The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Nothing up my sleeve... » » I want to follow mydreams: I want to be a pro magician (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page [Previous]  1~2
Mb217
View Profile
Inner circle
8632 Posts

Profile of Mb217
Quote:
On 2012-12-22 10:15, Michael Rubinstein wrote:
Well said Mark. I know many pros that are forced to produce product to sell, which dilutes the quality of their work. I know pros that have too much down time with no work. And I know a lot more guys, that have a "real job", do magic on the side, and continue to enjoy what they do. they don't need to rely on their magical ability alone to put food on the table. They can put out product when they want, not because of need, and thus give a better product. And, they can continue to have FUN.


Good points and I appreciate Mark's comments as well. Good stuff there. Smile

And y'know, I have one of those "real jobs" and enjoy what I do pretty good, it has allowed me to do quite a lot way beyond that of magic, but to include magic along the way. And putting out product when you want is great, and it's just wonderful to share in general, which is the fun in it to me. Smile Gotta admit, I've never even thought about being a pro, didn't see the need to. I just like to do magic for people, help others and share my thoughts, learn a few things, and make some like-minded friends behind it all. Smile There's enough pros out there and there's a whole big world out there beyond coin magic as well. I'm proudly a part of both and that works well enough for the only "me" I know. Smile
*Check out my latest: MBs Morgan w/ BONUS: Destiny, Copper Silver INC, Double Trouble, FlySki, Crimp Change - REDUX!, and other fine magic at www.VinnyMarini.com Smile

"Believe in YOU, and you will see the greatest magic that ever was." -Mb Smile
Mark_Chandaue
View Profile
Inner circle
Essex UK
3603 Posts

Profile of Mark_Chandaue
I must admit that I wanted to be a magician from a very early age and started reading Bobo's at 4 (it was the book I learned to read with). Did my first trick (coins across) at 5 years old. That was sadly the only trick my father ever saw me do as he went blind shortly afterwards.

All through school teachers would give me that "get real" look when I said I was going to be a magician when I grew up. Still I would diligently put in 8 hours practice each day. Then when I turned 16 I would manage to attend all the UK conventions (I had no money and almost became famous for finding ways to do conventions for free by sleeping in hotel lounges and train stations (it helped that Ron McMillan was a very good friend of my Fathers so he always gave me tickets to his convention. I remember one I.B.M convention couldn't afford to register so I was just hanging round the headquarters hotel. As I didn't have a room I was just sitting in the lounge practicing when everyone had gone to bed and I fell asleep on my close up mat. Someone woke me up in the morning and I had coins stuck to my face and one still classic palmed in my right hand. As I came round I peeled the coins of my face and continued practicing. The guy that woke me up said "now that's dedication, are you watching the close up today?" I explained that I couldn't afford to register and he promptly handed me a ticket.

At 18 I took the plunge and went pro with Bobby Bernard (another old friend of my fathers) acting as my manager. For the first year or so I was plodding along doing close up and some cabaret (even did some kid shows - god I have respect for children's entertainers but it wasn't for me. I then had the choice of a winter season in Switzerland or to become the Hamleys resident magician, a no brainer as my Father was the Hamleys resident magician in the 50's and it had always been an ambition of mine to follow his footsteps. I was there for 5 years and I was a great gig I even got to spend 45 minute coin magic session with David Bowie who is (or at least he was in the 80's) a very skilled coin worker, in fact he was so good I didn't realise he was Bowie at first I assumed he looked so familiar because I'd seen him at the magic circle or a convention.

Then had a bit of misfortune and found myself homeless and sleeping on the streets of London for about 2 years I lost all my props at that time (if you've ever lifted up a flying carpet illusion you will know why you can't drag it around when you are sleeping on the streets). But thanks to a TT a lemon and a licence to busk in Covent Garden I was able to survive on the streets (winter wasn't so good though). Busking is a great way to learn the art of performing, you don't entertain you don't eat. During that time I developed a very entertaining bill in lemon routine that is still the closer to my act today and is designed to finish the show with the maximum applause. When the lemon (that the spectator was holdingis the entire routine is opened they applaude, then more applause when the signature is confirmed, applause as the first spectator returns to their seat, more applause as the second spectator returns to their seat and finally applause for me.

Once I got back on my feet the recession was kicking in and the table hopping boom was over (in the mid 80s every restaurant in London had magicians, even McDonalds), by the end of the 80s that had dried up leaving hundreds of magicians fighting for the same work which paid far less because supply outstripped demand so I stuck with the pub and club work. Tough but fun and in pubs I would expect to get 20 minutes out of a heckler. But it was emotionally draining. Holiday camps are great, easy money, but pubs and clubs had some tough audiences and I never felt good enough until the moment I stepped on stage. As soon as I delivered the first line I was on fire and felt great and when I came off stage I'd be on a high but in the lead up to every gig I felt like a fraud wondering if today was the day I'd be caught. When you are working pubs and clubs every once in a while you are going to die on stage and whilst it only happened to me twice both times it was soul destroying. When you crack a funny and the audience don't laugh that stage is the loneliest place on the planet.

