Friday, 30 May 2008

Open Up

So I met up with a new wing today, called Jay. It was his first time sarging, so I went through my now world-famous (!) Opening 101 course. We were in some random bar in New Oxford Street called The Fly, which seemed to have some band playing downstairs and some girls dressed in space suits with blue Princess Leia hair. You know, the ususal. This set us up for a great situational opener (what on god's earth was going on?!?). Despite initial nerves from never having done it before, Jay opened his first set after I did a quick demo, and he immediately felt the first rushes of a new-found confidence.

We chatted after and I had a few tips to help him improve - speak with a loud commanding voice, have a slightly higher energy level, be the Mr. Fun, Charismatic guy, and lead and hold the attention of the group.

We opened another set each and it turned out that Jay had managed to gain a couple of names on the guest list from the girls he spoke to, so we could get to the band room downstairs. This was a sign of good work indeed, he was taking to it well. Pickup can get you other benefits than hot chicks...

After chatting to him about how he made it work, I realised that he had taken my advice and run with it, and that like an idiot I had completely failed to benefit from my own knowledge (I had opened my second set in much the same way as before, though I managed to persist a little longer). This was a major revelation for me, no matter how obvious it may seem in retrospect. A big learning. I am my own guru! But it was clear that Jay had some natural game, and was taking to this better than most, and could point out things to me as well.

So we saw the band, which was all the rock cliches rolled into one, and quit the room as it was too loud to talk to anyone anyway. We moved on and in between walking around the West End and taking different decisions as to where to go, we opened a whole bunch of people, with Jay challenging me to open regularly. He is probably the first person apart from Trev to do this regularly, which was an awesome benefit.

During this part of the night I saw a cute Mediterranean girl sitting on her own. I was just about to open her when I saw she was listening to her iPod. I used Gambler's iPod opener (signal for her to take it off, basically) and it worked. This was great as when I read it I had doubts, but given the good state I was in it stuck. I fluffed and joked with her a bit before ejecting, but my jokes and teasing were getting smoother and I was on a roll.

We were on our way to Verve when one of their hawkers started pitching to us. I joked and teased with him, and when we baulked at the cover charge (we were only going to stay for one drink) he let us in for free. Again, pickup can get you more than hot chicks...

We opened a few more sets inside but it wasn't very busy and we pretty much opened everyone that was there, so called it a night at that.

A very productive night. Lessons learned:
- Open with the right vibe: fun, loud, commanding, energetic.
- I am my own guru!
- Persistance, persistance, persistance, persistance, persistance, persistance (still need to work on this)
- Harness the power of the jokes and teasing. The force is strong in this one.
- Jay is a quality wing. Respect.
- Pickup can get you other benefits than hot chicks...

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