January 2018 Chatter

Posted at 31/12/17 - 03:17 PM

As you grow older, you can be forgiven for thinking that there’s very little which actually improves for you! Your eyesight gets worse, you feel like you have diminished energy, modern gadgets appear to be unfathomably complicated, and your joints ache. Hmmm, not great!

However, I would suggest that for magicians there are a number of things which do improve as you get older, and so in the interests of redressing the balance, I thought I would tell you what they are.

Confidence. When you are young and have little or no performing experience, doing a show can be a nerve wracking experience. Everything is being done perhaps for the first time, and so it is natural that you feel nervous about how it will all turn out. When you have been performing for years, there is a confidence which comes from having seen it all before, and this can lead to you becoming a better and more assured entertainer.

Knowledge. The longer you have been in magic the more methods and principles you will probably have come across, especially if you are a bit inquisitive and you have read and watched a lot of magic. This means that when you want to adapt or develop a new routine, you have plenty of knowledge to draw on in order to come up with a good alternative. So, unlike when you are a novice, you don’t waste hours of your time re-inventing the wheel!

Gravitas. If you are a magician who works for businesses, being a bit older can be an advantage. For instance, if an insurance company wants to employ a magician to help promote them at a trade show, I suspect that they would prefer to have a performer who looked a bit more senior and who would therefore be taken more seriously by their clients. While this might not apply at a company social event, any function which has a more targeted business purpose could suit a more experienced entertainer.

Age Concern. One thing that I have noticed as I have got older is that I have won far more bookings for older age group events. 50th, 60th, 70th birthday parties, for instance, have become some of my most popular types of gig, and I imagine that part of the reason that I am getting these bookings is because I look (and indeed am!) of a similar age myself, and so I may appear ‘safer’ and more appropriate to people looking for an entertainer suitable for the older clientelle.

Fees. When you get older, it often happens that for various reasons you need less money than perhaps when you are middle aged with maximum life expenses. This means that when you are quoting for a show, there isn’t the do-or-die feel about whether you get the booking or not. As a result of being more relaxed about it, you end up quoting what you would like for the booking, and don’t have to consider quite so much whether this might mean you actually get it or not.

Time. If magic is your hobby, as it is for most performers, trying to find the time to delve into it when there are so many other things to do in your life, can be a challenge. When you get older, especially if you are retired, you can prioritise your magic interest more often which means that you can attend more conventions, spend more time playing with your magic, and just generally enjoy it more.

Author: Mark Leveridge

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