The other thing about working clubs is that you are constantly on the road staying in digs and in those days it was not unusual for the person paying you to have mysteriously vanished when you came off stage. They knew you would be in another town tomorrow and it would be difficult to chase them for your cash. Or they would be there but they would swear blind you had agreed on £50 when the contract was for £100 (I use the term contract loosely as anything in writing was a luxury back then. When the work was good it was great but getting the work was a constant battle and repeat bookings had their own problems. Holiday camps are great, same act different audience. Pubs on the other hand it's the same audience so if you are back a month later you better have a new act and a great act takes years to hone and mature. If you are going to a tough venue with a 3 week old act after performing an act you've been doing for years the pressure is immense.

So have lived my dream (and found the reality to be quite different) I decided it was time to settle down with a secure 9-5 and raise a family. Alas because by then magic had become a job rather than fun when I stopped doing it for a living I stopped doing it for good. Now that the bug has bitten again I regret those years I've lost. I'm a shadow of the technician I was back then and I'm too old to get back to where I was 20 years ago let alone where I could have been if I had continued to hone my skills. I may still have a DVD in me. Having spoken to David Neighbors (the font of all matrix knowledge) it seems like no-body else has come up with the same method as me for doing an international reverse matrix with only 4 coins (and not requiring silly amounts of skill). My invisible switch does not appear to have seen the light of day either although I did give Michael Ammar permission to publish it. Maybe my bill in lemon routine may be of interest although the method isn't mine, only the routine (which should translate to most methods).

I think the moral of the story is be careful what you wish for, the reality and the dream are rarely identical. By all means follow your dreams but do your homework first and if necessary revise your dream based on what you learn about the reality.

Mark
Mark Chandaue A.I.M.C.
Harpacrown is available from
http://www.harpacrown.co.uk
Ophiuchus is available from
http://www.harpacrown.co.uk/?product=ophiuchus
Totally Free Will is available from
http://www.harpacrown.co.uk/?product=totally-free-will
Mb217
View Profile
Inner circle
8632 Posts

Profile of Mb217
Thank you Mark, what a wonderful recollection...Just magical, every step of the way. Smile
*Check out my latest: MBs Morgan w/ BONUS: Destiny, Copper Silver INC, Double Trouble, FlySki, Crimp Change - REDUX!, and other fine magic at www.VinnyMarini.com Smile

"Believe in YOU, and you will see the greatest magic that ever was." -Mb Smile
Mark_Chandaue
View Profile
Inner circle
Essex UK
3603 Posts

Profile of Mark_Chandaue
The final part of the story, my first meeting with Bobby Bernard and how he influenced me. I was 16 (and only looked about 12) attending my first convention. I was in the bar and Ron McMillan was getting me to do coin tricks and saying "Look at this kid isn't he good". I was loving it, stood in a room full of magicians who were all singing my praises and boosting my ego. Then I triumphantly walk up to this little bald guy with a hooked nose and did a coin trick. His response .... That was ****!!! I was stunned, I walked off with my tail between my legs and my 16 year old ego in tatters and sat with my drink stewing over Bobbys reaction.

After 30 mins of stewing I plucked up the nerve to confront Bobby. I went to him and said "I've been doing tricks for all these people and they say I'm good, Ron McMillan is a world champion coin manipulator and he says I'm brilliant so why do you say I'm ****?". He replied "Listen young Bush" which surprised me because my badge said Chandaue and only Ron McMillan and Harry Barron knew me by my real name. He continued "Why did you turn slightly, why did you transfer the coin to the other hand and why did you point?". I realised that I didn't have a valid answer to any of those questions and that Bobby, in telling me I was **** had given me the greatest gift I had ever been given. I worked with Bobby a lot after that and he taught me to think. When perfecting my retention vanish he had me actually put the coin into my hand 100 times before doing the move and that became my practice routine for every sleight be it a vanish or a switch or a gallo pitch or a Han ping chein etc. Do it for real 100 times to every one time I did the move with the goal being to not even be able to tell myself whether I did the move.

To this day when I am learning or developing a new routine I still ask those questions that Bobby asked me on that first meeting, why are you transferring the coin to the other hand, why are you picking it up, putting it down etc. if I don't have a valid answer I picture Bobby peering over his glasses saying "That's ****!!" I then continue to tweak the routine until there are no questions without valid answers or I scrap the routine entirely.

