WOW - Can't Believe it

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

  1. Okay. I read through the thread. Not surprised, I saw mostly what I thought I would see. Oh, and those were my personal thoughts.

    If you want, feel free to find more faults I've made.
  2. Not trying to find faults man. Just trying to keep constructive feedback in the thread. Your cool
  3. You CAN do it, just that it's going to take a lot of hard work, good marketing, blood and tears. Which is why a lot of the guys out there have day jobs. The magic is primarily a side income.

    Much like anything in the entertainment business, you really should have something to fall back onto, because performing magic has a hobby and an a job are two completely different things. And you may find yourself not enjoying it has much as you though you would.
  4. It took Criss Angel 12 years after high school to become successful. There is some perspective.
  5. I think the advice that's been given is pretty solid. Some oddball things that might help you:

    If your grades sucked in high school, you'll probably want to do a year or two of community college before trying to get into a university if that's your plan. You'll want to bust your butt to get the highest GPA possible for that time. People that are hiring will only look at where you got your degree, not the entire four years. This can save you 40 thousand dollars of debt pretty easily.

    Budget and save. Learn to live minimally. If you learn to cook your own meals you'll spend far less on groceries than if you're going out or buying pre-made stuff. Plus it's better for you, usually. I assume any restaurants you work for would be willing to comp you a burger or whatever when you perform there, so that can be your 'eating out night' for the week.

    I don't if you meant a theoretical future wife and kids, or if you meant you have them now (I do know people who were married with children in high school), but I'm hoping you meant future family. If that's the case, put that off for a while. In the very least, make sure your girlfriend/wife is employed. Being the sole provider for a spouse will at least double your cost of living, if not more. Being the sole provider for a wife and child is ... so expensive the numbers make my head hurt.

    Definitely keep performing as much as possible. Not to the point of hurting your studies, but you'll only get better at performing by performing. If you can't perform, you'll never make it as a professional entertainer. Obviously. I also second Draven's recommendation of theater training.

    You might want to follow up on the bar tending idea someone said. I don't know what area you're in, but bar tenders often make really good money (in a good bar/hotel/whatever) and there's a good chance you can perform while working. That's a big part of my future plans when I move back to PA. I know I can get a license for not terribly expensive that's good nationwide. Then I can work in a bar and pull a Doc Eason.

    That's all I've got for personal experience. I've never supported myself on entertainment, but I do interact with people that do. It's very difficult. Look at Shawn Farquhar's facebook page and he's always on planes going all over the world. Brian Brushwood's constantly jetting around the country. Wayne Houchin, too. I think he's in Mexico or something right now. Entertainers travel a LOT. I recall in an interview with Brushwood, he mentioned that he spends three months of the year getting all his gigs lined up for the summer, then basically spends like five months away from home. That's more or less 8 months of every year that he's completely busy.

    Good luck! It's going to be very, very difficult.
  6. #26 JetEyeNight, Jul 18, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 18, 2010
    As he stated Magic just isn't a hobby to him. So I couldn't disagree more with you. This is a huge fallacy that college will get you further in life. Basically all you need in life is the basic knowledge you can get with a High School Diploma and you can go anywhere you want to go. Some of the most successful people in life do not have a college degree.

    People who follow their passion are the most successful people in life. You can check out this article and dozens more like it. Please please read this article before you start bashing me, so you can get an idea of where I'm coming from.

    I'm just going to rant for a second, because I'm tired of people saying things like there's nothing more important than your education. The truth is, there are things more important, like your passions and what you love.

    So many people follow the equation that if good grades + college = good job + happiness. This just isn't true for everyone! It's a huge lie in my opinion.

    Anything you can learn at college you can learn by reading books. If you can prove to an employer that you know how to do the job they are hiring for, you can get it. If you do go to college do you end up in a job that you really love? I know dozens of people who just hate their life because they didn't follow their passion and just followed the above said equation. That's why so many people are unhappy and believe that life isn't fair. They say "oh I went to college, I put in my time, I got good grades! How come noone will hire me?!" College does not automatically guarantee you the job you want. There is a lot of competition in many different markets. Let's say you do go to college, get the job you wanted, which was probably motivated by money. A lot of people unfortunately do not go to school or apply for jobs that they truly love. Most do it for money. Let's say you do get that high paying job that you went to school for. What happens when you get laid off because of downsizing, economical issues, ect?? Do you have any other skills?

