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impossible man
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Does this sound familiar?

I work pro but part time. Last year magic was the largest part of my income, but I also teach at a private college. This year sales are down, but I'm much busier teaching. I've also gotten burned on some charity stuff. For the last few months I've noticed that I haven't even wanted to pick up a deck of cards, and my shows are barely paying my ad costs. Add to this several health issues all cropping up in about six week's time, and the exhaustion of working two part-time jobs while staying at home with the kids. It's starting to seem like too much effort. Then there's the lunch I had with three insiders who told me some very disturbing things about some magicians we all know and their recreational habits. Usually magic seems to lift my spirits, but lately it's more like a burden to carry. I would just walk away for a little while but I have a few bookings and an ad contract to pay.

I have raised my rates some to keep my spirits up.
Dean Gilbert
Impossible Man
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The Drake
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Hello Dean,

I think this happens to everyone at some point. It happens for many reasons. Sometimes its because, after lofty career goals we feel we hit a plateau and won't continue to grow in magic. Other times its because we had seen magic and fellwo magician through rose colored glasses and learn in reality that its not a glorius as we had thought. Focus on what first go you interested in magic. Remember that spark that got you interested years ago. Focus more in that direction and hopefully you'll get back to enjoying magic soon.

Best,

Tim
Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
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Magic is a calling and if you are not having fun just take a break. Some guys need a week off, and others need a year off. The little man inside of you will tell you when to pick up the cards again.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
SoCalPro
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Quote:
On 2008-05-16 10:17, Al Angello wrote:
Magic is a calling and if you are not having fun just take a break. Some guys need a week off, and others need a year off. The little man inside of you will tell you when to pick up the cards again.


Best advice I have seen all week. Smile
Ken Northridge
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Atlantic City, NJ
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Some people like me needed much more than a year off. I got so tired of poor reactions from the audience, few bookings, and the rabbit peeing on my tuxedo that I packed up all my magic for 8 years! I thought I’d become a normal person with a real job. The trouble is I’m not normal.

Dean, take a vacation, as long as you need. You are fortunate you have a part time job you can fall back on. Then, maybe learn a new routine. Something you’ve always wanted to do. That may spark you love for the art once again. Best of luck!
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
www.KenNorthridge.com
RJE
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After 4 years in a hit magical comedy cabaret dinner theatre doing shows 5 nights a week with 2 shows on Friday and Saturday evenings, I couldn't stand doing another trick. Near the end of my time there, I'd walk out onto the stage hating every moment and hoping that it didn't show to the audience. I quit the show and started doing stand-up comedy, challenging myself to do longer and longer without a prop.

I enjoyed the change working the comedy club circuit and one nighters for a while and then slowly started to add the props back into the act over the years until it was a stand-up magic act. By that time, I could do over an hour of stand-up prop free, but chose not to.

When I got married 6 years back, I was fortunate enough to find a wife for all the right reasons AND she liked magic! We became a two person magic act.

Now we're busier than ever travelling and performing. I have found my love for creating new routines and have written hours worth of material for all our different styles of shows. This rebirth wasn't planned and 15 years ago, if you had told me it would happen, I would have said you were nuts.

Over the years, I've met a lot of great working performers. Some walk away from it when you think they're doing great. Some should walk away from it but won't admit it to themselves. Some hang in there.

You got to do what's right for you. When it doesn't feel right, walk away. For most people though, it will creep back into your bones at some point. So don't throw away or sell or those books and props cause some day they may be your friends again.

All the best in whatever you decide.

Rob
leapinglizards
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I took 15 years off! Sometimes you become the message and have to leave for a while!
Leaping Lizards!!! Who knew it was possible.
<BR>
<BR>www.LeapingLizardsMagic.com
impossible man
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Thanks, everyone.

I think I'll look at this as a rebuilding year. In the meantime, just to keep in practice as a deceiver, I'll just lie to people as often as possible (kidding!).

