Five Things That Will Improve Your Show….


1       Do your time. To be a good and commercial act you need to know how long your performance is scheduled for and stick to the time. No saying; “The show is killing, I will just keep going,” or “This crowd sucks, I’m outa’ here!” Be a professional and do your agreed upon performance time. The average performer has no idea what other factors may be affected if he is cavalier in his timing. I know of quite a few bookers who are hesitant about hiring magicians because they are erratic in their timing. Keep an extra trick in reserve in case the show is running short and also have a trick towards the end of your act that can be jettisoned if you are running overtime.

2       Don’t take material from another performer’s act. Ever. If someone is doing something in his or her shows exactly as performed on a tutorial DVD and they have bought that video (or product) then they may perform the marketed version as supplied with the purchase. What they may not do is take the extra jokes, bits, and timing that any other performer has added. This rule includes anything you see on YouTube— because it has been posted on social media does not mean it is fair game to steal.

3       Avoid the trap of seeing “how much time you can get out of a trick.” A better policy is to see how little time it takes you to get the maximum impact out of a routine. There are plenty of tricks in magic; don’t be afraid of tightening everything up and adding an extra effect in the space you have created. Always be on the lookout for a way to add an extra double punch ending to any trick, assuming it strengthens the effect and doesn’t weaken what came before. Comedians use the term “going beyond the punch line” for moments when you should have stopped a joke but buried the laugh by saying something extra that wasn’t needed. This is an amazingly easy habit to get into when performing magic. Just because you linked all those darn silver Chinese rings together does NOT mean you need to unlink them at the end of your routine. It may (and in my opinion IS) a better ending to leave them all linked as the great Ken Brooke did.

4       Do not equate how much money you spent on a trick with how long it should play in your act. The same approach also applies to how much time you spent on perfecting a trick. Keep it lean and mean and cut out all the fat. It doesn’t follow that a thousand dollar chair suspension in your kids’ show will get any more reaction than a couple of balloons or a breakaway wand. Adjust the degree you focus on a prop with the interest and energy it creates rather than the impact it had on your wallet.

 5       Make sure the audience realizes that you are having fun performing your act. Even if you are bored to tears–don’t let it show. Enjoy yourself and let it show. This is the status quo your audiences want to believe in, so keep the illusion going, even if you are exhausted or have a 102-degree fever. Nothing is more contagious than a big smile and looking like you are having fun.

~ by Nick Lewin on April 25, 2017.

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