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Topic: Full Time Pro's v. Part Time Pro's = any conflict?
Message: Posted by: Cheshire Cat (Jan 30, 2003 05:31AM)
I've developed this thread from an interesting development on 'It's Not Magic' on winning the lottery.

Many years ago I read a scathing comment in a magazine from a full time pro. kids entertainer who said: "I'll have nothing to do with the Magic Circle, they are all bank managers and teachers living out their fantasies, they should try doing it for a living".

Now I have always maintained the main thing is whether you are full time, or part time to supplement your income, or part time on a pension, - is to ACT professional and conduct yourself with fairness, decency and integrity. As a full-time entertainer for most of my life this is all that counts with me. I have no 'chip' against part-timers.

I could have taken a 'day job' years ago, - but thankfully our business has given us a good life with all the spare time to see the trees and smell the surf and tickle the starfish (!) - that others have not experienced.

Do any of you, who like us, have paid the bills and fed the kids on entertainment, have another view, - maybe one of slight resentment towards part-timers?

It is not my intention to throw a 'hot potato' into the Forum here by the way! I think we are all too civilised for that aren't we?
Message: Posted by: p.b.jones (Jan 30, 2003 05:46AM)
HI Ace,
I was part time my self to start with and have no qualms at all with partime pro's
I think it is a great way to get to fulltime with minimum risk. it is far easier to go full time when you have a few years income in the bank. Just incase things are a bit lean to start. It also allows you to overcome pricing fears. by this I mean if you are charging 50.00 at the moment for a 30 mins show it would put a lot of worry on you if you are full time and you wanted to have a big increase say to 100.00. no work means no pay! but if (like I did) you have a job and the money from the magic is not essential you can try (if you have a good show)charging 100 without much worry.
Infact that's exactly how I ended up so much more expensive than the others in my area.
And now I am not so scared even as a full time pro to up my prices.
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Jan 30, 2003 07:40AM)
Aceparties asks: "Do any of you, who like us, have paid the bills and fed the kids on entertainment, have another view, - maybe one of slight resentment towards part-timers?"

Good heavens, no.

As long as the interest in magic is sincere, I don't see much of a difference between full-time pros and part-time pros, when it comes to performing.

It's only the BAD performers I take issue with, and they come in all departments, including full-time and part-time pros!
Message: Posted by: Tim Zager (Jan 30, 2003 10:54AM)
Well said Peter!! You MUST have a good show, regardless of being FT or PT.

Message: Posted by: Emazdad (Jan 30, 2003 03:07PM)
Up untill February 200 I was part time, running my magic business alongside my Naval Career, What's important is not whether your FT or PT. I'd expect there are very few of us that didn't start out PT before we'd built up the customer database and we started earning enough from the magic alone to give up our day jobs.

As long as you as if you are PT, you don't let the job interfeer with your magicshows, IE take a booking for a show, only to find you have to work that day and cancell it. The majority of PT magicians are very professional and would never let this happen.
Message: Posted by: JSMagic (Jan 30, 2003 04:35PM)
I'm 14-im part time magician, full time student in high school and have a 4 day a week job, and when I'm not doing any of that, I'm hanging out with friends...i have a good life but sometimes its a little hectic!!! Josh

I know aceparties was mainly talknig about adult performers because of the whole "feeding the children: but I figured I'd at that little statement! lol, Josh
Message: Posted by: Billy Whizz (Jan 30, 2003 05:32PM)
I also stated p/t, been full time for 2 years now. I can't imagine anyone actually going out and starting as a full time magician. It would take a while to build up a good reputation, and often a year before you start to get repeat bookings, unless they have siblings.
As for being bad performers, I would say it's impossible to do your first ever show as a first class performer. If we all saw our first ever show, can you honestly say you were really good, I was terrible, I have my first show on video (17 years ago). But thankfully, I think I do a good show now judging by the reaction of the kids and the repeat work. I have no objections to part timers, we all had to start somewhere.

All the best, Billy
Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (Feb 1, 2003 09:55PM)
I made the big leap from p/t to f/t 3 years ago now and made myself very happy in the process. Nothing to do with the question but I just thought I'd share.
I don't see how full timers can complain about part-timers if they're doing a better act than you and holding down another job than you should practise more. But as I can see from the replies there doesn't seem to be any animosity between the two groups. After all, we're all on the same team.
Message: Posted by: Chrystal (Feb 2, 2003 04:41AM)
Egads!! No. I see no difference in being part time or full time. The only difference lies is how many shows per year we do. Good question however! :nod:
Message: Posted by: TroyRoark (Feb 3, 2003 03:51PM)
I've been full time for many years. The only problem I have with folks who have a "real job" and another income is that some of them (very few) will do shows for $50, when I'm charging much more.

