Biggest problems related to magic business!

Aug 22, 2010
1
0
Hello everyone! :)

I have an internship in one business company. They gave me task to explore different problems of companies and businesses.
I'm big fan of magic - it's my hobby for 5 years already so I thought this is great place to start.

I would love everyone to write here biggest frustrations/fears/risks that you have in your magic career or you have seen professionals having, or any problems you see in magic business in general.

Hoping to hear your opinions on this. :)

Sincerely,
-Andris
 

Josh Burch

Elite Member
Aug 11, 2011
2,961
1,096
Utah
My biggest worries are the following;
1. Can I make a living at what most consider a hobby?
2. How do I get taken seriously when I say I am a magician.
3. If a business opportunity surfaces how do I convey that I am serious about it.
4. How do I get rid of the old fashioned cookie cutter magician who lacks personality and sell my personal brand.
5. How do I get money for doing this when so many people look at you like your crazy when you tell them your prices?
 
Mar 18, 2012
7
0
My biggest fears that deal with being a magician....

1. There is literally thousands of magicians out there, some who practice a lot, some who just do it as a hobby, some who do it for money, i mean look at youtube hundreds upon hundreds of magicians. Most of them are still young and inexperienced, but they all desire to do something with their magic, and so do I. I have spent years learning many new tricks, preforming, and practicing. We all have different approaches to our tricks, different variations, styles, and personalities. All of these magicians can blow you away with a trick or two, or make you laugh with comedy magic. Any of these magicians can buy expensive equipment and make someone disappear, levitate from a stage and even have a beautiful assistant. So at the end of the day what separates me from the rest of those magicians out there? What even classifies me as a magician? I would like to go somewhere with my magic, maybe even become a professional.....but so do 10,000 other people.
 
Mar 10, 2013
45
0
Murphy, NC
Honestly, I'm new to the magic community but not new to magic so this might just be me but... My current biggest fear is releasing my secret and loosing it. I fear it will be stolen and published under another magicians name. That said I have seen a few tricks published recently I created years ago... It's a catch 22 for me as a creator. If the transaction of the secret and the trick being published was more than simply "tell me the secret" I'm sure more tricks would become available actually... Not just from me but I'm sure I'm not the only creator who fears this. I can't think of an alternative at the moment on how it could be handled but that's my fear.
 

Josh Burch

Elite Member
Aug 11, 2011
2,961
1,096
Utah
Honestly, I'm new to the magic community but not new to magic so this might just be me but... My current biggest fear is releasing my secret and loosing it. I fear it will be stolen and published under another magicians name. That said I have seen a few tricks published recently I created years ago... It's a catch 22 for me as a creator. If the transaction of the secret and the trick being published was more than simply "tell me the secret" I'm sure more tricks would become available actually... Not just from me but I'm sure I'm not the only creator who fears this. I can't think of an alternative at the moment on how it could be handled but that's my fear.

Yeah, the fear of exposure and piracy is big in the magic community!
 
Aug 17, 2010
411
4
I would love everyone to write here biggest frustrations/fears/risks that you have in your magic career or you have seen professionals having, or any problems you see in magic business in general.

1. Lack of venues to perform in, especially for novice performers to get experience harmlessly.
2. Low level of craft, generally. Mainly due to #3
3. Lack of professionalism. I mean, how many threads have there been here along the lines of "Help - booked a gig and need some material to perform, please help!"
4. Lack of sophistication. Misuse of big words, mispronunciation, misspelling in promotional material, etc.
5. The inward focus on becoming published and known to other magicians seems to be the goal, rather than performing in the real world to real people
6. The lack of established and widely accepted theory and terminology; music has terms pretty narrowly defined, theory behind scales, chords, and harmonies, theory that is widely accepted, and everyone knows what you mean when you say " This one's in A-flat minor in 6/8 time." We barely agree on "trick", "routine" and "plot", let alone the difference between a gaff and a gimmick.
7. the marketing of magic tricks that promise instant gratification; "you perform mind-blowing magic hours after watching the DVD" and copy like this. This leads to #2 and #3.
 

venom546

Elite Member
Mar 11, 2013
121
5
My biggest fear is trying to show someone a trick and messing it up and revealing the trick to the spectator. I practice my tricks in the mirror and i do it perfect, but when it comes to performing in front of someone, I get super nervous and shaky and tend to forget things. I always start stuttering when I speak and I just come off as awkward. I try really hard not to be but I just get so nervous showing someone a trick.
 