    Don't get me wrong education is very important. An uneducated society is an ignorant society. But most of what you learn in college are useless facts that you could easily look up. Most of your schooling today does not stand the test of time. It becomes outdated after the first 5 years of being out of college. You need to be constantly taking classes to stay current. Why anyone would want to live like that is beyond me. I personally know plenty of rich people who don't have a college degree.
  7. #27 JetEyeNight, Jul 18, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 18, 2010
    Before anyone flames me for my previous post, I do agree with what Prae said and how he worded it. What I understood from Gus was, "forget magic kid, get a real job." I just didn't agree with that. Even though life may not be a Disney movie, life can be what you make it.

    Most of what has been said from you call has been sound advice. I really can't say how my life would have turned out if I didn't have a college degree. I do have an AAS degree in Information Management Systems, and it has definitely opened doors that may not have been there otherwise. I'm just saying that college isn't everything and doesn't necessarily mean all the things you may have thought you were promised with the degree.
  8. Actually now that I think about it, you can get a Bar tenders license and then try to get a gig as a Bar tender at a decent place, and while working as a Bar tender you can still perform your magic for them. That way you'd be increasing the normal tips you get from the job and also getting the experience as a performer.

    Kind of a Win/Win situation.

  9. Wow...that the reason I thought you were a teenager genius!!!

    great advice! not only for magic...but for life in general...cheers!!!
  11. For every person that's successful without a college degree there's probably hundreds that are barely making ends meet. Certainly a college degree is not an absolute necessity, but why make life even harder on yourself? Why not go to school for something that can help you with your passion?

    The reason so many people that go to college end up hating their jobs, I think, is because they don't know what their passion is in the first place. They just go to college and get something. Which isn't so bad, as long as you're able to leverage that something into a job that you can enjoy. The fact of the matter is that a lot of 'good' jobs require a college degree of some sort, and if you don't have one you're not even going to pass the first round of screening.

    This is why I think it's a good idea to take time between high school and college if you don't know for sure what you want to do. He does know, so he can just plow right through. To be a magician, he'll need to know how to run a small business. Because that's what an entertainer is. He'll need to know how to make a budget, how to market, how to plan long term, etc.

    I think, other than slacking on the grades thus far, he's on the right track to doing what he wants to do.
  12. Nope. I'm a nearly-30 genius :)
  13. Well, you need to know that being a magician is not easy because it is show-business. There are two parts to that - performance and business. If you can`t do both, you won't make it.

    So for business, some education in this area will go a long ways. It takes an entrepreneur to be able to be successful in running your own business (which is exactly what a magician does). It takes drive, initiative, creativity, passion, smarts, ambition, and common sense. Financial management is an absolute must. You need to be able to take care of your taxes, pay into health care plans, performers insurance, all on top of all the other bills one needs to pay.
    And much much more.

    For some ideas on the business side of magic, both Jim Snack's course and Lou Serrano's course are highly recommended.

    For showmanship, that comes with dedication, and growth in this area. Hands down, I believe that Graduate schooling is one of the most incredible ways to help in this area. Get a degree in theatre. It will change you. Plus after you get a degree, it can serve as a back up to get other jobs (even working at a university for example, you need a degree in anything for most jobs). But I feel, especially if you are not a natural entertainer (and don't fool yourself), then taking a degree in the arts will empower you to succeed. --and keep in mind that you will also have to take classes in other disciplines than drama, and these classes will also empower you. A higher education shows. You will be more intelligent for it. It will even come across in the way you talk.

    I don't know you, but if you are dedicated to this, then that would be the direction I would recommend going. Perhaps majoring in drama and minoring in business. But absolutely go to university/collage.

