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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » What's Your Story? (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Mindpro
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Inner circle
9678 Posts

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It has been a great week here in Tricky Business with some excellent discussions on several great topics. Not wanting to derail the other threads I decided to start this one to continue some discussions. In just the last week, we have seen some contributors here that we don't normally see and it has been quite nice and refreshing. Scott Tokar, Wx4USA and Danny Kazam have all made some nice contributions to several different threads here which have been very inviting and welcoming. Some have taken the time to learn the lay of the land here, others perhaps not as much but they are learning quickly, lol.

It has been so nice not having threads derailed or brought down from some agendas or deliberate opposition as some members have earned a well-deserved sabbatical from the Café and we can almost instantly see the difference in the tone and progression of almost every thread now without the speedbumps or detours normally incurred.

Because of this, I have connected with several of these guys who felt it was now ok to join us without distraction and to be able to speak openly. I must say I absolutely love this and welcome them. Just this week we have learned some great stories from many of these guys that normally lurk in the shadows or are just discovering us for the first time.

Hudson55 shared his personal background and story at the request of charliecherckers which allowed us to get to know and understand him so much better here. Then in the entertainment business course thread, we heard the excellent and positive background stories of Danny Kazam and Scott Tokar. In all of these, you could feel their passion and love for the art and business of what they do. I feel these background stories help us in many ways. First to understand the point and perspective of where they are coming from, and more so who they are, where they are in their performing and business, and their own journey to get to where they currently are. Our journey is a key component to our success. It what creates our experience. This has been great and very enlightening. It helps give us a foundational context about these members and their posts as it gives us insight and context. Most of all it was raw, real and honest - no puffery, ego, or agenda.

So my question is what is your story? We all arrived here from some step or point in our journey, but, if you are willing to share I think everyone benefits from each of our stories. I often share my background, (to the seemingly dismay of some here, lol) but, as I also hear regularly, it creates a point of reference and understanding to the contributions I've made here. The same with others. I hope sharing "your story" can make both the conversations here more beneficial and productive while offering some insight behind the content being offered. As I said in another thread identifying and discussing the "what" is important, but the "whys" are sometimes more clarified with the addition of the back story and context.

So what's your story that got you to where you are today? Then I guess the next obvious question is where are you still hoping to go on your journey into the future?
Dannydoyle
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Eternal Order
19864 Posts

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When my home planet exploded my parents, scientists on my home world, put me on a rocket ship and sent me to earth. (In hindsight maybe not that great a plan just hoping someone stumbles across me!)

When I was 12 the family that found me was murdered in an alley and in high school I was bitten by a radioactive spider while on a field trip.

When I graduated college I imvented this personal armor that was wonderful.

Ya know just a normal story.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Mindpro
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Inner circle
9678 Posts

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Well, that explains a lot!
Ken Northridge
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Inner circle
Atlantic City, NJ
2234 Posts

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My story (as short as I can make it)

At age 12 (1974) I fell in love with magic. I was doing paid birthday parties and school assemblies on a regular basis by age 15. There was no doubt I was going to be as famous and successful as David Copperfield. I graduated from high school, quit my summer job and pronounced myself a professional magician! However, I only booked 2 shows in my first 3 months. I failed miserably. It was painfully apparent I knew nothing about business. I ran with my tail between my legs to the first minimum wage job I could find. The job was with JCPenney.

My 8 years with JCPenney taught me how to run a business, pay attention to ROI, and most important how to treat customers. I reached the level of Senior Merchandise Manager before I decided to try something new (long story there.) After a short career as a commissioned salesperson of liquor and wine, I decided I had to give my dream of becoming a professional magician another try.

For 4 years my weekends consisted of working from 4am to noon at my day job as a Black Jack dealer (for Donald Trump Smile ) then doing 2 to 3 shows. I tried everything. Trade shows, cocktail parties, night clubs, etc. But it became apparent I was most successful at entertaining children, and its what I enjoyed the most. In 1999 I became a full time magician and have never looked back. I raised 5 children, paid off my home and secured a retirement fund all on a magician’s income.

For some reason I’ve always had the inclination to challenge conventional thinking. We are all different. We can have two different business strategies and they both can lead to success. Listening to the customer, which I learned at JCPenney, is also an important part of my success.

I will never reach the fame and fortune that David Copperfield enjoys, but there is more than one definition of success.
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
www.KenNorthridge.com
gimpy2
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Special user
947 Posts

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I was 13 in 1977 doing a free show at the public library. a reporter showed up mid show and started taking pictures. Next day I got a call from a man who had seen the article and invited me to his shop. My Mom drove me to the address and it was just a block warehouse with a metal door reading Delben co. An older fellow opened the door and introduced himself, his name was Ben Stone.I stepped into a small room half office half magic show room.He demonstrated
a few of his items and asked if I would like to see his workshop. I stepped thru a small door and into the most magical place imaginable. The large shop was filled with all kinds of magic props in various stages and many machines I had no idea existed. Two things I loved were magic and building things so I had found something special here.

I began to spend a lot of time at Bens magic work shop. I started by sweeping the floor and latter was allowed to help with the props. I think of my time there most everyday and never forgot my dream of having a place like that of my own.

Fast forward 30 years to 2008. I had spent most of three decades building fine homes in my families business. The Industry was crashing and so decided I would open a company that builds magic props. I came home to my wife and told her I planned to build props for magicians and sell them on the "INTRANET" I couldn't spell it or say it but that didn't stop me. didn't know what to build or how to do it but jumped in with both feet. First I started on Ebay. My first prop was a hit and sold for $70. After a while I was selling 2 everyday. I learned how to run an internet shop over the next year. The first year gave me an education on dealing with customers and world wide shipping.I opened my website,Gimpy's magic and got away from ebay.

I don't do shows for pay anymore but make a full time living in the art. Its a tricky business. Its been my pleasure to build props the last 11 years for so many nice folks.
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