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Topic: How much money?
Message: Posted by: cafeinst (Mar 8, 2011 03:50PM)
What are salary ranges for professional magicians?
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Mar 8, 2011 05:30PM)
How much you got? :devilish:
Message: Posted by: Wes65 (Mar 8, 2011 07:23PM)
Any where from very little for a part time magician to tons for the few who make it big.
Message: Posted by: davidpaul$ (Mar 8, 2011 07:46PM)
Six figures...if you have something to sell (you) as well as good marketing skills..
http://louserranomarketing.com/
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Mar 8, 2011 09:29PM)
Six figures doesn't really sound unobtainable for an ambitious, motivated and skilled performer.
Message: Posted by: Father Photius (Mar 8, 2011 09:33PM)
[quote]
On 2011-03-08 22:29, gaddy wrote:
Six figures doesn't really sound unobtainable for an ambitious, motivated and skilled performer.
[/quote]

Who has real talent, real showmanship, a lot of business savvy, and a huge ton of luck. Otherwise like the actors in equity in New York, 90% of them make under 5,000 a year, and of the 10% who make more than that, 90% make their money in commercials.

Don't do magic for the money, if you do, you will never get the money. Do magic because you love magic, then you might actually make a few bob.
Message: Posted by: Steven Leung (Mar 8, 2011 10:28PM)
[quote]
On 2011-03-08 22:33, Father Photius wrote:
[quote]
On 2011-03-08 22:29, gaddy wrote:
Six figures doesn't really sound unobtainable for an ambitious, motivated and skilled performer.
[/quote]
Who has real talent, real showmanship, a lot of business savvy, and a huge ton of luck. Otherwise like the actors in equity in New York, 90% of them make under 5,000 a year, and of the 10% who make more than that, 90% make their money in commercials.

Don't do magic for the money, if you do, you will never get the money. Do magic because you love magic, then you might actually make a few bob.
[/quote]
That is one of the best reply I ever saw in the green machine over all these years!
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Mar 8, 2011 11:05PM)
I mean no disrespect when I say that It [i]doesn't[/i] take a huge ton of luck to make good money doing magic...

We should be very careful before attempting to define why someone should, or should not, do magic -if someone want to do magic specifically to make cold, hard, cash... Then they are feel free to make the attempt.

One of the great things about magic is that it's big enough to encompass everyone -from birthday clowns to David Copperfield, from the Masked Magician to back-room card sharps, and there's really nothing anyone can say about it.
Message: Posted by: Johnny Butterfield (Mar 9, 2011 12:18AM)
[quote]
On 2011-03-08 22:29, gaddy wrote:
Six figures doesn't really sound unobtainable for an ambitious, motivated and skilled performer.
[/quote]
Do those six figures include cents?
Message: Posted by: Bob1Dog (Mar 9, 2011 01:30AM)
Folks,

Not sure what Caféinst is looking for, except that he/she may be thinking of performing for a living. The responses to this point seem fair and reasonable. But the questions I have are, how old are you and what is your peformance level? What is your goal? Not that age has a difference but business acumen does, and that usually come with experience.

So far, I haven't been paid a single dime for my magic shows. Not sure I want to earn money at it simply because of the the important business decisions involved, ie., insurance, taxes, travel, expenses, schedules, and you name it. OK, so I've only done about a dozen shows, and I'm retired and don't do it for income. And I only started with this a year ago after many years of magic as a hobby. And I'll never be good enough to make a living at it. But do I have fun? Yup! Do I make folks happy? Yup. Do I have goals? Yup, to learn cups and balls and linking rings this year so I can bring more smiles and applause. The folks I perform for will eventually figure out how much I'm worth by asking me to do another show for them. And that friends, is the key to the answering of the question asked: How much are you worth? Not how much you can earn, but how much are YOU worth?
Message: Posted by: scottds80 (Mar 9, 2011 06:07AM)
If you are looking to make a living out of Magic, I suggest getting the Jim Snack Ebook. He is a member of these forums, you will see him lurking in the "Tricky Business" section.

