Professionalism In Magic…When Things Go Wrong

If you plan it right, have the right magic for you, (and your audience of course) the right assistant, the right lights, the right music, the right sound, the right script, etc. and everything goes according to plan, its easy to look professional, to be professional. But what happens if something goes wrong? I mentioned in an earlier post that Phil performed at a clown convention many years ago. He was the only magician in a show full of clown acts, some which were hilarious. Phil closed his act with the Multiplying Bottles. He did well up to that point, when he lifted a tube and saw his glass was missing. My heart sank, but he leaned into the mic and said in a sort of secret way,”Somebody stole my glass! This was followed by something like ” we’ll pretend its there or invisible” and went on with the routine. He got an tremendous applause. No one cared about the glass.

Last week we were at a magic show, which was great,  and then something went wrong, but I guarantee that 95% of the audience didn’t know that. In retrospect, when discussing it after the show, I remembered there was a part that looked like a levitation was going to be performed and it didn’t happen so I guessed I was wrong. I never for one minute thought there was a problem on stage.

Years later when the performer sits around with his cronies like Phil and I did after Father Cyprian’s 50th Anniversary, no one talked about all the wonderful things they did on stage. We all talked about all the things that went wrong and we had such a good time, laughing at ourselves and with others. That’s the beauty of live shows. You have to go with the flow, go where it takes you. It’s not the end of the world.


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6 responses to “Professionalism In Magic…When Things Go Wrong

  1. What a priceless piece of wisdom to share! THANK YOU! MAYBE one out of 100 amateur magicians (born with some special gift) would be able to learn this on their own early in their career. This kind of thing almost never shows up in books or DVDs. The lesson behind the lesson here is that young magicians should spend time listening and learning from experienced magicians every chance they get! THIS is why “brick and mortar”magic shops are vital. It is in those shops that the “youngsters” have the best opportunity to spend time with magicians who have been “around the block” a few times.


    • Honestly folks, I didn’t pay him to say that. Thanks, Paul!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Evy 🙂
        As you know, Denny Haney is reminding his customers about exactly what I wrote…and I agree with him. The high quality brick and mortar shops that choose to close are a huge loss to our art.

        I’m going to go “off topic” a bit here, but since I’ve mentioned Denny…

        Denny is also currently reminding people of the importance of buying BOOKS over downloads. His concern is that over time, as computers evolve, people will “lose” their downloads if they don’t keep “converting” them to the latest type of computer storage device. As a software guy, I believe he has a point. I have some old 3.5″ floppy disks with perfectly good computer software on them. I still have a 3.5″ floppy disk drive, but it will inevitably die one day. Before that happens, I better copy those disks onto my hard drive!

        Own any 78 RPM records?…or 8 track tapes? Same issue keeping your music collection usable. He has a point.

        I must admit I find it easier to learn from video than a book (at least when I’m trying to learn slight of hand.) So I can’t say I always prefer books. But I buy very few downloads. I’m still buying DVDs as I like to “touch” my purchase. DVDs will no doubt be a storage medium of the past at some point (“Blue Ray” DVDs seem to be off to a slow start, but they’re out there.) I guess “a book is forever,” but making sure we don’t lose our videos will require paying attention to where technology goes.

        Anyway, whether one agrees with Denny or not, I’m glad he’s sharing his views.

        PS: I have noticed that L&L Publishing has been selling their DVDs at HUGE discounts over the past year or so. I haven’t called them to ask, but I hope they are not getting out of the DVD business completely.

        I LOVE your posts Evy 🙂 As long as you are enjoying writing…keep ’em coming!!!




      • PS: No thanks necessary. My arm feels just fine so I can state for the record that you did not twist it!! 😉


  2. I remember watching Romaine on a tv clip for some show. He did his billiard ball routine, but without the billiard balls! And of course he was brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

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