How Magic Changed My Life - Mikayla Oz
The Early Days
I got start in magic when I was 4 years old after seeing a magician performing at a library. Immediately after that show, my mom and I checked out a few books on magic. In those books they taught me about how I could make the tricks in the book! Unbeknownst to me at the time, I grew up in a household where we lived paycheck to paycheck. However my mom was clever and always came up with fun and free things to do. So having the ability to create my own magic tricks from a magic book with things I could find around the house was fun! I showed these magic tricks to everyone, I was so proud of what I was able to create and by seeing a cute little 4 year old do a magic trick was impressive. This sparked my life long interest in magic.
I started off performing magic on the duplex patio where I lived. I would create tickets to my magic show on scarps of paper that I would find around the house and invite all of my neighbors to come see my magic show. I ended up getting my first monthly gig performing at the McDonald's Play Area by the age of 8. Compensation for these gigs included a FREE McDonalds Kids Meal and a $25 gift card! As I got older, I continued to perform in every place I could from YMCA’s to Birthday Parties to Talent Shows. I even won my first talent show in 4th Grade which led me to the Bill Riley Talent Show at the Iowa State Fair. This was the largest talent show in the state of Iowa and I was able to make it all the way to be a Finalist in the Sprouts division(ages 4 - 12).
Finding My Space to be Bad
At the time I didn't realize it, but magic was my only real job I had. In fact, most weekends I was performing at 4 to 8 birthday parties. For the first couple years I couldn't drive. My parents would have to take me show to show and would wait in the card while I did the show and then rush me off to the next one. It's crazy to think, but I was bringing in more money then my parents were making working 40 hours a week. Reinvesting it all back into more magic tricks, business and knowledge. At the time it didn't feel like work to me, I was just sharing with people a passion of mine and they happened to pay me for it. As word got around about this fun, energetic kid doing magic shows, more opportunities started to open. I was booking up a large portion of my summer doing magic shows at county fairs and festivals.
I was constantly performing, workshopping new material and trying out magic tricks. The biggest thing this granted me was a space to constantly work on new things and "be bad". Not literally, but in the sense that I was young and if I messed up a trick, I had youth on my side and it wouldn't define me. Don't get me wrong, if I messed up I was extremely hard on myself after the show, but it also taught me that the show must go on. I had to have back up tricks, for my back up tricks. During these years, I accidentally left most my props at the last party I did two hours away, had children break my tricks I was supposed to perform and even had a child pee himself in the middle of my show because he was laughing so hard. All of these moments made me a stronger performer and helped me be prepared for anything.
How Magic Changed My Life
It was all these early days I am so grateful for. Sure I grew and learned a lot about magic during these early years. Really though magic changed my life in so many other ways. It taught me about how to be flexible in challenging or unexpected situations, it taught me about running, operating and marketing a service based business, how to properly communicate with people and so much more. Magic gave me the ability to have a unique skill set and be able to offer and share that with others. Which is why at The Magician School, I feel incredibly grateful to potentially start another young person down this path that truly changed my life and opened so many doors for me.