe people have the desire to give back if presented with the opportunity to do so. We’re growing at an amazingly fast rate, and I’m really excited to see what happens down the line with Win-Win.
Logan: With all of the projects you are involved with, how do you maintain your social life?
Civillico: Sometimes it’s difficult, especially out on the road. But I believe you make time for what’s important to you. It’s all about priorities. My family and friends are important to me, so I make time to see them and to talk with them. I see my family and friends on the East Coast about every 2 months. Often times I’ll fly home for a day just to be present at a large family event like a birthday party, or to meet my friends for a Georgetown basketball game. That gets tough financially sometimes, but again– if it’s important to you, you make it work.
Christine Logan is an award-winning entertainment producer. She has written feature articles about entertainment for Special Event Magazine and Event Solutions Magazine. She was also Editor of the ISES Orlando Monday Morning News from 2005 – 2007.
Special Event Entertainment, LoganMania Music & Madness
Member of the International Special Event Society since 1999, Past-President – ISES Orlando Chapter, Winner – Best Team Effort – ISES Esprit Awards 2003 & 2010, Finalist – Best Team Effort – ISES Esprit Awards 2008