Mark
Mark Chandaue A.I.M.C.
Harpacrown is available from
http://www.harpacrown.co.uk
Ophiuchus is available from
http://www.harpacrown.co.uk/?product=ophiuchus
Totally Free Will is available from
http://www.harpacrown.co.uk/?product=totally-free-will
Sean Giles
View Profile
Inner circle
Cambridge/ UK
3727 Posts

Profile of Sean Giles
Great story Mark. It's amazing that a kid actually learnt to read with Bobo's. Incredible actually. Smile

best,
Sean
Mark_Chandaue
View Profile
Inner circle
Essex UK
3603 Posts

Profile of Mark_Chandaue
I think it was supposed to be a joke. I was pestering my Dad to show me some tricks and he handed me Bobo's and said "Here this book will teach you how to do magic then you can show me a trick". Of course I hadn't started school so I don't think he was serious but I didn't know that so I went away and pestered my mum and also my dad to help me read it and the best part of a year later I performed coins across for my dad. Did me wonders because in all my future school reports my reading age was far higher than my actual age.

On a not so positive note because I was always doing tricks at school my teacher gave me the ladybird book of magic for my 6th birthday. I felt completely insulted because it never dawned on me that this book was age appropriate for my 6 years. I was learning from Bobo's, Harry Barons book and RRTCM by then and let her know in no uncertain terms how insulted I was at being given a book for babies. I never got the chance to apologise to her for being such an ungrateful little git.

Mark
Mark Chandaue A.I.M.C.
Harpacrown is available from
http://www.harpacrown.co.uk
Ophiuchus is available from
http://www.harpacrown.co.uk/?product=ophiuchus
Totally Free Will is available from
http://www.harpacrown.co.uk/?product=totally-free-will
Mb217
View Profile
Inner circle
8632 Posts

Profile of Mb217
I love these stories, they are the unique moments of a journey recollected by a real pro that was taught by pros. And funny, not our USA pros but those from the UK that could do this stuff just as well and helped lead the way on what we do today. It reminds me of so many such stories told to me by my friend and master magician, creator and craftsman, Steve Dusheck. He knew everybody and everybody knew him for his fine work, and he's still out there making magic happen.

Mark has told stories that don't get told here in this way very often and it's totally appreciated. And I like to hear of these cantankerous old birds like Bobby Bernard, Dai Vernon, Slydini, and you can even still hear such barking from Harry Lorayne on the card forum still today, feisty old dude. Smile But like the others, he paid his dues fully to say what the h*ll he wants to say about this stuff, and either you can take it and learn from it or leave it and perhaps never comprehend the deeper meanings of things as seen by these top rate practitioners over the many decades. I guess you can maybe throw Al Schneider in there too somewhere.

Often times their brashness or dismissiveness is the only way they know to get something important through to you. If you can bare the absolutely saltiness of it at times, then perhaps you might get to taste the sweet, as Mark speaks of here. Smile
*Check out my latest: MBs Morgan w/ BONUS: Destiny, Copper Silver INC, Double Trouble, FlySki, Crimp Change - REDUX!, and other fine magic at www.VinnyMarini.com Smile

"Believe in YOU, and you will see the greatest magic that ever was." -Mb Smile
Strange Tasting Fish Sticks
View Profile
1988 - 2013
The Big Brother is watching you
1095 Posts

Profile of Strange Tasting Fish Sticks
I was greatly moved by your story mark. I too would often practice allot, 6 hours a day, everyday, I quit my job and practiced everywhere I went. Eventually I met rannie RayMundo, I wasn't near as skilled as I am now, but I realize, looking back how hard he was on me. Eric Jones also taught me a very valuable lesson. I showed him ponta the smithsvanish, which id practiced solely on for 2 years, 6 hours everyday. Let me back track a bit. Similar to your story, I first showed it to Chris kenner, a famous magician who has worked with David Copperfield. He kept cussing, "holy ****, that's smooth as hell!" several times. I felt great. I showed it to Eric Jones, he said it was good but "not doing magic, just tricks." he was impressed when I muscle passed a coin into harada hold, he told me to do it again. He then explained how amazed he was when lawrens godon showed it to him. We hung out all night, he said I reminded him of his younger self. He told me my success as a magician depended on the used book I bought, magic and showmanship by Henning nelms.
nathanmorris
View Profile
New user
UK
56 Posts

Profile of nathanmorris
Go for it! If you believe in yourself and persevere I'm sure you will achive your dreams one day!
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Nothing up my sleeve... » » I want to follow mydreams: I want to be a pro magician (0 Likes)
 Go to page [Previous]  1~2
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2020 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.2 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL