Best Job in the world!

People often say to me,

"you must have the best job in the world, right? I mean you go to parties for a living" 

I always politely answer this question in a positive way as it is pretty great on the whole. Yes I do go to parties for a living, and I get to do what I love. But, I think people tend to forget about the admin work, promotion, advertising, marketing, book keeping, client meetings, email and phone enquiries, and on top of that I personally take care of some day to day house work and I walk my dog :)
Don't get me wrong I'm not complaining, I'm really not! I love it. Some days are hard and stressful like any job, but I'm still doing what I want to do and I'm working for me. That makes me a very lucky man. 
Sometimes I believe people think all it takes to be a successful Magician in London is to know a few magic tricks and have your mate knock you up a website. When the reality is, not only do you need to be very well practiced at magic, but you also have to work incredibly hard every day at finding ways to show people your talent. 

Luckily I no longer suffer from any types of nerves when having to perform. This is just down to sheer quantity. There was a time when I would feel those butterflies. 
There was a good reason for this. 
Imagine now you've been invited to a party with over 150 people attending. Ok have you done that yet? Maybe it's like a big reception or something like that. You get there and you're alone and you don't know anyone. Someone says to you;
"You can't leave here until you have made conversation for 5 minutes with at least 90% of this room... before you ask, no, you can't phone a friend!" 

So this is what it's a little bit like being a magician. You have to go to a party where you're not really invited, interrupt someones conversation/story/joke, and then get people to watch you for about 5 minutes. It's in that 5 minutes you need to persuade the group that your magic was worth interrupting the punch line for. No pressure. 
With experience this is something you get very used to and now honestly I don't even think about it any more. 

So what was the point of this post...

A lot of people (including some family members) think that all a magician / mindreader does is roll out of bet at 11am and then start thinking about the best place to go have lunch that day before he or she has to get ready for his evening gig. And you know what, I'm not going to lie to you, the beauty about working for yourself is if I decide that I want to have a day like that, I can! 
But generally on a day to day basis, to be on the top, to provide a professional service for my customers that other Magicians in London may not provide, you have to work really hard, so getting up at 11am and spending all day out on luncheons aren't really options. 

The other thing I wanted to point out is that I know a lot of performers – Magicians, actors, singers etc. and although we all love what we do for a living, everyday is tough and every time we perform we make ourselves vulnerable and open ourselves up to judgement or criticism. Sometimes the feedback we receive from people is beyond amazing and that is probably why we keep doing it, and other times it feels disheartening, humiliating and painful. My fellow close up magicians I have the most admiration for, because we do this at events not once, not twice but often ten maybe twenty perhaps fifty times a night just so we can do what we love and enjoy for a living.

So the point of this post was for you to see that, yes. I do have the best job in the world. But not for the reasons that you think. My job is the best job in the world because I fell in love with magic when I was 6 years old. For 21 years magic has been my love, my passion, my hobby, my frustration, my hate, my comfort, and my reliability. Through magic I have traveled the world, released products, been on national television, I have met some truly inspirational people and made some of my closes friends. 

I guess what I'm trying to say is, it's not just because 'I go to parties'

Alex Ward