People often ask me after a show about how I got into this business of being a magician. The answer is a long story that this month’s blog post won’t quite have room for. Curiosity aside, this question is sometimes posed to me by those that are interested in dabbling in the arts of magic themselves. Some seek to make a long term career of it while others simply want to learn and hone some skills that will one day make them the life of any cocktail party they attend. Now I’m not about to divulge any secrets here (one of the first rules is to never break the “code”) but what I can do is provide some guidance to those of you interested in becoming a source of wonder in the lives of those around you. I can make no guarantees that this field is the wisest of careers choices as I myself had to pay decades of dues to get where I am today as one of the top Close Up Magicians in Miami. But I can guarantee that by following these useful tips you will have fun, and that’s what it’s really all about.
5 Tips to Becoming a Magician
1. Frequently Attend Local Magic Shows & Observe
It should go without saying that one of the best ways to get started in this field is by attending every magic show that passes through town. Fellow attendees will be there to enjoy themselves but it is important for you to act as an observer, studying how the magician interacts with the audience, his/her assistants (if any), and to learn what the audience does and does not respond to. You can learn just as much, if not more, from the less than stellar performances so don’t be picky when buying tickets to magic shows if learning the art is on your agenda.
2. Develop a Persona
It is good to figure out early on the persona that you are going to bring to the stage. Will you be a smooth talking charmer? Will you play it dark and mysterious? Perhaps part stand-up-comedian? Pick an onstage persona that suits your own personality best as an audience can pick up on inauthenticity quick.
3. Master Dexterity of Your Hands
No true magician can perform without out of this world dexterity. Sleight of hand (aka prestidigitation) is the name of the game and without you will fumble onstage. You must train your physicality for dexterity. Start with simple tasks such as rolling a large coin over the top of your knuckles or a pen back and forth between your fingers. Make a habit out of it. If you’re at Starbucks with a latte in one hand the other should be practicing this skill. Eventually you will want to work your way up to cards and any other props you envision using in your routine.
4. Seek an Apprenticeship
After developing a better understanding of the field of magic and having pocketed some basic skills it would be great to seek out an apprenticeship with a magician in your locale. Most are understandably cautious to divulge anything but some are on the lookout for assistants. After trust and rapport are developed they may very well open up a portion of their bag of tricks to you.
5. Start Kid Focused
If you already have some talent, a few literal tricks up your sleeve, and a lighthearted persona in place then you can start by entertaining the least jaded to magic demographic – children. Start with your own family and/or friends’ kids to see if your performance works the little crowd. Once you develop that confidence you can throw your hat (take the rabbit out first) into the arena as a magician for children’s parties – a great place to start with less consequence when working out the kinks of your act.
There of course is so much more than becoming both a hobby based or working magician and over the months I am likely to keep adding to this list. However for the time being those of you excited about the prospect of learning more about this magical field can get off to a good start by following the above five tips. For those of you in need of my Close Up Magician services in Miami please feel free to contact Magic By Mio anytime.