I chatted with a DJ friend of mine the other night. He was very complimentary of my magic and style of presentation. As he was talking, I found it odd how he described his experience working with other magicians at other events. He said the rest of the magical entertainers he’d encountered were either so cheesey that no one took them seriously (except maybe a few kids) or stuffy and unapproachable.  For a brief moment I felt embarrassed for those magicians he was talking about.

Personally, I know that I have put a lot of conscious effort into  not being 'that' magician. The vast majority of my work is for adults. You don’t get far in the college or corporate entertainment world with cheese.  Nor is it proper to walk into that type of event in a tux with tails and talking like Shakespeare wrote your script.

Put the people and personal interactions first. Be interested in the guests, the event, the company and the friends that you can make, and then show them some magic. That’s a professional approach to what I do.  I am paid to be a magician at a party. Think about that for a second. We all know that magic doesn’t really exist, don’t we? But what if it did? What would it look like? What would it be like to chat with a magician? Magicians are supposed to know things that other (normal) people don’t. Cool things. We are supposed to be interesting to talk with and be around.

As soon as you force a magic trick onto a group, you cease to be a magician, and you begin to be a showoff or, worse, an annoyance. If you have made friends with the people you are talking with, and they find out you are the magician for the evening, they will ask you to do  few tricks.  That is completely different than pouncing on them with an awkward-looking magic prop. On that note, I don’t use ‘magic props’ in my work. Yes, I use a deck of cards, but that is something that everyone has in their homes. If you have seen me work, you know that I use cards, slips of paper, money that I borrow from audience member, and …forks. The forks are the most out-of-place item that I use, but they are also the highlight of the evening for people who get to see me work with one.

When people ask me what I do for a living, and I answer, ‘I’m a magician,’ there is a subtle look in their eye that I have come to understand. That look is a condescending, misinformed, manifestation of the thought, 'you mean like the guy we had at my son’s 6th birthday?'  No, I’m sorry, not like that. I am an artist. I’ve worked for governors, and doctors, and lawyers and millionaires. I take the creation and profession of magic very seriously. I firmly believe that magic can be real, if it is handled properly. I feel that magic is a powerful and moving art form in the hands of serious practitioners.

As my DJ friend described the other magicians he had worked with, I was embarrassed for a second, then there was a small pride. My hard work...worked.