I'm working on my juggling stuff for now. I've been thinking about an approach like Rob's that switches out some juggling for parts of my act.
Dean Gilbert
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Al Angello
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Collegeville, Pa. USA
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Hoaky Smokey
Does Rob juggle?

I don't know how much juggling you know, but if I can be of service to you in putting juggling into your show feel free to ask me or go to "catch this if you can" right here at the magic Café.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
impossible man
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No, I mean follow his plan of switching out magic for other performance material. Thanks, Al. I'll go to the appropriate part of the Café and post a couple of my questions now.
Dean Gilbert
Impossible Man
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Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
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The jugglers at the magic Café are a small but friendly group of men, and women.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
RJE
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I can only half juggle. I find catching is really hard, but throwing up just comes natural.

Good luck Dean,

Rob
Kenn Capman
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Southwestern Michigan
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I performed full time for seven years after 10 years of being a part-time pro.

The business of promotion, sales, follow-up, not to mention travel and cut-throat 'competitors' and agents, etc. finally took its toll and the entire operation ceased to be fun any longer. It became more than work. It became something that I dreaded. Be careful what you wish for lest you end up being booked more as a product than artist/performer.

My burnout was one of the few objects visible from low space orbit.

After I entered the 'real world' of work, I suffered a traumatic brain injury that I thought would destroy my ability to enjoy magic even as a pastime.

After 18 months of rehab (so I didn't walk and talk like a cartoon character) and countless hours of research, study and practice, I am back ready to perform 40 milers as a start.

Now, short tours are being arranged for '09 to accommodate my new limitations.

In the end, I believe magic seeks you.

Those with the drive to perform and hone their craft will find a way to perform. Some may even be able to go back to it as a profession. All circumstances are not equal just as all performers are not equal.

Burnout is nature's way of telling you it's time for a change of scenery. The degree of change is up to you.

Know thyself and heed the signs or you may see a valuable part of your life and identity go circling the drain before you know it.
"The thermometer of success is merely the jealousy of the malcontents."
- Salvador Dali -
Chad C.
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I find that I no longer perform much "impromptu" magic for family/friends. I now only perform it when I'm hired to do so, except when I need some "rehearsal" time. I have never gotten burned out with magic as of yet, but I was burned out as a teacher after 3 years - once I started performing magic as my main income I never have looked back and work waaaayy more and harder than I ever did as a teacher.

But anyone who feels burned out needs to make themselves step back and take a look at themselves and see what and why they are feeling that way so they can make some positive changes. Burn out can be tough when there is no end in sight!

Chad
TheGiz
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I've gone through about 3 burnouts. Once I tried to sell everything, but my wife said to just wait a while. I did and later got back up and running. I think it was somewhat of a cleansing to go through that. Later I was bettr focused and motivated. I had a clear picture of what I liked and what I didn't. I quit doing stuff that didn't turn me on. My show improved. If it falls away let it go. You may not be cut out to be a magician. Maybe it was a temporary distraction from what you need to be doing. I wish some of the magicians I see at the club would burn out. It might improve the art.
http://blackbeltmagician.com

"And it's a good thing I only use my power for good!!!"
impossible man
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In the past I have drifted away because it was mainly a hobby. But when I came back the thing I would come back to was improvement. Learning sleights, improving performing skills. I do think that some things will drop off. I'm not picking up cards and coins all the time to practice new stuff, and I could see that coming. I couldn't bear to learn one more move but I couldn't put the stuff down. Soon my Spring term of teaching college will be over, health issues are already stabilized, my wife will be working less or home, and I should slowly recover on several fronts.

I really like the comment about being more focused. I need to expand my repertoire a little, embellish most of my stuff more, then just enjoy what I can do for a while.

