For the first time ever I signed up to go to magic camp! I stepped on the bus, looked around and saw about 90 other people that were also magicians just like me.
That was the first time that I realized that I wasn’t special.
Not only were they all just as much magicians as I was, but they were even doing the same goddamn tricks! How did that happen? I didn’t learn magic with them, I thought I did my own thing. But all of a sudden we were all doing the same goddamn tricks???!! And performing them in pretty similar ways.
While I’d like to say that after that day, I took my own path. It wouldn’t be true. After that day I realized that I needed to be different.
It took years of attending of magic camp, magic lectures, and magic gatherings, jamming at the magic store, and performing that helped me start to find my place. And I say start, because I don’t think I’m there yet.
This post however, is not about me!
My story is just an example. I think every magician, performer or expert of any sort in their field realizes how not special they are the first few times they hang our with other likeminded people.
It happens when actors step into acting classes and realize they were the top of their high school drama class, but the bottom of an acting class.
It happens when people go to university for a subject, and realize everyone else in their program is also there for the same thing, and have the same sets of skills.
I can only imagine how it feels to be in the Olympics, and getting bronze over silver or gold by a quarter of a millisecond, even though you were the best you’e ever met up until that day.
If you know what I’m talking about, CONGRATULATIONS!
I think knowing that you aren’t special is one of the biggest lessons for a magician to learn.
The sooner it happens the sooner you can be important.
So how do you find yourself in magic?
I don’t have the perfect answer, since I’m living it right now.
I think keep keep keep performing. The real you will squeeze out through your magic.
Try not to do or say exactly what other people are saying. Instead of committing to a script that you use every time even though it often doesn’t play as you would want to. Try out different things. Try new scripts. Emphasize different moments. Try coming up with scripts on the spot to be more creative.
I truly believe that growth as a magician doesn’t happen in your bedroom with your pinky in a pack of cards.
I believe that the tough situations in REAL LIFE are where you find out who you are as a magician. The ones where you try new things, have serendipitous ideas, royally f**k up a trick, take a crazy risk, try a character you’ve never tried before, say something stupid, share a part of you soul with the audience.
Anything that might make you nervous or break a sweat (for me that’s doing anything).
But please please please please please, for all that is good in the world don’t be somebody else character. They already exist!
We don’t need two of them! – But we might need one of you!
If there’s something about another magicians which appeals to you, try to ask yourself why it appeals to you. See if you can extract what you like about many performers, instead of steal what you like from one performer!