'Apart From Being A Close Up Magician, Do You Have a ‘Real’ Job?'
Yep – I’m a magician!
You Do This Full Time?
I’m sometimes surprised by how many times I get asked this question, but I really shouldn’t be.
It’s hard for somebody who doesn’t do this sort of job to imagine anyone making a full-time living from doing magic tricks. Most people have never hired a magician and therefore don’t really think about what the cost for them to be there might have been.
If you’re at a party and you’re enjoying watching a magician, it’s unlikely that this thought ever crossed your mind.
But Don’t You Only Work a Few Hours a Week?
Being a magician is a full-time commitment.
Unlike with most jobs where you go to a few interviews, answer some questions, and show up on Monday morning, this isn’t the kind of job that you can simply ‘start doing’.
First of all, you’ve got to learn how to do some really fantastic, entertaining magic tricks. Depending on how much time you have to dedicate to it, this can easily take years.
Then, you have to practise actually performing them for real people. Think of the first time you drove in heavy traffic after passing your driving test – it suddenly didn’t feel as easy as your 28th lesson, did it?
And finally, the most important (and difficult!) part is consistently convincing people to hire you for an event or a party that they’re organising.
But Once People Know You Can Do Magic, Isn’t it Easy to Get Hired?
It’s all well and good sitting at home with a big bag of tricks, polished & rehearsed, all ready to go. But if no one knows you do magic, how do you expect them to be able to hire you?
So what do you do? Walk down the street and ask strangers who walk past if they’re having a party in the next few months?
This isn’t the most reliable way of building a career.
Now, I could write a blog about marketing yourself that would take days to scroll through. I’m not going to do that because 1) it wouldn’t make for a particularly fascinating read, 2) the information already exists in many different formats, and 3) I don’t have the time.
Suffice it to say that the process of finding people who want to hire a magician and then persuading them to hire you out of the numerous other magicians who are already out there, as well as the countless other forms of entertainment they could choose (read as: ‘marketing’), is a monumental undertaking.
I Thought Being a Magician Was Fun!
It is – I couldn’t imagine myself doing something more rewarding or fulfilling as a profession.
But my point is that it has to be worked on every day. I am my own accountant, designer, promoter, sales executive, and administrator, just to name a few.
No doubt you’re probably starting to appreciate just how much work goes into being a professional magician, and that it certainly counts as a ‘real’ job.
Even after I was able to start performing professionally, I was gigging for years before I was able to do it full-time.
If you want to pursue a passion, you must be expect more resistance and setbacks than you ever have before; get ready to learn a hell of a lot of stuff that you never thought you’d need to know; and, especially if you’re just starting out, prepare to do a lot of things you don’t want to do.
It’s the only way you’ll be able to do what you love to do.