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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » What made you decide to go pro? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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pbg739
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Veteran user
San Jose, Ca
340 Posts

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Hey folks,

I have been hitting the walls in various careers and realized that being a full time pro is what I am desitned to do. At what point did you face the fear of lack of "real job" to pay the bills, and what kept you going when you were starting out?
MagicB1S
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Inner circle
Knoxville Tenn.
1039 Posts

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Are you getting the call volume now to support your business as a full time career? if you answered yes to this question then it is time to go pro...

I don't think you should look at it as "Lack of Real Job" If you have been performing for some time then you should already realize that it is a full time job to perform. There is a lot of behind the seen work that goes into a full time show. Paper work, Booking Shows, Phone call after phone call to answer, sending out press Kits, Promotional Materials. Keeping your act fresh and Props clean.
If you think that all you are going to do all day is go perform a show and then go home and wait on the couch for the next gig then you are wrong... ( I am not saying this is the way you feel) I am just saying there is a lot of work involved in this business to keep your business strong. You need to set some goals make a business plan and stick to it. The money coming in should be enough to support you before leaving your 9-5 job and going Pro
Just my 2 cents
"There are Tricks To All Trades.... My Trade is all Tricks"

"An amature practices until he gets it right. A Professional Practices until he can't get it wrong"

www.Themagicchest.webs.com
bobswislosky@yahoo.com
Ken Northridge
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Atlantic City, NJ
2256 Posts

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I’ve heard it said, and I truly believe, that you will be most successful doing what you truly enjoy. In other words, if you truly enjoy performing you cannot help but to be successful at it.

Magic B1S is right about the business side. In fact, Mark Wilson once told me that he spent 80% of his time on the business part of Show Business. I have found that percentage to be about right for me as well.

Quote:
On 2009-12-27 06:08, pbg739 wrote:
At what point did you face the fear of lack of "real job" to pay the bills, and what kept you going when you were starting out?


Obviously, there is always risk in running you own business, but remember this: you can always pick up a part time job from time to time if you have to. Sometimes you need to take a step back to take two steps forward. The road to success often has many curves and detours.
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
www.KenNorthridge.com
MichaelKent
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559 Posts

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I waited until my income from magic was earning 30% more than my income from being a marketing director. At that point, I was able to make the change and still be able to be responsible in regards to health insurance, 401k, etc.
TonyB2009
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When my magic income passed out my journalism income I jumped ship.
tacrowl
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Maryland
1633 Posts

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The income level is a good measure, but I did things a bit different.

About six months before I quit my job, I was in the hospital with a suspected heart attack. (I was 21 at the time.) As I laid in the hospital bed listening to all the monitors I realized I hadn't tried the one thing I wanted to do - make a living as a performer. When I got a clean bill of health, I saved up enough to last me six months - then I quit. That was 1984 and I haven't looked back.
Tom Crowl - Comedy Ventriloquist

ComedyVentriloquist.com

Learn-Ventriloquism.com

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Joe S.
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Los Angeles, CA
224 Posts

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I met magicians like Lou Serrano, Jon Armstrong, John George, and others who were able to do it. Some were just making ends meet, and others were making six figures. I wanted to join in!

I saved up, bought some magic courses on marketing, and did it. While I'm certainly grateful for the knowledge I gained in Advertising and Sales... I've never looked back.
Joe Skilton
Scott Burton
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1131 Posts

