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

Hi Tam, how do you think about risk?
There’s that old saying “high risk, high reward”. I could’ve settled for an average job, accountant, engineer, doctor and sure, the money would’ve been great. But I wanted to be different. I wanted to chase my passion. I didn’t want to ‘work’ another day in my life.

I risked being an entertainer/magician for a living. Don’t get me wrong, it was scary at first and I would always doubt my decision. There were moments where I would ask myself “do I have enough money for next months rent? What can I afford for lunch/dinner? How much gas can I get for $20?” It was a huge risk, but a few years down the line, it began to pay off. I have travelled and done tours in Germany, I performed for NBA Hall of Famer Bill Russell, and recently performed at an event, where Jay Leno opened for me.

I believe if I didn’t risk performing full time, big opportunities would not have opened up for me.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I specialize in the art of close up magic. Which is magic that is just a few inches away and doing impossible feats with just your bare hands. Not a lot of people really witness a live close up magic show, since more magic shows these days are on a stage platform or on television. But there is something special about seeing up close. There is this intimacy about it and it feels like the magic being performed is specifically just for you.

I had an office job as I would perform occasionally on the weekends at first. I was absolutely not happy with my office job and I wanted to pursue performing. I took a big risk and dropped everything at my desk, and told myself “I’m going to perform for the rest of my life.” At first, it was hard to find work. So I decided to street perform. And I have appreciated the value of money until I street performed. At first, I was struggling making $50/day. And I wondered why some street performers were making triple to quadruple my amount. And that’s when it went from being a person who can do some tricks to a person who can PERFORM.

I had to learn how to engage and interact with people. And being on the streets, random things happen, and you have to learn how to play off those random moments. And from there, my tip jar began to grow, and I would receive more calls and inquiries for private events.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First of all, my mom. Growing up in an Asian American household was out of the question. Your typical job as an Asian American are doctors, lawyers, pharmacist, etc. But I am so fortunate that she has supported me for the past 15 years of being an entertainer/magician. And almost after every performance she would say these words that an Asian parent would hardly if not ever say to their kids “I’m proud of you”.

I would also like to thank Ken Sands. He owned a small magic shop in a bowling alley. He was very welcoming when I first walked in and he showed me for the first time ever, real close up magic. Ever since then, I am happy to call him my mentor. He taught me that magic is more than just tricks. The best advice I ever got from him was “learn how to be a human being”. And ever I took that advice, my performance abilities have soared.

I would like to thank the Magic Castle in Hollywood, CA. It is the mecca for magic. The Magic Castle gave me the first professional stage to perform on. And if it wasn’t for the Magic Castle, I don’t think I would be here without it.

Website: www.tamvomagic.com

Instagram: @tamvomagic

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/tam-vo-magic-garden-grove-2

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