One of the first things people realize when they start learning magic is that their brains begin to work differently. Especially those who find magic later in life: They go from people who generally take things at face value to those who wonder what’s going on behind the scenes. They learn to size things up more. From our experience, we see people get more confident, assertive and charismatic.
That’s why it doesn’t surprise us that a lot of our customers and members turn to us to gain advantages in the workplace.
But a lot of guys rush into magic headlong — trust us, we’ve been there — and end up in embarrassing situations. Maybe they become known as that weirdo magic guy. Maybe they don’t fool anybody. Maybe their mentalism is so good that it freaks out co-workers. Or maybe they cause more distractions than pleasant diversions. The transition doesn’t go well, and the guy ends up never picking up a deck of cards again.
If you’re getting into magic, congratulations. This craft will change your life for the better. Your co-workers may not be ready for that change, however. So here’s five steps to make the transformation smoothly:
Treat your co-workers like family
This rule is PRIME. Your co-workers — from the group of guys that meet at the pub on weekends to the douche bag that stabs you in the back over petty BS — are an extended family. They have already seen you at your best, and worst. Even the most gossip-infested, passive-aggressive beehives are a family of sorts. Realize that they are going to see you change slowly. You won’t be able to pull off any sudden changes without them seeing right through you.
Introduce your newfound craft naturally
This isn’t a multi-level marketing thing you’re trying to trick your co-workers into joining. This isn’t your kid’s latest school fundraiser, where you have to ask them for money you know they don’t have. This is MAGIC. This is FREAKING COOL STUFF. You don’t have to force it down anyone’s throat. It’s OK to tell your buds you’ve been working on some sleight of hand stuff in your spare time. Or, you can keep it your little secret until you’re ready to tell people. It’s completely up to you.
Look for opportunities where magic helps your employer
Maybe your employer is throwing a conference or public service event. Or maybe it is offering a sale on a certain item. Or maybe it is going to start a family night. Keep your eyes out for chances where you can interact with customers on a magical basis, because these are the true strangers who will make your best spectators. And your bosses will be impressed that you took initiative to add value to a promotion or event.
HOWEVER: If you work with customers, be VERY SELECTIVE about showing them magic, because you don’t want the magic to distract from your work goals.
Stick with impromptu, sleight of hand tricks
This rule applies to while you’re on the job. Because your co-workers are watching you grow into this new craft, they will be rougher on you than the fiercest heckler — at first. So leave the gaff cards and gimmicks at home. Stick with impromptu, sleight of hand tricks that you can do with playing cards, coins, bills, rubber bands or other office supplies. Once you earn your stripes in your co-workers’ eyes, they’ll go from hecklers to helpers. They’ll be on your side and want to see you succeed. If you have a new trick or routine, they would love to be some of the first people to see you perform it.
Remember that you are still at work
Choose your magic moments very carefully, and remember that there is plenty to magic without performance. You can practice during a break. You’d be surprised how relaxing doing some cardwork can be before a stressful meeting. Remember that the magic is an aspect of YOU, and YOU have a paycheck to earn. If you are respectful of other people and their workloads, then your magic will be a great diversion, not an annoyance. And if the boss walks by during a trick, he’ll be much more likely to watch, and be impressed.