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Suffolk
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No. I don't think there have ever been many full time pro mentalists who tour.
I think the last one before Derren was probably Uri.

There has never been a shortage of people who have a day job, do a dozen to twenty paid gigs a year and call themselves pros.
IAIN
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Magicweek.co.uk and a few other places seem to list some, might be out of date though:
paul stockman
david meade
ken webster
devious minds
keith barry
aaron calvert
luke jermay

and about the pro bit - maybe they call themselves pro to show that they have a proper act, up to a certain standard and so on...i dunno...
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Suffolk
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David Meade & Keith Barry are based in Ireland.

Keith is the only one of those who has toured & only Ireland.

Luke did something like a 7 day run in London.

I don't know who three of them are. One of the three isn't even an actual name.

Professional in the context of an entertainer means performing as your main income with all the attendant risks & pressures that puts on each performance. It makes it harder to "take risks" and means you can no longer you be self indulgent.
It becomes your job, not something you do for fun Every single bonifide professional I have ever spoken with has agreed with me. Not one hobbyist or amateur has.

That doesn't mean that amateurs may not be extremely proficient or creative.
Suffolk
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I've just looked up Devious Minds. I'm not sure village halls count.
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Quote:
On Jul 20, 2014, Suffolk wrote:
Professional in the context of an entertainer means performing as your main income with all the attendant risks & pressures that puts on each performance. It makes it harder to "take risks" and means you can no longer you be self indulgent.
It becomes your job, not something you do for fun Every single bonifide professional I have ever spoken with has agreed with me. Not one hobbyist or amateur has.


i kinda agree with you - the only bit I think is a bit iffy, is that I can name an easy half dozen that I know personally who have jobs (and you know them too), and take their mentalism as seriously as you define it, and in the way that you define it...
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Suffolk
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Ken Webster does an x rated hypnosis show with mentalism.
Aaron Calvert has done a few public shows and is studying to be a doctor.
mastermindreader
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Quote:
On Jul 20, 2014, Suffolk wrote:

Professional in the context of an entertainer means performing as your main income with all the attendant risks & pressures that puts on each performance. It makes it harder to "take risks" and means you can no longer you be self indulgent.
It becomes your job, not something you do for fun Every single bonifide professional I have ever spoken with has agreed with me. Not one hobbyist or amateur has.

That doesn't mean that amateurs may not be extremely proficient or creative.


That's exactly the way I've always defined "professional." There are many, though, who use the term differently, referring to ability rather than one's actual profession- as in "You did that very professionally."

To me, though, a profession is a specialized field in which one actually earns his living. Whether or not he is any good at it is another question entirely. As in everything else, Sturgeon's Law applies.
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I think I would make a terrible full-timer...
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IAIN
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On Jul 20, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:

To me, though, a profession is a specialized field in which one actually earns his living. Whether or not he is any good at it is another question entirely. As in everything else, Sturgeon's Law applies.


here's a question then, for everyone "behind the curtain" as it were, in the trade, whatever term you want to use... there's these differences...there's the true full-time working pro, vs the ones who perform (for example) at the weekends, and couple of times a week in the evening...there's no real measure of talent of entertainment between those two things really...because its down to taste isn't it? and of course, experience...

however, to the paying public that these two people perform for, regularly...do they know or care about the difference (if both acts/people are of good quality)? is it always the case that someone who is a fulltime working pro going to be better than the other person?

I'm trying not to use any descriptive term in case it offends anyone... I think "amateur" and "hobbyist" makes it sound like that person has just watched a dvd and used a vistaprint template and run off screaming "i'm a pro! I'm a pro!"...or that they have just started out and have very little experience..

if it helps clarify things, one is a full time working pro, another has a day job but gigs regularly every week at night and at weekends - and they are both booked to perform at an event, on paper you'd maybe expect the full timer to just be better in many little ways than the other person, but is that really the case? genuinely interested...

when I used to dj and book bands, I knew a fair few who never got signed, but were a load better than signed bands...does that "pro" label make any kind of difference in how the people perceive them when being entertained by them?
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I thought I made my opinion pretty clear in my last post- just because someone is a full-timer doesn't necessarily mean he's any good at it or any better than a part-timer who performs regularly.

