We received this question about using actors in magicians testimonials:
I have a question about video testimonials. I've been collecting some, but even when people are enthusiastic, some just don't come across very well. Do you think it would be acceptable to hire someone to record the same testimonial that was given by an actual person without saying that it's a paid testimonial (which would sort of defeat the purpose) ?
Don't fake customer testimonials.
People WILL spot that something is fake. Remember how hard it is, even for professional actors to pretend to be members of the public. It always has a scripted feel, and you sense that the person is an actor or stooge. It's easy to spot fake enthusiasm. Faking testimonials that just use actor to deliver them can still ruin trust. An acted magicians audience testimonial may still be seen as 'fake' even when you keep the true feedback content unedited. The goal of testimonials is to create trust and 'social proof' about your services.
Raw and real customer testimonials.
The best testimonials look raw, real and unedited. They may not look professionally produced, but they meet the goal of the testimonial perfectly. Real people, saying how awesome you are, or that they were fooled by your magic tricks. A client is interested in real people's reactions, so even 'home made' quality footage appears authentic.
There's nothing to stop you asking a friend or even another spectator to film some feedback on your smartphone video camera. The venue is a live event, so it's even better when it looks like the place is buzzing, noisy, and full of energy.
Although you shouldn't edit a spectators feedback, it's fine to bleep out swearing, or blur out anything inappropriate in the footage. Even though you may be an adult entertainer, you should still be considerate of everyone what is viewing the footage.
If you really need to change the footage.
Sometimes the footage may be too poor quality to use. Perhaps the audio failed or the footage when totally out of focus. If the magicians testimonials are so good that you really want to include them, convert the testimonials to text and show a picture or screen grab of the person next to it.
Collecting magicians testimonials is one of the most effective forms of marketing a magician can use. There's no need to worry about low quality footage as long as it's genuine and represents your services well.