We had the good fortune of connecting with Dan Chan and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Dan, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
One thing most people aren’t aware of is that magic shows work over virtual platforms. Since March 2020, I’ve done over 360 virtual magic shows. I’m predicting that magic on Zoom and other platforms will continue long after the COVID disappears. Remote teams now regularly end off a week of hard work with virtual entertainment. With magic over Zoom, you’re able to interact with guests in real-time. All the participants can experience a front-row seat in an interactive magic show from the comfort of their own homes.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?

I first started performing magic as a side hustle while I worked full time at a PayPal pre-IPO. I performed magic at family events, libraries, and later corporate events. I would work on the weekends performing instead of watching movies or hanging out at cafes with friends and would occasionally use my sick days to take performances. It was tough working seven days a week, with my daytime hours dedicated to my desk job, my evening hours dedicated to the magic practice and marketing my show, and my weekends dedicated to performance. The real “aha!” moment came several months later when I worked out the math and realized that I could quit my desk job and take on magic full time. This was a huge risk as I knew I would be giving up a steady paycheck with many benefits. Still, I was confident I could fully transition to a magic-based career based on customer feedback, consistent re-bookings, and referrals. To set myself apart from my competitors, I performed a blend of magic, pick-pocketing, juggling, and integrated technology into my performances. As a result, I became well known in the Bay Area as “Silicon Valley’s Favorite Magician.” I was able to completely focus on performing for well-known corporations, tradeshows, celebrities, and the family of many tech executives.
When COVID hit, the entertainment industry was devastated like many industries. The magic industry ground to an indefinite standstill, all clients began canceling all events throughout 2020, and I lost over 8K in bookings in a single week. While many of my peers and mentors ended up quitting the business or retiring, I was convinced that “the show must go on.” I spent weeks creating a magic show that would work on the virtual platform and spent many hours pitching media to help promote my virtual show. The hard work paid off, and I ended up getting featured in Business Insider and CNBC twice in 2020. December was one of the best months of performances in my entire career, and I performed a record of 52 shows in a single week.
The most important lesson I’ve learned along the way is that you should always try to adapt and continue to evolve. Although life as I knew it was upended in 2020, and the magic industry would never be the same, I knew that the situation was temporary. It would’ve been easy to quit magic entirely, start over, and move into a different career, but I was confident that magic could evolve and grow into a new medium.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would invite my friends to the World Famous Magic Castle in Hollywood! Invitations to the castle are invite-only, and as a member of the Magic Castle, I can invite friends to enjoy an exciting night of wining and dining, as well as performances from many of the world’s best magicians. When it comes to food, I love going to K-Town and eating at Hae Jang Chon Korean BBQ or Soowon Galbi, going to Glendale or Arcadia for xiao long bao at Din Tai Fung, and spending the evening people watching and shopping at the Third Street Promenade. If my kids were with us, we’d also have to stop by Little Toyko for desserts at Yamazaki Bakery, Fugetsu-Do, Tea Master Matcha Cafe, or any of the Uncle Tetsu Japanese Cheesecake shops dotted around LA.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d love to say “thank you” to my wife, Katherine, who helped me pivoted to the virtual environment. Without her, my show would not be at the level it is today. Love you, hon!

Website: danchanmagic.com

Instagram: https://instagram.com/danchanmagic

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/danchanmagic/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/danchanmagic

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrmjnFLZ_TnSz3u8TSHG2kQ

Image Credits
Dan Chan Presents

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