Ever since I was a kid, I knew that my goal was to one day become a professional magician and performer; practicing with magic kits and putting on shows for the neighborhood was my favorite thing to do growing up, and my intention to turn magic into a career was consistent all the way through college until I set out to start my own business. Still, the entertainment industry is a difficult one to make it in, and as I grew closer to adulthood I realized that I needed to have some backups in case the whole magic thing didn’t end up working out. Now that I am thankfully twenty years into my career as a professional magician, it’s interesting to think back on a fairly distant but significant question: what if the cards hadn’t fallen in my favor (pun intended) and I was not a card thrower and illusionist?
To be frank, I am almost positive that I would still be in the entertainment business, but on the back end instead of the stage; my love for performance goes beyond my desire to be in the limelight, and I would love to work in marketing for other entertainers. While my favorite part about what I do is obviously putting on shows, I have also had a lot of fun building my brand and learning how best to market my team of entertainers. Given that I majored in Marketing at Cleveland State University and took a number of business marketing/management classes, I would probably have ended up somewhere in sales or marketing and then hopefully transitioned into a similar role within the entertainment industry.
With this in mind, I suppose that I have pursued this outsourced marketing interest to some degree; my online entertainment agency for talent in Cleveland, “Cleveland Entertainers,” has given me the opportunity to sharpen my own marketing skills while meeting some truly unique individuals in the performance industry. At the end of the day, the reason I love performing and marketing is because I like meeting and connecting with people, so the places that I have been lucky enough to land in – a people-based job and a people-based advertising firm – make sense in regards to my interests and values.
In addition, one of the reasons I have focused so much on YouTube collaborations over the past year is because of my interest in editing videos and graphic design, so my propensity for marketing might have led me down this venue as well. Without a doubt, much of my enthusiasm for these arts comes from my partnerships with some of today’s best editors (Slo Mo Guys, Kevin Lustgarten, and many more), but it is certainly possible that I would have pursued one of these careers individually as well.
It is certainly fun to thing about the other paths I could have taken after leaving college, but at the end of the day I am incredibly thankful that I had the chance to chase my dream of being a magician and performer. Not only do I get to make a living doing something that I truly love, but the ability to be my own boss and make my own hours has been great for me as a family man as well. It is certainly good to have backup plans and options to fall back on, but don’t be afraid to give your dream job a shot!