If you are a beginner then you should be starting out doing shows for free for friends & family, then with confidence for charity shows (churches, nursing homes, etc).

With experience, you might want to start charging for your time. $50 - $100 to start with. Then with more confidence you could continue putting your charge up to $150, then $200. Add in travel expenses.

Generally speaking, if you are charging much more than $200 then you are up with the professionals. They are most often between $200 - $1000.

Then for the stars in the business, you are talking many thousands per show. It really depends on what level of expertise you are in the field.

I am currently charging $200 - $250 and been in it casually for 6 years. It's a part time professional gig for me. During the peak season I am doing 2 or 3 shows a week and it is a great extra source of income on top of my main job as a tradesman. And the main benefit for me is like Bob1Dog - the enjoyment of it!
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Mar 9, 2011 08:42AM)
"Salary"?? Most magicians I know of aren't on salary - they rarely even get paid an hourly wage.

We generally get paid by the job. And when that job's over, you're unemployed again.

Try using the Google-based http://www.searchthemagiccafe.com and look for "how much to charge". It's been discussed all over the place.

Ed
Message: Posted by: solrak29 (Mar 9, 2011 11:59AM)
[quote]
On 2011-03-08 16:50, Caféinst wrote:
What are salary ranges for professional magicians?
[/quote]
I am sure you can find this information in many statistical books and/or websites to get a general feel on what the "reported" average. The information already posted above is pretty good too.

Just from a general look you can see that the range is simple to see:

0 to Millions(think Copperfield, Angel, Blaine).
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Mar 9, 2011 12:14PM)
[i]"You're only as good as your last show"[/i] -anon
Message: Posted by: Leland (Mar 9, 2011 04:29PM)
To answer your question, it is possible to make a living at it. It just depends if you want to live good or not. Work harder and smater you'll make more $$. That's what I hear, anyways.
Message: Posted by: DWRackley (Mar 9, 2011 09:03PM)
[quote]
On 2011-03-09 17:29, Leland wrote:
...it is possible to make a living at it. It just depends if you want to live good or not...
[/quote]
ROFL! Excellent response!

Many years ago a wise old pro told me, "If you're not worth $100 dollars, then you're not worth $25!" Adjust for inflation from 1975 and you have a ball park.

Like anything else, you’re worth what the market says you’re worth. You might need to look at other markets (locales) if your home turf won’t support you. How you present yourself is also a modifier. Past clients and referrals also help. In other words (and pretty much as has already been stated), it depends; $0 to $Millions.
Message: Posted by: David Thiel (Mar 10, 2011 09:56AM)
I think you may be looking for concrete suggestions?

You're getting general answers because you haven't given us anything to go on. Do you do children's shows? Adult? Walkabout? Stage? Mentalism? Comedy magic? Where are you located? Maybe you might want to do some research with local performers doing what you'd like to do.

David
Message: Posted by: R.S. (Mar 10, 2011 05:45PM)
You can greatly increase the value of your cash by using a TT.

Ron
:)
Message: Posted by: scottds80 (Mar 11, 2011 08:16AM)
You can greatly increase the value of your show by pickpocketing
Message: Posted by: cafeinst (Mar 11, 2011 10:48AM)
I'm an amateur magician. I did shows for money as a teenager, $30 a show in the 1980s, but now I don't have time, because I have a fulltime government desk job and a wife and small children. I was just curious if I could make more as a professional magician than what I do now.
Message: Posted by: HerbLarry (Mar 11, 2011 11:47AM)
Without knowing how much you make now I would go out on a limb and say you could make more performing. Then again you could hit the lottery as well. Could, don't you just love that word?
Message: Posted by: DWRackley (Mar 11, 2011 12:41PM)
I’d encourage anyone to work for themselves if they can possibly swing it. (That includes non-magical professions!) But transferring over from punching a time clock to self-employment should be done cautiously and as methodically as anything you’ve ever attempted. If you just quit (done that) to jump onto something else, you might be surprised if your landing isn’t exactly what you anticipated.

