How to become a Snake Charmer

How to become a snake charmer

What do they do?

Are you good with your hands? Hardly ever make sudden movements? If you’re an ophiophilist, and you’re not scared of seeing your own blood, then becoming a Snake Charmer could be the perfect career move for you. 

Snake charming is the practice of pretending to hypnotise a snake, most typically using a specialised musical instrument known as a pungi. 

Although specific responsibilities vary greatly from snake to snake, the role of a Snake Charmer will generally include the following:

  • Picking out your perfect snake, and gaining their trust.
  • Buying a well-ventilated wicker basket.
  • Keeping your snake cool to ensure they maintain a calm demeanour.
  • Keeping them happy and well fed (will decrease chance of getting bitten)
  • Playing a pungi and swaying back and forth, which the snake will mimic.

Is it right for me?

To be successful in this position, you will need a snake. It’s pretty much a no-brainer/pre-requisite. The ability to play the pungi (and/or flute) is an advantage, but is not essential. At the very least you should be able to pretend. Tapping your foot in time to some music is also acceptable.

Practice is essential for beginners. If snake is unavailable, ability to improvise is essential. Try using a tortoise, or if reptile is not to hand, perhaps a small cat.  

Other key skills include:

  • Patience
  • Showmanship
  • Enthusiasm, confidence and self-reliance
  • Excellent motivation skills (especially if your snake is particularly lethargic/lacks self-confidence)
  • Although the ability to talk to snakes is not a pre-requisite, Parceltongues will have a distinct advantage

Career progression

Senior Snake Charmer – Dependent on experience (and, possibly, size of snake)

What’s it really like?

Being a Snake Charmer is great. The best part of the job is waking up in the morning, getting Kevin (my snake) and getting out there. I love Mondays because I love my job.

See a ‘real life’ snake charmer at work: