Success in Magic


Three Things You Need to Succeed as a Professional Magician

If you want to make your living as a professional magician, there are three things you will need:

1.  Clear Vision - Nothing great was ever been created without vision. But how do you create your clear magical vision?

In the old days, one became an apprentice of an established performer, often working as an assistant for several years before venturing out on their own. 

Or you became a student of an established professional who mentored you as you developed your act.  During this period of mentorship, you developed a clear vision of what you could do in the world of magic. 

Today it's different.  Most beginning magicians become enamored with a star of magic who is at the top of their game. – Lance Burton, Penn & Teller, Chris Angel, David Blaine, for example – and try to model or copy them. 

Unfortunately, there is no mentor relationship to help the beginner, just a media image of a star.  You have no idea of the ten or twenty year journey it took your idol to become an “overnight” sensation. 

When I was starting out, I heard all kinds of stories about the world of professional magic from members of my local magic club.  Unfortunately, most of those stories were filled with misguided advice. 

Although their intentions were good, my well meaning magic friends were ill equipped to give good advice about the business of magic, simply because magic was their hobby, not their business!

If you can't find a mentor who is a currently working professional magician, the next best you can do is to start reading all the books written on the business of magic.

When you have a clear vision of what it means to be a working professional illusions...just the will know:

  • WHERE you can perform

  • WHO hires magicians and why

  • HOW much money you can earn

  • WHAT to expect at each type of venue

  • WHAT career paths are possible

  • WHAT sacrifices you will have to make

  • WHERE you should be at each level of your career

  • HOW to move up the career ladder to reach YOUR fullest potential.

2.  Strategic Goals - Once you know what the possibilities are for working as a professional magician, and you decide what path to follow, it is time to formulate a strategy and set specific goals. 

 Can you answer the following strategic questions?

  • What's the best way to market your show?

  • How can you get your telephone ringing with business...FAST? 

  • How much should you charge?

  • Should you focus on close-up, club and stage magic, or illusions?

  • Where can you find work?

  • How can you get exposure?

  • Where do you want to be in 1 year...3 years...10 years?

Your strategy should be designed to accelerate your progress, and your specific artistic and business goals should implement that strategy. 

Without clear vision and specific strategic goals for your act and your business, you will waste valuable time, energy and money getting your business started. 

But there's one more thing you need...

3.  Concrete Action:    It is not enough to read about what must be done to succeed as a professional magician, you must take action.  As Jeff McBride once told to me, "To know and not to do, is not yet to know."

Once you know exactly where you want to go AND what needs to be done to get you there, then you can focus on taking action. 

For the past 30 years, I performed in nearly every venue available for professional magic -- from church basements to luxury hotels and casinos -- and I can tell you from experience what you need to do to build a successful business as a professional magician. 

What's holding you back?  Lack of money... not enough idea what to do next.  It really doesn't matter, because...

Any action beats inaction!

Just do something to move towards your vision.  Anything.  You will find amazing things begin to happen.  Opportunities start opening up. 

I challenge you to formulate an action plan for the next 30 days.  Make a list of 30 concrete actions you can do to move closer to your dream, and then, every day for the next month, do one of them.  Watch the momentum build.

If you don't know where to begin, seek out a mentor, someone who has gone before you who is willing to guide you.  If you can't find someone in your area, read everything you can get your hands on regarding the business of magic. 

Having clear vision, specific strategic goals, and concrete actions will do more to move your career forward than anything else. 

© Jim Snack, All Rights Reserved

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