Professional- earns his entire living from it
Semi-pro- works for money but has a day job
Amateur- does shows because he loves the art and performing.

But SUCCESSFUL full-time pros generally DO know what they're doing and why. Otherwise they tend to live in their cars.
Suffolk
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I think the principle difference is that when your mortgage depends on you getting enough work you HAVE to be amazing every single time.
You can't have a bad day at the office.
You can't blame it on a "bad audience".
If you're doing a corporate and you encounter a total donkey hole (take that profanity blocker) you can't rip into him.
Your dog died? Tough. You've got to be amazing.
There's a routine you love but audiences are ambivalent about? It gets binned.
It's a job you don't fancy doing? You do it.
You're ill? Tough. You're still going on stage.

Trust me. Day 17 of back to back gigs in 17 different towns, it stops being fun - but you STILL have to be bright and entertaining.

Before this became my job I LOVED mentalism. Now it's a job. Just one I prefer to the other jobs I've had.
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Stripper?
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Suffolk
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Quote:
On Jul 20, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
Professional- earns his entire living from it
Semi-pro- works for money but has a day job
Amateur- does shows because he loves the art and performing.

But SUCCESSFUL full-time pros generally DO know what they're doing and why. Otherwise they tend to live in their cars.


I think if some one is still making all their income from performing after say 3 years and aren't living in a car it's a reasonable bet they are pretty good.

I slightly disagree with Bob (possibly for the first time ever). It's contentious but I believe the situation is:

Professional- earns his entire living from it
Amateur- works for money because they enjoy the art & performing but has a day job
Hobbyist- performs for friends etc because he loves the art and performing because it's their hobby
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That's really only a slight difference. "Semi-pro" is a terms that is often debated. Is it someone who just occasionally gets paid, or a performer who must necessarily supplement his regular income? (Back in the days when I practiced law, there was a time right after I opened my practice when I HAD to work comedy clubs to make enough money to pay the rent on the office.)

We left out one category though- secret collector- rarely performs except for his mirror, but is the first to buy everything and review it the same day.Smile
sandsjr
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The problem here is the multiple definitions that actually appear in the dictionary(s) Here's an example:

(of a person) engaged in a specified activity as one's main paid occupation rather than as a pastime: a professional boxer.
• having or showing the skill appropriate to a professional person; competent or skillful: their music is both memorable and professional.
• worthy of or appropriate to a professional person: his professional expertise

If you google "Professional" you'll see the etymology and many other definitions too. We have to admit there are certain connotations attached to the words themselves as well.
Suffolk
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The first definition is of a person.
The second two are of activities.
I.e. John is a professional footballer.
Despite being a milkman Steve's painting was very professional.
sandsjr
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Quote:
On Jul 20, 2014, Suffolk wrote:
The first definition is of a person.
The second two are of activities.
I.e. John is a professional footballer.
Despite being a milkman Steve's painting was very professional.


Here are 3 nouns...

1, A person following a profession, especially a learned profession.
2. One who earns a living in a given or implied occupation: hired a professional to decorate the house.
3. A skilled practitioner; an expert.

The point is it's confusing. Smile
sandsjr
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Here's a couple for amateur...

a person who engages in a pursuit, esp. a sport, on an unpaid basis.
• a person considered contemptibly inept at a particular activity: that bunch of stumbling amateurs.
adjective
engaging or engaged in without payment; nonprofessional: an amateur archaeologist |amateur athletics.
• inept or unskillful: it's all so amateur!
mastermindreader
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Of course, the literal meaning of amateur is simply one who does something because he/she loves it. (The word derives from the Latin amatorem. i.e., "lover.")

It's not usually used that way any more, though.
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Labels, labels, labels. Why do we care? A guy who doesn't earn a dime can be as good or better than a pro. Who really cares?
There is no holy grail!
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