Fork in the Road

Nov 12, 2008
Hey there i am in a bit of trouble. I really want to pursue magic as a proffesion but i am not sure the steps to take. Should I just start like getting a gig and working from there. If so what age is good ?

I just don't know what to do in order to accomplish my goal.

If any help can be given, I will appreciate it.

The thing is, there are no set rules to becoming a full time pro. Everyone is different, and no 2 scenarios are the same. It depends on where you're living, what kind of magic you do, who you know, motivation, skill, and as small as it may be, just being lucky helps a lot.

Truth be told, being a professional magician isn't as glamorous as it sounds. The pay can be great, but the work involved can suck. There's a lot more to it than showing up, performing, and leaving. It's getting the gigs, the traveling, the rehearsing, the marketing, the business side, the press...all that can be a real headache unless you have the desire and motivation to succeed. And to continue having that desire year after year, through good times and bad. When gigs are plentiful and gigs are hard to come by.

To quote Darwin Ortiz about performing for a living...

Whether or not you specialize in cards, making a living from magic can be very difficult. So difficult that I hesitate to encourage anyone to do it. The test I suggest is this. Can you imagine yourself being happy doing something else for a living? If you can, then do something else and enjoy magic as a hobby. If you can’t, then you’ll end up doing magic professionally for the same reason the rest of us do. You have no choice.

Now, to answer your question a bit more directly... I got my start by performing in restaurants. I pitched the idea of restaurant magic to a local place and they liked it. I was there for over 2 years. From there, I met a lot of the local business men/women, got my name known, got in several newspapers, and started booking private gigs on a regular basis. I still perform in a restaurant, as it's a great way to practice new material, meet new contacts, book gigs, etc. And the pay at my current restaurant is great!

A good friend of mine, and fellow performer, started out by performing birthday parties at a family fun center. He was the General Manager there and started doing parties at Hyperspace (where he worked). People then started to book him outside of said place, and now magic is his only source of income. He performs at the same restaurant I do as well.

Generally, most of us started out doing kids shows and birthday parties for family and friends. Eventually, we progressed to actually getting paid because people want us at their events and pay for our services...not for the novelty of having an 8 year old perform a few tricks for an audience made up of 5 year olds, lol.

It's all about starting out at the bottom and working your way to the top. You won't start out making $500 an hour and booking tradeshows left and right. You won't start out with people coming TO YOU... you'll have to find THEM and make THEM realize that they need some entertainment for their next event. And that they should book YOU. But anyways, I've gone on long enough and have probably bored you to death. Read and re-read that quote by Darwin though, as it is pretty straight-forward.

Best. :)
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