What Skills Do You Need To Be A Magician?

If you stumbled upon this article, you’re probably looking for information about magic and magicians.

We’ll look at specific skills that you need to focus on in order to become a successful magician.

What Skills Do You Need To Be A Magician? If you want to become a successful magician, you need to develop the following skills:

  1. Performance Skills
  2. Persistence
  3. Realism
  4. Connections
  5. Practice In Performing
  6. Branding
  7. Understanding Of People
  8. Personality
  9. Business Attitude

Performance Skills

Before you can become a magician, you need to become an entertainer.

A successful magician is primarily an entertainer and will make the audience enjoy the show.

If you cannot entertain the audience, you will never succeed in becoming a professional magician.

1. Persistence

A magician will need to learn a trick, and keep practicing it, until they become flawless.

Before they perform the trick, the magician should have reached such a state that they can carry out the trick automatically, without having to be focused on it.

If the magician does not have the patience to continually practice a trick until they get it right, then they will never succeed.

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2. Realism

If you are starting from scratch and want to become a professional magician, then you must expect it to take years rather than a few months to learn everything that is required to be a successful magician.

If you have been practicing as an amateur then you can still expect it to take months before you have got everything together.

3. Connections

The world of magic is so small that you need to make connections from within that world.

Connect with other aspiring magicians and professionals alike.

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Some cities are fortunate enough to have magic clubs where you can go to hang out with others like you.

There are hundreds of forums online where you can converse with other magicians if there is no local magic club.

Consider joining the Magic Circle, Society of American Magicians, or International Brotherhood of Magicians.

Find out about Magic Conventions where you can go and indulge your passion to its fullest extent.

4. Practice In Performing

Put together a small collection of tricks that you know well, remember, you need to practice, practice, practice.

Convince your friends and family to come together and put on a small show for them, and then afterwards have a discussion, listening carefully to their comments.

You are looking for constructive criticism from them, not just praise.

5. Find Your Brand

Most magicians concentrate on one niche within magic.

There are many niches, including card tricks, mind reading, making things disappear, sleight of hand magic, etc.

Find your niche and style of performance that becomes just yours.

An Extreme Example of Branding

There once was a Magician in the UK, he became a household name and his act seemed to have many occasions where tricks went totally wrong.

This happened at first when he was entertaining fellow soldiers in the army, as he was learning his trade, but he realized something quite important then, and that was he sometimes got more applause and laughs when a trick went spectacularly wrong.

He actually became a very skilled magician but kept certain tricks in his show that went completely wrong ON PURPOSE.

This is what made Tommy Cooper unique., the element of comedy when he made a complete mess of a trick.

He ended up with several of his own TV shows in the UK, but he took to smoking and drinking too much and his health suffered, until eventually he was dropped by the network.

Fittingly enough he was asked to appear on a variety show as a guest and it was during that live televised show that Tommy Cooper died, collapsing backwards gasping for air, while the audience clapped him thinking it was part of his outrageous act.

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He died at the theatre while other acts performed in front of the curtains.

6. People: You Need to Understand Them

A lot of magic tricks depend on the audience looking in one direction while you surreptitiously take advantage and do something unnoticed.

You need to understand how to control the attention of the audience and manage the stage.

Magicians are experts at exploiting aspects of how humans perceive events, how to put them off guard, and how to confuse the senses.

A Magician will make a grand gesture, something like producing a flash accompanied by a loud sound, or by releasing a white dove.

The magician knows that the attention of the audience will focus on that activity, and it gives him the chance to prepare the next part of the trick without being seen.

7. Personality

Performing a magic act is a performance.

The audience will make a snap decision about if they are going to like you quite possibly before you have carried out your first trick.

They will have made a snap decision based on how you look and how you act (personality).

Tommy Cooper, for example, was six foot four inches tall, moved in a very ungainly manner, and wore a fez.

Had Tommy Cooper tried to be a suave professional performer he would have been fighting an uphill battle as his very appearance was comical.

So, instead, he intentionally played the humor card and injected a great deal of comedy into his performance, coming over as the loveable fool.

Create a persona that plays to your strengths, and then stick with it.

8. You Need a Business Attitude

You need to have a clear understanding of the opportunities open to a magician, career-wise.

Learning the skills, and practicing your performance in front of your family is not going to find you work.

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You need to identify how you can earn a living.

Here are a couple of possible routes you can take:

Children’s Parties

You are never going to be rich as a local children’s entertainer.

I have a friend who gets regular bookings in his hometown in Wales for parties.

He sometimes gets hired by his local McDonalds for parties, and sometimes the council will hire him for summer play schemes in the town center.

He earns enough to satisfy his needs and he gets to do what he loves, but he will never become famous.

Close Up Magic at Business Events and Restaurants

I know musicians personally who make a good living working at restaurants and business conventions, performing close up magic.

Another friend of mine who performs card tricks mostly gets regular business from performing close up magic at conferences and dinners.

I was lucky enough to learn a couple of tricks from him which were great in my younger days for picking up women.

The most-simple one was tearing off chunks from paper napkins and setting them on fire before stuffing them into my mouth and pretending to eat them.

It always used to attract the ladies.

Ah, those were the days.

Other possible employers are Vacation Resorts, Cruise Ships, Local Theatres, and Product Launches.


If you want to become a magician, don’t forget to check the following lists of websites and YouTube channels where you can learn magic tricks:

I put together these lists for you so that you don’t need to spend time searching what are the best magic channels and websites.

Final Thoughts

I hope that this list of skills that I have provided is useful to you as someone with future ambitions to become a professional magician and make money performing magic.

Perhaps the most important thing is to “Make people like you and be an entertainer.”

Improve Magic

I believe that life is magic. I'm a playing cards collector, I love performing magic tricks and I'm also the owner of a small magic shop. Apart from that I like to explore different kinds of supernatural magic that we all have in our lives and I like to share what I learn... I'm great fan of Harry Potter...

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