Performing is great, but don't undercut us working stiffs. We gots to pay the bills, dig? ;)

Troy Roark
Message: Posted by: Cheshire Cat (Feb 3, 2003 04:01PM)
Good answers, and civilized answers may I also say. Troy just edges upon where some of the problems may lie, i.e. part-time entertainers who are not seeking to become full time undercutting on fees. I would also add that just a few part-timers may be slightly inclined to let-down or cancel as their livelihood does not depend on the business - say if they don't feel well, or want to go to a ball game or something. (But there again I guess there are also full-timers like this!). I must be honest though, - I expect any part-timers to be paying their due's in tax the same as we do! :) :)

Posted: Sep 28, 2004 4:30pm
Can I bring up this old thread of mine from yonks ago? I feel that it may be relevant to one or two clashes of views seen in recent days.

Regards, Tony.

(What did you say? "No I can't" Oh well sorry then.)
Message: Posted by: Kent Wong (Sep 28, 2004 08:12PM)
I've never liked the phrase "part-time professional". This seems to imply that a person is only being professional part of the time. What about the rest of the time? You are either professional or you are not, just by the way you act day in and day out.
Message: Posted by: Neale Bacon (Sep 28, 2004 10:19PM)
As a part time pro, I see a LOT of resentment from SOME full timers I know. They make a real point of saying things like "Well, if you are really good at magic, you would be full time."
It is as if we aren't as good as they are because we aren't full time, and that doesn't just apply to peforming. It carries over to how we are treated at conventions or meetings. We get called "wannabees" and crap like that, and generally get looked down on.
Have any of these so called "professionals" ever seen my act or that of most part timers? No. Do they have any idea how professional our shows are? No.
I am sorry if I get touchy over this, but the question was asked, so I thought I would flip the coin (so to speak)
Message: Posted by: raymond (Sep 29, 2004 05:05AM)
There is no such thing as a "part time professional"
If you are being paid money on a regular basis to do magic you are a professional. Period.
What you do when you are not performing is irrelevant.

If a fish is not swimming at the moment it is still a fish. It is not a part time fish.
Message: Posted by: Rupert Bair (Sep 29, 2004 05:25AM)
LOL Rayond, As soon as I have left college I hope to go straight into full time pro. I remember my first show and I can really cringe looking back. Only about a year ago did I realise my act was really pretty good after looking at all the other acts most of the pros in my area are really bad using 50yr old props that are falling apart signwriting falling off the roll ons, the same patter from 50ys ago. Its crazy, that they are working very regulary with a rubbish act.

Message: Posted by: raymond (Sep 29, 2004 06:02AM)
Not only are my props falling apart so am I. Still my patter is only from 25 years ago so I feel quite superior.

I wish you luck, Matt. It will be interesting to see your show in 2054 to see if you have changed your patter.

Anyone who does kid shows in Merseyside has special qualities about them. I did a show there once and the kids ran off with my magic case with all the props inside and it has never been seen since.

There is no danger of your props getting old in Merseyside. The kids will steal them and you will have to replace them.

It is about time I got new props. I think I will go back to Merseyside for a show or two. I will then be forced to replace them.

Just kidding Matt. I am sure you will do well with your future profession.Go for it as soon as you leave college but build it up now. Do nothing else for a living. I truly envy you.
Message: Posted by: Emazdad (Sep 29, 2004 06:24AM)
A the proper term for a part time pro is really a semi-professional. However although being professional means getting paid for what you do, it also has another meaning. Having a professional in attitude in the way you conduct your business.

A professional attitude is important for both the professional and semi pro entertainer.
Message: Posted by: Rupert Bair (Sep 29, 2004 12:32PM)
Thanks raymond (I think lol) I actaully live in Southport, Formby and Southport are actually pretty good, Liverpool and Preston are hard work. In 2054 I hope to be retired! Really though I believe you have to move with the times, Adair and a few of the old guys still use a very old (an un- PC!) approach and its so old!
An example of a old patter:
Boys and girls, Im Uncle Wiz and I'm going to show you all some magic, would you like to see some, well this is andy pandy you all know who he is don't you? Yes we all watch him on the black and white telly right before tea and before we have the bath in the sink and before we go to bed.

Ok a little exageration but you get the point, magic must be fresh, imagine if you get parents talking along to your patter remembering from when they were six!

