Magicians dazzle audiences with sleights of hand and trickery. They perform
in a variety of settings -- from concert halls to birthday parties. And they're
constantly practicing and learning new tricks. Some magicians perform tricks
that are risky and awe-inspiring.
Making people wonder about tricks is part of the magician's job.
While a few magicians -- household names like David Copperfield and Penn
and Teller -- may earn over a million dollars per year, most working magicians
hold other jobs or work part time. Those who earn the big bucks in the industry
often call weekend magicians hobbyists.
Most magicians spend a lot of time traveling, especially if they've got
a rare trick or a quality that wows the world. "I'm one of the few female
magicians in the world," says Maritess (who only goes by one name), "so I'm
regarded with fascination a lot of the time. I travel around the world and
country a lot."
The job also means spending a long time on your feet and having the patience
to work with children or inattentive audiences. But magicians say being comfortable
in front of groups of people is what will get you to the top of the magic
For some magicians, the greatest reward is giving people a chance to laugh.
Debbie O'Carroll performed for a group of Russian children who were ill from
a nuclear accident in the city of Chernobyl. "It amazed me how we were able
to transcend the language barriers with our magic and music. There was great
fun and great sadness that day because most of the kids were desperately ill,"
Magicians can use their knowledge of the industry to pursue a career change.
Some magicians have become famous authors, inventors and publishers of magic
magazines. Others have become consultants, managers of famous magicians and
producers of magic shows.
Magic requires a great deal of hand-eye coordination. A good memory is
also key. Magician Aaron Jones suggests that business smarts are also helpful.
"Good business skills and organizational skills are a must, as you will be
doing most of that kind of work yourself. [They] must be able to market and
sell themselves, so sales and promotion skills are needed," says Jones.