    Good luck to you!
  14. I hope you do go to college, but it's pretty hard to get in if your grades aren't that good. Right now there are a lot of kids trying really hard to get the grades and do all the other stuff colleges want. Colleges look for grades, If your in NHS, what sports you do, if your school newspaper editor, and stuff like that. I hope you really start doing well in school so you can go to college.
  15. The Stupidest thing you can do is limit yourself with closed and ignorant thinking.
  16. I just wanted to say that I see what you're saying, but I would also point out that for every person you hear about who became successful without college, there are at least a hundred who did by going to college. I'd refer to it as something along the lines of hedging your bets, and probability plays. Very little in life is for certain though, that's for sure - and there will be some who make it without college, and some who become successful by making the wrong decision every single time at every moment of their life. But it is without a doubt that the meaning of a degree and of going to college has changed too.
  17. #37 GusEds, Jul 19, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 19, 2010
    Guys, what I was getting at is that you can't get far without ambition and dreams. Don't you forget that Donald, and by all means - keep going at it.

    I'm by no means anything more than a stranger on the internet, but I'll keep talking anyways. I agree with you, but I'm still skeptical. Perhaps phrasing my first post as quickly as I did left very little room for build-up, but I wanted to get it out there.

    Of course, you're right. Many people don't need the lifestyle others claw for. I do. I want to get to the top. Maybe that's why I'm pursuing college degrees and reaching out in business. What I do think (as praetoritevong said) is that college will open doors for you (of course, it varies depending on your degree). Those initial doors are what provide the kick start (internships and the like) for your career. Then again, I don't know if Donald wants to be a doctor or an engineer. You can't become one nowadays without a strong academic background. It would seem to me that we're disagreeing based on what we believe Donald wants to study for. I don't, so I'll put out that I can be fully liable for what I'm saying.

    However, it's my firm belief that no matter what career you might think about, you should find a balance between your academics and your dreams. At some point in life you will have to make a decision - about which way you want to continue for the rest of your life.

    This, however, is not now for you Donald - so I forcefully (over the internet ;)) urge you to go as far and high as you can with both of these things. Try not to put more weight on magic than education, because more often than not, education will be paying your bills. When the time comes, it's is much more comforting thought to know you had the choice between doing magic for a living or following the career path you chose to study.

    Work & Dream man.
  18. A good point that has been brought up over and over is the amount of traveling that occurs for the guys who are trying to make it big or the ones that have made it big.

    Can anyone name many magicians that do travel the world doing conventions, performing at gigs, etc. that have a wife and family that they just leave for weeks on end? There probably aren't many. I know for a fact that I wouldn't be able to do it. I can't stand leaving my wife and kids for more than 3 days without seeing them let alone a few weeks or months for touring.

    Donald, if you are going to take that path, now would be the time to do it while you are single and have that dream. As you get older and become a father, other things begin to take priority and sometimes your own dreams and ambitions take a back burner. I still say you need to get yourself educated at the college level.

    Draven offered some good advice as far as majors and courses. Marketing or Business would be very beneficial for you.

    Also...I would love to look at any footage you shoot and help you out man. Thanks.
  19. I agree with everyone in stating you should stay in school and further your education. I listened to my parents when I attended UNLV here in Vegas. They wanted me to have something to fall back on just in case what I really wanted to do fell apart on me. So, even if you get your Associate's, Bachelor's or any trade-school degree that you may end up with you'll always have that to fall back on and support yourself with. I support your dream to become a professional magician and I wish you nothing but the best.
  20. Hi Donald!

    Unlike a lot of people on this thread I believe that you can do it. My dad is a professional photographer and has been for the past 20 years. I myself am tring to become a professional magician and I would even go as far as to say I am a pro magician.

    Mate you need to know it is a hell of a lot of hard work, but you will make it if you try hard enough. Contact everyone. I mean everyone. you get gigs from the most random places.

    a rough estimate is for every 100 people you contact you will get one booking when you start out, and the more people you contact the better.

    Lots of people on here are saying dont do it but look at it this way: Daniel Garcia, Daniel Madison, Dee Christopher, Andi Gladwin, Owen Packard and many many more magicians I could mention and some i donet even know are making a killing out of magic every day so you can too. They arent better than you are, they just contacted and stayed in touch with people. yo could be the worst magician in the world but as long as you have a great marketing campaign your gonna make big bucks.

    As I said it will be hard but when you can earn £200/$250 for 2 hours and all your old friends are making that money in a week, they'll be so jealous!

    Keep in touch with me mate and I'll try to help you as much as I can and give you tips, but you literally need to do everything you can yourself to get in the work


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