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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Perform for free? When and Why (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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George Ledo
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I love it when people want to redefine terms. I've seen it here in the Café so many times.

Back when I started out, in the late 60s, there were two terms, generally accepted by all of us at several magic clubs. A professional was someone who did magic for a living. An amateur was a hobbyist.

Then a new term came up... semi-professional (or part-time professional) for those who did paid gigs evenings and weekends.

That was it. They were descriptive terms, not value judgments. And we were happy with them.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
www.georgefledo.net

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tommy
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Back when I started out, in the early 50s, money was vulgar and the true professional married for money not love. Smile
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On Dec 13, 2021, George Ledo wrote:
I love it when people want to redefine terms. I've seen it here in the Café so many times.

Back when I started out, in the late 60s, there were two terms, generally accepted by all of us at several magic clubs. A professional was someone who did magic for a living. An amateur was a hobbyist.

Then a new term came up... semi-professional (or part-time professional) for those who did paid gigs evenings and weekends.

That was it. They were descriptive terms, not value judgments. And we were happy with them.

Absolutely. Redefining terms to take into account feelings is silly in this case. No judgement at all.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
tommy
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Actual I mainly use the Online Etymology Dictionary. I like to look into the history, into the foundation of a thing to under-stand it. Etymologies are not definitions; they're explanations of what our words meant and how they sounded 600 or 2,000 years ago.

https://www.etymonline.com/
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Dec 13, 2021, Dannydoyle wrote:
Quote:
On Dec 13, 2021, funsway wrote:
Quote:
On Dec 12, 2021, Mindpro wrote:
There are far more differences between amateurs and professionals than just money or income. For some reason this is difficult for amateurs to understand.



Just opinions, of course. A person has a right to call themselves a professional for any silly reason. It is claiming someone else is not a professional that is the problem.

The terms "amateur" and "professional" should be compliments. Saying "I am a magician" should be a self compliment.


Actually no it is not. In reality it is not about what you call yourself, it is about how others perceive you.

Lots of amateurs want to make excuses to call themselves professional. Kind of silly really. In the end who cares? If the self aggrandizing is needed go ahead it hurts nobody. If it makes one feel better go ahead. It also doesn’t fool anyone either.

In the end no matter how much you are paid it is the way others perceive you and the overall experience that decides if you are or are not professional in their eyes. The rest is just conversation.



This is typical magicians nonsense and BS. Magicians and the magic community LOVE to change, adapt, and create definitions for themselves as they see fit (look at mentalism!)

This whole nonsense about "amateur" and "professional" and even saying "I am a magician" is utter BS and a great example. All self-proclaimed absurdities.

Danny is absolutely right it's not about what you think it's about how others perceive and accept you. Magic is so me-based it is ridiculous and the single thing that threatens its future existence.

Also, George's "Back when I started out, in the late 60s, there were two terms, generally accepted by all of us at several magic clubs. A professional was someone who did magic for a living. An amateur was a hobbyist.

Then a new term came up... semi-professional (or part-time professional) for those who did paid gigs evenings and weekends."

As he said, this came from magic clubs and the magic community - self-adapted mostly by amateurs and hobbyists wanting to sound important or significant. It's just like when an amateur or hobbyist tries to go toe to toe in discussions here. They think we are all peers. It always results in hideous discussions, one from me-based thoughts and theory, and the other from years or even decades of professional experience.

What about the 10,000-hour rule in performance to be a professional? What about the expectation of the booker, buyer, or audience?. What about the entertainment industry perspective?

In several of my books and my last Las Vegas Lecture notes, I explain what a professional is and is not. Yes, like George referenced, anytime you take money for your performing services the expectation of the person paying you is you are a professional. It doesn't matter if you're "new at this" or "only do it part-time" or "dabble in magic", it doesn't matter the expectation and perception of it is you are a professional. No one thinks I'd like to pay an amateur or "semi-professional" to perform at my wedding, school, resort. or whatever. They are seeking entertainment for their event and trusting the success of the event to their guests to you as a professional. This is also why there is no semi-professional.

The two levels and defining and understanding the differences exist for a reason. There is much more to being a professional than most amateurs ever realize. There is also much more to performing as a professional than they realize as well.

The self-adaptation or their own self-gratification and satisfaction is ridiculous and terribly wrong. As you can see, once this begins, everything based on this go off in a variety of also incorrect directions.
George Ledo
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Quote:
On Dec 14, 2021, Mindpro wrote:
Also, George's "Back when I started out, in the late 60s, there were two terms, generally accepted by all of us at several magic clubs. A professional was someone who did magic for a living. An amateur was a hobbyist.

Then a new term came up... semi-professional (or part-time professional) for those who did paid gigs evenings and weekends."

As he said, this came from magic clubs and the magic community - self-adapted mostly by amateurs and hobbyists wanting to sound important or significant. It's just like when an amateur or hobbyist tries to go toe to toe in discussions here. They think we are all peers. It always results in hideous discussions, one from me-based thoughts and theory, and the other from years or even decades of professional experience.

Well, ummm, actually, a good chunk of our members were working pros. They didn't need to call themselves anything because we all knew who they were and what they did. The hobbyists rarely made an issue of being hobbyists: it was just a description. It was mostly new members, when the conversation came up, that referred to themselves as one or the other.

Of course, this was long before the days when anyone who bought a couple of packet tricks, or could do a couple of things he learned on YouTube, considered himself a magician.

Quote:
No one thinks I'd like to pay an amateur or "semi-professional" to perform at my wedding, school, resort. or whatever. They are seeking entertainment for their event and trusting the success of the event to their guests to you as a professional. This is also why there is no semi-professional.

I posted a little story a few days ago about a shopping center that contacted me many years ago about putting together some acts for an anniversary promotion. The guy's thinking was that getting a few amateurs would help them get exposure for when they became professionals later. IOW, he wanted free acts. I very patiently explained why this wouldn't be a good idea for his promotion, and they caved in. After it was all over, they told me how pleased they were with the acts I booked. I was nineteen at the time.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
www.georgefledo.net

Latest column: "Sorry about the photos in my posts here"
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