Tips Tricks And Hints For A Successful Magic Performance
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 feel.
For the best entertainment value for your magic tricks it is important to learn to control everything going on during your performance. Factors include where your audience are positioned, where and when they look and what they are thinking about. Basically. misdirection is making sure that your audience say sufficiently entertained by your act to stay focused on the magic and don't get distracted enough to start trying to figure out how the trick is done. This is not usually a problem as more often than not, the audience are completely oblivious to the actual workings of the trick.
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 encourage applause.
Stopping and looking briefly at your audience during your act can create a momentary pause that will usually trigger the audience into applauding. It is also feasible to have a friend(s) in the audience to start an applause at the correct times. Inviting members of the audience on stage should automatically generate applause and create added character into your act. Indeed, if it comes down to it, you can tell the audience when to clap. This should be done carefully either by using the clapping as part of the act or by cheeky patter which comes across in an entertaining manner. You will find some hints on patter in the chapters below.
To sum up applause, the bottom line is that it is a reward for a well rehearsed act and a job well done. It should not be taken for granted and the magician should find that if they have perfected their act well enough to genuinely earn the applause, that this should be an encouraging step for them
Erm, This Wasn't In The Script !!
There are times that things will not go 100% as planned. This is a fact of life and a successful act.will depend on the magician having some fast patter at hand, to make light of any mess ups in the performance. This patter can often win over an audience who are usually quite forgiving, realizing that even magicians are human.
Likewise, you will occasionally come across "hecklers" ( the name given to someone in your audience who continually interrupts your act by shouting out distracting comments).
Here are a few ideas to use in your magic act
When Things Don't Go Exactly As Planned
Ladies and Gentlemen, when I arrived here tonight, I received a special request... but, I'm going to perform anyway.
"Man, its so quite in here, you could hear a career drop"
"Gee, that's weird, it worked perfectly in the magic store"
"That's the first time that ever happened again"
"It doesn't look as bad from my side"
"There is only one thing this magic trick is missing"
"Erm...could you step a little to the left? Your standing on the trapdoor."
Heckler Stoppers ( These should be used carefully at your own discretion)
"He's so ugly that when he entered an ugly contest, they said "Sorry, no professionals allowed."
" Is that your own teeth or are you breaking them in for a donkey?"