WOW - Can't Believe it

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Donald C., Jul 18, 2010.

  1. Hey,

    Let me introduce my name 1st, it is Donald. I have been doing magic for the past 7 years, but seriously for about the past 3 years. I take magic very seriously. I am a close-up magician, who basically only does cards. I wouldn't learning some solid coin routines with a 50 cent shell piece, as I have one. I am going to be a Senor in high school next year, and have never taken school seriously, it was never my main focus, magic is and will remain my focus.

    Ever since 9th grade I have wanted to do magic professionally you know making a living off it, supporting my wife and kids off it. Now the time has come though it is my Senor year and I am more terrified then ever. Is this what I am really going to do with my life? I hope so.

    I ask you people who have possibly been though this situation, staff of Theory11, older people with experience, to please give me any sort of advice. I really need to know how to take my magic to the next level. No, not by learning new effects or the latest move, but by learning how to get my name out there, and landing those gigs. I currently have 2 restaurant gigs, 1 every Monday night, and the other is not a consistent gig they just call me up every few weeks to do walk around magic.

    I want to stick with doing close-up magic, and stay away from kids shows. My favorite type of magic is walk around, there is something about it, you can get on a personal level with your spectator, and they can truly see everything happening.

    -What do I need to know, to become a working professional magician?
    -Any tips you can give me?
    -Possibly some experiences you have been through trying to do the same thing?
    - Anything at all

    Thank you and can not wait to see the responses
    - Donald
  2. The stupidest thing you can do is put your academic education behind your hobby.

    I don't care how strongly you feel about magic, life isn't a Disney movie.
  3. I agree wholeheartedly.
  4. On the other hand you can check out Cyril Takayama's or David Stone's biography :)

    And try to read/watch David Stone's advices for restaurant work.
    Good luck!
  5. Whilst I may perhaps have used lesser words, I agree with Gus' comments as well.

    This isn't about how much you love magic. I have no doubt that you love magic with all your heart, and that you want to be a professional magician.

    The question here, though, is not about magic, but about the reality of life, which Gus also hinted at. If you want to be something you should pursue it with all your heart. And whilst I don't necessarily agree with the concept of a "back up plan", I do think that it pays to be realistic.

    Becoming a professional magician is a tough road to lead. You need to recognise that, and recognise too that it will be so regardless of how good you are, or how passionate you are. Take care of yourself first - grow as a person, before you grow as a magician. Each person's path is different - but life is equally unforgiving to all.
  6. #6 RickEverhart, Jul 18, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 18, 2010
    Donald, I'm not saying it can't be done but you sure as heck better go get a degree from a college and use magic as a side job for extra spending cash. There are times when the money will be good and then there are times when the money and gigs aren't going to be there. I know a few magicians who are outstanding gentlemen and they never have enough cash to even pay their cell phone bill and fill their gas tank.

    Are you seriously going to look your wife and kids in the face at the dinner table and tell them...well kids...daddy didn't get many gigs this month so we cannot go see any movies or go out to dinner. Or when your refrigerator goes bad and you need $1200 like NOW. Are you going to wait for your next gig a week later?

    Now some people may totally disagree and bad mouth me but life isn't easy. There are surprises around every corner. And what are you going to do for medical insurance plans for the family? Get ready to spend thousands on that if you don't have a good job.

    Making it big as a magician is probably NOT the way to go Donald, but that is just my opinion. You can sure as heck still have a great career in something else and still travel the world doing magic, going to conventions, performing whenever you want, earning extra cash, lecturing, etc.
  7. Be realistic, you want to support your wife and your kids with magic? Be realistic, magic isn't a job that you can have from monday to friday.

    Take a look at the people that actually do it for a living.... It is hard, it's not like "yeah Im going to put dvd's out and I'll be rizhhhh!" Most people have to be in tour all the time, they are constantly looking for gigs (no matter how good you are, most jobs, you have to look them by yourself.)