One cause of burnout is putting more in than you're getting out. Trying to learn every trick I ever see just might not be reasonable. If I had spent the time marketing I have more work now.
Dean Gilbert
Impossible Man
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ibm_usa
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Burnouts will happen to everyone. Don't fret, they won't last long. You'll get your motivation back. Just continue performing and it will all come back.
"You may think that i only talk of things from the past, you know, history, well magic is history"

-Guy Jarrett

"Curiosity isn't a sin Harry, but it should be exorcised with great caution."

-Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)
http://www.jordanallen-mentalist.webs.com/
ibm_usa
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IF you need a break, stop performing for free and only perform when asked. Get a new routine, a new audience or even a new target market. Give yourself variety so you won't bore out.
"You may think that i only talk of things from the past, you know, history, well magic is history"

-Guy Jarrett

"Curiosity isn't a sin Harry, but it should be exorcised with great caution."

-Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)
http://www.jordanallen-mentalist.webs.com/
chris mcbrien
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Quote:
On 2008-05-16 08:52, impossible man wrote:
Then there's the lunch I had with three insiders who told me some very disturbing things about some magicians we all know and their recreational habits.


Please don't talk about my Smurf collection ever again in this forum...take it to "Smurfvillage.com".
Now I feel so dirty.

On the serious side, don't take on other's negativity. This has been "quite the year" for me as well, even for my health in many ways. Apparently I suffer from lack of iron and potassium to a degree where it's almost not even in my system...I had no idea about it until a serious bout of labrynthitus (latin translation: hell on earth). My doc is still running tests to figure out why it's not there even though I'm more carnivorous than anyone I know (I eat beef every day) and I eat bananas too.
He (my doc) seems very worried, but won't say much (which is kind of scary, isn't it?). Meanwhile, my energy during shows is still very high, but afterwards I want to go to sleep for about a week.
I'm also coming to grips with other issues, which all together could be construed as negative, but I'm really trying to deal with it in a positive "this is happening for a reason" way. Easy to say, tough to do.
One thing is I'm trying to stay away from negativity as much as possible. The more I do I realize that some of my feelings are way too molded by others (and I mean that in a stinky mildew-y way too) and that when I let go of other's negativity, I feel better and I am more open minded. Basically, I'm not saying "stay away from your friends", but you can tell them "can we focus on something positive or balance out the conversation with something positive". Dorky sounding, but it works. You may find these guys would like to hear good news, too.
One negative thing to stay away from is free shows. It IS negative, if it makes you feel negatively. Ask them if they get a paycheck. I'll bet they do. So should you.
I feel for ya. I hope your health issues resolve and I hope you feel better about doing magic soon.
c
impossible man
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Thank you Chris, I think you are spot on, but I believe I have misrepresented my friends inadvertantly. My typical experience with my local magician friend has been one that is mutually beneficial as far as referrals, socializing, and constructive input in both directions. And much of the lunch was spent discussing the merits of various versions of rope and money effects. But a direct question was asked about a situation and that led to just a couple of comments about some individuals. I have been PM'd by one member of our little group, who sincerely hoped that he had not discouraged me, and when he's around my part of the world we'll be getting together again, probably for a great time. Since in magic terms I could be considered less accomplished than the others, I kept my mouth shut and learned a great deal about our craft and business.

All this to say that I would be sorry if anything I wrote reflected poorly on individuals who went out of their way to befriend me.

I do have other friends that are a poor influence, and I am finding new ones that are much greater encouragement in everyday life as well as magic.

Just recently I started getting energy back and realized how much I was affected by my doctor's statement that "You are a ticking time bomb," meaning, let's get you on some meds. My numbers are all good, I am developing new eating habits that I actually enjoy, but as soon as I think about doing shows, my energy level just drops and I think about how much I want to work on my novel instead. And yet I'm upset when the phone doesn't ring. Partly because I'm contracted to some advertising costs.

Hope your health stuff get straightened around soon, too.

Thanks!
Dean Gilbert
Impossible Man
www.impossibleman.net
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