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Profile of ignoramus
I am considering persuing a career as a professional magician but already have steady day job. What might a new comer expect to earn in a fairly large city? It might be helpful to break this down into types of work and fees for different types of gig. I hear a private booking is quite expensive. I would try to start at a local magic bar after work. Perhaps this would lead on to greater things.
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Inner circle
Landrum, S.C. by way of Chicago
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Profile of Stanyon
How much do you want to work?

What are you worth?

Two typical questions to ask yourself. Remember, once it becomes your sole source of income it's your job. You are then responsible for your health insurance, liability insurance, retirement...etc.


aka Steve Taylor

"Every move a move!"

"If you've enjoyed my performance half as much as I've enjoyed performing for you, then you've enjoyed it twice as much as me!"
Mary Mowder
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Sacramento / Elk Grove, CA
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Profile of Mary Mowder
If you are really a newcomer to Magic I'd say enjoy the Magic and learn for a while before thinking about going pro.

Just think about your repertoire as you learn (keep it commercial but that's another subject).

-Mary Mowder
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175 Posts

Profile of coolini
I m not pro myself, but I expect that the journey from being a new comer to become professional would take a long time and lots of practice...
it's like when you start learning a music instrument for the first don't think about performing in concerts straight away!!!! instead, you should enjoy the journey my friend, and a magic journey is something to enjoy and remember...
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Profile of dilan_thomas
15,000 to 5 millian a year is the range. You will fall somewhere in there depending upon your skill, stage presence, charisma, business savy, and marketing. Of course it always help to be lucky too.
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Profile of RobertlewisIR
And that low end is only as high as it is if you assume the word "professional" bears certain limitations, of course. I can imagine there are those who fancy themselves professional, but who really are not, making considerably less even than that.


Last night, I dreamed I ate the world's largest marshmallow. When I woke up, the pillow was gone.
Andrew Morse
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Corvallis, OR
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Profile of Andrew Morse
A lot of it comes down to your marketing skills, and how well you sell yourself. Obviously you have to be talented too.
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Profile of DaleTrueman
Copperfield made $98 million one year.... even ten percent of that would be nice Smile
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Profile of stijnhommes
On 2010-01-03 16:26, Mary Mowder wrote:
If you are really a newcomer to Magic I'd say enjoy the Magic and learn for a while before thinking about going pro.
I think he meant a newcomer to the local paid entertainer scene. If Mary is right, then I advise the same. Don't go pro if you are a complete novice to magic. You need to know more than just the effects to earn money with magic.

The basic answer has been given regardless. What you can expect to earn largely depends on what you put in. You earn more if you do more gigs. You earn more if you have a stage show or a close up set people like and even your personality figures into your earnings.

There is no single answer.

For starters:
1) Make sure you can do the best magic in your repertoire in your sleep and now what the ideal situations to perform them are.
2) Find out what the competition is charging. You don't want to undercut them too much, but you don't want to ask much more either.
3) Starting at a local bar is a good idea. If people like your performance, they'll ask if you can do a show for them elsewhere. Make sure you have an act ready (along with business cards).
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Profile of ignoramus
Thanks for the answers everyone - I appreciate this was a tricky question answer.

Perhaps I will get in touch with my local magic bar and ask if they would put me on probation...
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Loyal user
223 Posts

Profile of aitchy
Have a transition phase of 2 years -

cut back to 4 days a week at your/a steady job - take the magic seriously and perform at least five times week, do shows for good causes etc / regular gig at a resturant somewhere-
practice your art and when you are worth £350 for a few hours - then you will get it - not before - and making that jump too soon with harm both yourself and other magicians as it gives Pros a bad name.

Job at a magic bar would be perfect place to hone the pro magic skills. (illusions bristol??) and when your ready in 2 years - go full time with the PR - but don't jump before you know you'll float

good luck
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San Jose, CA
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Profile of mgcpwrs
Wow - the Café should be charging for advice like this.
So good - the range, act choice, business cards ready,
and the big one - transition phase of 2 years !
Priceless Golden advice
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Profile of scaevola
I would throw out there that no one is going to tell you when it is time to be a full time pro. You'll know its time because you will be getting more calls than you know what to do with.
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U.S.A. and Europe
635 Posts

Profile of donrodrigo
How many mouths ate on the 98mill from D.C.

Anyway I think our friend may be asking were to start for prices.
There are many books out there from Mayne to Ammar.

Let's not quote money,but mabye you should talk to some agencies near your home base if any and get some feed back. Rather than gypsse yorself around.
Naturally it dipends on your experience.
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