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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The July 2004 entrée: Paul Cummins » » Becoming a Professional, Successful Magician » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

dominik
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Germany
143 Posts

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Hi Paul,

could you give some advice on how to become a successful, professional magician? What does it take? What's crucial? What factor will determine someone's success in magic as a business more than any other? Here are some (purposedly contradictory) suggestions I came up myself with to get this thread started:

o the ability to be funny
o the ability to work under virtually any condition(surrounded, no table available, ...)
o the ability to do a wide variety of different shows
(stage, close-up, ...)
o the ability to do just one kind of show perfectly
o the ability to sell yourself
o being the cheapest magician in your local area
o being the most expensive (and best) magician in your area
o extreme sleight-of-hand skill
(because the better your tools, the better magic you can create, and the more conditions you can work under)
o easily-learned, self-working effects
(because being a pro, you don't really have time to practice)
o the biggest stage illusions, no sleight-of-hand
o performing big stage shows
o performing at trade shows
o performing in restaurants
o performing a lot for free, so more people get to know you
o not performing for free, because to make a living as a magician, you have to get paid

One final question: How did you get your first professional gig. How would you suggest to someone else to get started in this business, assmuming that someone already has the ability to present magic in a finished and entertaining mannner?

Thanks in advance,

Dominik
pcummins
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169 Posts

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Hi Dominik,

That's a massive question there. And again I'll refer you to Doug Conn's Theory: Be Nice. Be Interesting. Be Amazing. To that I'll add, know business. Those that hire you are far less interested in your tricks and routines per se than they are interested in what value you can add to their event for their event attendees, be that a table of diners, a large theater, a business meeting, a television show or whatever. Make sure that the person hiring you understands that you understand that their clientele and the time they'll have with you is what is important. Unlike me and my career, I would also recommend that performers are more rounded with regard to the types of magic they can do and the types of venues they can work. Successful corporate magicians can do killer close-up for five people and stage illusions that involve the company CEO. Don't limit yourself. And, perform alot!

I don't remember my first professional gig, but I'm sure it came about by word of mouth.

I hope some of that helps!

Paul
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The July 2004 entrée: Paul Cummins » » Becoming a Professional, Successful Magician » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes)
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