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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » Best way to get started as a pro? (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Oscar.Abraham
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Mexico
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Ey guys,

I'm not really new to magic, I've been performing as an amateur for 10 years now, with playing cards and few other props -- no coins, sadly, but eventually I will. So after all the money and time invested in magic, I've decided to get myself started as a professional magician, but I'm feeling nervous about it. Fortunately, I am acquainted with many professional magicians who have given me their advise; many of them would agree that the best way to start, due to having so few props in my repertoire, would be in restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and smaller places where I can table hop. I thought that was good advise. What do you guys think?
Regards,

Oscar
Kyoki_Sanitys_Eclipse
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This may be a better question for the business forum
Churken2
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Read The Approach by Jamie Grant. It is a great book and outlines the steps to help you get where you are looking to go.
Churken2
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Another great book that you should check out is Close-Up by David Stone.
rhone
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The best way to become a pro is to work for real audience , who pay (directly or indirectly) and wait quality entertainment. the restaurants are a great way to learn timing your act, communicate with people (with alcool and more..), and find many solution at problem you don't think when you're just train or do magic for friends. At the beginning find one -slow - place , where you really could be bad, and one more full of people , with more tables. You 'll progress in no time , because it's easy to understood that if you're not good enough , they ' not pay you or keep you.
The David Stone 's book it's very good beginning, in fact you can check his two dvd (real secret of magic1&2) pack with great materials. i'had seen David work s with this and it's killed people.
The complete guide restaurant from kirk Charles is still full of good advice , as Ammar 's book (chapter on restaurant , social magic..).
And remember it's not only magic that you'll sell to the owner of the restaurant (he don't care) but the value of a good entertainment , the possibility for people waiting (to get a table -remenber your choice N.2 full of people) their food, the ceo looking a place for their events...etc
peppermeat2000
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Marry a woman who has a stable job...that has good insurance and a retirement plan.
peppermeat2000
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OOPS...I should have said marry a PERSON...
Dannydoyle
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While that was a joke, and funny, I will sati that often I have seen guaranteed income from other sources a detriment to the process. Hunger is a wonderful motivator. Often you look right past what might be valuable lessons simply because you are complacent and no not need the money.

Committing to the process can help.

I'm not saying it is THE way, but it is one way.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Senor Fabuloso
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Don't quit your day job. The stress of trying to pay bills with a performing art is overwhelming and could lead to starvation. So how then to make the move to pro? GRADUALLY! Supplement your income by performing on the street aka busking. The beauty of this approach is your can try any and all of your material without worry that your employer won't like it. You will get instant feedback from your crowds about it working or not. Be sure you have plenty of business cards to give to those wanting to hire you for house or office parties. Walkaround magic is essentially the same as street magic as you perform a few tricks at a time for small groups of people. Once you know you can perform and have the chops to make money while having learned key skills like audience management and blocking you might want to try putting together a timed show for a cabaret bar or restaurant. You can still do your walkaround stuff in these venues but you can also develop a small stage show if the venue has a performance area.

That what I've done. I hope it helps get you started and on your way to Vegas and Monte Carlo.
To hate those who hate is righteous.
WitchDocChris
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My own opinion is that one should keep a day job until it is financially viable to switch to performing full time.

Hunger is a huge motivating force, yes. However, in my opinion this often leads to generic, mediocre performances. That is because if someone is making all their income from performing, they absolutely must be performing as often as possible. Which means they cannot turn down a gig. Which means their material must work for any gig/they have to have material for any gig. If the material must work for any gig, it has to work for any audience - which means it's generic/interchangeable material. Hack lines and over done trick-of-the-week stuff.

By keeping a day job one has the security to experiment and explore styles and character and presentations. They can hone their performances to be the best possible they can present, and develop the character to the appropriate degree. Then, when they're solid on that stuff they can shift over to more performing-centric living. This also gives more time to develop the business and financial skills that surprise most of the people I know who try to do this.

There is a danger of being stuck in comfort, of course, and never shifting all the way to performing full time - but if that happens I have to wonder if that's not the better outcome? If one isn't self-motivated enough to get to a position where they can comfortably shift from a day job to a performance income, there's a good chance one won't succeed as a performer full time.
Christopher
Witch Doctor

Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
Dannydoyle
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OK in 10 years I was simply working from the perspective that he had the skills necessary and didn't start from beginner.

It seems that magicians plan for failure. Therefore quite often this is exactly what is found. I mean I have never heard an accountant say something like "well if this accounting thing doesn't work out I can..."

OF COURSE performance as a lifestyle is tough. That is why not many do it. But if you are not committed to it then it is even tougher. And Chris one thing you have to learn eventually is that if you are being paid and want to live that way you end up taking the gigs to get it done. Period. There is the "art" and then there is survival. Not many get to the point where they can actually not care what people think.

Without taking those jobs and being able to do the job in ANY circumstance odds are against becoming a full time performer.

Commitment to the process is important, not involvement. For example at breakfast this morning I had bacon and eggs. The chicken was involved. The pig was committed.

It also depends on what type of performance you want to do in the end. What are your long term goals? The answer to that question will greatly affect how you should go about things in the beginning.

First thing I would recommend though is learning how to run a small business BEFORE you try to jump in and run a small business.

The other thing I recommend is to adapt your lifestyle to the amount of money you make as a working performer. Cut down on spending until you spend only what you make from performance. Don't go the other way and try to make what you spend. That is bad business. Spend what you make. This is business 101. If you chase it the other way you spend forever chasing it.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Dannydoyle
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Keep in mind this is only an opinion.

Personally I think being a part time pro is the way to go.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
WitchDocChris
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Quote:
On Aug 10, 2018, Dannydoyle wrote:

Personally I think being a part time pro is the way to go.


I certainly agree with this. Which also ties into multiple streams of income.

Having spent significant portions of my life wondering how I will pay rent and eat in the same month, I am perhaps a bit more gun shy when it comes to throwing oneself into an uncertain financial future. I have also seen many people try to do this and fail, only to end up back at a day job that is worse than the one they were trying to escape. While it's certainly not as romantic to take the cautious route, and it can take much longer to get to the end goal, it is safer financially.

Personally I always assume anyone who is asking questions about becoming a professional performer probably hasn't gotten the education in regards to running the business side of it. If they had that education, they wouldn't need to ask the questions.

I also think those who have jumped in with both feet are (in significant part) responsible for the glut of terrible magic products on the market - they are "creating" and publishing tricks and products as a means to pay bills, not necessarily because the product is any good or that it solves any real need that the market has. If those same people had a solid day job perhaps they would not be so inclined to pump out products that add nothing of real value to the magic world.

Who knows? Maybe I'm just a grouch.
Christopher
Witch Doctor

Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
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