Generally, the best way to go is to start your new business in your spare time. It will be very time consuming, because you are essentially working two jobs now. Gradually (hopefully) your new business will grow to match your old job (or at least bring in an acceptably livable income). At this point you can turn in your resignation, and proclaim yourself a Pro.

Good Luck!
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Mar 11, 2011 02:28PM)
[quote]
On 2011-03-11 11:48, Caféinst wrote:
I'm an amateur magician. I did shows for money as a teenager, $30 a show in the 1980s, but now I don't have time, because I have a fulltime government desk job and a wife and small children. I was just curious if I could make more as a professional magician than what I do now.
[/quote]Find the issue of MAGIC magazine with Kozmo on the cover and read his feature article. He had a nice engineering job, but left it to pursue magic full time. A very inspirational story.

I don't understand why so many people here are implying that success in magic is unlikely, or takes some sort of supernatural luck. You really do get out of it [i]exactly[/i] what you put into it, and I think financial success in magic is MUCH more likely than in comparable performance arts such as acting, music or dance.

Sure, having a steady paycheck is nice, but that steady paycheck is also the very thing that is preventing you from getting out there and pursuing your own destiny and your own goals in magic.

If you want to do magic for a living, create a solid business plan, hone your chops razor sharp... AND DO IT!

I wish you all the best and all success!

Posted: Mar 11, 2011 4:18pm
http://www.census.gov/econ/census02/data/industry/E711510.HTM

This is the employment abstract for independent artists (magicians are included in this breakdown). The numbers, in aggregate, are not bad...

Your mileage may vary...
Message: Posted by: Octarine Prince (Mar 11, 2011 05:25PM)
[quote]
On 2011-03-09 22:03, DWRackley wrote:


Many years ago a wise old pro told me, "If you're not worth $100 dollars, then you're not worth $25!" Adjust for inflation from 1975 and you have a ball park.
[/quote]
Using inflation calculator on aier.org:

$100 in 1975 is $409.29 in 2011.

(You can round down a little. ;-) )
Message: Posted by: DWRackley (Mar 11, 2011 05:56PM)
[quote]
On 2011-03-11 18:25, Octarine Prince wrote:
[quote]
On 2011-03-09 22:03, DWRackley wrote:


Many years ago a wise old pro told me, "If you're not worth $100 dollars, then you're not worth $25!" Adjust for inflation from 1975 and you have a ball park.



[/quote]

Using inflation calculator on aier.org:

$100 in 1975 is $409.29 in 2011.

(You can round down a little. ;-) )
[/quote]

Ok, so it's a [b]B I G[/b] Ball Park! :lol:
Message: Posted by: 55Hudson (Mar 11, 2011 06:09PM)
Of the half dozen or so full time pros that I know, every one of them stared part time and were able to build the business enough to quit their day job and go full time. Starting your own business is a high risk move. Most new businesses fail within a couple years. The neat thing about magic is that is is relatively easy to start on the side and build without risking your livelihood.

If you are worried about the time away from wife and kids, then starting a new business may not be for you. If you expect success, you will need to practice, hustle, travel, and work much harder than you are probably doing today.

On the other hand, magic is one field where you can make very good extra income ... Getting a standing Weekly gig with one or two restaurants could be a nice fund for kids college tuition or paydiwn on your home mortgage.

Hudson
Message: Posted by: Cyberqat (Mar 19, 2011 06:05PM)
There is an old saying in the film business.

"There are no waiters, bus-boys or taxi-cab drivers in Los Angeles. Just aspiring actors."

In ANY performing art, you have to be driven, focused and talented just to make a bad living at it. The vast majority of people make their living other ways as they struggle to 'make it' in the business. To make a good living, you have to be VERY talented, VERY driven and somewhat lucky.

To be David Copperfield and own your own island, wel, you have to be the ONE David Copperfield of your entire generation.

Performing art is a pyramid. There is room for one at the top, a few one level down, some moire at the next level... and beyond that are the majority of people struggling to make it higher up the pyramid some day.

As the good father said. If you want to do something to make good money, be a lawyer.

