Dear Leodini,

I’m into magic like only about six months. I’ve read some experts’ advice for the need to specialize. They say I should concentrate on one type of magic. They warned me against being a Jack-of-all-trades and a Master-of-none.

Should I listen to the experts?

Sincerely,

David Bland

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Dear David,

Don’t listen to the experts. People usually become experts only after they start calling themselves experts. They build websites saying they are experts. And so that’s how a large number of them get to be known as experts.

The truth of the matter is, experts are a dime-a-dozen. They populate even the tiniest crevices on earth.

Don’t listen to them. Listen to me instead. I don’t have a website claiming I’m an expert. I’m just an ordinary, learn-it-yourself, Jack-of-all-trades, Master-of-none magician.

While the experts’ view that Jacks-of-all-trades are Masters-of-none is a valid opinion, that view is skewed.

Who says you need to become a master? You don’t. You need only to be entertaining. That’s the ultimate, irreducible, no-bargain-no-discount bottom line.

At this early stage of your learning, if you specialize in one type of magic, say, card tricks, you will never know if your talent will best thrive in other magic fields, say, mentalism or comedy magic.

Learn them all. It is better to be an entertaining Jack-of-all-trades than a boring master or specialist.

One of the pitfalls neophyte magicians may face in going into specialization too early in their career is the pratfalls they take along the way.

Imagine a novice specialist who knows only coin tricks and nothing but coin tricks. By some stroke of ill-fate, he gets hired to perform in a Chinese restaurant. What do you think will happen? If he performs non-stop for one hour coin tricks and nothing but coin tricks (okay, I said that already) he will come out as utterly bland as your name. I suspect the customers will hoist him up the ceiling and beat him with chopsticks.

Don’t let your audience beat you with chopsticks. Diversify, diversify, diversify.

Once you have acquired the knack for entertaining people, then you may consider going into specialization. But not before then.

Stay magical,

Leodini

www.leodini.com


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