Cover your children’s eyes and ears. I’m coming out of the closet. I am a hobbyist and unabashedly proud of it.
This week I was working on John Kennedy’s excellent Translocation. I have the lecture notes and put John Mendoza’s DVD in the player to watch his variation on it. While this DVD set is excruciatingly tedious, Mendoza is someone that has an eye for good magic and has managed to go through life without a real job. This has my admiration.
Over the course of the DVD set he manages to deride the non-professionals several times. He’s not alone at this. Certain blogs continually whizz on the hobbyist and club magician. They only have interest, or tolerance actually, when they want to move some of their overpriced crud.
The truth of the matter is that a lot of the pros are not just so-so, more than a few of them are just plain bad. Just recently I was with a group that went to a lecture of a very famous magician. I’m not talking about someone that had a reputation and is now old and feeble, but someone that should be in their prime. One of the group asked to see his invisible pass. Honestly, it was so bad we thought he was kidding us. When it became apparent that he was just bad there was an uncomfortable silence and we disbursed as soon as possible. This wasn’t the only time, by far, I’ve seen this sort of thing.
Magic is a great hobby and there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Maybe we should have Hobbyist Pride Parades or put cool initials after our name like James Clark (Magic Hobbyist Anonymous?!?!).
Personally, I’m make a point of not patronising performances, lectures and products of those that look down their noses at us.