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I quit my "real" job with little idea on how it would work and no real plan created until after the decision was made. It's funny how the necessity of making things work provides massive amounts of motivation to do just that - make it work! My wife was off work on maternity leave with our first child at the time. Sounds risky but I had contingency plans in place. I simply no longer wanted to work for someone else to such a degree that it was no longer an option. Trust me on this: I am extremely happy in that my "job" is a sincere pleasure every day. I often say that I am "retired" as I no longer "work" and get to do whatever I want to do every single day (luckily that "thing" makes us good money). There is no way that I would consider any other option. Of course, this is the perfect choice for me but you must decide that for yourself.
Father Photius
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El Paso, TX (Formerly Amarillo)
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Starvation was my incentive. I needed money to live and go to school, I didn't have any. Jobs were few and what was around paid barely enough to live, let alone pay for school. I was fortunate that I already was a magician. A couple of experienced School show pros who knew me and my situation convinced me that I had what it took to do school shows and taught me the ropes of the profession as far as the booking, and business end went, and I went into it. It did its job. I never wanted to be a full time pro, and once I had achieved enough education to not have to be a full time pro, I left it. I love magic, hate the business of showbusiness.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
RebelEntertainer
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John Abrams
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Before making my living performing, I had my own business. When I decided to go full time, I did it very methodically. Every month I would look at how much I made in my magic business, then I would "politely dismiss" that much in clientele from my old business. It took about 6 months. I've been blessed to be able increase my income every year since (including this year in this down economy). The key is to have a good show (and eventually multiple good shows) and GREAT marketing. Constant education. And a plan.

Good luck. You'll do great. We're all rootin' for ya!
TheDean
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Reno, Nevada
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Ahhhhh, NICE!

Such wisdom in the house! Thank YOU all for your genuine candor!

I'm with most of the guys as well... I encourage all my coaching relationships to have at-least 6 month of real living expenses saved up (usually MORE… like 1 year) and to have 1 and a half times replacement salary for all the reasons mentioned. (and plenty of 'education' and a REAL BUSINESS ahead of them, of course!)

Do they all wait?
Nope.

Do all that adhere to this rule make it?

So Far!

Remember;
“The KEY to success lies in the simple fact that “Successful People” are willing to do the things that ‘un-successful people’ are un-willing to do regardless of how they FEEL …they just DO IT (the RIGHT thing) Anyway!”

REMEMBER,
Your best days are ahead!

Let me know what I can do to support, encourage, assist you and your success!

I am at your service and in HIS Service,
Deano (Helping You Succeed) in Reno
<><
Dean Hankey, *M.D. - The Dean of Success Solutions!
Serving & Supporting YOU and Your Success!
"Book More Shows... Make More Money... SERVE MORE PEOPLE! - Not Necessarily In That Order…"

(*Marketing Doctor) Smile
JamesinLA
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Los Angeles
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I had started working part time as a weekend warrior mostly. Then I lost my teaching position and that is what made me a "full time" so to speak "pro." My business has grown %25 for each of the last 3 years.

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
Joe S.
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Los Angeles, CA
224 Posts

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Jim does a great birthday show!
Joe Skilton
Don
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198 Posts

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I just jumped in cold turkey,knowing that I could do it. I had no money saved up and not so great credit. I had not done a show in about 8 years. I quit my job also. Because I had not done a show in a while I was really rusty and about 3 years behind since I had NO clients and started from stratch.

Each year since 2004 I had increases until 2008 during the recession. When I had extra money I would buy equipment heck even the 1st year I bought a computer.I knew that I could put the money away but I decided to buy equipment and take the risk. Thinking it would pay off in the long run(equipment purchases). Over the years I developed customers that used me over and over.

I did not even have a web site and in 2006 I did over 100 jobs. Just got the website in 2008. Many customers have gone out of business now or cutback. I have just began to go into other markets. Had I not been rusty I probably would have gone into the other markets earlier and would have been further along. I had to develop my act and create other material as well (it was a ongoing process).

Any way now when my business and economy improves I will began to saves and tackle other financial goals. I have also just got a agent/manager to work with me.

It is a lot of work and not easy but it can be done.

Don
lou serrano
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Los Angeles, CA
670 Posts

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I performed magic on a part-time basis for three years. I had a regular day job where I worked an average of 50 hrs. per week.

My goal was to buy my first home. Two weeks after I bought my home, I quit my job. Everyone thought I was crazy, since that is when most people want to make sure they keep their job.

