Steve Fisher: Zodiac World of Magic and Illusion
Ever since the age of seven, when his mum bought him a Paul Daniels magic set, Steve has had a passion for magic. Inspired by illusionists such as the Masked Magician and Steve Mulhern’s ‘Quick Trick’ television show, Steve honed his skills and won a local heat of the Young Magician of the Year, aged 15.
Initially performing magic for his school friends and family, Steve followed this working at various holiday parks from the age of 18, including Haggerston Castle. As the work was seasonal, he supplemented this by working in customer service roles within the hospitality sector, in hotels and restaurants.
The catalyst for Steve’s ambition to become his own boss came when he was applying for scores of hospitality jobs without success, despite having considerable experience in the sector.
“Being unemployed for three months coupled with the constant job rejections was a demoralising experience,” said Steve. “It was then that I decided to back myself and turn my passion for magic into a business.”
Steve noticed a leaflet promoting the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) scheme in his local job centre, and they put him in touch with PNE to progress his business idea as part of the ERDF programme.
Commenting on the role that the New Enterprise Allowance programme has played in the development of his business, Steve said, “NEA has been very helpful in enabling me to plan my business. It also provides an invaluable safety net to help cover costs while I’m laying solid foundations for the business.”
Steve also benefitted from the support of PNE Enterprise through the ERDF programme. This enabled him to access a range of business support services including: one to one business advice to help him develop his business plan; and, help with all the legal and financial requirements of starting a business. Steve also attended PNE’s two-day business start-up course, which covered a wide range of essential business topics ranging from marketing to business law, and financial control to health and safety.
“The advice and support that I’ve received from PNE Enterprise through the ERDF programme has been extremely helpful,” said Steve. “From helping me to develop a robust business plan to advice on tax and legal issues, it’s tremendously reassuring that PNE is there ready to support you every step of the way.
“It was especially helpful and reassuring to produce a cash flow forecast to ensure that the business is sustainable during possibly quieter months.
“PNE’s start-up course provided me with the essential business skills I needed and enabled me to make some very useful contacts with a variety of businesses who will potentially use my services.”
Zodiac World of Magic and Illusion launched in Newcastle in July 2019 to provide magic and illusion for clients ranging from clubs to holiday parks and catering for events including birthdays, weddings and corporate events.
Steve divides his magic into two distinct parts. Firstly, he provides a ‘zany, hyperactive type of comedy magic where everything seems to be going wrong until, in the end, it all goes right with spectacular effect.’
The other is a darker, edgy, gothic style of illusion for adults which he describes as ‘Marilyn Manson meets magic’. Illusions in this style have featured Steve hammering a six-inch nail through his nose and catching a bullet fired from a gun in his teeth.
Looking ahead, Steve hopes to have a contract to perform on Cruise Ships, and to have a sustainable business that provides customers with the entertainment experience of a lifetime.
Reflecting on starting his business, Steve says, “Starting the business gives me more freedom to express myself as an artist, to reach a wider audience and to do what I love full-time.”
For other aspiring entrepreneurs looking to start a business, Steve’s advice is, “Sit looking into a mirror and sell your business idea to yourself. Seek out great business advice from experts like PNE Enterprise, and go for it!”
This client was part of the Enterprise Support in the North East 2 project which is part-funded through the European Regional Development Fund.