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.
3 thoughts on “Confession – I’m a hobbyist magician”
I’m a hobbyist too.
I tend to think that I get more simple enjoyment out of Magic than some of these embittered old pro’s. I mean just look at those two in The Prestige…phew…calm down guys !!!
Bad side is that you don’t get to post on the Cafe and have every ass kisser in the magic fraternity agree with the drivel you spout.
You mean the Cafe crowd indiscriminately drools on the pros?!?!
I always have the rather disgusting image of the guest of the month sitting in front of his computer in a pool of sycophantic slobber.
PS I’ve got to dig up the old post of Wakeman/Kozak – it takes drivel to a new level, believe me.
I can see your point completely. I pride myself on the fact that I do not “have” to sell out doing shows I really do not want to do. I can perform when I want, for whomever I want. Whereever I want I am not your magic for all occassions type of guy! That keeps me happy with the art. I am utterly unimpressed that someone does magic for a living. It is not what every magician strives to do! If you set out to do it for a living and achieve that goal I am happy for you, but you shouldn’t expect respect from everyone else. If you get respect great! If not don’t whiz on the others who simply have a different direction then you!
As for the “Pro” magician with the invisible pass… maybe he doesn’t need to be able to excute one in his “nightly shows” so he never cared to learn it well. I wouldn’t judge the man on a skill that is not neccasary. We all can do great magic without the invisible pass.