Becoming a talented magician involves a lot of things.. Practice, determination, motivation and guts. However, it also involves letting go of some of your attitudes and habits. Yes, you do need to commit yourself to slowly and consciously learning the art of magic, and you need to put that learning into practical application, But it also involves AVOIDING some things too. There are ways of thinking and dealing with others, that need to be avoided if you want to be more than just average. Here’s 6 things they never, ever do:
1. Talented magicians don’t blame others.
Sometimes things go wrong. Gigs that you thought were 100% in the bag, don’t go through.. Magic tricks fail, jokes of one liners fall flat, and sometimes sleight of hand gets noticed.. It’s easy to blame everything, and everyone else when something goes wrong. But you’re often to blame yourself.
Did you rehearse enough? Have you been marketing for more work enough? Did you check each prop before a show to make sure it was working and ‘set’? Did your timing fail because of your mood or attitude that night? Perhaps you weren’t as good a magician as you could have been for that booking…
Have ownership of the problems when things go wrong instead of passing blame onto others. You will find it a positive thing because by taking responsibility.. You can focus on doing things better or smarter next time.
2. Talented magicians don’t try to impress.
As magicians, it’s part of the job to impress our spectators, but many magicians fall into the trap of spending time and energy trying to impress OTHER MAGICANS instead of marketing to the people that would actually book them.
It makes no sense to waste time showing off to other magicians, unless your fellow magicians ARE your customers and you make your money selling stuff to them.. Why worry about what your competition thinks about your success as a magician.
One of the most common areas where magicians try to impress other magicians is social media. For example: Do you market yourself as a magician on Facebook? Maybe you post lots of photos from gigs, and check in venues? It’s good to look successful and busy.. Good marketing right? But who makes up 90% of your friends and followers? I bet it’s not your target market audience? It’s probably a load of other magicians. They are not your customers… Chances are, they’re doing the same and most of their friends are fellow magicians too… There’s nothing wrong with marketing yourself on Facebook, but the secret is to use Facebook’s powerful audience segmentation to reach out to new people that want your services.
3. Talented magicians don’t cling.
Performing magic can be scary. It’s a bit like public speaking, except your audience is often trying to catch you out.. That can make many magicians feel afraid or insecure, and as a result, they tend to stick to their same old effects and routines, never trying new stuff or taking risks, even when they know deep down that they have to keep fresh and change with the times.
Don’t cling to the same material and presentations you have been performing for years, even when they start to feel stale. Part of growing as a magician is letting go of old ways of thinking and presenting your magic, so that you can stay fresh and current. This also goes for your marketing too. Try new things and reach out in directions that you have not tried before. Even if it’s scary.. It’s good for you.
4. Talented magicians don’t interrupt.
Next time you perform an effect and the audience reacts, try this: Just wait and say nothing for 30 seconds.. It’s quite hard to do.. But brings huge rewards to your presentations. So many magicians interrupt their spectators’ reactions, so they can begin the next trick. DON’T. The whole point of the trick is to give a spectator the feeling of magic. Their reaction is the expression of that happening. If you interrupt someone’s reaction, it’s like giving someone some food to taste and then quickly making them take a mouthful of another dish almost right away.. Just wait and watch them. Let the full range of reaction play out. Once it stops, you can give them another dish to try.. Let them savor the flavor of your magic as if it were the courses of a good meal.
5. Talented magicians don’t whine.
Avoid all the politics in the magic community as much as you can. It’s a sad fact of life that there will always more frustrated magicians than there are successful ones. Sadly, this causes a lot of sour grapes. Throw in a performer’s ego, the need for attention, and some showmanship on top, and you have a drama in every direction..
Don’t get wrapped up in negativity which can make you feel like complaining about what other magicians are doing.. Focus on your own goals and always be positive. Don’t talk about what’s wrong. Talk about how you’ll make things better.
6. Talented magicians don’t let fear hold them back.
It’s easy to be afraid of uncertainty, failure, or how other people might see us.
So many budding magicians want to perform more, but they freeze up. Maybe putting off taking action whilst they ‘decide’ or ‘research’ or ‘practice’.
This goes on endlessly… Weeks, months, and years go by.. Until the plans of performing just become distant unfulfilled dreams
You need to move towards your dreams and goals TODAY. Do something, no matter how tiny that will take you one step nearer.