A NEW TRICK – AM I READY TO PERFORM ?

May 28, 2008

           You have picked up a new routine, and after practicing hard feel ready to perform it. But how do you come to know without getting caught or embarrassed ” Am I ready to perform for an audience”.

           Catch hold of a smart kid in your locality- the variety who is always active and wants to catch you. Show him your routine. Listen as he comments on the routine. Even if his comment is the most absurd one -Listen . His opinion will be a very frank one but it will help you to identify the weak link in your routine. Re-work on your routine focusing on the weak areas. Try out the same method with a fresh individual until your act is flawless.

           Showing a new trick to an adult will never get you the true feedback of your performance. An adult out of respect or pity will rarely tell you if he observed any flaw in your act. A child will always speak the truth .The truth might sound unpleasant or irritate you, but remember ‘that truth’ is your first step to perfection. Perfection of a single act in an ocean of effects in the craft of magic.

 

 

 

HOW TO TACKLE STAGE FEAR ?

May 28, 2008

What am I afraid of? Ask your self this question without reading further. ———.  What answer did you get (a) I am afraid of facing/speaking to 300 people ,(b) I am afraid of  failure , (c) I am afraid of tackling an emergency that develops on stage , (d) I am afraid of Mr “know it all” 

 2.     Perform only those numbers which you are confident   of . If you feel under confident of any number remove it from your act. Put your magic before the audience first. The moment they react positively to the magic you will find the feeling of fear vanishes. Once you get the initial positive pat ,you can sail your way through the entire act.   

 3.     To break the speaking barrier start performing with  music. The music will raise your spirits and will positively add magic in the air. Heard of the saying ‘Music is Magic’. Speaking is essential. If you don’t speak you will never connect with the audience. Your voice is your personality. Speak less until you develop the confidence and break the fear barrier.

 4.     To boost your confidence and reduce fear, how to tackle every possible emergency must be rehearsed. Remember the audience does not know what to expect in a magic act- That gives you the flexibility of concluding the act in a manner most suitable to the situation.

 5.     Remember 99% of the time Mr “know it all” knows nothing. He just claims to know it all and shakes your confidence. Try calling him on stage and announce ” Well we have someone here who knows some magic and he is going to help me in the next trick” , and see the change in him .Never try to fight against him with your magic, its not worth it ,instead try to take him on your side.               

 6.     Work hard during practice sessions, be your natural self (do not try to copy anyone), believe that the audience will like you, do not attempt things beyond your skill, do not claim to have supernatural powers,  keep smiling and the rest will fall in place.

 

                                                         

DOES REAL MAGIC EXIST ?

April 13, 2008

          As a magician you see a magic show and are watching an effect which you have performed for dozens of times. Did you ever get thrilled or get transported into the world of magic after watching the same Chop Cup routine which you are an expert at? Well why did that happen? You know the effect backward. You know the logic of every step in the routine. But still the magic hit you !!!

        If the performer believes that the  ball penetrated a metal cup, his belief will be transmitted to the audience and they will believe the same.

        To create “Real Magic”, being skillful, or mastering the principles of the art of magic is not the only criteria. You have to feel the magic happen. Your expression and your body language will convey this to your audience. It will convey the “Real Magic in you” to the audience.

          So remember “Real Magic exists”. Yes ,your magic is “Real Magic”

“I DON’T THINK I CAN PERFORM HERE”

March 23, 2008

1. Lets look at performing magic in the real world. You as a Magician prepare your items in your magic bag and have planned the routine which you will perform from A to Z . You have worked hard for the last couple of days and have rehearsed the routines keeping in mind the minutest details.

2. When you reach the venue you realize things are not as you had thought. All your planning is ruined-there is no space on the stage to place your black art table because a ten piece orchestra is performing after you, the stage is surrounded by three sides, the music system cannot play your music CD (for magic)

3. Well dear friends we as professional entertainers are not here to do our magic in an ideal world. We are to perform in the real world in all circumstances and conditions.

4. Make it to the venue at least 30 minutes in advance. Study the stage or the area where you will be performing. Make alterations to your act to suit the prevailing conditions. Never think – I can’t perform here because the stage is surrounded, or it’s too windy or its raining. Make your magic situation proof .

5. Cutting down or adding routines as the situation demands will prove your mettle as a true entertainer.

THE POSITIVE SIDE OF GETTING CAUGHT

March 11, 2008

 1.      Ever tried teaching a trick to a friend? Get back to him after a couple of days and ask him to perform it for you. 99% chances are he would have forgotten.

