by Jamie D. Grant
by Phil Sweeting
Enthusiastic. If you had to sum up Canadian magician Jamie D. Grant in a word, that would be as good as any. Every email or message I’ve received from him is marked by that positive energy, and so too is his fabulous book, The Approach.
I’ve written this review because I feel the book deserves greater press than it has received over here in the UK. There are lots of books written telling you the methods of tricks, fewer telling you about how to perform them, but this one covers an area I have not yet seen anyone else cover – how to make the transition from a keen amateur/hobbyist to a working magician.
The book is easy to read and quirky. It is divided into 102 chapters – which sounds daunting – but most are only a page or two long – pointing to its ancestry in a series of blog posts. Some chapters are anecdotes, some are tips, some essays, or things to study. There’s a great variety – but it all feels to flow out of Jamie’s own direct experience.
It really does cover everything – from how many tricks you should know, to how to practise, publicity, structuring a set, setting and negotiating fees, etc. etc. Again, you’re learning from Jamie’s experience (and mistakes!) so it is incredibly practical stuff.
Perhaps the book’s greatest strength is also its possible weakness. The book simply oozes with Jamie’s personality. But we all have different personalities – so whilst I suspect that most of the principles are universally true – they may need some modification if you are not in the same mould as him. And on a related note – he is writing from a Canadian context – which will have some differences from the UK one.
But with these tiny niggles aside, I think anyone who is considering making magic more than a hobby would do well to read and inwardly digest the material in this book. You can get them directly from Jamie – and my copy arrived only a couple of days after he sent it. Highly recommended.
The Approach. Published by Jamie D. Grant www.sendwonder.com.
© Phil Sweeting, August 2014