Magicians and magic - Kenny Williamson

Magicians and magic – Kenny Williamson

Currently operated through 

https://magiciansandmagic.com  and https://magiciansandmagicshop.com.

We offer a few services, all aimed at magicians (or prospective magicians).

The aim is to be a ‘hub’ type site for all things magical (and for some Allied Arts- Jugglers, ventriloquists, clowns and so on).

This has entailed that we have the following structure:

Magicians for hire – magicians can list themselves on this part of the site. The contact for the magician goes directly to their contact details.

Performers for hire (allied artists- clowns, jugglers, etc.)- happens as per above.

Magic events available– this is for magicians that wish to list their upcoming event. We will soon be allowing functionality for them to also book tickets through this.

Magicians directory– a directory of magicians, female magicians and magicians who work in pairs. This is added to on a regular basis. There are thousands of great magicians in the World, so this is a huge undertaking. We have started to change from biographical details to linking news about the specific magician and performances they have put on youtube. This gives a prospective magician a really summarised eye view of the performer and their ‘style’.

Magic clubs you can contact.- magicians can list their club here (not all clubs have websites or want to only use social media sites). We also add clubs over time.

Magicians and magic members (social network)- this is for magicians who want to be in contact on a site run privately. You can also add links and images and video links to your profile and view these on your feed.

Magicians and magic forum– this is a forum where you can discuss topics with other magicians/ performers who are members.

User posts (where you can submit your own magic stories). This is intended for people to either tell us more about themselves (in which case I will add them as a magician to the magicians directory), or to simply let us know about something (funny or important).

As one can see, that is already a lot on one site, which is why we then created magiciansandmagicshop.com. This is currently offering downloadable magic (in U.S.D.).

We also offer a “Magic today” email, which we publish every week (few days), offering news that I find specifically of interest to the magic world.

Founder’s/ Owner Story and what motivated them to start the business?

My name is Kenny Williamson. 

I was looking for a change (I was involved in the life insurance industry for many years; in-house and then a consultant for a big provider, shifting to a financial advisor for years after that. I am 53).

However, that being said: I have always maintained an interest in the performing world in some manner. Having been one of the first Graduates of the College of Magic in Cape Town (my family has been involved since the founding days of the College). I joined the Cape Magicians Circle after the College and was a member for a couple of years, eventually drifting away. I rejoined a few years ago and am now the current President.

I haven’t performed as a magician for over 30 years, so my interest has always been aligned towards the performer and the entertainment (as opposed to just magic effects). 

Being a magician requires a lot of confidence and can be a lonely existence (in the sense that you don’t go to work and meet your colleagues as a rule). 

In essence that is what prompted a ‘hub’- to give a little motivation, contact and camaraderie with other performers.

The challenges the business/market is facing.

 From my perspective, if I have to give challenges, I would say:

  • Social media (specifically Tik Tok) has created a series of magicians that have entrapped themselves in a short attention span situation. With the daily bombardment for something new, something new… they are stuck constantly looking for short trick like effects. This takes focus away from actual face time with ‘pure’ spectators (not there specifically for the camera) and makes it difficult to also have the mindset of perfecting your ‘art’ or specific routine.

(There is a difference to performing a one off quick effect and routining a show).

The Opportunities the business / market is facing?

Interesting, I now have to give the opposite of the challenges.

i.e. Magic is experiencing a huge growth trend. I remember when young having to explain that magic is ‘entertainment’ as opposed to the other magic. And a great driver of this growth is ‘social media’ (sic) and the reality type entertainment talent shows (BGT/AGT and the like).

There are some very skilful young magicians who have been exposed to video their whole lives, which means they can see how something should be done (as opposed to trying to go through each move from a book, without a visual reference).

The opportunities are therefore huge currently. 

You can become a household name from a talent show.

You can speak online with magicians that you wouldn’t have had exposure to in the past.

You can watch a whole lot of performers doing something you want to do and get an idea of how you want to perform it.

Basically you can with the correct exposure get to be a well known magician very quickly.

Interestingly, I am going to be trying a challenge/ test via a youtube channel in respect of exactly what I have said above.

Advice to others about business

For yourself: try and get some exercise every day.

With motivation: remember that motivation can always be created very quickly. It could be a call away, it could be an idea, it could be a sale. And Boom your motivation is back. Keep that in mind when you feel listless.

With detail and slog work: when you friends or family may be doing something you want to and you are working. Remember that the ‘work’ is required. The illusion (I like that word!) of something just happening for someone or a business just taking off … is always a result of someone trying something, doing something, doing something else and so on. And it requires the effort to keep doing that.

With family and partners and friends: keep them as close as you can. Spread as much joy and exuberation as you can. They are your true believers, they allow your bad moods, they support you. So try and be as happy as you can with people you are close to. If you are lucky, you will be able to share with them.

With starting: just start. As they say, the way to eat an elephant is a bite at a time. Break things down and just do that step next, and next and next (that is also a great way to stop procrastinating).

Try and focus on ‘that thing’ that you are doing.

With emotions: try to maintain an objective viewpoint. There is a lot happening in the World (especially right now). There is subjective noise everywhere, be critical in your thought. Often what seems is not what is. Contrary to popular belief, perspective is not always everything. Try to shift the wheat from the chaff.

For Mental Health and Wellness: Stop watching the news, switch off the television. Try and get off social media for periods.

Don’t take away someone else’s song, always try to give others a way out.

Remember that we only have this one life on Earth. Keep understanding that you are a sovereign being on this earth and try to treat your life as that. 

Remember, Ethics and Decency have been around for thousands of years … for a reason. Don’t be a one hit wonder and treat people with decency.

As a person and as a business you work with people. Which is why I tie the above into actual ‘people’ traits, as they are the business.

With respect to the business side of things. Speak with good people that understand you and what you are trying to do. They can help you get set on the right track and will also help spread the word.

Remember, Everyone wants to be Entertained!

Monika Wassermann is a doctor and a freelance writer based in the UK who lives with her cat Buddy. She writes across several verticals, including life, health, sex and love, relationships and fitness. Her three great loves are Victorian novels, Lebanese cuisine, and vintage markets. When she’s not writing, you can find her trying to meditate more, weightlifting, or wandering around in town.