What separates the pro from the amateur?

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magicfish
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Re: What separates the pro from the amateur?

Postby magicfish » April 7th, 2017, 6:59 am

performer wrote:
magicfish wrote:
performer wrote:The main difference is mental attitude. A different approach to things entirely. There is a very interesting sociology book dealing exclusively with magicians which does compare the amateur outlook to to the professional's. Here it is:

https://www.amazon.com/magician-culture ... 0772014523

And consider this.

Dai Vernon was an amateur magician. Criss Angel is a professional. Take your pick.


This is precisely why, often, the opinion of the amateur far outweighs the opinion of the professional, contrary to what some believe.
A master of the art is a master of the art regardless of how he makes his living.
I know great magicians on both sides.
I also know of terrible amateurs, and professionals who have been deluding themselves for decades.


If a professional deludes himself for too long he ends up not eating. If an amateur deludes himself he can still end up on the fat side.

"If a professional deludes himself for too long he ends up not eating. "

Correct. Some of them can't without borrowing money. And yet the delusion often continues.

performer
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Re: What separates the pro from the amateur?

Postby performer » April 7th, 2017, 12:38 pm

Deluded amateurs also borrow money too, you know. And they continue to delude themselves that technical skill equals being a good magician. It most certainly doesn't and in fact tends (although not always) to indicate the opposite.

I am delighted that at least I have never had to borrow money. I either earn it or steal it. Or sometimes both at the same time.

magicfish
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Re: What separates the pro from the amateur?

Postby magicfish » April 8th, 2017, 9:37 am

performer wrote:Deluded amateurs also borrow money too, you know. And they continue to delude themselves that technical skill equals being a good magician. It most certainly doesn't and in fact tends (although not always) to indicate the opposite.

I am delighted that at least I have never had to borrow money. I either earn it or steal it. Or sometimes both at the same time.


I agree wholeheartedly.

magicfish
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Re: What separates the pro from the amateur?

Postby magicfish » April 9th, 2017, 12:12 pm

In fact, now that Im an amateur again (and have been for many years now), I think about how much my magic has changed.
There is good and bad on both sides and only the individual can know which is better for him/her.

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Q. Kumber
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Re: What separates the pro from the amateur?

Postby Q. Kumber » April 11th, 2017, 9:39 am

This quote from Ludwig Van Beethoven might help clarify the difference between consummate performers, be they amateur or professional, from everyone else in the same discipline. Noah Levine's article on David Ben in the April GENII is well worth reading for the thoroughness a professional will go to in developing a performance piece.

"Don't only practice your art but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise you to the divine."

performer
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Re: What separates the pro from the amateur?

Postby performer » April 11th, 2017, 3:29 pm

I never knew Beethoven did the cups and balls and cut and restored rope. Still one learns something new every day.

Jack Shalom
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Re: What separates the pro from the amateur?

Postby Jack Shalom » April 12th, 2017, 3:36 pm

He used empty liquor bottles.

Surely you've heard of Beethoven's Fifth?

MagicbyAlfred
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Re: What separates the pro from the amateur?

Postby MagicbyAlfred » April 12th, 2017, 10:56 pm

@Performer: "I never knew Beethoven did the cups and balls and cut and restored rope. Still one learns something new every day."

@ Jack Shalom: "He used empty liquor bottles. Surely you've heard of Beethoven's Fifth?"

Clever lines, gentlemen!

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Zig Zagger
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Re: What separates the pro from the amateur?

Postby Zig Zagger » April 16th, 2017, 6:56 am

I think I have just found a very good quote on this matter from Henry Hay (June Barrows Mussey). In his great "Cyclopedia of Magic" (1949, p.10) he writes under the entry "Amateur Magicians":

Many amateurs excel the average professional not only in invention but in dexterity; their weak point, comparatively speaking, is likely to be Presentation. Showmanship, the art of pleasing the audience, is the one thing the professional lives by; the amateur can afford to please himself alone with difficult moves and devices that the audience never even sees. "Conjuring for conjurers" is a vice in a professional. In an amateur it is a vice only if he hopes to turn professional.
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performer
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Re: What separates the pro from the amateur?

Postby performer » April 16th, 2017, 7:57 am

I think it is a vice whether they wish to become professionals or not. It is a very bad thing indeed and not good for magic at all. When I was an amateur I knew presentation was VITAL! And I spent as much time on patter and presentation as I did with the moves and tricks. The only difference between a professional and an amateur should be whether they earn money with it or not.

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EndersGame
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Re: What separates the pro from the amateur?

Postby EndersGame » March 22nd, 2018, 1:18 am

I haven't seen it mentioned yet in this thread (unless I missed it), but there's also this well-known one-liner:

A professional performs the same few tricks for many different people, while an amateur performs many different tricks for the same few people.

The last time I came across this was when it was mentioned by Darwin Ortiz in his book about magic theory, Designing Miracles, which I read recently. I'm not sure of the original source.

I think there's a real ring of truth to this. An amateur tends to keep expanding his repertoire, constantly performing new tricks to a small and closed circle of family and friends. This can have quite an impact on the kind of magic he performs, and the way he performs it; and can have some real drawbacks, as Darwin Ortiz explains in his book.
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performer
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Re: What separates the pro from the amateur?

Postby performer » March 22nd, 2018, 8:08 am

I have heard that phrase from Al Goshman. I always thought it was associated with him rather than Darwin Ortiz. Still, it doesn't really matter who said it first--there is a lot of truth in it.

Anyway on going back over this old thread I see that I made a mistake. I mentioned that the old duffer who lectured at the Junior Section of the London Society of Magicians was Jack Griggs. For some reason my memory came back on rereading this thread and I can now say for sure that it was Jack Gittings.

I do think it is a good idea for professionals as well as amateurs to expand their repertoire. And I don't see much in the way of drawbacks to it. Not that I practice what I preach any more.

Anyway, I think the main difference between amateurs and professionals is that professionals have bigger egos.


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