I was recently reading an article in Psychology Today that explored the question of luck. As performers we often tend to attribute success to a stroke of good luck. How often have we seen someone achieve something that we have always dreamed of doing and thought, “They are so lucky!”. “If only I was as lucky I could do that too…” But is it really about luck? Is there, in fact, some divine order that makes things work out for some people but not for others? The truth is luck is nothing more than careful preparation meeting opportunity.
If we examine this definition of luck further we find that no opportunity comes “overnight”. Opportunities result from careful planning, focus, and attention. And that begins with preparation. When we start out as aspiring artists we often have in mind our “dream show”; what we would do if we had unlimited resources and an unlimited budget. That dream becomes a goal to work toward and we must begin tapping into the resources we do have in order to begin the process of preparing what it is that will get us to that goal. When we are beginning we may not have that many resources available to us so we have to start small.
In the small town where I grew up there was not a big magic community so most of my early shows were for my parents and their friends. As confidence builds we push beyond our comfort zone to go out into the community and share our craft with a wider range of audiences. While we continue to develop and expand, our material will become more solid and polished. As a result of our persistence, opportunities will begin to appear. Albeit small at first, each opportunity we seize will lead us further along to greater opportunities. It is important to keep in mind that there may be an extended period of time between taking action and seeing an opportunity resulting from it. But do not get discouraged, after all, this is the time to prepare and improve your art for the next big window of opportunity. This is why it is so important to do as many shows as you can. The more you get out in front of an audience, in a myriad of settings, the more polished and prepared you become. The more likely you will be ready to run when the next door opens.
I believe that opportunities are everywhere. Every day new challenges arise. And with new challenges come new opportunity. Big or small, keep your eyes and your mind open. Opportunities may not always be in the form we expect or, at the time one arises, we may not always be in a position to take advantage of it. But keep working, stay focused. The more prepared you are, the more able you become to meet the challenge when the right occasion presents itself. It is also important that we do not wait for the “right” opportunity to come along. In fact, sometimes it is just as important to create our own opportunities. Once our confidence builds it becomes clearer how our unique abilities can benefit others and we begin to find ways to present our talent to specific markets that we want to associate with.
Preparation does take discipline, diligence, and a great deal of trial and error. But when that right moment comes along there is no better feeling than knowing you have what it takes to seize the moment and showcase your spectacular talent. Good luck!

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