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Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Jedimasterjt, Jan 12, 2018.
What exactly makes you a "professional" magician? Just a weird question let me know your thoughts!
In my opinion, a professional magician is someone that is experienced enough with magic to make their entire livelihood off of it.
I see it as someone who can support themselves steadily and financially through magic. Essentially, magic is your job, whether it;s performing, consulting, creating, or whatever.
Nothing wrong with being an amateur though, a lot of magicians that were all time greats were (and are) amateurs. Actually, speaking of this, this might be a good place to plug this post I wrote about Dr. Jacob Daley, a great magician who wrote and helped so many people, yet was still an "amateur", as he was actually a surgeon, and a very important one at that.
Let me put it this way: Marlo was (probably) the best card handler /cardician alive for a period of time prior to him becoming a professional performer & creator, and still was after that.
I think it can depend on how you define the term professional. To me, getting compensated for performing (or creating, writing about, lecturing or consulting on) magic is just the very starting point. There are other traits that people who hire you consider important and in which a professional takes pride, including (but not necessarily limited to):
(1) Being on time and doing what you say you will do when you say you will do it
(2) Being an effective communicator and being available to communicate with those who hire you (promptly returning phone calls, emails, texts, etc.)
(3) Being personable, polite and gracious
(4) Dressing and grooming well (especially important for performers)
(5) Being excellent at what you do, and always looking to learn and get better
(6) Being organized
(7) Being willing to go the extra mile for the client
(8) Being honest, and just overall having a good sense of ethics and high moral standards
PS I just wanted to add that being an effective communicator includes being a good listener so as to understand the needs of the client and in the performing situation, listening to the audience, interacting with them, involving them and making them feel special and like they really matter.
Regardless of the trade or skill...
Professional: It is what you do for a living...you derive most, if not all, of your income from this. That is, it is your profession.
Semi-professional: It contributes to your income but is not the majority of your income.
Amateur: You derive no financial gain whatsoever.
Now...the above definitions do not necessarily have any bearing on skill level. There are some amateurs who are better than many professionals but most professionals are going to be better skilled than most amateurs.
The other qualities listed above by Al e Cat Dabra are very good and should be a part of any person working in any area but sadly they are not always. There are people who are at the top of their field who are monsters and that's too bad. The stuff coming out of Hollywood recently is an example. Character is all about how you behave when you know that no one is watching and also how you treat people who can do absolutely nothing to advance your career or assist you financially.
The simplest explanation is you use magic to make money. Now what level of professional you are also depends on several factors. For example someone who works a 9-5 job and does magic for extra $ on weekends may be a “semipro” or part time and soneone who spends most of their time advertising their business and trying to make the Magic Be the majority of their income may be considered a “full time pro.”