    I mean, take a look from here in the forums that actually do that for a living, William Draven for example, is constantly pulling of shows with other magicians, and he often searches oportunities whenever is with T.v and things of the like.

    Brad Henderson is on tour right now.

    And if you take a look at all the other magicians (that don't have a company) they have to constantly be on tour giving lectures to earn some money.

    Irving Quant, Dan White, Marcus Eddie, Aaron fisher, Lee Asher (who most of his income comes from selling nuggets ;) )

    They all are very talented magicians, but they still have to find work that way. And I guess that it isn't easy, and you still want to have a family? they must love you very much, if they are to travel with you ...

    Now let's see another side to it. And I'll be completely honest just for the sake that you do the right thing.

    While you are pretty good with sleights (easily better than me) you have never been a good enterteiner, I have seen all your live performances videos, and I really wasn't impressed with your peformance style. I actually don't imagine you as a working magician in a Restaurant or gigs.

    The best case scenario would be that you discover a few sleights, you make a dvd out of them, you publish them and then you take your whole life, giving tours and what not.


    btw, I know that you are writing "yea I totally don't care for school..."

    Be realistic, you are a youngster, I can bet that 80% of your magic stuff was bought from your parents. There is going to come a time when you are not going to have them around and things will get kinda hard. And I know that you wrote that to be like "YEAH, THAT'S HOW MUCH I LOVE MAGICZ" but it sounded way inmature and what not.

    Again, for your sake BE REALISTIC

    And btw don't come to the thread like "waaaaaa, waaaaa, you bunch of as****, that's why I hate the forums! give me some good advice!"

    Im going to be sincere here. I actually care for you guys ( yeah corny ) If I see that Keo silver got a really got deal, or that maybe Zac Eckstein is appearing on TV, or That Praetoritevong is going ot release a book about magic theory...

    Im going to be really happy for them, same case with you. On the flipside howewer, if you are messing up and you are acting all inmature here and there... Im going to call it out on you so that you don't mess up your life bad.

    take care.
  8. As most of the others have said, dont put your academics behind your hobby.
    No offense, it may not be, but "I am going to be a Senor in high school next year, and have never taken school seriously, it was never my main focus, magic is and will remain my focus." just sounds like someones excuse for bad grades. If not, and you really are smart, then you would know that what you are doing is not the right way to go. Magicians from before were able to pull this road off as they may not have had the educational oppurtunities which you do now. So take the most from it.
    Being a magician is good, but where will you get in life without knowing basic math and having people skills?
    Listening to what you say, it seems like you aren't planning to go to college? bad idea. A degree, any degree will be advantageous to you in the future. If you fail as a magician (not saying you will), you atleast have something to fall back on to earn a living.

    On another note, being a full time professional magician is extremely difficult. Its not impossible but it wont promise you a great life. You may just end up making enough to live. The best advice I can give you is read up on it as much as possible and gain as much experience as possible. Not much we can tell you to rocket you off to your dream career.
  9. Best advice in the thread so far (in my opinion)


    Because it comes from someone that is actually married, has kids and that works as a magician (well side jobs right reverhart?)

    I have been living on my own for some time now, and I have to pay rent, light, gas, water in my house, food, gasoline for the car and extra expenses.

    Yeah, sounds like fun. But it is actually kinda hard sometimes.

    Now, imagine carrying the weight of a family? that's why I admire parents so much.
  10. Thank you guys so much for all the advice so far.

    Reverhart, definitely gave me a reality check, I never though about all those things that could possibly go wrong.

    As far as the whole school thing goes, if you think I get bad grades your right. Like I said I never focused on school nearly as much as I should have. Lately something just hit me, I am going to be on my own, very soon. Paying my own bills and everything, and as freighting as that may be it is also very exciting. I will definitely go to college, and will obviously need a job to pay for everything. One thing I don't want to happen in my life, is getting stuck with a job, I absolutely hate, that is why I have always wanted to do magic, because it makes me happy and the person I am performing for. So why can't I be another Chad Long or Kostya Kimlat? I guess it is possible but does take a lot of work and time.

