MAGIC IN DIFFICULT TIMES

27 March 2020

With the current lockdown in the UK and across the world, magicians just like so many self employed people have been badly hit. The long term impact may be even worse for many magicians than for may other sectors, in fact. Entertainment is usually considered a 'perk' rather than an essential, so when it comes to hiring an entertainer, if budgets are low, bookings dwindle. After the COVID 19 finally fades away, it is likely that us magicians will suffer a shortage of work for some time. I've seem a lot of successful magicians posting how now magic is going to have to become a secondary income in the future.

It is not only shortage of work that is a threat for magicians, but also the impact of social distancing. In the UK there has been the suggestion that social distancing is with us to stay for a long time. Unfortunately, a lot of magic involves touching the other person's hand, or at least being up close to them, hence the term close up magic!

So this is going to be a big problem. Such effects that people love like sponge balls appearing in someone's hands, or making coins disappear from someone's clenched fist, may not be performed for some time in the future.

So for the next few months, or even a year, magicians and other people working in the arts, are going to be badly affected by this virus.

A lot of magic that I perform forms part of business trainings, where I use magic as a metaphor to demonstrate various principles in business, such as being able to 'read' someone's body language. This is another area that is going to be challenging, because face to face trainings will also be non-existent for many months. In the UK the government has made plans to give some income to the self employed based on profit over the last three years. Unfortunately for many people this is going to also be challenging. For example, over the last few years I have invested heavily in building my business, so although my turnover has been good, my profit has been low. As a result I'm worried I'll see very little in terms of a grant, even though a lot of the expenses will remain and can't be cancelled. I'm sure a lot of other people are in a similar situation.

Therefore for the next few months at least, the future for magicians is to be at home practicing, reading and preparing. In fact, they'll be enough time to deliver some pretty incredible effects when things settle down and we get back to bookings.