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 Post subject: Starting a Career in Magic
PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 10:52 am 
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http://belzianmagic.blogspot.com/

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.
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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.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 9:11 pm 
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Nice essay, fallinblood. I enjoyed it.

Waiting for the next one.... :roll:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 11:12 pm 
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SirJonIV wrote:
Nice essay, fallinblood. I enjoyed it.

Waiting for the next one.... :roll:
Just a quick question. Were you being sarcastic? I just ask because of the :roll:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 12:35 am 
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fallingblood wrote:
SirJonIV wrote:
Nice essay, fallinblood. I enjoyed it.

Waiting for the next one.... :roll:
Just a quick question. Were you being sarcastic? I just ask because of the :roll:


Haha. Sorry if it sounded/looked like it....but no, I wasn't being sarcastic.

I really am waiting for the next essay. Gotta learn some more!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 1:10 am 
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Okay. I didn't think so, but I got some less than positive responses at the Magic Cafe, where I posted this as well. According to them, I can't know anything because of my age. But I'll be posting another essay this weekend. Probably on Sunday.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 11:24 am 
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I enjoyed, but I didn't get a whole lot info from it. Still liked reading, though.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:27 pm 
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adjones wrote:
I enjoyed, but I didn't get a whole lot info from it. Still liked reading, though.


Yes, It would be better as an introduction for a book to teach how to get started.

You generalise a lot in the essay, You turn around the pot without going really deep in the subject. Yes you state that the essay was written quite quickly and not in the prettiest matter, but if you strive for excellence in your essay you have to take time to write them.

I liked it though, but could have been worked harder on. On the cafe it's obvious that everyone will have their words, much of the time here people doesn't have enough experience in that feild (By there I mean buisiness) So they will just pick the little bits.

Use it and brainstorm the strong point, then elaborate the essay, it will be very rewardfull, even more if you want to make booklets like you said.

However I have seen a full series of book dealing on the subject, it might not be exactly for the magic and mental performer, but in somme, it packs much of every art that can be presented by someone (Theater work).

I'm taking courses at the moment that emptied pretty much my pocket, every now and then we go to different shows and evaluate the strong and weak points, we learn to make a budget, how to find clients etc.

All the information couldn't be packed in one single essay, it's great to read, but it's a matter of trials and error and experiences...

Thanks for putting an highlight on some points though.

(And yes, older performers are hard to convince when you are young. Sometimes we have something wonderfull to tell but they don't take the time to listen... Note that not all of them act this way! )


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 6:35 pm 
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I know there wasn't too much information in this essay. But this is actually only the first part of the essay. The entire essay is 10 pages long, but I cut it up into sections as not to overwhelm everyone. I do go more in depth later on in the essay, but I figured if I typed the whole 10 pages right now, fewer people would likely read it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 7:24 pm 
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fallingblood wrote:
I know there wasn't too much information in this essay. But this is actually only the first part of the essay. The entire essay is 10 pages long, but I cut it up into sections as not to overwhelm everyone. I do go more in depth later on in the essay, but I figured if I typed the whole 10 pages right now, fewer people would likely read it.

When are the other sections gonna be up?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 10:27 pm 
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What's this I saw about "custom props and clothing"? I know you're looking into a custom table making business, but what's that about clothes?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 10:42 pm 
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I will be posting the other sections one by one over the next couple of weeks. I should be getting the next section up tomorrow (if given the time). And then every couple of days I will update.

The custom clothing are just some shirts and hats made for magicians. Basically, they are just clothing with magic related sayings on them; however, lay people will still find humor in them. I'm also creating some promotional shirts and hats for myself, but those will be mainly for giveaway at events that I do.

So they aren't clothing articles that can be used for magical related purposes (or at least not right now. I've been working with a clothing tailor for awhile now, designing a suit, but that is still in development stages).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 8:11 am 
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fallingblood wrote:
I will be posting the other sections one by one over the next couple of weeks. I should be getting the next section up tomorrow (if given the time). And then every couple of days I will update.

The custom clothing are just some shirts and hats made for magicians. Basically, they are just clothing with magic related sayings on them; however, lay people will still find humor in them. I'm also creating some promotional shirts and hats for myself, but those will be mainly for giveaway at events that I do.

So they aren't clothing articles that can be used for magical related purposes (or at least not right now. I've been working with a clothing tailor for awhile now, designing a suit, but that is still in development stages).


I tried to make myself a close-up table that can be folded, however it ended up in a comedy breaking table :).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 4:58 pm 
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fallingblood wrote:
So they aren't clothing articles that can be used for magical related purposes (or at least not right now. I've been working with a clothing tailor for awhile now, designing a suit, but that is still in development stages).


Keep me posted on that. I've been working on modifying both formal and everyday attire for prop management and other magical purposes for quite a while, and I've been looking into selling them as patterns and/or kits.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 9:55 pm 
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Not too bad. I heard that you have only been doing magic professionally for two years, and don't know jack. Sound familiar? :) That is how the Cafe is for the most part, although I certainly understand where they come from. Heck I did not even have a forum or the internet to write essays back when I was 19, maybe that is a good thing. You think you know it all when you are young, and when in reality you know nothing.

So I am glad I got about 27 years under my belt, and 23 years before posting any essays. However information is far more accessible now than ever on the internet, so it is very easy to copy the work of others and rewrite it. So legitimacy is harder to spot. However most of those jaded old buzzards on the Cafe only want to hear what pertains to them, and have very closed-minds. Not all, but most.

Most just simply sling crap around and try to act like their opinions are the most important, which leads to 6 pages of endless bickering. But I do see where they are coming from as far as all these "kiddie master magicians" magically appearing these days. But judging by some of their posts many of the older ones seem to know even less than these kids, and only argue and bicker on a daily basis.

They don't judge knowledge they judge age. If a 17-year old says something intelligent it is thrown out the window and ignored if they know the age previously. If a 60 year-old says something stupid it is praised as "gold." I need to find time to start puttin gout some more essays, but been too busy revising my books, and working etc. I think Bob Sanders said it best.


Last edited by sirbrad on Fri Apr 04, 2008 10:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 9:42 am 
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I've actually been performing for 4 years professionally, but yes, that does sound familiar. I've actually quit posting or visiting the Magic Cafe because of the response I've had with these essays. So far, that is the only forum that I've had a problem with. Otherwise, I've gotten a lot of good feedback.

I hope to see some more essays from you though.


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