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HerbLarry
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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?
You know why don't act naive.
DWRackley
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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!
...what if I could read your mind?

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gaddy
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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.
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 exactly 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......1510.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...
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
Octarine Prince
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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.

Using inflation calculator on aier.org:

$100 in 1975 is $409.29 in 2011.

(You can round down a little. ;-) )
DWRackley
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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.





Using inflation calculator on aier.org:

$100 in 1975 is $409.29 in 2011.

(You can round down a little. ;-) )


Ok, so it's a B I G Ball Park! Smile
...what if I could read your mind?

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55Hudson
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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
Cyberqat
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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......1510.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...

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?

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.
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
solrak29
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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.


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

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


  • 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).


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 don't
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.
To Find Me On The Pitch, Follow me :On Twitter
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gaddy
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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 don't
have time should be something that you should consider
BINGO!!! Attitude and ambition are PARAMOUNT!
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
Cyberqat
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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.
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
sleightlysilas
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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
Sleightly Silas
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www.SleightlySilas.com
"...a little bit of magic,
with a lot of something else..."
Cyberqat
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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.
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
djurmann
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A very successful friend of mine who has his own business had this quote...."overnight success takes 10 years"
Cyberqat
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Yup. The "10 year over-night success" is a common story in Hollywood. Smile

Just mentioned this in another thread, actually.
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
MagicB1S
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I have been doing this 25 yrs.... I am still waiting for the next Day.
"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"

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Cyberqat
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Quote:
On 2011-03-20 21:44, MagicB1S wrote:
I have been doing this 25 yrs.... I am still waiting for the next Day.


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 Smile 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.)
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
DWRackley
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What a perfect time to remember Samuel Goldwyn, who said "The harder I work, the luckier I get."

'bout sums it up!
...what if I could read your mind?

Chattanooga's Premier Mentalist

Donatelli and Company at ChattanoogaPerformers.com

also on FaceBook
solrak29
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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.


Here is something to consider; as you get older working gigs will get harder and you have to think about; at least,
benefits. 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 Smile
To Find Me On The Pitch, Follow me :On Twitter
Checkout my pseudo blog : The Sidewalk Performers Forum

"I intend to live forever, or die trying" - Groucho Marx
DWRackley
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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!

http://www.kiplinger.com/infographics/retirement_cost/
...what if I could read your mind?

Chattanooga's Premier Mentalist

Donatelli and Company at ChattanoogaPerformers.com

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David Thiel
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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
Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Except bears. Bears will kill you.


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