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Topic: The Business of Magic
Message: Posted by: Autumn Morning Star (Mar 3, 2007 09:24AM)
Many of us find ourselves in various levels of acceptance among magicians. This is true at certain club meetings and conventions. While many of the magic clubs and conventions are educational and fun, in the past I have occasionally gone home with feelings of negativity and self-doubt in the pit of my stomach.

As a grounded person with a good self-esteem, this was totally puzzling to me. Still, I trusted that odd feeling in my stomach when it arose. I started paying closer attention and began to hear a subtle thread of conversation that was covertly (and occasionally overtly) patronizing or negatively challenging. I doubt most of the guys even realized they were doing this.

I began to understand that if I was going to continue performing full-time, I HAD to remain positive and self-confident. My solution to this issue was to surround myself with creative thinkers, positive supporters, and professional magicians who treated me equally. I put my time toward reading everything magical I could get my hands on and treated my business as a business.

Now my performance fosters my deep love for the magical arts, which in turn, feeds my career. When I occasionally encounter magicians who are being negatively challenging, I simply ignore them. This is a very freeing experience, for at one time, I would have felt compelled to "prove myself" as a performer.

What are some of the most effective secrets for ensuring you are taken seriously as a performer? How do you avoid feelings of negativity when you encounter a 'situation' at a meeting or convention?
Message: Posted by: Destiny (Mar 3, 2007 05:43PM)

The answers to your questions - the most effective secrets - are right there in your post.

Working hard, being positive, surrounding yourself with positivity, and staying away from negative people - because if they sneeze - you might catch it - those are the answers.

Working hard:

We are an animal that is meant to work. As hunter-gatherers for most of our history we spent nearly every waking minute finding enough food to get by. We lucky ones, who by virtue of where we were born don't have to do this, have developed a culture of entitlement - and many find work benough them. It is a necessity for body, mind and soul. The harder we work - the happier we will be (We should of course choose work we love)

Be Positive:

It is impossible to achieve anything when your thoughts are negative. Look at the men and women who live in filth - or at least mess, because they hate housework. They sit around moaning how they hate cleaning or washing dishes. Put a smile on your face - and cheerfully clean the house - it is done in no time and you start your day in a happy, healthy environment.

Same line of thought - I like to make sure I achieve something every day I am on this planet. I make lists - and use them. Some things are done in half an hour - other things are worked on over months - or even years - but everything you finish quietly and steadily takes you towards your goals. The feeling of achievement reinforces your positive thoughts. I hate to see a day go by where I do not accomplish something towards my goals in life.

Negative People:

RUN - run fast and don't stop. Allowing a negative person to stay around you is the equivalent of remaining near a vicious criminal who intends you physical harm. A negative person might as well just punch you - they are doing you the same harm.

They destroy your positive thoughts, ruin your day and stop you progressing. Who can afford that?

I notice in your other posts Autumn that your husband supports your work, has no petty male insecurity about the work you do, and has a sense of humor about other peoples perceptions. This gives you a huge head start. His positive and supportive attitude reinforces your own positive outlook and it all becomes self perpetuating.

I have never been in the vicinity of a magic club or convention, and from what I've read on the Café, don't think I'll rush to one. I'm allergic to negativity and I think I would become one big b!tch in that environment as self protection. Better to stay away.

As performers we need strategies to deal with people who impact negatively on our working day. I used to perform 8 shows a day with wildlife and when someone sends your spirits down in one show - it can effect every show. If you know you have the knowledge and ability to perform the show - and you are doing your best - and you develop a sense of humor about peoples failings - you can spring right back.

When all else fails - I just tell people straight - 'I am 47 years old - I don't have enough time left on this planet to waste one minute of it on your cr@p' and remove myself from the situation.

Message: Posted by: Autumn Morning Star (Mar 4, 2007 04:46AM)
Your suggestions are inspirational jewels and can be used by all who take time to read them. You wrote: "As performers we need strategies to deal with people who impact negatively on our working day." This is so true, for if we are surrounded by negativity it takes a toll on us and this can crush our show.

Our show is not really about the magic tricks, but about how we reflect the magic from within ourselves. I watched Doug Henning make a live audience go wild with a simple rope trick. Magicians like him have something which cannot be bought in a magic shop. For Doug it was all about surrounding himself with the positive and giving us a magical glimpse of what came from within.

Doug was amazing and what is even more amazing is that each one of us has the power to achieve incredible things in a field which we deeply love. The balance is delicate and must be fostered daily. There is real power in writing down your goals and realizing that each goal has its own timeline.

Your suggestion of "...I like to make sure I achieve something every day I am on this planet." is one to live by. When applied to magic, if you set a goal to put only 10 minutes of practice into a difficult magic effect, in seven days time you have come seventy minutes closer to your goal of perfectly executing that effect! Think of what you can do with an hour or two daily! Like you say: "The harder we work (at what we love)- the happier we will be!"

My father taught me this: "The only limit we have is the limit we place on ourselves." I was blessed with a dad who gave me real wings and no limits. Watch us, folks: We have only begun to fly!
Message: Posted by: Cinnamon (Mar 4, 2007 05:03PM)
Here are some 'tips' from Image Works for Women, by D. Mather.

1. Face whatever you fear, and abhor.
2. Grab as much knowledge as you can.
3. Develop a great sense of positive thinking.

So far, you've figured out all and put it into the real world. Anyway... that includes a bit of showing off. If at times, you feel like you're being too underestimated by some people you know you can single-handedly spank, then go show them what you can. It serves as a 'punishment' for them, for the way they seem to degrade you.

Sometimes, having negative people around are fun. Well, most of the time it hurts, but sometimes, if you look at them while switching on your i-love-myself button, you'd all see them as insecure people, ingnorants, who only butt in for public attention. Hahaha.

Message: Posted by: Sylver Fyre (Mar 4, 2007 11:58PM)
This is a general tip I use when dealing with insecure people. I pitty them. Because their life is so empty or terrible that they feel the need to project that image on to me. As the saying goes, misery loves company.
In a professional setting I don't extend myself to those people, after all you are the company you keep. Always best to rise above any negative people and not act in a way that would prove negative things they say about you.

Yes there will be that day when someone takes a stab at you and it gets to you, but learn from it and move on.
Message: Posted by: Autumn Morning Star (Mar 5, 2007 07:41AM)
Sylver Fyre, I know what you mean. We can all learn to "rise above" the negativity.
Most of this behavior IS borne of insecurity on their part. Some magicians have been angry that I could make my living with magic. However, most of the real magic pros have been encouraging.

Great quote Cyssa. These are words to live by. It IS best not to focus on negatives. I bring up this topic because this is something that took me a while to understand and I know others have experienced this. All of us need to be able to spot the covert differences between "true inclusion" and "patronizing tokenism".

I do want to say that over the years, I have had great support from a handful of genuinely helpful magicians. All of them are grounded professionals and are well-known for their magic. You can spot magical mentors by the things they say. They never mess around with you emotionally. They are 'magic all the way' and are full of ideas and encouragement. I honestly think all magicians could benefit by having a mentor in the field of magic.