Shows are not created equal. Some shows pay well. Others pay enough. While a few others offer financial returns so meager they are hardly worth your while.
You will do well to book shows that pay excellently. Corporate or trade shows count among the high-paying gigs. However, magicians are not made of the same stuff. Some are better performers than most. Others have better programs. And yet many others have stronger marketing skills than others.
This disparity in performing skills, marketing abilities and program contents may determine which particular niche a Filipino magician will reside to make a good living.
For the great majority of the Pinoy magicians, they take whatever comes along—big, small, high-paying gigs and everything in between. In most part, they get by being sustained with overflow shows from the better, more established performers.
In the normal scheme of things, this arrangement may be all right. It makes everybody happy. But sometimes fate will play a practical joke. Here’s one common scenario: A birthday mom books a date, say, December 15, for the 7th birthday of Junior. The magician accepts the job. A few days later, an event organizer calls to book a corporate show for the same date and the same hour but for five times the price of a birthday party show.
What to do? Will the Pinoy magician call the birthday mom to cancel the show so he can take the more lucrative corporate event?
Most professional magicians (and probably all opinion writers on various magic forums across the web) will counsel the Filipino magician not to take the corporate show. They will argue that, as a professional magician, he should honor his commitment to the birthday mom, even though that gig pays less than the corporate show.
In practice, however, many magicians will probably entertain the thought of finding a way to duck the birthday party engagement. A few will probably contemplate reneging on his commitment and will actually look for someone to pinch-hit for him in the birthday party gig.
If you are one of those who entertain this naughty thought, stop! Think hard. In our profession, we work in a small industry. Word of mouth travels faster in our market than in other types of entertainment. Once you begin backing on your word and building an ill-reputation for being unreliable, you will lose more than the potential earnings of the prime booking that you let pass.
So no matter what you do, and regardless of how tempting the payment of the prime booking is dangled before you, resist the temptation. If you want to stay in the magic profession over the long haul, build a name of dependability. Never go back on your commitment.