If you love performing and are willing to starve for your art and/or do something else to put food on the table. Then be a magician. or actor. or musician. or anything else of this sort...
[quote]
On 2011-03-11 16:18, gaddy wrote:
http://www.census.gov/econ/census02/data/industry/E711510.HTM

This is the employment abstract for independent artists (magicians are included in this breakdown). The numbers, in aggregate, are not bad...

Your mileage may vary...
[/quote]
Not to nit-pick but...

"Data based on 2002 Nonemployer Statistics. Table includes only firms subject to federal income tax. "

Which means that it only accounts for people declaring entertainment as their business on a tax return.

I have a feeling that the vast majority of those performing are not included.

[quote]
On 2011-03-08 16:50, Caféinst wrote:
What are salary ranges for professional magicians?
[/quote]
I just re-read this and realized I missed the most important thing.

Salary??? Ar you *kidding*?

A lucky few get contracts at places like amusement parks for a season. Most are paid per performance..

NOONE gets a salary in the performing arts.
Message: Posted by: solrak29 (Mar 19, 2011 08:18PM)
[quote]
On 2011-03-11 11:48, Caféinst wrote:
I'm an amateur magician. I did shows for money as a teenager, $30 a show in the 1980s, but now I don't have time, because I have a fulltime government desk job and a wife and small children. I was just curious if I could make more as a professional magician than what I do now.
[/quote]

Depends on a lot of things here besides whats already been mentioned.

For me I would consider the following (in no particular order):

[list]
[*] How much you make at your government desk job.
[*] What the demographics look like for you target market.
[*] You level of passion you have for the magic you want to do.
[*] The venue of magic you thinking of pursuing.
[*] If you wife and family will tolerate it (if that matters to you).
[/list]

Think about this also; a lot of us have our day jobs, wife, and family
and make time for magic at a business level. So saying you [b]don't[/b]
have time should be something that you should consider.

I think in the end the answer is yes, that you can potentially make more
and you can potentially make less. As with any entrepreneurial venture,
it well lay on your head on how far you will or can make it.
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Mar 19, 2011 09:07PM)
[quote]
On 2011-03-19 21:18, solrak29 wrote:

Think about this also; a lot of us have our day jobs, wife, and family
and make time for magic at a business level. So saying you [b]don't[/b]
have time should be something that you should consider
[/quote] BINGO!!! Attitude and ambition are PARAMOUNT!
Message: Posted by: Cyberqat (Mar 19, 2011 09:29PM)
What you won't ever have is the reliability of income of a desk job.

If you want to try quitting your job and striking out self-employed, then the first thing I would recommend you do is save up a minimum of 6 months living expenses. the SECOND thing I'd suggest you do is try to make it last 12.

Does your wife work? Can she support the family while you are trying to get gigs? Is she willing to? For how long?
That would make a big difference.

Ask yourself why you took a government desk job in the first place. People usually take government desk jobs because they are reliable income, and you get to retire after 20 years. I can't think of anything more OPPOSITE a government desk job then being self-employed, where you are constantly having to sell yourself just to get the next check.
Message: Posted by: sleightlysilas (Mar 20, 2011 04:34AM)
I'll try to pitch in with something concrete without compromising confidentiality clauses. I am under contract as a performer in a resort where I'm from. Monthly would net me 2-2.5k a month, varies as working on peak periods and on public holidays gives you more. A smart thing to do would be to have an agreement that allows you to perform outside independently. Charging about 500 an hour, 3-5 gigs a month, you could do the math.

Hardly 6 figures, but it's a comfortable living.

Aside from the contract hours, marketing for my own gigs, organizing my own shows, that takes a lot of my time. Be ready to work a full week, and odd hours.

I guess as with magic, it's the same formula. Time + Effort = Money. Adding in Luck will just = More Money, but as far as I've seen, not really all that much.

Hope that helps
Message: Posted by: Cyberqat (Mar 20, 2011 02:21PM)
I agree that hard work and perseverance is key to any independent business.