I figured if I was going to perform magic as a full-time professional, this was as good a time as any. Having a mortgage to pay as a first time home buyer forced me to do everything I possibly could to succeed. That was thirteen and a half years ago, and I've never looked back.

Lou Serrano
Dannydoyle
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Eternal Order
20185 Posts

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I think that if you take a job running a small business, (which if done right that is exactly what you're looking to do) then it wold be a pretty good idea to have a nodding aquaintance with the process.

Magicians in general think they are experts in various businesses simply because they can do a couple of tricks. Oh some come in and claim they are "promotions experts" when they are no such thing. But all of the literature leads them to believe they are!

What I am saying is (I am assuming your show is good enough to do it by the way) that if it was me I would learn how to run a small business. Can't hurt! Learn some of the pitfalls others have fallen into. Learn all those things that magicians in general like to bite arround the edges at. Learn about sales, because that is going to be the largest part of your job. Learn about budgets, and saving for slow times.

You would never start a small business of any other sort without this knowlege, this venture should be no different. After all you want to give yourself the absolute best chance to succede right?

You can do it, I am just saying make it as easy as possible to do is all.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
trickychaz
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West Virginia
549 Posts

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Quote:


Remember;
“The KEY to success lies in the simple fact that “Successful People” are willing to do the things that ‘un-successful people’ are un-willing to do regardless of how they FEEL …they just DO IT (the RIGHT thing) Anyway!”

REMEMBER,
Your best days are ahead!

Let me know what I can do to support, encourage, assist you and your success!

I am at your service and in HIS Service,
Deano (Helping You Succeed) in Reno
<><


The pressure of not having money and no side job should motivate you to get busy and make money.

I am with these guys when they say to have capitol and money saved for living expenses...I didn't! Am I making it? Yes...barely..you bet! I didn't have a choice..I was laid off and eventualy the company that I worked for closed their doors completely. Unemployment ran up in 6 months and I was left in the dark....what to do? I had some money laying around and invested in the following

1.David Farr's System/Monthly AutoResponder
2.Gigmasters
3.Gigsalad
4.Eric Paul "children's entertainer course"
5.Parent Magazine Ad
6.Network WV (buisness card on TV)
7.Godaddy Linux Hosting Plan
8.Michael Messings Jumbo Dollars and printing cost

Total Investment $ 702.00

The Freebies "Basic Online SEO" is what pulled the results, and paid my bills for December. I am including a chapter in my ebook "start with fart" about Basic SEO techniques. I will also be starting a blog in the next few days with the info posted.

There are plenty of inexpensive techniques to use; flyers, basic seo, work with charity organization, ongoing gig(restaurant), cold calling, free samples, cross marketing, handing out cards
Paddy
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Inner circle
Milford OH
1571 Posts

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I was a Math and Psychology major working as a mechanical designer, as my degrees were not in "Engineering" I could not be a registered engineer. Well I started to lose jobs when I was 50 yrs old and was being replaced by wet nosed little kids right out of college.

Well I took jobs in grocery stores and tried to be a house painter but discovered that magic brought me happines and when I am happy I make a lot more money. Been full time for 15 yrs now and loving it! BTW Jim Snack's course was the finest investment I ever made it has helped me be successful.

Paddy
Non Impediti Ratione Cogitationis

I reject your reality & substitute my own

http://www.Scho-Lan.com
JamesinLA
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Los Angeles
3400 Posts

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Thanks, Joe.

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
Steve_Mollett
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Eh, so I've made
3010 Posts

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With me it has been a game of tag.
I was a full-time-pro for two brief periods:
Two years as a 19-21 yr old nightclub act;
One year, recently, busking and doing a few private gigs to pay the bills during a previous recession.

Beyond that, I've made a comfy living as a full-time tech writer, performing part time and writing on escapology.

With my age (52) and the weird, uneasy trends in the job market, I am working a plan of easing back into full-time performing.

I fumbled through the business end as a college-age kid. This time around I'm getting better educated in service business essentials and entertainment marketing.
Author of: GARROTE ESCAPES
The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.
- Albert Camus
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