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The Magic Cafe Forum Index Ľ Ľ Food for thought Ľ Ľ An unusual question.... regarding Mentoring. Looking for direction... (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of DougRoy
Hi fellow magicians!

I begin with an apology for posting in an area that probably is not the best fit for my post. I honestly went through EVERY topic in the Index, and couldn't really find a topic that matched.

I occasionally hear stories from magicians, saying that they were mentored by so-and-so.... or by so-and-so.

So my question is simply this:
How does one find a mentor? How is that type of arrangement of relationships created?

(Yes.. my ignorance is apparent here, but it's an honest question.)

Any direction would be truly appreciated! Smile

Thank you in advance!
"Bringing magic to life."
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Profile of DougRoy
Oops... typo: "arrangement or relationship" Smile
"Bringing magic to life."
Doug Trouten
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Profile of Doug Trouten
You might try getting your hands on a copy of the final issue of MAGIC magazine (or check it out when it shows up in the Genii archives). It includes a substantial article on this topic by Rory Johnston.
It's still magic even if you know how it's done.
Terry Pratchett
Dick Oslund
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Profile of Dick Oslund
It's a bit like prospecting for gold!

The basic "thing" to remember is, "Nemo dat quod non habet!" ("No one gives what he does not have!")

Your objective must be: Look for a well qualified, experienced, successful magician, get acquainted, develop a friendly relationship, and hope that that develops into what you need.

Remember! "How To Win Friends" (some guy wrote a best selling book about that!)

I know that there is a magicians club in Salt Lake City. Go "where the action is!" Meet and mingle! Ask others for their opinions. (The four most important words in human relationships are: "WHAT IS YOUR OPINION?". --Then, LISTEN!!!

Your website looks good. Are you a part time pro'.?

You probably can do more than enough tricks. Invest in books like Ken Weber's "Maximum Entertainment". Ken will mentor via the printed page!

That's enough for one day. Others will, no doubt, offer opinions, too.
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Profile of DougRoy
Thanks Doug & Dick! Helpful info indeed!
"Bringing magic to life."
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And thanks Dick for your positive review on my website. Yes... I'm a part-timer, looking to 'bump it up' a bit. Smile
"Bringing magic to life."
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Profile of Aus
DougRoy I have written a bit about finding a Mentor in my How to get started in magic (A How-to Guide):

I'll expand on those points and add a few more since that advice is quite a few years old now.

First we need to define what makes a good mentor and in my opinion the elements of a good Mentor are theyíre accessible. They take time. They lead by example. They communicate. They are respected by others, and they show respect. You also want to learn and grow by facing your flaws and ignorance of some of the worldly perspectives that surround you, So, try to find a mentor who will challenge your thinking and show you there might be a different way to approach a problem, or even an additional approach you never knew existed.

So how do you find a Mentor like this?

For some people, a formal process of seeking out a mentor is the best way to go, but by my own observations about mentor relationships is that the best ones seem to grow organically, rather than being an arranged marriage.

If you do go out and seek a mentor Donít ask for the person to ďbe your mentorĒ right off the bat. Thatís a big ask. Far too big for the first meeting.
Rather, ask for an initial meeting ó something informal, over coffee maybe. Keep it less than an hour.

Come with questions that youíre prepared to ask, but let the conversation flow relationally. (Note: the formality really depends on the potential mentorís communication style ó something you should be aware of before the initial meeting.) When in doubt about when to make the ask, just go for it. (Thatís what I do, and it usually works.)

After the meeting its now time to take stock on how things went after the meeting, do you want to spend more time with this person?

Did she/he begin the meeting by encouraging you or telling you what to do? Did she/he ask questions, or wait to provide answers?
Did you leave the meeting feeling better about yourself? Was a connection made? If not, feel free to let the relationship go and seek out someone else, instead.
You donít have time to waste on a self-centered tyrants.

If the person is someone you do want to see again Itís appropriate to follow up immediately, thanking your prospective mentor for his/her time.
A good way to do this is via email or other form of passive communication, so that you donít appear overbearing or waste the personís time.
This is also a good time to mention that youíd like to do it again. If he/she reciprocates, offer to get something on the calendar. (You may need to suggest a time.)

Make sure that it feels relaxed and not contrived. Youíre still vetting each other at this point.

What do we do now? We let the relationship evolve organically.

We sometimes place too high of expectations on mentoring. We want to give it a name, because it gives us a sense of status and importance. But really itís just a relationship. Mentoring is organic. Itís healthy to let it grow like any other relationship ó over time and based on mutual respect and trust. Donít force it. That will kill a potential mentoring relationship faster than anything. Give it time; it needs to grow.

Ok so we've found a mentor now what? The Answer? Gaining and maintaining the relationship.

I was recently speaking with a friend whoís mentored a number of young men over the years. He said the saddest part about what he does is that a lot of guys check out whenever he challenges them.

It will happen. Youíll get to a point where your mentor will feel comfortable enough to call you out. And what you do next is crucial to your growth.

Remember: this is what you signed up for. Donít wimp out when it gets tough; this is where the really good stuff happens.

The next thing is donít wait for the mentor to initiate. Learn how to manage up. Persevere. Ask for more of your mentor without demanding it.
This doesnít bother him (at least, it shouldnít). It honors him. It shouldnít be a big deal to ask this person to coffee or lunch, outside of your normal meeting time. If a mentor canít be a friend, then heís probably can't be a mentor. Finding ways to solidify the bond youíve created will only strengthen the Mentor relationship.

Feedback can be hard, but itís good. As your relationship with your mentor progresses, this will be the #1 way you grow. It will be a highlight for the both of you. While asking for feedback may initially feel weird, eventually it will become almost second-nature. You will find yourself thirsting for those words you used to fear.Similarly, a good mentor will treat these times with great care and sensitivity.

Another thing is also not falling for the view that being mentored is more passive than active. A mentor/mentee relationship should never just be a one-way affair. Try to make it useful for your mentor by asking what he or she might like in return. Many will say that giving of their time is a way to give back and help to shape someoneís future. But never assume. Itís a relationship, so there must be something you can do in return to make the union more fruitful and a positive for the both of you.

The last and final thing is commitment. You canít be mentored in a summer. Thatís an internship. Mentoring takes real time and real work.
In order for it to be a real mentorship, you have to commit to the relationship. Come hell or high water, youíre going to make it work.
Then, you will begin to understand what it means to be a student, a disciple or protege.

Good Luck


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Profile of Dannydoyle
I learned everything from mentors, literally everything. Thing was I never knew that was what was happening when it happened! I was fortunate.

I will tell you the important thing is ears open and mouth shut. Nobody wants to mentor someone giving an opinion. They generally want to teach, not learn. This might not be a popular sentence, but it is truthful.

I should also mention I never ever paid a mentor. To me this is the essence of the idea. Otherwise it is a business relationship and there is nothing wrong with that.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Pop Haydn
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After an hour of discussion about Zen with the master the American guest was excited and talkative. At that point, the master proposed tea. As he filled the cup of his guest, the master kept pouring until tea ran over the sides of the cup. "You are spilling it!" the American professor said. "I am sorry. I can't give you any more tea. Your cup is full already."
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Profile of DougRoy
Aus & Danny... great input! Thank you! And thanks Pop for sharing the story! True words indeed!
"Bringing magic to life."
The Magic Cafe Forum Index Ľ Ľ Food for thought Ľ Ľ An unusual question.... regarding Mentoring. Looking for direction... (3 Likes)
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