Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Are You Collaborating?

Some of the most fun, creative, exciting times during my magic career have been during times of collaboration.  I’m wondering if you have any friends or colleagues who also have an interest in the art of magic.  And if so, are you guys getting together to show each other magic or work on the latest mystery?

Collaborating, working with, and throwing ideas around with other like minded individuals can be incredible satisfying.  The very best magic I have created has always been improved on by sharing my ideas with my closest magic fiends.  Other people are able to look at a problem and come up with a unique perspective or solution that you (and I) would have never thought of.

I urge you to seek out other like minded individuals in your local community.  Use the internet to your advantage and don’t be afraid to reach out and contact other magicians.  Trust me, the magic community is one of the most friendly and closely knit communities around.

And if you haven’t joined the MagicianMaker.com community on Facebook, click here and become part of the conversation.  You can also follow MagicianMaker.com on Twitter, here.

Until next time…Make An Impact!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Do You Use a Script?

Well, do you?
As you learn the magic on MagicianMaker.com and go out there and share it with friends, family and complete strangers, you’re going to have to have something to say.  You are going to have to ask someone to take a card, or to write something down, or to remember something.  A script is as simple as that.  How you communicate those things is your script.
So, what are you going to say?  Do you want to throw in a funny joke or a really cool story?  You certainly don’t want to have a bunch of ‘Ummmmms’ and ‘Ahhhhhs’ distract your audience when you are trying to create a moment that they will never forget.
Think about it.  Your performance can be brilliant or it can be painful to watch.  The difference between those two is usually the script.
It’s funny; I’ve seen brilliant technical magicians be out and out boring because they had nothing to say.  I’ve also seen people take the simplest of tricks and turn them into blockbuster moments with a good script.
So, how do you do it?  How do you create a good script?  Don’t worry right now about writing something down word for word.  You can do that, but it often freaks people out because they are afraid they won’t sound natural reciting something that is planned out.  I think the best technique is to come up with an idea or a subject that you find interesting.  Once you have something that really speaks to you, write down a few facts, or a joke, or an interesting story that relates to the subject.  From that point, just see where it goes naturally.
The truth of the matter is that you are going to create a script one way or another.  When you perform a trick enough times, you will naturally start saying the same things over and over until they become your script.  The question is, will you create a script that is purposeful and meaningful, or will you just say whatever pops into your head and hope for the best.
My vote is for a little bit of preparation in order to create a moment that sticks in your spectators mind forever.  With a good script, I promise you can do that!  That’s it for now.
Until next time…Make An Impact!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Give Your Audience a Sense of Wonder

So, I was flipping through the channels the other day and I got stuck on the Oprah show. Yeah, I know. I feel like a real man when I watch Oprah (lol).

Anyway, there was a story about a homeless man named Ted Williams who became a huge internet sensation several months back with his incredible “radio” voice. I remember watching the YouTube videos of this man and being amazed by his story. If you haven’t seen any of his videos, watch the one below.

So, I’m watching this show about this supremely talented man who got caught up in alcohol and drugs and really went on a downward spiral. The show documented how he had become homeless, what he had endured, and the incredible story of how he was able to get his life back together.

At one point Oprah commented on how she got a feeling of wonder at his story. And I must admit, watching his story and seeing him overcome such difficult circumstances to regain control over his life really was inspirational and heart-warming.

So, here’s my question to you. What can we do as magicians to give our audiences a sense of wonder? Please don’t think that I’m downplaying his situation by comparing it to magic tricks. I’m not. I just want to know what we can learn from how his story is able to touch so many people and give them that sense of “wonder”.

Wonder is an amazing emotion to feel. It makes you feel warm inside. It opens your eyes to what is possible in the world. It’s a very powerful feeling that we as magicians can tap in to. And we should. We should absolutely try to tap into creating a sense of wonder through our magic. It’s very rare that people are able to cut through all the distractions out there in the world to really have an eye-opening, inspirational moment. It should be one of our goals.

Until next time…Make An Impact!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Getting Started in Magic

So, I was on Facebook the other day and got a message from one of my friends asking me how to get started with magic.  (By the way, click here and join the MagicianMaker community.)
You know that’s really a tough question that has many answers that could take hours and hours to share.  In fact, this MagicianMaker blog is really all about that topic.  With every blog post, I attempt to post something that I believe is important for someone getting started in magic to know.  As you progress and as the blog progresses the subjects get more and more in depth on both the art and the business of magic. 
Here’s basically what I told him.  Perform as much as possible for as many people as possible.  Give it away if you have to just so people will see you.  Go perform in a busy public place and build up your experience as well as visibility.  That experience will help turn you into a seasoned performer who is comfortable in front of your audience.  It will also put you in front of all sorts of different age groups, socio-economic groups, etc.  It will help you learn what grabs people’s attention, what they respond to, and what really plays out there in the real world of performing.  It will help build a level of confidence that a great entertainer should have. 
Now, if you are looking to get hired you need to decide who exactly you want to hire you.  Getting hired and paid to do magic really falls into the category of sales and marketing.  Please keep in mind that sales and marketing is a huge subject that encompasses entire libraries.  People go to school for a long time to learn about it.  If you really want to get hired over and over again, you will need to learn the basics.  But that’s a good thing.  By learning the basics about marketing you are going to learn more about what people want, what drives them, etc.  You will gain invaluable insight that you can use as a magician.
Let’s tackle some of the basics though.  Do you want to work restaurants, private parties, kids birthdays, what?  You must decide what exactly you want to do so you can then decide who your marketing audience is.  Once you know who you are going to be trying to speak to, then you will need to create a marketing plan that will reach them.  Unfortunately, this is the side of the business that people don’t really enjoy.  It’s not as much fun as working on a new trick to show your friends, but you have to do it if you really want to thrive in this business.  What makes it difficult is that you have to put away your “magician” hat and put on your “people” hat.  You want to really get inside the person’s head who you believe is going to be hiring you and speak their language.  I’ve found that it actually is quite fun.  It’s like trying to solve a puzzle or figure out how to do a really cool magic trick.  Besides, the payoff is so cool!  It’s hard to beat when you go do a gig and someone hands you money!
Basically a marketing plan explains what actions you are going to take to get your message (in this case your message is hire me to come do magic for you) in front of someone who could potentially hire you.  You just have to decide what those actions are.  Some actions could be to develop a website and then email a link to a potential buyer you met at a show, or they could be to do a free show (for the exposure) for a local group that is trying to raise awareness or money for a cause, or it could be as simple as creating a tear sheet with your name and phone number on it and hanging it up on a bulletin board at your local grocery store.  That marketing plan should outline what steps you are going to take to get your name out there.  It may seem like a lot of work, but building a small business (and getting paid to do magic qualifies as a small business) is extremely satisfying.
Well, that’s plenty to digest for now.  I’ll go into this stuff more in depth in the near future.

Until next time...Make An Impact!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Controlling the Environment

So, I recently worked a high end corporate gig and made a major mistake.  This one mistake really threw my show off.  To be honest, most of the audience didn't even pay attention to me.  This is a pretty rare occurance for me, so I analyzed what happened and posted my thoughts.  With one simple fix I could have had a great show.  Don't make the same mistake I did.  You do not want this to happen to you.  Check out this link and learn how to guarantee you grab everyone's attention when it's time to perform -


I know that not everyone that reads this blog post performs on a stage.  Seriously though, think about how controlling your environment will improve all of the magic that you do.  It doesn't matter if you are on the street, in someone's living room or on the biggest stage.  This is a great lesson.

Until next time...Make an Impact!