Magician Gigs vs Projects

Conjurer's Coffee Break - Episode 007


- Hi. Welcome back.

- This week. I want to talk to you about projects.
- So many of us, think in terms of gigs.
- Me too!

- I love getting a gig and performing a one off show, but...
- I also think in terms of projects.

- In fact, this podcast is one of them.
- I don't where this is going or how long I'll do it for, but I just want to get something started.
- It's not perfect yet, but I can learn, tweak and improve as I go.
- Which reminds me, please continue to contribute your thoughts about this podcast episode and the others by visiting

- My working model, and I'm using that term because it's sort of unclear, and that's OK, but my working model is that a project is started before there is any paying customer lined up for it.
- Whereas a gig, is someone buying something that already exists - your show, two hours of close up, etc...

- I guess this sort of relates to the nature of art and creativity. Podcast upcoming, and I'll repeat this then but...
- A craftsman makes something because the market wants to buy it.
- An artist sells something that they want to make.

- So, it's also about intention.
- And yeh, maybe there's some overlap, you can start a project with a market in mind.
- And I'm making a podcast. That's not hugely radical or creative. I know that people like listening to podcasts.

- But my point is, that it's something you want to do "just because..."

- I have another project, a show I want to build. I'm not writing it for a client. I'm writing it for me.
- And again, I don't know what will happen to it, whether I'll ever perform it, maybe for free or maybe someone will book it, but that's not the point.
- Writing my show is not magic as a business. It's magic for me, because I love magic and I want to explore new ways of performing.
- These are passion projects.
- I think we need more of that.
- We need more people trying things out, "just because they love it."
- Hey, did you know the word amateur comes from the same route as amor, and as well as meaning someone 'not very good at something' also means 'someone who does something, just for the love of it'. Let's be more amateur, in that sense.
- After all, we all started out in magic because we loved it. At least, I hope no-one thought, "I'll get into magic because it's a great way to make money."

- So, there are three reasons people usually give for not a project.
- And those are, it won't be any good, it will take up too much time, and why bother if there's no financial gain?
- I've sorta answered that last point already, but it's also worth saying that if making money from a project is a goal of yours that can be something you can look at later down the line.
- For the second part, these projects run alongside my business.
- I work on them when I've finished my main enquiry response or outreach work. And as I mentioned, I enjoy doing them, so it's not time wasted.
- And for the first part well unless you start your project, (a new show, a book, a YouTube series, etc) you can't make it any better.

- A close friend of mine, has a very pithy saying: "You have to have a thing, before you can improve a thing."
- Or here's another quote: "You don't have to be good to start, but you do have to start in order to get better."
- Or "Just do it!"
- Write one of those down.

- And you know what, here's a confession. I have had projects sort of fail.
- I made a children's online magic workshop, you know just basic tricks that kids can print off and do with their parents.
- I uploaded it to my website, and it got a few hundred views and I never sold a single one.

- Not that it's just about the money, but I was expecting to have more reach.
- But what I have done is used it as a free bonus when booking an in person magic workshop.
- "If you book with me, every child can have access to this 30 trick database."
- I also printed the tricks off myself, so I have a set of materials to use in those real life workshops.
- And I'm going to re-spin the content for a later project too.

- So, with some thought, even something that doesn't quite reach your expectations, and I set high expectations for myself, can be leveraged into something worthwhile.
- And leverage is another topic for a future podcast.

- We're nearly at the end for today, so I'll just leave you with something to take away with you.
- Some questions to ask yourself.
- Are you more gig focused or project focused?
- Putting the gigs to the side for the moment, what could you do for you?
- And if you have a project, you've always wanted to do, what is the smallest step could you take to start it?

- Next week, I'm going to be talking about learning magic and improving magic.
- And that could also be a project, to learn more about XYZ genre of magic, even if it doesn't form part of your repertoire. I want to learn more about prop less mentalism, even though I've never needed to perform it, as yet.

- Until then, don't forget to check out, share the podcast with friends, and subscribe via your favourite podcast channel.

- Thanks as ever for listening!

Additional Show Notes

- I believe the actual quote was

"You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great."

and was said by, the incredibly named, Zig Zigler.

Now, I'll be honest, I'm not sure all these "motivational" speakers / influencers offer that much. They do kind of have a rose tinted view of the world. It's very aspirational, where everything works out perfectly. I've found life to be a lot more nuanced. You know, sometimes it's difficult to get started, because we don't have the resources or the motivation! But having said all that, if the quote speaks to you, and helps you to get started then hey, pin it up on your wall.

Find out more about Zig here:

Have your say!

Contribute to the conversation by going to the comments, which are found below the footer.

Leave a Comment