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 Post subject: Professionals and Amateurs
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:19 pm 
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I was browsing through Seth Godin's blog (as I often do) and I came across this post. I think it holds very true for magic and the constant tension between the older magicians and the newer magicians.

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog ... teurs.html

Thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: Professionals and Amateurs
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:20 pm 
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born to perform.

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Location: Western Australia
This is what i think.

I've been in magic now for 9 years. This is less that old school pros, but significantly longer than a lot of other people.

I've also noticed the tension between pros and amateurs. Its because now with the internet, you can get VERY good VERY quickly. The initial learning curve is very fast. However to progress beyond this initial learning curve (say after 2 years in magic), is very slow. And at a point its not about learning new moves or buying new tricks, but working on your performance itself and subtleties (which can take years of performance to improve one trick slightly). All of which newer magicians do not care about at all. They will simply think, oh i know this trick.

Technology certain closes the gap between professional photographers and graphic designers with a keen enthusiast. I went to university and studied Architecture, they did not teach me Photoshop at all, but we were all expected to learn it by ourselves. Which i did, i got very good at it over time. Now my sister, who is in Highschool, is learning Photoshop and other design programs, and she already knows some things that i don't. Its not bad, its just interesting.


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 Post subject: Re: Professionals and Amateurs
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:03 am 
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Great post, Chris. And so true!


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 Post subject: Re: Professionals and Amateurs
PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:47 am 
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As a pro I have to somewhat disagree with the article. I really don't mins the amateurs, but when they start to encroach on taking jobs away I get upset. A case in point. A while ago a woman called and asked how much for a b'day party and I gave her my price (say $100 for kicks) she booked it then called the next day and cancelled. She said that a neighbour kid was doing it for $10. I will say she had the courage to call me after the party and apologize because the kid was so bad. But how many of us have lost business because uncle Joe can pull a quarter out of a kid's ear so the public thinks that is what magic is.


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 Post subject: Re: Professionals and Amateurs
PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:48 am 
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born to perform.

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paddy wrote:
As a pro I have to somewhat disagree with the article. I really don't mins the amateurs, but when they start to encroach on taking jobs away I get upset. A case in point. A while ago a woman called and asked how much for a b'day party and I gave her my price (say $100 for kicks) she booked it then called the next day and cancelled. She said that a neighbour kid was doing it for $10. I will say she had the courage to call me after the party and apologize because the kid was so bad. But how many of us have lost business because uncle Joe can pull a quarter out of a kid's ear so the public thinks that is what magic is.



Raises a fair point. I agree. A lot of laymen have never seen a magician before. So to them it makes no difference if they are booking Magician A or Magician B or Magician C. Hence why word of mouth is so important. However cold calls or random bookings, people are often unwilling to book based on price. But if they saw what they were getting, i think I'm a bargain.


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 Post subject: Re: Professionals and Amateurs
PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:07 am 
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Very interesting questions brought up with this post. Until recently I never had to worry about any of this. I just returned to the US from several years abroad. I was performing 20 to 30 parlor shows a year as an amateur. They were ALL benefit performances, meaning no pay! It wasn't a matter of selling myself short because in Korea, under the terms of my work visa, I wasn't allowed to earn income other than for the job I was invited to do. If you ever work abroad you will probably find similar restrictions in most countries. Getting caught earning money on the side is usually deportation so the risk was never worth it.

Now that I am back I am slowly trying to build my business and I am finding the transition difficult. There is so much to consider in terms of branding myself and in setting the right prices for the area I am in. So while I have had a professional attitude towards magic for years now, and I honestly feel my shows are on par with most pros I have seen, taking that last step still seems daunting.


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 Post subject: Re: Professionals and Amateurs
PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:58 pm 
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Joined: 13 Mar 2008
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Location: Merion Station, PA
I have been making an income with magic (making a living) for about 1 year now. I do tend to be frustrated by some amateurs that i meet because they know the tricks but have never had to perform in front of paying audiences enough to act like they can. I do primarily family shows and strolling magic and like I said if you haven't been in the "trenches" a lot don't act better then people who are.


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 Post subject: Re: Professionals and Amateurs
PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:25 am 
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eostresh, You don't say wheree in the U.S. you are but in general. Call up the magi in your area and price their parties. I had my niece and my wife do this for me. (I know you're pretending to throw a party and some say this is a no-no, too bad.) That give you a price range. Then what I did was price myself about 20% higher. Again, I know inflated ego thing there. Yes I lose some to price hunters but people have the attitude that price means quality, otherwise why buy a Cadillac when it's just a high priced Chevy? When the price objection comes up I just tell them "You can't buy a Rolls Royce for the price of a used car, Their show is worth what they charge for it & I am worth my price, guaranteed."

Mazel Tov on coming home brother.


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 Post subject: Re: Professionals and Amateurs
PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:37 am 
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Paddy, I'm in Laramie Wyoming. Just north of the front range. I think the closest working Pros are from Cheyenne and Ft Collins CO. That is a good idea. I'll do that!


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 Post subject: Re: Professionals and Amateurs
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:10 am 
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You lucky S.O.B!!! That is THE PRETTIEST place in the world! Wish I was there myself.


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 Post subject: Re: Professionals and Amateurs
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:10 am 
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paddy wrote:
You lucky S.O.B!!! That is THE PRETTIEST place in the world! Wish I was there myself.

Yes Sir! Living in "God's Country." Now if I can convince the locals that magic is worth paying for I will be in business!


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 Post subject: Re: Professionals and Amateurs
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:30 pm 
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Adding 20% to your price isn't arrogant at all. That is actually a very good tip for new professionals. Granted, you want to be worth the price you charge. Regardless of what it compares to those you compete with.


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 Post subject: Re: Professionals and Amateurs
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:02 pm 
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Idjk wrote:
Adding 20% to your price isn't arrogant at all. That is actually a very good tip for new professionals. Granted, you want to be worth the price you charge. Regardless of what it compares to those you compete with.

You see...I'm not competing with any one that I am aware of. So I am scratching my head trying to figure out a good price. On one side, no competition so no need to worry about seting a fair comparative price. On the other side, I am trying to build a market from the ground up. So I have to keep it affordable enough that someone is willing to take the chance. It is not like I am an I-phone. I don't have millions of mindless drones all gasping at the chance to try out this new fanged thing called...Live Magic!


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 Post subject: Re: Professionals and Amateurs
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:57 pm 
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eostresh wrote:
You see...I'm not competing with any one that I am aware of. So I am scratching my head trying to figure out a good price. On one side, no competition so no need to worry about seting a fair comparative price. On the other side, I am trying to build a market from the ground up. So I have to keep it affordable enough that someone is willing to take the chance. It is not like I am an I-phone. I don't have millions of mindless drones all gasping at the chance to try out this new fanged thing called...Live Magic!


Really? There isn't a single magician performing in your area? That would be remarkable if so. I would be hitting up all the bars/restaurants and building value ASAP. Why not call magicians in areas that are similar to yours? Then you really don't have to use a ruse to gain info. You aren't their competition.


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 Post subject: Re: Professionals and Amateurs
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:52 pm 
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Idjk wrote:
Really? There isn't a single magician performing in your area? That would be remarkable if so. I would be hitting up all the bars/restaurants and building value ASAP. Why not call magicians in areas that are similar to yours? Then you really don't have to use a ruse to gain info. You aren't their competition.


I am sure there are a few kids magicians from near by, Ft. Collins and Cheyenne, who do work up here occasionally. And I just moved back from a long time away so their might be someone out there. But I grew up here and went to college here and never once in my entire life have I seen a magician in a restaurant or bar.


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