Daily Archives: May 11, 2011

The Magic Trick and The Performance of Magic

So you want to do magic. You saw a magician on the street, on TV, on the internet, or at a party, and it sparked an interest. If  you’re in Montreal and come up to the  Perfect Magic Shop and you’re 11 or 12 or older there are 3 three or four tricks I will show you which I know you will buy. And one book, which I’ve spoken about before, the Mark Wilson Complete Course in Magic. If you’re 4 or older I will show you other things.

You may come in and say something like, I saw a guy float a ring in the air and it landed on someone’s finger. I want that. That would be a nice sale for me but, I don’t really want to make a sale, I want to make a customer and if that’s his first trick he won’t do it. He’ll buy it, he’ll find out how its done, but it’s not for a rank beginner. He’ll probably decide that magic isn’t for him.

Over the years (35) in this business, I know that it’s not enough to demonstrate a magic trick and fool someone, which believe it or not is the aim of some magicians. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. No one likes to be fooled, so to me the real secret in performing is while you are fooling them let them enjoy it.

So I suggest easy tricks for beginners, not because they are unable to learn the more difficult ones, but so they can focus on the audience. Without them there is no magic. Some things you might consider is Who is your audience? How old are they? What would interest that age group? Where are you performing? At a bar? At a senior residence? At a birthday party? A halloween party?  You could probably do the same “trick” or “tricks” at all these places but your “patter” would surely have to change drastically. Nor should it be done on the spur of the moment. It requires much thought.

I must have performed the Svengali Deck thousands of times over the years and it evolved into a set performance. Every move has a set line to get a laugh or reaction. We often have people come into the shop trying to sell us stuff, not magic, but eye glasses or socks or whatever else fell off the truck. I sometimes say,” No thank you, but let me show you something.” and I do the Svengali deck. More often than not they’ll buy it and come back for more. I credit that to the enjoyment and laughs they got as much as the amazement.


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