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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Do part time pros and amateurs hurt the business of magic? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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NJJ
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Don't take this the wrong way. I am not one of those zealots who bandies the word amateur around like it is an insult. I believe that the nature and style of learning magic as an amateur is a very important part of the magic community. Without amateurs we wouldn't have Dai Vernon.

However, do you think that amateurs and part time pros can hurt the magic performing industry? Because they can afford to charge less, they drive down the value of magicians in a given area?

I'm sure there are many expensive part time professionals out there (I recently met a guy whose theory was "If I'm giving up my weekends, I want ALOT of money!" ). But the general pattern seems to be that part time performers charge less...

Do you argee?
Disagree?
Want to punch me in the nose?
icentertainment
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Actually I believe it's all in the individual

There are many Full Timers who work for cheap too.
icentertainment
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The Value of Magicians in Darling Harbour and on the cruises that go around Sydney Harbour is super cheap

The Comedy cruise and the sydney show boats
are around $150 for a 4-5 hour cruise. The magicians gets bugger all- they don't have any quality on those ships

The Home nite club had a magician work for free drinks- the guy who lied and said he had been doing it for years actually had been doing it for 6 months- Used magic to pick up women

Jordans at Darling Harbour had a magicain say he wanted to work for tips only-----now that may be OK in the USA because Tips are normal- but over here we don't work for tips- they are not expected and you are not expected to pay- so you got this amature magician Hustling for tips- making people feel uncomfortable etc- you can be sure that Jordans has never hired a magician from that time onwards.

It is a pity that such a huge potential for business has been ruined by those who work for cheap.
NJJ
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So what is the solution?
icentertainment
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The Solution lies in designing a method of Accreditation and getting some standards with pricing- just like actors over here- they have an award wage minimum.

well I personally think it's hard to do the wage thing because everythings different---but the accreditation thing is good- they have it for most other things- even being a bar attendant.

It can get messy- but we people that charge more need to invest into the marketing side of things----Our product must shine like the sun compared to these cheap & Nasty characters out there- the client must feel the need for our services and they must see the difference
Skip Way
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The solution is to do your best and stand out. I disagree that part-timers and amateurs hurt us. Some of our most gifted performers and authors are part-timers and amateurs ... Where we may have chosen to be full-time performers, they've chosen to remain within their comfort zones as realtors, doctors, corporate execs, salesmen or whatever. They simply choose one path over another for whatever reasons.

When I was a competitive swimmer, my coach pounded into my head to ignore the guys in the other lanes. Forget they exist. He told me to give it everything I have, set my own pace at the peak of my ability and step beyond ... then just do my best. That advice works well in our daily lives. Worry about YOUR skills and YOUR marketing and YOUR success. Let the others have their lanes. Quality will show.

No, they've never bothered me.
Skip Smile
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
Chad C.
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I agree with Skip. I know a local guy who charges only $100 for a full hour b-day magic show with face painting and a person dressed up as a character. He is full time, but chareges an very low fee. I am a bivocational pastor, and I charge way more than that and I treat my magic business as if it were a full time job. I don't worry about whether someone is partime or fulltime-I do the best possible show, market it well, and I stay extremely busy with it.

The solution-worry about your show and your business so that you are the one meeting people's entertainment needs. As Kyle likes to say, be a "Solutions Provider."

Chad

PS. Skip, I was up in the Raliegh area a few weeks ago and showed some folks your website. My brother attends the seminary school up in Wake Forest and I went up to help him move in. Next time I'm up there I will try to look you up-this last time was spent lifting heavey objects and then going straight to sleep and repeating the next day before heading home. Hope to meet you on the next trip!
Al Angello
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I believe that amatures, and hobbiest dominate the magic clubs much like free clowns dominate clown organizations, which makes attending meetings a waste of time for the working professional.
MY OPINION
Al Angello
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Chad C.
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I rarely went after the first year to any of the meetings of our local club-the reason-I had a restaurant gig on the same day of the week. I never really got anything out of the meetings...we would each perform some tricks and then no one would answer any of my questions about the business side of magic because they didn't want anyone who might compete with them. I have learned 100% more on the Café, but I have learned the most from just going out there and doing it!

When it comes right down to it-the important thing is not what others charge or what they do-it's what your customers think of you. If they are satisfied and you exceed all their expectations, then you will be successful-at least that has been my experience.
Tony S
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Quote:
On 2006-08-28 07:46, Skip Way wrote:
The solution is to do your best and stand out. I disagree that part-timers and amateurs hurt us. Some of our most gifted performers and authors are part-timers and amateurs ... Where we may have chosen to be full-time performers, they've chosen to remain within their comfort zones as realtors, doctors, corporate execs, salesmen or whatever. They simply choose one path over another for whatever reasons.

When I was a competitive swimmer, my coach pounded into my head to ignore the guys in the other lanes. Forget they exist. He told me to give it everything I have, set my own pace at the peak of my ability and step beyond ... then just do my best. That advice works well in our daily lives. Worry about YOUR skills and YOUR marketing and YOUR success. Let the others have their lanes. Quality will show.

No, they've never bothered me.
Skip Smile


Very well said, Skip. I'm one of the part time pros. I have my reasons for remaining part time, and perhaps one day I will go full time. For now, I don't try to undercut anyone - my show is a quality show that always entertains my audiences. I know that because I regularly get repeat business and referrals. I charge accordingly. If people are put off by the price I charge they are free to go to another local magician. As Skip stated - I worry about me. I cannot worry about the magician who charges less as there is nothing I can do about that. I can focus on using successful sales and marketing techniques to get the business I want.

Regards,
Tony
We are all about as successful as we choose to be.



