Although you probably won’t be hiring Vancouver-area magician Craig Martin to entertain 5 year olds at your child’s birthday party, you may want to hire him for a corporate event, trade show or even to do a team building presentation with the employees at your business.
Martin, 53, first became interested in performing as a magician in the 1980s while he was stuck in the hospital with viral meningitis. He had just joined the U.S. Army, and while in the hospital saw a coin trick that for some reason stuck with him.
“I don’t know what it was about that coin trick that captured my attention but it did,” Martin said. “So, I spent the next 20-something years in the Military not only serving, but also performing. Eventually they sent me to Kuwait to do shows, to Iraq; I also performed at the U.S. Embassy. When I retired (from the Military), I had a career to step into.”
“I didn’t just want to perform,” Martin continued. “I wanted to do something that would not only make a difference in the lives of others, but make it meaningful to companies. So, I decided ‘well, if I do this, I’m going to go corporate and strictly corporate,’ and that’s what I did.”
Martin started off his business magic career by using magic as a tool to help companies market their products and services. During his time in the Military, he would perform at trade shows for different companies, taking their product or service and incorporating it into his shows.
“When I first got out of the Military, I had a choice – I could become a chef, because something else I really loved to do was cook,” Martin said. “For awhile I combined the magic with my love of cooking, and I did romantic dinners for couples. I thought about going to culinary school when I retired, but it never happened because the magic really took hold.”
About six months ago, in addition to using his magic skills to perform at corporate events and trade shows, Martin decided to incorporate his magic in team building clinics that can be held for employees and staff at different businesses.
“Team building came along when I wanted to add something a little bit more,” he said. “I already had the outline of combining the corporate messaging with the magic, so I just took it a step further and added team building to that. I go in and let the audience paint the picture of what the team building will be.”
To start off the team building, Martin first offers an initial consultation to learn about his client’s business or the team’s specific event. After the consultation, he designs custom workshop just for that particular team. Then, depending on the size of the group, participants are organized into groups or small teams. Martin then performs a magic trick and each group is asked to create the magic trick within a set amount of time with little or no coaching.
“I teach them about five or six different tricks, and then afterwards the teams have to come up and do a magic show,” Martin said. “(The tricks) are usually something that’s kind of simple, but yet challenging.”
Vancouver-area company Advisicon was the first company in the area to jump on board and hire Martin to do some team building magic.
“Craig is a gifted magician who understands how to take magic and blend that with business or learning situations,” said Tim Runcie, president of Advisicon. “Craig did an amazing job in our World-Wide All Hands session helping to focus our team on learning both magic and applying that to technology and portfolio management.”
While Martin said the team building aspect of his business magic is starting to catch on and grow, he still currently does a lot more corporate messaging at this point.
“For corporate events, I customize pretty much every show,” Martin said. “Clients contact me and then we sit down face-to-face so I can get to know them and they get to know me, and I can find out what their message is and what their goals are. Then we sit down and strategize regarding the message and how it would be presented. When I sit down with the client, I want them to know what they’re getting, and I want them to know what I’m doing is definitely going to make a difference with their company. I always tell me, ‘if you don’t like what I do, don’t pay me.’”
As far as the future of Martin’s magic is concerned, he said he would like to get into doing more speaking engagements and motivational speaking. He also plans on trying out for America’s Got Talent this year. Last time he auditioned, Martin made it to the third round and figured he might as well try again and see what happens.
To learn more about Martin and his business magic, visit https://themagicofcraigmartin.com/.