Some Good Tricks NOT to do in your show!

What tricks should I avoid?

 Magic has a general reputation of tending towards the dated, sexist, and misogynistic and having watched a great deal of magic over the years I would have to say that this is often a fairly well-deserved observation. The take away from this statement (a statement that is bound to be disliked by most magicians) is to avoid tricks that are in any way dated, sexist, or misogynistic. The key factor towards applying these criteria is to remember that you should be judging this from a contemporary and youthful viewpoint and notyour own. Magicians revere the past probably more than any other group of entertainers and it often affects our relevance to our audiences.

On a more specific note, it is a good idea to avoid any trick that has become so familiar to an audience that they groan when they see you starting to perform it. This really comes down to what the average person is seeing on TV. Interestingly enough there are many older effects that are now relatively fresh to an audience, so try to be very aware of judging the mood and reaction of the crowd when you start a routine. There are a great many tricks to choose from in magic’s database and an unlimited amount of interesting variations to throw into the mix. Don’t be influenced by what tricks you see other magicians perform or you start the search for originality on the exact wrong footing. Conversely, it is definitely not safe to say an audience will respond to a trick just because it is brand new in effect or method. Especially method!

There are, however, many tricks that are familiar and have been performed repeatedly because they have stood the test of time. The burnt and restored banknote is a plot line that resonates with any audience due to the situational comedy inherent in the action. I perform a burnt bill routine that hinges on the fact that the audience knows pretty much exactly what will happen the moment the trick begins. I pull the rug out from the audience expectations three separate times and add two big surprises before the routine concludes. In other words, I have very carefully taken a time-proven effect and repeatedly used a one-ahead principle to increase the interest of the audience. I hate to say it but changing the Bill in Orange to the Bill in Grapefruit doesn’t count!

~ by Nick Lewin on April 4, 2018.

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