The art of performing magic as an entertainment art is exactly
what it says, "performing". Therefore it is important that the
budding magician has a good repertoire at his disposal and is ready to tackle
most situations that may arise with a quick fire gag or alternative trick.
The purpose of this web page is to give you some pointers and
ideas on how to structure your act and give you some useful phrases that you may
wish to use, should the opportunity arise. The actual "Magic Trick"
is still the focus of the performance but even a very simple trick can be greatly
enhanced by a good performance from the magician. Don't forget that your audience
have given up their time to watch you.
Although they don't know how the tricks
are done, they are willing to let you convince them that you can
successfully perform a miracle or magical feat, much the same convincing
that people might get from viewing a good movie. This is your moment, polish it
and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that you have created an entertaining magic
experience for your spectators.
Practice Practice Practice !!!
Why the repetition ??? . Quite simply, practice is the only
surefire way that you can get your tricks up to a polished standard. It is not so
much the difficulty or simplicity of the trick that counts, it
is making sure
that you are competent in performing it in front of an audience. It is
embarrassing to forget a part of the magic trick half way through or to mess up
the handling. Lots of practice should also enable you to chat away to your
audience while performing and (importantly) not have to keep your
eyes on the cards or trick, all through the performance. ( See paragraph on Misdirection, further down the page )
To assist the success of your magic act, you should try to
structure your performance by planning your tricks so that one trick leads onto
another, either by theme or by some story line that you may be telling..
Also make sure and save your strongest and most impressive tricks until the
end of your act. This will prevent an anticlimax, as, if the audience were to
view them before then, their expectations for the rest of the act would be of the
same standard or higher.
Misdirection, Your Greatest Friend In Magic
The importance of misdirection incorporated into your act can not
be stressed enough. Misdirection is the skill that can really elevate your act
and give it the polish that it needs to have a really professional
Incorporating misdirection into your act can be done physically
with the use of props such as a magic wand or even tossing a coin into the air at
the precise moment where you want the audiences focus of attention to be
diverted. Even things as subtle as running your fingers through your hair ( or
rubbing your scalp, if your are follicle challenged like me, can be enough as
can drawing attention to a member of the audience with a cheeky comment to
distract your guests without them realizing this.
Time misdirection is another useful sleight in your arsenal. This
is where you leave a little time to pass between the actual deception move and
the final revelation. A classic example where time misdirection is successfully
used is in the Cross Cut Force which is one of the simplest but most effective
card forces there is. I have only touched on the subject of misdirection. It is
an ongoing thing and is limited only by your creativity. Try and think of ways to
incorporate it into your performance to get you on the road to success.
Clap Clap !!!
Applause is an important part of the success of a magic
performance as it creates atmosphere, lets the magician know that they are appreciated and that the act is going successfully. Applause is something that
should be earned and is a reward for a well performed act. The
magician should be well practiced at their act so that it is sufficiently
polished to run smoothly. Lack of practice, leading to a messed up performance or
the magician forgetting their lines does not deserve applause.
Also do not take the word "applause" to
automatically mean a hand clap. It can take the form of other audience reactions
such as a gasp or a scream, showing that the audience has responded. This is more
common in close up magic and street magic.
Some of these reactions can be seen on David Blaine's TV magic specials. Applause
will not always happen automatically due to audience shyness or by them not
being sure exactly when to clap. There are various means that you can use to