I’ve done personal battles over this question that gets thrown about a LOT in some circles of the Magical Arts- is being a magician enough? I will say that the same question can be asked of a comedian, actor, musician, singer, dancer, juggler, etc. Is what you call yourself enough? I know plenty of musicians who play their instrument at small open mic nights and in the rare few professional events, I have seen a few magicians perform behind a table or a prop the same way. I USED to be like that. To me THAT’s NOT being an entertainer.
No, being a musician, magician, comedian, etc is NOT enough. What you do is a given. It is assumed you are good at the mechanics and techniques of your chosen craft. The biggest pitfall many performers face is that their genre is ALL they have. Many many many aspiring stars of tomorrow never get paid or are seen as valuable because they have treated their art & themselves as a commodity. If you are hoping to get paid, you must FIRST be an entertainer! When I am asked for business advice, one of the things I will always ask the asker is: ” can YOU entertain without your props, instruments, etc?” I think its vital that you don’t become dependent on the tools. ARE YOU a fascinating person enough that you can engage people on the fly WITHOUT the assistance or aid of any props or instruments? Becoming a well rounded person is not only VITAL for your growth & development as a person, but also as a performer aspiring to be an entertainer!
So you have mastered being an entertainer, what are some other ways you can move from a position of leader out of being a commodity? Niche Marketing! No matter how much you would LIKE to think that being famous means everyone liking you and you liking everyone. There is NO such thing as being a success or famous by pursuing every show imaginable or trying to get everyone to like you. It’s impossible & it’s counterproductive. What you need to do, instead is focus on a niched part of the population, preferably people that you can relate to. If you like figure skating – market your shows to figure skating, if you like money, financing & investing – market your shows to banks & investment firms. It is better to be a big fish in a small pond than to be a small fish in a much larger pond. You’ll get booked more & paid more too!
That is all for this edition. Take care.