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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The May 2009 entrée: Jeff McBride » » How to Avoid Ever Having a "Real Job" » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Cody Comet
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Louisville, KY
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Hey Jeff,

I'm Cody Comet from Louisville, KY and I'll be turning 16 on the 22nd of June! I do mostly comedy magic, but I also do childrens magic and walk-around too! Just to let you know, I won the "Battle of the Hands" peoples choice magic competition at the Comedy Caravan comedy club in Louisville back in February and I may participate again in June!

Anyways, right now I'm trying to start up my magic business and I was just wondering if you had any advice as to how I can get on the best path and avoid ever having a "real job"? And if you have any advice for my magic in general, that would be appreciated too!

Thanks for joining us on the Café this week Jeff and take care!

Thanks and take care!
Eugene Burger
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Cody: This is such a good question I thought I would jump in. The first thing one needs to realize is that success is show business is not based solely on one's talent. Other factors (such as where you live and, even more important, luck and good fortune!) also enter in. I think the safest thing to do, while working on your magic business, is also to think about a career (not a "job") that would interest you if show business does not work out. Good luck to you!
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I like the advice David Mamet gave in one of his books (True and False, I think). He was talking about acting, and suggested if you wanted to be an actor it was best to throw yourself into that with no back up plan. If you had an alternate career plan like, say, being an electrician, you would end up being an electrician.

OTOH, Mamet has a tendency towards exaggerated rhetoric.

Kim Silverman
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Melbourne, Oz. But live in CA, US
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If I list the 10 most influential magicians in my life, I think at least 8 of them started off by having a different career, and then added magic. At most only 2 of them dedicated themselves 100% to magic with no backup plan from their teen years.

Moreover I know a number of fulltime magicians who desperately wish they had NOT forgone all backup plans.

In my case I find my career gives me perspectives, values, ideas, and inspiration for my magic, and my magic does the same for my career.
Cody Comet
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Louisville, KY
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Thank you all for your advice!! I hope Jeff can chime in before he has to go!!

What I will probably do is go to U of L and get a business degree since that would not only give me a back up plan in a alternative business, but would also help me out in trying to succeed in show business.

And Eugene, I so wish I could make it out to one of yours and Jeffs magic classes! But for now, at least I have the Café and since I live in Louisville, I get to talk to all of Lance Burtons and Mac King's mentors!
Jeff McBride
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Jeff McBride
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Greetings All,

Both Kim and Eugene offer Sage advice Cody!

Many of our students are people who are starting a second career.
the lessons they learned in the 'real world" of business will help them a lot!

Many thousands of people dream of making a career of magic. Many of them have great SHOWS.
Many would be, full time magi, fail because they do not have the BUSINESS skills that are NOT learned in university, but can only be learned out in the marketplace. "Real jobs", can give a person real experience., for the real world situations that face todays magical entertainers.

Let's all remember that "show business" is two words and the second one is TWICE as long as the first!

My friend and manger, Tobias Beckwith, has been a huge blessing in my life. Not all magi are as fortunate as I am to have a great manager like Tobias. He helps all of us navigate the often confusing business world....thank you Tobias!

Tobias helps many of our students with getting a solid foundation in skills that will help them run a business in magic.

You may want to look into his program at the above may even learn all the skills you need if you want to avoid ever having a "real Job!";)

Yours in show and business,

Let's keep in touch! I would love to send you my free, inspirational MUSE-LETTER. SIgn up here:
<BR>Creator of [url=]The McBride Magic and Mystery
David Bilan
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Clarksville, TN
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Regardless of your goal in life, you can't go wrong with an education. Eugene, Jeff and a host of other great magicians have a passion for learning.

A real job? Even magic is a real job when you are doing two shows a day six days a week. Doesn't mean you won't love doing it.

Business (marketing), english (writing), history (source material) and public speaking all serve you well even if you aren't on stage.

Don't think of life as having to choose only one road, and never lose sight of your dreams. Best of luck!

Yes, I am a magician. No I did not make my hare (hair) disappear... it just took early retirement.
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Lots of wisdom from everyone above. I'll just chime in with my two cents:

1. Not everyone needs to be full time to have a satisfying career in magic, or to make a nice "second income." There are MANY more stable careers available. YOU CAN have a satisfying magic career that's not a full time obsession. That said, there are some of us who just don't want to do anything else:

2. How do you get to be as successful in magic as someone like Jeff or Eugene? The answer is that your magic career must be a MORE than full-time passion. No one I know who has "hit the big time" could really be doing anything else with their lives. They are so passionate about their magic and their shows that they spend 12-15 hours a day EVERY day working on their magic, learning more about things that will influence their magic, and working on their careers. It's far more taxing than any 9-5 "job" you could imagine...but the joy they get from it also surpasses that most people get from their real jobs, so they mostly don't mind.
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Profile of sobrien
All great advise but please get that degree as well.
Steve Brooks
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Great advice from all those who have posted above. Smile

My stepfather once said; "Find a job that you are passionate about and you'll never work a day in your life".

I think that says it all. Smile
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
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