I disagree with several of the comments about part-time pros (PTP) in Jules Leniers column for June. Many social clubs, church groups and birthday parties are located nowhere near a full-time pro(FTP). This means that, to make the show worth his time, it must be priced far beyond the amount that these groups could afford. A local person who does programs, whether magic, flower arranging or a travelogue, is already in the area and can provide an enjoyable program at an affordable price.
Many PTPs are very serious about the art of magic. Because they are doctors, bankers, teachers, engineers and salespeople, they know their presentation will have to be done well, because the audience will be their patients, customers or students, people that they will be seeing again.
I do agree that the PTP should be selective in his acceptance of programs and recommend the nearest FTP if the situation applies. For example:
Mrs. Wilson wants a magician for Susies 6th birthday party, inviting her 10 closest friends. The nearest full-time pro lives 80 miles away and charges $150 plus mileage for the show. Mrs. Wilson decides that they can play pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey instead. Then she remembers that a local teacher does magic programs, so she calls him. He will do the show for $50, so she hires him. The kids have a great time at the party!
The PTP also has the time to stay for a glass of punch (and maybe even a piece of birthday cake!). During refreshment time he answers several questions about how he became interested in magic, David Blaine, The Masked Magician and David Copperfield. One of the guests wants to do a trick. After the trick (which involves 21 cards), the PTP points him in the direction of the local library, which he knows has several Bill Severn books on beginning magic.
Six years later, Susie is on the entertainment committee for her high school prom. She remembers the magic show and convinces the committee to have a magician entertain the 250+ students at the after-prom. She calls the local magician and he does not take the show. Instead, he recommends the FTP, since he knows the prom budget can handle the expense.
The PTP sits on an important rung of the entertainment ladder. Without him/her, many small groups would simply do without, so IMO, nothing is being taken away from the FTP.
Jim Snapp, PTP