Justin.Morris

Moderator
Aug 31, 2007
2,728
821
Canada
www.morrismagic.ca
My biggest worries are the following;
1. Can I make a living at what most consider a hobby?
2. How do I get taken seriously when I say I am a magician.
3. If a business opportunity surfaces how do I convey that I am serious about it.
4. How do I get rid of the old fashioned cookie cutter magician who lacks personality and sell my personal brand.
5. How do I get money for doing this when so many people look at you like your crazy when you tell them your prices?

I like this list. I would add "how do I find and network with the clientele that will spend more money on a magician.
 
Aug 17, 2012
66
0
My biggest fear is trying to show someone a trick and messing it up and revealing the trick to the spectator. I practice my tricks in the mirror and i do it perfect, but when it comes to performing in front of someone.

Simple answer to your problem - your performing the wrong type of trick.
Think, if you were doing an ambitious card routine, the audience wouldn't care if you were doing a simple double lift or a knuckle busting pass - the effect is still the same.
The message is, the simplest of tricks to your audience have the best effect. Perform tricks you can't possibly mess up, but still amaze.
Remember, a huge factor of your performance is you, your personality whilst performing. For example - If you do a simple false transfer, you make a joke about it going to an impossible location, then adding a punchline.

Hope this helps,
Sam Morgan.
 
Apr 16, 2013
8
0
my biggest concerns are that
Can I make a living at what most consider a hobby?
If a business opportunity surfaces how do I convey that I am serious about it.
How do I get taken seriously when I say I am a magician.
 
Aug 17, 2010
411
4
If a business opportunity surfaces how do I convey that I am serious about it.
How do I get taken seriously when I say I am a magician.

Professionalism.

First, as ChristopherT says, take it seriously. Keep working on your craft, keep making your act better.

If people see that you're serious about it, you will be taken seriously; that means your stuff has to be at the level of a competent professional - don't design your own cards (unless you are a trained graphic designer), don't have your pals take your head shots on his phone's camera, maybe you should think twice about making a your own website, or use a template, don't cheap out on anything. A professional can't afford cheap looking things, from props to promotional materials. Hobbyists in any field have cheap looking home-made cards, websites and pictures; pros do not.

Have your stuff proof-read by the biggest grammar-nazi you know. Misspelled words, poor writing, misused homonyms, they all scream "I'm not serious about this, I couldn't even be bothered to check my stuff."

If your promotional stuff looks amateur, that's how you'll be perceived. If you look like a hobbyist, that's what people will think of you.
 

Josh Burch

Elite Member
Aug 11, 2011
2,961
1,096
Utah
ChristopherT and JButterfield all of that is a lot simpler said than done. I brought up the problem because that what was asked for in the original post. The problem is much deeper than just acting more professional, the problem lies in the way that the public sees magicians. You mention you're a magician and the immediate response is "Oh! I wish my kids were here." You mention your price and they act like your crazy for even suggesting that you get paid.

Even David Copperfield has problems with this to some extent. I remember talking with a friend a while back and he said "We were in Vegas and I took my kids to David Copperfield. I thought they'd like that." It's like he never even considered enjoying the show himself!

Being as professional as possible helps for sure, but it only helps after people have broken down the cliche barrier and that cliche is the problem.
 
Aug 17, 2010
411
4
All we can do is conduct ourselves in such a way as to change the minds of people we encounter. We can't change the world, but if we all raised the level of our craft, all raised the professionalism, it certainly wouldn't hurt.

I think it's a chicken and the egg thing; the public sees us a certain way because of the lack of professionalism.

In any case, we can only change ourselves, and how we as individuals are perceived. If enough of us raise our game, that may change the perception to professional entertainers for all ages.
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,739
2,854
All we can do is conduct ourselves in such a way as to change the minds of people we encounter. We can't change the world, but if we all raised the level of our craft, all raised the professionalism, it certainly wouldn't hurt.

I think it's a chicken and the egg thing; the public sees us a certain way because of the lack of professionalism.

In any case, we can only change ourselves, and how we as individuals are perceived. If enough of us raise our game, that may change the perception to professional entertainers for all ages.

This.

If someone puts out a show that's mature and serious, they get a reputation for being mature and serious. However, years and years of poor performances with stupid scripts and immature performers have created a pretty solid stereotype. That's not to say there can't be funny performers or what have you, but I honestly think the masses of ... I hesitate to say words like 'wannabe' or 'poser', but the people for whom magic is just a brief passion. They think it's really cool, they learn a half dozen tricks which they never perfect, they perform them to everyone they know a thousand times over, then they lose interest when the reactions wane. Then those people have that image in their head.

Then there's the people who think that because someone gave them $10 to do a few card tricks at their kid's birthday party they are a 'professional'. They slap together a web site and print some punch-out business cards on their inkjet and start pimping themselves out to everyone who will give them the time of day.

