Jonah is joined by David Gerard, a magician who started later in life after a career working in silicon valley marketing for startups. David’s unique background and experiences blends perfectly with Jonah’s interests and curiosity in this conversation that covers everything from how to face the harsh reality of criticism and examining what it feels like to be fooled, to discussions on marketing yourself for corporate events, retaining your clients, and how to grow your magic business.
Making a Choice to Be Amazed
David remembers vividly his first encounter with magic and shares with us the story of how his dad took him to see a magician and made the decision that day not to pick the trick apart but embrace the choice to be amazed. David took that amazement and carried it with him as he grew up.
It didn’t really start there though as David would go on to work for Google and eventually move on to marketing with startups around the Seattle area. Magic was always there in the background but he’s an admitted late bloomer to the life of a professional magician. This means now, of course, that when he performs at a corporate event he can literally speak their language and knows how to connect with that audience.
The Magic (and Science) of Gratitude
David is passionate about mindfulness and meditation and he shares with us lessons he’s learned and the questions he’s asked himself as he continues to perform. He also encourages every magician to examine why they’re on the stage in the first place, to understand what it means to be fooled (and how that isn’t always a positive experience for people), and being clear about your wants and desires.
Marketing To Your Expertise
In the later half of this conversation Jonah and David deep dive into marketing your show. David offers up advice on how to get your time on stage, how to handle criticism, and the importance of choosing carefully who you get your advice from.
Does your show have to be original? Or is it more important that your connection to the audience is authentic? How vital is it to study the classics versus breaking out to invent your own routine? And when you have that all sorted out how do you market yourself to event planners and agents who are booking magicians for their next event?
David shares his ideas on how to retain those relationships with those event planners, where to find corporate gigs, and important tips to retain those gigs while also sourcing new ones.
What do you like about modern magic? What do you not like?
A lot of people are getting exposed to magic now and there is better magic out there now. It’s really great that people are so welcoming and so sharing and the secrets aren’t that far away now.
However, there are less and less places to get stage time which is the number one thing that makes you good and that’s really sad.