Or, The Secret of Being Discovered
The warm-up band is leaving the stage amidst thunderous applause, bowing and waving to the crowd, throwing kisses, fists pumping into the air. Now it’s time for the headliner, the living legends, the singers you came to see.
A drummer takes the stage and launches into a repeating musical figure. He’s joined by five other musicians who enter one-by-one, each adding his instrument into the mix. These aren’t the legends, this is only their band, but the repetitious groove is infectious and easy to follow.
The audience begins to clap in rhythm. One of the musicians breaks into a variation. The crowd loves it. The music is cooking, the crowd is jumping, the walls are bulging outwards when a sharp-dressed man takes the stage. “Are you ready to have a good time!”
The crowd shouts yes.
Cupping his hand to his ear, the vamp leans forward and screams from the bottom of his soul, “I said, I said, I said, are you ready to have a GOOD time!”
The crowd shouts even louder.
Now the music climbs toward orgasm as the vamp screams about the exploits, the miracles, the wonders this crowd is about to see. Pacing back and forth he loses his jacket and takes off his tie.
The singers you’ve come to see aren’t mortal. No, this is Michael, Gabriel and Lucifer. Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria. Strawberry, Vanilla and Chocolate. Finally, at just the right moment, with sweat streaming off his face, the vamp shouts the name of the living legends as they explode onto the stage amidst a cacophony of fireworks and smoke.
Then the vamp disappears. His job is done. The Poodle has taken the stage.
Never underestimate the importance of the vamp.
The show is never really about Jay Leno, David Letterman or Conan O’Brien. Sure they do a monologue to warm up the crowd, but the show is really about their guests. Jay, David and Conan are just famous vamps. (Did you ever notice how the band plays as each poodle comes onto the show? I told you 2 weeks ago, “Control the music and you control the mood of the room.” A vamp keeps music at his fingertips.)
The vamp is the ringmaster in every circus, the selfless promoter of some one or some thing other than himself. He can work onstage or offstage, under the lights or behind the curtain, but crazy success can’t happen without him.
Colonel Parker vamped Elvis from offstage. Don King vamped Muhammad Ali from the spotlight. Ron Popeil vamped the Veg-o-matic from the television screen. John the Baptist vamped Jesus from the wilderness.
Did the inclusion of Jesus in that list make you uncomfortable? I’m sorry. Allow me to explain.
If you believe, as I do, that Jesus is who he claimed to be, then we ought to pay attention to what Jesus said was impossible. “You cannot vamp for yourself.” Actually, he said it this way: “If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. There is another that bears witness of me…” (John 5)
Then, speaking of John the Baptist, Jesus said, “This is the one about whom it is written: 'I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’” (Matthew 11)
Forgive me. It’s not my intention to teach a Bible lesson, I just wanted to point out that God knew his son was going to need a vamp, so he sent John the Baptizer ahead of him.
Trust me, you’re going to need a vamp, too.
Talented people live anonymous lives in every city, town and village, wishing they could only “be discovered.” But “discovery” isn’t what’s needed. What’s missing is a vamp, an advance man, a promoter, someone who is willing to work behind the scenes, fully dedicated to your success.
Here’s the good news: your vamp doesn’t have to be powerful, knowledgeable or “connected.” He or she just has to be fearless, creative and willing.
John shouted, “Get ready, get ready, he’s coming! He’s almost here. Are you ready?”
Who might be willing to do the same for you?
Roy H. Williams
PS – My partners are professional vamps.
The Wizards of Ads® are trained to use all types of media skillfully, but each wizard also has a specialty. Some are exceptional at positioning and strategy. Others excel in direct mail and print, television ads, infomercials and streaming, internet video. A few of them are exceptional at writing radio ads and website copy. When you become a client, a team of 3 wizards will be chosen for you according to your circumstances and your needs. Or you can choose your own team, if you'd like.
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