Luck comes in if you imagine rising above the level of just making a living to something grander. But even "luck" can be managed. The most "lucky" people in the world are the ones who (a) are working tirelessly to put themselves in situations where that lucky thing might happen and (b) recognize opportunity when it comes and sieze it hard with both hands.

I remember being incensed a hell when a fundamentally lazy friend of my wife's commented on how "luckY" I was that every time I lost a job I got a better one. Luck had little to do with it, that was the result of hard work ALL the time educating myself and building my credentials so I'd have them when I needed them.
Message: Posted by: djurmann (Mar 20, 2011 05:29PM)
A very successful friend of mine who has his own business had this quote...."overnight success takes 10 years"
Message: Posted by: Cyberqat (Mar 20, 2011 07:54PM)
Yup. The "10 year over-night success" is a common story in Hollywood. :)

Just mentioned this in another thread, actually.
Message: Posted by: MagicB1S (Mar 20, 2011 08:44PM)
I have been doing this 25 yrs.... I am still waiting for the next Day.
Message: Posted by: Cyberqat (Mar 20, 2011 10:47PM)
[quote]
On 2011-03-20 21:44, MagicB1S wrote:
I have been doing this 25 yrs.... I am still waiting for the next Day.
[/quote]

Alas, Just because it takes 10 years of hard work to be an "overnight success" doesn't mean that most or even many of those who put those 10 years in get it.

Keep slogging and looking for opportunities under every rock, and maybe someday it'll happen :) And if not, well, the Journey is the reward, right? (I say that having decided myself I wasn't hardy enough for that particular journey and taken a less stepp, if less exciting, path.)
Message: Posted by: DWRackley (Mar 20, 2011 11:22PM)
What a perfect time to remember Samuel Goldwyn, who said "The harder I work, the luckier I get."

'bout sums it up!
Message: Posted by: solrak29 (Mar 21, 2011 10:38AM)
[quote]
On 2011-03-19 22:29, Cyberqat wrote:
People usually take government desk jobs because they are reliable income, and you get to retire after 20 years.
[/quote]

Here is something to consider; as you get older working gigs will get harder and you have to think about; at least,
[b]benefits[/b]. I'm talking at least health care coverage (if you in the US). A government job can leave
you with nice package that will take care of you the rest of your life (at least the gov jobs I know of).
Where striking out on your own, you have to seriously plan and manage this or you can wing it if your the gambling
type :)
Message: Posted by: DWRackley (Mar 21, 2011 12:08PM)
You definitely want to think about the benefits. I know several small business owners who got part time jobs at Wal-mart, just for the insurance. Not so good any more. Individual plans can be VERY expensive…

And retirement is just about out of the question!

[url]http://www.kiplinger.com/infographics/retirement_cost/[/url]
Message: Posted by: David Thiel (Mar 22, 2011 05:29PM)
I am not so sure about all the doom and gloom.

Here's the short answer:

1) You have to have a decent product. If it's a sloppy mess, do yourself a favor and don't even think about it. I didn't say it had to be a FABULOUS product...but it has to be decent.

2) You have to understand that performing full time is WORK! You'll spend five hours on the phone and in meetings for every 30 minute show you get. If you can't market yourself, you will NOT make a living doing this -- unless a really good agent picks you up, which is highly unlikely for someone without a track record.

You CAN make a great living at magic. You can have fun...but if it's not something you want to do right down to your toenails, there are easier faster ways to make a buck. Do research. Design marketing materials...or have them designed. Figure out who you are and what market you're selling to and then go sell to it.

Hope this helps.

David
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Mar 22, 2011 08:39PM)
THANK YOU!

my guess (just a guess) is that most of the nay-sayers here have never even attempted a career in magic.
Message: Posted by: DWRackley (Mar 23, 2011 09:57AM)
I hope I wasn’t sounding like doom and gloom. I haven’t punched a time clock in 15 years, and my wife’s been self-employed for almost 30 years.

There is a different set of considerations that public works people never even think about. If you take a day off, that’s a day you don’t get paid. Insurance, IRAs and “benefits” come straight out of your pocket with no “matching funds”. Taxes are incredible; nobody “withholds” them for you. You are responsible for paying taxes, four times a year, and they never go away, even if your business goes south (Fed taxes cannot be bankrupted on!)