2.      If after giving the detailed explanation of how to perform an effect the audience does not remember it, do you think they will ever register/understand your method of magic by just spotting a ball palmed in your hand or by detecting a double lift? Never!!!

3       Practice hard before you perform and if you do get caught don’t get disturbed. You have done your bit by sweating it out. It does happen with the best performers. If you take your errors to heart it will have a cascading effect on all the magic that is to follow during a show. Temporarily forget the incident and concentrate on the rest of your act.

4.      Learn from your mistakes. After you have finished performing  , ask yourself  “Why did he spot the double lift?”, “Were the angles wrong?”. Get back home and practice hard. Remember there is yet another day tomorrow to run the race again and make it to the finish Line.

THE MOST IMPORTANT INGREDIENT OF THE MAGIC ACT

March 10, 2008

   1.     You practice, practice and practice till you can do the routine in your sleep. And after you have achieved perfection you continue working on the routine for a few more weeks before you perform it for the audience. But remember the final acid test of the effect will be the ‘reaction of the audience’.

2.     You might have spent a fortune to buy an effect, you might have dedicated ages working on its presentation, costuming, music and lights. The effect might be the one you love to perform the most among all the effects of magic you have learnt in your years of experience as a magician. But if it lacks one ingredient -‘Reaction from the audience’ the earlier you remove it from your act the nearer your act would be to perfection.

3.     But do not be hasty. Give the effect time to be proved. Make sure you have gained sufficient knowledge on the presentation/performance before you drop it from your act.  Make sure that it really lacks the most important ingredient of the act of magic- AUDIENCE REACTION.

4.      You can give the effect another try when you see it generating audience reaction when performed by another performer. After all Magic lies in the performer and not the Prop. 

HOW LONG SHALL I PERFORM ?

March 8, 2008

   Before we answer the above question, let us define the purpose of a magic show. 

The sole purpose of a magic performance is to lift the audience above reality and transform them into the world of fantasy and imagination, to lift them out of the mundane actual world and suspend them for a brief period into the land of dreams.

To achieve this purpose it must be kept in mind that it certainly is a challenging task to draw the audience away from actuality for too long a period .The moment you start your act till you take the final bow – the purpose of your magic is to keep the audience suspended in fantasy and imagination. You will certainly find for brief moments the audience returning back to reality, but with your act building up you have to give them a ‘lift’ as you proceed.

Now the question arises “How long shall I perform”? It certainly depends on your showmanship and your mettle as a performer. But just to give you a bench mark as far as the time is concerned- The best performers of this beautiful art find it tough to keep the audience in a ‘lift’ for more than thirty minutes. So you can decide where you stand -and how long to go.

But the bottom line is – ‘Quit when the audience are on a high and are hungry for more’.  

HOW TO BREAK THE ICE AND START PERFORMING

March 8, 2008

You have spent sufficient time and money on magic but have perused the art only as a hobby. You feel confident enough to stage a small show. But where do you get the audience? “Who will see my magic?.No one knows me as a magician”. What do you do? How to get the audience?Visit a few orphanages or old age homes or even hospitals in your city. Speak to them about your “gift of magic”. Tell them you would like to perform a small charity show. You will get a live audience and not a very demanding one. You will get a feel of performing the ‘art of magic’ in the real world.

Remember if your magic is powerful the word will spread. Leave your contact wherever you perform. After you gain the required confidence have a bigger charity show. Invite the local press over- and then wait and see the magic happen.

A last word of advice – don’t forget the orphans, old aged or patients when your magic is known to all, don’t forget them when the money starts rolling in – – Don’t forget from where you started.

ABOUT THE BLOG

February 23, 2008

Hi Magicians,magic lovers and one and all who visit this blog. The starting of this blog is  the  idea of my friend Mr Peter Theobald from Bombay(India). A   C.A by profession ,Peter is a mentalist and  performs magic as a hobby.He  is an excellent photographer. 

The blog deals with the thoughts and often unanswered questions that cross the mind of a magician while he performs this fascinating art. To answer these questions does require years of experience in this art, hence the views/guidance of many experienced  magicians who are as old as 30 years in this field have been taken .  I must admit that in documenting these thoughts I have used all my practical experience of a very short period of five years I have had in this “World of Magic “, as a conjurer, parlour and close-up magician . Please feel free to correct me where you feel things are not on line.