This week, Jonah finally sits down with Andi Gladwin—co-founder of Vanishing Inc.—to discuss the business of magic, publishing magic, and how to manage your time. Andi has also appeared on Fool Us and The Next Great Magician where he performed his Man in a Balloon act.
Andi never planned to be a full-time magician. Unlike his magician friends, Andi left university to take on a job with a web hosting company. While he loved his time there, he found that he was falling behind in the magic world. He wanted to be the best magician he could be but couldn’t with a full-time job. With the help of his magician friends, Andi was able to start performing magic while earning what he did at his web hosting job.
His approach to magic is driven by Gary Vaynerchuk’s saying: legacy over currency. Everything he does in magic is based on the desire to improve the quality of magic in the world.
Andi and Joshua Jay launched Vanishing Inc. six months before Andi left his job to pursue work as a professional magician. The idea to launch the company came after frustration with not having control over the quality of their products; they could create the content, but it was out of their hands once they sold it. The idea to start Vanishing Inc. came from this desire for a magic shop that focused on quality over quantity.
With the recent acquisition of The Art of Magic, Andi explains his appreciation for what Dan and Dave have created. While he’s not sure how Vanishing Inc. and Art of Magic will work together, Andi promises that they’ll continue to deliver high-quality products.
You can see Dan and Dave’s goodbye video here.
The Business of Magic
Asking magicians to trust them with their creations after telling the story of how Vanishing Inc came to be is always a tricky situation for Andi. He is asking magicians to trust him with their content when he himself started a company to control how his material is released. However, he believes that Vanishing Inc, with their ten years of proven experience, can provide magicians with the quality they seek. Any magician Vanishing Inc. partners with must match their ethos of wanting to create good magic; they don’t want people who are solely creating tricks for the sake of financial gain.
In terms of going pro, Andi recommends doing it slowly. Create a business plan, look at the numbers, determine if it is a doable situation for you. It will take time to develop a steady flow of gigs, and you shouldn’t rush into it. Andi reminds you that, if it’s not for you, you can always return to your old job.
For creating and publishing magic, Andi works off the Michael Close theory: For it to be a publishable effect, there needs to be a change to the presentation, effect, or method that improves it. Furthermore, Andi explains that a magician should perform the trick a few hundred times to understand the ins and outs of their creation before trying to sell it.
Running a business, performing and practicing magic, meeting with friends and spending time with family can be hectic. To balance his life, Andi foregoes movies and television to put hours into his work and practice. He goes on to explain that he taught himself how to sit down and focus on the task at hand.
To better manage your time, Andi recommends a few useful tips:
- Assign certain tasks to certain days of the week
- Designate locations for doing work
- Set aside specific times in your day for specific tasks
- Create a to-do list using a scheduling app or a day planner
Ultimately, Andi’s goal is to set aside time to practice and perform magic.
Who would you like to see on the Podcast?
What do you love about 2018 magic? What do you hate?
He likes how video is such an important medium in magic now. Magic is visual, so filming your trick allows you to better share your content.
He doesn’t like the people who hate on the current direction magic is going or the politics that sometimes comes with magic.
Question of the week:
- What are we going to do this week to give ourselves more time for magic?
- What do you look for in a magic shop?
Social Media and Projects
- Andi Gladwin on Instagram
- Card magic of Edward G. Brown is a project Andi is currently working on. You can expect to see the book released in a few months.