As with any profession, there’s no magic spell for self-promotion. This is as true in the world of illusion and magic as it is in the world of business or finance. So, where to begin? Are there any sure-fire ways to give yourself an edge that will make you stand apart from the roaring crowd?
“Never tell the audience how good you are, they will soon find out for themselves.”
The answer to that age-old question is shrouded in mystery. But never fear! The qualities that led you to magic will help you succeed. A desire to entertain, a penchant for showmanship, and a curiosity about the world and its secrets will take you further than you realize. Let’s take a look at some of the ways illusionists and magicians have promoted themselves over time, and how Doodeo can help you learn how to promote yourself as a magician and find gigs in the digital age.
1. Be a Genuine Original
Believe it or not, when Harry Houdini began his magic career in 1891, he wasn’t exactly a success. He followed the typical path paved by the performers who came before him. It wasn’t until years later that he realized that breaking the expected mold for magicians would be the key to his success. Houdini figured that by performing dangerous and death-defying stunts, he could draw an audience. He escaped from straitjackets and chains, locked himself in water chambers, and even challenged audience members to tests of physical strength. He also built his reputation as an authority on magic by debunking fraudulent spiritualists and mediums who took advantage of innocent people. Being original and exciting catapulted Houdini to stardom. Though Houdini relied on word of mouth and live performances, today’s illusionists have the internet and social media to help build their reputations and find a wider audience.
2. Take Your Place at the Table
In the 1920s when June Horowitz began her career, it was practically unheard of for a woman to perform as a magician. She wasn’t about to let the society of the time stop her from pursuing her dream. Inspired by Houdini at a young age, and taught simple card tricks by her father, June blazed a trail in magic that other women would follow. She used her fierce intelligence and biting humor to captivate audiences in a way that was exciting and unconventional. June profited enough from her early magic career that she was able to pay her way through college. As a matter of fact, she became so successful that she was voted the first female president of the International Brotherhood of Magicians in 1987. June, who died at the age of 104, was living proof that any obstacle can be overcome with drive and talent, even in the business of magic. By connecting on Doodeo, you can easily share your knowledge about the history of magic and learn about the pioneering artists who came before you.
3. Put a New Spin on an Old Favorite
Sometimes, the best way to set yourself apart is to build on the tried and true classics. David Copperfield is a perfect example. By mixing crowd-pleasing stunts like levitation and slight-of-hand with the glamour of Hollywood, Copperfield presented magic in a way that seemed brand new. As a shy and withdrawn boy, he was fascinated by the charisma of old school stars like Fred Astaire and wanted to combine his talent for magic with storytelling. Like the movies he loved, Copperfield chose to make his stunts larger than life while creating a compelling story. When he made the Statue of Liberty disappear in 1983, he made sure that his audience was aware of the symbolism behind his performance. Copperfield became successful because he blended the illusions people had come to expect with a kind of movie magic that gave them an emotional connection. Using the right social media platform can help you showcase how you stand out from the crowd, and help you keep your finger on the pulse of the constantly evolving world of magic.
4. Find Your Magic Gathering
Practice makes perfect. So, what better way to practice the magical arts than to do it around a group of people who are into what you’re into? There are many magical societies that accept members who practice magic professionally or as a hobby. The International Brotherhood of Magicians, for example, has 300 local groups, or “rings,” where members can meet with fellow magicians in their area. The Society of American Magicians also offers membership to people who are interested in magic. Arguably, the most well-known society in the U.S. is The Academy of Magical Arts which is headquartered in the famous Magic Castle in Hollywood, CA. The AMA includes members you’d expect, like Penn and Teller and David Blaine, and those you might not, like Jason Alexander and Neil Patrick Harris. It’s worth mentioning that these magical societies offer memberships in youth societies for magic enthusiasts under the age of eighteen. All three organizations have strong, active online communities and offer online memberships. If you’re looking to take your career in magic to the next level, support from fellow society members could definitely provide the motivation you need.
The true magic in the magical arts lives in you. Do something no one has done before, like Houdini, or use what sets you apart to your advantage, like June Horowitz. Find a community of performers who share your interests, and use your skills and knowledge to create a style that’s all your own. Who you are, how you’re different, and what you bring to the table will help your career succeed!
If you’re interested in promoting yourself online, especially in these uncertain times, our online platform is there to help and FREE TO JOIN! Whether you’d like to share videos of your performances, find gigs, or just connect with fellow magicians and illusionists, Doodeo is the place to share your talents and promote your one-of-a-kind style.