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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The spooky, the mysterious...the bizarre! » » Education VS profesional magic (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Dark illusionist
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pough town new york
253 Posts

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Hey everybody, this is a vary serius post. Recently ive been giveing this a lot of thought. I am still in school and im working to get into college. Theres nothing i want more then to go profesional with my magic. My parents are going to spend alot of money to put me through colledge and im vary excited to be getting this opportunity. the thing is my learning sometimes seems to cancel out my magic practice and vica versa. its almost like they dont help each other. If i can become a profesional magician then why should i get a "real job" however more often then not people dont become profesional magicians like they intend to. since I am younger then most of you I was wondering if you had this confusion and frustration when you were at this point in your careers, and I was also wondering who here is a magician on the side and who relies apon magic to bring food to the table?
once again i realy look forward to hearing your storys and hope you take this thread seriusly

thanks bizzareists!

:bat: Jonathan Smile
Check out my brand new website:

www.ovationmagic.cjb.net

if you like it sign the guest book, if you realy like it then realy sign the guest book. If you hate it then go away.
Necromancer
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Inner circle
Chicago
2986 Posts

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Jonathan,

As a professional magician, you will need to be able to interact with adults from every walk of life. Many of them -- the ones who will be able to afford a professional entertainer -- will be affluent and well educated. If you want to be successful as a performer, you will need to able to interact with them as an equal. That means getting a college education.

A college education will also help you mature, emotionally and intellectually, in ways you could not imagine. It will also serve you well by stretching your knowledge in a hundred different directions -- and these directions will inform and dramatically improve your performance. Bizarre magic, in particular, requires a strong grounding in literature and history, in addition to psychology and public speaking. While you're there, it certainly wouldn't hurt to learn all you can about marketing and business.

For all these reasons, I strongly encourage you to go to college, Jonathan. Get everything you can out of it. And remember: you have your whole life to be a performer, if that's what you eventually choose. There's no law that says you can't balance performing with a different vocation (Barrie Richardson is an educator, Richard Marks is in the psychology field. Eugene Burger was in social work before he went pro, Larry Becker was in advertising. The list goes on and on).

Best of luck to you.
Creator of The Xpert (20 PAGES of reviews!) and the Hands-Off Multiple ESP System ("Quality and design far exceed any ESP cards on the market"-Genii), both at Penguin.
petethecreeper
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N. California
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I concur with Mr. Tobin on this, Johnathan.

I had the same conflict with my pursuits in art and with going to college. I felt left behind by all my peers who went straight into the work force, "played their cards right", and then pursued careers in the high tech/"silly-con" valley job market...while I hit the books. I worked on side projects in my spare time (most of which paid for my art supplies throughout my college days, and forged valuable work experience). I felt miserable, but I was learning a great deal, and in the end it literally all paid off.

Guess what? All of my friends who I felt had left me behind are ALL unemployed now...and now have to rethink their careers (literally starting where I began six years ago during college). I feel bad for them, but I'm thankful that I finished college. Sure I'm working, doing something that I love and making a living at it...but I would NOT have reached this point if I hadn't finished college.

The art world is just as competitive as the magic world. Having something to fall back on, career-wise, is not only smart, but also practical! (My "fall-back" is carpentry...skills I learned from my father).

Here are some anecdotal tidbits that may give you some hope...or, at least, let you know that you aren't alone:

1. Houdini began as a tie fabric cutter, and also in various, hard-labor jobs that not only conditioned his body for the rigors of his greatest feats, they also exposed him to his audience and to secrets he would later exploit. He took his life experiences and applied them to his magic...not the other way around. Even when he went "pro", Houdini occasionally had to be a salesman on the side.

I won't lie to you...There will be some hard times, but there will be some fantastic times in college. I don't want to sound like a parent and say, "This is a marvelous opportunity!"

...

...

But it IS a MARVELOUS opportunity!

There will be lots of studying, but there are awesome opportunities to explore possibilities.

