If you want more gigs, don’t blame the economy. Stop bitching and do something about it!

The economic downturn that has hit the world has certainly cut down on the amount of gigs that are available for jobbing magicians. Yeh, so what’s new! Ever since I can remember (except for a few golden years in the 80s) there have been people in panic about the shortage of work. However I hear a lot of talk about it now as I travel performing my shows, yes there is a slight ironic edge to that statement!

Sure there is less money around and things are tighter. Well when the times get tough, the tough get going. This is when you need to think very carefully about marketing to the audiences that still want to hire magicians. It is also the time to make sure your magic product is really top notch. Unless you are a really good performer maybe you shouldn’t be doing paying shows. Ouch!

A magician who does a poor job may not only be hurting his chances of future work but he may be spoiling the field for other magicians who do a better job; brutal but true. Having a web site and a video no longer guarantee bookings. This is a good time to stretch the envelope a little.

One of the secrets that a real pro discovers is that when one door closes another one tends to open. You may have to really keep your eyes open for it though, it may just open a crack and there may me a bunch of magicians waiting in line to put their foot in the door. Your job is to be one of them.

What is interesting is that the real pros usually keep working when each new disaster hits the work scene. They have to– because a true pro has to work or he doesn’t eat, and that really keeps you on your toes. The first thing to do is to look for the areas of work that are still available and paying money.

I would suggest that one of the more essential skills is the art of adaptability. People usually mistakenly think that Darwin’s theory of relativity refers to ‘the survival of the fittest,’ what he actually says is ‘the survival of the most adaptable.’ Words to live or starve by.

For instance why not try getting a small co-operative of magicians together and staging a show on the quiet night in a local venue. Don’t forget that restaurants hotels and clubs are having some challenging times economically too. Make them an offer they can’t refuse. Comedians work very hard at finding stage time in order to develop their work and to promote themselves. Magicians should too. To be continued……..


~ by Nick Lewin on November 18, 2010.

One Response to “If you want more gigs, don’t blame the economy. Stop bitching and do something about it!”

  1. I’ve known Nick most of his professional life and he has never had a blank calendar. He takes time off only when we block it off. Still, as we all note on Facebook, the life of a jobbing pro magician is exhausting note: Lewin, Finney, Gerber, Hobson, Levant, Lowell, Stetson’s feet almost never touch the ground except to perform a gig.

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