Hey guys, I hope your weekend was amazing! This last couple of months I have had a lot of people ask me the question on how one can afford being a professional magician. In this blog post I will try to answer that as clearly as possible.
First of all you have to have the drive and the fire inside you to learn and perform magic to an audience. If you don’t have that, then the road to “affording the lifestyle” of a professional magician will always be a rocky one. Please refer to my earlier blog post about the nature of a magician for a better incite into this. The next thing is, you need to understand that starting out small, is the best way to begin. You don’t need a nest egg or a savings account to become a magician.
Now, if you do have some money to start off with, you can go one of two roads. The first road is to buy as many books as you can comfortably afford that teach “the essentials” of slight of hand, showmanship, coin, and card magic. Trips to the library or used books stores as well as looking on Amazon and Ebay for used books is quite inexpensive. Then try to find a magic club group to join. Learning from other magicians as well as getting feedback from a potential audience of magicians is priceless. The second road you can take is actually going to school to learn magic. There is a school called Chavez Studio of Magic in California and Michigan that teach magicians exclusively. They not only help you learn magic, they help you set out a plan to cultivate your talent and market your future as a magician.
The next step of course is performing for an audience. This you can do quite easily with a little preparation and foresight. Being a street magician is always a must. Finding a place where you are allowed to perform on the street and showing “your stuff”, close up, will build your people skills and if your good, make you a little cash in tips. You can use this cash exclusively to buy better gear or save up. If you have a job at a restaurant and it is an appropriate type of atmosphere, you may ask the owner if you could perform magic for the patrons to earn a little extra money. Who knows, you might convince them with your talent to give you a raise. There are many places that magicians frequent. Like traveling carnivals, amusement parks, and of course the circus. If you don’t immediately get hired as a magician right out of the gate, try to get in doing something else. Once your employed with these types of companies, changing your position should be relatively easy after proving how good of an employee you are.
So you have been at it for a while, you have your collection of books you have learned from, you have hopefully learned and are still learning from other magicians, maybe even a mentor, you have a few routines that have been polished in front of quite a few audiences, you are comfortable talking with random strangers and performing for with with ease. How do you afford the big tricks that you have seen on stage and TV shows? I bet you have looked online by now and seen that some of these illusions cost hundreds and thousands of dollars. Well, in my opinion, the best magician is one that can build their own tricks and illusions. You don’t need to be rich, and you don’t have to own all the shiny gadgets that other magicians have already built and are now selling wholesale to the masses. If you know how an illusion works, dollar to a donut, I bet you can build it for very cheap. You must remember this; it is not at all about how big and fancy your tricks appear to be. It is all about showmanship. Your personality sells everything you do. Not the illusion. Most everybody has seen a magician vanish a coin and make it reappear. That in of itself, isn’t anything special. People don’t go to see that trick. People go to see “The Magician”.
You can quite literally be a magician that has only two fifty cent pieces to work with. But you can be the most popular magician with those two fifty cent pieces if you can “perform” breathtaking magic with them to anyone you come in contact with.
Again, it is all about showmanship. Once you have that, knowing how to market yourself to reach a wider audience will be key. People will pay good money to watch an amazing performer if they know about you, and can find you. Your talent will make you money. That in of itself will give you access to better materials to work with, that of course, costs more money.
Be it a coin in your palm, a bill in your pocket, or a credit card in your wallet; there will never be a price on the love of magic. That my friends resides in your heart.
“Hey Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat!”
The Chavez Studio of Magic: http://www.chavezmagic.com/