This is just an opinion but I think that it fits here in the kid magic show section. I started doing kid magic shows when I was eight years old. I wanted to do magic and I got my first magic tricks from books from the library. I built my first magic show out of coffee cans and cardboard tubes. I used to do shows and load my tricks into a little red wagon that I had and I would do Birthday parties.
Starting as a magician doing birthday parties wasnt as easy as people think in the Bishop Family.
In our house magic secrets were valued because it was a business not a hobby. Magic paid the bills and put food on the table. So if I wanted to be a magician the attitude was to get it together so I could charge money for the show. In other words the reason for the show was to make money by making people happy and be entertained by the show.
It was selling a service.
So I put a show together when I was eight years old but in order to do it and charge money I had to get it to a level that it was worth the money I charged for it. So what I had to do by my Dads instruction was to do free shows for the experience.
Today we have magicians that want to start at the top. I get people - amateur magicians that e-mail me and ask me how much I charge for a show. What they want to do is charge the same fee I do. I find that charging a professional fee for an amateur and inexperienced performer would be bad for the magic business and bad for magic. An amateur magician with no show business experience should not be charging the same amount of money for a magician that has the experience.
And if they have to ask why - well then they must be an amateur magician.
The idea was that my Dad said, was that you should not charge money for a magic show until the show is worth the money you charge for it as a service.
It takes time for a magic act and a magician to get good with the performance material. When entertainers perform on a regular basis they get what is called the performers edge.
So for about two years I did birthday party shows in my neighborhood for free to get the experience. Later on I charged five dollars a show. Not bad money for a nine year old and it beat mowing lawns like a lot of other nine year olds were doing to earn money to buy comic books at the time.
I purchased a lot of comic books in those days but I also purchased more magic and improved my show.
The point here of what I am trying to say is that magicians today do not seem to have the work ethic that the magicians used to have. Many magicians that do magic today do it as a hobby. I see nothing wrong with that but if I may, I want to add that magic is a performance art form. The audience and the show are an important part. There is the practice of magic and the art of practicing the performance art of magic and to me that is doing the shows.
The other thing I want to bring up is what I feel is some of what I think are lost work ethics that I feel are important no matter what kind of a show a magician does. There right out of the Magic Digest by George B. Anderson. The Magic Digest is an important book to me because it was the first magic book that I ever purchased with my own money from doing Magic shows and the start of my own magic library. And even today I consider it must reading for any performing magician.
Ground Rules of Magic
1, Decide on a style of performance and stick with it.
2, Make your personal appearance indicate the quality of performance.
3, Never do a trick in public unless you can do it well.
4, Routine your tricks.
5, Never, never, never expose a trick under any circumstances.
6, Amateur or professional, you extend professional courtesy to other performers.
7,Accept the prevailing performance conditions.
8,Dont embarrass anyone in your audience.
9. Keep it clean.
10, Never do tricks with dangerous items in front of children.
11,Have a definite terminal point.
I still find them very good rules
Onward and upward.