Definition of an Amateur?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Magicator, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. Hey guys!!!

    I was just wondering what you guys thought about what your definition of an amateur. Is it only that they just want to know 1000 tricks and never get any good with them, is it only they perform magic to just get attention, or is it something else?

    What do you think?
  2. To me personally.

    It's a person that tries to learn as many tricks as possible but never actually perfects or polishes the effects or sleights to go along with it.

    Also someone who is just starting out and has the very basic sleights down and most of their effects are self working because they simply are not ready to perform anything harder.
  3. an amateur at sport is one who does not earn money for it, who plays for the fun of it, or maybe its a hobby.

    thereby, an amateur of cardistry or magicality is one who practises only as a hobby. He can be very good, to a very high standard, but prefers to keep it as a hobby and not a source of income.

    Someone who tries to learn 1000 tricks and does not take the time to perfect them is more likely an oppressed socially retarded dullard. OR a web performer (to the likes of YOUTUBE, VIMEO, METACAFE)
  4. An amateur is a magician whose main source of income is not from magic.

    A professional is a magician whose main source of income is from magic.

    You could be an incredibly talented magician, even better than many professionals but if you don't make a living with magic you're an amateur.

    Somebody who tries to learn hundreds of effects but never learns any of them well is a bad magician. Amateur would not be the correct term.
  5. Yeah, that could be applied to beginners as well. It also could be applied to professionals, not all professionals are good magicians. ;)


  6. I agree with this guy.
  7. amateur [ámmətər, ámmə choor]
    n (plural amateurs)
    1. somebody doing something for pleasure: somebody who does something for pleasure rather than payment

    Strictly speaking in my opinion, this defines an amateur.

    2. unskilled person: somebody with limited skill in, or knowledge of, an activity

    This type of person, in the example above someone who tries to learn 1000 tricks badly, is not technically defined as an amateur. However, he can be described as such for the pure purpose of categorisation, and as a substitute for "You ****ing n00b!"

    Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
  8. Quite simply, an amateur is one who does not practice something as a profession. In drama, it might be one who acts in a non-profit production. In magic, it is one who does not work professionally, making a living from the art.

    It in no way relates to the skills of the individual.

  9. Definitions aside I think of an amateur as someone who is lacking in skill, and a professional is someone that is very skilled.

    I think professional can still be used if money is made or not. If Wayne Houchin stopped performing and got a job serving coffee at the local Starbucks would we no longer consider him professional because he isn't making any money doing magic?

    If someone gets a job at a restaurant performing magic all day when they are not even that good, do we consider them professional because they make a living from it?
  10. People often think of the word "amateur" as a degrading term, when in reality it isn't. As others have stated it's one who does not gather income from their practice. I consider myself and amateur magician and filmmaker because I do not make money from it. It doesn't mean my skill is lacking anything.
    Yes, I would. Doesn't mean he's a worse magician, just an amateur. Nothing wrong with being called an amateur because there's nothing derogatory about it.

  11. Is like Music, I play the bass and the guitar, and I practice A LOT, but my income doesn't comes from that,does that makes me an amateur?In my opinion, no.

    I kinda feel rejected (and I feel as a amateur) when you say that it depends on your income, in my opinion PRACTICE is what defines the difference...

    Also correct me if I am wrong, but Im not making a Amateur-Professional relation here, I am seeing this as an Amateur-Artist kind of thing....

    Returning with music , is the same thing, I love the art, I practice it, I perform it, I understand it (well I try) and I respect it, and with magic(as always my opinion) is the same thing, I respect and love the art that magic is... That's why I practice it.

    As for the hobby term that was aplied before to magic, asi I have said, is not a hobbie for me Is more like of an art form...

    So that kind of seeing magic is what diferrences a Amateur from an Artist.

    Sorry for the long post and as always this is my humble opinion, I know I can be wrong.


  12. Well said, maybe it should be more of a Amateur - Artist type of thing.
  13. A professional relishes his screw ups almost like a purple heart. An amateur does not and seldom learns from them.

    Professionals can cover up a mistake or play it off like it was part of the act. The other will become frustrated or become lost and it will show.

    Experience is your answer.
  14. I play piano A LOT, probably more than I practice magic. I've been playing since I was 6 (i'm now 18). Over that time i've become very good at playing the piano. Am I an amateur? Yes.

    You can't say somebody is an amateur or an artist, they can be both. I know some people who are very talented at playing instruments, drawing, painting. They don't make a living from it so they are amateur's but they are definitely artists.

    It doesn't matter how you define amateur, it already has a definition. Which is somebody who doesn't make a living from magic (or any other activity).

    You seem to be making the assumption that to be called an amateur is an insult but it isn't.

    This thread is fairly pointless to be honest, it seems to be assuming that the word amateur is not well defined, this is not true.
  15. well if we go on like that then arnt dan and dave amuarturs (sp.)?

    I think being an artist is better than being a pro. but thats just my opinion and a differant question.
  16. Dan and Dave do make money from magic & cardistry... I don't see how they would be amateurs by any definition.

    I think we can say that the question of definition, in light of recent posts, needs to be approached differently: namely, that "amateur" and "professional" should not be considered antonyms or even necessarily simply mutually exclusive as the sole meaning of the world, in all contexts.
  17. I agree, this thread seems to be based on assuming amateur is a negative term.

    It seems the original poster was asking what is the difference between a good magician and a bad magician, using the term amateur to mean bad magician.
  18. I disagree. I think if you have the skill of, lets say, Aaron Fisher but you don't make a living with it, you are a Hobbyist.

    While the term Amateur itself means one who does something as a pastime, I think in magic it more relates to your level or skill and understanding.

    Just my .02

  19. OMG it's the crotch flaming guy from America's Got Talent!
  20. First of all, Yes, I took the word Amateur the wrong way...But I don't want to be a hobbit!(my precious!!!)

    Well seriouly,talking a little bit about what I said before(about being an artist)

    Could someone here tell me the difference between an Hobbyist and a Artist???

    That would be interesting.


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