iPhones and other digital thoughts, leads and plugs……

IMG_1953I really had fun in my last five blogs with lists of five magical things in them. I had some great email responses so I’m guessing some of you did too. I want to cover a few fairly unconnected topics in this blog, bundled up with a couple of plugs for things you might be interested in.

It is a rather fascinating thing the way cell phones have become so ubiquitous ever since they became ‘smart.’ It is quite astonishing how people seem to need to check their Facebook status on such an amazingly frequent basis! As a very regular corporate performer I particularly notice this tendency in audiences at these kinds of shows. One often seems to be sharing the attention span of the crowd sitting in front of you with a two-inch screen, it can be a little disconcerting when you look out and see lots of illuminated faces.

I do find that the amount of phones that ring, and worse still calls taken, during public performances has decreased. People are starting to realize that there are mute buttons on their iPhones or maybe people are just texting more, now that they realize it isn’t just for teenagers. I was at a concert last night by Willie Nelson celebrating his 81st birthday and I noticed how many audience members were dividing their attentions between Facebook and this American legend. It was somewhat comforting to realize that it wasn’t just my show that this was happening at.

There is a growing trend to assume that social networking is the most vital part of marketing for an entertainer, but I Nick-33truly wonder how much it really counts for in the long run. The incredible YouTube numbers that have been ratcheted up for performers like James More and Darcy Oake may be the biggest example of true social networking success stories. The amount of folk who ‘Like’ the picture of your luncheon burger may be rather less important in the long haul. For some performers I think they should rename it ‘StrokeBook.’

Pop Haydn takes the path of inviting his audience to Tweet and post comments during his performances. I think this is an interesting idea but really wonder whether it is a best approach. I am viewing it with a quiet detachment during my performances, and trying hard to remember not to check my own phone during a live performance by an artist! I would love to know what your thoughts are on this very contemporary issue.

I have certainly noticed that my excitement with ‘iPhone tricks has faded almost totally during the last year. After an initial burst of enthusiasm I now suspect that the audience transfer (usually correctly) most of the credit for the effect to the phone. However, not wishing to sound too negative I did thoroughly enjoy this story about Simon Pierro and his rather amazing iPad magic—check it out at

http://www.dw.de/how-technology-the-internet-and-the-ipad-are-changing-a-magicians-secret-work/a-17537152

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I am delighted to give a little advance notice about a two-day event I am giving in Cupertino, Northern California on June 9th and 10th. I will be performing live and giving a lecture, workshop and Master Class, in collaboration with the Society of American Magicians Assembly #94. It should be a blast. If you would like to get more details about the event, check in with Phil Ackerly at ackerlymagic@gmail.com  or phone 408 781 6735.

It will be a very interesting and informative teaching experience that I am centering on the art of taking smaller magic and learning to sell it so that it works for BIG audiences. It will include a bunch of great tricks and information. I have posted the flyer for the event on my blog site at www.remarkablemagic.com and it is available there for download.

Finally I want to mention a fun new item we are premiering in the next issue of Vanish International Magic Magazine. It is a ‘Then & Now’ pictorial feature, and will feature fun press and performance photos of performers and the way they have changed over the years. I am a great fan of ‘Throw Back Thursday’ on Facebook and thought it would be fun to extend the notion to Vanish. If you have photos that would be fun to feature and think they would be of interest to our amazingly international readership then send them to me at nicklewin1@mac.com  and perhaps we can use them.

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~ by Nick Lewin on May 2, 2014.

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