If you really want to be an excellent magician, you need a magician mentor. In the twenty-first century, that isn’t always easy. With the decline in magic clubs and bricks and mortar shops, how are you meant to find someone to guide you? Well, in this blog I will walk you through a couple of ideas..
The first question we need to ask ourselves is what is a mentor?
According to Wikipedia, a mentorship is a relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. For me, it’s someone who will invest his or her time to guide and navigate so you can become better magician’s.
Before we even consider looking for a mentor there are a few questions we need to ask ourselves.
What kind of magic do you enjoy and want to become better at?
When you find a potential magician mentor or person you respect what can you offer them? Why should they bother with you? Find your why first. It could be money, it could be time, it could be helping them out with chores. Think about it: would you offer your time for nothing?
Can you prove you are serious about the craft of magic?
I found my mentor in magic when I was at a magic club. It took two years of me turning up to the club before Mike even spoke to me. I remember it like it was yesterday, performing a magic trick for a group of magicians, a trick that involved the second deal. When the evening ended and I was on my way home, he said that’s some second deal you have there, but it needs work. The next meeting I was invited to sit, watch and learn. I had to prove my worth first before he considered even a conversation about any magic.
Do they already have students? (If they do, that is a positive sign)
Do you like them?
I think this is important to know, like, and trust your magician mentor before you introduce yourself. Note: they won’t come looking for you.
All the past master magicians had magician mentors sometimes they were lucky living close, right time, right place. Most had to move to a new city, country. It depends how committed you really are to magic (just a thought.)
- Don’t make these mistakes
- A Magician mentor won’t find you.
- Mentorship isn’t just about you.
- You’re not as important to them.
Let’s find a Magician mentor the right way.
1. Find a magician who performs the style of magic you like.
Get a pen and paper and write as many magicians you can think of who perform the same style of magic as you.
Take into consideration, their style, look, how they connect with the audience. Do you share any of their attributes?
2. Take a deep dive.
Are they active on social media? Sign up to their news letter. Are they performing locally?
Listen to any podcast they have been on.
Really get to know all you can about the person. Find out other hobbies and areas of interests so when you get into a conversation with them you can use your knowledge as a springboard so the conversation never becomes dry.
Do they have an excellent reputation with in the magic community? If not why not? Find out as much as you can before trying to arrange a meeting..
3. Where are they?
Online: Are magician mentors online? Yes, connect though Zoom, Skype or social media.
Does your potential magician mentor have a social media account? Email address?
Do they live local to you? Do they attend a magic club? For me, there is no better way to learn magic then to be in the room next to them? A human connection, how it should be.
4. The big ask?
So you’ve done your homework, found a potential magician mentor to learn from. Now you have to ask, but don’t ask them to mentor you right away. That is a massive step for anyone and strange.
Drop them a email, tell them a little about you and your interests. Have a good intriguing question you want answering, pique their interests. Ask if you could jump on a Zoom call for 30 minutes to go over some move or find something out, make them want to get back to you. Worst case, they don’t reply. I said this would not be easy.
If they don’t reply, ask yourself how badly do you want them to magician mentor you? Think of other ways to get their help. Do they offer lessons? Can you go to a lecture? Will they be at a magic convention? You need to get them interested in you; they need to know you exist in the world.
If you’ve tried a million ways and getting no where then maybe they weren’t the mentor for you. Go back to your list at the start and find another magician mentor, start the process again.
5. You have your first call/meeting.
Are you prepared? You have asked a question that has aroused their interest. Think of some more write them down. You want the conversation to flow naturally and not feel strange. Find out their likes, look at their social media account, study any lectures they have made, read their books, read comments on the magic forums. Find anything you think applies to them. You’re looking for hooks, ideas to keep a good natural conversation flowing.
First impressions count, with that in mind: have a wash, get a haircut, put on clean clothes, brush your teeth. This really should go without saying, but I’ve met many magicians who should know better. Feel good about yourself.
After the meeting. The big question is: Did you feel comfortable speaking to them? If not thats a red flag. Did they ask questions about your life? Did they seem interested in you? Did you get your trigger question answered?
Did you leave the meeting feeling better for the experience?
If the answer was yes, waste no time to follow up. But if it was not, at least you know, start the process again. I said at the very start this would not be an easy process.
6. How To Follow Up After The Meeting.
Leave it a few hours or even a day. It’s ok to feel excited, it’s better you do, you need to let that person know your serious about magic. But how?
In your email, be polite, thank them for sharing their time with you. Let them know you would like to do this again, offer some dates to see if they are free?
Remember, at this point we still haven’t asked if they would be a magician mentor.
We are still sizing this person up, doing our due diligence. All the time asking ourselves, do I really want them to teach me and become my mentor?
Hosting the Magicians Advice Podcast (MAP) I have met many of my hero’s in magic and frankly been disappointed. I placed them on a pedestal in my mind as some kind of amazing person who had it all figured out. In reality, that wasn’t the case. There are a hand full of magicians who I know like and trust, but they are few and fair between.
The magicians who have impressed me the most are the ones I’ve never heard of. They are the people who are quietly plugging away, achieving their personal goals. They are the magicians who you find out about and then find out that other magicians know, like, and trust them too. Its important to go to a magic club to find the gems. Magician Mentors don’t have to be famous.
Hopefully this won’t be your experience.
7. Build A Healthy Relationship.
You’ve had your second meeting. It went well. You have ticked all the boxes. You now are confident that this magician is the perfect mentor for you. They have answered your questions, shown their knowledge, shared their time. You feel they are definitely the mentor for you.
Its time to ask them.
Would you be my magician mentor in magic? If you have done everything right, been polite show interest in them and magic.
They should feel honored and proud that you have asked them to share knowledge and views.
Hopefully, they will say yes and you are at the very start of a beautiful life long relationship.
8. What To Expect From Your Magician Mentor.
We build a mentor relationship on the hard truth, that’s what you signed up for, someone to really tell you how bad you are and then work with you to improve your magic skills.
Don’t be put off. When you are told your trick is no good or needs improvement, take it for what it is. Don’t take it to heart its not a personal attack. Your magician mentor will want the best for you to make you a better magician. That’s what the process is about, learning together in a trustworthy environment.
Don’t walk away – MAGIC IS HARD!!
Building The Relationship.
My relationship with my magician mentor has built over many years. We have had our ups and down that’s how it works, figuring it out as you go. There have been times my mentor wanted to walk away because I was being a dick and vis verse magician mentors just like mentees have floors, no one is perfect. As you grow together and your relationship becomes stronger over the time, you should be able to ask your mentor anything. For me that’s the most important thing, having my mentor there just for a chat.
If you are lucky enough to find a magician mentor, then you need to be committed to the process. You are building a lifelong bond with someone. Someone who will become a friend and enjoy watching you grow. This isn’t a flash in the dove pan relationship. Show commitment, make it easy for them. Above all be respectful.
10. Enjoy The Process.
Life is short, reflect on your time, take notes, learn and enjoy sharing before you know it you will be old (hopefully) and maybe if you’re lucky enough people will come to you for advice and maybe reach out to be a magician mentor too.
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