I am in a wonderful position of being paid to perform magic. To get to this point, I went through two processes: learning and refining.
The learning process involved a lot of money and lonely hours in my room. For the first few years, I'd buy anything I could find, learn some of them, and subject my friends to the results.
It was a painful process. Painful to my wallet, my love life, and my loved ones. You can only show your friends and family so many tricks before they resent you for returning them to a 'child-like state of wonder'.
As painful as the buying/learning process is, it's also fun. It's a time of learning, developing and potential. Who knows, this electronic clipboard might work this time!
The other part is refining. It involved banishing almost all my tricks to the magic draw, keeping the five that worked, and performing ambitious card a hundred times a night.
This part involves a lot of repetition. I had to perform the same few tricks over and over again, to hundreds of different people, to get a set worth charging for. This process is as essential as it is tedious.
After a few years of defying the laws of reality, it gets a bit samey. I did the same tricks, got the same reactions and the same questions. There are only so many times I can hear, 'can you make my wife disappear?' before considering a career as a divorce lawyer.
Because of this, I occasionally find myself in a magic slump. Disillusioned by the whole thing and tired of simulating the impossible.
My biggest slump came before the lockdown. I was working a day job and performing most evenings. I was tired and, quite frankly, didn't care about magic any more. It seeped into my performance, and I wasn't giving them the deserved performance.
The worldwide 'time-out' got me out of my slump. Partly because I had a little break from performing but mainly because I got to learn tricks that excited me again. For the first time in years, I didn't have to worry about angles or instant resets.
I went on the magic websites and brought tricks I thought were cool - just because! Most were angle sensitive, a pain to set up, and highly impractical, but all were fun.
I remembered how cool it is to try and create the impossible out of cold, hard reality. Learning weird, interesting, ridiculous methods got me excited. When I was finally allowed to perform again, I had my energy back. And because I'd learnt so much, my magic was better. I was doing tricks I would have previously dismissed as impractical.
Now, whenever I get into a slump, I read up on methods or learn a trick I would never do. This gets me inspired and keeps me creative.
What gets you excited about magic? How do you get out of a slump?
In case you missed it, we've shared some weird and wonderful projects on the Carnival of Coins these past two weeks.
Ji-Feng, shares a magician fooling project Nobody. He teaches tableless lapping, one-finger vanishes and more!
Clement shares his new takes on old ideas in New Old Ideas For Coin Magic - the project that got David Stone excited about magic again.
Giacomo Bertini, the coin legend, gives a masterclass in deception in Florentine Assembly.
Patricio Teran, master of the Matrix, shares his weird and unique takes on the classic plot in Matrix Elements.
Just a hint, we've got great deals on these at the moment ;).
Check out these projects. Get creative. Get inspired.
Until next time,