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Profile of MuscleMagic
In a place like ny, big city, many people, so few shows to go to, max maven granted hes a legend was sold out, other shows I went to always packed

why isn't there more shows?
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Profile of NightSG
Judging from the success of lotteries, people are highly entertained by being scammed out of their money, so I guess hustling three card monte for cash could be considered "entertaining with cards."

Probably a bit more socially acceptable than using the promise of a reveal to lure people back to your hotel room so you can harvest and sell their organs.
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Profile of Bandaloop
I've talked to a lot of seasoned pros about this and the overwhelming retort is in line with Whit's statement that if there's anything else you can see yourself doing for the rest of your life and being happy about it, choose that over magic.

The way I see it, though, is if you have the balls to throw your world into upheaval and risk the possibility of ruin and you don't have responsibilities to anyone other than yourself, then go for it. It's cliche, but life is short and (to quote Morrison) the future is uncertain and the end is always near. Do what makes you happy and if in the end it doesn't work at least you put yourself out there.
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Profile of Atom3339
TC, You could consider TEACHING Magic. It's a specialised field so you'd probably get paid pretty well. You can do it part-time and it may become full-time. And a huge ancillary benefit is the more you teach, the better you know the subject, the better magician you will be. You will gain a reputation as an expert and people will come to you to hire you to perform for them.

Occupy Your Dream
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Profile of Mb217
On 2007-07-07 00:17, Whit Haydn wrote:
If you can make a living doing anything other than magic, and be happy...you should do that.

Yep, seems like wise enough words as to this stuff IMHO...Definitely worth considering and repeating. Smile

Or just do like my dad used to tell me as to all the many things including magic that I loved to do..."Son, be a doctor and do all of these other things in your spare time, it'll all work better that way for you." Well, I didn't quite become a doctor but he was mostly right as to the larger general notion here. Actually worked out pretty well, as he said. Smile
*Check out my latest: MBs Morgan w/ BONUS: Destiny, Copper Silver INC, Double Trouble, FlySki, Crimp Change - REDUX!, and other fine magic at www.VinnyMarini.com Smile

"Believe in YOU, and you will see the greatest magic that ever was." -Mb Smile
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Profile of eatonmagic
It's funny because my family used to tell me to find a "real" job. They always kept saying, "Well...we don't mind the fact that you want to do magic but you can do that at night. Get something during the day and perform at night." But what they failed to realize is that my work day WAS my real job. The gig at night was the payoff! I would sit in my office for 6-8 hours every morning and afternoon planning out my work week, making calls, scheduling meetings with new clients, driving to lunch appointments...THAT was what I was doing during my day. See...the perception is that magic isn't a "job". But, it's just like any other job. The ones that treat it as a serious business will succeed in it because they WANT it! They will devour every piece of knowledge they can in order to make it happen. They will map out their business plan and do what it takes. You NEED a plan of action and then you need to take action.

None of this comes overnight though. You need to experience the absolute lows of this business in order to appreciate it. The better I became as a magician the more I felt it. And I'm not talking about the props I'm talking about my ability to handle myself professionally and seriously. I then was taken seriously and could command serious money. Once I made my first $1000 check I knew that I was playing with the big boys and that THIS is what I wanted to do. With the right people around me I succeeded. They pushed me harder to do better.

Of course your location is important as well. I was fortunate enough to be around more metropolitan areas. But usually, if you don't mind driving an hour or so, you can still find opportunity. I should also point out that I have a design background so I still do freelance design part-time BUT, I know that whatever job I take be it magic or design, I love both so it's a win-win for me Smile
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Profile of Billy-one
I live in a VERY small town that has a surge during the summer. I perform mentalism shows at bars, walk around at parties and bars, do a few corporate shows, and I make a living doing it. Granted, Im not raking in big bucks but when I travel to bigger cities the pay days come more often. Its a matter of creating a base, it sucks, working for little money and getting better at your craft.

I heard a great statement on ESPN radio about head coaches that can apply to magicians (or really any craft), it went something like this...cut your teeth on the lowest stages, get very good at what you do, so when the big stages call you are actually ready. don't chase something you are not ready for...it will end badly.

With that said, my teeth have been cut. I learned to deal with great situations, awefull situations, and everything in between. I know how too live on a very small budget and how to spend my money to make more money (promotions, nice clothing, and futher edjucation in the business world).

Also, working (sometimes for free) I was able to find myself and my own style, this makes your magic better if you can really tap into who you are and who you want others to see you as. Also, it helps that Im a cool mofo that does great magic....but that's for another post Smile

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Profile of magicfish
On 2007-07-06 19:41, Keernyboy wrote:
Is it possible to make a living on card magic alone? My family and friends are always saying to me, "you could be making money, and you're wasting yourself doing tricks for us." I just like doing it as a hobby, but are there people making a living at it???

It is most certainly possible. And has been many times.
Magic Pierre
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Profile of Magic Pierre
This sort of thing has been said before in other ways on this thread, but it is interesting to me nonetheless:
I have a good friend who is ALMOST a professional poker player. He goes several nights a week to play poker, spends ten hours at a stretch at the table, works assiduously to develop his skills,has an hourly rate of profit in mind, all that stuff. I wasn't in touch with him when he picked poker up, so I don't know what his attitude was, but his attitude now is that going to the casino is a job. It's work.

So I really do have to wonder if there is inevitably a sacrifice that we have to make when we decide that magic is going to be our employment, our means of making our daily bread. To me,at 53, magic is a reason to play with toys, or just to play in general (among other things). So is it possible to continue to feel that it is "play" when we get into the serious situation of depending on it to put food on our table? If it's not possible, is it really worth the sacrifice of that pleasure of playing? I for one would say "no" if I have another livelyhood. Life's just too short to spend it just "working".

Happily, there are lots of examples from all kinds of different fields of people for whom work is the most fulfilling thing they could do, who feel "bliss", as Joseph Campbell would say, in their employment, so I have to believe that this is possible in magic also. In fact, I think that magicians who feel this complete joy in magic, even when they are professionals at it, are likely the most successful because they communicate that joy to their spectators. I think you can tell when the person you are watching considers their routine "routine", and it isn't an enjoyable axperience. See Kevin Kline performing Shakespeare in the dinner theater in the movie "Soapdish" for a hilarious example.

Sorry for the ramble, all...
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