Do you want to be famous?  Whether you do or not, there is an often forgotten side effect of being high profile and successful.  Of course, there are degrees of fame, or perhaps more accurately different types of fame.  You could, for example, be famous locally, within your own town.  Maybe you have performed your own shows there, appeared in the local newspapers, switched the Christmas lights on in your town, and so on.  That kind of fame is great, and will probably give you a real boost, but don’t let it go to your head!  Some of this was covered in my blog, Don’t Let Success Go To Your Head.

You can also be famous nationally, and internationally.  Some countries have nationally known magicians who are a household name within the country, but who are relatively unknown outside the country.  Magicians who are known internationally are very few, you can probably count them on the fingers of one hand in fact, and usually the reason for their widespread fame is because of many high profile TV appearances, large scale tours, or years spent in Las Vegas where tourists from all parts of the globe abound.  Another type of fame is what some magicians call “magic magazine heroes.”  These are individuals who have a degree of experience in magic, perhaps with a specialty act, and who are regularly featured in magic magazines, but who are unknown outside the field of magic.

These guys are regular speakers at magic conventions and derive most of their income selling videos, lecture notes, and so on to other magicians. Nothing wrong with it, it’s just a different type of fame.  The only time this type of fame becomes a problem is when magazine heroes think they are famous outside of magic. Sometimes this happens, and it becomes a bit silly as they think they demand to be treated like superstars!

To be honest, the most difficult performers to work with are those who think they are famous.  Maybe they are fairly new to the entertainment business, and have featured in some high profile gigs or a few TV appearances.  There is simply no comparison to the veteran (in experience, not age) performers who have “served their time.”  When you start to get noticed, don’t fall into the same trap as some magicians who think they are very special, and suddenly start to b demanding of everyone around them!  You still have a long way to go.

Sometimes you will be asked to perform on the same bill as some very well known performers, and it’s tempting to try and ride along on the merit of their fame.  Don’t!  You’ll gain much more respect and future bookings if you keep your head down and do a good show, and don’t cause any problems.  While we are on the subject of performing with well known artists, perhaps as a supporting act, or on a variety show, here are some tips to keep you in business:

Be humble and easygoing around everybody – whatever the type of show.  Production managers have enough problems to deal with without you making unreasonable requests of them.  Keep whatever props you use simple, and have back-ups.  The more props you have, the more there is to potentially break, get damaged, lost, stolen, etc.  Also, make sure you know where your props are at any given time.  For one thing, you don’t want to be searching for something at the time when you are being asked to go on, and secondly, many people with access to the stage or wings will be curious about your props, and the temptation to play with them while you are not there is often too much to resist.

When you are backstage, stay out of the way of other people working, even if you are intrigued by what they are doing, or they seem friendly.  There are many potential dangers in that environment if you are not aware of them, and the stage and support crews want to (and need to) get on with their jobs.  If you see a performer who you have idolized since you were a kid, you must act like a professional fellow worker rather than being star struck.  Don’t be naïve or act like you are new to the business even if you are.

Earl Nightingale once observed “a time can come for each of us when more will happen to us in six months than transpired in the previous five years.  Compound events in our lives can be compressed into remarkably short periods.”  This is a phenomenon.  It is often the payoff a performer gets from years of hard work, struggle, and sacrifice.  It is peak productivity time.  Everything works.  Opportunities  abound.  Doors  swing  open easily. Recognition, even FAME, occurs.  Remember, tell the world how great you are, but first show them.

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