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Profile of Impressive_Alexander
Hey everyone, This is more of a motivational boost than anything but my question is to those who are currently making their living from table hopping or party strolling. Being a magician is more or less a "dream" job, so how do you feel that you don't have a 9-5? Do you work less than 40 hrs a week and make just as much than whatever you were making before? Do you see this as "work"? How long did it take to quit your full time job to pursue this? Is your lifestyle closer to a paycheck to paycheck "always looking for the next gig" kinda life or one that covers your living expenses and you have so much more free time to pursue whatever you want and thus are more happy and complete individual?

These are just questions to kinda guide, I am not looking for a yes/no to everyone I just want to hear your story and thoughts and any advice you have to share. Thanks so much.
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Eternal Order
20184 Posts

Profile of Dannydoyle
There is no 40 hour work week. It is a business and once it is the only real way you can eat it takes on a different tone. How much you make depends entirety on how much you put into it and often what sacrifices you are willing to make in order for the dream job to turn into reality and not a nightmare.

If you plan on working it as your only source of income it is definitely the hard way to make an easy living.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Keith Raygor
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Naples, FL
969 Posts

Profile of Keith Raygor
This has been my full-time living for about 23 years. I spend more time than most would think, working to arrange bookings. The few hours spent performing are equally as important as the time spent getting the show(s) booked, or in front of people. The office/phone/computer/marketing work is more time-consuming and necessary than one imagines when they're first starting off, but its worth it. Here's the bottom line: I've spent time working for other people in large and small corporations. Doing all this work for myself beats that any day.

So, it may be 40 hours a week still, but its 40 hours done my way, in my time, with my priorities. It's a pretty comfortable way to work. To answer your question "Do you see this as "work"?, yes, it is at times, but I still wouldn't do anything else.

When I first started out, it was more paycheck to paycheck, but that's normal for everyone. Then it gets better. And if you have any sense of self-preservation, you'll figure out how to start putting some of it aside for emergencies, vacations, kids and retirement, or your own list of cool stuff.
Christopher Lyle
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Inner circle
Dallas, Texas
5698 Posts

Profile of Christopher Lyle
Danny is correct! It's a hard way to make an easy living...

I am a full timer performer. My wife has a full time job (what many call a "real" job) and my real job is being an entertainer. My wife and I argue about this very subject from time to time, b/c for me, I'm NEVER off the clock it seems (her words) and that bugs her.

Not trying to sound like I'm bragging, here but it's relevant to your topic of discussion. I perform in restaurants every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday Evenings. Two of the four nights, I'm doing magic and the other two I'm doing balloon art. Along with that, add approximately 5-10 strolling magic gigs per month, plus another 10-15 birthday parties per month, plus I perform at The Improv Clubs here in town once a month, etc., etc., etc.

That's just the performing...

Then there's the business side of "show business" that I have to keep up with. Billing, invoices, contracts, etc. etc., etc. On top of that, I'm stuck wasting my time at least a couple hours a week taking calls from rate shoppers looking for the cheapest rate or people who think it would be great for me to donate my time for their organization.

There are times I wonder if a normal job would be better...then I smack myself in the head with a hammer and realize how lucky I have it.
In Mystery,

Christopher Lyle
Magician, Comic, Daredevil, and Balloon Twisting Genius
For a Good Time...CLICK HERE!
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Profile of Impressive_Alexander
Awesome advice guys. I'm really getting the impression that this is more like a small business. I actually have experience here, I owed a hookah lounge that closed this year. And man, I have so much more respect for business owners. So I will definitely take my learned lessons thru with me into my new venture : )

Christopher, That is a mad decent set up you got. That many shows a month is fantastic and quite inspiring. Congrats on your success, all you guys : ) I can't wait to get to work to becoming like you guys.
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361 Posts

Profile of Countage
After being in business for almost 20 years. I believe the most guarded secrets of a self employed professional entertainer is not the methods of his tricks but his process in obtaining business. I agree with Mr. Lyle that you are always on the clock. You are either busy or your not. You have to stay busy to be busy You know you are successful when working on your schedule starts with what days you are blocking off for you your family and yourself.
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Profile of mathmagic
I am not a full time performer, I am at college and I am starting professional too.
But most of the magicians I heard, said they kept both jobs, so when magic came bigger to their 'real' job, they went full time.
I hope you understand Smile
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