Character, every magic blog out there has a post about character. And they should, your performing character is the most important part of being something other than that weird uncle that does a few card tricks. If you want to be serious about magic establishing a character should be one of the first things you do. It doesn't have to be a huge project just a sentence outlining the character can go a long way. For example my character is a flamboyant con-man that may or may not be the devil.
Why do you need a character early on; because there are a lot of magic effects out there. A whole lot. Having a character helps you decide what kind of effects you need to learn and what tricks are a waste of your time. To use my character as an example; I'm focusing on magic based on cons and gambling. Things like the three shell game and three card monte, poker and blackjack deals. I'm not going to learn the linking rings because I can't see a con man doing anything with those props. So once you has an idea of your character you can ask questions like can I see my character doing that effect, If the answer is no then you don't need to waste time or money on it.
Later on your character becomes important in pattering (Which you should hold off on till you have some real experience under your belt) and routining. If you can't see your character doing something then neither can your audience. Incongruence in your act will be jarring, it will remove spectators from the moment and lessen impact of the magic you're presenting.
Some of you will say. I play myself. Then I would have to ask 'Who are you?' If your response is "I uh.. I'mm uhh.. I'm a magician.." Then you need to sit down and work on it till you can answer with something more like "I am an upbeat magician specializing in close up magic." Cause let me tell you, you're boring, you're tricks will be remembered but you will be forgotten. Because people will remember a character. If you don't have one then you're just a vehicle for your tricks. Which is OK if you're doing tricks for friends and family. But for those who want to do magic for a living thats a problem because when you go to a prospective employer what you are selling them is your character not your tricks.
Every Professional magician out there has a performing character. Every last one. So what makes you think you know better than the pros?