I’ve only just got married but I’ve been living with my Mrs and her kids for nearly a decade so I know juggling family and this silly job can be more difficult than juggling knives, fire or chainsaws!
The main challenge is that I travel a lot for work which can mean spending nights or even weeks away. I no longer travel as far afield or for as long as some of my peers do because I learned early on that it wasn’t the right situation for me. Some couples are fine with being away from each other but while I was away for weeks on end on ships or holiday parks it really didn’t feel worth it. I now make an effort to only be away when absolutely necessary and generally only for a few nights at a time. The exception to this is when I get to take my wife and my family with me and we’ve had some great times travelling around together, seeing and doing fun and amazing things in between shows; it’s like a little holiday that I actually get paid for!
Another challenge is that I spend a lot of time working on weekends and evenings so it can be a struggle to find days we can all spend together, although the kids are getting older now so they’re getting less interested in spending time with us anyway! The flip side of that is I work for myself so when I’ve not got shows I can arrange my time around my family but they’re usually at school/college/work when I’m free. Working for myself also means I’m home during the day so in between my calls, emails, practising, rehearsing and blog writing I can do whatever needs doing around the house (not sure if that’s a good thing actually!).
There are plenty of good things about being a magician and having a family though. When I’ve got new material I’ve got a variety of age ranges readily available to try it out on. They’ve been quite keen to get involved in my projects, even helping out on stage and behind the scenes at some really big shows. Having kids means that I’m kept up to date with the latest pop-culture references and youth language which can really come in handy when I’m performing for younger audiences. The kids have enjoyed learning some magic tricks so we’ve had a fun thing that we can do together and my step-daughter even performed an illusion show as part of her performing arts GCSE. My wife has also improved ideas I’ve had for shows and told me when my ideas weren’t good ones.
I’ve never been tempted to get a ‘proper’ job to support my family and we’ve managed to become more and more stable over time. I managed to support my wife through university and she’s now enjoying her dream job, both kids are doing well in their education and other endeavours, the house is currently being transformed into our dream house and we’ve finally got around to having our dream wedding and honeymoon. Sorry if it sounds like I’m bragging but it just goes to show that you don’t have to do the jobs they advise you to do when you’re at school to have a happy and fulfilled family.
If you have any thoughts about the pros and cons of combining being a magician with having a family please let me know in the comments. As always please like and share, and remember: parenting is the only job where you don’t know if you did a good job until it’s too late!