-Hit the library and study up on history, literature, philosophy (things that bizarre magic borrows from every day).

-Take psychology courses! IMPORTANT for mentalists.

-Take a couple of art courses (perfect for those who want to build their own props...but then again, I'm biased)

-Take some theater classes...HIGHLY RECCOMENDED...they'll help you with your diction, stage presence, and self-confidence.

-Take some comparative cultural studies courses...perfect for learning how to please audiences abroad.

-Take a business course...VERY handy, especially if you're going professional with your magic. For a long time (maybe to your dying day), you're going to have to wear many hats (promoter, agent, accountant, marketing exec, etc.).

-Expose yourself to the music, art, and theater scenes of your college and its surrounding community.

Plus, if your parents are willing to pay for your college, consider yourself lucky. Some of my friends and I did it the hard way by paying for it ourselves...and are STILL paying off college debt.

Okay...I think I've talked you ear off enough. I DO NOT want to dissuade you from either of your choices. Just try not to think of college as an end to your magic (or vice versa), think of it as a means to an end.

-"Do what you NEED to do, so you can do what you WANT to do."

Good luck.
David de Leon
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Elite user
Sweden
414 Posts

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Dark illusionist, I think that both Necromancer and petethecreeper have given you some really first rate and very sound advice. I think that their posts bear re-reading, a couple of times at least, and I would even go so far as to print them out if I were you.

I have only this to add. It has to do with your sense of urgency.

When I was younger I felt the same kind of impatience as you describe, and argued that there was no reason to postpone doing what I wanted to do (in my case the choice was between trying to practise graphic design or going to university first). For me every year seemed long and every postponement a great setback. I also had the feeling that I somehow had to accomplish lost of things before I turned a certain age (I forget what age I picked as my deadline).

I don’t know if you feel like this, or something like this, but if you do let me just say that you have time, lots of it. Going to college is but a speck of dust, a brief moment, in what is the stretch of your life, a blink of an eye that will give you countless resources that will benefit you and your magic in immeasurable ways. In fact, there is so much time (but not money) that you could get three or four degrees and still catch up with most people.

Sure life feels short at times, but somehow, if you try to live it like there is no end to it, you often accomplish more.
Dark illusionist
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pough town new york
253 Posts

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Thanks for the advice. I just thought I should add that I realy am looking forward to going to colledge and I don't want to give anybody the wrong idea. I want to be my own booking agent and acountent etc and I am vary interested in theature. (I am still getting praises a week after my last show from varius teacher!) The frusteration I am talking about is not about going or not going to colledge. It is about studying (and failing) forigne language (I am awfull at french) and other little tidbits like that. some things will come on handy others like langauge leave my head every year the first day of summer. I guess I already knew a lot of what your talking about but yesterday when I posted this new thread I had just had yet another fight with my dad about the human blockhead and he also told my mom about it as well which I realy didn't need, anyways I was in a realy bad mood. I hope others my age read this post and I'm glad it worked out for you guys good luck everybody!

:bat: jonathan Smile

O yeah and I should also add that I am vary good and interested in math and science. I know I'm bragging but I just want to make it clear that I'm not a discruntled flunking student that likes gothic magic

jonathan
Check out my brand new website:

www.ovationmagic.cjb.net

if you like it sign the guest book, if you realy like it then realy sign the guest book. If you hate it then go away.
petethecreeper
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N. California
73 Posts

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I would like to make a quick note, and correction to my previous post on this line:

Max Maven has informed me that he has never taken a comparative cultural studies course.

I was politely reminded of this by...Mr. Maven himself.
:blush:
I have since edited my posting, and apologized to Max for the discrepancy. My intention was not to post a falsehood about Mr. Maven, and I'm sorry it appeared that way. My intention was to point out how such a course could benefit the performer in dealing with cultures other than his own, and NOT to make a claim about Mr. Maven.

Shame on me for my lack of clarity.
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