A Review by Michael R. Douglas
Author Jamie D. Grant has contributed to the magic community for years with this free product reviews, articles, and video blogs on his site Magic Friday After over 10 years as a professional magician, he has released a valuable resource, The Approach to aid magicians in their careers of performing close-up magic.
Overall, I found The Approach, by Jamie D. Grant, a book that offers great insights into what it takes to become a professional magician. If you are looking for a book that teaches you some magic tricks, then this is not the book for you. If, however, you want to improve the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of your work as a paid magician, then this is a highly recommended read. The audience that would gain the most from the content is magicians who have not yet started at paid close-up performances, or those with fewer than 100 paid close-up performances. Magicians with experience beyond that will also find some gems of wisdom from the writer that are not easily found elsewhere.
It quickly becomes obvious that the writer has lived this material and isn’t just tossing out theory. The content is written in an easy to read style with a format that is very easy on the eyes. The printing and binding are of top quality. The price of the book is justified by several things: 1) depth and specificity of knowledge shared 2) the narrow market for which it is written 3) the application of its content will help you generate well over its retail price.
Throughout the volume, the writer remains focused on the subject introduced by the title: “The Approach”. Chapter by chapter the training material addresses how to approach a variety of people like potential clients, event coordinators, spectators, wait staff, etc. When, how, and what to say and how to connect with these people are professionally addressed. Jamie Grant even includes how to approach various situations that come up in performances, e.g. handling hecklers, missing props, pocket management, setting your fees, and more.
As long as you do not expect this well written volume to teach you tricks, or go into great depth on various marketing strategies, then you will walk away well satisfied. You’ll gain a heightened awareness of the tricks of the trade when it comes to approaching the sale of a magic gig to approaching the guests at an event.
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Michael R. Douglas