I'll be writing essays quite frequently now. If you just check back to my blog every so often, I'll keep having it updated.
To follow will be a series of essays on how to start a career as a entertainer; more specifically looking at magicians. I'm breaking the essays up in parts so that they don't become overwhelming. Also, I will be releasing various booklets soon also dealing with this subjects. These essays will be included in them, but will be rewritten and expanded on. These essays were written somewhat quickly, so they may not be written in the prettiest manner; but the information is there. So here we go.
Many new magicians are under the impression that making a career out of magic is an easy task. They learn a couple of effects, and then figure that they deserve to be paid. But it doesn't work like that. So, in this essay, I've decided to offer my help on the subject of beginning a career in magic, as well as how to keep that career going.
The first step, on in which is often overlooked by beginners, in becoming a professional magician, is having a quality product that you can sell to potential clients. This may seem to be obvious, but I've seen many magician sell a client a show, even though that magician had yet to create one. It is very important to first create a quality show before you accept any bookings. I know it may seem tempting to be paid for something you love doing, but it's not worth ruining your reputation as an entertainer because you decided to accept a job you weren't prepared for. And don't worry, they will be many more bookings in the future.
Before you can create a show though, there are a couple of things you have to decide on. What type of entertainer do you want to be? Do you want to specialize in just one area of magic, or do you want to dabble a little in multiple areas of magic? What type of shows do you want to do? Do you want to do just kids shows, or do you want to be able to perform a variety of shows? Are there certain venues that you want to specialize in such as bars or clubs? Do you want to do stage shows, or are you more of someone who like doing close-up? Do you want to add other forms of entertainment to your act, such as juggling or dance? You really need to decide on what type of performer you want to be, and the type of audience/venue you want to perform for.
Personally, I've chosen to expand my options and offer a variety of services. I do school assemblies (lecturing on multiple subjects), psychic entertainment, psychic lectures, comedy shows, comedy mentalism, escapes, consulting, pantomime, clowning, ventriloquism, juggling, balloon sculpting, kid shows, etc. I'm constantly expanding my services. Right now, I'm expanding to custom made props and clothing. However, others decide in specializing in a couple of fields of magic. Both are options to look into, as both have their advantages and disadvantages.
Being a specialized performer, your able to focus on those specific fields of magic that interest you. By doing so, this can give you an advantage over the competition. It can also save you money in promotional material, as you can design everything around what you specialize in. Plus, you can focus your advertising to specific groups that are more likely to hire you. However, this can limit your performances . Meaning, there simply will be some shows you can't do. You limit your availability.
On the other hand, if you offer a variety of services, you don't have to limit yourself as much. Your availability increases as you are more diversified. So you are able to provided shows for a larger number of people. However, cost goes up in promotional material. For instance, I have multiple promo DVDs, business cards, promo kits, etc. Each one serves a different purpose, and tells about a specific service that I offer. It was something I decided I need to have done. Doing so though increased the time and money I had to put into these materials. Also, you may run the risk of spreading yourself to thin. This will cause your shows to suffer, and can really wear you out.
There are other disadvantages and advantages of each. However, each of you have to decide what's best for you. Also, take into consideration what you personally enjoy. If you don't like kids, don't do kids shows. If you really enjoy one branch of magic, specialize in it. Make sure you enjoy what you are doing. This way your performances will improve, as you will be enjoying yourself. Also remember, just because you are a magician, doesn't mean you're required to perform whenever someone asks. Do not be afraid to turn shows down. It's better to politely decline a show, than ruin your reputation, and the event your performing at, by providing a poor show.
That's it for now. My next post will deal with building your show. Until then though, think about the information just given. Hopefully it will help.