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Magical

How Magic and its Star Performers Transformed the Entertainment Economy
Narrated by: Joel Daffurn
Length: 6 hrs and 25 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Are you ready for some magic? 

There are solo magicians today who are making over $20,000 per performance, while those in the big leagues routinely bring in over $20 million a year. How did they get there and what are the keys to their success? What skills and techniques do they possess and deploy that can be easily adapted for your own personal use? In this audiobook, you will learn of the key attitudes and practices that propel their success, as well as the path they have paved for other magicians and performers hoping to gain an entry into this competitive yet lucrative industry. 

We look at the magic industry through the lens of two of its most celebrated performers, Penn and Teller, who are not just magicians and entertainers, but also smart entrepreneurs running a global entertainment business. In parallel, we look at how the field of modern magic has evolved since its inception, what the outlook is for its future in our global, interconnected, always-on economy. We consider the successful careers of legendary magicians like Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin, Harry Houdini, Dai Vernon, Doug Henning, and others, and how they have shaped the growing magic industry and made it a force to be reckoned with. 

Through shows like Penn and Teller Fool Us, America's Got Talent, Britain's Got Talent, and The World's Best, and through social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, contemporary magicians have an unprecedented opportunity to make themselves known to a global audience. The success secrets followed by the likes of Penn and Teller, David Copperfield, David Blaine, Criss Angel, and newer stars like Shin Lim, Dynamo, and Ryan Hayashi, both as professional magicians and business owners, can be applied by entrepreneurs, business people and self-starters everywhere who want to make a mark in their careers. Through constant efforts at design, experimentation, prototyping, and field testing with peers and live audiences, these performers have been fine tuning their craft for decades. With their passion, perseverance, commitment, and unique and creative ways of identifying and solving problems, these trailblazers show the way for a better - and more magical future. 

In this audiobook, you will not only learn how these stars successfully overcame their challenges, but also how you can transform your approach to magic and business. 

©2019 Bharat Rao (P)2019 Bharat Rao

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Stellar!

The trick of this book is how it connects magic to so many seemingly unrelated topics. From marketing to corporate innovation to entrepreneurship, Rao convincingly makes the case that there's a lot to learn from magicians. In particular, those who've had blockbuster success reinventing themselves and the age-old art of magic itself.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Navil
  • BROOKLYN, NY
  • 03-16-19

Comprehensive, insightful and all-around excellent

This book gives some very strong insights into the modern magic landscape. Rao does an excellent job of explaining that the magic industry of today is bolder, classier, and higher-grossing than that of yesterday, all the while expertly blending insight with the scientific and cultural explanations behind the popularity of magic. I was very pleased to find interviews with Ryan Hayashi and other rising performers, which add a lot of depth and real-world commentary that Rao further builds on with hard facts. An all-around good read, and Joel Daffurn's narration is clear and understandable. Totally would recommend to anyone looking to get a new perspective on a timeless entertainment form.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Entertaining, Educational and Empowering

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

Bharat Rao performs a feat of magic in this book: he teaches about the roots, history and evolution of stage and close up magic, informs about some of the seminal performers and what made them stand out, explains everything so even a lay person can follow along and showcases attributes, techniques and qualities that one could use for the betterment of their own professions and lives. He balances all of this while keeping the writing clear, easy to follow and fun! His writing is polished without ever drawing attention to itself. After finishing the book I had to look up some of the recent performances that were described and watch them on Youtube.


Joel Daffurn turns in an excellent narration with a nearly audible smile as he explains with a flourish some of the tricks and performances that have stood out. He has an infectious enthusiasm in his voice and easily carries you on the journey of the text.


If you have any interest in or appreciation for performance magic then you are in for a treat.

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Really well researched, narrated, and written

Overall, a really great non-fiction book brings you the excitement that someone who is in the field has even though you are outside the field. Magical creates a feeling that you are part of the magician community and even if you are not, how you would become part of it. The references to pop culture make sense and show how magic is on the rise and becoming a strong part of our culture. While the only word that alludes to business is "economy," it's really a great primer for those who want to get inspired by some great stories of success, perseverance, and partnerships. Magical rises to a level of writing that allows the narrator, Joel Daffurn adds so much to the work with his spot on inflection and pleasant voice. It's relatively easy to see who has extensive experience or formal training and Joel clearly has. The story is one that you'll continue to listen to just because they are so engaging and who doesn't want to know how magicians do their tricks?