Chatter

October 2017 Chatter

Posted at 30/09/17 - 08:41 PM

The pace of change in our everyday lives seems unrelentingly constant. No sooner have we got used to one way of doing things than alterations are brought in which we have to absorb. And this applies to everything from how our utility bill meters are read to how we check in for a flight.

Sometimes change comes about because it is genuinely necessary, while at others it appears that change has been brought in not because it necessarily improves things but almost just because it becomes possible.

So given that change and modernisation surrounds us, why is it that some magicians are still doing the same things in the same way as they were years ago? Hackneyed patter with outdated references in them, tricks using props that are out of step with the modern world, publicity pictures that reflect how they looked decades ago, a marketing approach based on outdated principles?

I think part of the reason is that when something works well, we just keep doing it. Success can breed indifference to change, and the old adage of ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ dictates that altering a winning formula would be a mistake. As indeed it would.

But unfortunately nothing rarely works for ever as most approaches have a shelf life after which their impact starts to decline. If the fall off is gradual it may well be that we don’t really notice it at first.

For instance, if the number of show bookings that you are getting drops away by a few a year, you may just put it down to external factors such as the economy or other wider factors out of your control. Which might be true, but it could also be that your marketing methods are losing their impact, or your show offering has grown to be out of step with what people are now interested in and looking for. The wider influencing factors we may not be able to do much about, but the ones to do with things closer to home we can adapt and change.

I think it’s all to do with stepping back and taking an objective view of what you are doing magically. If you feel dissatisfied, try to identify what it is that is no longer working. In the case of diminishing bookings, you could try altering your publicity and where it is placed, or changing your show offering completely by moving into a different area of work. It may take time and it may not always work, but neither will staying exactly the same.

Change can be daunting and a lot of people make promises to themselves about revamping what they do but never actually get round to it. Procrastination sets in big time and the result is that they end up moaning about how things aren’t like they used to be but without the will or drive to achieve the necessary alterations.

Of course, if you are happy with your lot, you don’t need to rock the boat. If doing less shows year on year suits you or doesn’t bother you, then that’s fine. What I think is a shame is when people see or feel things aren’t going well, but don’t realise that it may well be within their powers to make changes that will arrest the decline.

Change can be fun and exciting if done properly, so embrace it, don’t dodge it.

Author: Mark Leveridge magic@markleveridge.co.uk

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