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 Post subject: Making a living?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2006 9:26 pm 
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Penguin

Joined: 14 Mar 2006
Posts: 182
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
I was just always curious about how magicians, not so famous magicians make a living. Now, of course I'm not talking about big names like copperfield or blaine, but I'm talking about some of the lesser known magicians. I have always kept into consideration making magic my profession by doing regular shows and doing restaurant work, but I just don't see how I could support myself with the income. I don't know how much I could make per show, does anyone know? And I've heard people can make $100-200 per night at a restaurant? I actually plan on being a Police Officer for Cincinnati but I might plan on doing restaurant work on my off days or when I get off work just for some extra cash( Police are under paid!) Is there anyone on this site that could give me a few tips on how to really make a living by being a magician? Preferably by those who do restaurant work or are a professional magician. Thanks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2006 11:06 pm 
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Penguin

Joined: 22 Jan 2006
Posts: 121
I think i might be someone who can help. I am also a full time police officer and i do resturant work as well as private shows. I charge 50 an hour usally a 3 hour shift and can make as much as 100 more in tips but 20 is the usual for tips. i work in resturants 3 nights a week. be up front with you mgr's and tell them you are an officer and at some time you will prolly get hung up at work and not be able to make it. because our profession is admirable i have never had any backlash but i only belive it is because i was clear up front with them


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2006 6:51 am 
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Location: Milford OH
vstrunk, Good day to you. I am also in Cincinnati and am a full time working restaurant entertainer. You have probably seen my wife and I at various restaurants around the 275 loop. Next time you see us come on up and talk to me and I will give you tips about wher to go and who to see. I am never at the Ring meetings because they are on Fri nijghts and I work then.

Peter "Paddy"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2006 9:55 am 
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Penguin

Joined: 14 Mar 2006
Posts: 182
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Paddy, I'm not exactly a police officer yet. I want to be when I get older. I'm 16 right now but I have my life layed out, and am planning to go to the academy at 21. I will hopefully try to do some restaurant work along with the police.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2006 9:55 am 
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Penguin

Joined: 14 Mar 2006
Posts: 182
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Paddy, I'm not exactly a police officer yet. I want to be when I get older. I'm 16 right now but I have my life layed out, and am planning to go to the academy at 21. I will hopefully try to do some restaurant work along with the police. Thanks, it's nice to know someone else in Cincinnati.


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 Post subject: '
PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2006 10:34 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 04 Aug 2003
Posts: 2171
Location: Loveland,Ohio (Cincy)
vstrunk wrote:
Paddy, I'm not exactly a police officer yet. I want to be when I get older. I'm 16 right now but I have my life layed out, and am planning to go to the academy at 21. I will hopefully try to do some restaurant work along with the police.

Being a Cincy Cop pays pretty well. Plus with the overtime and extra details you can work you won't need to go out and hussle magic jobs. I used to be a Cop but I've been with the Cincinnati Fire dept the past twenty one years.
I do a lot of kid shows and Company picnics in this area but our hours are way different from the Cops. Being a Cincy Cop you can easily make 70 or 80 G's a year.
Don't think it's all that easy to get on either, it's a long hard process.
What area are you from?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 12:38 am 
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paddy wrote:
vstrunk, Good day to you. I am also in Cincinnati and am a full time working restaurant entertainer. You have probably seen my wife and I at various restaurants around the 275 loop. Next time you see us come on up and talk to me and I will give you tips about wher to go and who to see. I am never at the Ring meetings because they are on Fri nijghts and I work then.

Peter "Paddy"

Paddy, were you always a full-time entertainer, or did you have an earlier more traditional career?

I'm just wondering how you handled saving for retirement if all your income came from entertaining. Have you any advice on that topic (saving for retirement if you are a self-employed restaurant entertainer)?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 6:30 am 
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Location: Milford OH
Retirement? What's that? In 2004 I had congestive heart failure and wound up in the hospital for 14 days and had a 4 way bypass. I had no insurance. Now I have no savings or any other assests exept my abilities to perform and entertain.

Yesterday (6/30) was my birthday, I am now officially in my 62nd year.

Peter


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 11:06 am 
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paddy wrote:
Retirement? What's that? In 2004 I had congestive heart failure and wound up in the hospital for 14 days and had a 4 way bypass. I had no insurance. Now I have no savings or any other assests exept my abilities to perform and entertain.

Yesterday (6/30) was my birthday, I am now officially in my 62nd year.

Peter

Happy (belated) Birthday to you! May your 62nd year top all the rest to date.

