Taking a bow properly and managing your pockets! Very important things….

How about my Bows?

 Everything I said about the importance of your closing trick can be undone by bad or sloppy bows. This is the very final moment of rapport between you and your audience, make sure it is as carefully planned and rehearsed as anything that comes before. Sound, lighting and performance most all come together into one seamless package as you take credit for all the work/show that came before. Good final bows may be the surest sign of a true professional that exists in this business.

Working with so many wonderful acts over the 50 years of my career has taught me many glorious tips and stratagems that can turn a strong round of applause into a standing ovation. Maybe at some future occasion I will write an article (or a book) detailing some of them, but that isn’t the goal of this little article. For now just be aware that lay audiences are much more susceptible to theatrical staging tricks than a magical audience, who tend to react to the actual technical feats of magic they have seen. You might want to watch a few Ed Sullivan style variety shows on YouTube, many of those old timers had bows that were a work of art.

What’s in my pockets?

 Pocket management is a very important part of our art and needs to be considered with extreme diligence. Having easy access to the props you use is a vital element in presenting a show that runs smoothly. Of course the majority of your props will probably be contained in a prop bag or on a table, however everything I am saying about pocket management applies in a slightly different form to them also. Nothing much looks worse than watching a performer fumble through his pockets/case trying to locate a specific prop. It is the very fastest way to look like an inexperienced or newbie performer

In my standard 50-minute show I have 17 items that have to be stashed on my person and available for instant use. I have a list/map of what is needed pocket wise to contain them all. I also have some very specific extra pockets (like change pockets) that need to be added to all my performing outfits. It isn’t complicated,

but it is vital that each suit I wear is correctly tailored to add these pockets and it is the first thing I do after buying new working outfits. On a side note I always buy two identical suits at the same time and highly recommend doing likewise—there are many advantages.

First and foremost, it is important that when you walk out onstage you don’t have huge bulgy pocket—it just looks really bad! It is also vital that you fully plan out what goes where, and when, during your show. If you discard a large bandana in your pocket on top of a finger ring that you need later, you are adding an unnecessary fumble. Worse still if you discard a finger ring in a pocket from which you later need to pull out a large bandana—the ring might be flipped out the pocket along with the bandana. These are all small but very important details


 

~ by Nick Lewin on March 26, 2018.

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