And that's not even specifying the people who think that because they can do magic they don't need a personality. These are the people who only ever talk about magic and what magic they are doing and the trick they just learned and a video they saw of this guy from Spain doing this amazing card trick where he did such and such and dear god shoot me.

How serious can anyone be if they think that the hours and hours of practice, scripting, blocking and rehearsal that should go into a show is worth $20 an hour?

I know I'm a bit all over the place, but I genuinely believe that the biggest hurdle for a magician being taken seriously is other magicians. Which is why I generally don't bother saying I'm a magician or talking about magic at all.
 

Josh Burch

Elite Member
Aug 11, 2011
2,961
1,096
Utah
All we can do is conduct ourselves in such a way as to change the minds of people we encounter. We can't change the world, but if we all raised the level of our craft, all raised the professionalism, it certainly wouldn't hurt.

I think it's a chicken and the egg thing; the public sees us a certain way because of the lack of professionalism.

In any case, we can only change ourselves, and how we as individuals are perceived. If enough of us raise our game, that may change the perception to professional entertainers for all ages.

I agree and this is much of the way that I have coped with the problem.

"I would love everyone to write here biggest frustrations/fears/risks that you have in your magic career or you have seen professionals having, or any problems you see in magic business in general."

So, "in magic business in general" I "have seen professionals having... problems" with being taken seriously.

It's not necessarily my problem, it's just a problem I see in the magic community.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Apr 20, 2013
71
0
I can't agree more to what Christopher has laid here on this thread.
Lots of "unprepared magicians" call themselves magicians. THis is actually one of my biggest fear in the industry of magic. These "magicians" will eventually leak the core of the craft, the secrecy. And because of this, people will be less interested in magic. People will have a stereotype mindset that magicians are eventually liars. This happened to me sometime in the past in which a friend of mine was performing poorly and flashing all over the place. When I tried to make it up and perform in front of those crowd, they has lose interest in the magic itself.

Other than this, as I laid in the same topic on other forum, I fear me.
I fear myself, as if I could lose my edge in the industry, in which I will be "bored".

-LYE
 

Josh Burch

Elite Member
Aug 11, 2011
2,961
1,096
Utah
This.

If someone puts out a show that's mature and serious, they get a reputation for being mature and serious. However, years and years of poor performances with stupid scripts and immature performers have created a pretty solid stereotype. That's not to say there can't be funny performers or what have you, but I honestly think the masses of ... I hesitate to say words like 'wannabe' or 'poser', but the people for whom magic is just a brief passion. They think it's really cool, they learn a half dozen tricks which they never perfect, they perform them to everyone they know a thousand times over, then they lose interest when the reactions wane. Then those people have that image in their head.

Then there's the people who think that because someone gave them $10 to do a few card tricks at their kid's birthday party they are a 'professional'. They slap together a web site and print some punch-out business cards on their inkjet and start pimping themselves out to everyone who will give them the time of day.

And that's not even specifying the people who think that because they can do magic they don't need a personality. These are the people who only ever talk about magic and what magic they are doing and the trick they just learned and a video they saw of this guy from Spain doing this amazing card trick where he did such and such and dear god shoot me.

How serious can anyone be if they think that the hours and hours of practice, scripting, blocking and rehearsal that should go into a show is worth $20 an hour?

I know I'm a bit all over the place, but I genuinely believe that the biggest hurdle for a magician being taken seriously is other magicians. Which is why I generally don't bother saying I'm a magician or talking about magic at all.

My feelings exactly!
 
Jan 29, 2008
111
1
If anyone needs help booking gigs then send me an email and I'll give you a video I'm making about the $12,500 gig (1 hour strolling) I booked in Finland this May. In the video I explain what I did to get the gig and other gigs.

But if you're not getting the gigs you want then the question you should ask yourself is..."What do I do most of the day?" If you're on Facebook, Twitter, watching TV, talking on forums, thinking about how to get gigs, etc etc...then that is why you're not getting the gigs you want.

But if instead, you're contacting people who can hire you, going to events, and actively marketing, then you're much more likely to get gigs.

You can always tell if someone is booking gigs by looking at their schedule (and by "schedule" I mean what they're doing).

When you wake up, what do you do? Do you contact event planners? Or do you check your Facebook? Do you look for local events so you can contact the person in charge? Or do you keep wondering what to say to them and never actually say anything at all? Do you go to magic club meetings or conventions that have other businessmen?

Always be aware of how you use your time.

Once I finish the video, if you send me an email to info@paidtoperform.com and you want to take a look at it then just let me know in the email.


Tootles,

Benji Bruce
 
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