The Magical Art, in other words “the magician’s art,” appears to be a separate art, distinct from the world of ordinary mortals. Some speak a different language, they have a knowledge of a kind which is only known to a small percentage of the world’s populace, and the majority of such magical folk enjoy every minute of belonging to this fascinating art of magic.
Whatever is done magically, whether it be as a professional, semiprofessional, amateur, writer, or inventor, the magical fellow or lady is rewarded in some way. It is not always the fee that is important; there are many other ways of being rewarded besides cash in hand. The professional works for his fees; he has to, it’s his living, and without the fees he starves. The semi-professional has the best of both worlds; he enjoys his normal occupation with its regular income, plus the pleasure of performing magic whenever he feels like doing so, and also getting paid for his services as a magician. The amateur often performs for charity, giving pleasure to his less fortunate fellow humans; his reward is personal satisfaction at doing a good job, and giving enjoyment to others and raising money for a worthy charity.
With regard to magical writers, someone once said, that magicians write because they are no good at performing. Try to tell it to Billy McComb, Ken de Courcy, Henrique, or Dai Vernon. Like magic itself, writing is another bug which, once it takes hold, it is difficult to shake off. Who wants to shake it off anyway? It is a very satisfying occupation. A little initial success, which only comes as a general rule after many rejections, spurs one on to further renderings of the written word. The writer’s reward is often a cash reward, but many do it for the love of it. The writer receives personal satisfaction at getting his ideas published, and knowing that his written work is there for further generations of magical folk to read (or wrap their fish in).
Yet another breed is the inventor. Most of them are not only magical inventors, but general inventors, striving to bang the gong and hit the jackpot. Even if they never achieve this goal it’s been great fun trying. Usually the inventor is after financial reward, although this is not the driving force behind his thinking. In the beginning it is the sense of achievement which is the driving force behind the inventor. If he is successful in selling his invention, then he knows that he will get his reward by way of royalties or lump sum, provided he’s is a businessman, not a fool who allows himself to be swindled by an unscrupulous manufacturer. Patenting is very important; if the inventor has a patent for his invention then he is pretty well immune from exploitation.
As I mentioned earlier the magician’s reward does not always come in cash. There is the case of the Chiropodist in Shropshire, England who performs the Cut and Restored Rope (not the Cut and Restored Corn) for his clients. His clients increase in numbers, business increases, and there is no doubt that all things being equal, there will be some, patients who would prefer to come to him (to see a little magic) rather than go to the opposition down the street. This Chiropodist throws a little magic in as an extra, gets great pleasure in doing it, and in a round-about way receives his reward.
I came across an optician in Newport Beach, CA who is an expert in “severing his thumb.” Children preferred to come to him to have their eyes tested, in order to see him perform this feat. His reward, pleasure in giving enjoyment to his child clients, and at the same time increasing his clientele.
The young company representative who mixes his magic with his business calls, letting his customers see a few miracles now and then, keeps his name to the front in this way. Not pushing his tricks at the customers, and so by making a nuisance of himself, but using it when the suitable opportunity occurred. Customers remembered him more than they remembered other representatives. When he entered the store assistants would shout to the owner or manager, “The magic man is here, sir.” The young representative enjoyed doing the odd trick her and there, and no doubt his turnover increased because of it.
A salesman applied for a position with a well-known furniture polish company; and among the many things he entered upon his application form were the words “I am a member of the Magic Castle.” When he arrived at the firm’s head office he was ushered into the waiting room where there were 15 others waiting to be interviewed. The young salesman was the first to be called in to be interviewed for the position of Area Manager. He sat down in front of the Managing Director, who upon perusing his application form said, “I see you are a member of the Magic Castle. I’ve always been fascinated in magic.” The Managing Director produced a pack of playing cards out of his drawer and the young salesman and this Managing Director were doing card tricks for around half an hour. Then the Managing Director said, “Good Lord I am supposed to be interviewing applicants for this job, not doing magic. Do you want the job?” To which the young salesman replied, “Yes sir.” The Managing Director then said, “Well, if no superman comes through that door after you, and all things being equal, the job will be yours.” He got the job and stayed with that firm for 12 years, and there is no doubt that magic helped him to land that position of district manager, quite a large reward for knowing how to perform a few card tricks accomplished with sleight-of-hand.
Magic puts people who perform it in exciting situations. My friend Robb Wienstock, works for a marketing company called Westrock. He is the district marketing manager. Robb uses magic when calling on different clients. Because he is works for a big company, they take him seriously and he is able to book many shows that other full time magicians wouldn’t be able to.
Rovi, the Welsh Wizard, got into a New York State penitentiary (to perform). The incredibly inventive Gregory Wilson set off for Europe on a lecture tour. He set up his stall in the streets of Paris, and performed in a Paris restaurant, earning enough to cover all his expenses. Business with pleasure you might call it.
Felix Graf Von Luckner, known as “The Sea Devil” in the First World War, was described as a humanitarian because although his surface raiders sank 86,000 tons of shipping, he always allowed crews to abandon ship with the cat before putting the ship down to Davey Jones’s Locker. The “Sea Devil” was also a magician, and was always welcome onboard the Kaiser’s Flagship to entertain visiting royalty and top brass, Von Luckner was a very popular man and his magical stunts increased his popularity. His rewards were certainly not for cash. Like almost all magicians he was an extrovert, and he made it pay off in so much that his social engagements among the country’s elite were in abundance.
Yes there is no doubt magic works wonders in all sorts of ways. The other day I took my cat to the vet. The vet said “Well, what’s the trouble?” And I told him that he needed to be declawed and that he needed some eye drops. He said, “Anything else troubling the cat?” and I said (knowing he enjoyed magic), “Yes, he has trouble here,” and pulled a fan of playing cards from under the cat’s stomach. He rocked with laughter, and when I said “How much do I owe you?” he said, “Oh $600 less $595 for the entertainment – that leaves $5.00 and I’ll toss you for that.” I won the toss. Yes, it pays to do magic.
Whether you’re professional, semi-professional, an amateur, a writer, an inventor, an escapologist, or even just a plain honest-to-goodness magic nut; whether you reside in the UK, the US, or the Third World, you are all wonderful folk, and whether you do it for LOVE or MONEY you’re are all part of this Magical Art.