Message: Posted by: raymond (Sep 29, 2004 12:49PM)
I used to love Andy Pandy. I wish they would bring it back. I am surprised you have even heard of him.
I liked Muffin the Mule too.
Is Sooty still going over there? I used to know Sooty's agent, Vincent Shaw who told me that he thought Harry Corbett (his operator) was an "amateur".
Talk about biting the hand that feeds you! I know Sooty made Vincent a lot of money.

We didn't have a bath in the sink you know. We used a tub in the living room.

Black and white TV? I remember it well and quite miss it. Mind you I was the first magician to appear on colour TV in the UK. Or so the BBC told me. You are in the presence of a historical figure, you know.

Southport? Ah! That is much more like it. That is where the posh people live. Liverpool is where the kids stole my case. I have done shows in Preston though. It wasn't too bad at all.

To your utter horror I am going to recommend to you a book from that era you hate so much. In fact I think the book is even from before that era!

No doubt you will be pleased to know that the book is hard to find and you will no doubt do your ***dest not to find it.

In my opinion it is the finest book ever written on children's entertainment. It is called "Open Sesame" by Richard Tyler and Eric Lewis.

The first chapter alone on how to present magic for children is worth the price of the book.

And it doesn't mention Andy Pandy once.
Message: Posted by: Rupert Bair (Sep 29, 2004 12:56PM)
I was looking at that book not so long ago I put it right down when the guy said are you gonna buy it or read it all in a snotty tone. Thry did bring andy pandy back as well as bill and ben and basil brush talk about nothing new these days. Sooty was pretty good I think matthew corbert is better than his dad was, I don't think to much of the new quy the illusionist his name escapes me. What is your real name and were do you live? I don't hate the 50's just the music,lol.

Message: Posted by: Cheshire Cat (Sep 29, 2004 01:34PM)
Southport Matt? Used to live on York Terrace, Manchester Road.
Message: Posted by: Rupert Bair (Sep 29, 2004 01:43PM)
Wow manchester road is right round the corner and right next to my magic circle, its a small world.
Message: Posted by: raymond (Sep 29, 2004 03:01PM)
What a pity you missed out on Open Sesame. You may now have to wait until 2054 before you ever see it again. By then of course you will be retired. 50 years wasted doing up to date stuff.
If you wish to progress in magic you really must go back to the age of the dinosaur. Good children's entertainment never goes away.

Look at Bill,Ben, Andy Pandy and Sooty. On hearing that they are all back I am tempted to return to the UK. Once Muffin the Mule comes back then I will be on the next plane.
Message: Posted by: Rupert Bair (Sep 30, 2004 04:34AM)
I'll get right on to the bbc, lol. I've found were I can get the book. Raymond book your flight now for 2005, http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/news/cult/2003/04/16/3869.shtml.

It's going to be an animation.

Message: Posted by: stu-di-doo (Sep 30, 2004 06:18AM)
That link didn't work...I think [url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2003/04_april/16/muffin.shtml][b]this[/b][/url] is what you mean Matt

Although I am obviously far too young to remember the original!

Stu Di Doo
Message: Posted by: Rupert Bair (Sep 30, 2004 11:53AM)
That's the one :)
Message: Posted by: kingtroll (Oct 3, 2004 01:38AM)
A very interesting thread. I am one half of a two man team, and we are currently working towards going full time. We still have day jobs, however we still consider ourselves as professional magicians. If we have a gig during working hours, we take the time off. A gig is a gig. I have heard of part timers undercutting fees, but we do not. In fact, we have to charge a litte more, because there are two of us. Just my two cents worth.
Dan Allender
The Bold Magic of Allender and Welborn
Message: Posted by: Mike Robbins (Oct 3, 2004 01:44AM)
As for the charging over/under, I perform on a part-time basis and I charge higher fees. The one full timer we have in town is the one who charges little. I figure I don't need it to live off of and I can be more selective in the shows I do.

I love my full-time job, so I see no need to go to magic full time. Perhaps when I "retire".
Message: Posted by: Starrpower (Oct 3, 2004 04:13PM)
I think the part-timers are often in a better postion the get the best gigs. It has nothing to do with them being more or less professional or more or less skillful, etc. Generally, if they play it right, they have the luxury of "holding out" for the best gigs and highest fees. If you have a second job (or even a primary job), you're not worrying that the next call may be the only one you'll get this month. If your calendar doesn't fill up, so be it ... the paycheck still arrives.
Message: Posted by: rossmacrae (Oct 3, 2004 06:03PM)
I pity the people who booked me in the first days of my career, but I learned fast and improved - and my rate went up accordingly.

