07 Jun My Day Job: Marcel Oudejans | Magician
Marcel Oudejans has been a corporate magician since 1999, he is also a division director of Perform! Marketing Solutions, Co-Owner of Flow Finders International, the Vice-president of the Cape Town chapter of the Professional Speakers Assoc of Southern Africa 2009-2012 and the author of “The Serious Business Owner’s Guide To Creating Customers For Life”. That’s quite a list! We asked Marcel about his day job:
Between 10and5: Please let us know your official (or unofficial) job title.
Marcel Oudejans: I’m probably best known as a ‘Corporate Magician’ and ‘Infotainer’, but I’m also a speaker, consultant & author. I guess I’m a ‘curious entrepreneur’!
10and5: What personality traits does it take to do what you do?
Marcel: A sense of humour, ability to understand how people think, charisma, tenacity and commited enthusiasm!
10and5: Where did you learn your magic tricks?
Marcel: For the first few years I’d buy and borrow magic books and study over them, trying out as many of the tricks as possible. Over the past few years, videos (DVD or online) have made learning a particular sleight or timing a little easier. And then, of course, I’ve had the fortune of learning a few sleights & routines personally from some of the original ‘inventors’.
10and5: What kind of event are you usually booked for?
Marcel: When I’ve been asked to entertain, the events can be anything from dinners, product launches, road shows and conferences. When I’m doing a speaking event, it can be for a custom product pitch, expo lead generation, staff motivation or even teaching marketing concepts. These performances can be quite different, but for each of them I’ve been asked to captivate the audience and convey a message, using magic and humour.
10and5: Best day ever on the job?
Marcel: If I had to pick a particular day, it would be when I was performing and lecturing in India for over 1 000 people at an international magic convention. But generally, it’s the days that I get to travel around the world, perform and spend time getting to know my clients better.
10and5: Worst day ever on the job?
Marcel: Any day that I’m not performing and just doing office and administration work; I’d rather be on stage.
10and5: The trick your audience can never work out?
Marcel: All of them! But I think the effects that really stick in peoples’ memories are demonstrations of metal-bending and mind-reading. Oh, and when I make their money fly!
10and5: What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Marcel: I couldn’t decide: I thought I was going to study engineering at university, but I didn’t enjoy it so I left. I also studied and worked as an IT and network administrator but that felt like a bit of a dead-end career too. It was only then that I decided to take the step up from part-time performer to full-time performer in 2003.
10and5: Advice to those who want to follow in your footsteps?
Marcel: The more you’re seen, the more you’re seen. You can only really master your performance when you’ve done the same routines thousands of times, and every time is an opportunity to meet someone who could be influential in getting you your next event. Ultimately, it’s only possible to build a career in such a challenging industry when you’re absolutely dedicated and passionate about doing what you love!
10and5: What do you love about performing magic?
Marcel: Because I’ve performed each ‘trick’ hundreds (if not thousands) of times, I can pay full attention on my audience instead of the mechanics that make it work. I can adapt and adjust the performance each time to get maximum impact. Now I feel more like a facilitator who brings the props: I’ve got the script but each person has a chance to play a role in the show. When I arrive prepared and ready for anything, then the audience members can bring in that element of surprise. That means I’m almost completely focused on making that unique ‘magical moment’ happen – whatever that may be!
10and5: Strangest creative career you’ve heard of?
Marcel: As seen on the “Freakonomics” movie, a baby-naming expert! Yes, an expert in knowing what to name your baby …
If you or anyone you know has an interesting or strange creative job, we’d love to hear about it! firstname.lastname@example.org