On the other topic, I guess your answer is that, as a self-employed restaurant entertainer, things like life and health insurance and retirement planning can be a major struggle. Something for those starting out to keep in mind.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 3:13 pm 
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balducci wrote:
On the other topic, I guess your answer is that, as a self-employed restaurant entertainer, things like life and health insurance and retirement planning can be a major struggle. Something for those starting out to keep in mind.


That is what I was trying to get across. If I had stated this in my 30's or 40's I would have had a build up of funds and IRA paln to cover me but I was in my 50's when I started.


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 Post subject: '
PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 11:25 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 04 Aug 2003
Posts: 2171
Location: Loveland,Ohio (Cincy)
Paddy,
Sorry to here about the CHF you are very young to have that. Do you find that you have to go a slower pace now? I know with CHF (Father) you do get tired a lot quicker than before.
I'll have to stop in one of the restaurants and say hey, it's been awhile since I've seen you. Are you still down at the Milford location?


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 Post subject: Re: '
PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 4:43 am 
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Location: Milford OH
sluggo wrote:
Paddy,
Sorry to here about the CHF you are very young to have that. Do you find that you have to go a slower pace now? I know with CHF (Father) you do get tired a lot quicker than before.
I'll have to stop in one of the restaurants and say hey, it's been awhile since I've seen you. Are you still down at the Milford location?

Yes to all. I am still at the Milford restaurant on Sundays. but I am there from noon to 3 instead of noon to 4.

Yes I do get tired a lot, especially if I forget my meds once. The coreg and Altace both make one tired but they control the blood pressure.

Peter


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2006 9:12 pm 
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Joined: 06 May 2005
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thats a bummer but at least you are doing somthing you love peter.

As for the other question a lot of not so well known magicians preform restraunts or street magic,(by street magic i mean busking)some do kid show or smaller scale stage show. But personally i know tons of guys whos entire magic career is preforming their regular gig at the magic castle, the castle pays us 200-400 dollars for a half hour show and its a regular gig. I havnt done the audition to get one of those regular shows. but i did try out to become a sunday/and now saterday brunch preformer. Its a smaller 10-15 minute show you do every saterday, or sunday and make 50 dollars. Its not as good but hey its money. i also do kid shows off and on but i am no longer a seasoned kid show preformer.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 4:43 pm 
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Penguin

Joined: 23 Mar 2006
Posts: 235
It is hard work to make a living as a magician BUT it is rewarding and can be lucrative. The first thing you need to remember is that there are 2 words in Show Business, the first being SHOW, the second being BUSINESS, which is where most that try at this fail. You need to have a true business plan and know how much you need to make (and to charge to do this) to live. Then you need to be ready to make calls every day because YOU have to call around to make bookings, and you always will have to do this. You will have to keep financial records, etc...and well, it is a lot of work BUT also rewarding because it is yourself you are working for.

At one time I was working for a restaurant chain, so had 4 restaurants a week just from them, so about $1200 a month just for them, plus I was the resident magician for a hotel on Sunday Brunches and another restaurant on Sunday nights, that was several more hundred a month PLUS birthday parties, Chritmas shows and other functions. It was at that time that I began to do Corporate shows and so found several magicians to fill in for me at my regular gigs when I had a bigger show to do (and I still got my 10% commission for booking these guys at MY gigs).

Then you can also get into party planning AND might even be able to do that for the restaurant themselves. Or they may hire you separatly to entertain certain parties held at the restaurant. There are numerous ways you can earn a good living from working just restaurants OR you can use it as a "solid gig" that allows you to do others as well OR as a spring board towards bigger and better later on. All depends on whether you want to travel, stay put, 50/50 of that, etc..

You get to write off your phone bill, your dry cleaning, your clothes and jewelery you use, your props, books, magazine subscriptions, even your office space (in your own home even) is a write off against taxes, so there are these advantages as well PLUS many restaurants feed the performer (if you write that into your contract) when they are done, so there is even a food cost savings for you.

The main gist of all this is YES it can be a good living BUT you do have to treat it as any other BUSINESS and for that, it IS work. In fact you will find that you do not have the same luxury to keep learning more and more tricks because when most amateurs are doing that you are busy trying to book your next show, restaurant gig, etc...

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2006 11:09 am 
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born to perform.

Joined: 11 Jul 2006
Posts: 566
Hey MindGuy, thanks for the info, you really opened my eyes on the subject, and Sluggo, my brother is in the Cinci Police Academy right now and willl graduate in a few months. Because of him and my uncle(he is a detective for Crime Stoppers) I know all too well what it takes to become a Police officer=Lots of Hard work and dedication but it's worth it to me. Thanks all for the input, anymore input feel free to post.


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