Part of longevity and staying power in the business of magic is continuous development. You don’t want to fall into a rut, overtaken by time, style and the public’s changing taste.
The last thing you want to do is going out of vogue.
To prevent that from happening, keep up with what is fashionable. Or if you are sensitive to the public pulse, stay ahead of current trends. Better yet, anticipate what the audience will want in the future and do something to fill that want before anyone else does. Be something viral before it gets viral.
Easier said than done, though. It needs discipline and hard work to accomplish something phenomenal.
But in our ordinary workday life as magicians, when our vision is just to get ahead of the pack and stay in front for as long as we can, a yeoman’s job we might do is to continually research and develop our shows.
This may require spying on our competitors or even friends to discover what they are doing that can inspire us or take as models of success.
Espionage is acceptable to a certain degree. Even large corporations engage in it—some with happy endings, and some resulting in embarrassing accusations of copying, intellectual rights infringement, plagiarism, etc., leading to expensive court battles.
Still, if you want to spy, spy to be different, not to be alike with other magicians. Discover what tricks they have in their repertoire, so you know which ones not to add to your show.
Again, not easy to do. There are types of magic that are just too sticky they are difficult to jettison from your act. And there are tricks that make other magicians so successful you have this urge to copy them, thinking those tricks will turn you into an instant success.
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