The good side is that you get to pick when you work and who you work with. You want a vacation? It’ll take some planning, but you can have that whenever you want. Deductions? Yes, they’re there, but be careful and document EVERYTHING (and you’d be amazed what sorts of things can be deducted!)

And truthfully, I think working for yourself is real job security; you’re not going to let YOU fail. You can never be “secure” when you’re depending on someone else for a paycheck.

It’s completely doable, but there’s a learning curve, and there’s work involved. I encourage anyone who can to go for it.

Maybe the best first step is to find an accountant (I prefer an independent CPA) who’s willing to sit down and talk with you about taxes, income, and keeping records.

EDIT-----

Thinking about it, an even better first step would be to contact the SCORE office in your area (NOT the SBA, they have a different perspective!) They can help you set up a business plan; that’s the roadmap you need to begin.
Message: Posted by: Cyberqat (Mar 23, 2011 01:55PM)
Thanks DWR.

Its certainly possible to be very successful independently employed, but its always a lot more work then working for someone else.

if its your passion, and you have the negative impacts of failure covered, then go for it.

OTOh if your the kind of person who likes to come home from 8 hours of work, pop a beer, and watch the tube, then forget it. Similarly if your the kind of person who spends every dime they make right away, or even worse gets head of themselves on credit, it would also be a bad idea.

But with hard work and discipline, yes you can make it work.

Posted: Mar 23, 2011 3:04pm
Gaddy,

I made a conscious decision not to pursue that path. But it was a decision made from experience. My parents were self employed (authors) all my growing up years. I know well what it takes to be successful as an independent.

My parents did well and are comfortably retired now. I was never deprived as a child BUT...

My mom is so careful with money she has every receipt for their entire 40 years filed. While I had reasonably nice clothes to wear in high school.. they all came from TJ Max. We went many months between occasions when we went out for food, and when we did it was something inexpensive like Chinese more often then not. we were Jewish so Xmas wasn't an issue but in general we didn't do extravagant gifts at any time during the year. My biggest (by far) birthday present through all of Highschool was for my 16th birthday and was a $100 bow for my violin. I didn't go to my parents and ask for money for anything. I had a fixed allowance that I had to make last and save what I wanted from it. (It was a generous allowance by many measures, but it was *all* my money baring anything I made myself or received as a present.) For that allowance I was expected to cover a number of serious chores around the house.

I grew up watching my parents work when they weren't eating or sleeping. They didn't have the time to sit and watch the TV, and only rarely went out to a concert or play. All the kids were expected to move out and make it on their own at 18 (the day you graduate from High School). I paid my own way through college

I actually think it was a *good* childhood in many ways. I learned a strong work ethic and to appreciate what I have. But I decided it wasn't the life I wanted to lead.

Is it for you? that's up to you.
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Mar 23, 2011 05:14PM)
I certainly wasn't attempting to single anyone out, but thanks for sharing.
Message: Posted by: HerbLarry (Mar 23, 2011 05:58PM)
[quote]OTOh if your the kind of person who likes to come home from 8 hours of work, pop a beer, and watch the tube, then forget it.
[/quote]

I pop something else & find better things to do than watching the tube but you just described my wonderful life. So the forget it part is your view not my reality. Truth is many days I don't even put in 8 hours I reach my goal.
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Mar 23, 2011 07:25PM)
[quote]
On 2011-03-23 18:58, HerbLarry wrote:
[quote]OTOh if your the kind of person who likes to come home from 8 hours of work, pop a beer, and watch the tube, then forget it.
[/quote]

I pop something else & find better things to do than watching the tube but you just described my wonderful life. So the forget it part is your view not my reality. Truth is many days I don't even put in 8 hours I reach my goal.
[/quote]Yes, but you live in a cave... :devilish:
Message: Posted by: HerbLarry (Mar 24, 2011 12:58PM)
Yeah...but it's my cave! :)