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Trade of the TricksInside the Magician's Craft$
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Graham Jones

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780520270466

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520270466.001.0001

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Business as Un-Usual

Business as Un-Usual

(p.160) Four Business as Un-Usual
Trade of the Tricks

Graham M. Jones

University of California Press

This chapter examines the career trajectories of professional magicians in France, with particular emphasis on how magicians conduct “business as un-usual” as they strive to earn a regular living by displaying their out-of-the-ordinary talents. It first considers some important differences in the criteria that amateur and professional magicians apply to magic performance. It then describes the changing market for professional magic performance in France from the nineteenth century to the present day, as well as the ways that magicians adapt themselves to current working conditions. It also discusses amateur magicians' relationships with their professional counterparts as well as the kinds of employment prospects available to magicians today. It shows that magicians often complained of magic's low cultural status as an entertainment service industry generally excluded from spheres of high cultural prestige.

Keywords:   career trajectories, professional magicians, France, amateur magicians, magic, performance, employment prospects

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