The benefits of creating a real world performing location.

shapeimage_1I have been attempting, in my writing, to let you know about some of the great smaller magic venues that exist and are allowing magicians to display their skills to members of the general public. There is always talk of ‘the next Magic Castle,’ but the landscape is littered with attempts to duplicate the success of this wonderful institution.

The reason is very clear, most locations simply do not support the potential for a full time club. However, there is an ever-increasing list of one or two night venues springing up across the United States. They are doing a wonderful job in creating a ‘Real World’ location for magicians to improve their craft.

There are many fine magic clubs that allow magicians to perform for each other on a weekly/monthly basis, but that is far from being the ‘Real World’ lesson that performing for lay audiences supply. If you want to improve as a magician then you really don’t need to leave your home; just plunk yourself down in front of a mirror and practice. You will definitely improve your magical skills. If you go to your local Ring and show of your skills you may well find that someone can teach you a better move or a better way of performing the move you are doing. Score!

However, if you want to become a better magical entertainer, I heartily recommend you take every opportunity to actually get out there and perform for regular people. Their perspective is quite different and can help you improve your skills on many levels. Magic audiences love to watch new tricks and variations on themes; laymen watch a lot less magic and their viewpoint is quite different because of this simple factor.

I have recently written about success stories such as ‘Monday Night Magic,’ ‘The Mystery Lounge,’ ‘Wonderground,’ and ‘The California Magic Dinner Theatre.’ I am very aware that I haven’t covered Steve Spills long-term venue ‘Magicopolis’ in Santa Monica and am looking forward to doing so in a future column. I love these ventures and applaud the dedicated folk who run them; they are doing something very vital for the magic world.

I love performing at these kind of locations and applaud the opportunity that they present to introduce lay audiences to well produced shows featuring a MainMenu_01wide variety of performers. I realize there are other venues of which I am unaware and I would love to hear from you (nicklewin1@mac.com) so I can add them to my list.  I see a very clear means to improving the level of magical entertainment by increasing this network of performing locations.

Why not form a small group of strong performers and see if you can interest a local restaurant or club in allowing you to set up a monthly event on their premises? Check egos at the door, and work at providing a really great 90-minute show on a regular basis. If it works well, then you can think about moving to a weekly show.

One of the key ingredients to the success of New York’s ‘Monday Night Magic’ and Boston’s ‘Mystery Lounge’ is the way the local magicians are delighted to embrace any performing slot whether opening or closing the bill. This allows them to effortlessly incorporate visiting pros into their schedule.

The best way to improve your work as a magician is to perform more. Why not gather a group of like-minded performers and start to work at building up a local audience for your talents—it will be fun! One of my Bostonian friends described their long running weekly event by saying, “Regular folk might have a bowling night but we have the ‘Mystery Lounge!’ I like that and so do their audiences…

~ by Nick Lewin on October 3, 2013.

2 Responses to “The benefits of creating a real world performing location.”

  1. What a great article and excellent ideas!

  2. I agree, Nick, with all that you say.
    You can’t beat getting out there and doing what you do.
    Expertise comes from experience, and experience comes from doing.
    I look forward to more similar articles from you.
    Regards, Bob.

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