There's nothing wrong with part-timers, especially since I can usually get the serious customers for myself simply by being the guy who actually answers the phone while the part-timers have their answering machines turned on (they're at their day jobs.)

But when I do depend, for paying the bills, on also getting budget-minded customers, I have a little trouble with part-timers who have to charge less than a living wage in order to get any clients at all. They're perilously like "bottom feeders" who will charge the lowest rate in town to entice the customers who respond only to price.

Moreover, the premise of the original poster is that the part-timers would (of course) provide a quality service. The "duffers" at the magic club couldn't entertain if their life depended on it - I've seen them! I was filling in face-painting and balloons last week for a community event which had already booked a stage magic show. And the guy had all the equipment - even all of the skill - but none of the talent! A kid audience and 5 minutes in, he's still talking like a teacher about the history of magic. 15 minutes along, and he's used a crateful of boxes and glittery tubes, and there hasn't been a laugh or an "oooh!" or more than a smattering of applause. Thirty minutes on, and he puts on a Mandarin Chinese costume complete with hat and pigtail wig, and does some darned fool "me honolable Chinee magician" junk straight out of Tarbell (good linking rings, offensive patter). Lord only knows what they paid him, but I'm trying to support a family while this idiot is PLAYING "MAGICIAN" FOR THE WEEKEND!

Sorry, all you capable and talented part-timers out there ... you're among bad company.
Message: Posted by: Starrpower (Oct 3, 2004 08:40PM)
I've seen an awful lot of awful full-timers, too (can anyone say "Dixie Dooley"?)
Message: Posted by: stu-di-doo (Oct 4, 2004 03:35AM)
You will always find good and bad performers both full and part time.

The main conflict would apparently be (I have not experienced any conflict personally) if part-timers undercut full-timers.

Stu Di Doo
Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (Oct 4, 2004 06:12AM)
I haven't experienced this personally either but I have heard about it happening.
Sometimes the full-timers bring it on themselves, a freind of mine started out part-time and decided to go and openly ask the full-timers in the local circle what he should charge and what everyone else cost etc. They refused to help him or tell him so he ended up just picking a price he thought was right. It was a bit too low and next time the same guys told him off for under-cutting them.
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Oct 4, 2004 06:43AM)
We don't have a lot of full timers here where I live.
There are a few and they are pretty busy doing corporate gigs having done some big shows in Vegas etc....

I guess I could see how a full timer could feel. It's there livelihood and all and perhaps they see part timers as just passing through.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Oct 4, 2004 12:02PM)
We also have a lot of full timers here in my area of Philadelphia. However, I find there are those who really will help you out as long as you prove your worth to them and they realize you are sincere in your approach and really want to learn.

However, we also have those who fight anyone trying to become full time and shrug people off who even attempt to do it. They do not realize that everyone has a right to make a living and it is competition. If you are GOOD at what you do and you market yourself well and have relationships with your clients, then you should not feel so threatoned.

Message: Posted by: jrbobik (Oct 5, 2004 10:02AM)
I do believe that full timers that fight anyone trying to go full time is afraid of competition. I am of the belief that competition is good for the soul, so to speak. Makes you take a step back and look at your show in a different light.

I always encourage anyone that has a true desire to be better at what they enjoy.

I see this in the corporate world all the time. A manager does not teach or show someone under them for fear that person will do it better. What they miss is the satisfaction of that person moving on or even being better then the teacher.

I had many Assistant Mangers get their own store and two even went on to be District Managers. They still tell me it was because I showed them anything that they asked to learned. I loved it and it made me feel good.

You should never be afraid of competition if your show is well put together and thought out!

John B
Message: Posted by: Cheshire Cat (Oct 8, 2004 04:54AM)
Ross Macrea - as the original topic poster, believe me, I do understand all the points you make in your quite lengthy article!

However, I wished to post the thread from a neutral stance, and then let the rest of you guys state your feelings. Some of my feelings do coincide with yours Ross, - although as I've grown older, and thankfully, much more financially comfortable, I've have in fact mellowed my views of say 20 years ago, towards part-timers. Then it was a battle to survive, and we certainly resented others coming into our business as retired policemen on fat pensions, or schoolteachers competing against us during the summer break when they were on 6 weeks paid leave to start with! We often wondered just what these people would say if we dabbled into THEIR occupations both cheap and part-time. However, as I say, as time moves on you tend to see things in possibly a more level or mature context, and these days we could not give two cents whether entertainers around us are full time or part time!

It's the ones who come into your area who are REALLY GOOD you have to worry about!

Tony (England)

PS: Don't go giving away too many secrets now Ross about just how many phone calls part-timers miss during weekdays will you . . . (smiley)