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dominik
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Quote:
On 2006-08-28 08:45, Al Angello wrote:
I believe that amatures, and hobbiest dominate the magic clubs much like free clowns dominate clown organizations, which makes attending meetings a waste of time for the working professional.
MY OPINION
Al Angello


Actually, I have been attending most club meetings for one year now, but never seen any of the full timers. (And I did ask myself why.)
You might be right.
Chad C.
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Full-timers and successful part-timers are usually working and don't have time to regularly attend meetings-at least that's why I don't usually get to go! I would rather be out getting paid to make a living off of what I love to do!
Al Angello
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Chad
You are right I have learned lots, and lots of cool stuff at the magic Café, and there is no one at the local magic club on the same page as me. The hobbiest gets his magic fix from the other hobbiest's, and the pro gets gratification from pay checks, and applause. The magic Café is the only club that I need.
Al Angello
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Chad C.
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Well said Al! I'll second that!
icentertainment
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I said this first

"It can get messy- but we people that charge more need to invest into the marketing side of things----Our product must shine like the sun compared to these cheap & Nasty characters out there- the client must feel the need for our services and they must see the difference "

why is everyone agreeing with skip----why don't you people give credit where it's due and say something nice to me

everyone wonders wy I become Darth Dave---it's because people don't listen

I just got banned for 2 months and I can see that nothing has really changed
Bob Sanders
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Facts are that there are some full-timers who hurt any business.

There is also the problem of determining "pro", "part time pro" and "amateurs". Working for money is not the measure. As a former booking agent, I can assure you that there are some "less than full-time" entertainers who make many times what many "This is my only income" entertainers dream of making someday. I will also tell you that the top earners are also the first to volunteer a free show.

The real problem here is that group of "I'm not doing as well as I think I should" performers. This is just as true in medicine, law, sales, engineering, and most other fields. Life is a struggle. The plain on which one decides to struggle makes a lot of difference. Know what league you are really in. That is usually determined by the talent buyer! Cost and value are unrelated except to the uninformed. It is not an informed talent buyer's fault that he/she uses that information. There are two markets for anchovies. Some are sold in expensive little cans for food. The alternative use is fertilizer. Yes! The prices are not the same.

In many markets, the products are seen as rather uniform. The market price is difficult to out maneuver in many circumstances. The best advice is change markets. Once again the first rule of duck hunting is to go where there are ducks!

But don't fool yourself. Many full-timers make less than many part-timers. Agents live off commissions, not numbers of contracts just like in real estate. Where does the market think your act fits?

The 4-Ps are Product, Price, Place and Promotion. If there is nothing the customer sees as unique about your product, that leaves you with price (economic and social), place (the where and when of your shows) and promotion (market information about your show) to work with. Talent buyers don't need solutions to problems they don't have. This is the performer's problem. Pick the market you want to serve. Then do it!

It's just not the other guy's fault. You chose to compete in that market. Each market has it's own dynamics.

What would really shock you is how many full-time pros are seriously working on part-time career plans. Income can be earned intensively or extensively.

Go for it!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com
Tony S
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Quote:
On 2006-08-28 13:00, icentertainment wrote:
I said this first

"It can get messy- but we people that charge more need to invest into the marketing side of things----Our product must shine like the sun compared to these cheap & Nasty characters out there- the client must feel the need for our services and they must see the difference "

why is everyone agreeing with skip----why don't you people give credit where it's due and say something nice to me

everyone wonders wy I become Darth Dave---it's because people don't listen

I just got banned for 2 months and I can see that nothing has really changed


Sorry, Ice.....no disrespect intended!
We are all about as successful as we choose to be.



www.anthonysisti.com
Skip Way
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Chad ... Anytime! Let me know that you're in town and I'll buy you lunch or dinner! That offer goes for anyone passing through this neck of the woods! I'm always happy to meet a new friend and peer.

IC ... It isn't a competition, pard. I don't really care whether anyone ever agrees with me. I offer my opinion to things like this in as open and friendly a way as possible and don't really care whether I'm right or wrong. If it helps someone else open a new door onto another point of view and perhaps a better way that works for them, then I've done my share. If not, they're more than welcome to ignore me. You're welcome to all the credit.

Al & Dominik ... I belong to the local IBM & KIDabra chapters and I rarely make the meetings because I work restaurants and sporting events on those evenings. But, when I do have the chance to attend, I RACE to these meetings! I have the most incredible time meeting old and new friends and sharing a fine social evening. I may learn something. I may not. It's just fun to be a part of a group with a common interest and good people. It's also great to know I have someone to turn to when I have a problem I just can't solve.

I'm blessed to belong to an IBM Ring & KIDabra chapter that hosts some of the top names in East Coast magic ... pro, semi-pro and amateur. Every one is a true pro in every sense. If there were an East Coast Magic Castle, I believe it would be right at home here in Raleigh with the finest ladies and gentlemen any club could hope to include. Just to sit in the same room with some of these folks is so powerful that I WANT to make every meeting I can. Not to learn or brag or teach. Just to be a part of something so special. It's a shame that every region can't have a Ring or Chapter like Raleigh's.

Skip Smile
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
Doug Higley
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When I did clown I was as pro as I could be, even though part time at first. Why did I leave it? The little (usually very overweight and smelly) ladies who thought that SMEARING red and blue paint on their faces and blowing up balloons for $2 made them a clown. They were usually very ugly 'clown' characters and completely talentless. But that was just part of it...the real deciding factor was most people with kids didn't appreciate the difference or care...that hurt.
I had an act not a balloon inflation business so I just let it go....and cringe even after all these years when I see an awful clown with horrible makeup skills and glitter wig who's mechandising. Uh.
Higley's Giant Flea Pocket Zibit
Skip Way
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Amen, Doug.
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
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