'Does Being a Close Up Magician Feel Like a Job?'
Yes and no.
There are days when being a magician really does feel more ‘job-like’, and that’s most of what being a magician is. These days include doing tax returns, working on advertising, prospecting for new clients and so on (I talked about this in more detail here).
But let’s talk about the active hours I spend actually being a magician. Unfortunately, this part has rapidly become the part on which a minority of my time is spent on in relation to all the other administrative stuff that allows me to do it.
Is it worth it? Absolutely, and I wouldn’t want any other job in the world. However, even the performing side of things can sometimes really feel like work.
‘But you do magic tricks for a few hours and then get paid!’
Well, yes. But, like with even the most amazing jobs, it has its ups and downs.
Every event is different. There are some events where I walk out of the room with a huge grin on my face, having had an absolute blast and wondering where the last two hours went.
And then there are others that make me wish a small asteroid would hurtle into the building, with me still in it. It could be a low-energy gig, or perhaps a particularly awful individual that ruins the evening for the others.
The bad gigs are, thankfully, few and far between.
Let’s take a look at why even the middle-of-the-road, overall enjoyable gigs can still take their toll.
It’s not all Hunky Dory
For starters, a magician is always ‘on’. At a busy event, there is often no opportunity to take a breather, as there could be 20 tables to get round and half of them are looking over at you, awaiting your imminent arrival.
There’s no leaning back in your chair for a minute or two, no briefly closing your eyes, or going for a quick coffee break. It is constant, 100%, upbeat energy for hours with no rests. You have been paid for and cannot be seen slacking off at the bar.
Environments that have magic as entertainment are also quite likely to have music playing. Loud music. So there goes your voice for the next couple of days.
Even When It’s Easy, It’s Not
But what about quiet events where there aren’t 150 guests to get round to in three hours?
The ‘work-like’ aspect here shows itself in the repetitive nature of showing the same three to six tricks, over and over again, in a similar manner, to every single group of attendees in the room.
Why not simply do different tricks, you ask?
It takes countless hours of performing a trick to get it to a level that is, at the very least, entertaining & hilarious every time, so doing a brand new trick that hasn’t been ‘worked in’ is a daunting prospect.
Now don’t get me wrong – if there’s anything I’d like to do hundreds of times in a row, it’s a magic trick. But frankly, it can get to you. Even though everyone I perform for is different, the reactions I receive do tend to blend together.
And don’t even get me started on the M25.
But Actually, No
Now that I’ve got the ‘yes’ out of the way, let’s ask the question again: Does being a magician feel like a job?
I almost feel guilty for how awesome what I do for a living is.
All of the negative aspects I mentioned above are completely blown out of the water when I stop and look at what I do to make my living.
Admin work? A small price to pay for getting to do what I do!
Bad gigs? It’s all part of the learning process!
Repetitiveness? So is eating cake, but that never gets boring, does it?!