CCA Corporate Event Entertainer Of The Year — The Magic of Rick Smith Jr.
Rick Smith Jr. has a soft spot for animals — and not just for any bunnies he might be pulling out of his top hat. One of the 2014 highlights for the Broadview Heights magician was headlining the Muttsquerade Ball, an annual event hosted by Dogs Unlimited Rescue. Because Smith performs close to 600 shows each year, he finds it difficult to donate his services. “(But) with this charity, and because of the people involved, I didn’t give it a second thought,” Smith says. “I adjusted my schedule and volunteered my time.” With more than 300 people in attendance at Red Steakhouse, Smith performed close-up magic on all levels of the facility. Featuring such tricks as turning $5 into $500, he was able to encourage guests to make donations or participate in the auction. “Knowing that my services entertained and helped raise $70,000 to benefit abused and neglected animals in desperate need of human advocates and aid was a gratifying experience,” he says.
At First Energy Stadium, Smith conducted a 45-minute act for 1EDI Source. Hired by Stephen Gould Corp., he turned the lobby of Key Tower into a L.A. Magic Castle atmosphere. And while performing on a regular basis for the Cleveland Indians, Smith met the vice president of sales for Kripke Enterprises, who loved the presentation and quickly asked if Smith would perform at his son’s bar mitzvah. That engagement led to a corporate presentation at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas for Kripke Enterprises. That event resulted in several other corporate engagements, including a function for the Young Presidents Organization in El Paso, Texas. “All of these events stem from regular pre-game performances we put on for the Cleveland Indians during the baseball season — my hometown team in Cleveland, Ohio,” Smith says.
The show of the year, according to Smith, was performed for Reliable Snow Plowing. He coordinated the event and provided a 45-minute show that included multiple stage illusions, live dancers, and specialty guest entertainers. He initiated a new show in November at the Alex Theater inside The 9, where, starting Feb. 28, he will be performing every other month. And he was hired as the new television ad spokesperson for Mentor Kia, Mitsubishi, and Fiat. “I really believe that I am one of the hardest working entertainers in this business,” Smith says. “I may not be as famous as David Copperfield, but I probably have entertained as many if not more people of all ages over the years I have been performing.”
For more info: ricksmithjr.com
Runners-up: Champagne Entertainment Productions; Rock The House; Selective Sound Entertainment; Troy Entertainment.
CCA WINNER TIMELINE
2014 — The Magic of Rick Smith Jr.
2013 — The Magic of Rick Smith Jr.
2012 — The Magic of Rick Smith Jr.
2011 — Rock The House
2010 — (no award)
2009 — Rock The House
2008 — KJ Blues
2007 — Shout!