Here are the main reasons why being unemployed can be a whole load of fun:
- You don’t have to get up early in the morning to go to work.
- You get loads of free stuff from the government like dental treatment and bus passes.
- You can binge watch The Jeremy Kyle Show.
- You can spend a bit of time deciding what your next job might be.
There are lots of potential roles out there for someone that’s willing to put the work in, but it can be hard to marry your skills with vacancies that are currently available.
Have you therefore considered becoming the next Dynamo?
You’ll get to spend your time doing things that most people would consider beyond the bounds of possibility (a bit like the number of sick days you had in your previous job – hence the reason why you are now unemployed).
If floating in mid-air by the side of a double decker bus and walking on water sounds like it could be a bit of a giggle, here’s what you’ll need to do to become successful:
1. Learn a few tricks
There’s a whole plethora of tricks that you’ll need to learn before you become a magician namely: close up sleight of hand tricks, stage magic tricks, escapology type tricks and mentalism which is something a few staff members here at The W1nners’ Club have shown themselves to extremely competent at.
2. Study the work of established magicians
Have a look at people that are currently established like Dynamo and try to get a feel for the types of tricks they do and how they develop a relationship with the audience. You should also study some of the greats from the past like Harry Houdini and David Copperfield to get a feel for more classic styles. It’s perhaps best to avoid studying Tommy Cooper because his entire act was based on his inability to pull off a decent magic trick!
3. Study lots of magic literature
It’s a great way to learn the fundamentals of magic and most of the greats started off by learning in this way. Biographies are also a great way to learn but be mindful of the fact that the person you are reading about has to actually be a magician.
4. Watch plenty of videos
Like everything else these days, there are plenty of videos out there that will help you on your quest for dynamism. DVDs and You Tube tutorials are a particularly fertile source of magic knowledge and the various online forums in existence will also point you in the right direction. Beware of scammers however; you know the type. It’s the guys that charge £150 for a tutorial on how to do the trick where you pretend to pull your finger off that only ever fools children under 4 years old.
5. Try to get some guidance
You might be able to reach out to established magical performers to ask them to give guidance or mentoring as you climb the ladder of success. A lot of the bigger guys are only too willing to help as they too remember what it was like in the early days trying to get a rabbit to disappear in a top hat. Listen to their criticisms and look after the rabbit!
6. Develop your own style
………whilst on the subject of disappearing rabbits, this has been done more times than the rabbit has during mating season so think of the ways that you can develop a more original act.
7. Understand what it takes to make it to the top
Self-discipline, commitment, patience, desire, stage presence – becoming a magical great doesn’t just happen by magic – which is rather ironic if you think about it.
8. Get some equipment
You can either make your own equipment, get some friends to help you make equipment or buy equipment from a magic store or website. You may even want to consider employing the friend who helps you build the equipment as your assistant. Rumour has it Debbie Mcghee was initially Paul Daniels’ welder before she became his assistant – a piece of magic trivia that is of course completely untrue.
10. Think about your costume
Tommy Cooper’s hat, Dynamo looking like he’s about to mug somebody, Houdini’s wooden barrel – the costume you wear is almost as important for your image as the actual tricks are.
11. Develop your stagecraft
Remember that as a magician you are a performer so it’s no good if your personality disappears on stage quicker than the little fluffy rabbit you’re working with does. Acting lessons are a good idea and may help you feel more comfortable performing in front of a crowd if you don’t have the natural stage presence of somebody like The Great Soprendo.
12. Make sure you’re fully rehearsed before a show
It’s obvious, but your equipment should be properly checked that it’s in full working order before a performance. Consider the ways in which you can segue certain tricks together to make a larger one eg. make someone’s £10 note disappear and then 2 hours later it miraculously reappears in your wallet after the show has finished!
13. Sell yourself
You’ll need to market yourself effectively on your march to the top so the standard marketing fayre like business cards, a professional looking website, social media content etc. will all come into play. The other type of ‘selling yourself’ might get you the odd gig but will in no way guarantee you long term success.
14. Get some public liability insurance
As sure as we are that your act will be safe, you’ll need to make sure you have public liability insurance in case the worst happens. Sawing a member of the audience in half and then realising it was never part of the act can be distressing for even the most experienced magical performers – not to mention the audience as well of course!
15. Hire an agent
They will be important for your career development and will ensure that the work keeps on coming. Agents can earn a good 15-20% of your performance fees but may prove worth it in the long run. The advantage you have as a magical performer is that if you and your agent fall out at any point, you can simply use them in your act and make them disappear forever.
16. Get your own TV show
After years of hard work, toil and a dose of good fortune, you may find that you end up with your own television show. Now that you’ve hit the big time, make sure that you remain discreet about how you do your tricks and beware of ‘friends’ that may try to coax the information out of you. You’re a star of the magic world, so go out there and starve yourself for 44 days like David Blaine did – as you do!