    RDChopper thank you for all the advice as well. I would like to see if the owner of the restaurant I perform magic for, will let me go in an tape this Monday night, and if so maybe you and Reverhart could possibly critique it for me? Along with anybody else who would like to do that.
  11. Great to see that attitude! :)

    Yeah man, whatever you need :)
  12. I wasn't going to go to college at all. It took a drive back from a Laredo - McAllen football game and my uncle to convince me to at least go for 2 years, and I agreed. Now, during those 2 years of studying basic courses I will have a part time job so I can make some cash to support my stage show I have been working on to tor colleges with. If I haven't made my magic goal when that 2 years is up, then it's time to go to college and learn something specific instead of my 2 year basics. I hope it works out lol
  13. Here's my two cents.

    First, if you ever decide to go professional and try to make a living SOLELY on magic, then save up 1 years worth of living expenses. That way if you fall on hard times you have the nest egg to fall back on.

    It isn't easy having a family at the age you're at, and it won't be easy traveling all the time if you land gigs out of town/state/country.

    Don't limit yourself to just Close-Up and cards. Most of the professionals out there, you will never hear about. They are just trying to make a living, not become famous, and they do whatever they need to do to bring in the money. Saying you won't do kids shows is like saying you don't like money. Take time to learn Bar and Stand Up magic, as well as some stage and kids magic. That way you can be ready for any opportunity!

    As for getting your name out there, do charity work, or street magic that really promotes yourself. I go to any type of fair, or big function and solicit myself. Schools love to have an entertainer come in for when the kids need a break, and that pays really well also.

    I love magic, and I'm trying my hardest to do what you're wanting to do right now. I'm using magic, and a job on the side to pay for my college. If I can't make it as an entertainer, I want to have a degree to fall back on. I also don't have a wife or kids, so I'm free to travel to different locations for gigs.

    Nothing anyone said means you CAN'T do it. Although, all of them are right in that it will not be easy. It will take a lot out of you, and might put you in hard times.

    No one can choose what you are passionate about. I love magic, and I love doing it as my job, there isn't a better job in the WORLD for me. Just don't rush into it.

    Great advice from everyone else :D
  14. Awesome. If he agrees I will have the video up tomorrow night. I am exciting for you guys to see what I do at the restaurants.

    Thank you
  15. It is always a good idea to have a back up plan, even if it's an Associate of Arts or general studies. Having a college degree, even as minimal as an Associate will still open doors for you. What I would recommend is stay with your parents after your senior year for a year or two and attend a local community college. While attending, get a job as a restaurant magician.
  16. I'll give you three solid pieces of advice.

    1) Don't quit your day job.
    2) Appreciate the meaning of "Starving Artist", because you'll be doing a lot of both.
    3) Don't put the hobby or entertainment before your schooling. Not everyone makes it in show biz and you'll need something to fall back on, or support you while you climb to the top. If you are seriously hell bent on going pro, I recommend making Marketing your major in college, and take a minor in theater, communications, or business management.
  17. I was definitely planning to go to college. It's funny because I wanted to do something with Business Management.
    Thank you for the advice.
  18. Without reading the others' responses, here's what I think:
    1) Most of them will probably say you're stupid, or something like that, for putting magic before education.
    2) Get a restaurant gig, maybe a bartending job with magic on the side.
    3) I love your enthusiasm. Maybe a little too much, but you seem really excited if you have decided to choose magic as your path in life.
  19. @Saborfang17 I think the OP is more interested in hearing your personal thoughts on his situation instead of your rehashed statements that you presume others have made without committing yourself to reading the thread first.
  20. Hey Donald,

    Focus on magic ONLY!

    No kidding seriously most of us artist all have full-time jobs and use our free time working gigs, lecturing, and working conventions. Myself and Eric Jones both work in the insurance field during the day and perform in the evenings cause its the smart move and many other artist I know do the same.

    Stay in school!


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